About Terry Stueck:
Terry Stueck holds degrees in Psychology and Theology. Terry has extensive experience ministering to inner-city rescue missions in Chicago, Albuquerque, and Atlanta. Terry is a 1970 graduate of Northwest Missouri State University and a 1973 graduate of Faith Theological Seminary. He began inner-city mission work in 1973 at the Bible Rescue Mission on Madison Street, the heart of Chicago’s infamous “skid row” and the Pacific Garden Mission on State Street on Chicago’s south side. He has been involved in evangelism and church growth as a missionary over a wide range of fields. His missionary service extended from the inner-cities, to church planting, church rescue, and military installations at home and abroad. In 1997, he founded High Plains Bible Mission in New Mexico as an outreach to native and inner-city communities. He currently serves as director of the mission.
What inspires you to write?
The profound truths and deep insights of scripture from the “Sermon on the Mount” were taught by Terry at inner-city missions and prison ministries. Word spread around the missions and prisons where Terry ministered to the Christian community about the results and life change created by the deep understanding of Jesus’ teaching causing innumerable requests for the author to write the principles and truth in written form so that all could hear and share in the “abundant life”. The teachings were requested because they were deeper and far more reaching in their lives than what they had been hearing or reading in their normal channels. The readers wanted the same life change, even though their hang-ups and trials were less severe than the down and out, they still had issues to overcome.
Tell us about your writing process.
Over the course of ten years of ministry on the subject of anger, stress, and perfectionism working with addicts, marriage difficulties, divorced, and people with personal relationship trials, the truths of the Bible drilled deeper and deeper until the full message Jesus gave in the Sermon on the Mount came through in clarity. All of the material on following Jesus in His most important request of us to forgive had to be condensed, outlined and put into a format for readers to follow as an easy path. That process of writing took two years to refine into a manuscript that could convey the entire message in brief fashion and not miss the depth of the scripture.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
The most difficult task I had was to use my own journey that I made in overcoming perfectionism and learn to become a forgiving person. As an introvert, writing my own story to expose to the world was a daunting task. My sense of humor in the tragic stories allowed me to convey the difficulties of life I experience in a lighter way that allowed the book to be more about the cure Jesus gave than about myself. I wanted the reader to know I had made this journey myself. The book had to be from the perspective of a follower encouraging others to come along and not from some high minded lecturer who had only studied the journey in books. Having made the journey myself, I know the solution Jesus gave works. Those who are seeking a deeper walk with God and the cure for life’s trials will find the “way” in the pages of this book. I was able to find what very few have found. I have been pointing others to that solution ever since so they can know the peace God gives to those who will simply follow. Knowing what to follow of Jesus became the key to the “new life”.
What advice would you give other writers?
I learned that all the “far out” things Jesus requested of us easy if we get the 1st step right. If we follow 1st in the subject of forgiving, all the other things he asks become easy and common place to accomplish. Once I became a forgiving person, I could easily turn the other check. Out of me flowed rivers of living water (joy and laughter uncommon among men). It became 2nd nature to be the good Samaritan or serve rather than be served. Knowing Jesus changed a lot of external things about life, but following Him through the door of forgiving changed the inside of me.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Because this book is really the words of Jesus, I have not claim to profit from the book. In order to keep the cause down, I self-published under the umbrella of my Mission. High Plains Bible Mission Publishing produces copies with the intent of giving them away. Thousands of copies are donated to inner-city missions and prisons. The book has allowed the ministry to go far beyond the reach of single ministry. The book has been donated to inner-city missions around the country, far beyond what could be done by physical outreach. Copies are being donated to prison libraries. The number of copies donated would not be possible if a publisher had to have their overhead added to the cost of the book. But is was very important for editors and other eyes to review the book before printing. Twelve readers that I knew reviewed the book and helped round it and shape it. All of them had great credentials and literary pedigrees. After the manuscript was set, I hired Booklogix of Alpharetta Georgia to professionally edit the book with two editors and produce the needed files for printing on a contract time basis, not as the publisher. My upfront costs were high, but now I can mass produce the book to distribute in prisons and missions. All sales generate more gifts. High Plains Bible Mission is non-profit. Publishers do not fit well in that scenario.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
With a million books a year being published, it will be harder and harder to find the authors who truly have something to say. There are a lot of voices out there who want to be heard. The task of the seekers who are looking for something to grow deeper in life will have a difficult task. But Jesus promised, seek and ye shall find. I found more than I was looking for because I obeyed in seeking. I have tried to shine a light on that “find”, but many are crowding out the field. That is why I donate and send the message in this book to the places I know seekers are located, prisons and inner-city missions. I have yet to open the doors to divorce recovery groups, AA groups and counselors to pass on to clients.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: religion, inspirational, Christian, Gospel
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.