At long last, my adorable (and crazy talented) husband’s book, Choosing Joy, has been released (excerpt below)! Like, Amazon is shipping them and everything! I am beside myself with excitement!
It’s such an outstanding book, too. I’m just so proud of him. It’s all about cultivating love and joy in spite of all hardship, grief, and pain. Who doesn’t need more of that?
And the writing is out of this world. I’ve always been well-aware that my husband had a way with words, but he really pulled out all the stops for this book. It’s full of breathtakingly good writing — compelling, funny, heartwarming, inspiring, and challenging.
(BTW, he refused to let me read the book until it was printed so I’m still high off of reading it for the first time ever. Also? How mean was that? Just kidding, in the end I’m glad he forced me to wait. It was such a special experience to read it for the first time while holding it in my hands.)
I know, I know. I’m his wife, and maybe just a tiny bit biased? But truly (truly), this book is such a treasure. Would you like to take a peek? I might just have a little Introduction for you to read so that you don’t have to take my starry-eyed word for it! Here you go…
Introduction to Choosing Joy by Dan Lord
When you pick up a book that proposes to explore the concept of Christian joy, you expect the author to be an authority. There should be little trifectas of letters after his last name, and perhaps a Roman collar around his neck or a monk’s cowl nestled loosely at the back of his head. You should have heard of this guy before or seen him on EWTN. His photo on the dust jacket should imply the joyfulness you’re going to learn about in the book.
Instead, it’s by me. I’ve earned no doctorates—I have a Master’s in Theology, so that’s nice, right? I’m not a priest, but I did seriously think I was being called to be one once, which I strongly suspect is something that real priests secretly make fun of you for. It’s like saying to the Navy SEAL: “Yeah, I was going to be a Navy SEAL once. Trained for a couple of weeks to get ready. But, then I decided not to.” What is anyone supposed to say to that? It’s ultimately just one more thing I almost did but then didn’t.
Here’s another thing I almost did but didn’t: become a famous rocker. I became quasi-famous, I suppose. In the mid-nineties my friend and I started a band, which thousands of millions of young guys do every twenty minutes on average, and we strode confidently down the sidewalk with a bouquet of very sing-able punk rock, horn-driven original tunes for our would-be girlfriend, the World.
And she was pleased. She dated us for a while, and I was head over heels. I loved composing my own songs and hurling them off the edge of a stage and seeing a horde of sweating, subcultural rock enthusiasts devour them. I love music and art and passion and performance. I gave all of that to the World, and in return I enjoyed a level of success: our band had CDs, music videos, a busy touring schedule, a van, a trailer, great fans, mostly-medium-but-also-a-few big-wig music business connections, and the respect of our peers. I was on my way to the top, and the World was pleased with me—as long as I didn’t think about anything else.
But you have to think about something else eventually, don’t you? There you are on the dance floor with the World, she has her lovely arms around you, the music is playing…but you find that your eyes have started to wander. Your attention drifts when she’s in the middle of one of her stories. Your heart just isn’t in it anymore. You’re falling in love with someone else.
At least, that’s how I think about it now, and it’s with the benefit of hindsight, of course. God had been patiently waiting all that time for his chance to get me momentarily disentangled from the World so he could just talk with me. It was like some religious adaptation of that old Irving Berlin song, “Change Partners,” in which the amorous hero, frustrated by the poindexter who’s monopolizing his girl’s dance card, arranges for the waiter to tell Mr. Third Wheel that he’s wanted on the telephone. I guess some similar grace was bestowed on my behalf, helping me take my eyes off the World.
An interior door opened as a result, and God began to just flow right in. That led me to school to be educated in theology and into a whole world of teaching and writing and thinking that had one thing in common: to tell the world that God loves all of us. No, really—that’s it. It sounds too saccharine to be true, I’m sure. Or, perhaps, too narrow: “O.K. great, God loves all of us. Is there anything you would like to add?” But, of course, that means there is everything to add. Like a book about joy, for instance.
So, here it is.
Now that you have some idea of my peculiar pedigree, I might as well let another cat out of the bag: I am not very good at practicing Christian joy. I see myself, rather, as the equivalent of the overweight sports announcer: he’s a passionate fan of the game, he has an understanding of the way it is played to a degree that is maybe a little better than average, but not even by the most strained comparison could he be considered an athlete. He hopes, though, that by his sports announcer-style enthusiasm and his earnest involvement in the subject matter that others will be drawn into a similar love of the game, including (we all hope and pray) a few superior athletes.
Thank you for giving this book a try. God bless.
To read more of Choosing Joy, simply head over to Amazon and click “Add to Cart.” In no time at all you will have on your doorstep an awesome book topped with a lovely collection of delectable fruits (get it? joy? fruit of the Holy Spirit?) for you to gaze upon. What could be sweeter?
And as always, Dan and I both thank you so much for your loving support over the years! We are truly humbled by your love and friendship.