Mark S. Wilson has been the lead pastor of The Foothills Church, in Gilroy CA. for 32 years. Mark graduated from L.I.F.E. Bible College in Los Angles, CA. and received his B.A. in Theology in 1985. Mark and his wife Joani of 40 years have two sons, Brooks and Chad a daughter-in-law, Jillian and two grandchildren, Noah and Ava. Aside from loving his family and The Foothills Church, Mark loves to golf and fish.
My life has been crazy the past few months. I'm sure yours has been as well. It is just the nature of life. You think you have everything under control and then bam, you feel like you're scrambling again. As for me, I was pretty settled in my routine of studying, sermon prep, church business, staff stuff and covid re-aligning. Everything at the church felt like it was slowly starting to get back to some sense of normalcy. And then, at around the first of the year, I woke up one morning and had the strangest thought that sent my life on an unexpected course. Just when we think we have everythingall figured out, God in Heaven goes, "Hummm" and then throws us a curve ball. He likes to keep us on our toes, to keepus leaning in to Him and learning from Him. If we truly want to serve God and we become comfortable, He will take note and stir things up to get us moving again. Another way to say it is, If you want to follow God, He will always lead you to a place where you cannot rely on yourself; a place where you need Him.
As I said earlier, it was around the first of the year and I woke up with a very weird thought - "I wonder what ever happened to the Centurion who declared that Jesus was the Son of God." Immediately, I believe God said to me, "Why don't you write about him and tell his story." Now mind you, I had not been reading about this Centurion, nor had I dreamt about him the night before, it was just a random, out of nowhere thought. Maybe God was up to something. The fact that I sensed God immediately answer my question with a question, should have been a clear indicator that He was indeed up to something - but I'm a little slow at times to catch on to what God is saying.
That very morning I looked up the Centurion's declaration from the Gospels and the seeds of the book were planted. Some might say it was a "Novel Idea". I know, I could have resisted harder. And so, I began the slow and arduous task of putting words down on paper. A work several months now in the writing.The premise of this novel is that the Centurion, who made this very astute declaration, was the same Centurionwho was on duty for the arrest of Jesus, the trials, the flogging, and then all the words Jesus spoke on the cross. It is a fiction based off of the Scriptures.
Fast forward to July and the novel "The Hours That Changed My Life", had gotten to the stage that I was thinking about and looking for a publisher. I had no idea where to turn about this and also what I would do about the artwork. There was just a lot of things up in the air - many unknowns. Thankfully, I was speaking with Mike and Marty Greenwood about the novel over lunch and they mentioned a Pastor friend of theirs who could possibly help. Marty put a lunch together with Michael John Toste, who was miraculously available on a Tuesday. Pastor Michael John had no idea about my novel, only that we were meeting just to get to know one another. During our conversation he mentioned the Centurion from the Bible and Mike, Marty and I looked at one another, mouths opened.
Long story short. Michael John knew a publisher - Trinity Broadcast Network's publishing division called "Trilogy" and he contacted them about my novel. Two days later I was on the phone with an executive from Trilogy. He liked the premise of the novel and wanted me to send them three chapters, which I did. They loved it and sent me a contract to publish this novel.
On the 24th of August I sent Trilogy my completed novel. It will be available February 8th, 2022 for purchase. I can't wait for you to read it and meet my new friend, Octavian...