A Site Dedicated to Art & Faith on the Eastern Shore
Live at COTA’s 5PM service
Jim is the author of the newly published book, Broken Roads to Grace, which is described as a “Christian book for people who don’t usually like to read Christian books.” Jim is a gifted storyteller with a strong voice but a gentle spirit. He considers himself having an odd, “off-the-wall” sense of humor. Jim resides in Fairhope, AL with his wife of 39 years, Linda.
More information for Broken Roads to Grace can be found at www.brokenroadstograce.com. Read on to hear about Jim’s new adventure in writing.
What is your favorite place to create?
I like to think about stuff while driving in my car, and also at my desk at home. I know that is boring, but it is also convenient. When I’m in a nice place such as in the woods or at a beach, it doesn’t help.
What is your favorite snack to eat while creating?
Sardines, fried chicken and yogurt. Preferably not on the same plate.
How do you handle artist’s block (times when it is hard to create)?
I have to just wait it out, no matter how long it takes. If I try to force it when it’s not there, it turns out sounding like I tried to force it when it wasn’t there.
How do you stay motivated and disciplined as an artist in our distracting society?
I really am not at all disciplined, and the motivation stays at zero and then suddenly jumps to 100 when I least expect it. I depend on inspiration more than discipline.
What is the best advice someone has given you?
“Resign as Master of the Universe. It’s not your talent or your calling, and nobody will pay you for it.”
What is your theme song?
It’s a toss-up between “Cattle Call” by Eddie Arnold and the hamster dance and “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”
If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
What do you mean “IF?” I AM an animal!
Who/what has inspired you lately and/or locally (i.e. other artists, exhibits, shows, designers, etc.)?
I really wish that my answer was not my answer, because it’s not a good answer. But the truth is that I don’t feel comfortable or confident around other authors, especially if they are successful. This is my first and only book so far, and I don’t even know the lingo that successful artists use. I don’t know the people they know. And I think my book is different - not necessarily better, just different, and I don’t want to get shot down. My fantasy/dream is that the book will catch on anyhow, and then some of them will come to me and ask how I did it, and I will tell them that honestly I don’t have a clue.
What is one book/song/painting/piece/ etc. that has been enriching to your faith?
The book that turned my whole life around and changed my ministry and my entire concept of God and of people is unquestionably “The Ragamuffin Gospel” by Brennan Manning. I followed that up with three more books by Brennan (‘The Signature of Jesus,’ ’ Abba’s Child’, and ‘Lion and Lamb’ ) and by then there was no similarity between who I had been and the person I had become. If you have a choice between buying my book or “The Ragamuffin Gospel,” skip dinner and buy both! But if you don’t have the money to buy “The Ragamuffin Gospel”… steal the money and get the book, and you can read it while you’re in jail. Better a jail bird who gets the message of the ragamuffin than a successful person who keeps the law and doesn’t know grace!
What is your connection to the Divine when you create? Does it resonate with you spiritually when you come up with new work?
Yes, I really do feel that connection. There are many times when I feel that God is keeping his distance and has decided not to speak to me about anything. But there are times when I sense that I hear Him loud and unmistakably clear. But usually I don’t write about it. My prayer is that God will make me spiritually deep and wise like the great saints of old, but don’t make me go through all the crap that they went through. He thinks that is hilarious.
Describe your process behind the featured piece (your book).
I was asked to write a monthly article for a magazine, and then some other publications contacted me and printed some of my articles, and the response was encouraging and sometimes even enthusiastic. So I did more and then embellished them and edited them and put them into a book. What do I do now? Help!
Books can be purchased from Jim directly or from his website for $15. They can also be purchased digitally as a downloadable pdf on www.brokenroadstograce.com for $10. Please visit www.brokenroadstograce.com for more information!
Psalm 139 from last night’s service.
Psalm 8 from 01.01.12 PM service.
O Come, O Come Emmanuel
performed by the Kyle & Karl Band, featuring Erin Langley
Come see them live on 12.9.11 at 7pm on the COTA Pavilion!
We’re Not So Far From Heaven
written by Andy Cloninger
Live music from COTA’s PM Service
Live from COTA’s evening service
November 4 & 5
Fairhope Civic Center
$10 for adults, $5 for students
Tickets available at the door
Directed by Erin Langley
Choreographed by Matthew Kiel
Featuring 65 very talented 3rd-12th grade Baldwin County students
Sponsored in part by Church of the Apostles, Taylor Law Firm, Great Kitchens, Eastern Shore Heart Center, a private donor, and Power Real Estate