Song of the Stream Book Launch

 

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We have a book launch! Well, almost.

I tried to get everything ready so the book would be up for sale on Amazon by today, but it may be another day or two before it appears there.

I’ll do a separate post when the book is available. Thank you for all the encouragement and kind words already. I pray that the book will be a blessing to you soon!

Phyllis Keels

Hearing the Music

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Well, I’m a little bit behind schedule on the new devotion book, but I’m close. Really close! The book will be up for sale on Amazon before the end of this month.

As I worked on formatting this book, I was able to experience it the way a reader would. I let the words and the beautiful photographs minister to me. The result was a sweet sense of peace and a fullness of the love of our Heavenly Father. It was wonderful and I really needed it.

This should tell you that the Holy Spirit is all in this little book. How could I write something that would comfort me? Only the Holy Spirit can breathe words that give life after you’ve seen death.

When you lose a loved one, everything changes. The way you thought life would be is no more. The music of the future you once anticipated is dead and suddenly it seems there is nothing left but black silence.

But if you listen you will hear it: the Song of the Stream; the river of Living Water flowing toward you; the sound of life itself bringing hope to your broken heart.

Let the Lord Jesus minister to you, friend. Let Him surround you with refreshing and hope. You probably think you’ll never be able to stop crying, much less smile again. I am here to tell you that you will smile, though your smile will be different. It will be real and it will shine compassion on someone else who is trying to hear the music.

Phyllis Keels

The Song of the Stream, written by Phyllis Keels, with photos by Kim Lance, will be available on Amazon soon.

A New Devotion Book

I’ve been working on a new devotion book called The Song of the Stream that will feature Kim Lance’s beautiful photography. I’ve finished the final draft and hope to have it available for sale on Amazon by the end of this month or the first of next month.

It’s a compilation of thirty of my blog posts over the last few years – the ones you shared the most, the ones you said encouraged you, comforted you, or gave you hope.

It is designed to help you hear that lovely song of the stream over your grief.

I’ll write a post when the book is available. Until then, here is an excerpt that I hope will bless you:

Brighten the Corner

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Photo by Kim Lance (Used by permission. Click image for more of Kim’s work)

The first time I heard the chorus of the old hymn “Brighten the Corner Where You Are,” I thought the line was, “Right In the Corner Where You Are.”

I was just a kid, and I remember thinking, what? Right in the corner where you are, what? What happens?

That stuck with me over the years and I still chuckle when I think of it.

The photo here reminded me of the song. The little flower, with its “arms” held wide is brightening the corner where it is. It looks like it is dancing in the sunshine. It made me smile and the day I saw it I really needed a smile.

Shortly before seeing this photo, I heard about a young person who was in an accident over the weekend. As I prayed for the family, imaging what they were going through, suddenly my mind was back in ICU watching my 28-year-old daughter take her last breath.

When tragedy strikes someone we know, we try not to make it about us. We try to be there for others, to pray, to comfort, to minister. Even so, we can’t help but feel what we felt when we went through that dark valley.

Memories of the tragedy will sneak up on you. I was in a grocery store recently and saw a mother fussing at her teenage daughter. The mom was frustrated and said some hurtful things. I could see the daughter’s soul shrivel up. It broke my heart.

I wanted to tell the mom, “Please don’t – be gentle and help her. Enjoy every moment you have with her.” But I didn’t. Instead I prayed that the Lord would give them both what they needed in order to love one another.

If I’ve learned anything from the shattering pain that still pierces my heart each day it’s this: use everything in you to do good. Use your gifts, talents, weakness, strength, faith, and even your grief.

Take your stand and plant your feet, let your roots of faith grow a little deeper as you tell the Lord you need Him today. Trust His kind heart and know that all the riches in glory in Christ Jesus are at your disposal because of what Jesus has done for us.

Your corner may be dark today. It may be devastating to look at, but spread your arms and welcome the sunshine of your Heavenly Father’s love. There will be someone who sees and they will say that you’ve brightened the corner for them, dear friend.

The Word you can hold onto today:

Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. (Isaiah 60:1, NKJV)

Phyllis Keels

The Eye of the Storm

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Photo by Kim Lance (Used by permission. Click image for more of Kim’s work)

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be in the place where this photo was taken? I would just sit and look at the trees and the hills and the grass. Oh, to be where there is no phone, no computer, no TV in every single building we enter from a medical clinic to a restaurant. No people, no planes flying overhead, no cars driving by. No noise.

Just the sound of the wind in the trees.

I guess I’d have to travel back in time a few hundred years to get that kind of quiet. Yep. I’ll get right on that.

Believe me, if I could have done it, by now I would have done it. Maybe that’s why I like to write stories set in past times. In my imagination, there is the quiet that I long for.

Sure I use technology and man-made contraptions. That doesn’t mean I like them. They make so much noise.

Maybe noise is so repulsive to me because it tends to distract from what is real. It keeps us from hearing the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit. It drowns out the whisper of wind and the stream. It seems to be a bully that forces its will over the sweet sounds of God’s creation. It tramples on our minds when we try to think about the Lord.

If you’re not quite sure how I feel…

The worst of it is this: we grow so accustomed to noise that we don’t even think about it anymore. Sometimes we’re even frightened when we do have a few moments of quiet. We think something is wrong. We’re left alone with our thoughts!

I’m not condemning anyone who doesn’t like quiet. We are who we are and we like what we like. I just wish there were a quiet place to be found nowadays. Even if we turn off every device we own, there is still plenty of noise around us.

So maybe the answer is in the eye of the storm. The world will be noisy until Jesus physically returns. Until then, I can rest in the quietness of His presence within me. Maybe the problem is that I’ve been looking for external quiet when I could be enjoying the unshakeable internal peace of being the Bride of Christ the King.

Jesus loves me. He always loves me. His strong, comforting presence is always with me no matter how much noise is going on outside. What place could be more beautiful than that?

Here in the eye of the storm is the real place where I can hear the wind in the trees and the song of the stream. Here in His arms, where I can hear His whispers of kindness; where I can rest my head on his chest, and thank Him for loving me so much.

Phyllis Keels