I HAVE A CONTEST GOING ON that’s producing unexpected results.
For one, it’s making me feel like I’m a good human being.
Here’s what’s happening.
I’m giving away a $700 iPad to whoever tells me the best story that has anything to do with the books I write. The story needs to be true. I will double check the facts.
So far, I have only one contender.
I have several entries (the deadline isn’t until the end of September). But I have only one story worth an iPad. So far.
The contender knocked me back in my chair after I read it.
It not only says kind things about my books. It says kind things about me. And it piles them on one after another after another.
By the time I finished reading the entry I thought, heck, if I were a Catholic and I could pull off two miracles they could start calling me St. Stephen.
That’s not what I’m after, though I am certainly grateful for what I got. Kind words are always welcome.
But what I’m trying to get a sense of in this giveaway is
- where readers are finding my books
- what kind of readers are cracking them open
- how readers are reacting to what I say
- whether or not the books are making any difference in their lives.
That’s the kind of insight I’m hoping some of the entries will include.
Like most writers, I write alone in a home office. I rarely go out on speaking gigs because that’s not what I do. I write. So I don’t know much about how my writing affects people.
However, that encouraging article that left me feeling like St. Stephen was a wonderful boost to my spirit.
I wrote an email back to the writer saying, “I’ve never thought of the word ‘heartwarming’ as a word to describe what the heart actually feels like when someone says something kind to us. But it really does feel warm. It’s kinda like a hug. A spiritual hug that actually warms the chest cavity.”
“What you said to me,” I added, “is the kind of stuff I should be saying more of to others.”
So that’s what I did.
I wrote a letter to my immediate family.
I started it by saying “Hello Immediate Family.”
“I’ve been thinking today about what I love about my family. I thought I’d let you know, since it’s not generally something folks talk about very much.”
Then I devoted a paragraph to each of my family members: wife, daughter, son, daughter-in-law, son-in-law.
I told each of them what I love about them.
I’ve never done that before. Not in this way. I thought it might come across as a bit hokey. But the note was warmly received. And long overdue.
I did not expect my iPad giveaway to go in this direction. But I’m glad it did.
More entries are welcome, and will be appreciated.
Steve, Your books do awaken a brand new understanding of many Biblical passages. I am a very senior lady and have done a lot of studying the Bible. Nothing has opened it up for me like your books. I really have a neat little Bible study library with your additions which are the most illuminating for me. I thank you for helping us understand some of the things that we just accepted because we were taught to take the Bible word by word. It has allowed the Bible to become a beautiful guide, rather than an idol. For many years of my life, I thought the book was holy in itself.
Stephen M. Miller
LaVerne, you are so very welcome. And thanks for the encouragement.
Now you have inspired ME to write a letter to my best friend here in North Carolina. She has been a blessing and inspiration to me and lives her faith out in too many ways to count. From bringing groceries to Ethan and me when we hit a rough patch to ironing an outfit for Ethan’s Beta Club induction ceremony while I was stuck with a flat tire forty miles away, she has been there for me in ways that few folks would. Her birthday is Wednesday and I am going to write the letter for her gift. The blessings continue to bounce back and forth between NC and Kansas!
Steve, when do we get to read the compliments you received? I am eager to do so. Your blog has gotten to be important to me. LaVerne