Hope for a Book

Uploading FaithIn the middle of supper, my son turned toward me and asked, “What do you think of my generation?” An honest question, laced with hope that my answer might satisfy or invite open debate.

What do I think of his millennial generation, these precious ones born to Baby Boomers during the years of 1981-1996?

“I think your generation includes the smartest, most talented group I have ever known. Yours is the first generation whose native language is computer.”

He seemed pleased. A tiny grin settled in his right dimple.

Then I continued, “But I also think millennials feel sad.”

He nodded, and I saw in his eyes a hint of his own emotional angst. We talked about the traumatic issues that have affected his generation:

  • The heart-stopping moment of 9-11 which defines the millennial generation
  • The numbers of his friends who have overdosed or chosen suicide as a way out of their struggles
  • The side effects of wars, how security seems unattainable
  • The massive college debts and the impossibility of owning a home — financial despair
  • The hypocrisy of those they trusted, leaving them floundering for faith, love and peace

Yet as sad as these bullets, a pathway back to hope is possible.

Barely a year ago, my son and I began a project — a book to present to millennials and those who love them. Our goal was to write an easy-to-understand manual about faith.

We included the basics: Who is God? How can we understand the Trinity? Why does God allow bad things to happen?

Yeah, not easy stuff. But these are some of the questions millennials ask and should ask as they seek honest answers.

I wrote each chapter, then my resident millennial son edited. He took out my Baby Boomer language and prodded me to consider the why of each topic.

Millennials want to know why. They demand authenticity. They will not, cannot accept a fact just because someone says so.

Each chapter was fact-checked for theological accuracy from a trusted pastor. Each word poured over, revised, prayed for.

Even the cover was chosen by my millennial — an abstract photo, the darker colors, block lettering.

This book is our attempt to reach out to those whose hearts are sad. We hope readers will feel less isolated, less confused about this divine One who loves them.

So UPLOADING FAITH: What It Means to Believe is now complete and available for sale. It may be the most important work I have done, certainly a project my son and I accomplished together.

That alone makes it precious.

If you know a millennial, if you are a millennial, consider reading this book. We wrote it because we care about you.

©2019 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved

UPLOADING FAITH: What It Means to Believe is available on Amazon and Kindle.

 

Why Write About Alzheimer’s

Someone recently asked me, “Why write about Alzheimer’s? Isn’t that depressing? What caused you to choose that kind of story?”

"The Unraveling of Reverend G"

“The Unraveling of Reverend G”

With the second novel in the Life of Cove Creek, “Intermission for Reverend G” soon to be released, I wanted to answer those questions.

Five million Americans live within the shadows of Alzheimer’s Disease. And with the progressive live-longer-and-fight-stronger attitude of the Baby Boomers, it is likely that many more BB’s will join that statistic.

Several nonfiction books deal with the subject, but why a novel and why write it in the first person, from the brain view and heart pulse of the main character?

Because it’s unique. My marketing research found one or two books about Alzheimer’s written from the third person – as outside observers of the destruction of a life.

But hopefully, my books are different. They invite my readers into the soul of this woman who struggles with the fear of losing memories and possibly losing contact with the God she loves more than anyone else.

This series reminds us that inside each person who sometimes forgets, there is still a soul and some type of thought process. Connections may be flawed, but communication is still possible.

These books needed to be written to remind caregivers to search for hope and believe that their incredibly difficult work has eternal significance.

Reverend G asked to have a voice so that all of us can look differently at Alzheimer’s victims, to appreciate the people they once were, to love the souls they still are.

Finally, these books are a legacy to all those people who so patiently care for those who forget. They are mirrors that reflect my family – my dad who died within the shadows of dementia, my mother who fades away daily within the plaque of Alzheimer’s.

But ultimately, I wrote this series because one day I woke up with a story in my head and characters who begged to escape.

I wrote these books for you, my readers – to enjoy, to learn from and to pass on so that the next generation never forgets.

©2014 RJ Thesman – “The Unraveling of Reverend G” – http://amzn.to/11QATC1

When Doubt Swallows Faith

doubt vs faithA recent Bible study in my lifegroup discussed the issue of doubt versus faith. I decided not to bother with the homework. After all, faith is one of my core values and also one of my spiritual gifts. I really have no problems with doubt.

Then I attended a networking meeting where a financial planner spoke. She provided sobering facts about the economy and our need to be prepared. One of the most chilling stats she quoted was that 70% of Baby Boomers will live in poverty during their retirement years.

As I listened to this bad news, I felt doubt and discouragement creep into my soul. Yes, I’ve tried to be careful and save money. I have my eggs in several financial baskets. Unfortunately, I only have three eggs and they’re about the size of those jelly beans we eat at Easter.

So doubt crept in, replacing all my confident faith thoughts. What will I do if I face a major illness and can’t work? My plan is based on continuing to write and coach and work in ministry until God says, “You’re done. Come home.”

God has always provided for me. He often whispers, “I will take care of you.”

But do I really believe that? Where is my faith?

Every time I visit my mother in assisted living, I remind her how lucky she is. A woman who planned and saved throughout her lifetime, she also bought long-term care insurance when it was affordable. She now lives in a beautiful facility and all her needs are met. She never has to worry about bills again.

I look around her beautiful room with all her comforts and I envy – yes, envy her.

Even with the Alzheimer’s journey she is on, I envy my mother’s cozy existence and wish I could hope for the same.

But where is my faith? Yes, it is important to plan and save and hope for the best. But ultimately, none of us knows what life will hand us nor how long we will live.

Will life be short enough to utilize our careful plans or will it prove to be too long, leaving us in poverty when we cannot work our way out of it?

All I can do is be grateful that Mom is comfortable while I keep working and doing what God tells me to do – keep believing that God will indeed take care of me.

In the end, that’s the best long-term insurance available.

©2013 RJ Thesman – “The Unraveling of Reverend G” – http://amzn.to/11QATC1

Why Write About Dementia

With my novel, “The Unraveling of Reverend G” soon to be released, someone recently asked me, “Why write about that subject? What caused you to choose that kind of story?”

It’s a fair question. Five million Americans struggle with the symptoms of dementia and/or Alzheimer’s. And with the progressive live-longer-and-fight-stronger attitude of the Baby Boomers, it is likely that many BB’s will join that statistic.

Several nonfiction books deal with the subject of dementia, but why a novel and why write it in the first person, from the brain view and heart pulse of the main character?

Because it’s unique. My marketing research found one or two novels about Alzheimer’s written from the third person – as outside observers of the destruction of a life.

But “The Unraveling of Reverend G” is different. It takes us personally into the soul of this woman who struggles with the fear of losing memories and possibly losing contact with the God she loves more than anyone else.

It reminds us that inside each person who sometimes forgets, there is still a soul and some type of thought process. Connections may be flawed, but communication is still possible.

This book needed to be written to remind caregivers to search for hope and believe that their incredibly difficult work has eternal significance.

Reverend G asked to have a voice so that all of us can look differently at Alzheimer’s victims and appreciate the people they once were – they souls they still are.

Finally, this book is a legacy to all those people who so patiently care for those who forget. It is a mirror that reflects my own family – my dad who died within the shadows of dementia, my mother who daily fades away .

But ultimately, I wrote this book because one day I woke up with a story in my head and characters who begged to escape.

And I wrote this book for you – to enjoy, to learn from and to pass on so that the next generation never forgets.