Friday, December 10, 2010

Jeff Swanson ~ Interview + Giveaway!

**You can earn up to 2 entries in this giveaway. Read below for details*
Today author Jeff Swanson is telling us about his new ebook, The Plan (October 2010). He has offered an ebook copy (Kindle format) of his book to one lucky commenter. He will also be stopping by throughout the week to answer your questions! So if you have anything you want to ask him, you can include it in your comment for entering the contest. If you are only leaving a question in the comment and not entering the giveaway please say so.

Welcome, Jeff! Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a home-school dad, raising my three children with the Bible as the foundation of their education. I studied the Bible intensely for twenty-eight years, laying the foundation for The Plan, standing on God’s word found in John 16:13 “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.” The focus of this study was to master the book of Revelation. I graduated from Oral Roberts University, where I learned that education of the mind does not need to diminish the gifts of the Spirit. After graduation I worked in the financial services software industry for twenty-two years, where I designed, implemented, and programmed software for bank transactions and electronic filing of tax returns. Looking back I see that this forced me to develop strict disciplines necessary to program the authentication and validation of data, through logical diagnostics. These are the very skills I would later use for to chronicle the Bible’s unfulfilled prophecies to produce a single picture of the future events of humanity.

Tell us about your salvation experience.
I was raised by two loving parents in a traditional church. When I was ten years old, I gave my life to the Lord on April 15th 1975. I spent most of my teen years wondering if I was pleasing unto the Lord. My parents moved to a small town in the backwoods of Colorado, what I would say was the best and worst of two worlds. It was one of the most beautiful places in America. The downside is that it was also one of the spiritually darkest places I have lived. Then, on February 12 1984, I became spirit filled and my life changed forever. I now had certainty of the guidance for the steps the Lord wanted me to take. The first was to leave Colorado, and all things familiar, to come to Oral Roberts University. Secondly I was sure that I was suppose to stay in Tulsa after graduating from ORU, even though times were tough.

Tell us something surprising about yourself that readers may not know.
At age 18 I had two spiritual encounters that solidified my desire to walk in the truth and to never be lied to again. The first was a temptation that, had I failed to make the right choice, would have led my life to destruction. The second was the overwhelming sense of peace that can only be found in the presence of God. That was when I made a decision that I wanted to live forever in that presence. Now Jesus was not just my savior, He was my Lord. My life was His. After this reading the Bible became an adventure driven by joy of finding new discoveries every time I read it.

Back cover blurb:
The Plan Bible’s™ vision is to present the road map of world history: Every event in the Bible placed in chronological order from Creation to Completion of the ages—to prepare God’s people for Jesus Christ’s return. We are living history as it unfolds; it is not just the past. This road map is the entirety of God’s Word balanced in the past and the prophetic future. The design illustrates the authority of God’s Word by linking prophetic promises to their fulfillments with more than 600 threads throughout history.

The Plan Bible™ has developed a chronological bible tool simply called The Plan. The Plan is the New International Version (NIV) translation of the Bible. It is the NIV placed in chronological order from Creation to Completion. We believe readers will gain a greater understanding of the truth and historicity of the Bible, thus preparing believers to escape the tribulation to come and helping those who were not prepared to gain understanding during the darkest period of earth’s history. The ultimate goal of The Plan leads you to find and deepen your relationship with God, the one true Creator, and Judge of heaven and earth. By seeking the truth of history according to God’s Word, we settle the fact that the Bible is the trustworthy authority on historical truth.

Beyond its historical accuracy, God’s Word is and continues to be self-validating. What He says comes to pass. More than 2,000 prophetic verses of Scripture have come to fruition. They were fulfilled in just the manner God said they would be. When we grasp that fact, it leads us to an assurance that the 2,500 other prophetic verses still to be fulfilled will happen just as God stated them in scripture. In studying these Scriptures, you will see the fulfillment of God’s Word as the events of human history draw to a climax. The prophecies laid out millennia ago are proving true and coming to pass in our day as never before in history.

An astonishing truth can be found with careful study of Bible chronologies. God has recorded a continuous path of time in scripture. Beginning with Adam and moving through the patriarchs, the age of their births and deaths have been recorded. From these chronologies, as well as from the recorded length of the reigns of the kings of Judah and a 480 year span recorded in 1 Kings 6:1, the dates of ancient world history can be calculated. There are 66 biblical date calculations required to compute the time passed from Adam's creation to the fall of Jerusalem. The Plan also includes over 300 additional biblically historical dates, and more than 100 more from non-biblical sources; all validating the historical authenticity of God's word.

The Bible has long been an object of intense scrutiny and opposition. God’s adversary, Satan, has tried to contradict His Word from the beginning. However, when you honestly and diligently seek the truth, you will discover that no other book can boast such claims as God’s Word: an offer of true relationship and eternal life with the Creator of heaven and earth.

Let the truths in The Plan set you free from the fear of an uncertain future. Let the prophecies given in God’s Word become promises to you of the hope and glory that is to come. Moreover, let the truth of your loving Father’s promise to forgive you, receive you, and offer you a glorious hope set you free.

