July 2014 I took a month long sabbatical at my parent’s home on Camano Island, WA to work on a writing project on Christian identity and calling. I wrote in the mornings and evenings. In the afternoons I split firewood for mom and dad, jogged to Mabana Beach and and picked wild blackberries. It was a time of creativity, rest and renewal.
Most of the time I wrote from the attic bedroom.
But for a few weeks I camped out on the Sunnyshore Studio property and wrote there. It was inspiring to be able to look up from my computer and see the Sound and the Cascade Mountains. At night I worked next to my campfire.
The result of my writing sabbatical is a book called The Name. If you are interested in purchasing a copy you can click this buy button which will take you to my Shopify account.
If you are interested in learning more about the book, here is the write up I did for Goodreads:
The Name explores Christian identity and the calling that arises from it. It claims that Christianity uniquely affirms both the personhood and particularity of individuals and it introduces the spiritual formation path called Identity Mapping, which helps people discover the unique person God has designed them to be, and the calling that arises from it.
The Name is broken into four parts: PART ONE introduces Christianity’s unique and powerful view of identity, and the spiritual formation path of Identity Mapping. It roots the knowing of one’s identity in terms of relationship to God, and argues that without God’s grace it is impossible for us to really know ourselves. Finally, it sets forth the thesis that God who is infinitely glorious, represented by His many names, designed each person to know Him and show Him in a unique way, that our purpose as people is to “name God” so to speak, by being the unique reflection and representation of God that He has made us.
PART TWO sets forth the claim that we can’t know ourselves unless we know the true story that we are in. It looks Identity through the lens of the Bible’s story of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. Under Creation, there are chapters on “Conferred Personhood”, “Crafted Particularity”, and “Identity in God.” Under Fall, there are chapters on “Primal Wound”, “Fragmented and False Identities”, and “Wounds, Wounding, and Particular Depravity”. Under Redemption there are chapters on “Cosmic War,” “Covenant LORD”, and “Conversion”. And under Restoration there are chapters on “Christian Identity”, “Life in the Covenant” and “Written in the Story.”
PART THREE walks a person through the Identity Mapping process using the story of Jacob as a paradigm for understanding God’s grace and Christian identity. Through listening carefully to the life of Jacob and God’s grace to Jacob, we learn to listen to and map God’s design and grace in our own lives. Through the personal interaction tools people Map the presence of God in their life, their personhood and particularity, wounds and wounding, and false identities. They track God’s pursuit of them, and their conversion to God. They take stock of their life in the covenant, and grow in an understanding of how they have been written into the Mission of God in the world.
In the last section, PART FOUR, the specific path of Identity Mapping is laid out: This includes, (1) Receiving the grace of God, (2) Repenting of False Identities, (3) Role Artistry, (4) Establishing Boundaries and Setting Goals, (5) Barriers and Blockages, (6) Partnering with the Holy Spirit, (7) Community Collaboration, (8) The Missional Life, and (9) Thisness.
In short: The Name is a comprehensive summary of Christian Identity, including theological foundations, guides for personal reflecting on one’s own unique, God-designed, crafted and redeemed identity, and practical tools to live out one’s identity and calling to the glory of God’s Name.
I’m thrilled that The Name the first book of mine that I’ve completed, was written from the beautiful and creative place that I call Sunnyshore Studio.