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Just as all good novels include a plot twist, the Author and Creator of our lives often writes in a twist that ultimately blesses us more than our original plan. Have you ever experienced such a “Divine Detour”?
Divine Detours are the story of my life! I think everyone’s life. The publishing of every one of my books were a result of Divine Detours. What’s neat is I’m at a point in my life now where I can look back at all the pain, disappointment, seemingly wrong turns and see God’s hand in it all. When doing what God has called us to do, we may step off the path, take detours that don’t make sense and seem to be dead ends, but God always directs us back on course. And He always uses what we learned on the detour. My wife and I have a saying during the writing process. “We think we are making a book, but God is using the book to make us.” It’s all about the journey, the process.
Let’s talk about Dead Dog Like Me (Worthy Publishing, June 2015). The cover art is great! Please tell us about the story and the significance of the title.
It’s fast paced, entertaining, but also about brokenness and grace. The statement Dead Dog Like Me actually came from a scripture in 2 Samuel 9:8. Mephibosheth who was crippled and broken came to a place in his life where he saw himself as a Dead Dog. Dogs in those days were ravenous scavengers that roamed around in packs. When they died they rotted like road kill or were put on burn piles. So to call yourself a Dead Dog is about as low as you could get, especially in Jewish eyes. The thing that is amazing about this story is though Mephibosheth felt he was worthless and had nothing to offer, David invited him to eat at the King’s table everyday as one of his sons. All Mephibosheth had to do was accept the offer.
The book takes this story and applies it to a modern day setting. Nick Gregory, after incredible success, comes to a place in his life where he has hit rock bottom and sees himself as a dead dog just like Mephibosheth. All of us are broken and crippled in some way. We often feel like we don’t measure up. And come on, who of us out there hasn’t felt like a dead dog at times? What’s interesting about Nick Gregory is after he hits rock bottom, he finds God’s outrageous grace and that’s where his best life begins.
What led you to write this particular story?
I personally relate to Mephibosheth and Nick because I’ve experienced my own brokenness in life. Some as a result of my own stupidity, some just the randomness of life. But it has been out of that brokenness that the best things in my life have come. It is the truth. Also, whenever I speak on the topic the response has been overwhelming. I knew I had to do a book.
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A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Hamburgers. Definitely hamburgers. But not just any hamburger. It’s got to be cooked just right. There’s this little hole-in-the-wall place I go to and they fix the most incredible cheeseburgers. Angus meat, homegrown tomatoes, fresh chopped unions, and a bun so soft that it almost falls apart in your hands. Now that’s a burger!
What Bible passage or story best describes your journey of faith?
Duh? Mephibosheth. I came to a point of total brokenness in my life where I was curled up in the fetal position on the floor like a baby crying out to God. But it was there that I found grace and that God wanted me. Truly, when I reached the end, God’s best began.
In the story that is your life, are you the tall, dark stranger; the romantic lead; the mythical warrior; the mad scientist; or the child in an adult’s body?
The child in an adult’s body! I’m fifty-five years old, but I act like a kid most of the time. I’m young at heart. Old is a state of mind. I plan on writing and playing until I die. My faith is childlike too. The most precious sound to me is the sound of my wife and children’s laughter.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
Teddy, my golden doodle, is my buddy. We do almost everything together. I keep the top down on my Jeep nearly year round. Almost every morning I take Teddy in my Jeep to McDonalds and he gets a steak McMuffin. We also get ice cream at Dairy Queen . . . if he’s been good. He loves my Jeep.
Thanks, Max! It’s a pleasure to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
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For more information about Max, visit his website, friend him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.
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