Monday, May 25, 2009

Announcing the Enduring Love Contest!

I love contests. Don’t you? Beginning on May 1st, in honor of my book, Enduring Love, I’m launching a new contest.

Throughout the Sydney Cove Series, John and Hannah have relied on God to carry them through the worst of circumstances. You've read their story, now share your own!

Do you have a testimony about how God’s enduring love met your needs during a difficult time? Or a story about a friend or family member who stood with you faithfully through a challenge in your life?

I'd love to hear how enduring love has made a difference in your life, and your story could win you a spectacular prize

Tell me about your experience in the comments section of my blog, and your name will automatically be entered into a drawing for my Enduring Love Gift Basket.

This basket will include a gorgeous tabletop plaque, two mugs with scripture tea, The Wonder of His Love—a Journey into the Heart of God by Beth Moore, and a signed copy of Enduring Love for you or a loved one.

I’ll draw for a winner on June 1st, so get your entry in now. I can’t wait to hear your stories!

22 comments:

Linda said...

I've had three back surgeries in 6 months' time, and still have back problems. Part of the surgery was successful, part was not. I had a friend who would come over during my down (on the couch) times and lifted my spirits. Although I wasn't able to entertain her, she still visited me. She remains a good friend today.

Bonnie Leon said...

Linda, three back surgeries in six months sounds like a terrible experience. So glad you had such a good friend. A real friend can make all the difference. Sometimes they feel very much like angels from God. :-)

May the Lord bless you,

Bonnie

love said...

good luck and health!

Bonnie Leon said...

Thanks so much Love. Praying for God's blessings for you,

Bonnie

bigguysmama said...

Some days I wonder about God's love. He is my cornerstone, but there are days when the foundation seems to wobble.

I've been an only mom to 4 kids for 2 1/2 yrs. Kids have no contact from dad because of our "situation". My family lives on the East Coast while we're in the Midwest.

God has given me a wonderful church family and their love and faithfulness to my family has been wonderful.

My oldest graduates this year and as we head to her graduation, He has been giving me peace for each step. It will be so hard to have her leave home.

I am in the process of finding a home for my 2nd child to live in because life here has been so hard for her (all her life). We both believe that it may be best if she lives somewhere else for a time, maybe until she graduates (2 yrs). God will carry us through this situation.

My boys have been given a family that has a dad who interacts with them when he can (at church, school activities, and such). God has heard my cry for a male role model and He has been providing.

As the song says, "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever."

Blessings,
Mimi

mnjesusfreak at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Are you ready for a long, long example of God's enduring love? The year 2008 was a tough one in the Mundy household. In March we found out that my husband had bladder cancer. In May he died from the cancer and left his loving family. In July my 24-year-old son, James, lost his surveying job. In August one of my very best friends (and co-workers at my church) died of a brain tumor. Six days later I had to put my 15 year old golden retriever, Sandy, down. During that same month my son decided that he was going to join the Navy since he was having a hard time finding a job (he said that God told him that he should do this). I said no; he said pray about it. His girlfriend of 5 years, Leslie, said no. He said that she needed to pray about it. Both of us prayed, received a peace about it and said OK. In September James & Leslie married so she could receive benefits (they would have gotten married eventually anyway). In October my father-in-law died. On December 2nd James left for basic training in Illinois, leaving a wife, mom, sister, 2 grandmothers and aunt with no male head (except Leslie's dad).

I tell you all of this to prove that I could only have made it through that year with the totally enduring love of my heavenly Father. What more can I say except that he saw me through each and every life changing event. He knew what was going to happen and knew I could make it only with his grace and love.

I praise Him for my life and for his Son, Jesus.

Gail Mundy

Anonymous said...

Though this might sound garish, when I married my husband at the age of 22, I wasn't "in love" with him. I was frightened. My father(the only person I believed ever loved me) died and I didn't know where to turn. Bob had been courting me for 1/1/2 years so when he asked me to marry him I said, YES. I had been engaged three times prior, but inherently felt they weren't the right ones.

