The Journey Begins: A Walk Of Faith, by Lynn M. Strong
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Bostick Communications/the author in exchange for an honest review.]
There are times where knowing something about the context of a book makes it more enjoyable to read. This short book, about 90 pages in length, was written by the author when he was put on early retirement at the age of 58, and struggled with feeling old and unappreciated, and having a hard time finding good work again. What he did was something remarkable, and wonderful, and that is writing this particular short book and sharing with the appreciative readers of this book his own reflects and thoughts and poetry. As someone who has read many books from this publisher , this book definitely gets self-publishing right, and that is by providing something other people are going to want to read. There are a lot of people who struggle with growing older and being forced into early retirement, and this book is short enough and well-written enough that it would be a comfort to many people and an encouragement for them to write about their own thoughts and feelings and to share their own struggles with the negativity involved in feeling like the purposes of life have been reduced by a lack of work.
After an introduction, that explains the genesis of the author’s writings, this book consists of more than 40 reflections with a particular format, given a title and with three verses or short passages from the Bible, a commentary of one to three paragraphs, and a short poem made up of quatrains with an ABCB rhyme scheme that sound like the metrical psalms popular in many English-speaking Protestant churches. The titles generally give a fair picture of the contents: Help Us Lord, Old Age, Power Monday, Our Walk / Your Way, Keep The Faith, In The Press, and Thoughts In Mind are some examples of the contents provided in these pages. The contents are all very straightforward–this is not deeply symbolic and mysterious poetry but rather direct and often didactic poetry written in the first and second person. As someone who has read more than my fair share of really bad poetry, it is nice from time to time to read poetry that has no pretensions and that manages to convey its point straightforwardly. Those who read this book will not be in any mystery about what the author is talking about, and are likely to find some encouragement in the author’s words as well as the choice citations from scripture.
The title of this book gives the indication that there is likely to be more material from the author yet to come. If, for example, this is the beginning of a journey, there may yet be more volumes of writing from the author, and that is likely to be enjoyable. The author has been married to his high school sweetheart for 40 years and has also been involved in prison ministry, both of which are spoken of here in the book, and both of which likely can provide the author with insight for further books. Perhaps having begun his writing with this particular volume, the success of these efforts will encourage the author to future books, which, if they are as good as this volume, will likely also be encouraging and pleasant to read. The author strikes the reader as someone who was likely not encouraged to be a writer during his youth, and as a result the author appears not to have spent years practicing work. It is noteworthy that it was a crisis of retirement that prompted the author to begin to write, and one can only hope that he found as much peace and enjoyment writing this book as others are likely to find reading it. The world can always use more people who write honestly and well.
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