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Abundant Gifts Blog Posts

 

Easter in Autumn

 

T his past Easter, I bought an Easter lily. I love Easter lilies. Love the sweet aroma , the strong stem and glossy, symmetrical leaves.

 

Every year at Easter our church gives the opportunity to buy a lily plant in honor of someone who has "gone before" as witness to the resurrection. I bought mine in memory of my dad, who two years before he died "became one of those born-agains" he used to scorn (including, of course, me).

 

I had prayed for him for some 30 years before he came to the Lord.

 

So, my Easter lily was special. Once a year, that sweet aroma that spills out of the trumpet-shaped flower would remind me of hope. The hope of Easter--life triumphing over death, fully and finally.

The thing about these plants, though, is    Read more 

________________________________________

Welcome to

ABUNDANT GIFTS

a newsletter to help you develop

the habit of seeing every day gifts from

a lavish God

________________________________________

Published by Diane Eble

author of ABUNDANT GIFTS

A Daybook of Grace-Filled Devotions

( New Hope, 2004)

________________________________________

 

October

 

In This Issue:

   * A Timely Reminder

   * Don’t worry—Pray!

   * Name of God of the Month:

           Good Shepherd

   * Images of God as Shepherd

   * Perspectives

   * Abundant Gifts to Relish in October

   * On the blog

  * Pass It On

  * Subscribe/Unsubscribe Information

________________________________________

 

A TIMELY REMINDER

 

Gene and I were discussing the upcoming bills and the

timing of some checks we expected. We had just

prayed, and I was trying not to worry.

 

Gene asked me to sign a copy of ABUNDANT GIFTS

he wanted to send to a relative. I randomly opened it up

to the story, “The Hidden Gifts of Paying Bills.” I read it

aloud to Gene. We both knew it was God’s word to us

at that moment.

 

The story is too long to repeat here, but if you have the book,

I recommend turning to it again when you pay your bills.

(If you don’t have the book, you don’t know what

you’re missing!)

 

I will include the prayer I quoted by Gunilla Norris:

“Guard me against the arrogance of privilege, against

the indulgence of feeling that I don’t have enough, and

the poverty of spirit that refuses to acknowledge what is

daily given me.” Amen!

________________________________________

 

DON’T WORRY--PRAY!

 

Another gift came when I was in the car and “happened”

to turn on the radio to a Christian station, and Dr. David

Jeremiah was preaching on the topic of worry. It was

so timely! I pass on the scriptures that are surely worth

meditating upon, if not memorizing:

 

“Trust me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue

you, and you will give me glory.” –Psalm 50:15 (NLT)

 

“Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of

you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”

—Psalm 55:22

 

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares

about what happens to you.”—1 Peter 5:7

 

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about

everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for

all he has done. If you do this, you will experience

God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the

human mind can understand. His peace will guard your

hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

—Philippians 4:6-7

________________________________________

 

NAME OF GOD OF THE MONTH:

GOOD SHEPHERD

 

I have been pondering the names and images of God for

a while, and over the past few weeks God keeps

bringing one in particular to my attention: God as our

Shepherd.

 

In the Young Children and Worship session with which

I’ve been involved, I was deeply moved by the stories of God

as Shepherd. How he cares for the sheep, leading them through

the dark, scary places, how he knows them by name, how he

leads them to the lush green meadows and the quiet, still waters.

 

Then I heard a call-in show on the radio where the guest

talked about Psalm 23. A modern-day shepherdess

called in and mentioned that sheep are so helpless, if

they fall down, they can’t get up by themselves. They

need the shepherd to get them up again.

 

I had recently “fallen down.” Several times in fact. What a comfort

to realize that the Shepherd doesn’t expect me to get on my feet

 myself; that’s what his rod and staff are for.

 

Sheep, I’ve heard, are very dumb animals. That

comforts me, too. The Shepherd doesn’t ask us to be

smart, or capable, or beautiful. Sheep are seldom any of

these things. The Shepherd loves them anyway.

 

________________________________________

 

IMAGES OF GOD AS SHEPHERD:

 

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want . . .”

and the rest of Psalm 23

 

“He tends his flock like a shepherd:

He gathers the lambs in his arms

and carries them close to his heart;

he gently leads those that have young.”

--Isaiah 40:11

 

“I myself will tend my sheep and have them life down,

declares the Sovereign Lord. I will serach for the lost

and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and

strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will

destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.”

--Ezekiel 34:15:16

 

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my

sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I

know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.”

--John 10:14, 15

 

“The Lamb at the center of the throne will be their

shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water.

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

--Revelation 7:17

________________________________________

 

PERSPECTIVES

 

"Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker.

Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak

your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the

stigma of  conformity. And on issues that seem

important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost."

--Thomas J. Watson

 

"Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker.

Failure   is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not

a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by

saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing."

--Denis Waitley

 

“The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious.

It is fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of

true art and true science. He who knows it not and can

no longer wonder, no longer feels amazement, is as

good as dead, a snuffed-out candle.”

--Albert Einstein

 

“Prayer strikes the winning blow; service is simply

picking up the results.”

--S. D. Gordon

 

"Continuous effort--not strength or intelligence--is

the key to unlocking our potential."

--Winston Churchill

 

"If you're never scared or embarrassed or hurt, it means

you never take any chances."

-- Julia Sorel

________________________________________

 

ABUNDANT GIFTS TO RELISH IN OCTOBER

 

* The glorious display of autumn colors

(at least in the northern areas)

* The last vine-ripened garden tomoatoes

* The color of mums

* The smile of a loved one

* The affection of a child

* The routine of school or work

* Those “boring” days when nothing [bad] happens

* A good night’s sleep

* Fresh apples

________________________________________

 

ON THE BLOG: “Room for All Kinds”

 

I hope you didn’t miss the story I wrote and published on

the Abundant Gifts blog. It was called, “Room for All Kinds,”

and it’s one of the most profound things God has ever

revealed to me.

 

Whenever I feel impatient with or superior to someone, God

reminds me that “in my kingdom, there is room for all kinds.”

 

Stop by the blog at and read it:

http://wordstoprofit.com/Abundant-Gifts-blog/ .

 

While you’re there, please fill out the subscribe box. That way

you won’t miss any of the articles I will be posting.

________________________________________

 

PASS IT ON!

 

If you like this newsletter, forward it to a friend! (In its

entirety, please.) Your recommendations are how this

newsletter grows.

________________________________________

 

SUBSCRIBE/UNSUBSCRIBE INFORMATION

 

To SUBSCRIBE, go to

http://www.abundant-gifts.com/subscribe_to_newsletter.html

 

I Value Your Privacy! I will NEVER sell

or trade your email address to anyone else.

________________________________________

 

 

Copyright © 2006 by Diane Eble. All rights

reserved.

 

* Copyright Notice/Reprint Policy

 

All material in this ezine is protected by U.S. Federal

Copyright law. It may not be reprinted in any form, or

hosted on any Web site without explicit permission from

Diane Eble.

 

ALL comments welcome and reprint permission

available through e-mail request. No reasonable request

denied.

________________________________________

From the Blog:

Room for All Kinds

 

I was frustrated, not for the first time, by a particular person. Someone who does things very differently than me—in my opinion, too slowly, or without enough regard for reality. This person was unconcerned, in my mind, about what was important, and focused only on the negative. I did not want to deal with the person or the situation, but circumstances being what they were, I had to.

 

I knew it was I who probably had the wrong perspective. So I took the matter to God in prayer. And this time, I think I heard a clear word in my spirit. A clear message.

 

I had recently been to a church retreat called “The Kingdom and the Poor.” One of the most powerful moments of the retreat was when the leader had various people simply read the scriptures that mentioned  “the kingdom of God” and another set that mentioned “the poor.” No comments, just the scriptures, one right after another, cascading over us, word by word constructing a picture of God’s vision and God’s heart.

