Blogging friend, Warren Baldwin recently sent me his book, Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks and Other Gems from Proverbs. On the first page I could tell the book would bestow pages upon pages of wisdom. I was right. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Roaring Lions as a devotional. It is the perfect book for that with short titled chapters that drive each point home with personal examples and life applications.
My respect for Warren grew immensely as I leafed through the pages. I admire books with the ability to bring relevance to Scripture. Roaring Lions impacted me so positively I’ve been encouraging my husband to read it. The book provides wonderful stories detailing familial roles, trusting God’s will and learning wisdom in relationships and so much more. I found myself underlining on almost every page.
As I was halfway through Roaring Lions…I dealt with a specific situation that required me to seek God’s will time and time again. I’m certain God used the Scripture and reference emphasized in Roaring Lions to help me discern how to take next steps.
To quote from the book, “Wisdom means knowing how to communicate value, love, and dignity to others. Wisdom means caring about others in your life and working to serve their needs.” My need to read a powerful devotional book was met after reading Roaring Lions. It is a wise book from a wise author. I’m grateful I’ve connected with Warren and I’m grateful he sent along his book.
And now for a brief interview with Warren:
And now for a brief interview with Warren:
Wendy: What is the most influential book you've ever read (other than the Bible)?
Warren: I read a lot of books and many of them have made deep impressions on me so, that is a tough question to answer. But, if I had to pick one I would say “The Road Less Traveled” by M. Scott Peck. He addresses a lot of moral and spiritual issues in very helpful ways. I don’t agree with everything he says in the book, or how he approaches some things, but overall it’s a very helpful. I read it in my early 20s and have read it several times since.
Naturally I read a lot in my fields of interest. But I’ve learned to not limit my reading to what I like, am comfortable with, or even write about. Everything we read and study can have bearing on what and how we eventually write. I didn’t imagine that books I read on history, politics and even criminals would eventually end up as illustrative material in a book on Proverbs, but they did. Reading widely expands our thinking and perspectives.
Wendy: Can you describe the moment you understood you were to write a book and how that process went for you?
Warren: I have wanted to write a book for about 25 years now. I started several, but they never seemed to get off the ground. Plus, I didn’t feel like I had enough substance of my own to draw from. About five years ago I did an in depth study of Proverbs for classes, lectures and a radio program. It was during that study that I could see a book, actually several books, on Proverbs. Right now I am working on a follow-up volume to Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks, and a 13-week study for teenage Bible Classes.
Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks developed from writing material for my daily radio program. I would pick a proverb, study the meaning of it in commentaries and Hebrew dictionaries, and think about how it applied to life today. Reading other books helped to illustrate the meaning for today.
After the book was finished it took about 2 years of editing, rewriting, and finding a publisher. At one time the book sat in my computer for about 6 months before I was motivated to work on it again, and at another time on my office floor for 5 months while I tried to figure out what to do with it. Several times I almost said, “Forget it.” I’m glad I didn’t!
Wendy: What is the best advice you can offer writers and/or those in pursuit of God?
Warren: The pursuit of God means we get to know God: his nature, personality, values, etc. A great insight into the heart of God is given to us in Exodus 34:6,7. When Moses asked to see God, God revealed his heart. Later, we are given the person of Jesus as the ultimate revelation of the Father. As we walk in the steps of Jesus we will focus on the Father. And, since Jesus was so concerned about people, he ministered to them and built a community of followers. As we become more like God/Jesus, we will find ourselves intimately involved in community building and maintenance. I think that is an indication that we are in active pursuit of God. Becoming like God does not make us better ascetics or monks; it makes us better husbands, wives, parents, friends, neighbors, Sunday School teachers and church leaders.
Read, study, think, pray, talk to people. A basic premise of Proverbs is that wisdom is learned/gained in community (family-church-neighborhood). Knowledge can definitely be gained in personal study and reflection, but it is only when we apply what we have learned to the give and take of relationships that it becomes wisdom. Godly wisdom is righteousness and skill at living, and living means we rub shoulders with others, and even bruise elbows in the process. From the good and the bad, the sweet and the sour of relationships with others that we learn and grow.
In a sense, Jesus is the ultimate personality that Proverbs wants to develop.
Thank you Warren, for your book and this interview.
Website for Roaring Lions: http://www.warrentbaldwin.com/