Four Forty-Four

and other bits & pieces

About the Book


This is the DEDICATION I wrote for this book.

To my good brother in Christ and faithful friend Ray Majoran,
who made the suggestion.

And this is the story behind that suggestion. One day (just after the release of Glory in the Face, in 2016), Ray and I were having lunch at a restaurant where we often met. There, without a warning, Ray said to me, “I have an idea for your next book. You should call it Four Forty-Four, and explain why you always get up at that time—and all the other quirky things about how you live and what you believe.”

In the first place, I thought it would be fun to write such a book. But before very long, my thoughts on the subject morphed to “fun, yes, but inexcusably self-indulgent.” Following that, a sense of revulsion at the self-indulgence of it all took root within me. And once it was full-grown, I hated the whole idea with a great hatred. But 2017 brought me a new series of “lows” in my day-to-day health, and also days when I had only a very few minutes of “writing energy.” So then, the “4:44 project” began to seem ideally suited to such a time of life, since a good number of the “bits” and “pieces” that such a book might feature would only require a few minutes of energy and creativity to write. So I settled into a pattern of making use of those short bursts of health and strength. And the book began to take form. 

As I continued with this project, I began to see in it a resemblance to the book that was compiled shortly after the death of the great Robert Murray M’Cheyne—compiled by his good friend, Andrew A. Bonar, also a Scottish Presbyterian minister, and every inch M’Cheyne’s “kindred spirit.” Mr. Bonar bundled up his late good friend’s sermon outlines, poems, essays, letters to parishioners, and to various editors on a number of topics of the day, and other samples of what an outstanding man M’Cheyne was, and published it as The Memoirs and Remains of the Reverend Robert Murray M’Cheyne.

And so, as I wrote in the Foreword to this compilation, “On the off-chance that when I die someone will think about collecting my ‘remains,’ I have compiled these bits and pieces of my personal life and pastoral ministry, to save that person the trouble.’ I do hope that person appreciates it.