Friday, March 27, 2015

Restored relationships (2)

Reconciliation: end of conflict, restoration of friendly relations, reunion, bringing together (again), restoration of peace...

In the previous blog post I wrote: 'reconciliation basically means restored relationship and that is really the heart of God, the foundation of the Christian faith.'

Often we have (without being aware of it) developed  our own image of God. Some see God as an angry man who sees every mistake and never gives a compliment. Others see God as holy and out of reach. And again, others might see Him as a good old fellow who loves everyone and doesn't judge...

If we want to get to know God better it is important to talk with Him, listen to Him and read His Word. We cannot expect pastors and professors to do that for us. In the same way as we cannot leave it up to others to get to know our lover, friend, child, partner a little better. We must invest time in the relationship!

The Bible clearly states where and how the relationship between mankind and God (the Creator) went wrong. God decided to make mankind according to His image and likeness, thus a living soul with a free will. The first people used that free will to go their own way and to NOT listen to God... well, nothing new under the horizon so far... many people are still doing that today!

The relationship between God and mankind has been distorted ever since. Which, by the way, does not mean that God isn't communicating with people, He does so all the time. But sin (going our own way) stands in the way of a healthy relationship with Him. That is why many people have a love-hate relationship with God. As long as everything is okay, many people believe He is kind of out there, but the moment things go wrong, He gets the blame. Even people who do not believe in God feel deep down inside that He must exist... but are too scared to admit it.

Sin stands in the way of a healthy relationship with God and this often results in feelings of guilt, shame, anger or fear. Well, that is not the way we want to have relationship, right? Not on a human level, not on a godly level. And this is exactly where reconciliation comes around the corner. God offers us restoration of the relationship with Him. In Colossians 1:20 (GNT) it is described like this:

Through the Son [that is Jesus, Yeshua, Isa], then, God decided to bring the whole universe back to himself. God made peace through his Son's blood on the cross and so brought back to himself all things, both on earth and in heaven.

God has offered us peace. The question is how we answer His peace proposal.

Do we keep fighting and struggling... insisting in going our own way? Or do we accept His peace offering?

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Restored relationships (1)

A few weeks ago I started a new blog series on my Dutch blog; a series about the four levels of reconciliation. I want to share it on this blog as well, because I believe it will be a great help in building healthy and strong relationships.

Reconciliation is a beautiful topic and at the same time a very sensitive and difficult topic. We all experience disappointment in relationships. We get discouraged, we have too high expectations, we give too much, or too little... well, you name it.

When I started thinking about this topic, I realized that reconciliation is the Biblical basis for healthy friendships and relationships. Reconciliation is kind of an eminent word that isn't used much in our daily language. It means: end of conflict, restoration of friendly relations, reunion, bringing together (again), restoration of peace...

Reconciliation basically means 'restored relationship' and that is really the heart of God, the foundation of the Christian faith. At the beginning of this year my husband and I spoke at a conference in Germany about the theme reconciliation, about the four levels of reconciliation to be precise. The response to those messages was compelling and I think that sharing this topic (in a short version) on this blog will give fresh inspiration to you . The four levels I want to write about are:
  • Reconciliation between God and mankind
  • Reconciliation between God and Israel
  • Reconciliation between Jews and gentiles
  • Reconciliation between you and the people around you
The exploration and better understanding of this theme will contribute to healthy relationships in our lives. I hope you will read along and invite others to join us for this series.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Spanish version of Grace of Giving

Writers and their books... a never ending story :) We write, we struggle, we sweat, we cry.... and start all over again. If it wasn't for the highlights in between, we would have gone fishing a long time ago.

I am delighted to share such a highlight with you all. The Spanish edition of my award winning book Grace of Giving is now available through Amazon, Bookdepository (free worldwide delivery!) and other internet book sellers. How cool is that?

Sometimes readers ask me where I get the translators for my books. Well, in this case I met Martha Steinebach at a weekend conference where my husband and I were speaking, in Lubeck, Germany (not the place where you'd expect to find a Spanish translator). Martha picked up the German version (which is yet another story) of Grace of Giving and came back the next day, all exited!

'I would love to translate this into Spanish', she announced. It turned out she is a native of Colombia, now living in Germany with her husband. So, that's how we met.

As soon as she started with the translation, I began my search for a Spanish publisher. After several months and many emails I came across Libreria Evangelica Logos in Alicante, Spain. They were interested in the manuscript... and well, the rest is history.

La Gracia de Dar is available in paperback, an e-book version will soon be available as well. If you, dear readers, have Spanish speaking friends, neighbors or co-workers who would love to read this book, please consider ordering a copy. Your kindness would be a huge help to get the ball rolling in the USA.

Am I asking you to buy a book and GIVE it to a Spanish speaking friend? Yes, I am... After all, that's really the theme of the book :) Let's call it a new kind of Give-Away.