Naturally, ten years marks a significant milestone for any endeavor. Over these many years, I have been dumfounded at the amount of feedback I have received with regard to my website. This has included literally hundreds of responses from all over the world. While some of this has been negative and even critical, the vast majority has been quite positive and affirming.
Part of my purpose in undertaking the discipline of producing semiweekly blog posts to begin with was to prepare myself for one day becoming a writer. That day has now come.
As some of you may know, I will be retiring from my position as Senior Pastor in a local Baptist church this coming March. I surrendered to the ministry when I was 17 years of age, preached my first sermon when I was 18, was licensed to the ministry at age 20, and began working on staff in a local church at age 21. I have since been in the pastoral ministry for over 40 years. Along the way, I have written and delivered more than 3000 sermons.
Now, however, I am transitioning to a different form of ministry. I have been sensing the Lord’s leadership for some time to become a writer. To this end, I have been preparing myself for the day when the Lord would bring this about. The time has finally come for me to begin this new chapter in my life and ministry. My wife and I earnestly covet your prayers for both of us as we undertake this significant life transition.
For my part, I have ideas for close to two dozen books. The Lord willing, these will include books of devotions, works on ministry and leadership, and sermonic and illustrative materials. Above all, however, I feel led to pursue writing fiction. My conviction is that the vast majority of Americans simply do not attend church.
Thus, they never hear the sermons so many of Pastors write and deliver, no matter how faithfully we do so. Yet, many of these same people do read novels; and they certainly watch movies.
There is no greater proof of this than the fact that virtually everyone is aware of a certain fedora wearing, bull-whip carrying, and wise-cracking fictional archaeologist who bears the name of a specific Midwestern U.S. state. His globe-trotting adventures have brought to the attention of film goers everywhere a hitherto largely unknown and misunderstood biblical artifact known as the Ark of the Covenant. Hence, the power of cinema both to inform and educate people.
Sadly, however, much of the world’s current theological perspectives suffer from confusion for pretty much the same reason. The same fictional archaeologist referenced above has also discovered sacred Hindu lingam stones, extraterrestrial crystal skulls, and even the famed but fictional Holy Grail. Along the way, each of these have been given every bit as much credence as the historical Ark of the Covenant.
Moreover, additional fictional works on secret societies and codes peopled by no less than the likes of Leonardo da Vinci have now sold hundreds of millions of copies each upon their publication.
While making for entertaining reading, such novels do little to advance truly historic Christian perspectives. Hence, my own desire to write fiction, and to do so in a way that is redemptive in that it not only entertains but also confronts people with the reality of the claims found within Christian scriptures.
To this end, I currently have several novels underway. Some are these, admittedly, are designed more to entertain the reader. But others are designed to challenge and confront the reader with the authentic claims of God’s Word. In effect, my sincere hope is that the Lord is about to give me the opportunity to speak to a much larger congregation than any I have in the past. When He does, I hope to be found faithful to speak a word on His behalf.
What does all of this mean for my website? The short answer is not much, at least not in the near future. I plan to keep my website up and running and write on! Thus, I will certainly keep blogging for the foreseeable future. Thereafter, we will see what the Lord has in store.
In the meantime, thank you to those of you who faithfully log on and read my material. I trust it has been as much of a blessing for you to receive as it has been for me to deliver.