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Recreation of Martin Luther King’s cell in Birmingham Jail at the National Civil Rights Museum

Who are you in this letter?

The white clergy opposing Dr. King?  The white moderate?  The white church sitting idly behind the anesthetizing security of stained-glass windows?  The black indifference?  The black violent nationalist?  The small group of white clergy standing by Dr. King, being ridiculed by white culture because of it? 

Who do you want to be? 

 

Read the full letter here.

(Written to 8 white clergymen who published an open letter in Birmingham saying that social injustices existed but argued that the battle against racial segregation should be fought solely in the courts, not the streets.  Dr. King’s letter was written in the margins of newspaper scraps, the only paper given to him in jail.)

 

16 April 1963
My Dear Fellow Clergymen:
While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities “unwise and untimely.” Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms. Continue Reading…

It’s my birthday!  34 big ones.

It’s the only day of the year I get to ask for things and not feel guilty about it.  So here I go:

It’s tough sledding aspiring to be a first time author in today’s Christian publishing industry.  Publishers will only take on books they think will sell.  You can have the best content on earth, but if they don’t think enough people will buy it, they aren’t biting.  In the Christian publishing world, you typically have to be a megachurch pastor or the head of a well known organization to get one of these book contracts.  Because if your church has 10,000 people in it, there’s a good chance a few of them will buy your book.  Well I love my church, and it doesn’t have anywhere near 10,000 people, but I’m not planning on leaving anytime soon!  And no, I don’t think my content is the best content on earth, but I do think it’s worth publishing.  My book is about finding identity in Christ in an over-sexualized world.  We all live in an over-sexualized world and many of us are getting chewed up and spit out by it.  I was for a long time and there was nothing in the Christian publishing world that helped me at the level I really needed it.  God led me though an amazing journey centered in the good news of Jesus that has revolutionized how I’m able to live healthy and faithful in a still very sexualized world.  And I’d like other people to know about this and find this path for themselves.  So there’s two ways for me to get published:  one is to go work for a megachurch, the other is for you to give me some birthday presents!

I’m not planning on leaving my church, so I hope you’re feeling generous.  Here’s my wish list:

1. Encouraging words, when applicable – Getting rejections is tough!  No matter how you tell yourself, “I’ll be able to handle the rejection that comes with being a first-time author,” it’s still really hard to handle.  It hurts, it makes you think you stink as a writer, and it makes you want to give up.  If I ever write something that is helpful to you and you think to yourself, “I wonder if I should tell Noah this?”  You should tell me!  Random flattery is no good.  But specific encouragement about a writing that helped you grow is like 10 gas fill ups on a cross-country drive–it goes a long way.

 

2. Share my stuff.  This is the only way I’m going to get published.  I was very close with David C. Cook and Discovery House, at the final stage, and close with Zondervan as well.  Many editors said “let’s do this!” but the final group, the group that predicts if this will sell or not, gave it the thumbs down.  Since he’s not a megachurch pastor, he needs a billion blog hits a second and since he doesn’t have that, we can’t have him.  Or something like that…but the reality is, there are some very practical things you can give me for my birthday that would bring more traffic to my blog, which would show a publisher that someone might actually buy my book.  Here are some of those gifts:

2a. Pick a recent article and share it on your Facebook page.  Or, pick an old article and share it on your Facebook page!  Do this every week or so.  There is a nifty “Topics” button at the top left of this page.  You should click it and find a topic that sounds interesting to you, then find an article that sounds interesting to you, then post it on Facebook or Twitter!

2b. Listen to my podcasts.  I put a lot of work into two podcasts: Choppin it Up and Behind the CurtainChoppin it Up is about race.  If that interests you, click and listen.  In Behind the Curtain, I interview ministry leaders about what it’s really like to be in ministry leadership.  This is to help you if you are in ministry leadership, and also to help you know how to pray for and treat your ministry leaders better.  Check it out!  The best way to listen to podcasts is go to your podcast app on your smart phone, type in “Noah Filipiak” and you’ll find all my podcasts (including my Crossroads Church sermon podcast), click to subscribe, then listen from your phone while you drive your car or workout.  And of course you can listen from your computer too, using the links in this paragraph.  (And yes, you can combine 2a & 2b: you can share my podcast links on Facebook!)

