Publisher’s Profile Behind the Author and His Book
Stories have inherent power to transform lives, and the most powerful ones are the true stories about transformed lives. Doug Feavel learned the spiritual veracity of this statement mid-life after experiencing the radical transformation of the Gospel story personally. Two decades later, he learned additional practical corollaries of this truth in the years immediately preceding professional retirement from a technology career.
The phrase “your latter years will be better than your former years, and the best is yet to come” was spoken to him just weeks prior to departing business and industry. Those words quickly became manifest when he and his wife, Barb, spent their initial three post-retirement years performing volunteer work related to Israel and the Jewish people, often with their residence in Jerusalem. As is true of most missionaries after returning home from the field – perhaps especially those having experienced the incessant excitement of Jerusalem – the ordinary hum of life stateside was too tame.
Subsequent outreaches developed in teaching shortly after their settling back in the Mid-West. Doug is not a teacher by professional training; only by gifting and opportunity. The related opportunities included instruction, some using proprietary materials, in a variety of venues. These encompassed: recovery centers, K-12 public and parochial schools, churches, a camp, a state prison, and a county jail. He had been out of school for forty years and, a product of parochial education, he’d never attended public school prior to college. Thus, Doug is quick to admit not being prepared for the many undisclosed challenges accompanying his in-class experiences: gaining credibility, maintaining order, administering discipline, holding attentions, adjusting to systemic permissiveness and degradation, understanding limitations, and meeting underlying goals.
Accepting his personal deficiencies was easy; now it was time to lean more fully on God for resolution. After several weeks filled with a sense of failure bordering on serious depression, Doug was inspired to try sharing a couple of non-fiction stories. These had been so meaningful in his life earlier that they’d never been forgotten and he recalled telling them on occasion in professional and personal circumstances.
In the classroom, the positive results were immediate and readily attributable to the power of story. Thus encouraged, he sought, researched, outlined, and shared more of them. But, not just any story would do. The expectations imposed on their selection were sufficiently weighty that only the very best could qualify. Literally hundreds of concepts were pursued, but only a couple dozen emerged as acceptable for further development as an oral character story. With the stories propelled by their upfront inherent quality, combined now with their real-world acceptance, he recognized the available framework for a dedicated course. Much later still, he realized there also existed both the makings of, and the pent-up demand for, a great non-fiction book.
Since the stories had celebrating heroic character as a common theme, the course and the book became focused on the value to be gained from understanding men and women whose lives and circumstances exhibited compatible attributes. Every subject, every facility and location, and every age level now received character stories woven into the instructional core whenever certain favorable classroom conditions were met, and they were nearly always met due to the anticipation of receiving a story lesson lasting from ten to fifty minutes.
Doug says during this phase, he discovered three universal criteria: people love true stories, good stories have the power to instruct and motivate where other approaches fail or are only modestly successful and memorable, and positive character is on the decline and rarely taught or upheld as a model, but that stories can be a vehicle for its restoration. He underscores that not by any stretch did he invent this method of instruction; its proven effectiveness had simply been confirmed when applied in his many engagements. Wise men over the millennia have dramatically utilized stories to aid their goals, and their related greatness has been well recognized – men such as Jesus, Abraham Lincoln, and Ronald Reagan. Just the mention of their names carries near immortal tribute to the virtue they invested in timeless stories.
The character stories are ready to leave the classroom and have been assembled in a collection comprising his first book, “Uncommon Character: Stories of Ordinary Men and Women Who Did the Extraordinary” (previously titled and released as: “A Storyteller’s Anthology: 26 Inspiring Character Portraits for Our Time”). The team at Aneko Press / Life Sentence Publishing readied it for release on November 14, 2015. You’re invited to relive the adventure in these stories and experience their inspiration and excitement first-hand just like the many who’ve heard them directly.