Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Elevator Speech

Part of marketing my book, WILLIWAW WINDS, is calling area libraries, book stores, and other places that might either carry my books, feature me as a speaker, or allow me to do book signings.

One of their first questions is: "What's your book about?"

So I've written a short "Elevator Speech" to present and have it almost memorized. It's called an Elevator Speech because at writers' conferences, etc., if authors meet an agent or editor on the elevator, they have only a few seconds to tell about their book. Hence, the importance of brevity.

This can also serve as a short-short version of a synopsis. Presenting the bare bones of a story (its main character, setting, conflict, and resolution) can give the hearer opportunity for immediate assessment of the book's possible success with his or her company.

Now I offer you something longer than an Elevator Speech: my weekly devotional column. Enjoy the last bit of summer.

by Sally Bair

Receiving Power

In the world of critters, the weak give in to the wants of the strong. The smaller deer submit to the bigger by slinking away. Humans also frequently submit to someone bigger, stronger, or smarter. One term for it is “cowering.”

But cowering means more than slinking into a corner out of fear. Webster says it also means “to curve, bend.” There’s an interesting spiritual application here that says we need to cower before we can receive power. We need to curve—or bend—our will to God’s in humility and submission.

Bending our will before God means to recognize His holiness and to fear Him in awe and reverence. Except for Christ, we would remain unworthy in His sight. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18) God’s power is available to those who bow humbly in faith before Him. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)

Further application regards Jesus sending His twelve disciples out to preach the gospel, heal the sick, and cast out demons. He gave them the power necessary to do the job right, but they had to follow His rules. They had to go empty-handed and count on the hospitality of strangers to house and feed them. That takes humility and bending of self-will.

Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He instructed His disciples to “…tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49) They would receive God’s power only after they waited for God to appear. They waited many days. Imagine spending all that time in an upstairs room crowded with 120 people. Today would we wait even a day in such crowded conditions, for something unexpected?

But they spent their time in prayer because they believed Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit for them.

Cowering before God means spending our best time with Him in prayer and Bible meditation. It means obeying His Word, as the disciples did, so He can work through us to further His kingdom of grace and love.

God blesses us in many ways when we approach Him in humility and wait on Him. How many of us are willing to wait expectantly and humbly for God’s power, for however long it takes, to serve Him by bringing healing to someone in need?

Lord, we cower before You, humbly bending to Your will, waiting for Your power so we can serve You today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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