 

3. Join my Author Newsletter This bad boy only goes out 4x a year and relates specifically to my publishing pursuits.  It’s for people who want to help see my book(s) get published.  Publishers like to see big quantities of subscribers here so if you can add one more to it, that’d be a great birthday present!

 

Happy Birthday to me!  Thank you to everyone who have been so helpful and encouraging to me up to this point.  We’ve been soooo close to getting a publishing contract, got a good feeling that 2017 is going to be the year!

 

You may be wondering what the “AFH” means you’re seeing at the bottom corner of people’s Twitter profile pictures.

“AFH” stands for “All For Him,” with the “Him” speaking of Jesus and/or God.

The banner around the profile pic is called a twibbon.  You can get the AFH twibbon at http://twibbon.com/support/all-for-him

You can also find the @AllForHim handle on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AllForHim and receive tweets that encourage you to keep your life all for Jesus.

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In the publishing world, there is a very fine line between being obnoxiously pushy and doing the legitimate and needed work of getting people behind your writing project in order to get it published.

There’s a fine line between egotistically promoting yourself and humbly promoting Jesus.

There’s a fine line between wanting to get something published because it will “make your name great,” make people think you are cool, smart or important, make some money and actually wanting to impact lives for Jesus the same way you do in a sermon or in a church plant, believing that the gospel will transform lives and that God has given you a unique angle that will help people who are currently struggling.

In an attempt to walk these fine lines, I ask for your help.  I need your help.

I’m very relieved and happy to report that I was signed by a well-established literary agent.  This is a huge hurdle to cross.  I thank each of you so much for every blog click, podcast listen, and social media share that made this possible.  Thank you to each of you who have been so encouraging to me about my writing and my ministry; your words of encouragement are invaluable to me.

With the huge step of being signed by an agent behind me, I am reaching out to see if you can help get my first book published.  What I mean is, a publisher is going to look to see how “publishable” I am, which they will mostly track in blog hits, Twitter and Facebook followers, podcast listens, newsletter subscribers, etc.  (Sadly getting your first book published has very little to do with the book’s content and mostly with how many people “follow” you as an author)

Zondervan currently seems to like me and my book (they haven’t told us no yet!) and seems to be simply be waiting on my platform (author newsletter email list, blog stats, Facebook and Twitter followers, etc.) to grow larger.

My first book is entitled Beyond the Battle: A man’s guide to his identity in Christ in an over-sexualized world

Digging deeper than the surface-level tricks and tactics men are already familiar with, Beyond the Battle unpacks the heart of the gospel to show every man what he’s been looking for all along.

Books in the pipeline include a companion book for women, a book on homosexuality, books on hermeneutics (understanding hard passages in the Bible), and many more.

All proceeds from my book and related speaking engagements go to Crossroads Church, the inner-city church I planted and pastor.

To help, please consider doing any or all of the following.  Thank you so much:

  • Share my blog posts on social media (shoot, share them all!)
  • Subscribe to my blog posts via email using the sign-up box in the right sidebar. ==>
  • Book me for a speaking engagement. e.g. Men’s events, Sunday pulpit supply, chapel services, retreats, college ministries, etc.
  • Like my Facebook author page
  • Follow me on Twitter and retweet posts that you like (shoot, retweet them all!)
  • Listen to my podcast, The “Behind the Curtain” Ministry Podcast
  • Rate my podcast on iTunes (in iTunes, click “Ratings and Reviews” then “Write a Review”
  • 1.Create a free Podbean.com account, 2. Follow my podcast there
  • Share this post in your social media networks, asking others to help out as well!
  • Subscribe (at top) to my author newsletter email list.