At the time of this writing (late June 2010), fourteen years have passed since I wrote The Cup and the Glory
. The publication release was March 2006, so it has been a little over four years since it has been published. So for a period of about ten years transpired between the writing and publication of the book.
You can read more about this in “The Writing of The Cup and the Glory
” section in the study guide, if you like, but I never set out to write a book. I was an English Lit major in college and always found writing to be enjoyable and an appropriate venue of communication, so I would gravitate to writing what I was studying as God had brought me—and taught me—so much during “The Wilderness.” In a nutshell, what eventually became The Cup and the Glory
was my spiritual diary/Bible study of what God taught me during this time. I wrote it primarily for myself, and it was not until around “The Agreement” chapter that I concluded “It must be a book. I wonder what I have written.” I did not have a title or any direction for where I was headed. I returned to where I began (“The Cup” was the first chapter written), and since James and John’s request in Mark 10 was to sit in Jesus’ glory, with which He answered, among other things, “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink?” I knew from my previous studies that the glory follows the sufferings (1 Pet. 1:10-12), so the title The Glory and the Cup would make no sense whatsoever and be out of order both biblically and chronologically.
When it finally came into a book format, God had indeed “perfected, confirmed, strengthened and established me” (1 Pet. 5:10) and healed spiritually and refreshed and renewed. It was such a sweet time of fellowship with the LORD in writing these chapters. I knew I would use what I learned in the classroom or the pulpit, but I did not know if the book would ever be published. I knew the content of the book had ministered to me; I did not know if it would for anyone else because the people who first read the chapters or the entire book were dear friends and loved ones, so I did not fully trust their kind responses to what I had written, figuring they might be trying to encourage me instead of telling me what they really thought.
The Internet had just started its popularity when the book was written and email with it. I don’t remember exactly when or how, but people began contacting me about receiving a copy of the book as an email attachment. By the way, I sent it unedited on a Word document with tons of spelling and grammatical errors. In spite of this, God still used it, and before it was published, it had ended up in over 70 countries. My “price” for sending this was “to charge them prayer” and ask that they pass it to someone they think needed it. To this day I have no idea where those copies are. I would run into people, in Jordan for instance, who had the book.
Over a period of about three years different publishers turned down the book. It came so close to being published sometimes, it was very frustrating. It was always hard to deal with a publisher’s rejection when it happened. I would have my little thundercloud over my head in depression, and then I would hear, for instance, from a missionary in China who had the book and passed it from village to village. One missionary from an African country wrote me and said, “I am dying very soon of cancer. I have heard about your book. Will you send it to me to prepare me and my family for what is about to happen?” I sent it to him, heard back from him that he got it, but I never heard from him again.
The last publisher who turned it down before it was finally published phoned and rebuked and ridiculed the book. Among other things who said, “Who would ever read this? You will be lucky if you ever find 500 people who will ever read this.” (You can listen more to this on one of the free audio downloads on the website.) That bitter rejection was the low point—and the turning point—in many ways. To condense a long story, I fully laid The Cup and the Glory
before God on His altar with “If you want this published, then please raise up the publisher you would have. If you do not want it published for whatever reason, please bring about the divine appointments for the people you want to read it.” I figured it would be primarily through email attachments that people received the book.
I won’t go into many of the wonderful things God has done with this or where all it has ended up for fear of losing my reward and fear of vaunted vanity; many responses I keep hidden in my heart. One of the coolest things is that every chapter has been somebody’s favorite chapter. I think so much depends on what has happened in their lives.
As I watch some of what God does with this and where all it end ups, I cannot help but think of the publisher who said I’d be lucky to find 500 people who would ever read it. As it goes to different people, countries, languages, I thank God that His wisdom was vindicated. The Spanish and Mandarin copies are finished and the German translation should be in the fall of 2010. We hit a little snag with the Arabic translation, but that’s in the plans as well. We’ll see what other languages God raises up.
We are in the early stages of an audio addition of the book. More about this later.
By the way, as many of you know, I get no royalties from the books or study guides. I changed the scholarship in Roland Lee’s honor from Washington Bible College to The Master’s Seminary. This has nothing to do with Washington Bible College other than most of the people I knew then have moved on elsewhere. I did not know I would be at the Master’s Seminary when this was set up. It is just easier for me to have it go where I currently am.
We will post the links for the different languages when they are available (the Spanish is already available on has its own link on our website).
To God be the Glory!