My latest short story "The Night the Lights Came On"

Friday, November 30, 2018

News | My First Sermon

I've been very busy writing, but it hasn't been fiction. I spent many hours over several weeks writing, editing, revising, and practicing a sermon. I finally gave that sermon to junior high and high school students at my church this Tuesday. It was an amazing awesome privilege. I am humbled to be used in that way. I have to admit something that really surprised me too: I enjoyed writing my sermon even more than I've enjoyed writing fiction! That's saying a lot! I'm not one of those authors who enjoys "having written," I actually LOVE the whole process. I love first drafts. I love revisions and editing. I love the end where I'm formatting and creating the cover. I would say one of my favorite things to do in the whole world is to write fiction and I enjoyed and was even more excited about writing a sermon than a fantasy novel! Here's a binder I bought for my sermon manuscripts to use while preaching and for archiving:

Here's a journal entry I wrote on my other blog where I put my bible study and sermon notes and things:

Preaching My First Sermon | Journal Entry

November 28th, 2018

Yesterday I preached my first sermon. Well, technically I gave a couple short messages to junior highers back when I was in high school as an intern, this was my first sermon where I preached directly from the text of a passage of scripture rather than on a topic. My first expository sermon. It was on a prayer of Paul's in Ephesians 3:14-21. You can read it here.
It was a very humbling intense awesome experience. I am blown away that I was given the opportunity to speak to teens and share truths from God's word with them. I'm not sure how many hours I spent prepping to write the sermon, writing the sermon, and editing and rewriting sections of it for over 10 drafts, but it was a pretty crazy amount of time. It was my first time, and I wanted to really do my best and make it as good as I could. I REALLY enjoyed the process though! I write fiction and I enjoyed writing a sermon more than writing a fantasy novel. Who knew?!

After all that prep, writing, editing, and practicing I couldn't believe how fast time flew by as I was preaching the sermon! It really felt like I was on stage for like 5 minutes instead of 25. I must have been talking fast too because my goal was 30 minutes. I had practiced the day before with my 4,800 word manuscript and it was 37 1/2 minutes long. So I cut my manuscript down to 4,200 words. I wish I would have left a little more of it in but I'm happy with how it was when I preached it.

I am overwhelmed that I had the opportunity to be used by God to proclaim truths from his word. I couldn't believe it was over after all my preparations and practice runs preaching it in my house to my wife or an empty room. My wife had really helpful suggestions. I needed to cut out a lot! My original like 3rd draft was over 7,000 words long! Yikes. It was more of a paper breaking down every part of every verse than a sermon with way too many extra verses and bible commentary quotes. I am so thankful for my wife who has listened to tons of sermons at church and online during her week. She is an amazing resource to be my first audience. OK, my first, and second... and seventh audience! She listened to many iterations of my sermon and I'm so thankful for it. I love her so much.

After I was done and for like two hours after preaching I was still sort of in shock that it was over. I was overwhelmed that I got to do it. I can't wait to do it again. I saw a lot of ways I can improve, but as I've been reading in books for the internship I'm doing at my church, success is being faithful to preach what the bible says and by God's grace I did that. I am very thankful to the Lord in all of this.

I'd love your feedback on it if you read it and I hope God speaks to you through it.

Revelation 4:8
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!” (ESV)


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

John Wilkerson Reviewed my Novel!

An awesome guy named John Wilkerson with tons of cool podcasts reviewed my debut novel! Watch his review above. Thanks John! Here's the details so you can go grab your copy of my novel:

Purchase Links:

Haunted House Flipper:
A paranormal / urban fantasy novel with a Christian mythology


Ray is a friendless realtor who stumbles on some supernatural tools, including a sword, that can rid a property of evil spirits. He decides to use them to change his career and finally become a house flipper, but on a grander scale. He plans to flip old haunted mansions that no one else will buy, rid them of their evil spirits, renovate them, and sell them for a hefty profit. Getting them to leave isn't as easy as he'd hoped and he has some competition from Bill Baldock, who buys up haunted mansions to destroy them and build apartment complexes in their place. Discover a new world within our own with Ray as he tries to learn how to use his new tools against demons, make new friends, and outsmart new enemies.