CBP: How does one write a devotional book? Did you start with the specific Scripture passages you wanted to cover?
DAVID: We have a devotional magazine that goes out every month and we do a lot of devotional writing. The way the devotional magazine is put together, we try to coordinate the devotional thought with whatís being taught on the radio. So we take a nugget out of the material thatís being taught on the radio and we create a devotional from that. Thatís how they got started. And then we published 365 of these in a book called Sanctuary that came out a couple of years ago, and it sold 100,000 copies. So everyone is saying, ďWhen are you going to do another one?Ē So Turning Points is kind of volume two of that genre.
CBP: So this is not reprinted material that has been elsewhere in the magazine?
DAVID: No, this is material that is geared to help these people in their devotional walk every day.
CBP: What do you think is missing in the devotional market?
DAVID: You know thatís a hard question because what is the devotional market? You know everybody has their own way of doing devotions. And what weíve tried to do with these devotional thoughts is not to make this a method thing. Weíre trying to say, ďOK, hereís some thoughts to help you get jump-started this morning, to get into the Word of God, to meditate on Him.Ē I think whatís missing in the devotional market is not in the market itself, itís missing in the discipline of Godís people who donít really want to take very much time to do anything at all. I canít imagine that Iím writing a devotional book that people can and read in five or ten minutes, but frankly, if you donít get that, you might not get anything.
CBP: That was going to be my next question. What about those people? Arenít you afraid that this kind of thing just feeds on itself and people are happy and content and thatís as far as theyíre ever going to go?
DAVID: Well, I think that could be possible if you didnít believe in the dynamic of the Word of God. If they read these passages and read these devotionals it forces them back to the Scripture. If they have a heart thatís open toward God, sooner or later theyíre going to develop a hunger that wonít ever be satisfied with a five-minute devotional reading.
CBP: Which devotionals have you benefited from?
DAVID: Iíve always enjoyed Morning and Evening. Thatís what I grew up on. Thereís a little thing that Ann Graham Lotz did that was kind of a remake of something Baxter did years ago called Daily Light. And itís not really a devotional, but theyíve taken a page and distilled the Scripture on individual subjects. Theyíve gone through the entire Bible and just found the verses and the phrases and then welded them together. I always tell people thatís my morning Starbuckís because itís the distilled Word of God and itís just so powerful. If you read The Daily Light, the way it was put together, there was a morning reading and an evening reading. That has always been very exciting to me because it lends itself to prayer. Itís the kind of thing you can pray back to God. You can read those Scriptures and then turn them into prayers. So I very much enjoy that.
CBP: What other authors do you enjoy? What are you reading?
DAVID: I read in a lot of different worlds. Of course, if youíre into the disciplines you read Dallas Willard. I have a book thatís been very helpful to me by Kent Hughes. There are just an awful lot of books that help move you toward the disciplines. I wrote a book on prayer and I was learning how to journal, and I tried to find some material on spiritual journaling and it was pretty sparse. So there are some holes where thereís not a lot available.
CBP: But thatís becoming more popular now, isnít it?
DAVID: Yes, very much so.
CBP: What do you plan to work on next?
DAVID: Iím working on a project on grace thatís a merging of the story of Amazing Grace by John Newton and the letters of Paul in the New Testament that have to do with grace. Kind of looking at grace through the eyes of that song and then on into the Romans, epistles, Galatians, and trying to see grace back through the prism of John Newtonís song, Amazing Grace.