Angela’s First Book: A Signal and a Signing [Guest Post]

When she first asked me to write the introduction to her book, I thought it odd. While I have a great deal of respect and love for both the author and the subject matter, there are many who have known Angela longer and seen her service to God in many areas for many years. Wouldn’t they be better candidates?

If I’ve learned anything at all about how Angela lives and gives of her life, one thing stands out: her surrender to the voice of God.

I’ve met with, worked alongside with, and even battled with some consecrated Christians in my life – though I cannot imagine any as Christ-like 24/7 as Angela. Her cup is constantly overflowing with contagious joy!

As we began forging our work and lives together, I recognized the call on Angela’s life – and her commission to write Precious Stones – has been one of consistency and compassion. Not to impress or celebrate herself. She has an audience of One.

As she prepares for her first book signing at Wellspring Christian Resources in the Des Moines area this Saturday (July 7th), we prepare a place in prayer for this book to find its way into the hearts and hands of prayer warriors, church groups, and mission fields across the globe.

I’m grateful to God for such a extravagantly loving friend, partner, and wife. My name is Mike Sansone.

 

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His Comfort: Poems for the Hurting, Healing, & Hopeful

Father’s comfort brings healing in the midst of your hurt, giving you hope. Through our sufferings, He brings us comfort. In many different ways.

In 2001 my life, health, and teaching career were forever altered by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Journaling was my primary way of processing through all the losses and changes.

My journaling was often in the form of poetry, pouring out my heart to God in a Psalm 62:8 way. One result was a poem book, His Comfort, which several years ago was compiled in a stapled booklet. And now, His Comfort is available in digital form.

As a 26-year-old, I moved back in with my parents to rest, heal, and wait on God’s next direction for my life. In my anguish and pain, I sensed the comfort God had given me through the poems He had written through me were His gift for me to share with others who were also hurting and devastated by loss in their own lives.

In the 11 years since I photocopied my first batch of poem books, I have had the privilege of sharing His Comfort with over 400 people worldwide — one photocopy at a time.

I have been amazed and truly comforted again and again by the reactions and responses I have His Comfort Poetry: Originalseen to the words and promises I clung to and still cling too, touching life after life and heart after heart. It has been an experience of seeing the truth and promise of 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 play out all around me:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

There have been many instances at gas stations, restaurants,  church, on airplanes, and in my daily interactions when Father has prompted me to give a poem book to a stranger or a new acquaintance. Each act of obedience in these instances have taken courage, and many times I have been told later by these recipients of my poetry — how they were at a time in their life where they had been crying out to God for a greater experience of His comfort and presence in their lives.

One of my favorite recounting of these instances took place in January 2011. My rest that weekend had been short and as I sat working in my classroom late on Saturday afternoon, I asked Father if I could sleep in on Sunday morning.

Father was insistent that I could not, because He wanted His dearly Beloved son Mike to have one of my poem books. I barely knew Mike — a man who had been assigned to usher at the same door I ushered at on Sunday mornings. From all I had briefly observed of him, he didn’t seem in immediate need of a copy of His Comfort.

I asked Father if the giving of this poem book to Mike could possibly wait until the following Sunday. Father continued to say with joy and excitement, “We have a gift for my dearly Beloved son Mike which you will give him tomorrow.”

And with that, it was settled . . . I could obey or disobey. So I guessed at the spelling of Mike’s last name and put a poem book in an envelope.

Mike seemed to be both jovial and joyful as we ushered together on Sunday. I wondered what the significance of giving him a poem book today was. When the church service was beginning, I handed Mike the envelope with his last name misspelled. Somewhat unemotionally I abruptly explained, “I sense Father wanted you to have this.” And with that, I went into the service.

Later on, Mike told me of his own struggles on Saturday – that very same Saturday I had been arguing with Father as to if I truly needed to give him a poem book the next day. He had been crying out to Father to comfort him in the deep pain he was going through as a result of great losses he’d experienced in every area of his life. Father knew he needed this poem book.

That Sunday exchange was the beginning of a friendship that led to a romance and then a Mike & Angela Usheringlife-long partnership. On our wedding day we took a picture at the same doors we ushered together at and had our poem book exchange that January day eight months earlier.

In His amazing ways, Father continues to use our lives and testimonies to minister His comfort to others. In doing so, we sensed Father wanted us to make His Comfort accessible to a broader audience by making it into a downloadable e-book.

Eleven years ago, I obeyed and put together a collection of poems I had no idea who they would touch and reach. Over the last 11 years, I have continued to obey and share these poems with who I sensed Father wanted me to give them to.

We all have people in our lives who are in desperate need of experiencing His comfort in the midst of the pain, suffering, or loss they are going through.  I pray that you would use His Comfort as a way to minister to others around you who are hurting. I pray if the hurting person is you, that you would be comforted deeply by reading His Comfort.

You can download your free copy of His Comfort e-book.

His Comfort Poetry: Digital Copy

 

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