My Name Is Sam … and Heaven Is Still Shining Through

I am so excited! My latest book – My Name Is Sam … and Heaven Is Still Shining Through – has been uploaded and is due to be released on or about July 1. The fictional memoir is an extension of the novella Heaven Shining Through.

I promised to keep you updates on the progress. It would never have come to fruition without you and your support.

I am planning a formal book launch (date to be determined) at the Thompson Free Library, Dover-Foxcroft, ME, followed by other presentations around Maine. It is my intent to live stream the event and hope you might join and share the fun.

All of you in one way or another have kept me focused, sometimes with a well-time prayer, other times with an encouraging word. I ask for your continued thoughts, words and prayers. After all, the focus of all my books have been to shine God’s light on us so we might be able to find our path to His grace.

Most of you have read my books or followed my blog. I ask you to consider reading this latest work.

Many of you have reviewed or highlighted either Heaven Shining Through or Wisdom From a Father. I ask you to consider reviewing or highlighting the new novel as well. Pre-release PDF copies are available. Just let me know at wisdomfromafather@gmail.com

Some of you have hosted public or small group presentations. I hope to do that again, focusing on New Jersey (northern and shore area in mid-July), Ohio (greater Dayton in late July), upstate New York (Finger Lakes region in early August), and anywhere else in between. I would love to talk to you about the possibilities! Just let me know at wisdomfromafather@gmail.com

To further pique your interest, I’m including a {fictional} letter penned by Samantha, which serves as an introduction to the book. Sam and I hope you enjoy it!

The morning sky is dark with rolling clouds as I sit on a boardwalk bench in Seaside Heights, NJ, just reflecting about how blessed my life has been. The waves are anxious, pounding the pristine sand in a precise, rapid rhythm. The boardwalk is empty except for a few early morning gulls and a man standing by the rail about 100 feet away. As I huddle here, I close my eyes, soaking in the sounds of the surf, the fresh, clean smell of the air, the feel of the salt air enveloping me in the gentle breeze.

Through the veil I sense the clouds suddenly open. When I open my eyes I could see the gray sky punctuated by shades of morning pink and blue with a pure white center. You can’t see the sun but know it is just behind that one puffy, thin cloud. Rays shoot out in all directions.

Immediately my thoughts dart to my early Religion class days and something my Daddy said.

Sister Mary Louise was teaching us about Noah’s Ark. She emphasized God’s love for us as symbolized in a rainbow. She told us whenever we saw a rainbow, we should say a little prayer and thank God for loving us and keeping His promises. The class created individual rainbows on craft paper. I remember mine was far from perfectly arched with the colored crayons overlapping.

But I was proud of my six year old creation and couldn’t wait to show it to Mom and Daddy. Mom politely told me it was “beautiful.” Daddy peeked at it while driving and told me I did a good job. Then he said, “We might see a rainbow” since the clouds were dark and it was raining.

We didn’t see a rainbow that day, but Daddy spotted the sun trying to peek through the clouds and pulled the old Plymouth over so we could observe. You couldn’t see the sun but knew it was just behind that one puffy, thin cloud. Rays shot out in all directions.

“Wow!” I said.

“Isn’t that amazing?” answered Dad.

“Yes, dear,” said Mom.

“Look at how it sparkles,” I added.

“Do you know what that is?” asked Dad. As I was shaking my head no, he said, “That’s heaven shining through.”

“You mean God is doing that?”

“You betcha.”

From that moment, the sun’s rays became my symbol of hope. It didn’t replace the rainbow, but supplemented it. Whenever I was challenged or feeling down, God would allow heaven to shine through to remind me of His presence. Yes, even in those days when I was trying to ignore Him, God’s light shone through.

I did have a good life. An ordinary life, yes, but good. No “ah hah!” moment, just a string of “ahs” weaving a tale of life, love, loss, some sorrow, but oh so much joy!

That is my life. I recognize some drama, some humor, some heart tugs. I know because I lived it. Just a free-willed suburban Jersey girl trying to figure out this journey called life.

So, today I lean back and continue to breathe in the salt water and feel the sun on my face, constantly reminded of God’s presence in the ordinary as He allows heaven to shine through.

Love

Sam

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes it’s a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I’ll try again tomorrow. — Mary Ann Radmacher

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About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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4 Responses to My Name Is Sam … and Heaven Is Still Shining Through

  1. Mary McClenathan says:

    Love it❤️. Looking forward to adding to my collection of your books!

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

  2. Bruce R. Matthew says:

    Hi Joe

    You mentioned Seaside Heights. When we were kids, my parents used to rent a bungalow in Ortley Beach for a week or two, and this was our summer vacation. I still remember saying: We are going down the shore. I still remember the amusement rides on the pier in Seaside Heights. I recall the Bubble Bouncer, the Scrambler, the Carousel and the pipe organ, the Fun House, and the roller coaster was called the Wild Mouse back then. I also remember when approaching the Toms River area, we would say: I can smell the ocean. The smell of salt water in the air.

    The boardwalk, salt water taffy, cotton candy, and the aroma of food cooking mixed with the salty air created it’s own atmosphere. And then there was Nathan’s Hot Dogs.

    On occasion we went to Asbury Park.also.

    So many memories from so long ago. Like Bob Hope’s theme song, thanks for the memories.

    Bruce

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