 

When I went to prayer about my attitude toward this particular “difficult” person, the words that imprinted on my soul were, “In my kingdom there is room for all kinds.”  And the sense was that, not only is there room, but “all kinds” were welcome, honored, cherished.

 

How different from the world, that dictates membership into The Accepted: you must be successful, productive, rich, beautiful, powerful, productive, useful. The whole advertising industry, to mention only one, is built upon reinforcing this. Why do people strive so hard to look as young as possible, to acquire as many possessions as possible, to become as successful as possible? Not really to get or become the thing itself—beautiful, rich, or successful—but, I think anyway, to become Accepted.

 

God’s way is different. God says “You’re accepted” just because he made us. I think he actually likes people who are “different” in some way, who have some sort of handicap or difficulty. His compassion is activated by our need, and his nature is to be compassionate, kind, loving, gracious.

 

“In my kingdom there is room for all kinds.” The words changed my attitude toward my Difficult Person. Knowing God loves that person, welcomes that person without asking for any change at all, humbled me, challenged me to do the same.

 

It also made me look at myself, at my own lacks and faults, and feel very, very glad that “in my kingdom, there is room for all kinds.”

 

Copyright (c) 2006 by Diane Eble. All rights reserved.

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The Amazing God Story that Can't be Written

The story I have to share with you today is not the story I thought God would write in my life.

 

You haven't heard from me in a while, mainly because I've been super busy launching a book (MotherStyles: Using Personality Type to Discover Your Parenting Strengths) and a business (helping people get their books written and published).

 

 

Concerning the latter, I thought it would be very useful to go to the annual Christian Booksellers convention this week in Denver to renew my publishing contacts. Gene goes because he works for a publisher. I would have been able to stay with him, no extra charge. Time away from the children, together!)As an author, my publisher could get me in. The kids had friends they could stay with for a week. My only expenses would be for transportation. Surely God would provide that.

 

I prayed about it. I tried to earn extra. I even asked a couple of people to help me out. The money did not seem to be forthcoming, and I felt strongly that this was not something to put on the credit card, even if it was a business expense.

 

The day before Gene left for the convention, a friend called. After she told me about how God provided for her at the 11th hour, I mentioned my situation.

 

She said, "My husband has a voucher he got when he was bumped a year ago, and I think it expires this week. Let's see if I can find it, and if it's transferrable."

 

She did find something. We each called the airline company, described the vouther in details, and were reassured that it was usable and transferrable.

 

I checked flights to Denver, thinking this was God's amazing way of providing for me to go to the convention after all.

 

No flights to Denver available under that voucher.

 

I hung up, very disappointed. Then it hit me: I have a free ticket to go anywhere! Where did I want to go?

 

Portland, I decided. As in Portland, Oregon. I have two sets of dear friends out there I'd love to visit.

 

Called the friends. They'd love to have me! Portland is so beautiful now! We'd have so much fun!

 

But then I checked the airline again. No flights to Portland on that voucher. No flights to Seattle, either. At least, not through Nov. 8, when she stopped checking.

 

But there were flights to Miami. I have a cousin in Florida I'd love to see. Called her. Debbie said it would be a fine time to visit. We'd have so much fun.... "We'll do whatever you want to do," she said.

 

The Amazing God Story I thought I'd be writing was how God knew I needed a vacation even more than I needed to be at the convention.

 

But it was not to be....

 

When my friend, who had the plane ticket, went to the airport to transfer it over to me--a trip he did not relish taking--the airline told him it was not a valid travel voucher. Despite us having called the airline at least 7 times, describing every inch of the paper and being told it was indeed a voucher and transferrable, US Air told Bill it was not valid.

 

Case closed.

 

No vacation for Diane.

 

Did something wonderful come up for me this week anyway? Not yet. I stayed home, got a lot done. Today I'm taking a retreat of sorts. I will try to get something done that I've been trying to find time for for months. (Something that will benefit my Abundant Gifts readers.)

 

But here's what God did, that I can recognize. The morning my friend called about the plane ticket, right before she called in fact, I talked to a neighbor. The neighbor was having a garage sale, and I stopped by on my walk.

 

We got to chatting, and she told me that in April, she lost her future son-in-law. He dropped dead of a heart attack one day. Her daughter, who is 49, was devastated. She'd finally found the love of her life, and was all set for a wonderful future. Jane and her fiance had bought a house. They were to be married this summer.

 

Within a week of that tragedy, my neighbor, Genevieve, also lost her 33-year-old mentally handicapped son, who lived with her. She lost a son and son-in-law, her daughter Jane lost a fiance and beloved brother. All within a week.

 

Genevieve told me that she and Jane have a strong faith in God, and that is what is getting them through. Her faith lingered with me. I returned later that afternoon and gave her a copy of Abundant Gifts.

 

Genevieve's story framed my own disppointment with a new perspective. What was my diappointment in a missed vacation compared to the crushing disappointment of losing one's love and a future that seemed a dream come true? Of losing the son one has cared for and lived with for more than 30 years?

 

In a strange way, God used their story to help me. Even though I felt very disappointed in not being able to take the vacation I thought I'd take, I felt an underlying peace and sense that God is in control.

 

He has provided miraculously for me in the past. This time he chose not to. I may never know why, or he may reveal it. Either way, I know he's with me.

 

Life is full of disappointment. But it tends to evaporate when the presence of God is trusted.

copyright (c) 2006 Diane Eble. All rights reserved.

 

The Amazing God Story that Can't be Written

The story I have to share with you today is not the story I thought God would write in my life.

 

You haven't heard from me in a while, mainly because I've been super busy launching a book (MotherStyles: Using Personality Type to Discover Your Parenting Strengths) and a business (helping people get their books written and published).

 

 

Concerning the latter, I thought it would be very useful to go to the annual Christian Booksellers convention this week in Denver to renew my publishing contacts. Gene goes because he works for a publisher. I would have been able to stay with him, no extra charge. Time away from the children, together!)As an author, my publisher could get me in. The kids had friends they could stay with for a week. My only expenses would be for transportation. Surely God would provide that.

 

I prayed about it. I tried to earn extra. I even asked a couple of people to help me out. The money did not seem to be forthcoming, and I felt strongly that this was not something to put on the credit card, even if it was a business expense.

 

The day before Gene left for the convention, a friend called. After she told me about how God provided for her at the 11th hour, I mentioned my situation.

 

She said, "My husband has a voucher he got when he was bumped a year ago, and I think it expires this week. Let's see if I can find it, and if it's transferrable."

 

She did find something. We each called the airline company, described the vouther in details, and were reassured that it was usable and transferrable.

 

I checked flights to Denver, thinking this was God's amazing way of providing for me to go to the convention after all.

 

No flights to Denver available under that voucher.

 

I hung up, very disappointed. Then it hit me: I have a free ticket to go anywhere! Where did I want to go?

 

Portland, I decided. As in Portland, Oregon. I have two sets of dear friends out there I'd love to visit.

 

Called the friends. They'd love to have me! Portland is so beautiful now! We'd have so much fun!

 

But then I checked the airline again. No flights to Portland on that voucher. No flights to Seattle, either. At least, not through Nov. 8, when she stopped checking.

 

But there were flights to Miami. I have a cousin in Florida I'd love to see. Called her. Debbie said it would be a fine time to visit. We'd have so much fun.... "We'll do whatever you want to do," she said.

 

The Amazing God Story I thought I'd be writing was how God knew I needed a vacation even more than I needed to be at the convention.

 

But it was not to be....

 

When my friend, who had the plane ticket, went to the airport to transfer it over to me--a trip he did not relish taking--the airline told him it was not a valid travel voucher. Despite us having called the airline at least 7 times, describing every inch of the paper and being told it was indeed a voucher and transferrable, US Air told Bill it was not valid.

