The Written Word
I always got a kick out of Solomon’s concluding remarks in Ecclesiastes. In a book filled with deep insights into life’s priorities and flowing with wisdom and poetry, he sets up his big finish by slamming the very thing he had just done – writing a book – be it a small one. The very last piece of wisdom he gives prior to proclaiming “the conclusion of the matter” being “Fear God and keep his commands,” was “Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.” (Eccl.12:12-13) I remember being tickled by that back when I was in Junior High School. You want to get a cheer or a huge “Amen” from a receptive group? Simply tell a bunch of school kids that there are too many books and spending too much time studying them will only wear you out! It still makes me want to cheer today (as I sit, surrounded by my massive library)!
Solomon is not the person you go to for encouragement to do more writing. Back in those Junior High days, when I would have cheered his insights, I never dreamed I would end up doing so much writing in my life. I’ve been writing bulletin articles, magazine articles, blogs, study guides, posts, and books and many other things for a lot of years now. While it’s not always easy or convenient to discipline yourself to write, it is very satisfying and fulfilling to produce something that you are proud of and anxious for others to read. I wrote Spilt Grape Juice nearly thirty years ago and it was published in ’91, after a couple of discouraging and slow rejections from Brotherhood publishers. I still remember hearing about it “selling like hot-cakes” at lectureships and workshops for a few years. My thesis was that worship is our life and not a hour time-slot one day a week. It was new and exciting to some, and heresy to a few. Today, it’s pretty much old stuff, and many many others have written saying the same thing. In The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren almost said word for word what I said in my book, but that’s “old stuff’ now. Still, every now and then I hear from someone or run into someone who tells me that Spilt Grape Juice changed their life and they are extremely thankful for what it did in helping form their spiritual journey. As unknown as most of my books are, and for as little marketing that I or a publisher have done with my writings, those moments of affirmation are priceless.
I’ve written several other books since then, none of which had the word of mouth sharing as that first book. Even my new Matt Zampolos novel series has been very limited in it’s spread by those who’ve read them, and I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t discouraging, but…and here’s what I’ve been getting to…I still love to write. I hope this blog has be a little bit encouraging to you if you have been it them regularly. This blog was developed to give me a way to write, teach, and encourage as many people as I can, and, as a secondary purpose, remind people to consider my books. I’d really like to try something different. I’d like to change my efforts and purpose to a totally helping format. I want to share things that will uplift and encourage anyone who is trying to grow and deal with life’s speed bumps. I’m thinking about changing from a weekly blog article to having a weekly inspiring email post that anyone could read in a couple minutes but be encouraged for days. I’m thinking about using an email format so that it literally comes to your doorstep, gives a shot in the arm, and offers things that can help us all face life’s cobwebs. I want it to be worthwhile, helpful, and shareable. I love to write and I love to help – in spite of the endless making of many books Solomon warns about!
I’ll share more about it in the near future. I plan to offer free access to some of my other books, for those who are interested. This is a heads up warning! Now, go read a book! Sometimes it’s fun and not a “weariness of the flesh” (KJV).