Strategic Discipleship - Concluding a Series

Who I am and What I do
My name is Joshua Staton. I am an author of Christ-centered substance abuse and relapse prevention books and support group materials. For many years, I have served numerous ministries, both local and national, in providing support, guidance, and curriculum. Unfortunately, I have had to do most of this on my own while working full-time and taking care of a family. The four books I have written and published have helped offset some of the costs, but I believe releasing families from addiction should take precedence over making a huge profit.

Almost three years ago, I began a little publishing company called Cabin in the Woods Publishers. And before long, I noticed there were only a few alternatives to secular substance abuse programs and groups. The ones that were faith-based seemed to prioritize 'recovery' over a relationship with Jesus. And this concerned me—greatly.

As a result, the decision was made to shift the direction of Cabin from general publishing to a sole focus on Christian relapse prevention we called Strategic Discipleship. The four successive stages of this series seek to take an individual through a journey—from active addiction to godly purpose.

Overcome - Biblical Responses to Destructive Reactions (Personal and Leader editions)
The Resistance - Becoming a Servant Leader through the Beatitudes
Align - A Modern Dissection of the Human Heart

*What I want to do
Now that the story is caught up to the present day, here is what I would like to do and the reason I am asking for help. For the final leg of this endeavor, The Builders, I would like to do a two-book finale. The first book subtitled "Blueprint" will be the main text. The second book, "Legacy" will be a daily devotional. While Blueprint will conclude the journey by helping those in recovery find God's purpose for their life and engage in the continual development of spiritual fruit, Legacy will re-enforce the bridge by encouraging them to appreciate just how precious life is and how quickly one moment can change it all—for good or bad.

One of the more important aspects of Blueprint will be in how it is written. While it will be heavily based on scripture and application, personal interviews will fuel much of the narrative. My goal is to locate, visit, and interview various 'old-time' craftsmen/women, farmers, homemakers, and others as they present themselves. While much of my initial focus will be local to Western North Carolina, having the option to locate and travel to individuals throughout the state and possibly nationally opens up an entirely new realm of possibilities.

These interviews will contribute one part to the larger puzzle of Blueprint. My hope is to capture the essence and soul of the God-fearing American spirit by providing a snapshot of that time. I feel this will resonate greatly and help encourage addicts who may be struggling during their journey and take the next step in faith. Additionally, I believe this opportunity will give a few of the interviewees a chance to share their life stories with a greater audience and, possibly, a new generation.

What I ask
Writing a book is a rather hefty task to accomplish almost entirely on your own, with little to no budget and overwhelming demands on time. But I believe this is what God has presently called me to do. And whether or not funds are raised, I plan to proceed with this project—although it may take significantly much longer to accomplish. Ultimately, traveling is expensive. Granted, there is a chance that some of these components can be accomplished via email. However, there are many elderly that have little use for technology, especially the ones we want to locate. While much can be learned from their words, the surroundings often tell a fuller story.

When I was young, we would visit my grandmother's kinfolk in Alabama. I would often find one of her thirteen siblings, Edward, sitting motionless in the living room. As the ninety-four-year-old realized he had company, he would start to slowly rock back and forth in his green pleather recliner. As the rocking would eventually settle into an unrhythmic tempo, 'Uncle Ed' would begin telling unsolicited stories of his childhood days in the early 1900s. Occasionally, the sound of a dislodged cushion spring would draw my attention away from the disheveled picture frames hanging on the walls back to his face. As my thoughts naturally drifted away from his words, the persistent smell of bacon grease was suddenly ushered away by a cool breeze from the side porch. "Storm's a-coming," he said, followed by an extended pause as if in a long debate. Not sure if he just forgot where he was in the story or if he was considering something else, I asked, "How do you know?" A few moments passed, and without answering my question or finishing his original story, he just began telling me a different tale...

My grandmother's family were cotton pickers in northern Alabama. Thirteen children were raised in a patchworked house covered in tarred and shingled siding. While many of their grandchildren were focused on making sure they had accurate family trees, I found myself more interested in their stories, personalities, work ethic, and essence. And unfortunately, that is not something that can genuinely be gathered through email.

If you have made it this far, I thank you for at least hearing me out. I hope that you find value in this project and would like to support it. My biggest expected expenses are travel. Aside from locating and scheduling, getting there and back is what I could really use help with.

Thank you,
JS
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Joshua Staton
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Flat Rock, NC

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