Summary: Living for Jesus
[what are you waiting for?]
I recall several years ago, my mother brought me to the nearest Christian bookstore, which was over an hour away from where we lived. i absolutely fell in love with that store! I was a new believer and this store had a ton of great resources for me to pick and choose from. On one particular occasion, my mother had brought me there and it was pretty close to my birthday and she told me I could pick out one or two items for that day.
I had recently discovered a new rock group, White Heart. I had been anticipating their new album, Highlands, quite a bit. Since I had some money, I purchased the album but as a birthday gift, I wanted the DVD that went with it. For weeks, that DVD sat on top of the refrigerator and I walked by it a dozen times every day. To be honest, sometimes I felt like it was a form of torture having to see that thing everyday.
Finally, the big day arrived. i already knew what I was getting but that didn’t matter. I had anticipated and been patient for this DVD and wanted to watch every second of it. While it was a very short DVD and only had two or three music videos on it, I still enjoyed it. When we cultivate a heart of patience we in turn cultivate a heart of gratitude.
One of the hurdles in the Christian life is knowing Jesus hasn’t returned yet. I say hurdle because we live in anticipation and expectation of his return. We have all seen the signs he spoke of; yet, here we are living and he is not here yet. Yet, God has called us to be patient.
I began writing this book back in 2009. I am writing this sentence in 2014. The question emerges, why has it taken so long? First, I am the king of procrastination. That is something I just simply need to share. Secondly, this book was nothing more than a sermon and that’s it.
You see, back in 2009, I was called upon by my pastor to preach a message as he was going to be away. In fact, he was simply going to miss the majority of the service but planned on being in attendance at the near end of it, which he was. I knew from the start that I wanted to preach on Matthew 28:18-20, otherwise known as the “Great Commission” passage.
Following my sermon, I decided to return home and begin writing out what I had spoken. Typically, I write my sermon notes prior to the delivery of the sermon but this was a little different. I was faithful to the text but there was more to it than what I had spoken that day.
Thus, I began undertaking an evaluation of the Great Commission. I, of course, was also completing my undergraduate degree and I knew I would begin seminary immediately following. Therefore, a great deal of my attention and time was given over to my educational pursuits. That, of course, made this book, more of a project than anything else.
About half way through seminary, I reignited my passion for writing on this subject and I began looking for potential publishers. I was really looking to see what was out there. I ended up getting in contact with my publisher and we began discussing options. Truth be told, they were much more serious about publishing my work than I was about writing it.
After several phone calls and discussions, I decided to return all of my attention back to completing seminary and getting my Masters Degree. That was my main goal in life. So, I threw aside all other distractions, focused on school and graduated in the summer of 2012.
Less than a month after graduation, I was driving to work when i received a phone call on my cell. I didn’t recognize the number so I pulled over and answered it. It was a check in coordinator for Cross Books. They were calling to see if there was still any interest in writing this book. No more school meant that I could finally begin the process of writing the book.
Writing is a process and patience is part of it. You see, when I complete writing, the manuscripts are sent to the publisher who will review the book. There is a checklist for them to complete prior to the publication as well. What began as a sermon in 2009 grew into a book that was released years later.
The term I want to introduce us to is “Launch Date.” You see, after I completed writing, my publisher has a checklist to complete. The publishing company reviews the work for grammatical issues, theological reviews and a host of other points before putting the product together. In addition, marketing comes into play, which allows others to know about the product that is coming out. The launch date then is set to help make the product known. So, while my writing is complete before publication, I must learn patience as I await the launch date for the book.