Q: In the acknowledgments at the beginning of Old Story New, you mention that this is part of a project that has been more than a decade in the making. What got you started on this journey?
A: I didn’t set out to write a devotional book; I set out to write devotions to help the parents of our church. So many parents had the desire to do family devotions but did not know where to begin. I myself was not doing devotions consistently with my own family, so I decided to put together family devotions to follow along with the Gospel Story Curriculum I had written for our church. The first devotions had to be printed out from a disc. One of our pastors suggested that we put them into a book for our dads to use so they would not have to print them out. So, we self-published our first devotional (Long Story Short) and gave them to our parents. The devotions were a real hit, and parents who had not done devotions before started leading their children through the Bible. That was when New Growth Press looked at the material and expressed an interest in publishing it so that more families outside of our church could be blessed and helped.
Q: I was excited to see that in addition to your commentary and questions, Old Story New encourages families to read a significant portion of Scripture each week. Sadly, this is rare in many of the family devotional books available today. Why is it important for families to dig deeply in to God’s word week in and week out?
A: A devotional book without God’s Word is kind of like a motorcycle with no gasoline; it looks good but it lacks the power to take you anywhere. We’ve added a bunch of fun activities and illustrations, but the real punch of what we do is in the life-transforming message of the gospel found in God’s Word alone.
Q: Can Old Story New be used as a stand-alone devotional book or will families be better served by using it in conjunction with The Gospel Story Bible?
A: Old Story New follows the New Testament half of The Gospel Story Bible. It can stand alone, but it’s meant to be used with The Gospel Story Bible. Each day’s devotion sends you to a short reading directly from the Scriptures. You can start the week by reading the story from The Gospel Story Bible which pulls the whole story together. If your children are younger (younger than first grade) you can use The Gospel Story Bible for your devotions and read the discussion questions included with each story to your children to see if they can answer them.
Q: Let me close with a final question I ask of all published authors. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
A: I guess the best advice I would give aspiring authors is this: don’t write books for publishers, write books for people. Pass along what you write to your family and friends, or folks at church or work. If people like what you are writing and it serves them by providing a helpful tool, information, or an enjoyable story, then you know you are on the right track. You don’t have to be a published author to be an author. Work hard, write for people, and then consider publishing what you’ve written. Getting a book published is the icing on the cake. Writing a book people enjoy is what it is all about.
Many thanks to Marty Machowski for taking the time to participate in this interview. If you’d like to learn more about Marty and his writing, visit gospelstoryforkids.com.
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