 

Case closed.

 

No vacation for Diane.

 

Did something wonderful come up for me this week anyway? Not yet. I stayed home, got a lot done. Today I'm taking a retreat of sorts. I will try to get something done that I've been trying to find time for for months. (Something that will benefit my Abundant Gifts readers.)

 

But here's what God did, that I can recognize. The morning my friend called about the plane ticket, right before she called in fact, I talked to a neighbor. The neighbor was having a garage sale, and I stopped by on my walk.

 

We got to chatting, and she told me that in April, she lost her future son-in-law. He dropped dead of a heart attack one day. Her daughter, who is 49, was devastated. She'd finally found the love of her life, and was all set for a wonderful future. Jane and her fiance had bought a house. They were to be married this summer.

 

Within a week of that tragedy, my neighbor, Genevieve, also lost her 33-year-old mentally handicapped son, who lived with her. She lost a son and son-in-law, her daughter Jane lost a fiance and beloved brother. All within a week.

 

Genevieve told me that she and Jane have a strong faith in God, and that is what is getting them through. Her faith lingered with me. I returned later that afternoon and gave her a copy of Abundant Gifts.

 

Genevieve's story framed my own disppointment with a new perspective. What was my diappointment in a missed vacation compared to the crushing disappointment of losing one's love and a future that seemed a dream come true? Of losing the son one has cared for and lived with for more than 30 years?

 

In a strange way, God used their story to help me. Even though I felt very disappointed in not being able to take the vacation I thought I'd take, I felt an underlying peace and sense that God is in control.

 

He has provided miraculously for me in the past. This time he chose not to. I may never know why, or he may reveal it. Either way, I know he's with me.

 

Life is full of disappointment. But it tends to evaporate when the presence of God is trusted.

copyright (c) 2006 Diane Eble. All rights reserved.

Here are some past issues:

 

************************************************

 Welcome to

ABUNDANT GIFTS

a newsletter to help you develop

the habit of seeing every day gifts from a lavish God

_______________________________________________________

 

Published by Diane Eble

author ofABUNDANT GIFTS: A Daybook of Grace-Filled Devotions

(New Hope Publishers, 2004)

 

March 24, 2006

 

In This Issue:

       * New story posted: “The Gift of Creative Vision”

        * Perspectives on ... Gifts

        * You can still hear Diane on Midday Connection

        * Pass it On

        * Gifts from my web site

        * Coming soon ...

        * Copyright/reprint information

__________________________________________________________

 

NEW STORY POSTED: “THE GIFT OF CREATIVE VISION”

 

I had so many things to write about that I promised you …

Something on miracles, an article on keeping a gifts

Journal … but …

 

Something rather exciting, to me anyway, sort of side-tracked

me.

 

You see, I’ve been working for more than two years on a book

With Janet P. Penley, called MotherStyles: Using Personality

Type to Discover Your Parenting Strengths and …

 

THE BOOK ARRIVED THE OTHER DAY!

 

So, I sat down with it, and reflected on what it all meant

to me. And I wrote it all up and put it on my blog and on

my web site.

 

If creativity interests you at all, if you’ve ever had the spark

Of a dream you wanted to do something about … you might enjoy

this reflection.

 

So go here to view the blog:

http://WordsToProfit.com/Abundant-Gifts-blog/

 

or here:

www.abundant-gifts.com/current_newsletter.html

 

If you go on the blog, please post any comments. Or just

send me an email: diane@abundant-gifts.com  .

 

__________________________________________________________

 

PERSPECTIVES ON … GIFTS

 

"I hate the giving of the hand unless the whole man accompanies it."

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by

opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the

needs of others." --Barbara Bush

 

“The Lord loveth a cheerful giver.  He also accepteth from a

grouch." --Catherine Hall

 

"No one has ever become poor by giving." --Anne Frank

 

"For it is in giving that we receive." --Saint Francis of Assisi

 

"Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege." --John D.

Rockefeller Jr

 

"People are marvelous in their generosity, if they just know the

cause is there." --Will Rogers

 

"No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor

has been the reward for what he gave." --Calvin Coolidge

 

"There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three

things we crave most in life -- happiness, freedom, and

peace of mind -- are always attained by giving them to

someone else." -- Peyton Conway March



"You don't choose your family.  They are God's gift to

you, as you are to them."  --Desmond Tutu

 

__________________________________________________________

IF YOU MISSED DIANE ON MIDDAY CONNECTION ...

On February 2, Diane was the featured radio guest on

Midday Connection, talking about gratitude and her

book,ABUNDANT GIFTS.

 

If you missed the show, want to hear it again, or if you

would like to tell a friend where to listen, click here.

 

Several callers shared their testimonies of God's grace

during some tough times. I think you'll be encouraged

by listening.

___________________________________________________________

 

PASS IT ON!

 

If this newsletter has encouraged you, please feel free to pass

it on to a friend who would also enjoy it.

 

To subscribe, send an email to subscribe@abundant-gifts.com

 

To unsusbcribe, simply click the link at the bottom of this message.

 

__________________________________________________________

 

DID YOU GET THE GIFTS FROM MY WEB SITE?

 

If you haven't sampled the five stories from the Abundant Gifts

Digital Web Book, go to:

http://www.abundant-gifts.com/DigitalWebBook.html

 

To download the Digital Personal Journal to keep track of your

abundant gifts on your own computer, go to

www.abundant-gifts.com. There are several places to sign up,

in the popup box, the web page itself (look in the box con-

taining the story, "When the Gift is the Giver"), or at the

bottom of the page.

 

All God's abundance to you,

 

Diane Eble

 

 

Copyright (c) 2006 by Diane Eble. All rights reserved.

 

* Copyright Notice/Reprint Policy

 

All material in this ezine is protected by U.S. Federal Copyright

law. It may not be reprinted in any form, or hosted on any Web

site without explicit permission from Diane Eble.

 

ALL comments welcome and reprint permission available through

e-mail request. No reasonable request denied. Contact Diane

at diane@abundant-gifts.com.

 

(Posted March 23, 2006)

 

The Gift of Creative Vision

 

"Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul;

the blue prints of your ultimate achievements." -- Napoleon Hill

I’m holding in my hands a copy of a book.

The title is  MotherStyles: Using Personality Type to Discover Your Parenting Strengths.

The authors are listed as “Janet P. Penley with Diane Eble.”

It is my tenth book (eleventh, if you count the compilation called  The Happy BirthdayBook , as amazon does). It is Janet’s first.

As I page through this book, so familiar yet new now that I hold the designed, actual book in my hands, I think about vision. About the power of a dream, of even passing desires. Somehow, they all have power. Energy to create reality.

I think about what a gift it is to create. We co-create our lives, in tandem with God. And as we create other things as well--a book, a meal, a dress, a wreath, a new marketing plan, a baby--we express our essential nature: "made in the image of God," the original Creator.

We can create alone, but more often, we create with other people. In this case,  MotherStyles   was born of two women's vision, and one woman's major life work.

Although Janet Penley began her work with mothers in 1988, the book  MotherStyles was conceived, you might say, in 1993, when I heard Janet speak at a mothering group, then called F.E.M.A.L.E. (Formerly Employed Mothers At the Leading Edge), now called Mothers & More.

Janet spoke about 16 different mothering styles, based on personality theory developed by Carl Jung and popularized by Katherine Briggs and Isabel Myers in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI). I had just gotten certified for giving the MBTI myself, and was writing a book at the time that also talked about personality type.

I stood in line to meet Janet after her talk was over. Told her how excellent her presentation was, how I’d just become certified to give the MBTI myself, how all this personality type stuff had been like a huge light bulb of self-understanding for me. I also bought her self-published M.O.M.S. Handbook.

In the days that followed, I devoured Janet’s Handbook. I called her, asked if I could interview her for my book, A Life You Can Love. Thus began our friendship as she graciously offered her insights for my book.

