Deborah Howard, RN, CHPN (Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse), and her husband, Theron, live near Little Rock, Arkansas, where she divides her time between writing, lecturing and working as a nurse. Though she has worked in various nursing fields, it was when she found hospice care that she discovered her nursing passion. She views her work with hospice as a personal ministry. Deborah is a versatile musician and an avid tennis player. She enjoys music, art, reading, decorating, movies, word games, cooking and spending time with friends and family. She is a member of the Bible Church of Little Rock and treasures her time in the study of God's word, both corporately and personally.
A Word from the Author:
“Sunsets" began as a labor of love, an attempt to help people deal with the difficult issues surrounding the end of life. I wanted to put this information into the maximum number of hands because, well, death will affect each one of us. This topic is relevant to everyone! Though I wrote it within the specific confines of the subject of death and dying, the content of this book can easily be applied to any event that threatens to break your heart. This book is for all who have asked themselves, ‘Where is God in all of this?’ or ‘What did I do to deserve this?’ But it is also for those who want to discover ways to comfort and help a loved one who is experiencing this lonesome journey. It is for those who find comfort in the promises of God.
The organization of Sunsets serves as the framework of the book. Each chapter begins with a fictional account of a man diagnosed with cancer in Chapter 1. In subsequent chapters, he’s a little further progressed in his illness, dealing with specific issues that pertain to the theme of the chapter. Each chapter also includes a Case Study. The Case Studies are all true stories. All the names have been changed to protect patient confidentiality with the exception of the study in Chapter 4. (I used real names in that one at the family's request.) In the body of the book, the reader will find both spiritual food for thought, and practical information regarding the physical and nursing implications of the dying process.
I love this book, not just because I wrote it but because of the truth it contains. My brother, John, was diagnosed with cancer about the time I was working on my final rewrite. His illness caught my family by surprise. As I worked through the book, I found it ministering to my own heart, reminding me of the precious truths that kept me from despair. No, it didn't stop the heartbreak over John’s illness and death, but it refreshed my spirit as it saturated my mind with the promises God gave us in the Bible. It became a salve for my own bruised heart and served to strengthen my belief that these truths do serve to comfort the hurting. From the comments I’ve received from readers all over the country, God seems to be working through the humble vessel of Sunsets: Reflections for Life’s Final Journey. If you’re one of those who are suffering loss, may you find comfort and restoration in this book and may it point you toward our Savior, Jesus Christ. This book was released in February 2005 by Crossway Books.
It's Not Fair!
This book was co-authored with Dr. Wayne Mack. I consider it an honor and a privilege to have worked with him on this important book. It is designed to come alongside the sufferer who thinks he/she is not getting a fair shake from God. That's a painful place to be. So what can we do to comfort these people? A big, friendly, warm group hug? No, that only feels good for as long as the hug lasts. What actually meets people where they are and moves them beyond the pain into a greater spiritual maturity is meditating upon the attributes of God. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, we can rise from our hopelessness by turning our tortured minds from our own misery to the utter faithfulness and reliability of God, as well as considering His attributes, and find our hope in HIM once more. This book was released in October 2008 by P&R Publishing.
Where is God in All of This?
I received several requests to make Chapter 6 of Sunsets into a stand-alone book. So I rewrote the chapter and expanded the material to form Where is God in All of This? It takes a theological look at some of the purposes of suffering. God uses suffering to mold us into who He wants us to be. It always has at least two outcomes -- ultimate good to us and glory to Him. Where is God in All of This? is designed to help those who find themselves asking this painful question. I pray it will point you to the source of all comfort -- the Lord Jesus Christ. This book was released in April 2009 by P&R Publishing.
Help! Someone I Love Has Cancer!
