It gives me great joy to see creative projects of my friends come to life. Here is the story behind the publication of Daniel Kleyn’s wonderful new book A Year of Gleanings.

During the years I pastored Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis I developed a curriculum called Identity Mapping to help people embrace their God-crafted identity and step into their God-appointed calling. Daniel and his wife Cindy were in one of the first Identity Mapping cohorts. Part of the curriculum is a Discovery Session where I hear the story of a person’s life and listen for the way God made them unique and gifted and redeemed them with great strength for the good of the world.

In that session, Daniel shared how he had grown up on a family farm outside of Indianapolis. While he loved the farm and though he still saw himself at heart as a farmer, his brother had gone on to work the farm. Daniel’s path had been to college and a successful career in the corporate world. Though far from the life of a farmer, I learned that their was still a love for and longing for farming. I also learned that Daniel was something of a mystic poet, a Dylanesque writer, who had written poems and plays and had kept of journal of reflections on faith and life that he called “gleanings.” Daniel shared that he dreamed of one day compiling those journal notes into a book.

Another part of the Identity Mapping Curriculum was an annual reunion for the cohorts to set goals and recallibrate calling. When I was in Indiana, we held this retreat at a beautiful lodge in Brown County. Here are some photos of a retreat that Daniel and Cindy participated in.

Eight (or so) years after that retreat in Brown County, God had called me to pastor Redeemer Redmond in Washington. I built my longed dreamed of creative studio, Sunnyshore Studio, near my childhood home. In January 2021, to help me accomplish a personal goal of writing and illustrating a children’s book every year and to share the lessons I had learned along the way, I launched a cohort called Create Your Children’s Book in a Year. Recruiting participants I thought of Daniel and the book he wanted to write. Daniel joined that first cohort with the goal of completing his book of gleanings.

Daniel shared his project with the cohort. He got feedback and developed the concept for the book: it would be a “gleaning” or reflection for each day of the year. He began to compile his final draft. As we journeyed as a cohort, I realized that one of the blockages for people was the graphic design of the book. I offered a “pilot” project of doing the graphic design and Daniel was one of cohort members who took us up. I was thrilled to be able to work closely with Daniel to see his dream come true. We set him up with our editor; and Daniel hired my brother Jed Dorsey to illustrate the book. Daniel commissioned Jed to paint the family farm in each season of the year. These illustrations would be the divisions of the book: spring, summer, fall and winter.

Jed did a beautiful job on the illustrations!

My son Jacob did an excellent job of putting the book together on InDesign. At our monthly cohort gathering on Zoom, I introduce experts in different areas of book publishing. One of those experts was a representative from Gorham Press in Centralia. They do a wonderful job of printing books and Daniel ended up working with them. It was such a thrill to see A Year of Gleanings for the first time.

Now I’ve had a chance to sit and read Daniel’s daily meditations. I describe them as something like Pascal’s Pensees, Luther’s Tabletalk and Wendell Berry, with a hint of Bob Dillon. Wonderful stuff. One reflection to soak in for every day of the year. Here’s a perfect summary: A Year of Gleanings is a devotional that provides a brief reminder each day of God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness and a time of thought, prayer, and thankfulness.  The book includes 4 beautiful illustrations by Jed Dorsey.

Daniel’s book, A Year of Gleanings, is now available for purchase.  If you are interested in purchasing a copy, please send a check for $16.00 ($12.00/book + $4.00/packaging and postage) to:

Daniel Kleyn
7592 Cabinetmaker Court
Plainfield, IN. 46168

Also, please include a note with the name and address where you would like the book to be shipped.

If you would like to participate in the 2023 Create Your Children’s Book in a Year Cohort you can sign up here:

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