THIS IS HOW IT HAPPENED. With an introduction from Gloria Gaither to Jack Countryman, who was head of the devotional division (COUNTRYMAN) at Thomas Nelson at the time, Jack agreed to see me about a project I had just completed called IN THE MOURNING (see menu). Jack ultimately turned down the project, but his editors liked my writing. Jack told me if/when I have something else he would be glad to look at it. After an awful 2001 (the loss of both my father and Benita's father, 2 of our Dalmatians, and a lawsuit), I woke up on the morning of August 1, 2002, and vowed to write every day for a year, and on one subject, love. I posted each day on my web site. Some posts were as few as 200 words, some as high as 1500 words. At the end of 15 months, I had a manuscript that was 7 inches deep when printed. We went back to COUNTRYMAN with the manuscript and, to make a long story short, it wasn't long until I had my first book deal. I was told I needed to compress each issue to 200 words or less. In spite of my complaining, I did as I was told and worked long days, reducing each entry to its lowest and finest common denominator, to the soul of the idea, where it lay hidden beneath an avalanche of words. 

It was the best experience for me as a writer. But the result? A very quotable book with one subject. In the land of Twitter and Facebook, a quotable book is a great asset. Anyway, that is its little history. What I have come to understand and admire about devotionals is how timeless they can be, when written well, of course. By the way, my first grandchild, Julian David Roberts, was born less than an hour after I received the first copies of the book.  

Read: FROM BLOG TO BOOK: ONE SKEPTIC'S JOURNEY at This article, written in 2011, details how TO LOVE IS CHRIST migrated from blog to book.


TO LOVE IS CHRIST (Thomas Nelson, 2005).