I’m writing a book. For those of you who have already checked out my Project page, this is old news.
However, I have yet to uncovered the said promised early chapter releases, but I assure you they’re coming soon! Here’s what to expect:
Quiet Alaskan Mornings
Introduction: Blogging to Book
Writing in a journal used to be a major part of my devotional life. Sometimes, it was just a small thought about a passage of Scripture, or a prayer that I felt like writing out. Other times, it was full-on descriptions of my life and faith-walk. I have kept these journals and they have been an interesting window into my past thoughts, prayers and struggles. Though these journals live in a box in my garage and rarely see daylight; I cherish them like a rare treasure.
This considered, at some point in young adulthood my desire to journal dried up and I quit all together. As I think back, I’m not sure exactly when or why I stopped. The frequency of entries just seemed to trickle off. I still had a fairly regular devotional life; but for whatever reason, I felt no compulsion to record my life’s events, nor what I was gleaning from my quiet time with the Lord.
Fast-forward to August 2009 and my discovery of blogging. Less than one year prior, I had moved my family from familiar Canadian soil to take on a youth pastor position in the conservative Last Frontier of Alaska. By the time I started my blog, I had already experienced a year of building into lives of others, within a cultural environment that I had not fully understood. Sure, everyone spoke English and the natural landscape looked similar to many parts of Canada, but the social landscape pulled me out of my comfort zone almost daily.
On August 30, 2009, I submitted my very first post into a blog that I titled “Quiet Mornings With Him” (which would eventually become “JeremyNortonBlog.com”). The goal was similar to my previous years of journal-writing. I would get up early, drink a cup of coffee and recount life’s events, as they relate within my personal devotional time with the Lord. The obvious and somewhat terrifying difference would be the very exposed forum, in which I would be recording my prayers and daily musings.
Almost instantly, I found myself writing my thoughts, opinions, lessons learned, petitions and prayers-answered; with more fervor than I ever had before. I found that I fell in love with God’s Word in a fresh new way, as I interacted with it through this public creative outlet. There was a rejuvenating freedom that came from being able to unleash private thoughts and opinions in a neutral social setting.
Though my adventure in Alaska was already a year in the making, my team had been established, vision had been cast, training had been issued and plans had been set into motion; I would say that this was really the starting point. My calling in ministry was being developed privately, as I invited the outside world into my daily experiences, and my personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Who knew that what I started that day would eventually become the literary work that is before you now?
If you’ve picked up this book, you’re likely passionate about one of two topics: Ministry or Alaska. I assure you that both topics are vast and equally wild. To be sure, you will find some interesting experiences that are unique to the Last Frontier. However, my goal is to assist ministry leaders in small communities. Each chapter will carry with it a lesson learned throughout my ministry in small town Alaska. This being said, if you are looking for an instructional manual or step-by-step guide, you will not find it here. This book is an account of what took place over a 4-year time-period, to show that with the right vision and the right team, matched with a fervent dependency on God’s leading; a successful ministry is possible in any community, regardless of the location or size.
So, to all who are struggling to provide a solid program or event within a small community; take heart. I understand that you don’t have the 500+ congregational attendance to pull your resources and budget from. I know what it’s like to have a hand-full of people make up your ministry team. Perhaps, you’re without a senior pastor or your local body has gone through a time of “transition”? I’ve been there too. Despite all these hurdles, I have experienced the growth in numbers and depth that God can provide with a dedicated multi-generational team of who remain steadfast and united. I assure you, that you have everything you need to experience and achieve the life-changing ministry that your heart is yearning for.
“Being confident of this, that He who created a good work in you will carry it on to completion, until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
Jeremy W. Norton
What’s the initial response? Would you read this book?