I always review my life at the dawn of a new year and give serious thought and prayer to “what I hope to be when I grow up.”
Especially in one's late years, after completions there must continue to be anticipations of what is still ahead—joyful, positive expectations, not tainted with fear or dread or regret. That's what life is all about, isn't it? Looking backward and looking forward. I ask Jesus Christ, the Lord of my life, what He wants me to finish while I'm still in my “earth suit,” my mortal body.
Having reached my 91st year, I want a fresh anointing of the Oil of the Holy Spirit so that I don't become stale, wilted, or dry but “full of sap and very green” as God, according to Psalm 92, expects of His children who are in their advanced calendar years. This is my “summit season” and these are my “vintage years” for which I am accountable.
Each year I pray to discern what literal “word” God would have me focus on for direction in my life and to internalize and practice it. Then I spend the rest of the year unpacking what it should mean for me. Previous yearly words I zeroed in on were WISDOM, MORE, PRESSING ON, LEGACY, GRATITUDE and FLOURISH all related to increase and not diminish or slack off, not to drift or regress. I continually challenge myself to live out and live up to what I have already written.
In the process of learning more from God and about living to please Him, it seems that I'm always "over-Flourishing" with exciting ideas to write which generally results in a stack of manuscripts still in process. On my birthday in June this year, I had the impression that God was giving me a new mid-course “word.” The word was HARVEST. I strongly sensed God's nudge to intensify my creative writing ministry “while I'm still in my prime” and to press on full speed ahead and “harvest” some of my incomplete book manuscripts.
I initially thought God meant that I should bring them only to the point where they could go to press –some day in the future. Since I clearly lacked the financial resources to publish them, at least I should get them read for printing. I was thinking perhaps of working on two such manuscripts that were burning in my heart. Upon completion, I intended to put them on a shelf and leave them to posterity, if perchance someday someone would think they might be suitable for publication.
The Lord obviously had something considerably more in mind! I simply obeyed one step at a time and invested day after day, month after month at the computer in the direction He pointed—without asking any questions. As it turned out, God provided me with exceptional strength "above my pay grade" (calendar age!) and creative wisdom and discipline and sufficient health not only to complete the writing and editing in preparation for production but over-the-top He provided the surprise anonymous financial resources enabling me to publish my books NOW!
And not merely two new books, but within only the past six months I completed writing and editorially preparing five new books—and they have actually rolled off the press! Plus, because of continuing requests for several of my helpful sold-out books, I've also been able to reprint three of them. God is a generous Overblesser! To Him I give all the glory. I believe I've completed what He asked of me. In the words of a well-loved Thanksgiving hymn, “All is safely gathered in 'ere the winter storms begin; God our Maker does provide for our wants to be supplied.” I celebrate by offering these new books, as I do all of my books, to the Lord of the Harvest Who directed and then enabled me to reap this bountiful harvest and joyfully “raise the Song of Harvest Home.”
Most of my new books and reprints are already off the press and in a few weeks all will be available to purchase. The new titles are: FABLES OF GOD'S KINGDOM FOR GROWN-UPS: Imagineerings and Personifications; SELAH REFLECTIONS: Press the PAUSE Button; NOT ALONE: For Those who Journey Through Loss; PSALMS OF MY HARVEST: Confessions of a Psalmist; SAGE BRUSHINGS: Painting With Words; and three popular reprints: AGING JOYFULLY; MY DREAMS AND VISIONS: Ted Choy's Biography; and LIVING THE TREASURES IN THE LAND OF MORE. Soon all of my books will be reviewed on my newly redesigned publishing web site www.goldenmorning.com with easier ordering and payment options.
However, even while I've been experiencing the above super-blessings, during the past two years, I've been going through some of the deepest waters of difficulty ever, and have been under the most intense pressure, uncertainty, and stress of my life in a certain matter not under my control. These deep waters and turmoil could have deterred me from the work of God's Kingdom, but I have not allowed them to. This adversity requires my continuing utmost trust in God because I still can't see the light at the end of this particular tunnel. Nevertheless, I am absolutely certain that God's hand is on my life for good and for His glory, not for evil—and I insist on trusting Him. (Jeremiah 31:11-13) I understand that it is nature's way and God's way that ripe grapes must go through a crushing in order to make sweet wine. Sometimes Jesus “saves the best wine until last.”
Leona's Five New Book Releases
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On a personal note, God's goodness and mercy have followed our family all the days of our lives, and we feel abundantly blessed, joyful, thankful and content. Although I'm still as active as in earlier years, I'm experiencing aging realities in my “earth suit.” I try to change what I'm still able to change, I try to accept and manage the “unfixables” that come along with the summit years. Rather than focusing on what I can't do anymore, I praise God for what I still can do.
Thank you, my friends, for your prayers which sustain me and give me joy as I remember your love and concern and ask God to bless you real good in return. I pray for you that God will touch you at the point of your deepest need.
May the Joy of the Lord
bless your New Year 2017!
497 Devland Dr. Winchester, VA 22603 firstname.lastname@example.org 540-877-1813 leonachoy.blogspot.com www.goldenmorning.com