The truth be told – I’m bouncing out of my skin with excitement (and a little anxiety too) to launch this book. But it’s not because of why you might think.

20180625_200946Yes, I’m excited about publishing a book with my name on the front. That is exciting – to be able to say I’ve written a book. But there’s something much deeper inside of me that’s literally causing me to lose sleep at night with anticipation. And that thing is this: the opportunity to release a collection of words that capture what is in my heart for Jesus.

C.S. Lewis said, “…we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment.” That’s what’s so exciting to me. I am so excited about the opportunity to share my joy about Jesus with you for the purpose of more joy.

For so long I feel like the full articulation of my heart for Jesus has been blocked up in my throat and won’t come out. Honestly, it’s so frustrating. I think Jeremiah described it so well as “a fire shut up in my bones.” (Jeremiah 20:9) That’s literally what it’s like – this passion inside me. It’s bursting to come out.

I’ve been trying to find an analogy for this passion. It’s like when you get addicted to an adrenaline rush of some kind – sky diving, surfing at sunset, skiing, bike riding. Your whole being anticipates it and remembers it and looks for ways to get to it again. That’s what knowing and encountering Jesus is like. He’s like a highly addictive drug. Once you taste a bit you’ve got to have more. That’s still not a great analogy to be honest. It’s still lacking (so you’ll have to buy the book 🙂 ).

But what I’m excited about is the opportunity to share this joy with you –  and as many others as possible. I want to talk and celebrate and laugh and share our hearts,  “Isn’t He beautiful?!  Remember when He did this? Remember how He did that? Oh He hasn’t fulfilled this yet but He’s doing such a beautiful work in my heart in the process and I know He’s faithful.” I want to worship Him with you. There are few other things more enjoyable than to be in a room full of people who love Jesus.

And the true beauty of Jesus isn’t even in the circumstances of what He does. For example, if I need a car and He answers my prayer and gives me a car I’m not that excited about the car. Honestly, seriously. What I’m excited about is the fact that He saw my need and heard my weak prayer and created this incredible set of circumstances that provided for me in a way that has supernatural fingerprints all over it. I’m excited about being touched by divinity, by a person who I can’t see but is as real as you and I.

davThe beauty and the source of my joy is in how He does what He does and the eternal heart behind it. That’s what’s captivating about Him. His is a heart set on redemption and the restoration of all things. His is a heart that looks at impossible situations and laughs with sparkling eyes and not a hint of worry. His is a heart who hears my seemingly little requests and brings them into being just to show that He can – extravagant, surprising, unexpected, certain. Then, when you understand that He is eternal and doesn’t change and that what He’s done once He’ll do again…and again…and again – that His heart can actually be trusted and known – WOW! That’s when a human heart comes alive and that’s what this book is about.

Jesus is not like a gym membership to make a life a bit more successful.  He’s not like a genie in a lamp to rub with prayer to get what we want. He’s the God with a beautiful personality and passion to be with His people. He has desires and plans and joys and sorrows which He wants to share with us. We’re not going to stand before Him one day and think, “Oh man, it was such a waste to give so much of life to Him.” No, Jesus is the source of the greatest joy and delight available to the human experience. So that’s why I’m excited to release this book – to share my greatest joy for the purpose of more joy and hopefully have you share in that joy too. Hope to see you at the book launch!

Book Launch Details

More about the Book

Joel Ratcliffe

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