I have some friends who are about ready to slap me upside the head because - well - I haven't taken, in their opinion, the time to pause. To reflect. To celebrate. And to shout to the heavens about me being in not one book...but three.
And actually, there's more to come, but here's what I can go ahead and tell:
Back in November of 2011, I was published in the anthology series The Myth of Mr. Mom: Real Stories By Real Stay-at-Home Dads. And the book has been kicking butt in sales in both Kindle and paperback since publication...yeah. I'm a proud poppa.
What makes this so special to me is that this was not only the first time I had submitted something for possible publication (and it was accepted - thus, was the watermark set INSANELY high), but it is a book about me. My family. My passion. And on a number of levels, the acclaim and support it has received validates my choice to stay home with Kai.
Also, because Jeremy (the editor), in a fit of insanity, has me as the lead-out author in the book, when you read a sample chapter online at one of the major retailers, mine is the chapter that is offered for people to read. Somehow, after reading it, people still opt to buy copies. What a strange world we live in.
Armed with a "hey, I can do this writing thing" mentality, I opted to submit two more chapters to two separate publications - and they were both accepted. And they will be published by the year's end.
First off is Not Afraid: Stories of Finding Significance, coming soon from Civitas Press. Not Afraid explores stories of people who have overcome fears and found their significance in the process.
Fear binds us up. It keeps us from fully immersing ourselves in our relationships, in our professions, in our faith and in our lives. It tells us that we are not good enough, that we will be rejected, that we will fail. When we listen to these fears, we lose our sense of our value and significance.
What is both hilarious and ironic is that my chapter in this book is quite possibly one of the most frightening things I have ever written. "Unfit" (the title of my chapter) is such a personal, revealing and soul-exposing essay that I still can't believe on some levels that I wrote it. Alise (the editor) has become a fast friend and trusted confidant. And she's a Doctor Who fan. So, win-win.
And my final (...book...) for the year is Finding Church, coming soon from Civitas Press. Finding Church explores stories of people and their relation to church. The church is currently experiencing seismic shifts in how people think of church and get involved with church.
On the one hand, the number of mega churches in existence continues to increase every year. People are returning to church who have not attended in years, and more often than not, when they return to church, it is to a mega church where they get the best sermons, the best music, and the best programming. In a culture where excellence is required, mega churches are often seeing substantial increases in size and influence.
But at the same time, millions of people “leave church” every year. This is not because they are abandoning God, ignoring Scripture, or giving up on Jesus. While a few do leave for such reasons, the vast majority report that they leave church to better follow Jesus, obey God, and live out their faith in meaningful and relational ways. They stop attending church to pursue something more intimate and personal.
Behind each and every person who has returned to church or stopped attending church, there is a story filled with doubt, fear, and judgment, as well as faith, freedom, and redemption. And though millions of people have similar stories, many feel alone on their journey back to or away from church. It also does not help that those people who are returning to church often condemn and criticize those who are leaving, and those who are leaving sometimes judge and denounce those who return.
My chapter - "The Red Truck Contingency Plan" - is probably going to make a few people I know and have served in church with before raise an eyebrow or two, because while it doesn't paint anyone in a negative light, it is honest. Brutally honest. Jeremy (the editor) managed to take my chapter and help me edit it into a story that is both personal in nature and universal in application.
So...keep your eyes peeled for more news to come. And for more hyperlinks so you can buy the darn things when they go on sale.