Happy 20th Anniversary Getting a Grip on the Basics
HAPPY 20TH ANNIVERSARY GETTING A GRIP ON THE BASICS
"To be mature is to be basic…” Colossians 1:29, Message
I bet you didn’t know it was the 20th Anniversary of the Getting a Grip on the Basics book!
We didn’t know it either…until one of our kids reminded us that the Get a Grip book was published 20 years ago! So, we thought we’d take this month to celebrate and give God glory for what He’s done with a workbook! There is no doubt..."This was the Lord's doing and it is marvelous in our eyes!" Psalm 118:23
Here’s the story of the birth of Getting a Grip on the Basics – I hope you are inspired!
It was 1988, our daughter Meghan was just a few months old and I was on maternity leave from my job when the Lord gave me the green light to start writing Get a Grip. For eighteen months I spent every Monday in the Rhema Bible Training Center Library with books, concordances, Bibles and legal pads writing (by hand!) the first and second and third and tenth draft of what would one day beGetting a Grip on the Basics. When it was completed, I sent it to a publisher and was instantly rejected.
So, what do you do? Well, my husband Jeff and I believed God wanted to use this book to help new, young, and mature Christians get the basics down deep in their spirit. So we went to Kinko’s Copy Shop and printed our own version of the book (I think our first order at Kinko’s was something like 50 books) and we began taking new believers through the material helping them to get the basics. It was fun!
A few years later, I sent another letter to see if the publisher would be interested and once again, I received a nice rejection letter. That discouraged me, but we still believed in the book and continued to use the Kinko’s version to help disciple people.
A few more years went by and God had connected me with two young men who really caught the vision for Getting a Grip on the Basics. Pat Judd and Kurt Brandt worked for Harrison House Publishers at the time –– they believed in the book and in 1994 they presented it to the publishers acquisitions team and this time the publisher said: “Yes!”
The first official version of Getting a Grip on the Basicswas published in 1994. Up until this time, Harrison House had not ever published a fill-in-the-blank style Bible study book, but they decided to take a chance and published Get a Grip to help people get a firm foundation in their faith. We had no idea what God would do with this book, but He sees the end from the beginning and He found a way to put Get a Grip into the hands of people around the world. For the past 20 years, it has been one of the publishers Top 40 Best Sellers and has been translated into over 15 different languages.
Yesterday, on Labor Day, I received this testimony from Bruce Barton. Bruce and his wife Elaine are passionate missionaries who do evangelistic work in South America, Africa, Central America and other parts of the world. Through their ministry “Whole World Ministries” they have equipped pastors and taught Getting a Grip on the Basicsin big cities and remote villages in various parts of the world. He wrote this,
“Whole World Ministries is reaching and teaching many new believers with Getting A Grip! We are raising up a bigger and better army for Jesus because of your ministry! God Bless! Our ministry is all about helping pastors, ministers and leaders to connect and train the body of Christ. The church needs Getting a Grip on the Basics, the foundation to serve, share and be all God called you to be…Discipleship is a must for every new and every old believer.”
I couldn’t agree more! I love the way the Message Bible puts Colossians 1:29, “…to be mature is to be basic…”The more we grow in Christ, the more mature we become and the more we recognize our need to be established and re-established in the basics!
I hope this stirs you up about the basics…and I hope you are inspired to revisit the desires God has put in your heart. Maybe God has given you a vision to write a book or share the gospel in some creative way? I hope the story of God’s faithfulness to help us write and publish the Get a Grip book encourages you! Twenty years ago, when God put this book in my heart, I did not consider myself to be a writer. I didn’t know any publishers and no one was clamoring for my book. I just had a desire to help new, young, and mature Christians get the basics of God’s Word and I felt like God was leading me in the way of writing a book. The rest is truly His-story!
If you’ve used, studied or been blessed by theGet a Grip on the Basics book, we would love to hear your story and see a photo of you and the book – with a cover from any era! Just do this: