Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What's So Important About Hope?




Since we started the Hope Tour, several folks have asked why I’m so focused on Hope. I’ve struggled with the right words to explain, but – at the halfway point in our tour – I realize I must try.

As a publisher, it’s my job to produce books. But I don’t want to just publish any book. I feel called to do more. So much more. This year, and for as many years as the Lord calls me to do it, my task is to solicit and produce books that offer hope.

Here are just a few of my reasons:

  • The 20-something single mom grieving over the loss of her father and now summoning the courage to fight cancer for all she’s worth.
  • The homeless man beat up by teen punks in my own neighborhood – and the other one spit upon by other teen punks in another town.
  • The middle-aged divorced woman with thoughts of suicide.
  • The elderly woman, once an independent career woman, now forced to depend on her relatives for daily survival and care.
  • The retired couple forced to sell their only vehicle to keep a roof over their heads.
  • A young man fighting for a better life for himself and his family, against enormous odds.
  • A business executive faced with downsizing his company.
  • A weary mom with bruised knees and wounded heart caused by years of dealing with wayward children.
  • Widows and widowers who feel they are – or who really are – all alone in this world.
  • Families dealing with mental illness, alcoholism, drug addiction. 
  • An AIDS patient.
  • Teenagers coping with dysfunctional families, gender crises, date rape, bullying, peer pressure, hormones, and more.
  • Families who lose their babies due to birth defects, disease, SIDS, or crime.
  • A man on death row. Guilty on all counts.
  • The woman in line at the food bank – not wanting to be there, but with an empty fridge and even emptier pantry – she has no choice.
  • A 30-something who is disillusioned by the religion of his parents, who hasn’t yet determined his own religion. He’s being swept off his feet by all the exciting New Age junk filling bookshelves by the millions.
  • Fire victims who lost all their possessions and the roof over their heads.
  • Storm victims forced to rebuild their homes, their lives.
  • Children who go to bed hungry.
  • Families on the verge of bankruptcy and those already in the midst of it, who have no clue what tomorrow brings.

As you’ve probably already guessed, the list is endless. Does your heart break for friends and family who are suffering? Mine does. So much so that almost daily, I retreat for awhile to cry out to Almighty God, asking prayer for so many. At times, I wake in the middle of the night, my heart burdened by the needs I discovered during the day.

I can’t solve the world’s problems. I can’t even solve my own family’s problems. Thankfully, I know Who can, but not everyone knows – and that’s where our books come in.

Solomon wrote,

“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24 NASB).

Think on that. Our words can be sweet to the soul. And healing to the bones. In a dry, parched world, our words can bring comfort and relief.

Solomon also said,

“The right word at the right time
   is like a custom-made piece of jewelry ...” 
(Proverbs 25:11 The Message)

The right word at the right time. I've experienced God's hand many times when He placed the right word at just the right time into my own path. He can and will do the same with YOUR words for someone too. 

Our books NEED to give HOPE. The words YOU write may be the very words – perhaps the ONLY words – that a particular person may read that could change his or her life – or even impact the lives of children or grandchildren – forever. Your book could introduce someone to Jesus, or detail a situation for someone who faces the same circumstances – and until she read your book, she thought she was all alone.

Your words MATTER. Your words can give MAGNIFICENT, LIFE-GIVING, BONE-HEALING, SOUL-SOOTHING HOPE to a hopeless world. And I want to help make that happen.

The finalists are already hard at work on their manuscripts for the Books of Hope Contest. But we have two other contests still open. Have you submitted your entry for our “One Hope” contest? Or your Christmas-themed manuscript for our “Christmas Hope” contest? 

What are you waiting for? Someone needs to hear YOUR message of HOPE.

For anyone who's just joining us, follow along with the Hope Tour! We have a contest for readers, too - you could win a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet, a $100 gift card, and a whole bunch of books!

Read more about Magnificent Hope's Journey:


Staci Stallings said...

Hope is trusting with your heart, even when your eyes tell you not to.

Thank you, Tracy and Write Integrity Press for reminding us the value of hope. May our lives give witness that no matter how bleak the night is, hope is the candle that never goes out.

Tracy Ruckman said...

Exactly right, Staci. Thanks for stopping by - and for continuing to spread the message of hope through your own books.

Kristi Butler said...

I'm inspired to keep writing!! Thanks, Tracy!!

Your ministry is making a difference!!


Sheryl said...

Tracy - well said. I agree and am so glad you are willing to act on the prompting of the Holy Spirit to do this work! Thank you too for allowing me to be a part of this mission in sharing the MAGNIFICENT, life giving,bone healing,soul soothing hope to those who are willing to read!