I told her she should consider writing a “regular book” about Mothers of Many Styles. The Handbook  was fine, as far as it went, but I knew there was a great book here. Something nobody had done before, something millions of mothers needed. I knew how much personality type theory had helped me. I knew how to get published. I’d help her write the thing even, if she wanted. I just wanted to see her material “out there,” enlightening other mothers on a grander scale.

Well, she wasn’t ready. We kept in touch, off and on. I sent her books I’d written as they came out. She was especially supportive of  Abundant Gifts. Every so often, I’d ask if she had any more thoughts of writing the Mothers of Many Styles book. She always had very good reasons for “not yet.”

Then, in November 2003, she called me and said, “I think I’m ready to write the book. Can we talk about it?”

And so we met and dreamed over lobster bisque and salad about what this book might be, and what my role might be.

We solidified an agreement a few months later, and spent the rest of 2004 trying to get a handle on the book. Did a lot of market research, a lot of talking. Too much talking, perhaps. It seemed like we were going around in circles, and sometimes frustration surfaced.

Yet I’ve come to trust the creative process. Sometimes dreams take a while to gather enough energy to manifest into a tangible product. Even though it felt like we were going nowhere, what was really happening was, the vision was gathering both shape and momentum. This was a necessary step in the creative process, called “assimilation.” The book was incubating, growing unseen and hidden from our consciousness, within both of us.

Finally, by December 2004, we both felt the impatience of The Next Creative Step. Incubation was over, it was time for action! Reality cooperated. We found an agent. We pulled together a proposal, outline, sample chapters. Within three months, the book had a publisher.

(Interesting side note: Years ago, I registered a conscious desire to be published someday by Addison-Wesley. That publisher no longer exists … it was bought out by The Perseus Group, of which Da Capo Lifelong Books is a division ... and Da Capo “happens” to be the publisher of  MotherStyles   .)

With a contract in hand, we continued writing the book. The Action phase, from when we started the proposal until when we finished the manuscript, took nine months, January through September of 2005.

(Another interesting side note: All my books have taken me nine months to actually write. No matter what else was or was not going on in my life, no matter how long the book—it always seems to take me nine months.)

So now, here it is, finally.  MotherStyles, complete and finished, going out into the world 13 years after the spark of “conception,” that first connection Janet and I made. Conceived, birthed and launched in its own time, not according to the timetable of the “parents” but according to a deeper sense of timing.

I decide on a quiet celebration: I make myself a cup of peppermint cocoa. I stir flavored chocolate shavings into steaming milk, then pour it into a mug with “Texas” on it in quiet acknowledgment of Janet, who now lives in Texas. I savor the sweetness of the drink, the moment.

Like a child, each book is unique, special, loved for its own sake. Each is launched into the world with high hopes of fulfilling its purpose, a purpose that somehow seems divine.

I hope this book will outlive us both, but one never knows.

So now, a blessing:

Go,  MotherStyles   , go and fulfill your destiny. Be an inspiration, a gift, to many, many mothers. As it blessed Janet and me to write you, go and bless others with these truths. Set them free to mother with their best selves, in enlightened energy.

And you, dear reader, if you have a creative project you dream of bringing to life, take heart. Feed your dream, don’t let it starve. Patiently let it gather energy in its own time. Pay attention to the sparks, trust the process. Someday you’ll hold in your hands the tangible form of your original vision, and marvel at the miracle of the creative process. And as Janet says when she looks at the published book hot off the presses, “In a strange way, it feels like it’s always been there sitting on my desk; as familiar to me as my child’s face.”

 

(Posted March 6, 2006)

“Mom, You Just Discovered the Meaning of Life!”

(But Will It Lead to Riches?)

 

It was bedtime one Monday night, and my 10-year-old daughter, Christine, and I were chatting as we often do while she gets ready for bed.

 

As she brushed her long brown hair, she suddenly said, “Mom, what is the meaning of life? I mean, like, why are we even here?”

 

Dumfounded, I just stared at her for a second.

 

I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t asking those kinds of questions until at least age 12—and I thought I was precocious….

 

Fortunately, my pastor had just happened to mention the answer to the first question to the Westminster Confession in his sermon the day before. (Gift!) Also fortunately, I had been listening—and I remembered now.

 

“The purpose of life,” I said, “is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”

 

She looked at me, big blue eyes round in amazement. Then she shouted joyfully, “Mom, that’s it! Yes! That is the answer! Of course. What else could it be?”

 

We talked about that some. I emphasized the “enjoy him forever,” since this is something it seems to me so many Christians miss. Living a life of faith is not about going through the motions of dry duty. It’s about life, true life, abundant life, life because we’re connected to the very Source of True Life.

 

“Mom,” Christine said excitedly, “you’re going to make us rich. You know the answer everyone is looking for!”

 

(Note here our failure as Christian parents. She obviously did not know the Westminster Confession, had no clue that I was not the initiator of this profound answer. )

 

I gently told her this was not my own brilliant idea, but that it comes from the Bible and early church leaders who distilled the biblical truths into some very good questions and answers, and that this was one of the most basic because, as she said, this is the question everyone wants answered.

 

I also told her this answer has been around for a couple of thousand years, and that in a way, sharing this answer with other people, in life and word, is what every Christian is asked to do. It’s what my own books all boil down to.

 

“You mean, then, it won’t make us rich?” she asked in disappointment.

 

“That’s doubtful,” I said.

 

It’s actually not a bad question. If we Christians supposedly have The Answer that everyone is dying to know, why aren’t people paying us to learn it?

 

More pointedly, why aren’t Christians acting as if this is the Answer to Life?

 

To me, it’s an astounding idea that the Creator of this vast and amazing universe, from the farthest flung planet to the mysterious force that holds all cells together (a quark, perhaps?)—this Creator God says (if you believe the Bible, as I do) that he actually desires a personal relationship with each and every individual, and that he made a way for that to happen.

 

A way that cost him the most precious thing he had—the life of his only Son, who somehow, in some unfathomable energy of Relationship, is fully God but became fully human, too, and died a human death and rose a divine conqueror—all so that these human beings, made in his very own image, could know him in their daily life, and then join him in some unimaginable paradise that we all unconsciously pine for every day of our lives … and live there forever.

 

See, that truth just floors me. To experience it daily, as I do whenever I open my heart (and I’m aware of it even when I don’t, there’s no escaping it)—that is something I never quite get over.

 

Not too long ago I attended a retreat at my church on “The Kingdom of God and the Poor.” One of the most powerful things done there was a reading of all the scriptures that included a reference to “the kingdom of God.”

 

One thing that struck me: how many times it was mentioned that one must become like a little child to enter, or receive, the kingdom of God.

 

I’ll leave you to ponder what all that means, as I will do. But … might not Christine’s response to my words about the meaning of life be a good example of what Jesus meant?

 

She didn’t debate it, doubt it, dissect it. She recognized the truth instantly and received it joyfully.

 

Jesus himself once prayed, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.”

 

Interesting also that a few verses down, Jesus also made his famous invitation, “Come to me, all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy ad my burden is light.”

 

A child does not carry the weight of the world on her shoulders.

 

Neither, Jesus says, must I.

 

In that there is much needed rest.

 

(Scriptures above come from Matthew 11: 25-26, 28-30, New International Version)

 

copyright (c) 2006 Diane Eble All rights reserved.

 

 

 Welcome to

ABUNDANT GIFTS

a newsletter to help you develop

the habit of seeing every day gifts from a lavish God

________________________________________________

Published by Diane Eble

author ofABUNDANT GIFTS: A Daybook of Grace-Filled Devotions

(New Hope Publishers, 2004)

March 24, 2006

In This Issue:

       *New story posted: “The Gift of Creative Vision”

        * Perspectives on ... Gifts

        * You can still hear Diane on Midday Connection

        * Pass it On

        * Gifts from my web site

        * Coming soon ...

