Note: The most frequent question friends ask me in this new year is "What are you writing next?" In answer, this is to let you know that I plan for two books to be published electronically first, (in ebooks) before they will be published in print. Both are already written pending final proofreading. The first I will explain below. The second, in a later blog post.
Introduction to COME DRINK FROM MY SAUCER
Our God is an “over-blesser.” Whatever He does is lavish, munificent, bounteous, unsparing, and abundant. God has an unparalleled record of faithfulness in providing for the needs of His own people. Beyond that, He outdoes Himself in generously giving us far more than we need, even to granting the desires of our hearts if we delight ourselves in Him. (Psalm 37:4) He is the God of overflow.
As a result of His creative overflow to me while I was writing my recently published book STILL MORE! FLOURISHING ON MY SUMMIT, the third book of my spiritual autobiographical Trilogy, I obviously flourished overly much! I had to perform syntax surgery by cutting the word count in half before publication. Several analogies come to mind to justify publishing this book.
The birth of twins
I look upon each book I write as if it were another child—a brain child or a heart child. While writing the above book, I was unaware that I was “pregnant with twins.” I thought it was one rather large “baby.” As I neared “full term,” I realized, editorially speaking, that this word-child was not a single birth. I had to delay the birth of the second twin. Although this is not possible in natural childbirth, it is possible in the editorial world. Here the analogy breaks down. I resume in wordsmithing terms:
The syntax surgery I had to perform on my manuscript was painful and painstaking. What should I retain and what should I reserve? I wanted to include all of the topics because of their importance. They had already gone through the final editing and proofreading. It didn't seem feasible to leave out entire chapters since each had a theme in continuity. I sifted prayerfully through each chapter to decide which topics could be omitted. The process left me sharing with my readers only half of what I wanted to say. I was stopped in mid-sentence, so to speak.
In this book are the collected, omitted topics plucked from each of the original chapters of my STILL MORE! book. In a word, I am offering still more of STILL MORE!
Gathering up leftovers
A second analogy is that of conserving the leftovers. All four Gospel writers mention the miracle of the loaves and fishes. On one occasion Jesus took seven loaves of bread and multiplied them to feed 4,000 people. Seven large baskets full of leftovers were collected. He had previously blessed five loaves and fed 5,000, and the disciples gathered twelve baskets full of leftovers. Leftovers were of concern to Jesus.
I was faced with a decision about leftovers. Since Jesus has always given me more than I need, I should be a good steward and not waste the bountiful, equally nutritious leftovers with which Jesus has blessed me. I should find a way to share them generously with others rather than let them languish in a document on my PC and consign them to oblivion without blessing anyone. I waited for clear guidance from God. It felt it would come via feedback from readers of STILL MORE! who let me know whether they found the original book to be spiritually challenging enough to want a “second helping.” That has proven true!
Therefore, in this twin book are gathered up the nutritious leftovers tucked into twelve baskets full and divided into twelve new chapters of MORE.
Drinking from the saucer
I mused over a third whimsical analogy remembered from my childhood. I was blessed with two Czech grandmothers in my early growing years in the Iowa heartland. One grandmother lived with us; the other we often went to visit.
My most vivid sensory recollection was of the overpowering fragrance of coffee in Grandma Anastasia's house so evident upon entering her front door. A large, blue-speckled enamel coffee pot was set on the wood stove brewing coffee for Grandpa Jed and for anyone else who might drop by to visit. The aroma of freshly baked kolaches, a fruit-filled, yeast dough, traditional Czech bakery, mingled with the powerful scent of coffee.
Grandpa drank coffee throughout the day. He liked it piping hot and wanted his cup filled all the way to the brim. The pot was heavy and had a wire handle so it was a bit unwieldy for Grandma to manage, so she usually misjudged the amount she was pouring. Invariably the coffee spilled over the brim of Grandpa's cup. The runoff collected in the saucer. Grandpa never complained. On the contrary, he smiled and said it tasted even better from the saucer. He was fond of drinking the saucer overspill first. I think he deliberately made a lot of noise sucking it up because it made his little granddaughter giggle.
This book represents what I hope is the fragrant and generous overflow into the saucer from the original cup, my book STILL MORE!
The bubbling, overflowing cup above is the illustration I plan for the front cover of COME DRINK FROM MY SAUCER.