March 11, 2010, 1:36 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

“You’re going to college.” It was an unspoken mantra around my home and social circles growing up. So I went.

Today I look at my 17-year-old son and wonder. Should I make him go? Or let him pursue his dream of shooting videos, and being the next Jack Johnson? He’s a musician, writer, artist … a talented kid with personality to burn.
But the odds against him making it as a musician or film maker are staggering. Maybe similar to the odds of getting a first novel published at 47.

I buried my dream for thirty years because of fear. But last Friday I sat on my porch next to my amazing wife and we tore open a package from FedX. Inside was the finished version of ROOMS. For a few minutes it got quite dusty.

As a friend of mine says, “Someone has to be published, someone has to compose the hit song, someone has to build the bridge, someone has to climb the mountain. Why can’t it be you?”

So I’ll teach my kids to dream even though it’s not logical. I’ll teach them to reach for the stars even though it makes no sense. I’ll push them to go beyond their imaginations even though most people around them are content to live in the shadow lands. I might describe that attitude as faith.

I lived many years with my music still in me. If I have any influence, I will see that my sons get every chance to sing.

Now where’s that college application form?


26 Comments so far
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I’ve seen some people without college degrees become very successful, but most of those spend a great deal of time learning outside the classroom. College isn’t for everyone, but I think anyone who has the opportunity and the willingness to put in the effort should go. Even if the person never uses the stuff he learned for his degree, the process of learning teaches him to think in ways that he may not have learned in high school. Knowing how to think is beneficial in whatever a person might choose to do.

Comment by Timothy Fish

Great comment

Comment by Paris


I agree, and there’s a 99% chance my son will go to college. He’ll get the benefits you mention.

But it has been freeing for me to realize college isn’t the end all … it’s just part of the journey.

Comment by jimrubart

Hey Jim – delighted for you! Just posted my review of the excellent book you now hold in your hands 🙂


Comment by Rel Mollet

As a parent of three 20 and 30-somethings I say for him to go to college where he will learn more about himself and others. He should look for a place where he can expand his knowledge of those things that excite him–videography and music. And he might just find a new passion to pursue, but he needs to get out into life outside the family (I know, hard for us parents to admit) to reach all God has for him.

Comment by rose mccauley

College was my haven to be free, think for myself and sort through the messy parts. I figured when I got through, I’d jump into a Masters in Teaching program and teach English like I had planned for the previous six years or so, but it turned out quite differently. I got married, had two children, enrolled in the MIT program three years later, got way too much further into student loan debt, and withdrew after one semester. It was then, I realized that all that I thought I knew for sure, I wasn’t sure about at all. Now, I realize I am not cut out to be a teacher or to have that “safe career” that seems so appealing at times. It is the writing that I love. So I’ll continue to do it dutifully, unless I am forced to pick up down some other road. However, I don’t forsee this happening, as God has plans in store for each of us, and I am already walking through scenery that I couldn’t have envisioned on my own.

I believe your son will take the best road for him and see the things he should, when he should. It is marvelous how things are placed together for each person’s purpose.

Best to you and yours~


Comment by Cassie

Dreams… we all have them. The world will try to shatter what is in the deepest places of our hearts, our souls. My husband and I have 4 children, 3 boys and a Princess. We have always had that expectation that our children will go to college. My husband is a teacher, so that raises the expectation higher still. We know that in the world today to make a good living, to be able to support a family, some form of education/training is essential. My father was able to support our family without a degree. We didn’t have much left over. But we had enough. But today that is more dificult. My children have expressed that they want to go to college. They also know that they will have to work to earn the money, or work hard enough to earn scholarships. My youngest son is very artistic. He takes after his Mother in this. He loves to Act and sing and is quite talented. Could I hold back his dreams, can I tell him “it isn’t logical to think you
can make a living on the stage!!” He still plans to go to school but it may not be the typical 4 years and, “here’s the diploma, now go conquer the
world!!” kind of deal. I guess that is where as parents we need to have an expectation, but realize that what works for us, what fits us probably won’t fit them. My husbands favorite quote is “expectation is the highest form of motivation…” We give them wings AND the room to fly. Then if they fall, we pick them up, dust them off, and let them go again. But be there, truly
be there to watch them soar, or crash. Love them, pray for and with them, remind them that even if you can’t be there that they are NEVER alone. Their Father in Heaven will be there every step of the way.
Sorry this is so long ,

