I have always wanted to write a book. While this is not the same as a book, it is close and I think it will be a good start. The Biblical Bystanders idea was something that I thought of in my teenage years, but I never had the wherewithal to pursue it. This was probably due to both a bit of laziness and sense of how daunting writing a book would be. I put the idea aside during my college and graduate school years, but every once in awhile, it would resurface. Some more recent inspiration came via Ted Dekker’s books AD 30 and AD 33. But ultimately, I was re-inspired to pursue this venture because of some sermons I heard by Pastor Mike Adkins of Grace Orlando on Judas Iscariot and Simon Peter. Both sermons are embedded below. I heard the sermons, and they reminded me of this idea I had shelved for a few years. Finally, for the first time, I started to write.
However, prior to hearing those sermons, my original inspiration came many years ago when I heard a recorded Bible study by a man named Matt Lantz who works full-time for a wonderful organization called Pine Cove Camps in Tyler, TX. I wrote down extensive notes on the Bible study and one of my first installments of this project will be inspired by what I heard in that Bible study. You can find the audio recording of Matt’s study that I referred to here (select the Week 8 recording).
Around the same time, I also read The Innkeeper by John Piper which added to my inspiration to pursue this project. I was so inspired by how Piper created a historical fiction poem in order to give depth and provide a different perception to the innkeeper, all based on one or two verses about King Herod.
Lastly, I need to give credit to a man who was a big part of my inspiration to actually follow through on my dream of writing. I was always worried about writing because I am cut from the cloth of a mathematically focused background. Both my degrees are math-related and both are in extremely technical fields. But a friend named Thelonius Chestang inspired me to get in touch with my creative side through storytelling and writing. He has written two books about his faith and is working toward writing a few more. His background is mathematical and even more technical than my own. After working for him for over a year, I realized that I should just give writing a shot. Beyond that, he showed me that if writing could inspire or touch the life of at least one other person, then all the time spent struggling to get a story on paper would be worth it.
Overall, this project is something I am very excited about. Please remember that these stories are simply fiction. Some have more historic research behind them than other. Don’t get caught up in those details. I want the focus to be on the people in the stories. I also hope this project aids me in growing closer to the Lord by digging deeper into the Bible. I believe it will also help me and whoever reads these stories to realize that the bible stories we all heard growing up and read now are very real and happened to real people just like us. Hopefully God can use these stories in your life like He did in mine. Enjoy!