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Are you a member of a book club? Do you like to read about your favorite authors? Check out The Book Club Network! Cec is a regular contributor to their magazine. 
The Book Club Network
Are you aware that Cec has written several gift books? Here are three of his most popular titles. They each have beautiful watercolor artwork by Michal Sparks.
Words of Comfort for Times of Loss
Words of Comfort for Times of Loss
When Someone You Love No Longer Remembers
When Someone You Love No Longer Remembers
When Someone You Love Has Cancer
When Someone You Love Has Cancer
"I Didn't Know What to Say."
Two years before I left the pastorate, I asked several church members to reach out to the grieving. I started with a question, "What have you said when you've heard about the death of a loved one?"
  • “With all those people crowded around her, I thought I’d stay out of it and not add to the confusion.”
     
  • “He had his pastor, his family, and many friends. What could I say that they couldn’t?”

  • “I didn’t know what to say to her.”
     
  • "I don't know enough about the Bible to give them the right words."
     
  • “I was afraid that if I tried to say anything, I’d start crying. That’s no way to help.”
They wanted to help but felt inadequate. They assumed both too much and too little. They assumed that others had the right words to say. They assumed too little in thinking they themselves had nothing to offer.
They focused on their inadequacy, and it paralyzed them from opening up to those who hurt. Sometimes a single word or a touch on the shoulder can make an amazing difference.
For example, I once visited Irene, whose husband had died from a massive coronary.
Later she thanked me profusely and I wondered why.
"Everyone was trying to express sympathy. I appreciated that, but the more they talked, the deeper I felt my loss. You came in, smiled, and said, 'It's strange for Joe to lie in a funeral home. Wouldn’t he want us to burst out in praise for God’s love?'
"Instead of crying, a song ran through my mind," she said. "Days before Joe died, I heard him singing 'His Eye Is on the Sparrow.' Just as the song says, God watches over Joe.” What had seemed insignificant to me, made a vast difference to her.
We don't have to be theologically trained or enroll in counseling classes to help. We do need to care and be sensitive to the pain.
"Don't worry about knowing what to say," I told the group. "If you focus on those who hurt, you'll make a difference."
Personal News
  • My summer plan included no travel and time at home to catch up on contracted work. I currently have three book contracts.

  • On August 22, I’ll speak at the Sugar Hill Book Club, which is on the far north side of Atlanta.

  • My first out-of-town trip will be September 23-24 to keynote and teach at the Successful Writer Conference in Tulsa. 
The Twila Zone:
Words from My Assistant, Twila Belk
During the month of July, I facilitated a discussion for The Writer's View, wrote an article titled "How to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend" for Positive Note Network, endorsed The Bipolar Experience (a book releasing in September and written by super model LeeAnn Jefferies with bestselling author Eva Marie Everson), and helped Cec with research for the important book he's writing with Mariam Ibrahim.
With many medical appointments and some not-so-fun experiences thrown in, I'm not always able to keep up with everything I normally do, but I do the best I can.
Earlier in the month, God sent a sweet message to my inbox. Hello Kindred Spirit, Couldn't find a devotional that fit until God led me to yours!  I sure don't want to miss one day---and I write like crazy on every page until there's no room for more!  Thank-you!
Words like that brighten my days in a big way. I'm grateful for those who tell me how Raindrops from Heaven has made a difference in their life and doubly grateful for those who write reviews. 
I look forward to a video chat this week with the owner and acquisitions editor of BroadStreet Pubishing. We'll talk about their vision and ideas for the new books they want me to write for them. (Yes, I'm excited!)
I just wrote an update for my Care Pages site--"Another Month and More Stories to Tell." Click on the link if you're interested in knowing what else has happened in July. If you'd like to receive occasional health updates from me, or if you'd like to read the backstory, you can access my Care Pages here. You'll need to create an account to log in.  
Gotta Tell Somebody, Inc. | 5672 Appleton Road | Bettendorf, IA 52722

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