        * Copyright/reprint information

__________________________________________________________

NEW STORY POSTED: “THE GIFT OF CREATIVE VISION”

I had so many things to write about that I promised you …

Something on miracles, an article on keeping a gifts

Journal … but …

Something rather exciting, to me anyway, sort of side-tracked

me.

You see, I’ve been working for more than two years on a book

With Janet P. Penley, called MotherStyles: Using Personality

Type to Discover Your Parenting Strengths and …

 

THE BOOK ARRIVED THE OTHER DAY!

 

So, I sat down with it, and reflected on what it all meant

to me. And I wrote it all up and put it on my blog and on

my web site.

 

If creativity interests you at all, if you’ve ever had the spark

Of a dream you wanted to do something about … you might enjoy

this reflection.

 

So go here to view the blog:

http://WordsToProfit.com/Abundant-Gifts-blog/

 

or here:

www.abundant-gifts.com/current_newsletter.html

 

If you go on the blog, please post any comments. Or just

send me an email: diane@abundant-gifts.com  .

 

__________________________________________________________

 

PERSPECTIVES ON … GIFTS

 

"I hate the giving of the hand unless the whole man accompanies it."

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by

opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the

needs of others." --Barbara Bush

 

“The Lord loveth a cheerful giver.  He also accepteth from a

grouch." --Catherine Hall

 

"No one has ever become poor by giving." --Anne Frank

 

"For it is in giving that we receive." --Saint Francis of Assisi

 

"Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege." --John D.

Rockefeller Jr

 

"People are marvelous in their generosity, if they just know the

cause is there." --Will Rogers

 

"No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor

has been the reward for what he gave." --Calvin Coolidge

 

"There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three

things we crave most in life -- happiness, freedom, and

peace of mind -- are always attained by giving them to

someone else." -- Peyton Conway March


"You don't choose your family.  They are God's gift to

you, as you are to them."  --Desmond Tutu

 

__________________________________________________________

 

IF YOU MISSED DIANE ON MIDDAY CONNECTION ...

 

On February 2, Diane was the featured radio guest on

Midday Connection, talking about gratitude and her

book,ABUNDANT GIFTS.

 

If you missed the show, want to hear it again, or if you

would like to tell a friend where to listen, click here.

 

Several callers shared their testimonies of God's grace

during some tough times. I think you'll be encouraged

by listening.

______________________________________________

 

PASS IT ON!

 

If this newsletter has encouraged you, please feel free to pass

it on to a friend who would also enjoy it.

 

To subscribe, send an email to subscribe@abundant-gifts.com

 

To unsusbcribe, simply click the link at the bottom of this message.

 

___________________________________________________

 

DID YOU GET THE GIFTS FROM MY WEB SITE?

 

If you haven't sampled the five stories from the Abundant Gifts

Digital Web Book, go to:

http://www.abundant-gifts.com/DigitalWebBook.html

 

To download the Digital Personal Journal to keep track of your

abundant gifts on your own computer, go to

www.abundant-gifts.com. There are several places to sign up,

in the popup box, the web page itself (look in the box con-

taining the story, "When the Gift is the Giver"), or at the

bottom of the page.

 

All God's abundance to you,

 

Diane Eble

 

 

Copyright (c) 2006 by Diane Eble. All rights reserved.

 

* Copyright Notice/Reprint Policy

 

All material in this ezine is protected by U.S. Federal Copyright

law. It may not be reprinted in any form, or hosted on any Web

site without explicit permission from Diane Eble.

 

ALL comments welcome and reprint permission available through

e-mail request. No reasonable request denied. Contact Diane

at diane@abundant-gifts.com.

 

(Posted March 23, 2006)

 

The Gift of Creative Vision

 

"Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your

soul; the blue prints of your ultimate achievements." -- Napoleon Hill

I’m holding in my hands a copy of a book.

The title is  MotherStyles: Using Personality Type to Discover Your Parenting Strengths.

The authors are listed as “Janet P. Penley with Diane Eble.”

It is my tenth book (eleventh, if you count the compilation called  The Happy BirthdayBook, as amazon does). It is Janet’s first.

As I page through this book, so familiar yet new now that I hold the designed, actual book in my hands, I think about vision. About the power of a dream, of even passing desires. Somehow, they all have power. Energy to create reality.

I think about what a gift it is to create. We co-create our lives, in tandem with God. And as we create other things as well--a book, a meal, a dress, a wreath, a new marketing plan, a baby--we express our essential nature: "made in the image of God," the original Creator.

We can create alone, but more often, we create with other people. In this case,  MotherStyles   was born of two women's vision, and one woman's major life work.

Although Janet Penley began her work with mothers in 1988, the book  MotherStyles was conceived, you might say, in 1993, when I heard Janet speak at a mothering group, then called F.E.M.A.L.E. (Formerly Employed Mothers At the Leading Edge), now called Mothers & More.

Janet spoke about 16 different mothering styles, based on personality theory developed by Carl Jung and popularized by Katherine Briggs and Isabel Myers in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI). I had just gotten certified for giving the MBTI myself, and was writing a book at the time that also talked about personality type.

I stood in line to meet Janet after her talk was over. Told her how excellent her presentation was, how I’d just become certified to give the MBTI myself, how all this personality type stuff had been like a huge light bulb of self-understanding for me. I also bought her self-published M.O.M.S. Handbook.

In the days that followed, I devoured Janet’s Handbook . I called her, asked if I could interview her for my book, A Life You Can Love. Thus began our friendship as she graciously offered her insights for my book.

I told her she should consider writing a “regular book” about Mothers of Many Styles. The Handbook was fine, as far as it went, but I knew there was a great book here. Something nobody had done before, something millions of mothers needed. I knew how much personality type theory had helped me. I knew how to get published. I’d help her write the thing even, if she wanted. I just wanted to see her material “out there,” enlightening other mothers on a grander scale.

Well, she wasn’t ready. We kept in touch, off and on. I sent her books I’d written as they came out. She was especially supportive of  Abundant Gifts. Every so often, I’d ask if she had any more thoughts of writing the Mothers of Many Styles book. She always had very good reasons for “not yet.”

Then, in November 2003, she called me and said, “I think I’m ready to write the book. Can we talk about it?”

And so we met and dreamed over lobster bisque and salad about what this book might be, and what my role might be.

We solidified an agreement a few months later, and spent the rest of 2004 trying to get a handle on the book. Did a lot of market research, a lot of talking. Too much talking, perhaps. It seemed like we were going around in circles, and sometimes frustration surfaced.

Yet I’ve come to trust the creative process. Sometimes dreams take a while to gather enough energy to manifest into a tangible product. Even though it felt like we were going nowhere, what was really happening was, the vision was gathering both shape and momentum. This was a necessary step in the creative process, called “assimilation.” The book was incubating, growing unseen and hidden from our consciousness, within both of us.

Finally, by December 2004, we both felt the impatience of The Next Creative Step. Incubation was over, it was time for action! Reality cooperated. We found an agent. We pulled together a proposal, outline, sample chapters. Within three months, the book had a publisher.

(Interesting side note: Years ago, I registered a conscious desire to be published someday by Addison-Wesley. That publisher no longer exists … it was bought out by The Perseus Group, of which Da Capo Lifelong Books is a division ... and Da Capo “happens” to be the publisher of  MotherStyles   .)

With a contract in hand, we continued writing the book. The Action phase, from when we started the proposal until when we finished the manuscript, took nine months, January through September of 2005.

(Another interesting side note: All my books have taken me nine months to actually write. No matter what else was or was not going on in my life, no matter how long the book—it always seems to take me nine months.)

So now, here it is, finally.  MotherStyles, complete and finished, going out into the world 13 years after the spark of “conception,” that first connection Janet and I made. Conceived, birthed and launched in its own time, not according to the timetable of the “parents” but according to a deeper sense of timing.

I decide on a quiet celebration: I make myself a cup of peppermint cocoa. I stir flavored chocolate shavings into steaming milk, then pour it into a mug with “Texas” on it in quiet acknowledgment of Janet, who now lives in Texas. I savor the sweetness of the drink, the moment.

Like a child, each book is unique, special, loved for its own sake. Each is launched into the world with high hopes of fulfilling its purpose, a purpose that somehow seems divine.

I hope this book will outlive us both, but one never knows.

So now, a blessing:

Go,  MotherStyles   , go and fulfill your destiny. Be an inspiration, a gift, to many, many mothers. As it blessed Janet and me to write you, go and bless others with these truths. Set them free to mother with their best selves, in enlightened energy.

And you, dear reader, if you have a creative project you dream of bringing to life, take heart. Feed your dream, don’t let it starve. Patiently let it gather energy in its own time. Pay attention to the sparks, trust the process. Someday you’ll hold in your hands the tangible form of your original vision, and marvel at the miracle of the creative process. And as Janet says when she looks at the published book hot off the presses, “In a strange way, it feels like it’s always been there sitting on my desk; as familiar to me as my child’s face.”

 

(Posted March 6, 2006)

“Mom, You Just Discovered the Meaning of Life!”

(But Will It Lead to Riches?)

 

It was bedtime one Monday night, and my 10-year-old daughter, Christine,

and I were chatting as we often do while she gets ready for bed.

 

As she brushed her long brown hair, she suddenly said, “Mom, what is the meaning of life? I mean, like, why are we even here?”

 

Dumfounded, I just stared at her for a second.

 

I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t asking those kinds of questions until at least age 12—and I thought I was precocious….

 

Fortunately, my pastor had just happened to mention the answer to the first question to the Westminster Confession in his sermon the day before. (Gift!) Also fortunately, I had been listening—and I remembered now.

 

“The purpose of life,” I said, “is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”

 

She looked at me, big blue eyes round in amazement. Then she shouted joyfully, “Mom, that’s it! Yes! That is the answer! Of course. What else could it be?”

 

We talked about that some. I emphasized the “enjoy him forever,” since this is something it seems to me so many Christians miss. Living a life of faith is not about going through the motions of dry duty. It’s about life, true life, abundant life, life because we’re connected to the very Source of True Life.

 

“Mom,” Christine said excitedly, “you’re going to make us rich. You know the answer everyone is looking for!”

 

(Note here our failure as Christian parents. She obviously did not know the Westminster Confession, had no clue that I was not the initiator of this profound answer. )

 

I gently told her this was not my own brilliant idea, but that it comes from the Bible and early church leaders who distilled the biblical truths into some very good questions and answers, and that this was one of the most basic because, as she said, this is the question everyone wants answered.

 

I also told her this answer has been around for a couple of thousand years, and that in a way, sharing this answer with other people, in life and word, is what every Christian is asked to do. It’s what my own books all boil down to.

 

“You mean, then, it won’t make us rich?” she asked in disappointment.

 

“That’s doubtful,” I said.

 

It’s actually not a bad question. If we Christians supposedly have The Answer that everyone is dying to know, why aren’t people paying us to learn it?

 

More pointedly, why aren’t Christians acting as if this is the Answer to Life?

 

To me, it’s an astounding idea that the Creator of this vast and amazing universe, from the farthest flung planet to the mysterious force that holds all cells together (a quark, perhaps?)—this Creator God says (if you believe the Bible, as I do) that he actually desires a personal relationship with each and every individual, and that he made a way for that to happen.

 

A way that cost him the most precious thing he had—the life of his only Son, who somehow, in some unfathomable energy of Relationship, is fully God but became fully human, too, and died a human death and rose a divine conqueror—all so that these human beings, made in his very own image, could know him in their daily life, and then join him in some unimaginable paradise that we all unconsciously pine for every day of our lives … and live there forever.

 

See, that truth just floors me. To experience it daily, as I do whenever I open my heart (and I’m aware of it even when I don’t, there’s no escaping it)—that is something I never quite get over.

 

Not too long ago I attended a retreat at my church on “The Kingdom of God and the Poor.” One of the most powerful things done there was a reading of all the scriptures that included a reference to “the kingdom of God.”

 

One thing that struck me: how many times it was mentioned that one must become like a little child to enter, or receive, the kingdom of God.

 

I’ll leave you to ponder what all that means, as I will do. But … might not Christine’s response to my words about the meaning of life be a good example of what Jesus meant?

 

She didn’t debate it, doubt it, dissect it. She recognized the truth instantly and received it joyfully.

 

Jesus himself once prayed, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.”

 

Interesting also that a few verses down, Jesus also made his famous invitation, “Come to me, all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy ad my burden is light.”

 

A child does not carry the weight of the world on her shoulders.

 

Neither, Jesus says, must I.

 

In that there is much needed rest.

 

(Scriptures above come from Matthew 11: 25-26, 28-30, New International Version)

 

copyright (c) 2006 Diane Eble All rights reserved.

*********************************************************************************

Below is a sample of the newsletter sent February 14, 2006

Welcome to
ABUNDANT GIFTS
a newsletter to help you develop
the habit of seeing every day gifts from a lavish God
____________________________________________________________

Published by Diane Eble
author of
 ABUNDANT GIFTS: A Daybook of Grace-Filled Devotions
(New Hope Publishers, 2004)

February 14, 2006

In This Issue:
 
 * Welcome to new subscribers
 * Delicious Way to Lose Weight
 * Perspectives on ... Love
 * If YOU missed Diane on Midday Connection
 * Pass it On
 * Gifts from my web site
 * Coming soon ...
 * Copyright/reprint information

______________________________________________________

WELCOME TO ALL NEW SUBSCRIBERS!

More than 150 people signed up for this newsletter as a result
of hearing me on the Midday Connection radio show, and I want
to extend a hearty welcome to all of you.

I will pass on the gifts God gives to me, large and small, in
the form of new stories, quotes, even recipes (as in this edition).

As always, my hope is that you will be blessed not only by the
gifts themselves, but by being drawn to the Giver who so wants you
to know how much you are loved.

_________________________________________________

WHO LOVES CHOCOLATE?
An inepensive, delicious way to lose weight (I hope, anyway)

Okay, this may seem trivial, but it's connected to a great gift--
the gift of health--so I pass it on to you.

Do you remember one of the quotes from Abundant Gifts by Sandra
Boynton? "Research tells us that fourteen out of any ten individuals
like chocolate."

Well, I'm one of the 14 (or is it the 10?). For years I was
allergic to it, but eventually I outgrew the allergy. I've
enjoyed it ever since. Perhaps too much.

On this day when chocolate is a part of celebrating love, I thought
I'd pass on a delicious, inexpensive, low-calorie, even HEALTHY
concoction that I take whenever my sweet tooth converges
with a need for energy (around three times a day, though I usually
limit myself to one or two).

Note that since I don't count calories, I can't tell you exactly
how many there are in this drink. But I do know it's not many.

 1/3-1/2 cup of nonfat dry milk
 1-1 1/2 cups of water
 1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
 1 packet Stevia* or Stevia Plus
 a dash of 2 percent, whole milk or even cream
  (if you can afford the calories)

In a glass jar with tight-fitting lid, mix a couple tablespoons
of milk and the cocoa powder, shaking until a smooth paste. Add
the milk powder and water and shake until well combined. Pour
into a microwaveabole cup, microwave on high for 1 1/2-2 minutes.
Begin to stir the drink, and while stirring, pour in the stevia.
If you like, add a dash of milk or cream. Enjoy!

