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Why Writing "Better Off Without Jesus" Was So Different For Me

This is my 6th book and yet I feel like it's my first.  I remember when my first book came out.  I was both nervous and excited.  I also had some insecurity about it.  I wondered if people would like it or if it would actually do as well as Zondervan thought it would.  Each book that followed my excitement was always there, but I became less nervous with each release and my insecurities subsided too.  But all the feelings from my first book are back - and even more intense.  I'm more excited, a bit more nervous and even more insecure in ways.

I am very excited because I really believe this book can be a tremendous help for people and especially for those of us that struggle to clearly hear God's direction for our lives.  For those of us that wonder how, in fact, can we know when God is speaking and when He is not.  But I'm nervous and insecure for entirely different reasons than I've been with any of my prior books.  Here are at 3 reasons why:

  1. I'm writing from a different perspective.  With my other books I was kind of the "expert" guy (as others call me).  I gave advice from my experience, but it was mostly ministry experience.  This book is very, very different.  It's personal.  I'm not writing as the "college ministry expert" but as a guy who, like others, just wants to do what God wants and is seeking to figure out what He is saying...and what He is not.  Trying to decipher and recognize His voice.
  2. I talk about my sin, a lot.  I am very open about my own sin(s) in this book, which is partially why insecurity creeps in.  I guess that would be somewhat normal.  One of the endorsers (I will post those soon) worded it as "vulnerable."  I shared all this because I hope those that read it can learn from my mistakes and tendencies.  My prayer is that others will get a clear picture of my issues and therefore be able to more accurately recognize them within themselves...and better understand how they distort the voice of God in their lives.
  3. I open some "wounds" in this book.  The story threaded through the book is my own and is centered on the hardest time in my entire life - no question.  I have not talked about this publicly much at all....and now it's all in print.  I write about things like me resigning from a ministry position and not being able to tell people the reasons why, the turmoil of going through an FBI investigation and tensions in relationships with people I love deeply.  This is all part of the story God has given me and I am honestly thankful for it.  But "going public" with such deep issues is a bit nerve racking for me. 
All that said, I'm excited for people to read it.  Why?  Well, I genuinely think it will be helpful.  The book releases August 7, but if you would like to pre-order it so it ships on that date, click here.


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