I was just telling a friend, I finished a memoir. Had it edited and through a series of not-so-coincidental, what I think of as God instances, I ended up in New York City at the Writer’s Digest Pitch Slam. There I was on Sixth Avenue, thirty floors up making the rounds of agents and publishers. I had ninety seconds and then they had a turn, sorta like speed dating.
Wish I had an embarrassing video clip to show you. Maybe not.
Well, my book is about how my life changed—from doing drugs and drinking with all the abuse and bad decisions that came with that—to a lifestyle of faith. At the conference, I met with secular agents so you can imagine how that went.
But one Jewish lady said, “Is it about God or Jesus . . . because I’ve seen Jesus!”
Anyway, no one rushed to sign me.
So thanks for stopping by
. . . no matter where you are spiritually.
I’m a Christian, but of course, you don’t have to be. I still want to be your friend! Where are the emoticons on this thing? Do I have to write them in? Big smile!
I love to explore faith with others and chat. And here, as a group, we won’t always agree. That’s okay. I think we need each other for perspective. Coming from different backgrounds, with unique stories, everyone’s important. And like puzzle pieces, when we unite, our picture grows.
What happened after New York?
I’d interned with an agent who told me, “Publishers want you connected to 20,000 people before they’ll consider printing your book.
Ah, someone has to cover the costs. I have a Marketing degree, but I’m not big on sales. To be honest, I don’t really care about selling books.
I do want to share my message, though: God rocks, way more than the church ever told me He did.
With that in mind, I began to think about a website. I got excited about an online group where we can hang out and chat about our challenges, share what we’ve learned. Help each other. Get to be friends and have a few laughs.
As I daydreamed, I know this might sound weird, but God tapped me on the shoulder. He does that. In my mind, I heard, “Contact your friends in Jerusalem and see if they need help.”
Of course, they said, “Yes!” so not only have I got a place to stay in Israel, but a job for the summer, five weeks cleaning toilets!
Don’t worry, no toilets for you.
After the 2003-4 school year
. . . when I studied in Jerusalem, I moved seventeen miles down the road, through a checkpoint, and into the West Bank. I spent the next year handing out food and clothes, working as a missionary in Jericho.
While there, I continued writing about everything that was happening, the conflict between the two people groups, and the personal stories of each person I met.
I sent massive updates home. I told my friends, “You can hit delete. Reading all this is not homework. I just have to think out loud.”
Weirdly enough, a couple of hundred people stuck with me, tried to understand, and make sense out of it all.
Here’s Where You Come In
Do you want to be part of my Spiritual Adventure Team?
While I’m in Jerusalem, we can visit holy sites and interview people together. You can share your questions, your wonderings, and that perspective I was talking about in the comments below posts, or through the contact form.
In this way, we’ll partner on a quest for more cool God stories and discover unique treasure in aha moments.
What better place to start a spiritual adventure team than in Jerusalem . . . a city that’s so important to so many for different reasons.
And when I return to the States, I’ll continue the ongoing story as I rifle through notes and memories, couple them with what I learn on this trip and encapsulate them into another book, while we continue to chat.
Wise words from the powers that be . . .
“You should have a newsletter.“
So I’ll do that, too. Write an occasional thing, like this post—a backstage pass that offers you a sneak peek behind the scenes with occasional gifts. In fact, I’m working on one now. Something that will help you understand Israel a little better, especially if you’ve never been.