*Stevia is a natural sweetener taken from a small shrub that grows
in Paraguay. Stevia has zero calories and a great taste. I use the
brand by SweetLeaf, which you can find in a health food store. The
"Plus" is the addition of inulin fiber (FOS)--a naturally-occuring
fiber that is found in chicory, fruits and vegetables. Inulin fiber
is supposed to nourish the healthy bacteria in the intestines and may
also support healthy liver and immune function.

What I know about Stevia is that it's much healthier than sugar
or any of the artificial sweeteners. I did a study a while back
on Splenda, the latest artificial sweetener, and discovered that
the studies that say it's safe were questionable. (For more on
that, visit
 www.mercola.com   and search for Splenda.)

Anyway, I like this, and find it curbs my appetite for around
two hours. Hope you like it, too.

__________________________________________________

PERSPECTIVES ON ... LOVE

Since this is Valentine's Day, I thought I'd pass on some thought-
provoking quotes on love. Ponder and be blessed.


"We are all pencils in the hand of a writing God, who is
sending love letters to the world." --Mother Teresa

'Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God. --Bill Barrows

"Everything is, is freely given by the God of love. All
is grace. Light and water, shelter and food, work and
free time, children, parents, grandparents, life and
Death--it is all given to us. Why? So that we can say
thanks; thanks to God, thanks to each other, thanks
to all and everyone.” —Henri Nouwen

"Where there is great love there are always miracles."
                     --Willa Cather

“The supreme happiness of life is the conviction
of being loved for yourself, or more correctly, being
loved in spite of yourself.”—Victor Hugo


"The love of our neighbor in all its fullness simply
means being able to say, "What are you going through?"
                    --Simone Weil

“There's a whole lot of people who are so freaking busy,
they're so cluttered that they're at their wits' end.
And if they'd only just stop for a minute, they could hear
the God of the universe whisper to them, ‘I love you.’”
                   -- Mike Yaconelli

"The best portion of a good man's life is his little,
nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love."
                    --William Wordsworth

""Why love if losing hurts so much? We love to know
that we are not alone." -- C.S. Lewis

"Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender
look which becomes a habit." --Peter Ustinov

________________________________________________

IF YOU MISSED DIANE ON MIDDAY CONNECTION ...

On February 2, Diane was the featured radio guest on
Midday Connection, talking about gratitude and her
book,
 Abundant Gifts.

If you missed the show, want to hear it again, or if you
would like to tell a friend where to listen,
 click here.

Several callers shares their testimonies of God's grace
during some tough times. I think you'll be encouraged
by listening.

_____________________________________________

PASS IT ON!

If this newsletter has encouraged you, please feel free to pass
it on to a friend who would also enjoy it.

To subscribe, send an email to subscribe@abundant-gifts.com

To unsusbcribe, simply click the link at the bottom of this message.

________________________________________________

DID YOU GET THE GIFTS FROM MY WEB SITE?

If you haven't sampled the five stories from the Abundant Gifts
Digital Web Book, go to:
http://www.abundant-gifts.com/DigitalWebBook.html

To download the Digital Personal Journal to keep track of your
abundant gifts on your own computer, go to the home page
www.abundant-gifts.com  . There are several places to sign up,
in the popup box, the web page itself (look in the box con-
taining the story, "When the Gift is the Giver"), or at the
bottom of the page.

_______________________________________________

COMING SOON ...

My next messages will contain stories of recent miracles I've
witnessed, and an article on how to keep a gifts journal and
do a Daily Examen. Stay tuned!

All God's abundance to you,

Diane Eble


Copyright (c) 2006 by Diane Eble. All rights reserved.

* Copyright Notice/Reprint Policy

All material in this ezine is protected by U.S. Federal Copyright
law. It may not be reprinted in any form, or hosted on any Web
site without explicit permission from Diane Eble.

ALL comments welcome and reprint permission available through
e-mail request. No reasonable request denied. Contact Diane
at
 diane@abundant-gifts.com  .

 

 

 

SPECIAL OFFER!

Last year I made la special offer that I have decided to repeat.

If you would like a signed and personalized copy of either edition of
  Abundant Gifts (they are two different covers), see the instructions at the end of the page (highlighted in yellow) on how to obtain one. Do your Christmas shopping early with a one-of-a-kind gift. Supplies are limited, so don't miss out by waiting. Once my supplies are gone, they are gone for good!


 

Welcome to

ABUNDANT GIFTS/o:p>

a newsletter to help you develop

the habit of seeing every day gifts from a lavish God

________________________________________

 

Published by Diane Eble

author of ABUNDANT GIFTS: A Daybook of Grace-Filled Devotions

(second edition, New Hope Publishers, 2004)

 

PREMIER ISSUE, September 2000

 

In This Issue:

 

1. Why this newsletter

2. Gift-Giving and the Language of Love

3. How I Discovered a Gift-Giving God

4. Perspectives

5 Abundant Gifts to Relish in September.

6. Pass This On to a Friend

7. Subscribe/Unsubscribe information

8. More Abundant Gifts

9. Web sites to check out/o:p>

10. Copyright information

________________________________________

 

1. WHY THIS NEWSLETTER?

 

Welcome to the ABUNDANT GIFTS Newsletter! I am

writing this because, quite frankly, I had such a

wonderful time writing my book ABUNDANT GIFTS

that I wanted to keep up the momentum! The stories of

God’s goodness and grace, in my life and the lives of

those I know, have continued to flow, and I wanted a

venue for sharing them. If you want to know what

inspired and continues to inspire me to share these

stories, read Psalm 145. It’s too long to quote here, but

it’s all about “proclaiming the greatness, celebrating the

mighty power, telling of the mighty deeds” of the One

who “satisfies the hunger and thirst of every living

thing.”

 

That’s what I will attempt to do in this newsletter.

You’ll read true stories of God’s goodness and grace in /o:p>

the lives of real people. You’ll hear about things that /o:p>

have been gifts to me—people, insights, experiences,

books, quotes, recipes that will, I hope, enhance your

life as they had mine. I’ll suggest different kinds of gifts

to savor each month—those universal gifts that are too

often overlooked. But I hope you will be on the lookout

for the personalized gifts that come like packages

selected and wrapped specially for you. My hope and

prayer is that these things will encourage you as much as

they have me, and that they will open your eyes and

heart to the God who is “gracious and compassionate,

slow to anger and rich in love … good to all, having

compassion on all he has made” (Psalm 145:8, 9).

 

________________________________________

 

2. GIFT-GIVING AND THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE

 

One day I received a large box in the mail. Who could

be sending me presents, and why? I hurriedly opened the

box. Inside were several small, individually wrapped

gifts. I opened the little card. My friend who sent the

gifts wrote that she could tell I was a little “down” from

my last letter, so here were a few little things to cheer

me up.

 

I opened each gift with delight. An address book.

Padded clothes hangers. A flannel nightgown, sewn by

the giver. A sachet. Nothing terribly expensive, but each

gift was sent with thought and love. I’m not sure I ever

felt quite so loved. Those gifts were pure grace—

unexpected, sent with love, “just because” the gift giver

wanted to show she cared.

 

Gift giving, says Dr. Gary Chapman, is one of the

“languages of love” that we all understand. But it’s also

a language of divine love, I’m discovering. “God so

loved the world that he GAVE His only begotten Son,”

John 3:16 tells us. God is always giving his ­good gifts to

us, because He is love, and it is the nature of love to

give.

________________________________________

 

3. HOW I DISCOVERED A GIFT-GIVING GOD

 

I first discovered God as a generous, good God in the /o:p>

process of writing a previous book, KNOWING THE

VOICE OF GOD. It seemed that every day God was

doing something very special in my life. Every day I saw

his hand in my life in big ways, small ways, all kinds of

ways. Every time I needed something, whether an idea,

<>

began to keep track of what I felt God was doing in my

life. At night I would jot down in a spiral notebook

“gifts” given for that day. I saw them as not just generic

“blessings,” but as love gifts from a personal and

generous God.