This booklet is part of the Living in a Fallen World series. The series focuses upon life crises and every one of them starts with "Help!" This is a good book to read if you or a loved one has just received the diagnosis of cancer and want to learn the basics of what you're dealing with. It's not a detailed textbook about cancer, but more like a primer-- providing facts about what cancer is and how it spreads, as well as treatment options (including hospice). It's a practical book, serving to point readers to God, urging their focus to be fixed upon Him as the true Source of every cure, every blessing. This book comes alongside those who are hurting, afraid and confused and helps them see that, even through the tough times, we can trust in the One Who cannot make mistakes. This book was released in Fall 2010 by Day One Publishing.
Help! Someone I Love Has Alzheimer's
Just released! Like the cancer booklet published last, this one is short and very sweet! It is my prayer that it will be of help and comfort to those struggling to care for someone with any kind of dementia. This can be one of the most frustrating, difficult conditions of all -- not just for the sufferers but for those who love them! This little booklet contains the kind of comfort only the word of God can bring as well as practical suggestions for how to make this experience more peaceful and less stressful. One of my dearest friends, Judy Howe, wrote this book with me so it is very special to me. Released in February 2012 by Day One Publishing.
Help! I'm So Lonely
Soon to be released. Part of the same Living in a Fallen World Series. This book comes alongside those hurting from the pain of loneliness. With the support and comfort only the Bible can provide, I pray it can serve to improve those who feel this kind of loneliness. There are several kinds of loneliness, but I've chosen to focus primarily on the loneliness resulting from losing a loved one to divorce or death. The suggestions and advice can be applied to other types of loneliness, as well. I believe this book will be coming out sometime in 2014.
What's going on now?
My current project is a book called, A Quiet Confidence. It is a book for Christians fighting their tendency to worry. It takes 12 of the most comforting passages in the Bible, and through them reminds people of the goodness of God, His faithfulness, His lovingkindness and His sovereignty over all things. This book is designed to serve the reader as a calming, soothing breath of fresh air, in which they find room to breathe again, unemcumbered by the weight of sometimes paralyzing fear.
My first novel, As Snow Before a Summer Sun, is about Cordelia Lawson, the wife of a captain on a frontier fort in 1868. Drama and intrigue follow her wherever she goes as one of the only Indian sympathizers in a world with an unspoken policy of extermination. General George Custer is one of the primary characters in this historically accurate tale and adds his own brand of spice to the swirling plots as Cordelia makes her way through the foreign world of post Civil War military life, the traditions of the Cheyenne, and Cordelia's own love story with her husband, Robert.
As soon as I've found a publisher for these projects, I'll let you know. Until then, the search continues!
A new development has happened, as well. I have agreed to edit/ghost another book by Dr. Wayne Mack. This one is on Christian Life Issues found in the beloved, Pilgrim's Progress. Work on that will be ongoing for the next year or so, but your prayers are appreciated as we undertake this enormous project to illumine Bunyan's timeless words.
I have just returned from the 2013 CLASSeminar Christian Writer's Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I cannot tell you how encouraging it was for me! The classes taken, the people I met, and the priceless encouragement I received were worth every penny of the enrollment fee. Though I've been to several conferences in the past, this is the best one by far!
My lectures and presentations are an outreach of my personal ministry to comfort the hurting. I speak on a variety of subjects, including Preparing for Approaching Death, Where is God in All This Suffering?, The Purposes of Suffering, Comfort & Compassion, Handling Adversity with a Godly Attitude, Pushing Through Depression, God's Answers to Our Perception of Unfairness, Dealing with Cancer/Alzheimer's or any of the other topics covered in Sunsets, Where is God in All of This?, It's Not Fair!, Help! Someone I Love has Cancer, Help! Someone I Love has Alzheimer's, or Help! I'm So Lonely. I use humor as much as possible to punctuate such heavy topics with hope and balance. Contact me if you believe your group or event could benefit from this lecture ministry.
You may contact me at: email@example.com or write to me at 7306 Terry Lynn Drive, Benton, AR 72019. I assure you I'll read and consider every comment. Sunsets, Where is God in All of This?, It's Not Fair! or Help! Someone I Love has Cancer! and Help! Someone I Love has Alzheimer's can be purchased at any major retail or online bookstore or Christian bookstore:
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