Create a legacy of wisdom and faith to share it with your children and grandchildren with Champ Thornton’s Pass It On, a Proverbs journal for the next generation. There are many different kinds of legacies we can leave, but sharing yourself and your faith with the next generation will always stand the test of time. Through showing himself and his wisdom in the book of Proverbs, God has also left his legacy with us and relies on us to share it with our children and grandchildren. But before we can share that wisdom, first we must grow in our own understanding and knowledge and record, reflect, and consider what we have learned. Pass It On is an innovative resource to strengthen families and help them grow in their love for God and each other.
Read our interview with Champ below to learn more about Pass It On!
Tells us a bit about your book—what inspired you to write it?
Pass It On is a devotional guide to the book of Proverbs in which parents and others can record and pass along to the next generation their observations about wise living which they have gained from God’s Word and from their own life experiences. I researched and wrote this book because I knew I needed to learn the book of Proverbs better for myself, as my wife and I rear our three children. Proverbs-filled children come from Proverbs-filled parents. Beyond that, I wanted other parents (and grandparents and others) to be able to study Proverbs and pass along that wisdom and other advice, memories, and life skills to those they love in the next generation.
What is the main message of your book?
God made the world to work a certain way, usually according to general and predictable patterns. Wisdom is learning God’s ways in this fallen world and living in harmony with them. So, Proverbs provides a God-inspired starter kit to understanding how to wisely navigate the twists and turns of life. So we should all learn about wise living from Proverbs. But as we examine wisdom in Proverbs, we should also learn to examine wisdom through Proverbs. In other words, we should learn to observe how God designed life to work—by looking at Proverbs (which is inspired) and then by looking at life (which is not inspired).
So, I wanted to provide a resource where people (including myself!) could take time to learn the wisdom from Proverbs, add their own Proverbs-influenced insights, and then pass them on to those they love: children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, etc. As such, this book is part devotional, part journal, part gift book. And it’s not meant to be kept: it’s for you to give away, to pass along a legacy of wisdom for the next generation to treasure and to keep.
What was the hardest part about writing nonfiction?
Without doubt the hardest aspect of writing this book was creating the Topical Index, mainly because it was so time-intensive and tedious to produce. First the topical categories (and sub-categories, and sub-sub-categories) had to be identified—not just from my imagination, but from the text of Proverbs itself. Then specific verses—over 900 of them—had to be attached to those categories. Finally, all this had to be organized into a useable arrangement. It was a lot of work, but I trust that it’ll also serve others well when they’re looking for particular themes in Proverbs.
What is one thing you learned while writing Pass It On?
One lesson that bears learning and re-learning is that, as someone has said, there is no such thing as good writing, only good re-writing. An author doesn’t merely write, and then edit. Typically, he or she writes and re-writes the draft of the manuscript multiple times. And when you start to feel like you have been around the manuscript so much that you just can’t work on it any longer, then it may be that you are nearly finished.
Do you have any advice for those interested in writing nonfiction?
The other day one of my children asked me how to learn to write. I said, “read, read, read, and write, write, write.” First, you learn to write like you learned to talk, by listening to others. That means reading and lots of it. Also, read widely—in terms of both content and style. Secondly, writing is a skill that’s acquired through practice. So I would recommend trying to write something every day or at least have a routine where you write a few hundred words a couple times per week. Then if you can find someone to edit what you have written, that kind of feedback isn’t always comfortable, but it’s worth its weight in gold. You’ll grow through that pruning experience.
What are you working on next?
The next project will be a year-long devotional for tweens and teens which will aim to help them adopt and use a biblical worldview.