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5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… Rodney Winters, author of Go Into The House

JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Rodney Winters, author of Go Into The House
(Foghorn Publishers)

Go Into The House relates Rodney Winters’ story of disappointment from a failed marriage and the divorce process to the older brother in the biblical story of the prodigal son. The book encourages the reader with the fact that there is indeed hope after life’s disappointments in the presence of our heavenly Father. Rodney writes about issues that few men talk about openly.

Go Into The House is a gripping story about the painful truths of relationships told from a man’s perspective. Whether it’s a failed marriage or some other difficulty, we all face some tough decisions at some point after life’s disappointments. We must choose to either Go Into The House and enjoy the benefits inside, or stay outside and wallow in self-pity.

Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Go Into the House?

Rodney Winters: The book started out as my personal journal that helped me get through a difficult period in my life. I was dealing with a failed marriage and difficult divorce process. Writing was therapeutic for me. After coming through the pain, I realized that there are other people who can benefit from my story.

I was inspired by the older brother in the biblical parable of the prodigal son. I saw myself in many ways like him. He faced disappointment even though he felt he had done the right things. I ultimately made the choice to “go into the house”, which represents the place where God is.

JP: Writing Go Into the House had to be a challenging and difficult experience for you. Why did you feel so compelled to share the contents of Go Into the House in a public setting?

RW: Yes, it was very challenging, but I have a burden for relationships and compassion for hurting people. I understand that God often allows us to go through things in order to help someone else. There is a purpose that goes beyond me.

Men don’t always talk about certain hurts that occur in relationships, but I know I am not alone in my experiences. I believe there are women and men who really need to hear this message of encouragement to help them experience healing and forgiveness.

JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Go Into the House getting out to the public?

RW: It was all the work of God. He allowed me to meet a published author who recommended my publisher to me. It was the first and only company I sent my manuscript to. They were very impressed and wanted to publish my book.

I believe God honored my motive for wanting to help others by being real and transparent about some tough issues that occurred in my life. It was important that I did not become bitter. I allowed my negative circumstances to bring God glory.

JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Go Into the House?

RW: I am also a preacher, so I regularly write sermons. I seek to pull out deeper meanings from Bible stories that are relevant to everyday life. My writing is based on the scriptures and my personal experiences.

I wrote Go Into The House over the course of four years. It was not a full-time project. It was first written as a journal during the process. Then I began filling in the gaps and incorporating the biblical references.

JP: What’s next for Rodney Winters?

RW: I am juggling ideas for my next book. I’m not fully clear on which direction to pursue for a topic. I am also completing a workbook for Go Into The House, that is designed to stimulate discussion for study groups, counseling, and book clubs.

I will begin to travel and speak about Go Into The House and my experiences at conferences, seminars, churches and in group settings. I am actively marketing my book with the goal of helping to bring healing to many people as God uses my experience to encourage others.


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Book Review: Go Into The House by Rodney A. Winters

JoeyPinkney.com Book Review
Go In The House
by Rodney A. Winters
(Foghorn Publishers)
5 out of 5 Stars

Go Into The House is Rodney A. Winters’ first, and hopefully not last, gift to the literary world. The author journeyed through a daunting marriage only to emerge a divorced man with a powerful testimony. This book is not a book about deliverance. The author’s testimony is not hinged on God bringing him out of a horrible experience that he caused. Instead, the book shows the keeping power of God.

The duality of the title, the symbolism of the book’s cover and the message within impressed me with the overall cohesiveness. Winters breaks down the various meanings the phrase “go in the house”. One of most relevant meanings to his testimony is the author having the fortitude to live in the house regardless of the chaos his ex-wife caused for him and his children. The book cover directly ties into this. Taken from the ground level, you see  a man standing stiff in a rigid stance while his children are playing in the background.

The other, more spiritual meaning to “go into the house” centers around the parable of The Prodigal Son. Winters broadens the character of the older son. Most people portray the older son that stayed with the father as being selfish for questioning the lavish party enjoyed by the wayward son. Winters perfectly gives enough information and perspective to broaden the older son’s experience and possible next move in the name of the Lord.

Many times, we ask questions like, “Why me, God? What did I do so wrong to deserve this?” This book is a valuable asset to both men and women who can’t quite put their finger on how to exit a spiritually exhausting relationship and stay strong in spite of it all. Winters’ faith in the Lord’s Will and His Plan simply defied logic. The average man, and even above-average man, would have lashed out when faced with this blatant infidelity.

For those who love to read drama with seemingly impossible plot twists, Winters experience with his ex-wife is literally unbelievable. There are many moments he shares that will make you physically shake your head in amazement. Winters’ intention is not to villianize his ex-wife by detailing her indiscretions. Instead, the author’s openness gives him the room necessary to teach the reader a more fulfilling way to navigate the pain of being betrayed, misunderstood, disrespected and devastated by a person you love and thought loved you.