Now I truly love this partner, my husband, so much I am just silly. Why? Because no matter all the therapy I had to go through,(private hells of childhood) no matter how physically sick I became due to some of these issues, Bob loved me and supported me. He's provided economically, is an amazing father, is funny, tough in times when that was needed, and humbly gentle which spoke the loudest. He also learned to trust me and lean on me when his roads were too mucked to forge smoothly. That was indeed a privilege for me as I never thought I had strength.

In 1976 we both accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. I am probably more outspoken of this wonderful fact, but Bob shows it in quiet, dutiful reverence. There is hardly a week go by that Bob doesn't share a need of someone with me and we anonymously give as we know to us much has been given. He serves; a big rugged man with a tender, Christ-like heart.

How long has this relationship that started in fear lasted? 33 years this June 12th. God knew a good catch when He saw it, and He was kind enough to give him to a silly 22 year old fearful girl. Enduring love that will last a lifetime. God is so good.

Gayla Collins
gayla.c@bresnan.net

Stacey said...

God’s love is the only love that endures forever. I have loved pets…and lost them. I have loved people…and been let down and betrayed. I have “loved” jobs…and been laid off after ten years of dedicated service. But God’s love is forever. In August 2005, my Mother-in-law was weakening from an extensive battle with lung cancer when we received the news that her ex-husband, my Father-in-law, was in the hospital facing surgery for cancer of the esophagus. He hadn’t even told us he was sick! My husband was devastated, and falling apart from the added stress, so I had to be strong for him and our two daughters. The surgery was canceled at my Father-in-law’s request and he died in hospice two days later. We all grieved. God was there. Exactly four months after this, my Mother-in-law passed away in hospice. Still aching, we grieved again. God was still there – He never left – He held us tighter – He gave me strength. Forty days later, we found ourselves in the hospital again – this time with my Grandfather. His decline was rapid. Within 10 days he had entered hospice and died of Alzheimer’s. We began 2006 with another funeral, and God was there. He wept with us, and rejoiced with the angels who ushered our loved ones into His waiting arms where they now wait for us. Our bodies are frail, our lives fragile, but because of God’s enduring love, we have a home with Him for eternity where we will be reunited with those who have gone before us. Hallelujah!

Stacey_dale[at]yahoo[dot]com

Edna said...

I read some of the other posts and don't think I stand a change with my pitiful life. I have been married to my teenage sweetheart for 48 years, and through thick and thin we have stood by each other. We have raised 4 children and have really had a lot of trouble from daughter-in-laws as we have never got to have anything to do with some of our grandchildren. They say it is me but I think it is because I am a Chritian and don't party etc as they do.
Well anyway we have had to start over 4 times in our 48 years as we just could not pay for our things.
We are doing well now but both of us are getting stiff and hurt where we didn't know we had places.
He loves to be outside and to watch sports on Tv, I hate outside and don't like sports, so if it had not been for us having God in our lives we never could have made it 48 years. Thank God all our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have never been in any kind of trouble and I think the reason our children turned out so well as I stayed home with them and knew where they were most of the time. I want to beg for every christian that reads this to pray for me and the tension with my daughter-in-laws and my sons that have been put in the middle. I pray all the time for God to help me be a person that my family will love, but I am a stay at home person and stay to my self. I have had a knee replavement, have arthrist and dibetics, along with depression and my nerves.
May God bless all of you and thank you for giving me a chance to write about some of my problems.
mamat2730(at)charter(dot)net

Bonnie Leon said...

Mimi,

Thanks so much for sharing. You have a beautiful family.

Praise God for His extended family who helps us through the difficult times, who walk with us through the valleys and also rejoice when we are uplifted. I love mountaintop experiences. :-)

God is our provider. And, indeed, His love endures forever.

You will be in my prayers.

Bonnie

Bonnie Leon said...

Dear Gail,

You have been through a terrible time, but we know God never throws anything away.

Praising God for your strength and for His grace.

Peace to you,

Bonnie

Bonnie Leon said...

Gayla,

I love your story. God is truly good. And He knew exactly who would be your perfect mate. :-)

Congratulations on your 33 years together. And thank you for sharing your uplifting story of hope.

