Booksigning photos and other thoughts...

IMG_7317The booksigning in Brighton was nice. It was especially fun to see some dear friends and to meet some new ones. Here are a few photos from the event. The first one is me sitting in the quiet store hoping for a few visitors! I am grateful for everyone who made the effort to come out! The store wasn't very busy the first hour, but picked up a little during the second one. I've discovered that children have eagle eyes for candy dishes. At every signing they come asking (or just taking) either the mints - or more often - the Dove dark chocolate. :) In the last week I've signed about 80 books, which is pretty amazing! (Not all from the book signings - some others in between.) I have to admit, it's taken some time to figure out what to say and at times how to personalize notes of this kind. I prayed about what verses to put under my name and have one for Michal - Psalm 34:8 "Taste and see that the Lord is good."

IMG_7324

For Abigail God showed me the blessing that Aaron was to say over the people of Israel found in Numbers 6:24-26. "The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace."

I also found a Hebrew phrase I like to use, but it took a cheat sheet to help me spell it correctly. Even then, I messed up the meaning just a bit. (Don't tell anyone!) The phrase is Shalom Aleikhem which means "Peace be upon you." I can now spell it without looking but for several books I wrote the meaning as "Peace be unto you." So for those of you with the wrong meaning, my apologies! I really shouldn't try to talk and write at the same time. I misspelled my own name at the Woodside signing! Fortunately, that only happened once!

I spent the weekend brainstorming with my crit partner for a new series, and studying Abram and Sarai's life for my current work-in-progress. I'm starting to get a better handle on Sarai, starting to get inside her head and heart, so to speak. I takes me a while, but once the story gets going, I gain more confidence. I have to go back to the beginning and fix a lot, but will keep going until I finish the first draft now that I'm starting to see the story.

I've been also thinking a bit about Christian witnessing and the examples our lives leave. I didn't grow up in a legalistic church, but Christians still tended to define themselves by what they didn't do rather than by what Jesus Christ had done for them. And I wonder how effective such a witness like that is.

For instance, if you know me as someone who does not drink or smoke or swear or dance or attend certain movies or read certain books and so on...and I tell you I don't do those things because I am a Christian, doesn't that make you think Christianity is about rules? And doesn't it also lend itself to making people who are not Christians think that to become a Christian I would have to adhere to the same things?

But that's not how Jesus approached those he came to save. He condemned the rule-keeping Pharisees. That's not to say Jesus was a law breaker. Far from it. He was the perfect law giver and law keeper. And he came to fulfill the law. But he also came to build relationships, to show people who he was and what he came to do for them, how he could forgive all the wrong things they'd done before they ever tried to change or fix themselves.

And I was thinking that I would rather not be known by what I don't do. I would rather be known by what Jesus did for me. How he took a lost little girl and made her his own, how he loved her and called her by name, and carried her burdens, forgave all the wrong things she'd done, and gave her more blessings than she could begin to count. Ask me, and let me tell you about the hope that is in me because of what Jesus did for me. Whether I drink or smoke or swear or dance or go to the movies, etc., etc., isn't the point at all. It's that He came. And He came for you and me.

Selah~

PersonalJill Eileen Smith