Comment by Karra

I want to thank you for making your book available on Kindle and on top of that– free ! I’ve never heard of you but figured how could i go wrong–beings it was free and all. I can’t put the kindle down and take it where ever i go to find out whats in the next letter ! Your writing is perfect for these times we live in and the characters are quite believable. I have four grown daughters (all believers) and just ordered one book for each of them. Everyone I know will hear about your book and hopefully more seeds will be planted. God bless you and your family.

Comment by lynn hoeffner

I feel the same way about this book. I also got it for the Kindle and definitely will be looking out for the next two books in progress. This story was extremely touching and very interesting. It was so hard to put down!!!

Comment by Paris

So glad you liked it, Paris!

Comment by jimrubart

I just finished “Rooms” on Kindle, and I have to say that this story really spoke to me in relation to my walk with God. I have recently been battling with feelings of unworthiness and struggling to make the right decisions in my life. My metaphorical “chains” have been dragging me further and further from the truth and the light. I have been constantly plagued by questions ranging from, “If I continue to repeat the same sin again and again, will I be forgiven” or “Why would God even want me since I continue to mess up again and again?”. Your book was a salve to my soul, and I would like to truly thank you for sharing it with the world. I realize now that I have been letting the enemy direct my thoughts and emotions while distancing myself further and further from the Lord. Thank you again for the much needed wakeup call. This book allowed me to see all the mistakes I was making and gave me some much needed guidance.

Comment by Melisa

Melisa, I’m thrilled that ROOMS spoke to your heart! And you are so worth it, but you know that, right? 🙂

Comment by jimrubart

Check out Berea College in Kentucky. It’s a college atmosphere for those who want an alternative to a traditional college. It’s for dreamers and people who want to work their way through in their chosen field. Don’t know the requirements but it came up in college conversations with other parents when our own kids went away to school.

Comment by Jewel

Thanks, Jewel. Appreciate the suggestion.

Comment by jimrubart

Personal parent lesson-First remember your responsibility to make this boy into a God fearing man. Specifically, learn how to compel your child to make decisions that reflects your wisdom.

State your case, hear him out. Let him make his own decision. Let him totally own it. Set up your boundaries- like where you are willing to assist him in his decision(help him move, etc…)

College has become a continuation of childhood…it’s the parents decision. The evidence for this is the 2 topics most kids learn, how to drink and how to have varietal sex. More toys and games is the child-like mentality perpetuated in our off spring.

Let him move out, support himself, travel for at least a year, just as a few examples..

These days it is vital to develop the strength of character that only life experience can teach to morally survive the college atmosphere and the strange leftist teachings from the professional students known as professors.

Let your son then come to you and get your advise and possibly your support for a decision he is ready to make; with the honor towards you the father and the respect of man to man.

Comment by Lisa Nealon

My heart is a mess as I read your book “Rooms.” The book is excellent–it’s message is thought provoking, which thoughts are terrifying, confusing and exhilerating to me. Do I even have the right, as a mother of a troubled teen, to dare to pursue a deep faith-walk relationship with Jesus that would require me to sacrifice not only my worldly desires, but those of my children? Where I came from and where I’m at now — all of the past ugliness and the present struggles and successes can be used for His glory if I only had the courage to sacrifice self for Him. What holds me back? Family. A husband, a 17 year old son (both of whom are doing well) and a very confused 14 year old daughter who has already lived far too much life for her age. Will someone tell me what the right thing to do is when my heart wants me to be out there with the lost (like I was), but my responsiblities tie me down at home. Perhaps I already know the answer in the order of ministry (God, husband, family and then ministry), but encouragement or constructive criticism are all appreciated!

