Friday, November 18, 2011

Guest Blogger: Don Jacobson

I'm honored to host guest blogger Don Jacobson today. Don is my first (and hopefully not my last!) guest blogger.  Don has twenty-five years of experience in the publishing industry, including being the president of Multnomah Publishers. He oversaw the production of more than one thousand titles and has worked with best-selling authors such as Randy Alcorn, Joni Erickson Tada, Henry Blackaby, Robin Jones Gunn, Karen Kingsbury, Andy Stanley, Burce Wilkinson, and James Dobson. Please help me welcome Don to iblog4books . . . and be sure to stay until the end for a fun announcement!

These days I meet a lot of discouraged people. Times are tough. You probably know folks in your inner circle, as I do, facing struggles like unemployment, debt, medical concerns, lack of access to education, military deployment of loved ones, divorce, anxiety, depression...the list goes on and on. Maybe you’re facing some of those lemons too.

I was swapping stories with some friends and we were talking about times when we felt burned out, frustrated, and alone. Then a funny thing happened: our conversation switched to stories about the remarkable things that have happened in our times of great need—the perfect job at just the right time, an anonymous donation, reconciliation with a loved one. I was so encouraged. Sometimes it’s when we think life can’t get any more sour that something sweet surprises us with hope.

Even when we can’t physically fix the problems in our friends’ lives—and if we can, we should!—we can always give each other the gift of encouraging stories. You may not be able to help pay your friend’s medical bills or provide a job, but you can talk about the times in your life when you unexpectedly discovered hope.

I call those lemonade stories, and I recently created a book project called God Makes Lemonade to share hope across America. I’ve read hundreds of true stories about everyday folks who are surprised by unexpected sweetness in the midst of sour circumstances…and more stories are arriving on my desk every day.

As a result of God Makes Lemonade, we’re spreading hope by supporting a better quality of life for single moms and their children too. When my wife and I were talking about a worthy cause where we could send the royalties from the book, nothing made sense to us like giving those royalties toward supporting single moms. They endure more stress and heartache than most of us can imagine—I really believe single moms and their children are the widows and orphans of our day and I love being able to support them in this way.

If you need some encouragement or if you know someone else who does, take some time today to think about your story. When were you afraid things would never work out? When were you surprised by hope? Do you have a lemonade story? Share it. There are millions of people out there who need hope and inspiration.

Don Jacobson is the creator of Lemonade Books, a series of books that tell true stories about everyday folks discovering something sweet amidst sour circumstances. He’d love to hear your story and he pays for stories approved to be published in future books. Find out how to purchase a copy of God Makes Lemonade or submit your story at their website. Also, follow God Makes Lemonade on Facebook and Twitter.

Giveaway Details!
Don and the folks over at God Makes Lemonade are so excited about their new book that they are allowing me to give away two copies! In order to enter, comment on this post and tell me the first name (only!) of someone you know who could use the encouragement of hearing some lemonade stories. If I choose your name, I will send a copy to you AND to the person you mentioned in your post. Sound like a good deal?!

The giveaway will continue through 11:59pm on Wednesday, November 23. I can only ship to U.S. addresses, so sorry to all my international friends! Make sure to leave an email address in your comment so I can get in touch with you. One winner (and his/her friend) will be randomly selected after the period to enter is over.

UPDATE on 11/20/2011: I heard today that there may be some issues with the comment function on this post. I've checked the comment settings and things seem to be in order. If you have trouble leaving a comment, email me at iblog4books (at) gmail [dot] com and I'll take your entry that way. Sorry for any inconvenience!


  1. I am glad to hear about this encouraging book which will bring hope to people in the midst of struggles.

    I actually have two friends who could use some lemonade about now, so if I should be the winner of the two books, I will give one to a friend to start with (Melissa) and then I will share the second Lemondade with my other friend (Karen). jsmithg@hotmail(dot)com

    P. S. Chick-fil-A comes in second after God in making the best lemonade.

  2. In the life as I know it, God's enemy is attacking from all angles. Being a very small group that assembles to Worship and study through the week, sometimes it seems like we are losing the battle.

    I have a friend who is just 24 years old. The mother of four, the youngest being 11 months old in two days. That baby has had more medical problems in his young age than I have at 55. Jamie, the mom, not only strives to keep the older three kids busy, learning about the Lord, and walking in obedience but she works hard at honoring a discouraged and frustrated husband who wants to do the best he can for his family. Not only does Jamie try to keep her own family going but is constantly trying to help others in distress at the same time. She is discouraged a lot but continues to try to do what the Lord wants her to do. I'm sure she would love to have encouraging words from others experiences. To know God works His miracles in the midst of hard things is a great thing to hear.
    cepjwms (at) wb4me (dot) com

  3. This is from Lori who had trouble posting:

    I have a sister and a friend who could both use some encouragement and I will share my copy with my sister and my friend's name is Betty.


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