 

The more I wrote down, the more I saw. The more I

looked, the more I noticed. Everyday gifts suddenly

didn’t seem so ordinary. I began to see them as

expressions of God’s love for me given by a lavish God

who simply loves, and loves to give.

 

I continued to keep track, to take ten minutes or so

every night (or sometimes the next morning) to jot

down the gifts for the day. I didn’t expect it to

revolutionize my life, but it did.

 

I went through a rocky time shortly after I began my

gifts journal: insomnia and post-partum depression,

friends moving out of state. I often felt irritable, spacey,

trapped, weepy or just plain sleepy. I was concerned

about certain health problems, worried about finances

and my work productivity. Keeping the gifts journal in /o:p>

the midst of all these struggles realigned my focus and

my perspective. I discovered that God was right her, /o:p>

showing me he loves me, every day.

 

What I was developing was the habit of SEEING. Jesus

said the Spirit is like the wind; we see the effects of

wind, though we cannot see the wind itself. My gifts

journal showed me the effects of the Spirit’s activity in

my life. Before keeping the journal, I sometimes felt

poor, forgotten, lonely, depressed. Since then, I have

felt rich, remembered, loved, excited. As I give God

each day and look for the signs of his goodness, life

becomes an adventure.

 

Try it yourself: Look for the good things that come your /o:p>

way. But instead of just acknowledging them in a

generic way, try saying “thank you” to the personal God /o:p>

who sent them as a gift. Then, let me know the /o:p>

difference it’s made in your life!

 

Adapted from Abundant Giflts by Diane Eble, Tyndale

House Publishers. Copyright (c) 2000, all rights

reserved.

 

________________________________________

 

4. PERSPECTIVES

 

“Those who have abandoned themselves to God always

lead mysterious lives and receive from him exceptional

and miraculous gifts by means of the most ordinary,

natural and chance experiences….”

--Jean-Pierre de Caussade

 

 

“We have all benefitted from the rich blessings [Christ]

brought to us—one gracious blessing after another.”

--John 1:16, New Living Translation

 

________________________________________

 

5. ABUNDANT GIFTS TO RELISH IN SEPTEMBER

 

* The music of insects at night

* Produce from the garden

* The color of mums

* The smile of a loved one

* The affection of a child

* The routine of school or work

* Those “boring” days when nothing [bad] happens

* Labor Day weekend

* A good night’s sleep

* Fresh apples

________________________________________

 

6. PASS THIS ON TO A FRIEND

 

If you liked this ezine, forward it to a friend!

Your recommendations are how this newsletter grows.

 

________________________________________

 

7. SUBSCRIBE/UNSUBSCRIBE INFORMATION

 

To subscribe, reply to this message with SUBSCRIBE

in the subject line.

To unsubscribe, reply to this message with

UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line.

 

I Value Your Privacy! I will NEVER sell

or trade your email address to anyone else.

________________________________________

 

8. MORE ABUNDANT GIFTS

 

If you like the contents of this newsletter, you’ll love the

book—ABUNDANT GIFTS: A Daybook of Grace-

Filled Devotions (New Hope). It’s got a beautiful hard

cover, a gorgeous inside design (thanks to the

publisher), and 260 true stories of God’s goodness and

grace. The book is designed so that you can read one

story a day (in about three minutes), five days a week

throughout the year. But people tell me they can’t put it

down.

 

Michelle Rapkin Collings, Editorial Director for the

Crossings Book Club, said, “Now the discipline for me

of regular devotions is limiting myself to ONE of Diane

Eble’s devotions per day!” Crossings also called it

“delightful … an extraordinary book … honest and

gripping, each vignette speaks straight to the heart.”

 

For more information the book, click on

http://www.abundant-gifts.com      where you can find out more about the

author, read an excerpt, and more. To buy, click here.

 

________________________________________

9. WEB SITES TO CHECK OUT

 

* For a wonderful, restful web site full of many gifts:

http://www.promisegarden.com

 

* For some inspiration on faith, try:

http://www.good4asmile.com/heartsoul/faith_isp.htm

 

________________________________________

 

10. Copyright (c) 2000 by Diane Eble. All rights reserved.

 

* Copyright Notice/Reprint Policy

 

All material in this ezine is protected by U.S. Federal Copyright

law. It may not be reprinted in any form, or hosted on any Web

site without explicit permission from Diane Eble.

 

ALL comments welcome and reprint permission available through

e-mail request. No reasonable request denied.

____________________________________

December, 2004

 

Dear Abundant Gifts friend:

 

I hope you had a bountiful, blessed Thanksgiving.

 

It is one of my favorite holidays. A day

centered around thankfulness and food, what can beat?

 

To help you keep the spirit of gratitude, I thought I’d

include some quotes to inspire you.

 

And then, a bit of news and that’s it! We’re all so busy

these days, who needs one more thing to read?

 

Perspectives on Gratitude

"You simply will not be the same person two months

from now after consciously giving thanks each day for

the abundance that exists in your life. And you will

have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more

you have and are grateful for, the more will be given

you.-- Sarah Ban Breathnach

 

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we

have into enough, and more. It turns denial into

acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can

turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger

into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings

peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."

--Melody Beattie

 

"We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is good,

because it is good, if bad, because it works in us

patience, humility and the contempt of this world and

the hope of our eternal country" --C.S. Lewis

 

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that

the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live

by them."--John Fitzgerald Kennedy

 

"True thanksgiving means that we need to thank God

for what He has done for us, and not to tell Him what

we have done for Him." --George R. Hendrick

 

"When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the

morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks

for your food, and the joy of living. If you see no reason

for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself."

–Tecumseh

The above quotes come from Carmen Leal’s

AllAboutQuotes.com. To subscribe to get a daily dose

of inspiration, visit

http://www.allaboutquotes.com/Daily.asp.

 

Three Fresh Stories in New Edition

Here’s a gentle reminder that the latest edition of

Abundant Gifts: A Daybook of Grace-Filled Devotions

is now available online and in bookstores and makes a

great gift. You can see the new cover by clicking here.

 

This edition contains three different (n*e*w) stories! 

One is one of my all-time favorites (miraculous gift),

one about my dad…. So this edition is also a keeper.

_____________________________________________

Something Special for My Special Friends

If you prefer the older edition, I still have some copies

left. For a limited time (until December 10) I can

personalize, sign and send your copy of the older

edition (click hereto see the cover), gift-wrapped, to the

 recipient of your choice ifyou like. You must do all of the

 following for me to dothis:

1.        Send an email with the recipient’s name and a

bit about them (especially whether currently a

believer or not) so I can personalize it. Email me at:

diane@abundant-gifts.com  , please. Also include where

you want it sent—full name and address.

2.        Specify whether you want it gift wrapped.

3.        Send me a check for $19.95 (to cover postage

and handling). My address: Diane Eble, 0S430

Jefferson, Winfield, IL 60190. I’ll prepare your

order when I get your email, and send it out as soon as I receive

your check.

I offer this with a bit of fear and trembling—what if I’m

inundated with orders?--but you are my special friends

and I want to give you this opportunity of receiving

something a bit special from me. So please, if this will

ease your Christmas shopping and give someone a gift

that can potentially change their lives, take me up on it!

Just do it soon, okay?

 

That’s all for now. Next time I will tell you what God

has been teaching me from my experience with surgery

and the long aftermath of recovery.

Abundantly yours,

Diane Eble

author of ABUNDANT GIFTS

Sharing stories of God's goodness and grace

"Taste and see that the Lord is good." Psalm 34:8

P.S. Feel free to pass this on to your friends …

because they too may need a little bit of inspiration.

________________________________________

 

Copyright (c) 2004 by Diane Eble. All rights

reserved

 

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