A Book That Engaged Me for Several Hundred Miles
Notwithstanding my smaller-than-average stature and build, I was feeling cramped and as if I had been traveling for over twenty-four hours. I shifted again in my seat to try to alleviate the numbness in my posterior. The American Airlines plane, a small two-engine jet en route from Chicago to Greenville, South Carolina, hit another patch of turbulence; involuntarily I looked out of the small window and noted the proximity of denser cloud–purples etched with grays. “Not too much longer,” I thought to myself above the all-pervading hum of the aircraft. I turned my eyes back to the book that had been holding my attention for much of the journey that day on an earlier flight from Manchester airport, and now on this last leg of the journey: “Everyday Talk–Talking Freely and Naturally about God with Your Children” written by Jay (John A.) Younts (further details HERE). I must say that an important detail escaped my attention at the time: the author lived in the very town to which I was traveling!
Rummaging through my laptop bag wedged under the seat in front of me, I checked my papers for when we would arrive at GSP, the Greenville Spartanburg Airport. With my wife, Sue, and our son, Matthew, just five or so years old at the time, we were to be staying for a few weeks in the Greenville area to get a sense of whether we might one day be able to live there. My UK employers at the time were keen for me to establish a greater presence in the United States.
Happily, in my many travels, my pathway had often crossed with that of Rick and Linda Riggall, a delightful couple from Shepherd Press. Often at trade events, Rick would show me the latest resource that had been produced. I was always struck by the commitment to editorial integrity and production quality that was a hallmark of Shepherd Press. The one I held in my grasp in that turbulent air was another such book. As I had read through it all those hundreds of miles over the Atlantic and then over the US landmass, I had found myself mentally underscoring large sections and I could hear my voice (the auditory equivalent of my mind’s eye) affirming, “Yes, that’s right!”
In Everyday Talk, Jay writes from the heart about making and taking those natural opportunities to speak to our children about spiritual matters. There needs be no divide between the “secular” and the “sacred.” All of life belongs to God, and, if we are living in reference to Him, there are certainly many ways a spiritual conversation may be engendered, and many is the time that there is an event that intersects with our lives that proves a natural node for discussion. You can find out a lot more about the book here; to you, let me say that I rate it a five-star book!
Some Years Later
Fast-forward nine or so years and I find myself in different yet related circumstances. Instead of living in the UK, I am now resident in the USA—in Greenville, South Carolina—and no longer in the employ of Day One, but serving Shepherd Press on a part-time and freelance basis. And it has been my delight to make the personal acquaintance of Jay Younts. He is the blogger at Shepherd Press. Moreover, he has more than one book in him!
Today, we are seated in the studio of HIS Radio, from which Kevin Boling, host of Knowing the Truth Radio, broadcasts a live, one-hour interview with Jay. Kevin, energetic, distinguished, articulate, friendly, has a way of putting his radio guests at ease. With Gary, the engineer behind the desk managing the controls, and Jay occupying a seat next to me, I enjoy the passive perspective of listening in on the interview, ready to chime in if appropriate, but mostly just glad to have Jay be able to share with the radio listeners—and you (for you can listen in online–see below)—to the wisdom he has gained over the years on how to cultivate a relationship with our kids so that we may speak to them in natural terms and ways about the special relationship God has established in marriage. Jay, himself not only a father but also a grandfather, is a natural communicator and has worked with his son, David, in putting together this resource titled “Everyday Talk about Sex and Marriage” and subtitled “A Biblical Handbook for Parents.” Silver-headed (and now without a beard after radiation treatment for throat cancer), his easy-to-listen-to voice comes over well on the radio, and he punctuates his conversation with illustrations and some humor.
I am so thankful to be able to have a part in the ministry of Shepherd Press, and to be able to help produce and promote such excellent, biblically faithful resources. Find out much more about the book in the information sheet HERE. And do be sure to listen in to the interview between Kevin and Jay–below.