Why I Wrote ‘Redeem the Story’

This article was first published on Medium in the publication Koinonia.

I remember it like it was yesterday.

My wife and I were in the kitchen standing next to the counter. The kitchen, for us, is the place where many of our deepest, personal, and life-changing conversations tend to happen. And it’s usually with a cup of coffee in hand.

On this particular day, we were talking about some of the things we were seeing in the youth group where I serve as the youth pastor. We were talking about how some of the students were coming forward to get saved weekly and the need for salvation, but not weekly.

After salvation, we don’t need to get saved at every altar call. We need to repent regularly (for me it is daily)!

That got me thinking about God’s grand plan of redemption and how He desires to redeem every story (life). Our conversation turned into how God creates — He never “recreates”! When we come to Jesus we become “new creations” not “recreated” creations. We are brand new!

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. — (2 Corinthians 5:17, NASB)

Redeem the Story opens with this:

“Everyone has a story.

From Genesis to Revelation you see a story of redemption unfolding. Isaiah 47:4 (ESV) says that God is “our Redeemer — the Lord of hosts is his name — is the Holy One of Israel.” Since the fall happened in Genesis chapter 3 God has been writing redemption in the lives of countless people. In this book, we will zoom in on a few people in the story of Scripture where God redeemed their story despite their mistakes, guilt, and shame. We will also look at how, even today, God wants to redeem your story too.” — taken from the Introduction on page 5.

Right up front, I wanted readers to know God wants to redeem their story. As the conversation with my wife unfolded in the kitchen that day this idea grew into more than just a thought. It became a concept for a book to call people to let God rewrite their story.

I wrote this first for my students because I wanted them to know God longs to redeem their stories — no matter who they are or what they have done!

I wanted them to know salvation isn’t about getting saved regularly or running on our emotions. We have to learn to let go of the pen and let God write our story. Whether for salvation or simply repentance of any sin.

But beyond that, I wanted whoever reads the book to know how much Jesus loves them and wants to redeem their life story. A short conversation with my wife sparked all this in my heart.

So I wrote.

And I wrote some more.

Until Redeem the Story was finished and finally released to the world through self-publishing on January 12, 2020, after a nearly two-year process of writing, editing, and learning how to self-publish.

Self-publishing wasn’t my first choice. I originally signed with a literary agent in hopes of landing a book deal with one of the major Christian publishers. But all I faced was rejection. Every publisher was a “no”. If you want to read more about that I wrote an article all about rejection.

A conversation with my wife in the kitchen was what inspired me to write Redeem the Story. What I believe was a God-ordained conversation about our youth group became the catalyst for what I would eventually write and self-publish! I think it’s amazing how some conversations literally change our trajectory!

Remember this: Everyone has a story. And every story matters because everyone matters to God. That includes you! Yes, you.

Redeem the Story (SIGNED COPY)

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M2L Students: Eagle Rock Update – 6/18/20

We are less than two months out from heading back to Eagle Rock Camp in July! ERC is a special place for us, because it’s more than just a “summer camp”. It’s a place where we go to meet with God for a week every summer. And there’s nothing better than a week on top of a mountain (with hardly any cell service) meeting with the Lord!

Up until a few days ago, we were nearly maxed out on how many people we can bring, which was 50. ERC has given us the green light to extend that number to 60, which means as of 6/18/20 we currently have 12 open spots for any student who would like to go that hasn’t registered yet. You can sign up right now online at M2LCamp.com! Keep in mind: A non-refundable $50 deposit is due to secure your spot ASAP.

I will update this post as we fill these remaining spots.

When do we leave for Eagle Rock?

We are taking a charter bus to ERC. We will be leaving between 6pm-7pm on July 21 and will be leaving ERC in the afternoon of July 26 to return home.

If you have any questions please email me or comment below and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

What is Eagle Rock like?

This is taken directly off the ERC website:

Eagle Rock is a Christian ministry based in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. We offer the facilities, resources and support you need to make the most memorable and meaningful retreat for you and your group. Our trained staff will take the stress out of planning by customizing a program that uniquely supports your goals as a leader and organization. Our aim is to create the best possible experience with flexible scheduling, a variety of lodging accommodations, and the ability to cater to your group’s dietary needs with delicious, home-cooked meals.

Whether you’re looking for the group challenge offered by high adventure activities or a time of personal reflection that often only comes with uninterrupted solitude, Eagle Rock is a place of breakthrough. The wrap-around porches of our Lodge, Bunkhouse, and Dining Hall invite you to soak in the panoramic views and peace that God’s creation brings.