Comment by Donna

Hi Donna,
First, Christ is the one who did the sacrificing. He commands you to first love him with all you have. I know you know this but it is the command which holds together all the commands.
Second,your heart is out there with the lost serving best by staying happily, healthfully committed to your family right now. We all are limited and homes, husband, teens require a well rested fully available wife and mother (in that order).
The “lost” see this love, they are starving to see this. YOu are serving well.
Here to support you.

Comment by Lisa Nealon

Thank you, Lisa. I sometimes get discouraged because of all the pain around me and especially when someone close to me is losing his life because of his addiction (a 31 year old son of my closest girlfriend). What a story there; but suffice to say, this woman, who is now my best friend, was tapped on the shoulder to be my disciple 11 years ago and we have been closer than blood sisters ever since, sharing our lives, our families, our let downs, our tragedies and our conquests. Always, God is there when she and I are together. And I guess seeing her go through this and having known her son for all this time, is very, very difficult for me, since I was a cocaine addict for 12 years myself. I want so much to be able to help him. Yes, I pray. But beyond that I don’t know how help him since he’s bent on dying on the streets as his body wastes away from the torture inflicted upon it by heroine addiction. I know God is with this young man because he accepted Jesus as his savior years ago. Despite his salvation, he has done and continues to do the dance between life in Christ and death in his addiction. It’s a horrible, horrible existence that not all Christians can understand. I cannot stop crying for his mother and for him. My heart cries out for a better world. Yet I cannot make that happen; only He can and He uses me to help when that is His will.

Comment by Donna

GRAB THE RING….what if, you miss the best part of the ‘you’ God created, because of fear, the unknown in your own head. It isn’t in God’s, he has known you since before the foundation of the world. He knows these thoughts you have had, even before you had them. TRUST – the operative word here.

Comment by Bonnie

I am so greatful to currently be reading your book Rooms. Today I was sitting and just watching the loveliness of God’s sky and making faces of His clouds. Rooms is the most wonderfully thought provoking book I’ve read in quite some time. While riding the bus to work I’ve smiled big, laughed out loud at the wit and felt emotionally charged by the reading of Rooms. I decided to go to Amazon to see what other books you’ve written. I am glad to add to my ‘books I will read if God is willing I should live so long’ list :o), The Book of Days and The Chair. My compliments to your ability to write where readers are provoked to think about God and actually want to get up and go to their Bibles. I have a question. On your web site in Musings, What If You’re Not Tough, you mentioned Eph. Chapter 16. Did you mean Ephesians 6:16. I would like to read the scripture. Must get back to my reading. My sister is chomping at the bit for the book.

Comment by Cheri Williams


Thanks so much for your note. Wow, so glad ROOMS spoke to you!

Yes, you’re right about Eph. it’s chapter 6! Thanks for catching that,


Comment by jimrubart

I have read Rooms and Book of Days, enjoyed them both very much, and eagerly wait for your new book The Chair to be released. Is there an actual release date yet, or just “Fall 2011”, that seems so far off… I told my sister you’re in the same category as Frank Peretti and Tim Dekkar, and am passing on the first two books to her during our family vacation this month. Good job!

Comment by Diane Brace


Great to hear from you! Peretti and Dekker were a huge inspiration to me for many years so your words mean a lot.

The Chair will release EARLY fall, September 1st to be more precise so it’s not that far off!

Live free,


Comment by jimrubart

Sitting in my chair, waiting for “The Chair”….have enormously enjoyed and already shared my copies of the 1st two books…I personally connected with Rooms…and relate it to all “God has prepared for me from the Foundation of the beginnings”….and not being able to imagine most of that, I found your 1st book compelling in scope, description of the rooms of our souls, and the enveloping completeness of all God Gives So Freely. Congradulations….Waiting and Rejoicing!

Comment by Bonnie

Thanks, Bonnie, that makes my day.

I just got my final cover for The Chair and it looks great!

Remember, HE is madly in love with you!


Comment by jimrubart

Thank you for responding Jim….”Waiting” sometimes brings the greatest and most precious blessings.
Keep writing, my book author friend.
You are blessing lives. A noble purpoe.

Comment by Bonnie

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