THE MAKING OF A BOOK
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PART 12 YOUR MINISTRY
Rod was reluctant to go to my friend’s church because of the pastor’s belief in Amillennialism. The Assembly of God churches we attended considered Amillennialism a false doctrine. The AG churches believed Jesus will return in the flesh to reign on earth for a thousand years. The Amillennialist believed the kingdom of God came to earth when Jesus was born, and he now ruled from heaven. I was ambivalent about the pastor’s beliefs. The AG churches taught things I did not agree with as well. After much discussion we decided to become members.
When the pastor learned we were ministers he asked Rod to teach a class for children and me to teach a class for adults on Friday nights. Rod developed the BBK club. BBK being an acronym for Blood Bought Kids. I continued the series about Israel’s wanderings in the wilderness and wrote Epiphanes of Patriarchs.
I had forgot about my manuscript and publishing until a friend sat next to me in church. We were listening to church announcements when she stuck an offering envelope in my hand. Perplexed, I looked at the envelope and said, “Do you want me to put it in the offering basket?”
“No,” she said. “It’s for your ministry.”
“Your writing ministry,” she replied.
I shoved the envelope back into her hand. “Put that in the offering basket when it comes by. I don’t have a writing ministry.”
She shoved the envelope back into my hand. “No, it’s for you.”
I pointed to the name of the church on the offering envelope. “It’s not for me. It’s for the church. See the name on the envelope.” I shoved the envelope back into her hand.
She glared at me and tried to shove the envelope into my hand now formed into a tight fist. “I’m not taking money in a church’s offering envelope,” I whispered through clenched teeth.
She ripped open the envelope. Dropped the cash onto my lap and said, “It’s for your ministry.” The look in her eye threatened physical altercation if I dared give the money back.
Lest we start a World Wrestling Federation Smack Down in the middle of a church service, I put the cash in my Bible and said, “Fine.”
I didn’t know what to do with the money, so I put it in my file cabinet to await a burning bush experience or at least a voice from heaven offering direction.
The following Sunday, she donated more money to my non-existent ministry. I put the money in my file cabinet. After receiving donations for several months, she said, “So what are you doing with the money?”
I wasn’t doing anything with the money but was reluctant to disappoint my benefactor with the truth. Then I remembered the editor’s discounted offer to fix the grammar in my manuscript. I smiled, “I’m paying an editor to prepare my manuscript for publishing.”
Lest I burn in Hell for being a liar, I sent the editor an email as soon as I returned home from church. He was still interested in doing the work at the discounted price. I matched the money she had given me for my non-existent ministry and sent the editor my first chapter. When the work on the manuscript concluded, the editor recommended a new publishing house called Publish America.
Publish America’s website said “traditional publisher” but used, at that time, a new technology called print-on-demand that revolutionized the publishing industry and changed the stigma of self-publishing into something trendy. They did not charge authors to publish their book but did little to help them market.
They were a secular publisher, so I researched well known Christian publishing houses. The same sign hung on each of their doors. “Don’t call us, get an agent.” My paraphrase of, “We don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts.”
Getting a manuscript published was not going to be easy, and “published author” was never on my bucket list. Publish America did not need an agent, so I sent the information they required and tossed the edited manuscript on a shelf in my closet thinking I’d come to the end of the road.
TO BE CONTINUED…