Monday, August 8, 2011

The Adventure Begins

I used my wife's first book, Running From Your Nineveh: A Journey with Jonah, From Fear to Faith as something of a guinea pig for the Kindle publishing process.  I spent a lot of time learning (and documenting) the steps required to go from Word to Kindle format, and I have now submitted it for review.  With a little luck, it will be visible on Amazon's Kindle site in a day or two.

It's devotional literature, so not exactly the sort of book that most of my readers buy, but you never know!  It's priced at $0.99, in the hopes of making it an impulse purchase.

From the description field:

Is there a person, a situation, or a place that scares you? Overwhelms you? Angers you? Makes you question God? Causes you to want to run in the opposite direction of where you should be going, hoping nobody finds you? That’s your Nineveh!

The Old Testament prophet, Jonah, faced such a place, and experienced all of those emotions and then some.

Yes, that’s right: Jonah. That poor man we learn about in Sunday school, who was swallowed by a whale, and then was spit up on a foreign shore, all because he didn’t obey God. We remember only the simplest of details about him, and if he reappears in our adult life, we smile, and remember that rather childish story about him…a whale can’t swallow a man! And so Jonah joins that Sunday school parade of interesting characters whose shenanigans are to remind us to obey God. Simple. Right? Wrong.
Jonah and his experiences speak to us where we are, right here and now. Why? Because all of us have a Nineveh in our lives: a person, place or situation that is so formidable that we are tested to our very core, causing us to slowly watch our faith erode, questioning God and yet wanting, in the deepest recesses of our heart, to have some kind of victory.

Jonah’s response to God’s command that he go and preach to a hugely powerful and scary city of Nineveh makes this prophet walk off the Sunday school stage and become a guide for us as we face our Nineveh. We learn it’s OK to question God; it’s OK to be scared, angry or depressed. However, we must find a place to rest and secure our faith, securing it not to our fear, but to the One who calls us to higher ground.

Our fears lead us to focus on ourselves — what we can’t do, why we can’t do it, why we won’t do it — and like Jonah, we seek our own solutions and fall into disobedience to the One who calls us. When we don’t ignore our Nineveh (it’s hard to do that!) and when we realize His strength is needed for us to face it, it is then that we draw upon Him. This acknowledgement of our weakness in the face of our fears leads us to a dependence on Him, which is His heart’s desire!

He longs for us to join with Him, and with some feet attached to our faith, be able to say, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength!” (Philippians 4:13). Then, with His strength, we can go out and accomplish the unique tasks He has for us and us alone. His blessings will follow.

Jonah knew God. Jonah was well acquainted with his own fears. But, Jonah didn’t allow God to change his perspective, and his fears blinded him to God’s power. But God loved Jonah enough to guide him to a change of heart.

Let’s walk with Jonah and prepare our hearts for a journey. You may not feel victorious right away, but as someone once put it, “Better to walk in the darkness with Jesus than to walk in the light alone.”
She has a novel that she is finishing up next.

UPDATE: Right hand inoperative because of repetitive mousing injury.  Off work icing my hand.  The book is now visible on amazon,


  1. I wish your wife luck in getting her book published!

    In terms of getting our works out, this is certainly a new era: just now, I finished a blog post that I had the idea for several years ago, but didn't know how to find a magazine to publish it as an article. Now, I can just hit "publish" and it's done! Of course, finding an audience for that article is an entirely different matter...

    But this excerpt reminded me of an essay I read recently by Jeff Snyder (of "A Nation of Cowards" fame). He was discussing the controversy behind Mel Gibson's "The Passion", and he pointed out that, when reading the Gospels, we should be putting ourselves in the shoes of the crowd, Pilate, the disciples, and so forth...and rather than look down on them and say "I would have been different", we should look at them and say "that could have been me!"

  2. When it comes to sin, it isn't "that could have been me!" but "that was me."

  3. And there are days that isn't entirely past tense, but I'm working on it.