In Through the Backdoor: Fiction’s Power to Open a Closed Heart (Guest Post by Christopher J. Weeks)

“My heart is stirred by a noble themeas I recite my verse for the king;my tongue is a pen of the skillful writer." (Psalm 45:1) “Human beings are communal and seek to communicate persuasively with one another. Rhetoric is about persuasion...and that old Roman teacher Quintilian defines the rhetor as, “The good man speaking well.” (Jerry Root)   I am the son of a salesman, a traveling salesman, a tremendously successful traveling salesman. And the motto that my father lived by was, “It is better to be a ‘closer’ than an order taker.” This means he would rather persuade a person to buy his product through a great sales pitch and masterful closing technique than have someone buy from him simply because they liked the product. For him, persuasion was the goal, and getting a signature on a contract made his day. The satisfaction of the customer was secondary. Important, but secondary. He would often teach me his techniques around the dinner table: “Chris, if you can get a customer to say ‘no’ you are one step closer to a sale. Because when they say ‘no’ they are actually saying they are ready to negotiate new terms.” Or this little nugget:…

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An Open Letter About Purpose

Pardon me while I ruminate a bit on past and current events. It's been a long trek from when the online community known as The Crossover Alliance (birthed in San Francisco, California over four years ago) was upgraded to a small press. It seems like just yesterday, and yet it also seems like a lifetime ago. It was a little over two years ago that my wife decided to leave me. It, too, feels like just yesterday, and yet a million years ago. Two events. One celebratory, and one incredibly devastating. You're probably wondering what the two have to do with each other. When my wife left me, I didn't know how to react. We had twelve years of marriage, a child, and a long, perilous, and fantastic journey of walking together with the Lord. And then it all came crashing down in an instant. Literally, in an instant. I would have had more warning if a semi truck had T-boned me while I was sitting in a fast food drive-thru. That devastation left me crippled in more ways than I would ever care to admit. And through that crippling, I pushed The Crossover Alliance to the side. I had…

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