Xulon Press Successful Author Spotlight: Maynard Bork

Filed in Successful Author Spotlight by on May 21, 2014 4 Comments

Xulon Press author Maynard Bork.  Book Covers Our latest edition of the Xulon Press Successful Author Spotlight features Maynard Bork, author of two books. “Fifty Two plus One – Devotional Letters For The Heart”, a collection of 52 letters, each written from the author to his reader. Although you could read this book at one sitting, the author’s intention is that the reader reads one letter each week, throughout the year. The plus one is provided for that 53rd week that we get every four years. His other book, “Restoration – Yesterday, Today, and Forever”, which is a collection of stories Maynard has told to family and friends through the years– from the widow of Nain to a story of two brothers, each story shares a central theme of love. Maynard’s target audience may be to encourage missionaries, but any reader will be blessed by the messages found in each and every story. This humble, tenderhearted author intended his books to be a source of encouragement and motivation for those in need of both. Maynard is a storyteller at heart, and each story provides a different message meant to inspire.

As we began our conversation, I asked Maynard about his first name. It is different and interesting, so I quizzed him on whether it was a family name. Maynard told me the story of his name. “I am named after the famous cowboy Ken Maynard”. I later researched this cowboy and found that he was a trick rider in the early 1930’s with the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show and Ringling Brothers and later, Ken Maynard became a champion rodeo rider. His claim to fame was that he was the first singing cowboy in movies. Maynard was proud of the story attached to his name. As a storyteller, he had a sense of investment in the story and in the way it was presented. As in everything Maynard writes, He was sharing his life.

When I asked him what was his purpose in writing this collection of stories, Maynard shared “The intent is to read one letter a week for a year. If you read more than the suggested one letter a week, the Book Police will not come to your house to arrest you. In fact, it doesn’t matter if you read one letter a week or the whole book in one sitting. What does matter is this—God loves you and if you are reading, or have read this book, this author will be praying for you.”

Maynard went on to explain “Mark Twain said, “My books are water; those of great geniuses is wine. Everybody drinks water.” He continued “Would this book fit into the genius category? Probably not, but you’re the one that has to decide. It is, however, a refreshing drink of water. That’s what I hoped to accomplish by writing this collection of stories…to refresh the soul and feed the spirit!”

I asked Maynard “What one past experience changed the course of your life?” This soft spoken, tenderhearted man came to life as he replied “Mildred. She was a major part of our lives. And she is still alive!”

I was intrigued. I had to know about this Mildred!

Maynard explained “A bet started it all. There was this lady, who lived in a small town of a thousand people, who was important to Connie, my wife. Mildred was important to me also. She always asked me to go to church. And I would thank her but say “no thank you”. She once asked me to come to a three day layman’s ministry meeting. She said “I bet you, if you come to one night, you will have to come to all three”. I told her, “I will accept your bet”—I was not going to let her win! Well? I went all three nights. I went up and said the sinner’s prayer. My wife rededicated her life also. I started going to Sunday school, and they taught on Revelations. It was just too much. I told Connie that I was not going to go anymore. She said she would not go if I would not go. I said that I was not going to go. And I just stopped. Then one day, God asked me “will you go to church?” and I thought God was going to kill me for trying to do right. So I told Him yes. He told me three things: 1-go to church, 2-don’t ever try to be pleasing to man, and 3-do it for me. God told me “whatever you do, do it as unto me, not as unto man”. It’s been 40 years that I have been saved and I go to church as often as I can.”

Concerning the writing of his two books, I asked “What method do you use to start your writing process?”

Maynard elaborated on his methods by sharing “Several things go into my method of writing. Some things are like writing a story. I choose a main subject or event. I think of the why, what, where, when and why. I get the idea in my head. I ask “What am I doing in my life?” I get a pad of paper. Then I write down all my thoughts. I then try to insert them into the story. For example, the widow of Nain. I implanted myself into her story and started thinking like the character, as if I am them. I then rewrite them in a paragraph form…then I put it away for a few days. Let it rest. Then I will look at it again and rewrite–again. I find the main subject or event. Think of the who, what, where and then formulate my thoughts and then put it away for a while…then I take it out and rewrite until I feel right about it. I go through a lot of rewrites before it is finished!”

This man who has been serving God for forty years had a message so I asked “What message do you want shared by the story of your life?” He laughed when he responded “It’s okay to lighten up. My wife and I were clowns for a long time. We had a clown ministry. One rule was most important. The #1 rule is to have fun! We have a lot of fun. When I was younger, they thought that I was a funny young man…now that I am older, they say “look at that senile old man!” and they laugh! God loves you unconditionally. He wants us to spend eternity with Him. It’s not that complicated. He wants us to know that He loves us unconditionally and He wants us to go to Heaven. You are a child of God and there will never come a time when Jesus does not love you.”

I was curious about his longstanding relationship with Christ so I asked “What would you tell others about your relationship with Christ that would inspire them?”

I felt Maynard’s heart open up as he explained “Jesus is my best friend. It has a deep meaning. You’re leaving work, it’s night time, leaving work, wife wants you to get milk. Someone tries to rob you. But you don’t have any money. You offer the milk. He is going to kill you. But Jesus steps in and says, “No! kill me instead”. God has always held up His hand and said “Enough!” Through all the things I’ve lived through, I can feel Jesus’ presence. I never felt like I was walking alone. I always knew that He was there. He has carried me many, many times. He is in Heaven interceding for me. He is going to God the Father on behalf. He is my best friend.”

