Jimmy Root Jr., has served as an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God since 1982, including service in Nebraska, Missouri, and a seven year term as a missionary in Colombia, South America. Jimmy is the lead Pastor of Family Worship Center of Smithville, a growing suburb of Kansas City, Missouri. Married to his wife Jean for twenty-nine years, the Roots have three grown children.
His writings, both in book form as well as his blog, are purposed to be a wake-up call to a sleepy American church that seems to be losing a truly Christian World View. Distant Thunder and its sequels, A Gathering Storm, and Then Comes Lightning, will reveal to the adventure/thriller aficionado the reality of the coming fulfillment of Biblically prophesied events. You can visit his website at www.lightningchronicles.com or his blog at www.prophecyalert.blogspot.com.
Thank you for this interview, Jimmy. Not only are you a writer, but a pastor, also. When asked about writing in a recent interview, you said, “Writing is simply a part of everyday life as a pastor.” Would you like to elaborate and can you tell us how long you have been writing?
Jimmy: Writing has been a major part of my life for over thirty years. That is not the writing of novels and such, but the work that goes with being a minister. Most people think of the Pastor as simply a preacher. Few realize that good speaking generally comes from good writing. You have to be able to develop sermons and teachings on paper long before they find their way into a pulpit or lectern. Imagine what a funeral sermon would sound like if it were not written and honed. Not only that, but much of my ministry has entailed writing and/or grading theological papers. It wasn’t until December of 2007 that I actually branched out and began writing prophetic fiction, and what a joy it has been.
You have written three books. Would you like to tell us about them?
Jimmy: All three books are part of a trilogy called The Lightning Chronicles. The first book, Distant Thunder, is set to be released nationally on August 10th, 2009. It falls into the category of being a prophetic fiction thriller. The second book, A Gathering Storm, is now in the editing stage of publishing and should be out sometime in mid-2010. The last volume, Then Comes Lightning, not only forms the grand finale of the story, it ends in a startling way. I won’t give it away, but it really is a thriller.
Your recent book, Distant Thunder, raises a very significant question: what would happen if radical terrorists somehow got their hands on tactical nuclear weapons? How does your book address this and do you personally feel this could really happen?
Jimmy: Distant Thunder is built upon the complexity of a 2500 year old Biblical Prophecy and how that prophecy is being fulfilled before our eyes today. It all fits within current world events, namely what is happening between Israel and Iran. Ezekiel the prophet foretold how that particular struggle will end. My story, of course, is fiction. It involves a renewal of terrorism against the United States and Israel, particularly with the use of tactical nuclear weapons. Therefore, Russia, Iran, Syria, and other radical Islamic nations are involved. I fully believe the prophecies the story depicts will soon come true, especially in the light of the headlines that are appearing daily in the news. That only adds to the thriller aspect of the book.
Did you find that while writing this book, you realized it could very well be a true story in the maybe not so distant future?
Jimmy: Absolutely. I wrote the manuscript between December 2007, and February 2008. It was contracted by a publisher in May of 2008, long before our national elections. I created a series of headline news events within the story in order to place the reader within the action. Oddly, every one of those headlines has come true in 2009. My readers have commented that it is uncanny. I disagree. The reason is because Bible prophecy is one hundred percent accurate. Over 2500 prophecies are found in the Bible. All but about 200 have already been fulfilled to the letter. All the prophecies that remain revolve around this fictional story I have created. One nationally recognized author said, “I had to keep telling myself it is only fiction.” That says it all.
What was the hardest part about writing it?
Jimmy: Writing the story and doing the research was easy and exhilarating. I was in a blissful state as I dreamed of Distant Thunder finding a publisher and going into print. That all ended, and the real work began when I found a publisher and editor. I’ve heard horror stories about editors, but mine was wonderful. She was, however, ruthless. Her most profound statement to me was, “Holy run-on sentence batman! Try using commas!” She had a great sense of humor and I learned some great lessons in making my sentences readable and full of power. I loved every minute of the process, even the correction.
What has your critics said about your book?
Jimmy: The only critics I have encountered have been skeptics. They don’t see how an ancient religious book can form the foundation of a modern scenario that is relevant to our times. I guess the same critics must abound for bestselling authors Dan Brown and Joel Rosenberg. However, I’ve only encountered a couple, and they can have whatever opinion they choose. Distant Thunder has received an overwhelmingly positive response, and for that I am grateful.
Two main characters form the storylines of Distant Thunder. Would you like to tell us more about them?
Jimmy: Distant Thunder features two main characters. Ty Dempsey is a suburban Kansas City pastor that has been rocked by the loss of his younger brother to the war in Iraq. In working through his grief he discovers ancient Bible prophecies that he’d always considered figurative in nature. But the events depicted by the prophets are happening before his eyes. His problem becomes compounded when he decides to preach what he’s learned. An old fashioned church conflict fires up, and but for the fact that what he has preached suddenly comes true, Ty’s ministry would have ended.
The other character is an Israeli F-16 fighter pilot named Moshe Eldan. He is a skeptic in nature. He is irreligious. In other words, he believes there might be a God, but that God doesn’t really care about what’s happening on earth. But somehow Moshe is confronted with the same ancient prophecies as Pastor Ty, and he forced into a journey toward faith that he doesn’t want to take. The problem is he is witnessing those prophecies coming true ten thousand feet beneath the wings of his “Lightning” fighter. The twist is how Ty and Moshe are strangely connected throughout the book and the entire series.
Finally, why do you feel this kind of book needs to be out there, read and paid strict attention to?
Jimmy: For one, the Bible doesn’t just leave us hanging in some end-of-the-world scenario. It offers an incredible amount of hope. It also contains a warning. That’s what I seek to accomplish with Distant Thunder. If people have a timely warning that a tornado is approaching their community, most find a way to prepare and survive. The same holds true with Biblical prophecy. We are given the events so that we can prepare our hearts for survival. But that’s not all. Distant Thunder takes ordinary people and places them within extraordinary circumstances. Sometimes they react the wrong way. They are just as flawed as those of us stuck in reality. Yet, within the story, these ordinary individuals rise to heroic levels because of their passion and integrity. I believe that is a message of hope that Americans need to hear.
Thank you for this interview, Jimmy. Would you like to tell us how we can find you on the web?
Jimmy: You are most welcome. Readers can find more about me, Distant Thunder, and Biblical prophecy by visiting my website: www.lightningchronicles.com, or my blog at www.prophecyalert.blogspot.com. I also have a blog designed to encourage budding authors at www.lightningchronicles.com. Stay current by going to my wall on Facebook at http://profile.to/jimmyrootjr/