Two books of mine have been released from Zondervan over the past month.
One is entitled ROOTED, the other STREAMS.
ROOTED has a longer history. When I lived near Banff, Alberta, a famous tourist resort, I first realized that we had a number of major gardens in the Bible that had strong spiritual connections to one another. Eden, of course, was first and obvious, and it had a direct link to Gethsemane, another garden, where Jesus made up his mind to go forward and undo the curse of humanity's sin in Eden. Then I looked and no sooner is Jesus taken down dead from the Cross then his body is placed in a tomb in another garden. And in that garden where he has been laid out dead he will rise from the dead on a spring Passover morning.
These three gardens were enough to give me a sermon series which I preached at the church I pastored near Banff in the town of Canmore. I used Eden, Gethsemane and the Garden Tomb. I spoke this message in various other locations as well, including the next church I pastored which is located only a few hours south of Banff. As time went on, I found En Gedi, another garden, and also felt that many portions of Revelation present the Kingdom of Heaven in a garden-like state, so I included those and wound up with five gardens in all.
The first time I put this idea in book form was a work entitled The Five Gardens of God. A couple of years later Zondervan asked me to re-work the book, make it more appealing to the mainstream without sacrificing its strengths, add more story, and ROOTED was born.
STREAMS came to be because they wanted a companion volume to go out with ROOTED and they indicated an interest in the water theme (I had suggested deserts or wilderness or high places and mountains). I spent several months working with water in the Bible, especially rivers and lakes and seas, in the same way I had worked with gardens. This time I included a lot of personal story from the start.
So far the feedback from both books has been positive and there has certainly been a lot of interest in the "new kid" of the two, STREAMS. Both are being distributed in Canada, the USA and Britain. Recently, the rights for a Deutsche ROOTED was sold to a publisher in Germany.
I'm grateful to God for the opportunity to tell stories and Biblical truths in such a way they might help others to see Christ and see the sometimes smooth and sometimes rugged road of believing that lies ahead of them. I hope I will get the chance to try out another couple of themes in two different books.