A friend of mine and fellow pastor, Joseph Fehlen, has recently written a book about becoming a motorcyclist and some of the thoughts about Jesus it has inspired. I enjoyed the book and would like to do my part in promoting it.
I did an interview with him and here are the results:
In two sentences explain your book and in one sentence tell why a complete stranger should read it
It is a story about my journey of becoming a motorcyclist and the lessons I learned about life, faith, and things that really matter. (Can I use my second sentence and add it to the why you should read it? Wait I just wrote three sentences. )
Tough break. Since you’ve become a “Biker” how many people have you shot or mugged? Have you broken any bar stools over anyone’s head in a fight?
I have never broken any bar stools, or mugged anyone. I have shot a couple deer since I became a biker, which is a new thing for me. A couple of my pre-readers thought one of my chapters could be a bit offensive to bikers because I used the G-word (gang). I have since learned that word doesn’t go over very well because of the misconception some people have towards bikers. Most are really great and will do anything for you.
Your chapters tie in with something from the Gospels, is there a specific reason why you focus on the Gospels?
I wanted to show people that most things in life can be linked back to Jesus in a very normal, conversational tone. We don’t need to beat people up with Jesus, or quote a ton of scripture to make people believe in who Jesus is and what He has done for us. I ultimately, as the subtitle says, reintroduce people to Jesus.
How has writing this book helped your faith?
Ultimately, as I look at Jesus and talk about what He is like, I was forced to ask myself, “do I really believe this?” Because people will read this and I don’t want to be a hypocrite. Now after I have sold a few and have people commenting on it, I am really jazzed at reading others stories of how this book has impacted their lives.
Do you find writing a helpful way to foster spiritual growth?
I think anytime you put your words on paper for others to read (and ultimately like or dislike) it is a spiritual growth building exercise. This process has taught me much about myself, how to push through the doubt, and how amazing my support group is to help and encourage me along.
Are you writing more?
I am currently writing one about hunting.
Several of my older hunting friends have said, “There is nothing you can write about hunting that hasn’t been written.” I am writing about how to hunt, because I haven’t mastered that. I am writing about my failures. I am currently calling it- Nine Arrows: A hunters life of patience, perseverance, practice and utter failure.
What is your favorite chapter?
Oh, by far chapter two. It is the chapter that has my struggle with failure and rules and spotlights my mom and Granny Brown. They were the two most influential ladies in my life. I wrote the main meat of the chapter for a family talent show we were doing with my parents, my brothers family and my family. We all got together in a cabin the week before we moved back to Wisconsin and everyone shared a talent one night. I read that chapter for them all and my mom loved it, even though I am hard on her for part of it. As it went that would be one of the last times we were all together before my mom passed away a year later. So that one is pretty special and I think really brings people back to their own childhood.
If I could write a book about eating ice cream and how that has helped me learn about Jesus, would it be OK to buy lots of ice cream and maybe only have ice cream for supper, you know, for Jesus?
When I eat black licorice ice cream from Nelson’s Ice Cream Shop on Greeley street in Stillwater, MN I just want to worship Jesus. So yes do it!
I remember once your wife saying how she learned about one time when you rode your bike really fast and she didn’t know that until reading your book. So I was just curious, like what other stuff have you done on your motorcycle you haven’t told your wife? I won’t tell her.
One time, while riding across WA, my back tire was really out of alignment and would severely wobble at various speeds. It was about 95 degrees and I had my helmet and coat off so I wouldn’t over-heat. But that was the one time I probably should have had more protection on, because the tire could have gone at any point.
She also doesn’t know that when I am riding the motorcycle at speeds over 65 I think to myself, “Man, if anything jumps out in front of me right now…I’m dead.” I think I have her convinced this is a safe lifestyle, so please don’t tell her that.
Is it possible for a biker to ride a bike that is not a Harley and still be a follower of Christ? If your answer is “yes,” please explain how you are wrong.
Yes you can not ride a Harley and still be a follower of Christ. But you are more like those that stood on the outside of the crowd. They went where He went, but couldn’t quite hear everything He said. I think the guys that had to rip the roof open to lower their crippled friend in to get healed by Jesus probably rode a Kawasaki like me. Harley riders would have been invited inside.
What is the main point about the Christian faith you hope people get from your book?
I hope to reintroduce (or in some cases introduce) you to a Jesus that cares for you and has a relevant purpose in your daily life today. I think I have done that in a fun, whimsical way that most anyone can relate with.