Lifeblood is about Tapping Into Jesus as the True Source of Renewal

Tapping Into Jesus as the True Source of Renewal

Out June 26

Now that my first book Lifeblood is almost out, I thought I'd explain some background on how I picked the topics for each chapter.

Believe it or not, this is one of the hardest things about writing a book. You might have an idea for the overall theme, and you might know what you want to say, but organizing it (for people like me who are not that organized) is much harder because you have to think about where it is all leading, what you want to talk about, and most importantly — why.

I went with the old adage — write about what you know. I didn't really want to write a book that was deeply theological or covered overly complex themes. The person I had in mind as a reader: a human. I didn't want to try and appeal to the literary types, or the theologians, or the uber-professional. My goal was pretty simple in that I wanted to cover everyday, accessible topics but include a "spin" that was entirely my own. I blogged about this a few days ago, but the concept of lifeblood living came to me in a flash while I was working on one of my columns for Inc. about being driven. (If you really want the link, I can dig it up somewhere just ping me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..) It was interesting because I landed on the opposite idea of success when it comes to faith, that being driven by a motor that is powered by our own assets and skills is not the best plan. The best way to be "driven" spiritually is to let someone else drive.

That's when I decided to take on topics like marriage, friendship, raising kids, and community. I've experienced what it's like to be driven in those areas, to think I have all of the answers (even when the questions are a bit obscure). one example of this is how I parented early on. I thought, parenting is like managing a team at work. You bark orders and your kids listen.

The problem is that kids don't listen. They are not paid a salary, and they don't really understand that food and shelter are provided to them. I tried to parent as though my kids were required to obey by some intrinsic desire, and as Christians we know that it's not true. Every parent eventually learns that kids do not obey naturally, that they need to see an example. It took me many years to realize that I was mostly a spiritual mentor, not a dictator.

Ironically, after I realized my topics needed to match my life experiences, the book started to flow out of me. It was a conversation between me and the reader — one that I hope to make a two-way conversation — where I imagined someone reading the book by a firelight, of having an opportunity to share ideas. (To start sharing your ideas, join my Facebook page.) It wasn't easy to write the chapters, but the topics fell into place. I have 32 years of experience as a Christian! That's over three decades of highs and lows. It's a lifetime of misdirections and hard-earned lessons. It's a wonderful wellspring.

Have you ever read a book that just seemed to flow out of the brain of the writer? Lifeblood is my attempt to do that, and the book dispenses with a lot of third-party examples, weighty statistics, and out-of-the-blue segues. (To be clear, the book has segues, but they are meant to hit home the overall points.) I wanted to stay focused on the topics at hand, without veering too far off course into areas that are out of my realm of experience. I don't drift off into scientific topics or deep theology. It's all about what drives us. As such, my goal was to keep the focus on the Driver, not the driven.

And, I'm proud of the work. I'm proud to call this my first book, and if an opportunity arises to write another one, I'll do roughly the same thing. The plan is not to shift gears into a different style. It's to stay in the same gear.

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