Monday, May 4, 2015

Love is in the Air: The Many Dimensions of Spring

Today we have an author who likes for you to call her"Ellie," visiting my blog today! :)

Ellie is a wonderful writer who loves springtime. She says this season has "many dimensions" and has prepared a wonderful devotional for you on that very idea.

I hope you will enjoy your time with Ellie today! :)

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The Many Dimensions of Spring

A devotional written by Eleanor “Ellie” Gustafson

Years ago, I read a love fantasy that had me guessing until at least halfway through. The story started out depicting a grumpy old hag—totally unattractive to the male figure in the story. As time went on, however, she began to take care of herself and look even pleasant. To his surprise, she soon became sumptuous, well-endowed, alluring. But after this tantalizing period, even heavy, multi-colored makeup couldn’t mask her aging.

Have you figured it out? Think of winter, spring, summer, fall as a single character with multiple, evolving personas. A clever plot device.

I love spring. I’ve decided, though, that my favorite part comes before it actually happens. The anticipation of spring quickens me—so close but not yet here. I love summer, too, but with the sun beginning its southward run, can winter be far behind? I watch eagerly for those early, sparse signs of spring, but once spotted, the season quickly becomes an overwhelming flood that leaves me gasping. Not enough time to take all of it in!

I record the yearly dates of Important Spring Things: the first blackbirds, snowdrops, croaking frogs and peepers, forsythia, magnolias, daffodils. AND the first sprigs of asparagus in my garden. I can check previous years in my notebook to see if we’re early or late. Big-time late this year—not surprising, considering our horrendous New England winter.

Getting back to the love story, I see a parallel paradigm. I started my life as a grumpy, wrinkled bit of hardship for my parents. I grew to be reasonably intelligent and capable, became fruitful (three wonderful children) and productive (five published novels with another on the way), and now I’m again collecting wrinkles.

But there’s another level of spring that also has that period of anticipation. Here I am, a bit long in the tooth and nearing the end of the road. But like living in the sure expectation of the glories of spring (note the above), I am similarly anticipating the glories of heaven. I’m not there yet, but as new spring life invariably appears out of winter’s death, so heaven is guaranteed by Jesus’ death. Our Savior took the seed of life into the grave, and there it sprouted, bursting the bonds of Death.

I’ve read enough about near-death experiences to note commonalities: bright light, indescribable colors, vibrancy, overwhelming beauty, boundless energy—on and on. There are, of course, those who get a glimpse of hell and on recovery, quickly change their ways. But heaven is certain Reality for those who commit their lives to Christ.

The difference between our spring and God’s heaven is the problem of death. When spring first appears, it totally conquers winter’s death, but only for a brief moment. Death’s sword will soon leave its mark, first with snowdrops and daffodils, then forsythia. In heaven, though, Death has been totally defeated. We see Life as originally intended in the Garden of Eden.

My novel Dynamo addresses some of these spring-winter issues. Jeth Cavanaugh is searching for a new life along one of Pennsylvania's mountain ridges when he stumbles upon a stable of jumpers, as well as a volatile stallion named Dynamo. Jeth will do anything to work there. He’s hired to train and show the jumpers, but Dynamo becomes his primary passion. Everything changes when God enters his life—by means of a hard slap by his girlfriend. After that slap, their love relationship becomes wintery, at best. Any chance for them to experience spring? It comes, but in a shape neither of them expect.

Yes, enjoy each season of life here on earth, but keep your eyes fixed on the place where we can enjoy a whole, glorious eternity with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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Author bio: 

Ellie grew up in Branchville NJ in a county that had more cows than people. She loved horses and the annual County Farm and Horse Show. Ellie attended Wheaton College in Illinois as a music major. She is married to a pastor/college professor/tree farmer/organist and writer. Together, Ellie and her husband have 3 kids and 8 grandchildren. 

Music was Ellie’s first love until she “tried on the cloak of writing and found that it fit quite well.”

“God first touched me through a story, and he has molded and kneaded me all my life,” Ellie said. “I love Him passionately!”

A writer of huge influence on Ellie’s life is Eugene Peterson. She says Peterson’s books are “meaty and challenging.” Peterson endorsed Ellie’s novel The Stones (about King David) and since then, Ellie refers to Peterson as her “forever friend”.

Ellie hopes that her readers will enjoy all of her books and says, “The Stones may taste good to you too!”


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Buy Ellie’s books:
Dynamo - http://amzn.to/1HW4cHg
The Stones: A Novel of the Life of King David - http://amzn.to/1Pbpm4P

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Connect with Ellie:
Blog/website - www.eleanorgustafson.com
E-mail - egus@me.com

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