Please share the amazing testimony/journey that The Plan took!
The Plan started with a desire in my heart. In 1989 I had a desire to see God’s Word in chronological order. It started as a list of scriptures and a desire to paint a picture of future unfulfilled prophetic scriptures. This list grew for the next 14 years. Then, in 2004, the Lord started dealing with me to seriously study His word in Chronological order. In 2006 I got a picture in my spirit all of God’s Word in order from Creation to Completion. The initial vision was to post this out on the internet as a legacy to win souls after we are gone. The confirmation of this came in two ways. First the Lord showed me how to obtain one legal electronic copy of the New International Version (NIV) Bible. Next, I asked Him if He really wanted me to put His word in order from a historic point of view and an eschatological point of view. It was a yes or no question in which the response to each was “Yes.” I said, “That seems impossible,” to which the Lord responded, “Nothing is impossible with God. I will show you what you need to know. I will show you where to go. I will show you what you need to do. Trust Me and know that this is pleasing unto Me (11/26/2006).”

Then, while moving scriptures into place, I said to the Lord, “I feel so unworthy of rightly dividing your word accurately,” to which He responded, “Your job is assimilation. Let My servants before you do the interpretation (9/25/07).” The servants He was referring to was a compilation of prophecy teaching of Hilton Sutton, Pastor Willie George, Grant Jeffrey, Tim LaHaye, Jack Van Impe, and Perry Stone, among others. Later the Lord spoke this into my heart, “Jeff, you are building a road map of world history. Never again doubt that what you are doing is from Me (9/05/09).” The finale came a couple weeks after we lost 94% of our income. The Lord said this to me, “Ask Me for the chronological Bible in eBook, and I will give it to you (10/5/2009).”

Then the trials of approval started. In order to publish commercially with NIV, there is a three step process of which I was completely ignorant of before starting down this path of obedience. The first step is get approval from the Community of Bible Translators (CBT). The CBT is a prestigious Christian group of 12 individuals with credentials tallying longer than this article. Their membership spans most of the major denominations. They decide if a project is acceptable for use with the NIV. Authors are not allowed to present directly to the CBT. Zondervan has to intercede for them. This removes any assertions of personal bias. Three days before we were scheduled to meet with Zondervan to present the project, I was called and told basically not to bother coming up to Grand Rapids because five well known authors have proposed something like this in the past and they have all been turned down. I responded in faith and said I will see you 10:00 am Monday morning. After driving for two days through the coldest January in 20 years I meet with Zondervan and presented.

On January 29, 2010 I heard the Lord speak to me and say, “Today your life is going to change.” Later that day I received the email stating that we had been approved by the CBT. I thought that was it. I was wrong. A few weeks later I received a phone call stating that Biblica, the organization that owns the worldwide rights for the NIV, wanted more information to make their decision for approval. This was the second step of the approval process. I sent samples, and after waiting a few weeks, we learned they had denied the proposal. However, by the favor of God, we were able to gain audience with them and overcome their three objections. On April 1st, 2010, they reversed their decision and granted us worldwide publishing permissions. Interestingly, according to my calculations this is 1979 years to the day of Christ’s resurrection.

The final step in the process was contract negotiations with Zondervan. Up to this point in time all preliminary responses would have been unprofitable. To make a long story short, after flying up to Zondervan and meeting face-to-face, we came to an agreement that allows everyone to win. The amazing thing was that on October 5th, 2010, one year to the day, at the same very hour that the Lord told me He would give me the chronological Bible in eBook, I received a call from Zondervan stating they had executed the contract and I now had the rights to publish.

The rest of the story is about market timing. My vision was to build a website. Before September of 2009, I had never heard of an eBook in the modern sense. That is when a gentleman convinced me that eBooks were the way to go (just prior to the Lord’s promise to publish). What is amazing is that in October of 2009, Amazon released their new PC version of the Kindle. This made it possible for anyone with a computer to read an eBook. The other amazing thing is that the eBook market shifted that year. In February of 2009, Amazon was selling less than 10% eBooks and more than 90% paper books. By May of 2009 they were selling 35% eBooks. And by Christmas Amazon was selling more than 50% eBooks!

Even the delays in getting approval and contract negotiations were necessary. First, my wife and I had to have a work done in us, preparing us for what was to come. Second, the technology necessary for a vital part of the eBook, the search mechanism, was not in place until July, 2010. Third, Amazon’s price structure, which made profitability possible, was not implemented until July 2010.

The divine imprint on this project spans 20 years. Only God could orchestrate the culmination of so many events at one time: The growth of the eBook market, the skills of the developer, the inward preparation, the product’s completion, technology’s advancement and readiness, the NIV approval process, the profitable contract, and individuals encouraging us to make right decisions. It is nothing short of miraculous.

