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Ken Taylor's Donut Habit

Jerry Jenkins, best-known to most readers as one of the authors of the Left Behind series, posted on his blog, One of My Giants, about his relationship with and respect for Ken Taylor, founder of Tyndale House Publishers.

I'm not a famous author. Two kinds of people read my blog: those who know me personally, and those who accidentally landed here thanks to the wonder of Google. Still, I live close to Tyndale, and have done some minor freelance work there. Friends write and design there.

I had the honor of having donuts with Ken Taylor several times. As it turned out, in his later years, he could often be found reading the newspaper at the Dunkin Donuts close to Tyndale (just south of Geneva, on Schmale, for those of you who know Wheaton, IL). His donut dining schedule mirrored mine. He'd sit alone on the far right end of the counter, and I sat near the middle, not quite sure how to approach, as Jerry refers to him, this giant.

Though we never spoke, I saw in him an average guy, thumbing through the paper just as I did, and realized God uses who He pleases to do His work. What's a giant but a man who obeys the Lord?

NASB Thinline BibleWhile my Bible translation of choice is the NASB, what the Living Bible has done for Bible reading is amazing. And, how Taylor used its sales and prominence to slowly vault into what Tyndale is today -- how Tyndale remains on the forefront of careful, yet bold publishing for Christians -- is an example of steadfastness in a world filled with the temptation of greed. They've had some big sellers, but they still publish Bible reference books and commentaries that make little, if any money. Taylor could have named his company The Ken Taylor Publishing Empire, taken the money, built a palatial home with a fleet of autos and declared, "I am holy, for the Lord has blessed my life." He didn't. He pressed on. He wasn't done.

Nowhere on their back list are books that say, "God wants you to be financially wealthy," but there are at least 22 books listed under evangelism, 23 books listed under apologetics, and 86 devotionals. Jerry's books are in there somewhere, doing work directly for the Lord, and helping support the less profitable but crucially important spiritual development books.

All thanks to a guy I saw eating donuts.
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