Philip Gulley was the keynote speaker at the first Midwest Writers Workshop I attended. In fact, he’s a large part of the reason I went. I was just starting to do some writing—short, 350-word essays in my church bulletin—and Mom read about the conference and saw that he was speaking. She and I both already loved his writing and had attended a reading near my hometown not long before. Also, my dad knew Phil, who had stopped at his studio a few times when he passed through the area. Anyway, Mom thought I should go to the workshop.
So I did. And, truly, it’s what launched me down this path towards writing a book. I don’t have time right now to go into all the wonderful things that came from that. But if you ever want to meet me for lunch, I’ll tell you all about it.
But in an indirect way, I feel like this great blurb is one of the many wonderful things to come from that experience. Here is what he wrote:
It requires no spiritual sensitivity to see God at work in a miracle, but to see God work in the everyday circumstances of our lives is another matter. Praying Upside Down gives us eyes to see and ears to hear the Divine Presence in the ordinariness of life. A spiritual primer on practicing the presence of God.
Quaker pastor and author
He’s written too many books to list them all here (19, I think) but you can find them at any bookstore, in person or online. His newest Hope series book comes out in September. He writes essays filled with humor and life lessons, fiction about small-town living, and books of progressive Christian theology and faith. I love them all. And to tell you the truth, one of the reasons I treasure this endorsement is because he’s a Quaker pastor. I’ve always believed that Christians should look for common ground rather than paying attention to the practices and beliefs that are different, so it means the world to me to have someone from a very different faith tradition than mine find value in my book. I’m honored and humbled and grateful. He’s summed up my deepest desire: Eyes to see and ears to hear the Divine Presence in my life.
Oh, how I want that. And oh, how I pray that my words could—in some small way—help others find that too. Please, Lord. Amen.
PRAYING UPSIDE DOWN: A creative prayer experience to transform your time with God is coming from Tyndale Momentum in May 2015 and is currently available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million and CBD. Other sites will be available soon.