I wrote this post on Christmas Eve 2010; the day we turned the manuscript of More Than Ordinary over to the capable hands of our editor Sue Kline and our friends at NavPress. As printing begins and excitement about getting the book into your hands continues to build, I wanted to share it again. And come on, how many of you were reading blogs on Christmas Eve? So, here it is: the story of the book again…for the very first time.
Around two years ago, Kyle and I met Doug and Jan Sherman at a dinner at the Harris home. It didn’t take us long to discover that we had similar passions and life callings to honor God as holy, transcendent, and worthy of our friendship; to know Him as a Father and a friend. We realized we shared a conviction that spiritual parenting is an essential part of the way Jesus intended the church to live. It was the start of a lifelong friendship.
In September 2009, I started working with Doug to help him put the message that God had begun revealing to him seven years before on paper. The past eighteen months have been a hard and wonderful process of wrestling to take ideas like walking with God and enjoying life with Him and make them as clear and fresh and life-giving as they are in fact. Both our families have mourned the tendency among believers for the essentials about life with God to get lost in a flurry of well-intentioned religious activity. More Than Ordinary is the fruit of what our families have seen in decades of trying to walk with God and help others know Him better.
The past several years have been unspeakably hard for both families. I’m not talking about the writing process (though age and gender differences have meant we’ve sometimes passionately disagreed about what to say and how to say it…lots of fun debates). I’m talking about being the victim of fraud, retirement funds being lost, a home burning to the ground, and more than one dream dying an excruciating death. But what we’ve come to realize is that these things have been God’s gift for us and everyone else who will read this book.
What I mean is that we’ve learned in a new and deeper way that the peace that passes all understanding is real. We’ve seen that the joy of the Lord can truly be strength; that it is more than words on a page. We’ve had the chance to walk with God and experience His peace and joy and presence right in the middle of all kinds of days, including the ones that seemed liked they’d kill us. None of us have lived it perfectly but we’ve seen enough of God to know we are going to keep devoting our lives to more of Him.
Doug and I poured our lives into this book because we want that for you, too. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we hope you’ll lose your job or your home or something precious to you. But I am saying this message is meant to empower you to have all the wisdom and happiness and help He wants to give you no matter what your circumstances. We don’t want you to miss any of fullness He wants you to have.
I know now more than ever that He is the friend who is closer than a brother. That He loves the people He made and actually wants to live life with them instead of considering them a bother or an imposition. That He is the best Father you’ve ever met. That He wants our lives to be surprising and unexpected and wonderful.
More Than Ordinary will be released in June 2011.