When I asked Maynard my signature question “What will they write on your gravestone that will sum up your life?” he laughed as he said “he made us laugh and he lived a life that caused others to want to know his God!”

I had to admit—he made me laugh with this observation and throughout our conversation.

I then explored “What message do you believe God is asking you to share with your world?” Maynard classified his answer. “To adults: God wants to be our first priority, number one in everything. He wants to be our God. He has let us know more than once. We are not doing very well in that area. We have leaders who are not doing a good job. We don’t teach about the God of our founding fathers. God has always blessed our nation because we have put Him first. But now, we are saying “God, we don’t want you in our lives, in our holidays, in our government, in our churches”. Today, we want friendly churches, not godly churches.”

He continued “I look at young people, at a Christian concert. I see them in love with the Lord, and I think “that’s our future!” it’s not over yet, there is never a time to give up! A young man asked me one time how do I know it’s time to give up. I said, “you don’t give up on God ever!” You don’t give up—bottom line!”

Maynard was passionate as he shared “I don’t give up on our nation and what we are doing—but it’s a battle that we are standing in. To the younger audience—I would talk about my Book 52+1 ; I explain to them “so you are reading a letter from a really good friend. And it will make you feel good. Not deep theological findings”. They are just letters—just to say God really does love you a lot.”

I could sense the depth of relationship with Christ in this quiet storyteller.

I asked Maynard “What inspires you?” He beamed as he reflected “My wife inspires me. And…when I read the Bible, especially the Old Testament, those guys just talked to God. when I read about Jesus, about missionaries, in the U.S.A and around the world. Also…what God has next for me. Keeps me going forward. The feeling I get when I witness to someone and I see in their eyes that they get it—they really get it! Now that really inspires me!”

I found myself picturing Maynard witnessing to someone—I could sense his passion!

Even though Maynard may not be a young person, I felt that he still had something that he wanted his world to know, so I asked him “What would be your WAKE UP Call for your generation?” He became impassioned as he spoke “Our freedoms in our country. We just don’t recognize them. We are an instant society. We want everything right now and as long as it doesn’t touch my world, then I don’t get involved. I’m okay as long as it does not affect me personally. There are 2 principles I live by:1- You never give up, and 2- To get what you want, you have to fight for it. Laughter and having a good time are important. I’m 63 but it’s like three years ago, I was 12. God has blessed me with a lot of talent and now I ask how I can use them for Him!”

I asked Maynard “What is your theme scripture and why?” he got quiet as he almost whispered “Matt 25:22 Well done, thou good and faithful servant! I’ve tried to live my life since age 24 to someday see Him smile and hear Him say “well done thou good and faithful servant!”

When I asked “When you get to Heaven, what do you want to hear your Lord and Savior say?” he laughed and said “Maynard, well done! Can you imagine what it’s going to feel like to have Jesus touch you and look in your eyes?”

I had to admit—I could only imagine how that will feel.

As we drew to a close, I asked Maynard to consider his sixty plus years and answer “What is the most important life event you’ve had.” He became exuberant when he declared “Accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior is #1. Without my wife, I’m not sure I would have accepted Christ or if I did, that I would have the Christ driven life that I have. It’s been her love and gentle guidance that has made me the man I am today.”

As I reflected on this soft spoken storyteller who shared his messages in a collection of stories meant to remind his readers that “they are loved and that the author is praying for them”, I had to admit—I felt that love and was glad to know that “somewhere out there”, Maynard was praying for me.

And I believed him when he said he would!

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About the Author ()

Alan P. Scaglione is a writer who reflects on the simple contradictions and complexities to living this ”gift from God” called life. He believes that Life is a journey that, with compassion, a little levity and perspective, we help each other get through. His greatest compliment was being told “you draw pictures with your words!” He has devoted his life to “drawing”…in his poetry, his songs, his weekly “Reflections of Life” blog entries, his monthly SAS articles, his short stories and now, his novels! Alan is an everyday guy who refuses to let circumstances dictate his view to life; he lives an attitude of gratitude and spreads his positive outlook everywhere he goes. His BEST day is a day shared making a memory that will last a lifetime! Please check out Alan’s books “One Unexpected Event – How Would Your Life Change?” and its sequel “One Unexpected Event – Aftermath!” in the Xulon Press bookstore.

Comments (4)

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  1. avatar Tracy Sullivan says:

    I’ve been blessed to work with him and he is a great man of God with a wonderful heart! So glad to see him spotlighted here!

  2. Great interview with Maynard. I can relate so much with what he stated and how you captured his life and personality in your writing. I am 64 and wish I had started down the path of sharing the great new of Jesus Christ and my belief in God and his beautiful creation much earlier in life. Thanks for doing this interview and sharing with the rest of us. Inspirational!

  3. Great interview. Thanks for sharing Maynard’s story. I am looking forward to reading his books.

  4. avatar Lee Oglesby says:

    My husband and I are very thankful for Maynard Bork’s gift of writing. While we were on the mission field he was so faithful to keep us encouraged through his letters that we received from him. Sometimes we would laugh and cry as we read them, but he never ended any of his letters to us that he didn’t remind us of just how great our God’s love is toward us.

    Our lives have been enriched greatly for having both him and his wife Connie not only as friends but as part of our family. Their walk with God is the real thing. I am excited to see that he was spotlighted. Great books that you must read.

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