I signed a contract today with Zondervan to write two books and thus, my literary journey has officially begun. Today was the culmination of a lot of prayer and waiting. Almost three years ago, people began to encourage me to write, mostly because I was the pastor of a large church and it seemed like the logical next step. However, I never felt right about writing just for the sake of writing. So I waited and prayed.
When the shooting happened on our campus five months after I became the pastor at New Life, the offers to write only increased, but I still felt no peace when I prayed about a book. So I waited and prayed some more.
Looking back, I know now why I was led to wait. The book I am writing is a reflection of the last three years – my journey to New Life, the shooting and the great pain we experienced as a fellowship, what we learned about each other and about God. It is a story of a miracle. It is the story of an amazing group of people who trusted God in the darkest days and decided to worship, pray and love one another.
I believe this book will help anyone who has ended up in the “valley of the shadow of death” but does not want to live there forever. It will help parents who have lost a child, the single mom who has lost a mate, the middle-aged man who is starting over after bankruptcy, the student who is trying make sense of life and anyone who is wondering where God is in the midst of suffering. I am praying that God will use the story of New Life to encourage others that there is often beneficial rain in even the most severe storms of life.
The working title of the book is “Everyone Overcome” which is from the song, “Overcome”. This song was the anthem of our church during our darkest days and was the song we sang at the end of Wednesday night family meeting following the tragic shooting on the previous Sunday. My book should be released sometimes in the Spring of 2011.