by Julie Sparkman

This was my standard response to the frequent requests I received to write the message of “Idol Addiction” and “Unhitching From the Crazy Train” Bible teaching series in a book form. Never say never.

My friend Richard Simmons is the author of several books, the most recent,”The Power of a Humble Life”. A converstion with him about two years ago changed my “no way” to writing to “maybe”. He told me that a book had the potential to reach people further and faster than a study series can. I knew he was right. But I am a speaker, not an author and there is a BIG difference. I Thesolonians tell us that the question of “to do or not to do” is not to be decided based upon our ability, but His calling: “the One who calls you is faithful and He will do it”. What a relief!! My assessment of my own ability did not become more positive. It was just no longer the point. We are free to say a bold “YES” regardless of our personal limitations, which is exactly what I (and my biggest cheerleader, Anna Nash) did when I put it back on the Lord. I needed someone who could translate my often crazy stories, expressions and weird humor into a form that people could understand who aren’t right in front of me.

Turns out that translator was quite literally on the other side of the world. Author and blogger, Jennifer Phillips had me laughing out loud at her posts about living out the gospel in the real world… particularly the one entitled “You are More Than a Burnt Chimichanga”. I had found my writing soulmate. A contract with New Hope Publishers and nine harrowing months later we hit the “send” button and sent the final manuscript to the editors. We were done!!!! Sort of.

Now the real work begins! You may have started to hear the buzz on Facebook as the 76 members of our book launch team received their advance book copies this week! What a humbling experience it has been to read about the impact that the book has had on folks from big cities and small towns all across the nation. Single, married, different denominations, so many different callings in life and such a variety of perspectives all joining together to bring the Message to those who need to hear it– some for the first time and some who need to hear it again.

“This is my life’s work: helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details. When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God’s way, I was the least qualified….God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure it had nothing to do with my natural abilities.”  Ephesians 3:7-8, The Message

What would you say a bold YES to in 2018 if you chose to believe it really is about His ability and not your own? What is He calling you to?

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