The story of my book Murder in the Church is by far the most unbelievable story I have ever encountered in the ministry or in life.
In fact, I know thousands of pastors and none of them have ever experienced anything like it in the ministry. It would take me much more than a blog to tell it. So I am not going to do that. But I would like to tell you a tiny segment of the story.
You see, I have a deal with God. I told the Lord many years ago that if He has anything He wants to communicate to me in the middle of the night, to please do it between the hours of 3 and 4 in the morning. That way I will be able to have 4 or 5 hours of sleep under my belt. If His words keep me up the remainder of the night I will at least have enough rest to keep me going the next day. It also helps me to know if I wake up at that time, there is a good chance it really is God wanting to talk with me about something.
Well, it appears God took me up on it; because there have been several times since the deal was struck that He woke me up after dreams that were significant, or to give me ideas, or sermon directions, or church guidance and more.
Now, to be completely honest, there have been several times that I woke up during that time when I sensed no significant word or direction from the Lord. When that happens, I give it plenty of time to be sure God doesn’t have anything to tell me, then I will trickle back into bed and fall off again into dreamland.
After the incident described in the book, I asked the people in the story if they were interested in working with me to write a book about what happened to bring hope and encouragement to others. They said ‘no’ but gave me permission to write it if I wanted to. But I didn’t feel comfortable at the time and had no ideas for the book. So I let the idea die.
However, it was because of the 3 to 4 o’clock deal I had with God that I sat up and took notice one night when I woke up at exactly 3 AM; and did so on a night that was also exactly three years after the experience and tragedy that is told in the book.
I woke up and lay in my bed next to my wife in complete frustration. I said, “Lord what was that experience all about? And what did you have in mind when you indirectly predicted the incident (a detail also told in the story). And then, why did so little happened in our church after the event was over? Why did it all happen?”
I didn’t really expect to receive an answer from the Lord. I just woke up frustrated and was venting. However, no sooner had the question, (why did it happen?) proceed from my heart than I heard an answer.
I heard the Lord say, “It happened because you are supposed to write about it.”
Now, if you are familiar with the story you have to wonder about this wording. It sounds like God caused the tragedy of the story so I could write a book. But that is pretty far from biblical soundness. God is good and holy. That could never be His intention. However, after an incident has occurred, He can bring His purposes into any situation (John 9:1-3). And I think that is what He meant by His answer to me.
About a nanosecond after God’s response to me about writing the book, an idea popped into my mind about how I was to write the story, (Day One, Day Two, and so forth) which I believe beyond any doubt God planted in my mind. That is why I wrote the book “Murder in the Church”. The amazing events of this story cover nine traumatic days that, all together, will teach people how to live every day thereafter.
I encourage you to acquire this amazing book. More than one person has said of it, “It is the best book I have ever read.” You can get a hard copy from my website, or order a Kindle version from there for a significant savings. But if you get it, be ready for a roller coaster ride. It is an incredible true story.
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