Gifts of Grace Book 3 Launching
“When the heart is full, the mouth cannot speak,” the saying goes. My own version is, “When the heart is full, the mouth can certainly speak.”
I’ve been speaking of nothing but the Gifts of Grace Book 3 launching to friends and foe, or to anyone within earshot, the last few days.
I have reasons to do so. Nov. 21 was a day the Lord drenched us with grace—for all to see!
Truth to tell, I had been anxious about this launch.
Months earlier, a friend volunteered to host it (“On me,” she said) in her still-being-built building. Although the idea was grand, and the building promises to be one of the most beautiful ever erected, I didn’t want to put any pressure on her. I’ve always said that a simple fare of pansit (noodles) and puto (rice cake) in a function room would be perfect for a book on grace. She wouldn’t hear of it. Immediately, she conducted a series of food tasting sessions and had her whole staff do the preps (she is meticulous to the bone).
The OMFLit marketing staff went to work simultaneously. Forty-eight hours before the launch, at our last pre-production meeting, we visited the venue: the Executive Lounge of the Marajo Tower, Global City. It was still dust and rubble! Trusses and rough walls were all we could see.
“It will be ready,” my friend insisted. And she pointed to the herd of busy workers. I reminded myself of my own herd of busy prayer partners, both at OMF and in my home church.
Only 56 people confirmed to come, out of the 150 invited. Well, I said, 56 is a good number.
Nov. 21 came and from dawn till lunchtime, I did nothing but pray. Tony and I went to the venue one hour ahead of schedule.
My eyes popped. The place was transformed into um . . . er . . . uh . . . one word came to mind: heaven. It was how I felt. There were walls, lights, carpets, tables, tapestries, paintings, a piano, multi-media equipment, buffet tables, and a hundred blue and white angels. The place was exquisite—warm and welcoming.
And I needn’t have worried about guests. They came, probably 95% of them, bringing along even friends of friends. The place was bursting at the seams—with people (from the ad industry, Rotary, church, school, and all other groups I ever belonged to), family, food, music, plus the euphoria one feels in receiving grace.
Concerned friends have warned me never to mention real names on blogs so I won’t. I can’t help but say, though, that the surprises came one after the other:
The invocation, “Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi” by a famed tenor, accompanied by another famed concert pianist, and the opening remarks by OMF’s CEO, set the tone.
Tony gave me flowers!? The last time he did was in . . . it has been so long I can’t remember.
Three friends read from all three books; OMF’s ManCom unveiled the books; a moving slide show played while the tenor sang “Let them see Christ in Me.” The program was perfect.
But it wouldn’t end there—there was more to perfection. The creative OMF staff always comes up with off-the-wall, unexpected ideas.
JR read an essay he was asked to write behind my back entitled, “My Mother Grace.” It was so hilarious the whole room went crazy; the raucous laughter from beginning to end was deafening, leaving our eyes moist from too much roaring. And there was more.
After the reading, JR presented me with a replica of my Gifts of Grace Book 3 (but with my photos on the cover). “The only one-chapter book ever published,” he said.
God does not answer prayers in ways we think He will. Sometimes He surprises, sometimes He overwhelms, and sometimes He touches people’s hearts in ways unfathomable by the human mind.
For the launching of Gifts of Grace Book 3, He chose to drop an avalanche of grace from heaven. What a mighty God I serve.