Today’s Successful Author Spotlight features apologist, pastor and inspirational speaker Rev. Jason Jimenez, author of the books “The Raging War Of Ideas – How to Take Back our Faith, Family, and Country”, “The Official Study Guide to I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist” (with Norman L. Geisler) and his soon to be released book, “God’s Answers to 100 of Life’s Biggest Questions”. His books have been endorsed by such well known ministers as Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel, Ravi Zacharias and Dr. Norman L. Geisler. His website www.reshiftministries.org provides insight into the ministry of this apologist (defender of the faith) and his E3 (embolden, equip, engage) mission statement. Pastor Jason is the proud father of four children and is happily married to his wife Celia. He has dedicated his life and his ministry to equipping the next generation with the fundamental knowledge that will embolden them to be defenders of their faith in a world constantly challenging what we believe and asking the age old question “why”. His book “The Raging War of Ideas” engages the reader to first learn what they believe, then be able to defend their faith and lastly, share their faith with others. It is a sobering reminder that so many do not know the tenets of their faith in a time when it is essential for survival to know the Word of God.
As we began our discussion, I asked Pastor Jason “What one past experience changed the course of your life?” he startled me with his refreshing candor as he shared “The death of my mom. She was killed in car accident when I was 15 years old. My mom saw something different in me. I had a learning disability and was afraid to read in class. I turned to the encyclopedia of the Bible and read it– and it helped me read. My mom saw that and complimented me on my attempts. She said goodbye when we left for school one morning and… I never got to see her again. After she passed away, I became a bodybuilder during high school. I’m the middle child: 4 boys, 2 older, 1 younger. We all reacted differently. I clung to the Lord. I never questioned why He took my mom. I wept but I knew God was in control. I knew He would be there with me. The whole family was in mourning. She was the glue to the family. Our nuclear family drifted apart. My youngest brother, age 11, never cried. The oldest and youngest got into drugs. I was the responsible one. I took care of my dad. I tried to have a good relationship with my brothers. During that time, that’s when my pastoral gifts were coming out as I took care of my family. I then went to seminary. The pastor said that I had a call of the pastor. My family also was moved by my eulogy for my mom. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for those plights of tragedy—I can empathize as I minister to youth because of what I experienced.”
Pastor Jason started to share a very sensitive time in his life (and he provided explicit permission to share this in this article) as he revealed “I was molested by an uncle when I was a child and I have used my struggles to speak to people about their molestation, so they can be freed of the burden of embarrassment and the sense that they caused this. There is forgiveness in being molested and forgiveness in the loss of my mom. All so God can equip me to minister to those who are living through this. I want to be transparent by talking to them about true life situations. Not over the top, but real. I don’t have all of the answers still. When we stand before the Lord, we will truly understand. When they find out that you are a true shepherd, then you can truly minister to them. Look at my life as a true testimony. Let it be an example to those hurting that they can be delivered and they can rise above what they experienced. We need to share our failures and our victories.”
Attempting to glean from his experiences writing three books, I asked “What is your writing method when you start a project?” Pastor Jason shared “I seek the Lord in prayer. I pray “Lord, show me how to go about doing what You want me to do.” I am a mind map kind of guy. I develop mind maps. Accomplishing your goals is dependent on how you lay out your ideas. I use my Ipad and have an I-Idea app. I take a piece of paper and map it out and lay it out before I write the book. There are themes that are coming out; and that becomes an outline, then that is the table of contents; that becomes an idea for the chapters, with a skeleton in place. Then I am also an avid research guy. I get giddy when I research. I see what’s already out there. I want to be original but I also want to learn from what others have written. I am a “one stop shop” in books. I also cite people’s works when I use their thoughts. I start with the idea, I pray and I fast. I’m always trying to learn and grow. I spend time with some famous authors. When you go into the mode of writing and start fasting (whatever the fast is– like coffee, TV) whatever you are fasting– you have to be devoted to listening to God so you need to fast to devote your time and attention to listening to what God is directing you to write. I then outline it, I test it, and I evaluate it. I assess the market. I compare and contrast my outline to what’s already out there to make sure that I am providing a unique book. I ask myself: Do I have something here? Is it publishable? Is it redundant? Is it unique? Once I’ve decided that, then I do the writing.”
I then asked him “What is the most important life event you have had?” Pastor Jason responded “I was raised catholic. Accepting Christ is first. But after that, getting married. I was a young single youth pastor, dating Celia, but I was trying to think of ways to get out of this relationship. I was praying in my apartment, and God revealed to me my pride–I wanted to do things my own way. God showed me that my pride was stopping me from committing to Celia. I had broken up with my high school sweetheart three years before, and the pain was still present. She had told me that she didn’t want to be a pastor’s wife but I still pursued her before I finally gave up on her. With Celia, God pointed out Proverbs 18:22 “he who gets a wife is favored of the Lord.” She is the gift God gave to me, she is my best friend, she is my huge champion, she is such a support– I love her. No one compares with my wife. My wife is gracious. She has taught me God’s grace. Next to accepting Christ, marrying her –it is the best decision of my life!”
I asked Pastor Jason my signature question “What will they write on your gravestone that will sum up your life?” He responded without hesitation “II Timothy 2:20-22 ‘Vessel of Honor’ – He was prepared to do every good thing to be a vessel of honor!”
I next asked him “What motivates you?” He replied “That people are going to hell. Jesus speaks about people going to hell. I am more motivated by people going to hell than going to heaven. We (my wife Celia and I) are part of the pro life movement, and my wife and I will go to the abortion mills and plead with people and love on them and let them know that they do not have to do this. I am motivated to provide them with a way of escape from a real hell.”
I felt that I was tapping into the real Pastor Jason as I asked “What inspires you?” He humbly shared “God’s Word. Proverbs 30:5-6. It is convicting; it is infallible. It validates that God is real. His truth will never let me down. When I spend time in it, it is the most treasured time of my day. I learned that from a peasant– Christians in poor countries who are weeping over one page of the Bible. I will not let anything take away from what matters most to me—God’s Word!”
I asked this theologian, apologist and pastor “What is your theme scripture and why?” He opened up his heart and responded “2 Timothy 2:20-22 20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor. 21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. 22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
As I drew to a close, I asked Pastor Jason “When you get to heaven, what do you want to hear The Lord say to you?”
He spoke softly as he whispered “I love you.”
As I reflected on our poignant conversation, discussing some sensitive topics such as sudden parental death and child molestation, I was honored that Pastor Jason had been so transparent and willing to share his hurts and struggles so someone could benefit from his experience and his victories. I remembered how he spoke that we must share our failures and our victories so others may learn. I was thankful that this Defender of the Faith was out on the forefront of our Christian Army—leading the way for others to follow him as he follows Christ!
Find Rev. Jason Jimenez’s books “The Raging War Of Ideas – How to Take Back our Faith, Family, and Country” and “The Official Study Guide to I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist” (with Norman L. Geisler) in the Xulon Press Bookstore.