Two new books launched

DSCN4962What a fun Friday! A radio interview and book signing doubled the fun during my local launch of two new books. Between 10:15 and 10:45 yesterday (December 19), Patricia interviewed me on the local Christian radio station, KCWN 99.9. After that, I signed books during the station’s Christmas open house until 1:00. I want to thank General Manager, Bev De Vries, and DJ Patricia for their gracious hospitality. The station’s facility is decorated beautifully, and entering it feels like stepping into a welcoming home.

Patricia made the interview completely painless. In fact, it was a lot of fun. Growing up as the middle child in a pastor’s family, she felt a lot of affinity for my book-boy Matthew. Talking about him and the problems he faces in Matthew Muddles Through was a hoot. She shared her enthusiasm for the story with listeners.

Bev De Vries took this picture through the production room window while Patricia and I were on the air.
Bev De Vries took this picture through the production room window while Patricia and I were on the air.

We then discussed my other new release, Discovering Delight: 31 Meditations on Loving God’s Law. She described it as going “deep” and we talked about the writing style, which Aimee Byrd called “a commendable style of commentary meets personal devotion.” Patricia and I also spoke briefly about Little One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss and A Month of Sundays: 31 Meditations on Loving God’s Law. Before I went off the air, I had the opportunity to share my excitement about my current memoir collaboration project with Uriah Courtney, who was recently exonerated after more than eight years of wrongful incarceration.

booksBook signings are always enjoyable. It’s great to meet new friends and experience the support of existing ones. The best kind of book signings are when a steady stream of people comes in and I have time to speak to each person individually. And this was one of those signings with wonderful opportunities to talk to individuals, including some people I hadn’t seen for years.

I’m thankful for the doors God opens and I grateful he equips me to walk through them. books-2

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Local launch and book signing

Glenda Mathes and Diane Smith at my September 9, 2013, book signing
Glenda Mathes and Diane Smith at my September 9, 2013, book signing

This Friday, Lord willing, I’ll be interviewed by Patricia on KCWN 99.9 FM and will be signing books during the station’s Christmas Open House from 11:00 to 1:00. The station is located at 304 Oskaloosa St. in Pella. Local people, come over between 11:00 and 1:00 for some cookies and conversation!

And if you’re still looking for Christmas gifts, you can’t go wrong by giving someone an opportunity to dig into God’s Word. Discovering-Delight-front (1)Copies of my new devotional, Discovering Delight: 31 Meditations on Loving God’s Law will be available for $10.

Searching for a gift for a middle grade reader, aged 8 to 12? Why not foster their reading skills with a novel that conveys truth in an engaging story? Matthew Muddles Through is about an ordinary but imaginative kid, the middle child in a minister’s family, who faces trouble on every side. Matthew’s humor and imagination help him cope with his problems, and in the process he learns more about loving others and trusting God. Copies of this juvenile fiction novel, the first is a series of three, will be available on Friday for $10.

PrintI’ll also have available copies of A Month of Sundays: 31 Meditations on Resting in God and Little One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss for $10 each. One fortunate person will be able to purchase my singular copy of Not My Own: Discovering God’s Comfort in the Heidelberg Catechism for $15. This is the first volume of the popular Life in Christ catechism curriculum, which has sold in several countries and is being translated into eight languages.

Save shipping! Buy any of these books on Friday and the author will be happy to sign them for you.

Those of you who don’t live nearby may be interested to know that I’m scheduled to be interviewed on the Janet Meffert Show on Monday, December 20, at 2:30 Central time. You can listen online at the show’s website.

Chicago book signing

If you happen to be in the Chicago area next Monday, September 9, 2013, stop in between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. at Mid-America Reformed Seminary, where I’ll be signing copies of my books: A Month of Sundays: 31 Meditations on Resting in God ($10), Little One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss ($10), and Not My Own: Discovering God’s Comfort in the Heidelberg Catechism ($15).

AMOS coverA Month of Sundays: 31 Meditations on Resting in God explores the concept of rest that permeates the Bible from creation to consummation.  After God created and named the different aspects of our universe in six days, He rested. When Christ returns to complete His kingdom, all believers will enjoy perfect rest. Between these two great bookends of history, God calls us to rest in Him every day.

