Matthew 25:21. "Well done good and faithful servant...Welcomeinto the joy of your Lord."
“God delights when we step out in faith.” Rev. Robert Selle spoke these words in a sermon last Sunday at Peace Lutheran in Naples, Florida. Bob began Amigos Ministries in Immokalee, Florida over two decaes ago. In that time he ministered to the poorest of the poor, agricultural workers, immigrants, and many that had lost their way. He sacrificed, he prayed, he lived by faith. Retired now, Bob Selle looked back on all the Lord had allowed him to do by faith. As St. Paul reminds us, “The righteous will live by faith.” Faith in God’s gift of salvation, faith in the forgives of sins, faith to step out, to take risks. God delights when we step out in faith.
I had the opportunity to step out in faith seven years ago to begin Mission Nation Publishing. After twenty five years as a supervisor of missionaries I had been deeply impressed by their courage, their love and their "stepping out" faith. In particular missionaries that came to America from other countries took many risks. In fact, many had been refined by fire. I wanted everyone to know they are gifts God is giving to a church under stress in America; I felt a call to share their stories of sacrifice and the way the Holy Spirit led them to step out in faith. There is trepidation any time we risk, but as Pr. Selle said, “God delights when we step out in faith.”
After I retired God opened a door to write the biography of LK Wood, the scion of the Wood Realty Company in St. Louis. LK had a story of survival and faith he wanted to share. I had to step out to do this, never having written a biography, and really wasn’t interested. But LK was persistent. So, it turns out, was the Lord.
To make a long story short, I worked with a wonderful coach, Julie Ieron, who had published many books. We took six months to write,"LK Wood as Everyone Should." It is for sale in bookstores like Barnes and Noble and online. But that was just the beginning. I wondered what I could do with this new skill, and believed the Lord would open a door for ministry.
Lynn and I began Mission Nation Publishing to write the biographies of new missionaries to America. These are courageous, intelligent, passionate men and women that had stepped out in faith to serve Jesus. Sure, there were many of these missionaries in the US, and it might take forever to write biographies of even the most well-known. We stepped out in faith.
I attended a writers' conference at the Mayflower Hotel in New York City in 2015. During lunch break the first day I made my way to a crowded pizzeria adjacent to the Hotel. There were no empty tables, but there was an empty chair, at a table where three others were sitting. They invited me to eat with them. That’s when Christine Schulden came into the picture. Christine was with her husband and a friend at the conference because she wanted to become a writer. When I explained why I was at the conference she said, “I would love to write those books.” That’s the moment I realized there were probably others who could write the biographies. I could mentor them with what I learned from my coach and writing the LK Wood book. The loosely held secret in the book publishing business is that "Books aren’t written, they are edited."
"Stepping out” to write a book for Mission Nationi begins when we hear a powerful story of God leading a missionary from another country to America. We then look for someone who has a gift for writing narrative, either an author we have worked with before or someone who has always wanted to write – but always someone who wants to delight the Lord. I coach them, do a first edit, and when the manuscript is complete we send it to an editor we have been blessed to work with for several years, Christy Pitney. When the manuscript is finished it is time to format the manuscript for Amazon – but Amazon has rigid formatting rules that most of us cannot meet.
So we go to fiverr (www.fiverr.com). There you can find soneone to format the book according to Amazon's standards. (You can also find an editor at fiverr). All at reasonable rates. The person you hire will make as many changes as necessary to upload to Amazon. We do the same for a cover, although Amazon will provide a way for you to create a cover online.
Once done, Amazon will do fulfillment and arrange payouts to your bank account. There are several other plaforms you can find online, such as Wix, that are also helpful. But the work has just started. Marketing the book takes as much time and effort as everything else you've done so far. As much time as you put into writing the book would now be spent marketing. At Mission Nation we pay an author $1,000 to own the book and we do the marketing and receive payouts.
If you are someone who has always wanted to write a book, someone who wants to please the Lord, let us know. Why not step out? "Stepping faith" is a joy to the Lord. (Matthew Matthew 25:
Come to our website to see our books about those courageous, faith filled missionaries who stepped out in faith. If you are interested, purchase a set of all seven biographies at a reduced rate for your church library, a mission team, or a child or grandchild. Who knows? Someday they may be moved to step out - and becme a missionary - or a writer. That is if you believe God delights in someone who steps out in faith. Click the link below to find out more.