God saw all this in His plan before the foundation of the world was created. He ordained this for the last days, just prior to the return of His son Jesus Christ. According to Jeremiah 29:11 God has a plan for you as well, if you will receive it by faith:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)

What research did you have to do?
Over 12,000 hours of research, study, and development went into this chronology of God’s word, which begins with the creation of all things and ends with prophesied events yet to come. Performing the date calculations alone, took about three years. But, the real hero’s of The Plan are all those who have been faithful to keep God’s word preserved for millennia: The prophets and scribes that meticulously wrote God’s word without error and copied it letter by letter. Another piece of the puzzle is all the prophecy teachers that have produced prophecy Bibles with commentaries that made the prophetic sequencing possible. These Bibles from Grant Jeffrey, Tim LaHaye, and Jack Van Impe have been around less than 20 years. Recently there has been a surge in chronological Bibles. The most helpful tool on history was The Annals of World History by archbishop James Ussher (1658 version) was recently republished in 2005. The teaching of Ken Ham was invaluable as well. His uncompromised creation apologetics and my date calculations corresponded perfectly.

How can readers get in contact with you?
I enjoy hearing from readers. The feedback we have received so far has been encouraging. After so many years of development , seeing fruit from this project gives me great satisfaction. The best way to contact me is through the contact page on our website at http://www.planbible.com/

We also have a facebook page that we encourage you to “Like” so that we can communicate ongoing important information. It can be found by searching for “The Plan Bible” or clicking here http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Plan-Bible/177544888923055

Do you have a link to a place to read the first chapter or an excerpt of this book?
Yes. From our website at www.PlanBible.com you can click on the “Buy at Amazon.com” link to the Amazon distribution page. Just below the “Buy now 1-Click” box is a “Send sample now” box. This will give you 10% of The Plan to sample. Some of the hyperlinks will not work if they link to places deeper into The Plan. But you will get a good sample of the flow from Creation to Job for free.

If you are unfamiliar with eBooks, you can download a free application here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=kcp_arl_lnd_pop_1?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771

They work on Windows PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows phone 7, and some blackberry.

Is there anything you would like to add, or tell your readers?
I believe a Christian worldview is comprised of knowing the Creator as well as the Judge.

My prayer for everyone who reads The Plan is to awaken to God in a deeper way, appreciating the salvation gained only by faith in the work of His son Jesus Christ. Also, those readers would see His grace and mercy and find themselves in His plan.
~~~~~
Okay readers, here is your chance to win an ebook copy of The Plan!

TO ENTER:

*Leave a comment with your name and email address (so I can contact you if you win). The comment is mandatory. You will not be entered unless you leave a comment AND your email address.

*If you leave a comment you will be entered unless you specify that you would not like to be entered.

*Here are the ways to get entries:

(First entry) The mandatory comment saying you would like to be entered with your email address.

+1 Become one of my followers OR subscribe to my blog by email.

**You can earn a total of 2 entries if you do all of the above entry options. Make sure to tell me in your entry comment on this post which of the things you did to get extra entries.**

*The contest will run from today (December 10) until 6:00 CST on Thursday (December 23). I will announce the winner that night. The winner is always randomly drawn. I will contact the winner either directly after choosing him/her or on Friday the 24th, and then that person will have one week to reply. If the winner doesn't reply within that time period, I will pick a new winner.

Good luck! Thanks for visiting.

15 comments:

Sprite said...

sprite.always[at]gmail[dot]com :)

Sprite said...

This is a fabulous article, and I would definitely like to enter the drawing! That sounds like a great book. :)

Shannon said...

spicerack75 AT ymail DOT com

Does this get me subscribed?

Shannon said...

Great interview! Thanks for doing this giveaway!

Nonners said...

O.o Yay! Finialy someone is teaching the same thing. I tutor for Classical Conversations and we teach this to our children. Well, it might not be so detailed but...its still the same thing.

perhapsthatsridiculous at gmail dot com

Nonners said...

I'm a follower and a subscriber.

perhapsthatsridiculous at gmail dot com

Wendy said...

I would like to be entered in the giveaway.
wsmarple/at/gmail/dot/com

I am also a subscriber.

Charlotte Kay said...

Please consider me for this giveaway!
chakasa58 at gmail dot com

Charlotte Kay said...

I am a GFC follower:)
chakasa58 at gmail dot com

Desert Rose said...

Excellent interview! I would like to be entered in the giveaway. royronee at windstream dot net

Thanks

Virginia said...

I am a follower and would love to read this book about how things fall into place. yes I want to be entered...vrush729(at)aol(dot)com

Brenda said...

Thanks for hosting this giveaway, count me in kittycrochettwo at msn dot com

Justine said...

Great interview and wonderful Bible! Please enter me in the giveaway. fostertutoring at yahoo dot com

Sheila said...

Your book sound like it will make the Bible easier to understand. Would love to be entered in your contest.
true_sheila at yahoo dot com

Jennifer said...

This sounds like a really neat book.

Please enter me in the drawing.

I am a follower

Thanks
Jennifer

jmschwindt at cox dot net