In today’s hectic and distressing world, we need to recapture the concept of daily rest. Demands and distractions agitate our spirits. Disasters trigger anxiety. Diseases generate pain. Despair creeps into our hearts. These influences displace our peace and pull us from resting in God and His Word. The reflections in A Month of Sundays: 31 Meditations on Resting in God pause our spinning thoughts and calm our fluctuating feelings.

ENDORSEMENTS:

Glenda Mathes has written an uplifting series of meditations on the subject of rest for the weary. Starting with the premise of sabbath rest as a model for how God wishes his children to live, Glenda weaves a wide-ranging tapestry of how Christians can follow God’s mandate to rest in him both now and eternally. The book is filled with great texts from the Bible, accompanied by interspersed quotations from the Heidelberg Catechism and personal reflections and recollections of the author. This is a great book for all who labor and are heavy laden, and who want to obey God’s command to rest. People for whom Sunday observance is important, as well as those who love the Heidelberg Catechism, will especially resonate with this book.

— Leland Ryken, professor of English, Wheaton College

‘Rest’ is a topic often overlooked in our hectic schedules, but Glenda Mathes shows it is essential to a Christian life. Not as another thing ‘to do,’ but as part of our calling. A Month of Sundays invites us to overcome our distractions and fears and seek the one true source of rest, Christ Himself.

— Janie B. Cheaney, columnist for WORLD Magazine, and a contributing editor at RedeemedReader.com

Little One Lost CoverDo you grieve the loss of a preborn child? Do you wonder how to minister to someone who grieves the loss of an infant? The grief of miscarriage, stillbirth, and newborn loss is often misunderstood and frequently ignored.

In Little One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss, I share my own experience of loss and show from Scripture that these littlest ones are not really lost.

Through the personal stories of several couples, readers learn about a variety of losses, including the pain of infertility. Additional sections deal with acknowledging loss, finding comfort, grieving with hope, and healing from pain.

Steeped in biblical wisdom, this book will resonate with mourning parents and assist anyone who longs to comfort those who grieve a little one lost.

ENDORSEMENT:

Helpful for those struggling with the questions that occur following infant loss, and hopeful because of Christ, Who loses no little ones.

— Dr. Marvin Olasky, Editor-in-chief of WORLD magazine

CoverNot My Own: Discovering God’s Comfort in the Heidelberg Catechism is the first volume in the “Life in Christ” catechism curriculum. It is a workbook aimed at grade five students, but can be used effectively by older or younger students. Many adults appreciate its simple and thorough explanation of the catechism beloved by generations of Reformed believers.

One of the most heartwarming endorsements I’ve received to date was from my oldest grandson, who recently began using it for his homeschool Bible class. He told me, “I like that book you wrote, Grandma. I like how you break each lesson up, so it’s not too much to read.”

I hope to see you on Monday afternoon!

 

Signing books and meeting people

Lee-me-cThe best thing about book signings is interacting with people. I’m blessed to have many wonderful friends from my church family, like my dear friend, Lee, and others who came in last evening while I was signing copies of A Month of Sundays: 31 Meditations on Resting in God.

I’m also blessed to have a highly supportive family, whose members turn out in amazing numbers for my book signings. I love seeing those smiling faces walk through the door! And it just doesn’t get any better than when your two-year-old grandson climbs up on your lap before he even gets his coat off!Grandma loves me

But I also like meeting new people and having the opportunity to tell them about my books. They don’t always buy one, but sometimes they do. And they usually take a bookmark with my blog URL and information about the book, so one never knows if they might buy one later. I pray and I trust that God will place my books into the hands of those who may benefit from them.

I’ve heard and read that the average numbers of books sold at one of these type of signings is four (bear in mind we’re not talking about J.K. Rowling or even Lynn Austin here). I sold a lot more than four last night. I’ve sold more than that at each of the three book signings I’ve done at this store this year. But even before I walk in the store, I constantly remind myself that it isn’t about the numbers. It isn’t about making money. (I’m realistic enough to know that I’m never going to get rich from my writing.) It’s about relationships. I want to build relationships with people, and I want to strengthen individuals’ relationships with God.

Grandpa Gil-Me-Layton-1In this Christmas season, may you rest in the Lord as you discover anew what “God with us” meant while Jesus walked the earth, what “God with us” means now while he reigns in heaven and in our hearts, and what “God with us” will mean when he returns.

 

Come, thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free. From our fears and sins release us. Let us find our rest in thee.

Book signing today!

