Today, we’re taking a short break from Parenting Month to bring you the chance to win a free copy of a great book, Sons of Grace. It’s made up of the stories of ten tough men who found Jesus. There are some incredibly redemptive stories here, like the guy who went from an abusive home to being an “enforcer” in a bike gang, to finding Christ. There’s a sniper, a cancer patient, and even the author himself, Mark Hughes, an obsessive career ladder climber (read: corporate tool).
Yes, there are some tough, gut-wrenching stories and language. But they are all true and need to be shared. And none of the situations you will read about are tougher than the grace of God. The book perfectly illustrates how God still penetrates the toughest hearts. You need to read this book.
Fortunately for you, I’ve got a great Q and A with Mark Hughes, who has generously provided ten copies for giveaway. All you have to do is leave a comment to be entered to win!
Mark, it may seem incredible that a business executive would cross paths with a motorcycle gang member, a convict and a marine sniper. Can you briefly give us the scenario that was the beginning of this book?
A marine sniper was in a Friday morning men’s reflection group I started attending (I was quite scared at first because God wasn’t in my life and didn’t know what to expect at this group).
But I was known as “the author” in the group because I had written the book, Buzzmarketing, which had been read widely by pastors. He had done some hard living (alcoholism and suicide attempts), and wanted to share his story. As a self-centered, successful executive, I’d wreaked a lot of havoc on my family (almost divorced twice and alienated my children at the expense of my ego), and was thinking of sharing my story too.
We both knew our stories wouldn’t fill an entire book, so we searched for two years for eight more men with dramatic conversion experiences.
All ten stories are of men whose lives people probably wouldn’t want. Can you give us a little preview of the story you felt was most gut-wrenching, or the man who made the biggest leap from hell to happiness.
The motorcycle gang member’s story is raw and gut-wrenching. As a seven year old, he was subjected to the most hellish mental abuse by his own father.
At eleven, he wanted to kill his own father. He proceeded to enter one of the toughest motorcycle gangs in the country. It got a lot worse. He murdered. Then the feds came after him. He ran, but he had a Saul-to-Paul moment where God commanded him to turn himself in. He didn’t have to turn himself in (resulting in a 50 year sentence). But he did. He’s a pastor in prison as well as an inmate.
It’s a life that nobody would want, but it’s his life, and God recycles us for the purpose of showing others that hope is alive.
For 42 years, you had everything except peace in your life, a thread that is similar between all the stories. Maybe some reader out there doesn’t really know what peace from God looks like. Tell us what God’s peace can do for a really broken person.
Maybe it’s the difference between driving a car to a foreign place without a map and with a map.
Without a map, you’re worried that you’re headed in the wrong direction, wasting time, wasting gas, and never getting to your destination.
With a map, you’re still headed to a foreign place. You may not have traveled the road, but you’ve got a general idea of where you’re headed, less worried, and less stressed with a map.
One thing I do know though: the best way a teacher gets his students to learn is by giving them partial information. If a teacher connected the dots for students, they’d never learn.
A common sentiment I hear from people raised Christian is that they feel they don’t have a very interesting conversion experience. What do you say to someone who had a decent life and who may be envious of an “interesting” conversion story?
A body has different parts. Hands are different from ears. Eyes are different from hip bones. Knees are different from elbows. But on this earth, when walking with God, we’re all part of one body.
We just have different roles in the body. Our purpose is to help each other using either our time, treasure, or talents. And each one of us has different capacities in each.