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  • A Sudden Glory
  • Written by Sharon Jaynes
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  • Written by Sharon Jaynes
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A Sudden Glory

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God's Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More

Written by Sharon JaynesAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Sharon Jaynes

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List Price: $10.99

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On Sale: August 21, 2012
Pages: 224 | ISBN: 978-1-60142-409-9
Published by : Multnomah Books Religion/Business/Forum
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Synopsis

Do you long for something more in your relationship with God?
 
The good news is that “something more” does not mean “doing more.” God is not waiting for you to get your spiritual life “right.” He wants to be with you right where you are.

The real question is not “What does God want from you?” but “What does God want for you?”
 
Sharon Jaynes understands what it’s like to have a “glory ache”—a longing to experience God’s presence on a daily basis. She also knows how easily working for God can get in the way of intimacy with God. And she’s discovered that we tend to make our faith journey much too hard.  
 
In A Sudden Glory, Sharon uses Scripture and story to help you erase the line between your “spiritual life” and your “daily life” as you enter the sanctuary of God’s presence even in the middle of your busy, messy day. Here you will find your eyes opened to moments of sudden glory in which the Creator assures you of His love as you live and move and have your being in Him. Here you will discover true freedom—the freedom of experiencing God in a deeper and more intimate way than ever before.
 
Includes Bible study and discussion guide.

Excerpt

The Glory Ache

O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace.
—A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

It happened again.

I was not surprised.

Her words of frustration and longing spilled from her heart to my e-mail inbox.

Dear Sharon:
I have lived a very blessed life. I have been married to the same man for forty years. I have four beautiful daughters, who seem to have married the perfect mates, and nine wonderful grandchildren. I was raised in a Christian home, and my mother is still alive and healthy at eighty-five years old. My husband is retired, and we are living comfortably. I have never been abused or mistreated. I have friends, and most would say that I am a happy person. And yet, something is missing. With all the good things in my life, all I really want is a close relationship with Jesus.

I am trying, I really am. Even though I was raised in church, I married a Jewish man and drifted away from God. I gave my life to Christ at a women’s Christian meeting fifteen years ago and have been pursuing God ever since. I felt that recommitment was necessary for me. It was a new beginning. Now I do an online Bible study, am an active member of a local church, visit a shut-in once a month, and help with vacation Bible school. I have taught Sunday school, and I attend church regularly and pray daily.

I have been reading and studying the Bible and know that when you seek forgiveness, it is given. I have asked God to forgive me of the choices I have made and believe that He has. Now I am asking God to let me know what His purpose is for my life. What does He want from me? What does He have planned for me? I am trying very hard to listen for His direction. I am willing to follow His path, whenever I realize what that is.

Here’s the crux of my problem. After I gave my life to Christ, I joined a church and began reading the Bible daily. Yet I never experienced that overwhelming feeling of change that so many others experience. In my quiet times, when I seek to know Him better and wait quietly for answers, I do not get the nudges that others talk about. I know that some people hit rock bottom and then experience a dramatic life change accompanied by an emotional high. I sometimes wonder if I will have to experience some great trial in order to have the wonderful feelings of a true relationship with Christ. I have worked on identifying my sins, thinking that this might help me feel closer to God. I am working on not gossiping and not being prideful or vain. I am always working on my patience. I don’t have any serious vices, but I am constantly working on self-improvement. I try to start each day with quiet time, Scripture reading, and prayer. I try to have a God-focused day.

Is something wrong with me? Do other women feel this emptiness too? Should I be feeling something more? What more should
I be doing? I know Christ loves me, but something is missing and I don’t even know what it is. What should I do?
—Stephanie

Oh, Stephanie, I whispered, no you are not alone. Your words echo the longings of women all around the world, and I dare say, through the ages. Why is feeling close to God so hard? Why does this faith journey seem so difficult?

There Must Be Something More

This was the first time I had heard from Stephanie but not the first time I had heard the heart-cry. The particulars of her story were different, but I had heard the same longing from countless others.

Most of us come to Christ with a certain “inloveness”—a stirring of emotion mixed with an inexplicable knowing that we’ve discovered our reason for being. But some years into our spiritual journey, the wonder that swelled during the early years ebbs into routine religion laced with busyness. And we secretly question the point of it all. There has to be more than this, we muse. There has to be something more. What am I missing? What’s wrong with me? I’m doing all
the right things, but God seems so far away. I’m trying as hard as I can, but it never seems to be enough. What does God really want from me anyway?

For decades, as I have had the privilege of ministering to women, I have heard the same heart-cry from those who desire to have a deep, intimate, exuberant relationship with Christ but don’t know how to find it.

Perhaps you can relate. You long to feel close to God but sense there’s just something lacking, that you’ve missed the mysterious formula to make it happen. I call this a “glory ache”—a persistent longing to experience God’s presence on
a daily basis. Perhaps like most women, you’ve tried desperately to balance the montage of mundane demands and somehow slip God into the white spaces that are few and far between. You long to spend time in the sacred with God
but find the desire crowded out by the responsibilities of the secular—the daily demands that lay claim to your attention. You yearn to experience God’s presence but feel far away from Him as you reach to click off the bedside lamp and collapse exhausted once again. Maybe tomorrow, you sigh.

Sound familiar? If so, you are not alone.

