It’s not every day that you sit down to interview your father-in-law. But mine, David Craig, just published his first book, The Gospel According to Molly, a devotional chronicling his beloved pup’s transformation from “devil dog to sidewalk saint.”
After a series of quite unfortunate events, Molly, a complete disaster of a dog, ended up on the doorsteps of my parents-in-law, David + Jacque. They took her in, though they didn’t plan to keep her for long. But Molly, in all of her disobedient glory, stuck around.
In an attempt to soothe her wild ways, David began taking Molly on daily walks.
He got the inspiration for The Gospel According to Molly during an especially exhausting time attempting to walk Molly around the block.
“As I walked with her, I kept thinking, Ugh, this dog isn’t worth the effort. I was just exasperated. I think that was the first moment God said to me, But what about you? I was reminded that God never gives up on us,” he says. “I think that might have been the very first lesson I got from her.”
And the lessons kept coming. A pastor for more than 35 years, David began to connect his relationship with the pup to God’s relationship with him. So he continued to lace up his sneakers morning, noon, and night, and patiently walk with Molly, despite her stubborn spirit. As they trudged through sun, sleet, and snow together, he chronicled his lessons from Molly, who became a living parable for “everyone who has been rescued by God’s grace.”
Here, David shares some insight into the heart of the book — and shares his words of wisdom for writing a book of your own.
Q. What do you hope people take away from The Gospel According to Molly?
A. Encouragement. In a word, that would be it. I wrote it with a particular person in mind — I remembered when I worked in an office and thought of the person who works in the office eight hours a day, and twice a day gets a 15 minute break or a quick lunch break, and the only thing playing in the break room is something like Jerry Springer. I wrote five-page chapters specifically so that someone who is on a break could be lifted up in just five minutes, and be encouraged that God cares for them.
Q. What is your advice for others for publishing their first book?
A. I have three tips: First, write what you know. I’ve written since I was a child. All the time in writing class, they’d say, “Write what you know.” And I always thought, “How can I write what I know if I don’t know anything?” But I did know Molly and I did know the Bible, so I just began writing. I encourage people to start from what they know. Second, write what you love. You have to be passionate about the topic. Keep writing. I’m 61 and I finally have a book published. You might not get recognized for a long, long time. And third, just write because you like to do it. If you’re writing just to be famous, you might as well give it up right now. Write because you feel that what you’re saying might touch someone else.
Q. What has writing The Gospel According to Molly taught you?
A. To watch for God every day. Even though I know He’s always there, it’s something I have to be retaught all the time. It has taught me to be cognizant of God with me day-to-day, working with me every day.
Q. What is Molly doing right now?
A. Sleeping on the bed upstairs. I still write stories about her twice a week on my Facebook author page. Her lessons keep going on. As we walk, I keep seeing more things. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 (NIV) says: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.’ We all want to see Christ in our daily life and that’s what I want the book to convey. He’s practical.
Q. Why was writing The Gospel According to Molly important to you?
A. I really wanted to convey encouragement to the Church. It comes from a pastor’s heart, which wants to make sure the Church is given green pastures. The book suits the flock, young or old. Everyone can relate to a person and their dog. Whether you had a dog or known someone who did, whether you enjoyed the dog or not, you can connect to the book. The message came from Molly, and it’s a message anyone can understand and apply to their life. Ultimately, the book is a vehicle for giving encouragement.
About the author: Though he’s David Craig, author extraordinaire to you, he is just Dad to us, and we are super proud of him for following his passions and publishing his work. He’s even getting some local press — check out The WCF Courier’s review of the book here. He is a father of six (and six kids-in-law!), a grandpa to twelve, and a doggy grandpa to three. He has been involved in Christian ministry for 40 years and maintains a daily devotional blog about living a grace-filled life at Abundant Grace. You can also check out his Facebook author page here.
The Gospel According to Molly is available on Amazon for just $3.99 — and if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can currently nab a copy for free. If you prefer to do your reading the old-fashioned way, print copies will be available by June 2013. To join the pre-order list, shoot me an e-mail. I can probably even snag you a signed copy. 😉