AMOS coverThis evening from 5:00-7:00  I’ll be signing copies of my devotional, A Month of Sundays: 31 Meditations on Resting in God, at The Sanctuary Coffeehouse and Christian bookstore in Pella.

A Month of Sundays was released in November from Reformation Heritage Books and is available from the publisher or on Amazon. If you’d like to purchase it from your local bookstore, please call the store and ask for it to be ordered or stocked.

In today’s hectic and distressing world, demands and distractions agitate our spirits. Disasters trigger anxiety. Diseases generate pain. Despair creeps into our hearts. These influences displace our peace and keep us from resting daily in Christ and His Word. How can we recapture the concept of daily rest?

A Month of Sundays: 31 Meditations on Resting in God encourages us to pause our spinning thoughts and calm our fluctuating feelings as we see that God calls us to develop daily attitudes of worship and rest. With a recommended Scripture reading, a focus verse (or verses), a meditation, and questions aimed at stimulating personal reflection, each devotion guides us through a “month of Sundays,” as we experience a greater enjoyment of God’s gift of daily rest while we anticipate His guarantee of eternal rest.

Endorsements  

Glenda Mathes has written an uplifting series of meditations on the subject of rest for the weary. Starting with the premise of Sabbath rest as a model for how God wishes His children to live, Glenda weaves a wide-ranging tapestry of how Christians can follow God’s mandate to rest in Him both now and eternally. The book is filled with great texts from the Bible, accompanied by interspersed quotations from the Heidelberg Catechism and personal reflections and recollections of the author. This is a great book for all who labor and are heavy laden and who want to obey God’s command to rest. People for whom Sunday observance is important, as well as those who love the Heidelberg Catechism, will especially resonate with this book.

— Leland Ryken, Professor of English, Wheaton College

Rest is a topic often overlooked in our hectic schedules, but Glenda Mathes shows it is essential to a Christian life. Not as another thing to do, but as part of our calling. A Month of Sundays invites us to overcome our distractions and fears and seek the one true source of rest, Christ Himself.

— Janie B. Cheaney, Senior Writer for WORLD Magazine, and a Contributing Editor atRedeemedReader.com

Yesterday KNIA/KRLS broadcast Dr. Bob Leonard’s interview with me for his “In Depth” program. He asked me some general questions about my writing and we talked about both of my books that have been published this year: Little One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss and A Month of Sundays: 31 Meditations on Resting in God. Dr. Leonard’s interview with me can be found here.

These are the titles of each meditation in A Month of Sundays and the scripture passages on which they’re based:

1.            God Rested – Genesis 2

2.            Covenantal Consolation – selected texts from Genesis 15

3.            Ten Comforts – Exodus 20

4.            Good Courage – Deuteronomy 31 & Joshua 1

5.            Redeeming Love – Ruth 4

6.            Golden Rest – 1 Kings 8

7.            Greater Allies – 2 Kings 6:8-23

8.            Restful Peace – Esther 9

9.            Longing Eyes – Job 19

10.          Be Still – Psalms 4 & 27

11.          Dwelling Place – Psalm 90

12.          Lifted Eyes – Psalm 121

13.          Quiet Soul – Psalms 130 & 131

14.          Revived Spirit – Psalm 143

15.          Trusting Heart – Proverbs 3

16.          Fear Not – Isaiah 43

17.          Light Yoke – Matthew 11

18.          Impossible Realities – Mark 10

19.          Banished Anxiety – Luke 12:1-34

20.          Untroubled Heart – John 14

21.          Good Cheer – Acts 27

22.          No Condemnation – Romans 8

23.          Sufficient Grace – 2 Corinthians 12

24.          Our Peace – Ephesians 2

25.          Constant Contentment – Philippians 4

26.          God’s Peace – Colossians 3

27.          Sound Mind – 2 Timothy 1

28.          Enter Rest – Hebrews 3:7-4:16

29.          Never Leave – Hebrews 13

30.          Eternal Glory – 1 Peter 5

31.          Rightful Rest – Revelation 21-22

I hope to see you tonight! My prayer is that God will use A Month of Sundays to help many trust and rest in him, for his glory.

Signing books today!

Me and Bethany at my book signing in July. That’s my son-in-law, Nick, holding my grandson, Layton, in the background. It was 105 degrees on July 5, but it’s 31 degrees now with a forecast high of only 53!

