Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Well, since it has been several months since my last post, I thought I would give you an update on how the book is coming. After my last post, I put all 30 of my “BBB” posts together into a single document, which I then edited and expanded. The result was the first draft of my manuscript. It only came out to 63 pages, which was much shorter than I had hoped it would be.

I next decided to insert page breaks after each of the 30 chapters, and this lengthened it to 83 pages, still pretty short for a book. But, I thought I’d give it a shot anyway. In late December, I submitted the document to two Orthodox publishers. Both of them expressed interest in possibly publishing the book, but one said it would need to be at least 120 pages before they would seriously consider it. The two brother priests whom I had asked to read it, Fr. Joseph Huneycutt and Fr. Matthew MacKay (my pastor), both agreed that it needed to be fleshed out, especially in the sections about the books I read that won me over to Orthodoxy. So, I went back to work!

Now, nearly two months later, the second draft is done. The current length is 122 pages, and the book is much more detailed than the blog entries were. As soon as one of the publishers accepts it (if, God willing, this happens), I will send it to them right away. Then, I anticipate that they will edit it and recommend more changes. So, it may be the end of the year before it comes out, assuming that it gets published at all.

Please pray that one of the publishers will accept the book. Also, pray for me to have strength, as I am spending a good deal of time conducting services at St. Anthony the Great Orthodox Church in Spring (mentioned in my blog and my book!), who are currently without a pastor. I will be going there twice in March and several times in April, during which time I will be celebrating all the services between Lazarus Saturday and Pascha. Pray for my family as well, since I will be away from them so much.

On March 28-30, I will be helping lead the SOYO retreat at Camp Cho-Yeh near Livingston, Texas (a little more than an hour northeast of Houston, for you non-Texans). Pray that God will use me to help bless, inspire, and motivate the young people who are at the retreat (including my daughter Audrey!).

I am hoping to begin posting regularly, as I did before I started working on my book in every spare moment. No promises, however! I would like to be a regular writer and to be able to bless you all on a regular basis, but family, work, and church must come first. Thank you for reading. If you are still reading this, why not make a comment and let me who you are, where you live, and anything else you would like to tell me.

May the Lord bless you all.


Chad said...

I found your blog about a week ago and have read all your past entries. I am Protestant and began studying the Orthodox church about a year and a half ago. I was raised in a Pentecostal church and am currently attending a Southern Baptist mega church. In my Christian search I have attended or been a member, at one time or another, of practically every possible Protestant denomination -- mainline and evangelical.

I started going through depression about the same time I discovered the Ancient Faith. Shortly thereafter I had a nervous breakdown and felt that I had obliterated, mentally and spiritually, into a million pieces and I couldn't pull myself back together again. My psychological needs were met with therapy and medication, but my spiritual needs were much different.

Nothing that I had learned in the evangelical church I was attending at the time helped -- no formula, explanation, teaching.

I was a spiritual void and felt too ashamed before God even to pray. I didn't know what to say. So for weeks all I could pray was the Jesus prayer and meditate on what it means. I can't express how this alone began my spritual healing. I continued reading the Church Fathers and other articles about Orthodoxy.

At heart I am Orthodox. And this has brought me strength and closer to God than I've been before.

I've not yet made the move to visit an Orthodox Church. My wife is happy where we are currently attending church, so I don't feel like I can make her move to a tradition she knows very little about.

I will continue to read your blog and remember you in my prayers.

Clint said...

Father, bless.

First to Chad: My prayers are with you. I know it can be a long and difficult journey, especially when your wife is content where she is. However, take heart in knowing that many have gone before you, with the same situation and many of the same circumstances. My wife was very resistant at first, but with patience, God got through to her, as well. Keep your focus.

To Fr. James.
My name is Clint. I currently live in VA, but rumor has it that I might be relocating in the very near future.

Sorry, couldn't resist. I look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks.