(The prologue and table of contents for Hope for Misfits are posted to acquaint you with the theme of the book. Excerpts are posted periodically on the Home page, on which you are encouraged to comment. My goals for the book are that it will be acceptable to God, and that it will inspire hope. It continues to be prepared for publication.)
I got drunk almost every day for twenty-five years. I got sober and eventually became a Methodist minister. Drunk or sober, I have often felt like a misfit.
A friend who knew me in the bad days said, “If DeVere can become a preacher, there’s hope for everybody.” He was right; there is hope for everybody through Christ.
The dark, sordid recollections of my alcohol-induced insanity may offend the prudish, but my recovery, redemption and chronicle of the challenges and rewards of pastoral ministry may inspire hope in the hopeless. What I write is true in spirit and true historically as far as memory permits. I have taken literary license in places to fill gaps lost to time and alcoholic blackouts. All persons are real, but a few names have been changed. I have reconstructed dialogue as it may have occurred.
My journey through the booze-fueled pits of hell to a pulpit has similarities to the Prodigal Son in the Gospel of Luke: I left home, squandered a sound spiritual and moral upbringing on wild living, almost perished in abject degeneracy, awakened to my lost condition, and struggled back into the waiting, forgiving arms of God the Father.
Come inside my head and heart as I start fights, consort with prostitutes, wreck cars, ride a motorcycle into a concrete wall, get divorced, get fired, awaken bewildered in a distant state, hurt those who love me, repossess cars, work as managing editor of a Pulitzer-Prize winning daily newspaper, sell vacuum cleaners door-to-door, clean feces off of grown men, and finally surrender my life to God, preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and minister to my flock. Along the way, join me as I recall experiences that I can only describe as supernatural.
Chapter 1: A Do-Right Kid
Chapter 2: Drunk and Shameful in France
Chapter 3: Do Angels Drive Citróéns?
Chapter 4: Merciless Repo Man
Chapter 5: A Dark Comedy
Chapter 6: Flirtation with Sanity
Chapter 7: A Fresh Start
Chapter 8: Me, a Sports Writer?
Chapter 9: A Miserable Person
Chapter 10: Me, a News Editor?
Chapter 11: Custody and Sobriety
Chapter 12: Mr. Rick Takes Me Back
Chapter 13: A Heaven-Sent Soul Mate
Chapter 14: Fired
Chapter 15: A Consuming Hatred
Chapter 16: Me, a Managing Editor?
Chapter 17: Walking Away from Utopia
Chapter 18: Hitting Bottom
Chapter 19: Rebirth and Sobriety
Chapter 20: Rejected for Job Shoveling Manure
Chapter 21: Reaching Out to AA
Chapter 22: Forgiving and Letting Go
Chapter 23: A Sign from God
Chapter 24: Learning Humility
Chapter 25: Making Amends
Chapter 26: Precious People
Chapter 27: Christ Appears
Chapter 28: “Go Preach”
Chapter 29: Answering the Call
Chapter 30: Me, a Pastor and Preacher!
Chapter 31: The Ministry of Presence
Chapter 32: From the Pit to the Pulpit