Why I write.
I was mesmerized. Captivated. I hated that it came to an end. I never heard scripture that way, in fact, it sure didn’t sound like Bible at all. It certainly didn’t sound like a sermon or even a Sunday school lesson. It sounded real and important and exciting.
The year was 1989. The place was the Ft. Lauderdale Christmas Pageant, and the narrator was the associate pastor, but he didn’t sound like any pastor I had ever heard. He became my drama mentor which ultimate lead me to full time ministry as a Bible-actor to over 500,000 all across American and even “on location” in Israel, Turkey and Greece. I also inherited and remain the narrator for that pageant which has won two Emmys and seen live by 48,000 annually and millions around the World.
In searching for material I was disappointed with the scripts I found—they were trite or clicheish—or just too preachy. By default, I began my own scripting, but what I discovered revolutionized the way I read and studied the Bible. To write scripts for first person characterization it was necessary to read the bible from a first person perspective. BAM! The Bible exploded in my imagination. Just like a novel, I felt it, heard it, saw it and experienced everything I read—exactly what it should do—but too often it doesn’t, because it’s a “Bible study” after all. Now, although the audiences were generous with their expressions of gratitude, they were disappointed I didn’t have something they could take home. I knew I needed to write a novel so they could do just that, but more importantly something they give or pass on.
“Forever Changed,” A Journey in Jericho is the first of The Journeys series to fill this void, and now in print. On the order of Gene Edwards and Francine Rivers, the series is based on either real personalities or likely personalities and real times. Each novella strives to pull the reader into each adventure until they are experiencing each moment and led to accept each truth. “Forever Changed” is the back story of Zacchaeus. And the answer to why a nice Jewish boy would grow up to be a despised tax collector in first century Jericho. But, more importantly to find out why he would go out on a limb to see the latest in a long line of would-be Messiahs.
The second is “Bozra, A Shepherd’s Journey. As a boy he slept through an event of a lifetime. Angels announcing the Messiah is born. And his story is filled with many misses for the next thirty-three years—all the way to the empty cross. His quest ends, but his journey is just beginning.