A Simple Matter of Hope and Joy by Nathan Menoian is a Snuggle Up Event pick #fiction #christian #giveaway
Title: A Simple Matter of Hope and Joy
Author: Nathan Menoian
Eric David Matthews can’t imagine why God would select him for anything. He’s a longtime business owner with no interest in the Creator of the Universe, and no remaining zest for life. Unexpectedly, he meets a woman of devout faith who tells him what Jesus has done in her life.
In quick order, Eric turns his middle-aged and mundane life
over to God. He soon finds himself in a whirlwind of divinely-guided activity,
discovering that the Lord will and can use anyone - young or old. Though the
weeks and months ahead aren’t all smooth sailing, Eric remains ever-faithful as
he experiences love, joy, sorrow, fear, and rejuvenation.
One demanding and persistent question keeps racing through his heart: Does God have a specific calling in mind for him? At just the right time, Eric receives the answer he’s been looking for, along with a brand new zest for life.
Considering all of my imperfections, I didn’t see much sense in actively pursuing God. With all of His perfection, why would He want anything to do with me? A questioning mindset had always been my excuse for keeping God at arms length.
Bottled up inside of me were questions I wanted to ask Him: who, what, where, when, how, and why were just the tip of the iceberg. Until He answered those concerns, disrespectful as they probably were, I certainly wasn’t going to run after Him.
Though I could never explain to anyone what happened next, God silenced my questions, replacing them with peace and trust. In my opinion that was a miracle. I freely surrendered all of my attention to Him.
A glimpse of the big picture began taking shape in my spirit. That’s when my overall attitude about God began to soften. I felt my knees weaken. Before falling flat on my face, I hurried over to the couch and stretched out flat.
A blast of hard-hitting thoughts attacked me. The first was a blunt reminder of the harsh coldness I displayed toward anyone I didn’t care about and hoped to avoid. Other shaming faults, just as unpleasant, came to light.
I was experiencing new thoughts about the invisible God and confronted with serious questions. My eternal destination was being decided. ‘What was my responsibility in all of this, and who was I to expect a guiding hand from God?’ These were honest questions that carried their own truth.
It was to my lifelong detriment that I would over-analyze, second-guess, and cease believing anything I couldn’t personally attest to. In the same way that was my attitude about God. How stupid of me.
I sensed something divine was about to happen. It did! Faster than I could have imagined, God opened the eyes of my grumpy heart to His compassion and love. He showed me humanity in motion, each person precious and priceless in His sight, blessed with a free-will and warmly-welcomed into having spiritual intimacy with The Creator.
A blaring trumpet rallied my weary soul to attention! A surge of hope and joy flooded into my heart. Most wondrously I realized that I was not beyond His reach! With absolute certainty, I now believed in a caring and miracle-working God.
These quick and sweet occurrences were nothing short of spectacular. The face on this miracle belonged to Marsha Kelly, whose personal story of faith led me to believe that she was well-aligned with her God, knew of what she spoke, and lived it.
Life as I knew it would rapidly be changing. How could it not? God was pointing me toward the path of a searching saint and away from the godless thoughts, habits, and desires of the wayward sinner I had long been. None of this was easy to grasp.
I knew at some point the cynical side of me would rear its ugly head. God wouldn’t use a flat tire and pancakes to strong-arm someone into believing Him, would He? Was Marsha part of the plan?
True, I nearly did lose control of my thoughts while in her presence. I thought it was just infatuation; maybe I was wrong. Marsha’s joy and trust in God made me keenly aware of my disappointments, sadness, and flaming eruptions of distress that I have never spoken about to anyone.
Even with limited success in life, I dreamed of having more. But failure after failure buried me within cement walls of life’s hard realities. I was a grown man sinking in his own foolishness.
Was Marsha tossing me an invisible lifeline to grab hold of? Might I be in some approaching spiritual danger? Was I headed for a fall just before crossing the finish line in a race to redemption? Were hellfire and brimstone just ahead of me?
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I was born in Michigan to parents of Armenian descent, and attended public schools in Dearborn and West Bloomfield. Flying kites, bike riding, and participating in neighborhood baseball games were part of my youth; with teamwork a valuable life-lesson I learned as a sprinter on my middle-school track team.
At 19, I joined the U.S. Navy. Afterward, I enrolled in college earning a Journalism Degree from Oakland University. It was there that I invited Jesus Christ into my heart, becoming a born-again Christian.
Throughout my years as a writer: from newspaper reporting, writing editorials, spending twelve years in the Adverting Department with a national discount retailer, publishing a monthly business magazine, and handling a variety of freelance work, I’ve been the recipient of many blessings, friends, and challenging opportunities.
Both of my sons are successful in their chosen careers. Michigan remains my home, and authoring this book is the latest highlight in my writing experiences.