I’ve had the dream of becoming an author since 1st grade when I won a young authors competition and my book was “published” in the Scobee Elementary library. In 2009, I was studying at Regent University completing my Master’s Degree in Practical Theology. One requirement was an internship. At this time Pastor Matthew Hagee was in the process of publishing his book “Shaken Not Shattered.” He had shared with me some of his experiences writing the book and I was fascinated by the process. I asked Pastor Matt if he would be my mentor for the internship and we set a goal of developing a detailed manuscript for an illustrated children’s book.
With great enthusiasm I set out to write my first book. At that time, the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Kid’s program was in its inception. I was named the CUFI Kids Coordinator and as I worked on that exciting new program, I studied the biblical reasons we love and bless Israel. My studies turned to the life of Abraham. The words of Pastor Hagee resonated in my mind, “We serve the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!” Abraham is the father and founder of our faith, so I asked myself how can I communicate that message to children? In children’s ministry we often sing the song “Father Abraham” but do the children really understand what they are singing? Seminary taught me how to research so I read everything I could about Abraham. My studies brought me to the midrash. The midrash is a collection of Jewish stories that teach and explain the Bible. I was fascinated how these stories described a boy named Abram, raised in a nation of idol worshippers, found the one true God. The Bible says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” Jeremiah 29:13. That is exactly what Abram did. I had found the message for my first book.
I was so excited to present my first draft to Pastor Matt. He read it and gave me the advice, “Why don’t you make it rhyme?” He explained, “The books I enjoy reading most to my children are those that rhyme and are fun to read.” Like any good mentor, Pastor Matt challenged me to do something I wasn’t even sure I could accomplish. I prayed and said God I’m going to need your help with this one. I remember writing on a Sunday night and the words simply flowed. As I penned the words,
“Leave your country,” God replied.
“I will bless you far and wide.
As I lead this world to salvation,
I’ll make your family a great nation.”
“You will know My blessings and see My glory.
You are the beginning of the greatest story.
I literally got up from my desk and began to praise God! I completed the entire story in rhyme in one evening. I have no doubt God helped me and this book is certainly a result of my own friendship with God. Abraham had incredible faith and when we believe like Abraham we not only become friends with God, we can know God’s blessings and see His glory because we are now part of the greatest story.
I spent the next three years teaching myself to illustrate. I remember my wife getting me an electronic drawing tablet for Christmas and she supported this dream all along. There were many times when I thought I couldn’t illustrate the book myself and I was very close to giving up. I trusted God and spent many long nights drawing. Without a doubt, I put more time into this book and the illustrations than any other project in my life. But it was so worth it and this is just the beginning! I’ve written the story of Joseph and have already begun to illustrate it. Today my first book can be read by children all over the world and I pray they discover friendship with God. God wants to be your special friend too. Remember how much He loves you.
For information about this book including how to purchase visit – Abraham, God’s Special Friend