Renewed – Introduction

Every other week I will post a new chapter to my upcoming book “Renewed – The seven minutes that should have changed my life, but didn’t.”

___________________

Of the billions of people

who have come and gone through this world,

not a single one was created without a purpose

and every single story matters.

___________________

            Not to disappoint from the very first words of this book, but sadly you are not reading the words of a theologian or even Biblical expert.  In theory I’ve been through the Bible three times cover to cover via audio CDs but I wonder how well these worked because I’m constantly encountering Bible passages I have absolutely no recollection of ever hearing.  I’m not a pastor and I haven’t attended seminary.  I’m currently telling myself that I’m way too busy to attend seminary.  After all, I’ve got this book to write, and lawns don’t mow themselves you know.  Regardless, this book is about the only thing that I know better than anyone else: My story.  How I got here.  And my hope that telling my story will give you the courage to tell yours, because it matters.  Trust me on that one.  Your story matters.

This book is also not a guide on how to live your life to the fullest, or a lesson on how to pray.  In fact there is an entire chapter dedicated to the fact that I really don’t get prayer.  If you are looking for a book with a checklist on how to make good decisions in your life, this isn’t it.  This book is also not about the amazing world-changing things I’ve done in my life.  It’s not about my fame.  It’s not about the incredible legacy I will leave behind when I die.  Because, unless this book really takes off, I haven’t done anything amazing to change the world, I’m not famous, and I wonder if I’m leaving any legacy at all to my children other than a credit card bill that I can’t seem to pay off for the life of me.

So why bother telling my story?  Because it is insignificant.  What?  Yes.  I am telling you my story for the express reason that it’s not amazing.  But at the same time it is.  Me, the guy typing: not incredible.  But the things that God has done in my life have been nothing short of amazing.  I have been renewed.  And I am so thankful for that, that I feel the need to tell others about it so that they might see the extent to which they have also been renewed.  This is not a guide on how to get renewed.  I will not be listing the five steps you have to take in order to be renewed.  I will not be sharing the magical words of prayer that I said every morning which ultimately resulted in my renewal.  I tried all of those magic formulas and magic formulas don’t work.  Instead, this book is about the realization that you already have been renewed.  The only question left is what you do with that renewal.  More specifically in this book, what I am doing with my renewal.  A story of how it happened within me, told so that you can be encouraged to tell your story as well.

This story is also set within a very special context.  My renewal did not happen within a vacuum.  It happened within the context of a non-judgmental church that never used the Bible as a weapon.  It happened within two groups of incredible men who are each deeply flawed but nothing short of amazing despite their flaws.  And most importantly it happened within the context of a marriage to a wife who refused to give up on me even during times when it was probably very tempting to do so.

I hope you enjoy this book.  But more importantly I hope you take my story and use it as a reason to tell yours.  Because as I noted above, your story matters.  The biggest mistake you could make after reading this book would be to run out to the world and tell people what you’ve read here, tell people my story.  My story doesn’t really matter a whole lot other than serving as a catalyst for others to realize how critical it is to tell their own.  Of the billions of people who have come and gone through this world, not a single one was created without a purpose and every single story matters.  Including mine.  Including yours.

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