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Getting to Know...

Rebecca Montie Preston

Website

Gardens of the Soul is one of my Facebook pages where I create meme’s with references to anything from my readings or Bible verses that speak to me.  Often, I post what I’ve written on there.

I also blog about Spiritual Formation at Harvest House Counseling

Published Work

A contributor to the G&S devotional, 30 Days of Grace.

Books to be Published

Not yet. 🙂

Favorite Non-Profit

CrossNet Ministries

This ministry began as a Youth Center in a small town in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but has grown to become an extensive social services network. One doesn’t think of poverty in a small town in the middle of Amish Country and America’s breadbasket, but the needs are great and reflect much of what is going on in the world. The churches, schools, and local government in the town are all working together with CrossNet Ministries to meet the needs of the underprivileged. And my bias is skewed, because my daughter is the Director of the ministry.

Favorite Author

Right now, I’m reading Eugene Peterson for the first time and love his style and spirit.

For stretching and re-setting my mind, I read Dallas Willard.

For fiction, I love Diana Gabaldon.

Favorite Movie

Personal Questions

Tell us about yourself - your family, marital status, your background... the basics.

My family:  Husband of 39 years - the big party is in 11 years.

Son, married with three daughters and one son.

Daughter, married with three sons.

Grandson, married with a baby girl on the way.

One needy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Two cats, one scary, one scared.

Several fish, which I’m trying to protect from the Pterodactyl that flies in every spring to raid the pond. (It’s actually a Blue Heron.)

My background: I returned to school in my 40’s after raising my kids and got a MA from seminary. I’ve been trained in Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Direction, and am currently following a leading into Chaplaincy.

Where is your favorite vacation spot? Why?

I love the northern section of the Outer Banks in North Carolina. The beaches are not crowded, and the waves are fierce, but wonderful for boogie boarding. I also really loved Scotland. It’s beautiful in a wild, untamed way.

What is your #1 bucket list dream?

While I’ve been up and down the entire east coast and ventured to some parts of the upper Midwest, I’ve never been to the west, other than California and a onetime visit to Denver. I’d like to take a road trip to see the Grand Canyon, some of the desert National Parks and Glacier National Park. Maybe it’ll take a couple of road trips.

Tell the readers one thing you would like them to know about you and/or your writing.

What I most want to share when I write is the love of God for us, despite our perceived failures, failings, and the “shoulds” we and others put on us. I don’t believe God does that to us. He is delighted with us and wants us to understand we are “the apple of his eye” and he “holds us in the palm of his hand”. Everything he does is in our best interest. My desire is to show my struggle with believing this and my journey through it, because I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.

What would you want your 5-word epitaph to be?

Four words:  "She laughed, often inappropriately"

Faith Questions

Briefly, tell us about your decision to become a believer - where, when, how?

As a child, I was very conscious of God’s presence in my life.  When I became a teenager, I wanted nothing to do with him.  Then I was introduced to Jesus through the ministry of Campus Life (Youth for Christ). God reconciled all I had learned as a child into an understanding of who Jesus was, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. From then on, it has been an adventure of following him through hills, valleys, swamps, deserts, blizzards, flooding, teenagers…

What is your favorite story from the Bible, the one that inspires, moves you?

Mark 9:14-29

A father has taken his son to be healed by the disciples, but they couldn’t do it. When Jesus shows up, the man asks him to heal his son, if he can. The man is desperate, and wants to be someone who believes, but in all honesty asks, “Help me in my unbelief.”

This father is all of us. We want to believe, but know that we harbor unbelief, doubts, and fears.

Later in the story, the disciples ask Jesus why they couldn’t heal the boy. And Jesus says: this can only be done through prayer.

Lots of nuggets to chew on in this narrative!

Do you have a life's bible verse? If so, what is it?

Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It expresses to me hope and God’s power over everything from our circumstances to outside forces.

If you could have a long, leisurely dinner with a person from the Bible, who would it be and why? What would you talk about?

Paul the Apostle. Just to get his perspective on his writings and his thoughts on a variety of subjects, especially, if he is fully aware of our culture differences. How would he apply what he wrote to our time? What kind of person is he really? Would I like him? Does he really hate women?

If you could pick one thing you deeply want the readers to know about God, what would it be?

If we believe in God, then we are already in the Kingdom of Heaven. In the gospels, Jesus talks about this all the time. Now our job is to learn how to live as citizens of Heaven both on this earth, where Peter calls us ‘strangers’, and when we cross the bridge where the unseen becomes seen. The best way to live as citizens of Heaven is to begin practicing to become like Jesus. It’s a journey we take up voluntarily, but it reflects where our hearts are. And we are not alone on this journey, Jesus promised he would be with us always.

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