I had made a tragic decision to be unequally yoked in my business with a partner and that precipitated a 5 year period of intense tribulation that destroyed family finances along with my mental, emotional and physical health (God made all things work to the good and that is a story for the blog probably).
Despite our financial duress, we tried to maintain a normal life for our daughter. One of our daughter's friends had been to the Winter Jam Tour and our daughter was interested in attending. We made the somewhat difficult decision to spend the money for me to attend the concert with my daughter and her friend. So on February 12, 2017 we attended the Winter Jam concert in Peoria, Illinois.
Winter Jam is a Christian concert tour organized by the Christian rock group Newsong. The event was about 10 music acts along with teaching and preaching between sets.
In between one of the sets Pastor Bobby Joiner, the chaplain for the tour spoke and mentioned that he had a devotional book called "40 Days in the Jesus Cafe" and that it was available at the Newsong merchandise booths around the arena concourse.
I liked the description of the devotion and I was at a period in my life where I desperately needed some peace inducing reading for my stress-induced sleepless nights, so I went down to find one of the Newsong booths closest to my seat. It took me ten or fifteen minutes to find the Newsong booth.
Because one of the bands was playing, there were not any people at the merchandise booths. I asked the man at the booth for Pastor Joiner's devotional and he grabbed it and ran my card. He then started writing on the inside cover and said to me, "This is my personal email. I really would appreciate your feedback when you are done reading it, I'm Pastor Bobby Joiner." I thanked him and rejoined my daughter for the rest of the concert.
Since I was not sleeping much, and I am very "Type A", I finished the 40 days in the Jesus Cafe in 4 days. I then emailed Pastor Bobby with very in depth comments about the book. Over the next few weeks we emailed back and forth about family stuff and prayers for each other.
After a number of emails, Pastor Bobby said to me that my emails showed some writing skills and he asked me if I had ever considered writing. I expressed that I did a lot of writing for my business to create sales and marketing pieces (check out my business websites http://libertyautotech.net http://healthierinterior.net http://safeanddependable.com ), and I loved writing in high school but I hadn't really done much writing other than that. "You should think about it," was his final comment, and life soon caused us to lose contact.
The thought that I even went to the concert given my financial and life situation at that time, that I even listened to Pastor Joiner when I had my daughter and another teenager talking at 100 mph, that Pastor Bobby himself went to the booth closest to my section and that our timing of both being there at the same time in the concert, that he would write his email in my book, that I would actually write back to him and that he would respond and that we would correspond long enough for him to comment on my writing ability and that little spark would lead to a three year journey to complete this book.
So, thank you Pastor Bobby Joiner for your love of our Savior and for what you have done with Newsong and the WinterJam tours. Thank you for having a heart to encourage. Without your obedience this book would probably have not been initiated. What you have done in time has impacted eternity (and made my experience here in time a little richer).
I would love for anyone who buys my book to also buy the book that lead to "The Eternity Perspective". "40 Days in the Jesus Cafe" is a great devotional. Here is the intro blurb for it:
Venture with us on a journey through these pages as Pastor Bobby shares what it might be like if Jesus were speaking to us in the first person motivating us to become more like Him, resulting in more blessings for us here on Earth and rewards in Heaven from our all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful Father God!
It’s no secret that people become like those they choose to hang out with! My reading friend, investing quality time over the next 40 days with Jesus—the One who created and saved us—will prove to be a wise decision!
To order Pastor Bobby's devotionals the old fashioned way:
Devotionals are available through the mail for $15 each. Send payment in the form of a check (made out to Lost and Found Ministries) and a list of the books you want to purchase to:
Lost & Found Ministries
c/o Melinda Franz
204 7th Ct SE
Bondurant, IA 50035
Dive into a forty days of traveling back into biblical history in a “Spiritual Time Machine.” Watch encounters with Jesus as we see Mary, Joseph, the Disciples, Romans, Jewish Leaders and many many more have one-on-one moments with the Savior.
We will be witnessing some of history’s greatest moments in which created beings directly encountered their divine Creator—God’s Word-Son.
This is your invitation to come with us as we dare to get closer to Jesus.
In this devotional Pastor Bobby Joiner reminds us of the daily choices needed to keep the Lord a priority. He doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects, yet spans the scope of discipleship in looking at the joys and the trials that come from walking a road of obedience to Christ.
As is tradition, Bobby shares several “desserts” with us, telling of stories of others who are seeking to follow the Lord as well.
Together, we are all drawn closer to the heart of God. And you are invited into this journey.