Friday, January 25, 2008

Faith on the Edge

I may not be around much this weekend, but I did want to take a moment to answer a question or two. Some of you have noticed that I helped write a book -- Faith on the Edge: Daring to Follow Jesus. I really appreciate you asking about it! It's like asking someone about a much loved child . . . .

It came out the end of 1999 and was published by InterVarsity Press. The big push for it was InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's national student mission's conference.

  • It is still available. You can get it at Amazon or through IVP or have a bookstore order it.

  • It is a written by a group. Paul Tokunaga was our fearless leader. It is usually indexed under him, though it will eventually come up under Amy Brooke as well. The trick there is that there appears to be another Amy Brooke out there who writes as well. How is that for confusing? So, lately, I've been trying to add the "L" to my name -- Amy L Brooke. Though, that doesn't help with things that have already been written!

  • It's a discipleship book. It was written as a tool for people to use in mentoring/discipling. Working for InterVarsity, we particularly had college students in mind. However, I still think it has a lot to say to others. But, I may be biased.

  • It is probably unique in that it was written by 6 vastly different people in gender, age, ethnicity, background. We were selected for our diversity. We had in common a love for Jesus and a joy in writing.

  • The format is 24 chapters that are each 8-10 pages long with discussion/reflection questions at the end. They are broken into 3 broad categories: 1) Rooted in Christ, 2) Committed in Relationships, 3) Disturbing the World.

  • My chapters are: Risking Forgiveness, Only Very Good Together (gender relationships), Knowing God's Heart for the World (missions), and my favorite -- Hope When We Fall.

Working on this was a gift from God. I had submitted a few articles to IV's SLJ (Student Leadership Journal) but had not done much more than that. And then suddenly, Cindy Bunch (an editor at IVP) approached me at the National Staff Conference about the possibility of working on this. I had known Cindy through staffing some camps and working for IVP at the Urbana Mission Conference. She knew I liked to write, but I didn't know she knew I could!

Apparently, they wanted a diverse group even in the regions of the country they came from. Cindy was working with Paul on putting the team together. They had someone from New York, Georgia, Florida, and two from California. They needed a representative from the Midwest. Cindy suggested me. The story goes that since Paul had never heard of me, he nixed the idea. But they couldn't figure out who . . . . Cindy finally suggested that they ask Jeff Yourison, the editor of SLJ. Apparently, I was the first person out of his mouth when they asked. (Thank you, Jeff!) So, I was asked and would have been crazy not to. It's got to be a God thing when an editor approaches a writer-wanna-be!

But, I haven't done much writing since. I'm just beginning again. I think it was that life just happened and the depression worsened and I got really afraid of rejection. I started connecting to Lysa's blog and she left really kind comments for me. I don't think that I would have entered the contest if I hadn't had that affirmation.

Here is a blip from the book. It's from the hope chapter since I'm chronicling hope this year:

He died on January 21, 1924, but over seven decades later I stood in line to view his body in a guarded mausoleum in Moscow's Red Square. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin helped usher Communism into Russia, and for some he was a savior, the ultimate source of hope for a better future. But Communism is no longer the leading force in Russia. As I viewed Lenin's body in 1998, I wondered, What good is a hope that is dead?

A friend once asked, "Do you have hope?" I had to think for a minute. Sometimes I don't feel very hopeful. Some of the sins I struggled with ten years ago, I struggle with today. Some of the things that gave me pain years ago still bring tears to my eyes. I still fail miserably, sometimes on a daily basis. But I do have hope. Having hope is some of the essence of what it means to follow Jesus. I am not the same person I was yesterday or the day before. I have hope for some of the same reasons Peter did.

And then I take a long look at Peter . . . . To fail Jesus so miserably by denying Him when he needed him the most . . . . The dude had to have hope if after doing that he could still jump out of a boat and enthusiastically greet Jesus on the beach.

I want hope like that. Maybe that is why I've come back to it after all these years. If I were Peter, I would have sulked ashamedly in the boat. Not Peter. I want that kind of hope. Finding that hope is probably what all this Hope Chronicle stuff is about.

Well, I should get off the computer and go to bed. I have a friend's two girls (5 & 7) tomorrow morning through late Sunday afternoon. I'm glad it is pajama day at church on Sunday! I won't have to worry about getting them dressed! (Seriously, it really is pajama day on Sunday! Only at Crosswinds . . . .)

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