New Book – “Vision of New Jerusalem: Now!” – Officially Released …
As the old song goes “It’s been a long time coming but I know a change is gonna come… Oh yes it is”
When I first started writing my new book, “Vision of New Jerusalem: Now!” back in 1985 I was really excited to see the day when it would be published. God had prompted me all along the way so when I finished writing the original manuscript I thought for sure the Christian world would be ready for it. However, I guess the timing was wrong because after showing only a few pages of the manuscript to my supervisor of the ministry I was working with at the time he immediately fired me! Hello! That experience truly did burst my bubble.
I wondered where God was throughout this time. I was fired because the insights He had given me to write about in my book did not line up with my employer’s denominational doctrines on the Kingdom of God and eschatology (the study of end-times… and the second coming of Jesus Christ.) I asked, “Ok God… now what?”
Talk about a rude awakening! That reaction certainly did not give me the confidence to seek out a publisher. The last thing I needed was to step on more toes. I was stopped dead in my tracks and being somewhat new to Christianity back then I felt I better leave well enough alone and place the book on a shelf somewhere and just be about ministering wherever else God would open the doors. And I am very thankful that He opened many wonderful ministry opportunities for me over the next 25 years.
It didn’t take long for God to get my attention, especially after spending many sleepless nights. He kept me up going over-and-over in my mind that He wanted me to continue to share with the Christian world what He clearly showed me while I was serving time in prison for a drug possession crime I committed prior to my electrifying Christian conversion in 1981.
I studied extremely hard in prison, graduating from four major Bible colleges as God was preparing me for full-time ministry while there in prison and upon my release. He taught me to trust Him wholeheartedly… and that He would make a way for me to be used for His glory and honor.
“But why me, God?” I would cry out. “Your people do not want to hear what I have to say… especially me being an ex-drug addict ‘and’ an ex-convict. You saw what happened when I showed just a few pages of my manuscript to a Christian leader. He fired me and he didn’t even read the entire book. I mean… come on God… what can an ex-convict contribute to the church’s understanding on anything… yet alone on your kingdom and eschatology?” (Can you tell I never really had much self-esteem during most of my life? It even spilled over for a while in my new life in Christ. But only for a while!!! He eventually did instill in me a spirit of boldness over the years to speak His Word in love.)
That is how I left it every time and I thought He understood. Nope. Wrong. I learned very quickly just how wrong I really was in thinking that He would let me off the hook that easy. This book was constantly on my mind for years! He never let it rest.
I thought by writing a testimony book that He could use to touch inmates and drug addicts was enough; so I finished my second book first back in 2006 entitled, “Once Life Matters: A New Beginning.” It was a somewhat watered down version of “Vision of New Jerusalem: Now!” but interesting enough and provoking enough to use as an outreach ministry tool and not chase too many people away with controversial end-time teachings.
Do you think God was satisfied with me just publishing “Once Life Matters: A New Beginning?” You bet your life He wasn’t. So it was back to; up and down, back and forth, and yes and no… for many years afterwards. “Please God… why me?” I constantly asked Him. “Why can’t you just leave me alone? I’ve had enough problems in my life before and even after becoming a Christian. I really don’t want to place myself in a position to create controversy amongst your flock by what you’ve taught me.”
Did my somewhat logical sounding reasoning work? Need you ask?
Therefore, off the shelf came my dusty old manuscript. I even tried a couple of times to get someone to help me add some finishing touches to it but no one took me up on my offer. Everyone either seemed too busy or was just not interested. However, that is not how an author is supposed to write a book. “You start it… you finish it.” God kindly reminded me of that fact almost every day.
It can take years of blood, sweat and tears to write, finish and publish a book. So I knew I was not going to be let off easy. I had to finish it and once I thought I did I asked a friend of mine and fellow author, Trish Hart to read it in order to “have another set of eyes” to maybe help catch some grammatical errors, typos, etc.
Well… Trish came back to me with very encouraging words. She loved the book! I was quite taken back by her reaction. “You do?” I asked. The last person who actually ever did read it was back in 1985 and he fired me; so you must know how gun-shy I was to let anyone else read it. However, these are new times… people are searching for more truth from their Bibles and many are fed-up with most television evangelists and futuristic book authors… especially with false doomsday prophets like Harold Camping who wrongly taught twice Jesus’ return would be in 2011.
Now we are faced with a new date in 2012 when the Mayan Calendar ends and the world is supposed to be over with. When does all this nonsense stop? These types of scare tactics have been going on since I first became a Christian back in 1981 and wrote about it in1985 when I first tried to publish my book. As I continued to study over the last 25 years I found out these false prophecies were going on for generations before that date and continues onwards up to and including today.
