The cursor blinked on the dark screen of that old computer. My dad gave me his old IBM computer that weighed more than my bedroom furniture, but that was where the dream began. I began to journal, write about my day, and watch the green print float words across the screen. I didn’t know how to type. Goodness, I barely knew how to spell. But I did know I loved to write.
Fast-forward to my college years. I found a black leather-bound book, dove into the book of Psalms, and went to work. Each night, I would write a devotional for myself with a summary statement at the end. I don’t know if it was “senioritis”, or I just ran out of time…but I graduated and I never reached the end of Psalms. That black leather book left incomplete, was thrown in a pile of my old academic records and free movie posters that the local theater would give me and my buddies every Tuesday.
Days become months, months become years, and time continued to tick on by. I go on to seminary, marry the love of my life, and our family grows to four with our 2nd daughter born. Then, as I was cleaning my office, I stumbled upon that black book. I perused the pages realizing what a treasure I had just stuffed in my files. I committed to finishing the Psalms, and began my quest to become an author.
Little did I know how difficult that next journey would be. Rejection after rejection from publishing companies, I began to lose hope. I mean, how could I blame them. My name wasn’t Francis Chan or John Piper…to publishers, it was Jeff Who. Although I was hesitant, I researched my options with self-publishing. It was a little overwhelming, so I phoned an old friend. Well, at that time, I don’t know if friend was the right word. On the other end of the phone was my high school English teacher. I called him Mr. P, mostly because I thought he closely resembled Mr. C on Happy Days. In High School, I rarely paid attention, talked during class, and often showed little respect. But, when Mr. P got a call from me about my dream of becoming an author, he didn’t hesitate to take me to lunch, pay for my meal, and answer every question I had. He paid attention to me, talked me into reviving my dream, and a respectful friendship was born.
After months of editing and brainstorming, we were about a quarter of the way through the book. Then, tragedy hit. Mr. P passed away in his sleep. My mentor, my new friend, my help in this journey went to be with his Savior.
Now what do I do? I turned to another mentor, an established youth ministry author, who took an interest in my dream. He connected me with a publishing company called Overboard Ministries. And, as they say, the rest is history. After long nights of editing for over a year, deliberation of titles and book cover designs…the day is finally here.
Dear Lord, I don’t feel like I deserve this dream to come true. Remembering the days in front of that dark screen in my room, journaling my day that consisted mostly of backyard football and NHL 94 battles on the Sega Genesis with my brother to the late nights in an off campus house hoping these words would bless someone, someday. To the days where it seemed like this dream was all but lost, which happened on more than one occasion. My name is finally on the front of that book. God, I give you this book. Use it to help teens who are not consistently having a quiet time with the Lord yet. Use it to bless the frustrated college student who feels alone, disappointed, and abandoned to find comfort, encouragement, and fulfillment in the Bible. Use it to guide that 7th grader who feels lost in the new world of adolescence, and needs to discover the guiding hand of God’s Word.
You see, in the end, this dream became bigger than me. The dream becomes a reality when I am able to hand this book to a teenager or young adult and watch them fall in love with God’s Word. Now, that’s when my dreams truly come true.
Visit: http://www.bottomlinedevotional.com to learn more about the book and how you can order a copy.