As an author, Winters is the master of the “give and take”. He gives you pieces of his life that are truly stressful to read, much less live through. Then he puts his literary arm around your neck, pulls you in close and takes you to a Christian way of letting go and letting God. Winter’s voice is crystal clear as he explains his situation and applies his understanding of biblical principles.

The lessons and perspectives present in this book can not be found in the churches’ Married Couples classes. There is a good reason for this. As pointed out in the book’s introduction, people who have gone through divorce are not usually deemed qualified to teach because of their failed marriages. Go Into The House is a valuable extension not only of Winters’ experience but also his teaching ability. What becomes easy to see is his ability to be open with the complexity of the adultery he went through and the simplicity of God’s solutions.

The back cover states that is “not just another book on marriage”. This is true. The perspectives Winters share in this book are broad but not vague. Winters states that his intention is to provide men with a means of better understanding their pain. As he shares his knowledge of the bible, his reflection on his life experiences and the lessons he learned, a reader can apply Go Into The House to any relationship. Whether it’s parent/child, husband/wife or employer/employee; Winters’ ability to teach and preach comes through brilliantly in written form. Go Into The House is not a self-help book; it is a conversation.

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5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… Aaron D. Taylor, author of Alone with a Jihadist

JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Aaron D. Taylor, author of Alone with a Jihadist
(Foghorn Publishers)

aaron taylor alone with a jihadist on amazondotcom

While many fundamentalist/evangelicals tend to ascribe to a Zionist theology which believes that it is good to be at war with anyone who opposes the Christian rite to expedite the glorious return of the Messiah, there is one crusader, Aaron Taylor, who believes otherwise. Taylor believes that the church has sadly missed the most pronounced message of Jesus Christ: peace.

The very Bible, which Christians read, refers to their founder as The Prince of Peace. Despite this, many Christians support warmongering and unnecessary bloodshed rather than peacemaking. In a room for seven hours with a radical Muslim, Taylor shares the story from his face-to-face encounter, of how Islamic people view the United States of America, our present Administration, and the state of the Christian Church.

It is one thing to look at Christianity from a Christians’ perspective, which is typically an altruistic viewpoint, but things change quite a bit when Christianity is viewed through the eyes of Muslims. Taylor says, ‘Their [Muslims] view is one every Christian must hear!’

Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Alone with a Jihadist?

Aaron D Taylor: The book came out of an actual experience I had with a radical jihadist in London. I spent seven hours over a period of two days in a cold, abandoned warehouse as part of a taping for a feature length documentary called Holy Wars.

When Khalid, the jihadist, posed the question of how I would implement the Bible from a governmental point of view, I knew that he was onto something that I hadn’t given much thought to before. I also knew that the standard pat evangelical answers didn’t get to the core of Khalid’s moral objection to Christianity.

I left London feeling perplexed and defeated. I took a year off from my missionary travels to get to the bottom of the issue. Alone with a Jihadist is the result of the intense soul searching and Biblical research in the year following that dramatic encounter.

JP: What sets Alone with a Jihadist apart from other books that attempt to bridge the Christian/Muslim gap?

AT: Nearly every book on Muslim/Christian relations written from an evangelical perspective emphasize the evils of Islam and the virtues of Christian civilization. Nearly all are heavily slanted to a right-wing Pro-Israel/anti-Palestinian perspective.

What I do in Alone with a Jihadist is essentially say, “Wait a second here. When it comes to Holy War, we Christians in the West need to remove the plank from our own eyes and realize that there’s a lot of us with the same crusader/jihadist mentality as our Muslim counterparts. Until we come to grips with the ethical teachings of Jesus and apply them towards our understanding of war and peace, we’re not offering the world much different than what exists in Islam. We’re just wrapping Jesus in an American flag and asking Him to bless our bombs.”

It’s a controversial message, but it needs to be said.

JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Alone with a Jihadist getting out to the public?

AT: I think if this book gets a massive public reception, it will be because I’m committed more to the message than I am to making a profit off the book. I’m so committed to my message that I’m willing to take a financial loss to get the message out. Because I’m so committed to getting my message out, no media venue is too big or too small for me. I’m taking a no-holds-barred approach, and I believe it’s going to pay off.

JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Alone with a Jihadist?

AT: I wish I could say that I had a disciplined routine in writing this book, but it’s not true. I didn’t have a certain time set aside that I wrote every day. Usually I found myself struggling to find the time to write in light of daily life and chores.

I also had to start over twice before arriving at the final product. That’s because my thought process evolved throughout the project. It took me about 16 months to complete the rough draft. I wrote most often at home or at the public library. I even wrote some of it while I was doing medical studies to help make ends meet.

JP: What’s next for Aaron D. Taylor?

AT: Besides the constant promotion of Alone with a Jihadist through writing articles, doing talks and engaging the media, I also travel several times a year and teach a Bible Story workshop to pastors and missionaries around the world.

My wife and I are also adopting a baby boy from Ethiopia this year and, as it usually happens, as soon as we started the adoption process, my wife got pregnant. Within a year, we are going to have two new additions to the family. I think my wife and I are going to need all the prayer we can get.


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