Devotional of Perseverance
At last count, I have worked on more than 60 books, whether as a co-author, ghostwriter, editor, or contributor.
Yet, of all the volumes I’ve played a part in the past 30 years, a book that I wrote 1/52nd of has remained in print longer than any other.
In mid-October, Kregel Books released the 20th anniversary edition of God’s Man, a year-round devotional.
I wrote week 49, about a man and his finances, based more on personal experience than financial wizardry.
My only payment: two free copies of the book. Sadly, I have managed to misplace them over the years, somewhere in the mess called my office.
Fortunately, I still have a copy of the tenth anniversary edition on my shelf, but I never expected to see another coming out a decade later.
A Changing World
Much has changed in the two decades that have passed since the compiling of the original edition. I worked on my contributions the same year as “Stand in the Gap,” the huge rally in our nation’s capital—some say a million men were there—sponsored by Promise Keepers (PK).
The organization is still going, but as a shell of its former self. After I joined the SRO crowd on the Washington Mall, meetings downsized from stadiums to arenas to churches. I haven’t been to a PK event myself since the early 2000s.
Denominational structures that once supported this kind of project have shrunk. As noted by editor Don Aycock, who spearheaded the compilation of God’s Man, the financial crisis of a decade ago shut down many writers conferences attended by potential contributors.
In addition, some of the men I mentioned in my entries—such as Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy, Prison Fellowship founder Chuck Colson, and professional football star Reggie White—have passed from this earth.
Despite all these changes, the book seems to keep chugging along. That fascinates me, since I agreed to Don’s request to write my week’s worth of material as a contribution to the body of Christ.
That it has endured both surprises and pleases me, especially since some of the royalties help support the church men’s staff at a national denomination.
Ironically, a follow-up that Don wrote a few years later with the help of former pastor Mark Sutton, Still God’s Man, never made it past its first printing.
Maybe the presence of four dozen authors made a difference. As the publicity site notes, they included businessmen, writers, physicians, pastors, professors and counselors. Some were (or are now) retired, others middle-aged, and some just starting their careers.
Despite their differences, editor Aycock observes at the publicity website that the contributors “are exactly everyone else with the issues we face daily.” Their common goal, he says, “is to become God’s man for their families, colleagues and communities—and to help readers do the same.”
Lest we forget, the purpose of PK was (as its name stated) to remind men to be promise keepers.
Having attended several rallies, I always marveled at the uninformed critics who lobbed broadsides at founder Bill McCartney for his alleged male chauvinist views.
In reality, one theme that repeatedly surfaced at PK rallies was servanthood. I’ll never forget the speaker in Atlanta who urged men to grab the iron out of their wife’s hand to show her they could out-serve her.
In a #MeToo world, too many men are painted as bigots and abusers when in reality we are servants. In other words, God’s Man.