Welcome, DJ. What
would you like for our readers to know about you personally
? I have been
around. In ministry, I have worked in the nursery, run puppet ministry, been a
Jr High and High school leader, played keyboards for a worship band, played
lead roles in drama ministry, and delivered sermons. In the secular world, I have
flipped burgers, built pallets, done land scaping, built furniture, built cars,
built houses, sold cars, and installed industrial HVAC. In all these arenas, I
have seen the hand of God in my life. I don’t profess to be a genius or
anything, but I do know my eyes have been open to the supernatural my whole
life. Everywhere I look, I see God.
Tell us about your
family. The family I grew up in was broken and “blended.” It was messy
enough that I swore as a child that I would only be married once. This caused me
to go through numerous relationships before I made it to my “one and only.” My
wife and I are definitely evidence for the “opposites attract” theme. More of
that is in the book. We have a daughter and 2 sons, in that order. Rashel is in
college, Caleb is in a mechanics trade school, and Elijah is currently finishing
Have you written
other nonfiction books? Other books? No. Not yet anyway. All my other
writings since 2004 have been for our newsletter going out into prisons,
nursing homes, and other places that have asked for them.
Do you have any other
books in the works right now? I have already begun my Second Book of Isms. Which I believe will be better than my first.
What kinds of hobbies
and leisure activities do you enjoy? I enjoy bike riding for exercise, as
well as going to the gym. I love going to car shows, especially the ones which
feature custom vehicles. I love learning. Reading about science and history definitely
top that list. Most of all, I like hanging out with my wife. That can be
shopping, watching TV, or having a meal together. It’s always better with her.
Why did you write the
featured book? I never planned to be a writer. I was asked to write an
article for a monthly publication to add some “flavor” to it for the readers.
Meaning, I am weird and my unique perspectives would be interesting to some. About
15 years later, on a lunch break, God told me to write a book. I had no idea
what that would be, or how to do it. As I talked it over with God, He explained
His plan. I had several people tell me what their favorite articles were from
the previous years and the book is a backstory on where the articles came from.
God’s plan was to use those backstories as encouragement to the readers.
What do you want the
reader to take away from the book?
I am a flawed soul telling other flawed
souls how great God is and how awesome His love is for us. What is unique is my
angle of delivery. I don’t preach like a preacher. I am a common “Joe” sharing
with other common Joe’s my life’s story. It’s raw, real, and unfiltered. God wanted
me to bare my soul to others. Those who are wanting encouragement in hard times
will take some comfort that others have gone through some difficulties as well.
Pain has been faced. Mountains climbed and adversity has been overcome. The
bottom line is a God who stays beside you and helps us through it all.
Is there anything else
you’d like to tell my readers about you or your book? As mentioned above,
before I wrote this book, I was writing for a monthly newsletter. I am still a contributor
for “Prospecting in the word.” The birth of this newsletter came from the
oddest place. Somehow a newsletter from a small church in Illinois got inside a local prison system,
and over time, there were more inmates asking for the newsletter than there
were people in the church itself. Rather than fight it or try to understand it,
we decided to go with what God was doing. We kept sending the newsletter to the
inmates and looked for more places to send it. These days, it’s prisons, nursing
homes, car dealerships, and restaurants too. I would ask for your prayers as I
intend to seek a way to get this book the same places the newsletters are
going. I want to send the book back to the roots where the writings themselves began.
I believe the book can be even more powerful than the articles were by themselves.
Please give us the
first page or two from the book.
If there is
any single word more central to the Christian walk, and yet more misunderstood,
I don’t know what it is. How do you define something so intangible? The simple
and popular answer from Scripture comes from Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the
substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I have read
that passage many times over a few decades and personally never felt it
answered the question.
Jesus spoke of
the merits of “child-like’ faith. In His view, it has special power. The smaller
the child, the stronger the faith seems to become. Logic and doubt are not
concerns a child has.
5-year-old boy with a broken toy. The moment he discovers the toy is broken, he
brings it to his father, places it in his hands and says “Daddy, fix it.” He
has no doubt that his daddy can or will fix it. He is so sure, that he leaves
the toy behind with his daddy and cheerfully goes his way.
An older child
(or adult) knows doubt and has experienced disappointment. Under the same circumstances
we want to take our problems to God. We want to simply hand off our problems to
our heavenly Father and walk away without concern. Our problem is doubt. We
bring our issue to Him, but we fail at letting go. Sometimes we achieve the
handoff, but we don’t walk away. We want to stick around and watch, be an
advisor, and help out. If you have ever had a child “help” you before, you can
probably agree with me that whatever you did together could have been done much
easier without them, and could have been done about four times faster.
gives us a few examples of people who tried to “help” God. No one made the situation
better by doing it their way. By contrast, those who followed directions to the
letter, didn’t help or get in the way, and allowed God to show His glory, were
the ones that saw miracles.
in March 2014 greatly tested my faith. My family (my wife, three children, three
cats, and two rabbits) and I moved from our home of 16 years and our church
family, which we had known for about 20 years. We also walked away from family,
loved ones, friends, and careers. Crazy huh? Why? In a nutshell, we believed it
was God’s will. I find there are far more examples in Scripture of times when
God asks someone to do something that does not make sense than when He ever
asked something that made sense.
home, a job or huge savings account to lean on, we left East
Peoria, Illinois, for Dallas, Texas.
Since we arrived, we have obtained jobs. My wife has a better job than she had
Even my 17-year-old daughter has a job. In spite of our financial challenges,
we still got blessed with a great home that is nestled perfectly in the middle
of the different jobs we all have.
move was not without trouble and frustration, it has been an awesome reminder
that God is in control, and that He never fails. There is a saying, “Faith
doesn’t make things easy; it just makes them possible.”
“FAITH” - is knowing God is in control, and you are not, and being content with
Darkness comes. Plans fail. Dreams fall apart. When life does not go the way we
want, faith may be all you have that holds you together. If your faith is in
God, it will be all you need.
Where on the Internet
can the readers find you? I don’t consider myself a nerd. I don’t get along
with technology. So, just a warning, I don’t engage much on these platforms. I
post regularly on the House of Isms. I make an effort to put out an encouraging
word. No one will call me any sort of “master of media” however. Here are a few
places I can be found.
Thank you, DJ, for
sharing your book with my blog readers and me.
Readers, here’s a link to the book.
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