Saturday, March 27, 2004

Letter to My Editor

Hey, Dave!

Please give Heather a big thanks a hug for taking time off her novel to read my book. Seemed like old times reading her memo.

I still need go through both memos slowly and digest it all. But a quick read through told me you two are at your best once again and will help make this book so much better.

Here's what is happening in terms of schedule...

1. I'm on a pastors retreat all week so no writing will happen.

2. BUT I'm always thinking so I need your help to determine what I should be thinking about. Should I keep noodling on chapter 5 or focus on the stuff you guys sent me about the first 4 chapters?

3. I'm attaching the little I have for chapter 5 for you to look over. Tell me if you want me to shelve this and dive into revising the first 4.

I think the sooner I can unleash you on the first four the better. Isn't that true? So we need to talk soon. The first week of April is a bad one for me (writing wise) because I have to preach Easter and will be preparing for that.

I need your masterful wisdom to know how to proceed. I don't do well when I'm guessing and second-guessing what I should be focused on.


Monday, March 22, 2004

Request for Prayer

I won't go into all the boring details, but I wanted to ask anyone who checks into this blog to please pray for me as I write. I feel my desperate need for God's sustaining grace.

The chapter I'm working on now I thought would be easy. In some ways it's turning out to be one of the most difficult because it's purpose to define not only what makes a church a church, but what matters in a church. It's so important to be biblically precise. I'm very aware of the potential to offend. I need wisdom and insight from God.

I also need physical strength. For some reason the migraines are kicking in this week.

All that said, I know that my redeemer lives! I know that he will be faithful.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Why I Write Books

Jo Medler is a wonderful lady in my church who helps to process the email and regular mail that we get. She read about the writing challenges I've experienced and sent me the following letter:

Hi, Josh,

Sorry to read that things don't seem to be going so well. I hope Emma is doing better today and that you can all get a good rest. Do let me know if there is anything I can do to help Shannon or you.

This e-mail came in a couple of days ago and I had put it aside for you to see but I'll copy it for you now to, hopefully, give you some encouragement and remind you that the Lord is indeed using you and the books to draw people to Himself and teach them His word. He's done it through all your books and He'll certainly do it through this one as well! A young man from Northern Ireland writes:

"I recently purchased your newest book 'Not Even A Hint' after it was recommended on a Christian teen's website. I have to say that your book is truly brilliant! It has helped me immensely in my own struggle against lust. Not only that, but you have taught me a lot about my faith, particularly on the Justification/Sanctification page. Although I have been a Christian for all my life, this I had never realized or been taught this simple truth. You have inspired me and given me the help I need to leave my sins behind .... and encouraged me to read the Bible (something I had previously neglected to do)."

Continuing to pray for you.—Jo

This letter that Jo sent is a reminder of why I write books. What an incredible thing! God is working in people's lives. This gives me so much faith to press through the confusion I face in the midst of this project. Thank you, Lord!

God is Sovereign

This is a letter sent to me in response to my "woe is me" post...

Hi Joshua,
I hope you're support team gets this to you. In the midst of our plans,
schedules and deadlines God remains God. He is sovereign. While I'm sure
that this book is of God, I'm also sure that his desires extend beyond
finishing the book on time. Everything in life is a process and a lot of
times God is more interested in the process (how we respond to the highs and
lows) on the journey towards our destination than the destination itself.
So be encouraged and learn all the lessons there are to be learnt along the
way. While meeting deadlines are important, this isn't a class assignment.
Jesus said he would build his church 2000 years ago and we're still here and
he's still building. It takes time to reach perfection. So let patience
have its perfect work, so that you, the book, the church will be perfect
lacking nothing. Sister in Christ, Rhonda

I add my hearty "Amen!" Thanks, Rhonda. I appreciate the reminder.

Monday, March 15, 2004

In the Valley

Every book project has a moment when you think, "This is impossible. This is never going to happen. Everything I've written completely stinks."

I am in that moment. I'm in the valley and I need faith.

The kids have been sick for the last week. We had to take Emma to the emergency room tonight. I'm a week behind schedule. I did a rough of chapter 4 that wasn't quite right. I'm torn between trying to fix it and moving on to chapter 5.

I can do nothing apart from the power of Almighty God working in me. If there were no health problems and I wasn't behind could I trust in myself? No. I have to trust Him. I have to believe his promises.

Somehow this book will get written.

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