With love,

Bonnie

Bonnie Leon said...

Stacey,

Your story is one of tragedy and triumph. God wins. We are told that we are only sojourners here on this earth, to do good before moving on to our eternal home.

What a wonderful promise. We have hope and know there is nothing on this earth that can separate God's children from their heavenly Father.

Many blessings to you, dear lady.

Bonnie

Bonnie Leon said...

Dear Edna, what a testimony--48 years. I'm so sorry to hear about the difficulties between you and your daughter-in-laws. It's always especially difficult to have family "issues". But keep loving and accepting and praying. Nothing is impossible with God.

And our aging bodies -- well that stinks, but if we look around there is so much to be thankful for. God has placed us in a beautiful place--earth. And heaven awaits with beauty, peace, and love we can't even imagine.

We will pray for you and your family.

Grace and peace to you, dear one.

Bonnie

Ruth Mayfield said...

Wow! the posts here are very encouraging. Thank you for the great idea Bonnie.

I have to say that Father God's enduring love has not only made a difference in my life, but it has completely shaped my person even from before I knew Him. It would take several novels to tell the story but I will try to share just one example.

I struggled with relationships growing up. I accepted the Lord as my Saviour at seventeen. My Lord and I have enjoyed a wonderfully close and ever growing relationship, in spite of the broken ones I've encountered with people. He gave me beautiful, loving children who all love Him and dear Christian friends who have been faithful brothers and sisters, supporting me in trials too numerous to count. God gifted me with intelligence, creativity, persistance and determination. My favorite hobby throughout the years has been gardening. I always thought it was my farming background which enabled my green thumb. My garden is my refuge, my prayer closet, my personal holy-of-holies where I can come into the Lord's presence.

It has taken many, many years and several broken relationships for the Lord to heal me enough to bring me back to a special garden encounter with Him some forty years before.

When I was two years old I had my first vision of Jesus. My little dog, Moochy, had been hit by a car and my daddy had taken it into the field and killed it. We were a family of farmers so this kind of thing was considered part of life. My parents didn't feel a need to explain to a two year old. So I stood staring at my tear streaked face in the blue mirrored ball in the flower garden. The flowers that cheerfully surrounded it with their bright colors could not sooth my pain. Jesus appeared to me a short distance away with open arms and I turned away from him to study the flowers so that my tears would be hidden--embarrassed and broken hearted. He only smiled and said, "It's okay, I will love you through the flowers."

When the Lord gave me back the memory of that encounter as a little girl, He revealed His enduring love for me, penetrating all the walls I had built and freeing me from my broken past forever. He was there all the time!
www.ruthmcmillanmayfield.com

Bonnie Leon said...

Ruth, thank you for sharing. What a beautiful story. I'm at a loss for words--just feeling the wonder of God's love.

Praising Him.

Bonnie

squiresj said...

In 2003 God's enduring love saw both me and my youngest daughter through an automobile wreck. We went around a dead deer and ty-rod on back wheel broke and we could not control card. We were flipped upside down in a ditch. We never saw nothing because we both felt the angel wings wrap around us and shield us from the flip upside down. My daughter is alive today because she was wrapped in those wings and it protected her from breaking her neck. We both climbed out of the car unharmed.
When I had an ankle fusion because of another car wreck in 1997 where I hit a tree, Author Mae Nunn and some other authors loaded me up with inspirational books to read during that time. Mae wrote me and prayed with me and encouraged me through 8 months of recovery. She was a God send.
jrs362 (at) hotmail (dot) com

Bonnie Leon said...

Squires,

Thank you for sharing your story. And praise God for His angels--the ones we can't see and the ones we do.

Blessings,

Bonnie

Anonymous said...

Amber,

What a beautiful story--heart wrenching, but wonderful to see how God has
worked in your life. I'd love to share this with other readers. If you'd
like to leave it as a comment I'd love that; it is such an encouragement.

Blessings to you dear lady and thanks so much for writing.

