The last book I released was my first book, #TheWalk in 2014. I had no intentions of it being my one and only, but sometimes life puts you on standby. I did contribute to a devotional in 2016. I have been writing, I just haven’t been finishing.
The release of book #1 was exciting but I didn’t anticipate what happened next. I had heard of it, but never truly experienced it. Runners call it “the wall.” Nerds call it “writer’s block.”
I have never run far enough to make it to the wall. I give up before I get tired. Honestly, I just hate running. Carrying too much fat will keep you out of any danger of going too far.
I can tell you, writer’s block is a very real thing. Whatever it is or isn’t, it will serve as my excuse for 2015. My computer contains the partial manuscripts of now three other books I started and hated. It also contains numerous blog posts that seemed more like meandering rather than anything of substance with meaning. Writer’s block is your brain hitting the wall. I think it is you being trapped in the last thing you did. I wrote #TheWalk, then I couldn’t leave it. I found myself writing #TheWalk only using different words and topics; if that makes any sense.
2016 was an emotional, physical, and spiritual drain. Emotionally I shed a lot of tears. For the families in our church it seemed like one devastating loss after another. We buried a lot of very loved people in what seemed to be a dark year. In some seasons you don’t need to write, you just need to cry with people; and cry we did.
Physically I was leading a growing church, teaching a class, and serving as chaplain for a football team. Each of them wonderful experiences, but I just couldn’t keep up.
Spiritually, 2016 was a walk in the wilderness. I’ve been there before. I’m not sure why those jaunts into the dry are necessary, but God does seem have a purpose for you in them. It’s the place where you’re not quite sure what God is doing because it seems like nothing productive is happening. You’re just stuck. I’ve counseled people in that place before so I took my own advice to just keep reading, praying, and doing. The oasis is out there, somewhere. Sometimes you find it. Sometimes it finds you.
At the very least take courage, four remarkable men in the Bible had long walks in the wilderness: Moses, David, Jesus, and Paul. You’re in good company.
In the midst of the emotional, physical, and spiritual; I wanted to write, I just couldn’t.
Good news, I’m back - I think.
With some staff reorganization, emotional rest, spiritual refreshment and some web help (kudos Bridgette!) I have tried to tame life and get back to the place where I can create content. So here is what I want to do.
1 - I want to tell you what I’m doing so that you will hold me accountable to finish it.
2 - I want to tell you what I’m doing so that I will feel the internal pressure of getting it done.
3 - I want to see who may be out there willing to help me.
4 - I want to give us all something to which we can look forward with anticipation and excitement.
The current project is a book about David that is emerging in two, possibly three versions. In 2005 I had a vision for this book as I preached a series of sermons and was impacted deeply by the content that came of it. This was one of the few series of sermons we did not publish on audio because I wanted to write it before everyone heard it, but it never happened.
As a monument to intentions without execution, last week my amazing wife produced the cassette tapes of these sermons. For those of you born later than about 1993, if you ever get your hands on one of those things DO NOT put it in anything until you search YouTube for an instructional video on just what to do with it.
David revisited has come on the occasion of my chaplaincy with the Christian Heritage School football team. As part of our pre-game I took our team through the life of David and talked about 12 characteristics of a man after God’s own heart. The first printing of the book will be a personal version I plan to give to the team that is born from those chapel talks. My goal is to get this printing completed by graduation.
That said, I see a potential version that could be tailored into a devotional for student athletes. That’s where I need some help. Perhaps there are some coaches, FCA leaders, or student pastors out there who would like to massage that message into something that would impact some athletes. If so, let me know, I would love to talk with you.
The final version of the book will be a printing for a more general Christian audience. I am currently reworking this material as I am preaching through it with Liberty. I am encouraged by the content that is coming from this and from the comments people are making on Sundays. Perhaps this version will be ready by early fall.
As that version nears completion I would love to gather a team of people who may be interested in creating discussion material for small groups and sermon guides for pastors. FeelMyFaith.com needs a few more fingers!
So that’s the update. Pray. Encourage. Help me if you can!
Before you go, leave me some ideas. Maybe there are some good things online, perhaps some apps or some services for writers/authors of which I am not aware. Please share them with me.
I would love it if you would leave a prayer. My experience with #TheWalk was supernatural as I had a group of people praying for me as I wrote the manuscript. I penned over 170 pages for the rough draft in 4 days. It just flowed! This one is happening more slowly, but the good news is - it is coming and I want the Lord’s guidance as it does.
Perhaps if enough of you leave a prayer in the comments, I would like to include them in an after material type section of the book. Thanks for reading, supporting, praying and helping! I look forward to hearing from you.