This morning I’ll be signing copies of my book, Little One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss, at The Sanctuary coffeehouse and Christian bookstore on the south side of the square in Pella. My daughter, Bethany, and I will be there from 10:00 until noon. Stop in for a free bookmark. I’ll also be giving Hugs and Kisses, mostly those of the Hershey’s variety.

Do you grieve the loss of a little one? Do you wish you could help someone who does? Reasonably priced at only $10, Little One Lost is the kind of book you’ll want to have on hand so you can give it to someone who needs to read its biblical comfort.

My prayer is that today God will send into The Sanctuary those who need to read Little One Lost. If you can’t join me in person, will you join me in praying for God to do that? May he receive all the glory!

Little One Lost is written in accessible language and short chapters so it can be easily digested by people lost in grief’s fog.

Here’s a summary of the book’s content:

Published by Reformed Fellowship in Grand Rapids, the volume contains a preface that explains why I wrote the book, an appendix defining medical terms often used in related discussions, and six primary parts.

The first chapter in Part One, Acknowledging Our Loss, relates my own story, “The Hole in My Heart,” which appeared in the March April issue of The Outlook and is found online here. Other chapters in this initial part are Society’s Paradox, Knit Together, and Common Occurrence.

In Part Two, Losing a Child, several families relate personal stories of their various experiences: Repeated Loss, Medical Dilemmas, Hopeless Labor, Father’s Love, and Delivery Distress.

In Part Three, Bearing Infertility’s Loss, three families share their different perspectives on living with infertility: Empty Womb, Childless Marriage, and Supernatural Children.

Part Four focuses on Finding Our Comfort in these chapters: Not Lost, Biblical Comfort, Covenantal Comfort, Confessional Comfort, and Only Comfort.

Part Five, Grieving with Hope, deals with a variety of aspects related to grief, including guilt: Hopeful Grief, Guilty Grief, Being Forgiven, Forgiving Others, and Family Grief.

Part Six explores Healing Our Pain through Prayerful Work, Graceful Acceptance, Remembering Life, Compassionate Care, and The Hope in My Heart.

 

Off the launch pad

Yesterday was the local launch for my book on infant loss: Little One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss, published by Reformed Fellowship in Grand Rapids, MI. It was an amazing day.

In the morning, I was with Evelyn Nikkel at KCWN’s radio station for more than an hour of on air time that consisted of prayer, discussion, and appropriate music. During that time frame, a listener from Ottumwa called to say how meaningful she found the discussion because she’d had ten miscarriages. Since she was on her way to Des Moines, she actually stopped by the station and I had the opportunity to chat with her and sign a book for her. Later Evelyn offered another free book to a listener and I spoke on the phone with someone whose nephew and his wife lost their baby at five months, while he was serving in Afghanistan. During the broadcast, I prayed five times and Evelyn played touching music. It was an emotional morning.

Many people told me they listened to part or all of the broadcast and several asked about an online podcast. Evelyn gave me a CD recording, but I hope to check with her next week about posting the audio file on their website. If that happens, I’ll post a link on my blog.

This morning I received an email from Francine, a young woman who had shared her story with me and is now doing missionary work in Papua New Guinea. She’d heard the broadcast by clicking on the “Listen Live” button on KCWN’s website. While it was 7:30-8:45 am here, it was 10:30-11:45 pm there. Thanks for staying up so late to listen, Francine!

Yesterday afternoon was fun, although unrelated to the launch. I participated in a conference call editorial meeting for the Messenger, newsletter of Mid-America Reformed Seminary. As usual, I have lots to do in little time, but I’m excited to be working on some fun stories.

In the evening, I had dinner with my friend and fellow writer, Angela, with whom I’ve met regularly for 18 years. Angela and I arrived early at Branches Christian Store to discover that I’d already sold a book, even though they weren’t there yet! Before 6:30, we’d sold another one. I’d ordered 30 books, which had arrived on Saturday, and after the signing I took home zero!

I’d given away a few in connection with the radio broadcast, I’d sent some to people who contributed to the book, and I sold some prior to the signing, but 14 sold at the store. The owner wanted to keep the last two to sell on commission for me since people who heard the broadcast may request it.

It was a lovely evening with a steady stream of supporters (and purchasers!) that allowed me to speak to each one individually. Angela and I had a few moments to chat early on, but the evening was completely free from boring lulls.

Thanks to all of you who came out on such an incredibly hot evening, especially since city festivities were cancelled! Thank you to all who listened during the morning radio broadcast. And thanks to all you faithful blog followers and regular readers.