Bonnie



From Amber:

Hi Bonnie,

My name is Amber and I live in New York. First of all, thank you for sharing your gift of writing with your readers. I love your stories and look forward to many more! Secondly, I am far behind the technological era we are in and I do not care for blogging... I know that may be a shock to most because I am 24 years old, but I would rather read a great book than be on the computer! :) However, I saw your May contest about God's enduring love and I felt the need to share my story with you.
My husband and I were married last October and my brother did
not come to our wedding. We grew up as best friends and even though he is 3 1/2 years older than I am, he always treated me well and let me be around him and his friends. After he graduated high school, he began to lose some of his convictions and moral standards after finding new friends and a girlfriend with a weak spirituality and few values. We still remained close and I didn't even realize that I had taken on some of his new habits, like gossiping, sarcasm and disrespect toward our parents. My brother ended up marrying the girl he was with and over the next 5 years, his relationship with our
family slowly broke down.
My parents and I were limited in our visits with his children and he became mean-spirited. Things finally blew-up 3 months before the wedding and he took himself and his children out of the ceremony. Feelings were hurt
and tension was high, but he said that he would come to the wedding. He never did show up and I didn't realize how much his indifference would hurt when my bitterness wore away.
After that incident, my brother severed all contact with my parents and me and only by the grace of God have I come to accept that good can come out of this heartbreak if I am open to it. I know that I have become a better person without my brother's negative influence in my life. I am more caring and compassionate and I show my parents the respect that they deserve. I have become an advocate for the weak and never again want to be the type of person that shows indifference to a child of God because I view myself as "better" or more worthy than they are of consideration and love. I have grown closer to God and lean on His promise that He is with us through every struggle and He understands our burdens and pain.
My aunt said something yesterday that really touched my soul. She and my mom were talking about how the hurt that family causes just changes with time and she told my mom that God understands what it feels like to lose a child and Jesus knows what it feels like to be betrayed by a
"brother". So, no matter what we are going through, there is someone bigger than us who can help us come out stronger and wiser on the other end.
My brother knows that we are here for him when he finds his way home. I just have to get to the place where I can peacefully pray that he opens his eyes to God's enduring love that is waiting for him.
I hope I didn't take up too much of your time. I just really felt a pull to share my story with you and I appreciate you taking the time to read my message. Have a wonderful evening and God Bless!

Sincerely,
Amber

Bonnie Leon said...

Thank you Amber. I pray your brother will find his way home.

God knows it all.

Grace and peace to you from God.

Bonnie

Myrn and Steve said...

On Sept. 7, 2005, my world came to screeching halt with the death of my beautiful 19 year old daughter. She was killed in an accident where the driver of the vehicle she was in was drunk.

My greatest fear as a mother was that I would lose one of my children. Now my greatest fear had come true and I didn't know how I would be able to endure the crushing reality of Crystal's death.

God in all His wonder, majesty, tender mercy and love enveloped me in His loving arms, set me on His lap and drew me into Himself. I was cocooned in His love over the first numb months during which I had to come to terms with life without my beautiful girl. The first year was the worse in that we had to endure the first holidays, the first birthday, the first vacation, the first death anniversary (which I call her homegoing) without her. There were days when I felt I couldn't bear another moment of grief. There were days when I begged for God to take me home. Then there were days when God began to restore my joy; began to give me a glimpse of my new normal; began to set me down on my feet.

After the first anniversay of Crystal's homegoing I was surprised to still feel so bereft, adrift in a sea of sorrow. A good friend told me that God had been carrying me all this time and now He has set me on my feet and like any good parent is expecting me to walk on my own.

Does that mean He has left me? Does that mean He isn't beside me? Not at all. I believe His promises that He will never leave me nor forsake me; the battle is His; His mercy endures forever; His faithfulness is great; His love endures forever.

I still have days when a memory will take my breath away and leave me in a heap of tears. I still have days when I miss my girl so much that I yearn for heaven. Those days will always be with me. More importantly, God will always be present beside me with His enduring love as I walk this journey of life.

"I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord." Ps. 27:13-14

Bonnie Leon said...

Myrn, what a powerful testimony and a good reminder for me.

God never leaves us, never stops loving us, and will always carry us through our trials.

Grace and peace to you from God.

Bonnie

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