It just never seems to end. Someone is always scaring people into thinking the world is soon going to end. And what makes it really sad it is the dispensational futuristic Christian leaders of the world who are behind most of this. It is no wonder I was fired back in 1985 by just one of those types of leaders.
Change is in the air and Trish Hart reminded me of that fact. I am so thankful God used her to keep pushing me to finally publish my book. I asked Trish to help me edit the book and we went back and forth for weeks… then months… tossing the “hot potato” manuscript back and forth.
I decided to separate the book into two parts leaving the original 1985 manuscript intact as Part Two and adding fresh insights and inspirational stories on how I received vision as Part One. I always looked forward to hitting the “send button” on my email program knowing the “hot potato” was officially out of my hands for a while so maybe I could get in a good night’s sleep.
Trish Hart’s reaction to my book thrilled me. It encouraged me to test the waters even further so I sent out 15 copies of the finished manuscript to various people for possible endorsements. I made sure some of them that I asked had advanced degrees in the very subject I write about. If their reaction was positive then I felt it would be God’s way of confirming I was on the right track and would continue to move forward with getting the book published. The response I received was absolutely fantastic. Everyone loved the book which encouraged me to press on.
I realize my new book isn’t the latest “Harry Potter” novel where people will line up for days on end just to purchase a copy; though I think those folks would get a lot more “truth” out of my book than the pure fantasy they are filling their heads with from Harry.
My book is also not another Hal Lindsey’s “Late Great Planet Earth” blockbuster. I think the futurist thinking that book caused warrants some correcting… which never seems to come from Mr. Lindsey and other authors like him.
I do not want to add to deferred hope which only makes the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12) and I think we all have been sick long enough. I have learned to stick with King Jesus and write about life “now” in Him… not someday off in the future. He will be just as much a part of the future as He is today. He never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He promises never to leave us nor forsake us and does so by being a very important part of our lives… now… today!
This is what my new book is all about. Jesus being King in our lives NOW! He is sitting on the thrones of His follower’s hearts… NOW! He came in when we opened the door and asked Him to come into our lives as Lord and Savior. Who came in? JESUS CHRIST… and it doesn’t have anything to do with futurism or preterism! And has everything to do with Jesus Christ living in us (2 Corinthians 13:5)… starting at first century Pentecost, during that generation, up to and including Christ coming in the clouds in judgment in AD 70 at the destruction of old Jerusalem, and onwards throughout every generation thereafter. The resurrected Christ lives in His followers… which is the mystery of the Gospel that was hidden from ages and from generations (Colossians 1:26-27).
I’ve had many people ask me why I even wrote a book about eschatology. My response: “You’re asking me?” Most people think I should write about the music business or my work with troubled celebrities or my prison ministry. “Really?” I ask. “Tell that to God,” I continue. “I feel the same way… but I also want to sleep at night.” I find it very hard to “still” the still small voice of God within me, which in most cases was not very “still” when it came to me trying to weasel my way out of publishing my book.
Therefore, my friends I bring to you my latest book, “Vision of New Jerusalem: Now!” I tried not to write it but guess what? Impossible! It is what it is… and it really does comes on the eve of “a change is gonna come… yes it is.” And that’s a good thing… and the timing does seem just right.
I am sure there are many of you who may be content with futuristic dispensationalism Christianity, and I can understand why. However, my book will tie in nicely with what you’ve already learned as a Christian and it actually does build a bridge amongst all four of the popular eschatology teachings that are out there today. It only strengthens one’s faith… it does not hurt it one bit.
Please consider purchasing a copy of my new book on Amazon.com or though my website, oncelifematters.com. I know it is kind of pricey at $19.95… but it is double the size of my last book and has twice as many pages…. 416 pages to be exact. It is also available as a .pdf file, ebook and Kindle at the reduced bargain price of $9.95.
All of the money that does come in from the sales of both my books goes right back into my ministry to prisoners, substance abusers and troubled celebrities. So your money is being put to good use. My ministry has donated over 60,000 books over the last six years to prisons, jails and rehabs. You will be receiving a new interesting and compiling book while others will be helped by your generosity. Sounds like a good deal to me. I hope it does to you too.
My prayer is that you will truly enjoy my new book and not only learn how I got to this point in my 30 years of life in Christ… and Christ in me (Colossians 1:27 & 2 Corinthians 13:5) but also apply some of the principles I write about to your own life.
Your support on this project helps to move Once Life Matters Ministries forward. Therefore, please consider purchasing a copy of “Vision of New Jerusalem: Now!”
“Vision of New Jerusalem: Now!” – Foreword
“Vision of New Jerusalem: Now!” – Endorsements
“Vision of New Jerusalem: Now!” – Table of Contents
Link to purchase “Vision of New Jerusalem: Now!” on Once Life Matters Ministries website