Beliefnet
Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

Close encounters of the heavenly kind. Texas homemaker-turned-lay minister and author Jennifer Wilder Morgan debut novel Come to the Garden focuses on how sharing divine encounters can draw people closer to God.

Inspired by her ministry at Methodist Hospital in Houston, Morgan believes that sharing how God shows Himself can lead to healing and deeper faith as we share our experiences and in turn, actively listen to each other.

Right before her 50th birthday, Morgan felt called by God to write about how He has been speaking to her throughout her life, mostly through dreams.

“I never planned on writing a book,” says Morgan, “but when I started thinking about it, I realized that God has been speaking to me, but I always kept my dreams to myself. I didn’t want people to think I was strange.”

As Morgan began to consider what it would look like to put her real-life accounts on paper, she felt as if God told her to use a fictional angel, “Margaret,” to help her share her experiences with readers. Throughout the book in powerful conversations, Margaret helps her recognize how God has been connecting with her from the beginning of her childhood to the present. Morgan says prayer and listening to others speak about their divine encounters encouraged her to embrace the truth of her own experiences and share her journey with others.

“I began to realize that others were having the same or similar experiences and encounters with the Divine as I was,” she says. “The stories they shared with me validated and reinforced my own encounters.

I also saw the healing that comes as people share their stories with an accepting listener. It allows them to embrace what they’ve experienced—stories they might have been afraid to talk about. I knew that I, too, had to share my experiences in this book—encounters that I believe draw people closer to the heart of a personal God who wants to be known.”

The inspirational book will hit shelves nationwide on Feb. 23, 2016 through Howard Books (a division of Simon & Schuster).

In conjunction with the release, Audible will issue a special audio version of the book produced by Eakin Films & Publishing and narrated by Today Show host Kathie Lee Gifford.

 “Jennifer has written an amazing and beautiful book…where she introduces us to a lovely angel named ‘Margaret’ who creates a special and safe place for people to come and tell their stories,” says Gifford. “Margaret is the perfect vehicle to guide us through this Garden. She’s so lovable and I enjoyed voicing her because she’s not a fairy godmother, she is very much God’s creation…an angel that has been with us during our journey and loves us very much.”

Next April, Morgan will host a unique 3D stage event as part of the book launch called 3D Angel in the Garden which will be shown in theaters nationwide.

John W. Kennedy is a writer/development consultant specializing in teleplays, screenplays and novelizations. He can be reached at john@jwkmedia.com.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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