The school newspaper from my eighth grade graduation lists the career objectives of the Oriole Park Class of ’72. I listed journalism. Honestly, I didn’t know what to put down. Though I knew by that time that God wanted me to be a pastor, I desperately didn’t want anybody else to know. I also knew that I loved writing and figured journalism would be a respectable choice.
God has led me down different paths, but I’ve never lost the desire to write. In fact, isn’t blogging journalism of a sort? Online journal-ing?
A friend from my church, author Dave Meurer, dragged me to last year’s Mt. Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference. He suggested it as the best way to forge the relationships it would take to get a book published.
God used that conference to not only fire me up as a writer, but also to fulfill one of my lifelong dreams. This month I will sign my first book contract with a major publisher, and I couldn’t be more excited.
The publisher, Lion Hudson (headquartered in Great Britain), publishes throughout the English-speaking world. Click here to see some of the other authors they’ve published. I’m in really good company. The scheduled date for publication is March, 2009. My deadline for completing the manuscript is March 31, 2008.
I just pray the publishers don’t wake up one morning and realize what an awful mistake they’ve made, and that they really meant to publish someone else’s book, but sent me the contract instead.
The book itself will be about the Inner Mess–that’s “flesh” to most of us. That carnal streak that messes up our lives. There are several working titles including How to Stop your Inner Mess from Trashing Your Outer World. Long, I know. But at least you get the idea of the book.
If you’d like to be notified when the book comes out, please sign up for my WISEGUYS! Newsletter, and you’ll be first to know (click the wiseguy on the top, right). Oh… yes, WISEGUYS! will be published soon. I’ve been swamped lately, and you now know one reason why.
I’ve also prepared a second book proposal called Living Large with Other People’s Craziness. It’s based on Esther, and once I’ve completed the contract with Lion-Hudson, my agent, Janet Kobobel Grant, will begin shopping around that proposal to various publishers, beginning with Lion-Hudson.
To me, writing is means to an end. The end is “that I might testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Ac 20:24). I write for the same reason I preach: to color the church’s worldview with the all-sufficient grace of God.
Some other developments…
- Next month, Focus on the Family magazine will publish an article I wrote called “Who’s Got the Love Monkey?” I’ve been told they have 2,000,000 readers. Yikes!
- Each month I contribute 4-6 brief daily devotionals to a men’s magazine called Stand Firm. 80-100,000 readers.
Yeah, it’s fun to see what God is doing, and it’s fun to toot my own horn. But I am what I am by the grace of God. Thank you for your encouragement. Please pray that I would complete and turn in a top-quality manuscript by the deadline. Please pray for enthusiasm about the Other People’s Craziness book. Please pray for strength to balance family, church, teaching (Simpson University) and writing. So far, so God.
Thank you so much for praying and encouraging me in these directions.
- ““But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24, NKJV.
- “But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31, NKJV.
- “Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness [hesed], judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the LORD.” Jeremiah 9:23, 24, NKJV.
Oh yeah… if you heard of the storms that blew through northern CA, know that they blew down our region’s power lines. We had no electricity for 2 days (meaning no water or heat) on Friday and Saturday night. These 2 weeks have been really rough. Oh, James, the Throat Coat worked and I managed to speak all four services last weekend. Thanks for the suggestion.