The travesty is that we allow the busyness of life to crowd out the Source of life. As the psalmist wrote, “We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing” (Psalm 39:6, nlt). Ann Voskamp echoes that lament: “In a world addicted to speed, I blur the moments into one unholy smear.”1

And in that unholy smear, that blur of the world passing quickly by, we know something’s not quite right. So we strike out to make it all better. And most of us are quick to think “something more” means “doing more.” We ramp it up and gun the engines—sign up for a new committee, volunteer for a new cause, bake one more casserole to feed the sick. We attempt to silence the hunger pains of the heart by feeding it the bread and water of duty. And at the end of the day, while we might feel a self-induced sense of well-being, the hollowness in our souls that can only be satisfied with God echoes with the grumblings of hunger still.

We long for a sense of closeness with God, but we have a hard time putting our finger on exactly what that closeness would look like. It’s just something more. Something different. A flavor we have yet to taste. A country we have yet to visit. A sunset we have yet to experience. A lover we have yet to embrace. There has to be something more, we cry! And we are quite right. We are craving the closeness that comes with an intimate relationship with Jesus.

So we try harder. We go to Bible studies, attend church, say our prayers, and read our devotions. Check, check, check. And yet, we constantly feel that we are somehow letting God down. With the last “amen” of the day, we sigh, What more does God want from me?

One January morning a few years ago, I asked God that same question. I had just finished a big writing project and was ready to tackle the next big thing for God. I snuggled in my favorite den chair with a steamy cup of coffee and my well-worn Bible to spend some alone time with my heavenly Father. I read a few verses and said my prayer. Check. Check. When I started to get up, I felt God’s invisible strong hand holding me back. He wasn’t finished. Be still, and
know that I am God, He seemed to say. Cease striving.

Suddenly I saw myself with the disciples caught on the stormy Sea of Galilee. As I pondered the past twenty-five years of my life, I saw myself reeling in the waves of ceaseless activity. A squall of busyness raging around me—and in me. Reeling from one foamy crest of work and deadlines to the next and hanging on for dear life. In my mind’s eye, the fellow passengers were not the motley crew of first-century disciples but women from every walk, trying to steady themselves in the turbulent waters of life.

“Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” they asked. “Help us!”

Then I sensed Jesus speaking to me just as He had spoken to the raucous wind and waves: “Quiet! Be still! Settle down!”

So I sat.

After a few moments, I realized I didn’t really know how to be quiet and settle down. I had never mastered the full idea of “be still and know.” I knew that God was God. It was the “be still” part that stumped me. Sitting still was not in my nature, and perhaps it was my nature that God was trying to tame. My “nature,” or natural bent of working for God, was standing in the way of my worship of and communion with God. My daily routine of sanctioned quiet times was getting in the way of the divine romance in which He wanted me to engage.
Sharon Jaynes

About Sharon Jaynes

Sharon Jaynes - A Sudden Glory
Sharon Jaynes is an international conference speaker and the author of seventeen books. She served as vice-president and radio co-host of Proverbs 31 Ministries for ten years and is a popular guest on Christian radio and television programs such as Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Family Life Today with Dennis Rainey, and Focus on the Family. Sharon is the co-founder of Girlfriends in God, a ministry that crosses denominational, generational, and racial boundaries to bring the Body of Christ together.
Praise

Praise

Praise for A Sudden Glory

“How do we awaken to the transforming glory of God that is all about us? Heavenly seraphim proclaim that the earth is full of His glory—but why do we miss it? More important, how do we awaken to Jesus, who ‘is the radiance of the glory of God’? In A Sudden Glory, Sharon Jaynes lifts the veil—and invites us right into His heart, where He speaks to our persistent ache for something more.”
     —Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts

“In A Sudden Glory, Sharon Jaynes reminds us that the ‘ache for meaning beyond the dailyness of life’ is only found by embracing God’s passionate desire for intimacy. This book is a treasure!”
      —Carol Kent, speaker and author of Between a Rock and a Grace Place

“There’s no doubt about it; Sharon Jaynes’s latest project is a love story. It’s about a glorious Prince named Jesus, who is passionately wooing a world full of Cinderellas. The only problem is so many of these would-be princesses have amnesia and have forgotten the sacred romance they’ve been supernaturally written into. A Sudden Glory set off an alarm in my sleepy heart and reminded me to run toward the intimate embrace of our Redeemer!”
      —Lisa Harper, Bible teacher, Women of Faith speaker, and author of A Perfect Mess

“Cease striving. Such refreshing words in a culture that seems to breed the philosophy that the more you do, the more you get. Sharon Jaynes reminds us that our spiritual yearning for more is not satisfied by checking off a to-do list of religious accomplishments. She brings us to a fresh and freeing understanding that ‘in Him we live and move and have our being.’ The beautiful message of A Sudden Glory continually reminds us of the great love our Father has lavished upon us as His children and the joy of abiding in His presence.”
      —Karol Ladd, author of The Power of a Positive Woman

“If you ache for something more, something deeper, something greater, something glorious in life and in your walk with God, Sharon Jaynes pulls back the curtain on the heart of God and all He has awaiting you! Don’t settle for the mundane—live glorious! Thanks, Sharon, for helping us travel away from the ordinary, everyday, commonplace, humdrum, dull routine into God’s great, grand, and glorious expedition!”
      —Pam Farrel, speaker and author of 10 Secrets to Living Smart, Savvy, and Strong

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