Primary thanks go to our Heavenly Father, who gives us the hope of salvation through Jesus Christ his Son, and daily equips us through the renewing work of his Holy Spirit!

Little One Lost-local launch

This Thursday, July 5, marks the local launch of my book, Little One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss.

In God’s amazing providence, I have the opportunity Thursday morning to participate in an hour of prayer and discussion related to the subject of infant loss on local radio station KCWN (99.9 FM). Interspersed with prayer and discussion, host Evelyn Nikkel will play appropriate music and give away copies of Little One Lost to those who can benefit from it. You can listen to the broadcast live from 7:30-8:30 AM by tuning in to 99.9 FM or clicking on the “Listen Live” button at KCWN’s website.

Also on Thursday, I’m scheduled for a book signing from 6:30-8:30 PM at Branches Christian Store in Pella. That evening is one of the regular “Thursday Nights in Pella” events, and will feature free admission to the Vermeer Windmill and inflatable rides for children. The downtown area is always crowded on Thursday evenings, and I hope the family-centered entertainment will bring many couples into the store, which is on the south side of the square.

You never know how many copies will sell at a book signing. From what I’ve read, four copies is about average and forty is extraordinary. All forty copies sold out at the URCNA Synod Nyack 2012 and I sold five to classmates that I spoke to briefly before or after my 40th class reunion on Saturday evening.

The following description appears on the back of the book:

The grief of miscarriage, stillbirth, and newborn loss is often misunderstood and frequently ignored. In Little One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss, Glenda Mathes writes of her own experience and shows from Scripture that these littlest ones are not really lost. Several couples share personal stories about a variety of losses, including the pain of infertility. Additional sections deal with acknowledging loss, finding comfort, grieving with hope, and healing pain. Steeped in biblical wisdom, this book will resonate with mourning parents and assist anyone who longs to comfort those who grieve a little one lost.

If you’ve lost a little child, you are not alone. Some experts estimate as many as one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage. If you haven’t experienced this pain, you probably know someone who has. Perhaps you wonder how to minister to that hurting person.
 
Little One Lost explores the pain of miscarriage, stillbirth, and newborn loss as well as the pain of infertility. Its Reformed perspective offers biblical comfort and hope.
 
Published by Reformed Fellowship in Grand Rapids, the volume contains a preface that explains why I wrote the book, an appendix defining medical terms often used in related discussions, and six primary parts.
 
The first chapter in Part One, Acknowledging Our Loss, relates my own story, “The Hole in My Heart,” which appeared in the March April issue of The Outlook and is found online here. Other chapters in this initial part are Society’s Paradox, Knit Together, and Common Occurrence.
 
In Part Two, Losing a Child, several families relate personal stories of their various experiences: Repeated Loss, Medical Dilemmas, Hopeless Labor, Father’s Love, and Delivery Distress.
 
In Part Three, Bearing Infertility’s Loss, three families share their different perspectives on living with infertility: Empty Womb, Childless Marriage, and Supernatural Children.
 
Part Four focuses on Finding Our Comfort in these chapters: Not Lost, Biblical Comfort, Covenantal Comfort, Confessional Comfort, and Only Comfort.
 
Part Five, Grieving with Hope, deals with a variety of aspects related to grief, including guilt: Hopeful Grief, Guilty Grief, Being Forgiven, Forgiving Others, and Family Grief.
 
Part Six explores Healing Our Pain through Prayerful Work, Graceful Acceptance, Remembering Life, Compassionate Care, and The Hope in My Heart.

Little One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss is available online from Reformed Fellowship, whose website now features a lovely ad for the book. You can order it from the Reformed Fellowship online store by clicking on “New Titles” under “CATALOGS” at this page.

It can also be ordered from Amazon by clicking here.

Both Reformed Fellowship and Amazon sites feature the following endorsement from Dr. Marvin Olasky, Editor-in-chief of WORLD:

Helpful for those struggling with the questions that occur and reoccur following infant loss, and hopeful because of Christ, Who loses no little ones.

Purchase price online is $10 plus between $3.50-3.99 shipping. But you can save shipping expenses by purchasing at Branches on July 5.

My heart overflows with gratitude to God for finally bringing this project to this point. My prayer is that these books will get into the hands of those who will benefit most from them and that God will receive all the glory.