I Do or I Don’t
It’s an engaging title. Its subtitle spells it out a little by way of amplification: “Cultivating a Godly Marriage in Today’s World.”
My part in the story goes back a year or two when I was first asked to make contact with a family counseling pastor. “You and he need to have a conversation,” Randy told me. “He’s very interested in the kinds of books you produce.” The “he” in “You and he” turned out to be a tall, fit-looking man whose eyes smiled from behind oval-shaped spectacles.
“You know, I’m writing a book,” he informed me. “It’s all about being a parent. I plan to call it ‘It’s Apparent … You’re a Parent!'” His enthusiasm was infectious and I could not help but ask him to tell me more. So, over breakfast one morning, he told me the whole story. “… well, I really do need someone to help me get this into print,” he concluded.
It was one of those serendipitous moments where opportunity and need met and shook hands. John has passion to communicate. He loves people, engaging with them, meeting them at their point of need, and guiding them in the counsel of Scripture. His friendly approach makes you warm to him and like him immediately. My instinct for publishing told me that within the sheaf of papers he handed me lay a treasure in need of some polishing and rearranging.
We jokingly spoke of how it is that an author can have a book in him that someone else has to help get out of him (consider the cartoon here!), much like the way a midwife helps in the delivery of a baby. It led to some banter between us in the ensuing months.
“Let me work on it a little for you,” I suggested. Some weeks later, I handed another sheaf of papers back to him. He loved it straight away. “I’d like it to be a hardback,” he informed me. “It should be quite small, about this size.” (He pointed to a book on his desk.) “I want it to have appeal, and to be as presentable to a man as it would be to a lady. Can you produce something like that?”
I like to think of myself as the kind of person who says, “Yes is the answer; now what is the question, please?” It took some careful planning, but some months later, John took delivery of several cases of “It’s Apparent … You’re a Parent!”
But That Is Only the First Part of the Story…
“My second book must somehow tie in with the first one; I’d like it to have the same kind of cover and to look as if it is in the same family.” That tied in exactly with what I had been thinking. And so began the second publishing adventure that John Lehman (pronounce it as Lay-Man) and I were to share.
Again we exchanged sheaves of paper; there were developments, corrections, some brainstorming, and lots of cover design sessions. It was fun from start to finish.
In one sense, John put the cart before the horse, as his second book is on engagement and marriage, whereas the first is on parenting. But, well, why not? One need is as great as the other.
I love the way John teases out so many practical aspects of engagement and marriage. And if that is not enough, he also presents several worksheet exercises. I guarantee you, these sheets are worth the price of the book alone (and if that’s not good enough for you, you can even access the sheets online for free, to save marking your copy of the book!)
I’ll talk a lot more about this publication in future posts, but I’d also like to point you to a few links to let you see a little more of this book.