Offerings 4

IMG_3790Turning point

This week marks a turning point in my life: After 2 1/2 years of writing my book, I am ready to release it. Twenty-eight months of brainstorming, outlining, musing, phrasing, rephrasing, receiving feedback, rewriting the whole thing twice, and working with my tireless and godly publishing team (NCC Publishers)—AND I AM DONE. done.

Today I move from crafting to offering.

The business term for this next step is “marketing.” According to Wikepedia, marketing is “the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers, for the purpose of selling that product or service.” As I prepare to launch my book, I embrace the first half of this definition, but I cringe at the second half. I welcome the opportunity to convey what I believe is the value of what God has given me to write. But what drove me to devote myself to this endeavor was not the idea of making a profit. Rather, it was this constant prayer: Lord, use this book to encourage worship leaders and teams to persevere with a good heart so that their churches will be blessed.”

So now I am offering this completed book to my Shepherd whose voice prompted me to pick up my pen that very first day and whose hand guided my pen every day after. On the cusp of this handing-over, my heart fights against the “what-ifs”:

  • What if the book is not received well?
  • What if my motives are misconstrued?
  • What if my motives become tainted?
  • What if this part of the process demands more sacrifice than the writing itself?
  • What if the sacrifice of this offering is not worth it?

Yet, even as these rogue thoughts ramble into my brain, I remember that I am to “commit my way to the Lord, trust Him, and know that He will do it” (Psalm 37:5). I will myself to boldly pray, “Lord, I trust You with this offering, even though (in the lyrics of Tim Timmons) it’s dangerous even to pray this. I reaffirm that no sacrifice is too great for Your kingdom.”

And, finally, I place this small offering on the altar and leave it in His hands.

The meaning of an offering

What does it mean to offer something to someone else? It means we relinquish our claim on it; we attach no strings to it. It is the Receiver’s to do with as He wills.

Why would we take something that has cost us a good deal of toil and tears and simply hand it over with no reservations to someone else? I’ll tell you why I’m doing it: to see the joy in my Father’s eyes. My friend Laura describes it like this: Our offerings are like a child who paints a picture of a pony, and though no one else can decipher it, the child’s parent delights in it and treasures it, giving it prominence on the kitchen refrigerator.

Well, Father, here’s my offering, this book called The One Voice That Matters. You can tape it to the frig, or You can tuck it in a drawer. I don’t care, because I just want to make You happy.

Who will He bless with our offerings?

We never know how God will use our offerings. As I think of this book, I wonder: Is this offering meant to bless you? Is it meant to bless someone you know? If you think it might be one of those two things, you can find out more about it on my website here. The book will be ready for purchase in a few days. You can sign up for notification of its release here.

What’s your offering?

I don’t want to end this blog all about my offering. It would encourage me (and the other readers of this blog) so much if you would share about anything your Father has put in your heart to offer Him. Whether it’s just a seed thought, or a work in progress, or a finished product. Would you be willing to bless us by sharing (commenting) below)?

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4 thoughts on “Offerings

  • melissa stadtlander

    Jeanelle, can I say how proud I am of you enough times?! :) I am so very proud of you dear friend and so very proud of our Great God who has done this amazing project in you!! This precious offering from your open and surrendered hands right to His heart! How He is smiling on you today!! What a gift it has been to walk this journey with you, praying and seeing Him so intentionally meet you right where you were time and time again! This offering HAS blessed me so much, more than you know! And I just know it will bless each and every person who reads it! Strong work!! :) What a gift it will be to keep walking with you and see what He will do next as you steward this precious offering!!

    As you were speaking of offerings, the first thing that came to my mind was a time years ago when He very strongly asked me to offer something to Him- my children, my girls specifically…We were having to make the choice of putting our girls in public school and at that time, 8 years ago, I was so very scared and wanted to hang on to them, to keep them safe. He used you to speak hope to my heart! What He spoke was that they were His, He was big enough to watch over them and take care of them. Could I offer them to Him, my gift from Him, my gift back to Him? I was able to do that and I will always remember that day…Now 8 years later I have seen Him time after time delight in them as only a Father does, love them so much, protect them, make them into shining lights for Him and growing their roots so deep and showing me all He told me! Our Father can be trusted with our offerings and we can rest in that, knowing our Father’s good and gracious heart!

    Thank you so much for your weekly posts, they truly bless my heart and encourage my walk with Him and cause me to reflect on His goodness, open my eyes and see all that He is and does in my life!

    • Jeanelle Reider Post author

      My dear friend, you know how very dependent on God I have been for every single step; we are worshiping Him together as I cross this bridge from writing to good stewarding! Your hope for what He will do with this offering helps keep me going in faithfulness, even as my faith could waver.

      I remember vividly the conversations we had about the offering God was asking you to make with those decisions regarding your children; and now, these 8 years later, look at the beautiful and only-God things He is doing in their lives! Thank you for the needful reminder that He can be trusted with His offerings. Funny how I can write words like that and then need the very same reminder back to me a few short days later. They were a gift to my heart this morning.

  • Laura

    LOVE it! I believe our Father cherishes each and every one of our offerings and delights in your offering so much, He will make sure that all those He wants to see it, will! After all, it’s really His creative talent that you have inherited from Him! (yes, I said creative!)

    • Jeanelle Reider Post author

      Laura, I just love ya! Thanks for this so-good word to my heart! And thanks for saying I’ve inherited some creativity from my Father. You know how much that means to me, coming from one of the most all-out creative people I know. :)