August 2010 Posts

Author Guest Post: Jayce O’Neal

This week at the Tyndale Blog we have a guest post by Jayce O’Neal.  Jayce is the author of the newly released No Girls Allowed, he’s also a speaker, actor, who lives in the Los Angeles area.


I’ll let you in on a little secret, but you have to promise not to tell anyone. Okay, maybe you can tell someone, but don’t post it to Facebook or anything. Fine. I’ll share it, and you can do whatever you want with it…

The fact that I am writing this blog is a testament to the miracles of God, and the defiance of a mom. Why? Because this author could not read as a kid. This avid blogger was so far behind in his reading level that he had to walk to the kindergarten class for his reading group. So what’s the big deal about that you might ask? I was in second grade, a full two years above the lowly kindergarteners. The truth was that I still was way behind even the kiddos. The following year, in third grade, I still remained years behind my classmates. The start of fourth grade brought no changes. It was humiliating walking the halls to the “little kids” classroom and sitting in the super tiny chairs that made me feel more like a popsicle than a student. I never thought I would amount to much and my teachers did little to change that. One teacher even went as far as to tell my mom I was a lost cause. This motivated my mom, so we spent the summer reading. I made a little progress, but after moving to the third state, and third school in nine months, I found myself again lost in the midst of faces and uncertainties.

I had accepted the fact that I would simply be average, but then something happened. I overheard my mom in one of those adult conversations that kids aren’t supposed to hear. I heard how my former teacher thought I was a lost cause. I didn’t consider myself smart, but one thing I did know was that I was stubborn. Even though I didn’t think I’d ever be smart, I was not going to let someone else say that about me. At the end of fourth grade I was determined to work hard, and I refused to give up. I started to love reading. Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends struck my imagination and allowed me to grow my deep desire to read, learn, and be creative. To this day that book can be seen prominently displayed on my bookshelf. From that point on I got stronger and stronger in reading. My grades went from beyond putrid, to solid A’s & B’s. By high school, wouldn’t you know it…this lost cause went on to be Valedictorian, Summa Cum Laude, and got a few Masters degrees and a Doctorate.

However, that’s not the end of the story. While in college I excelled academically, but after a few ER visits, it was clear that I had a serious physical condition. I don’t want to bore you with all of the gritty details, but needless to say the doctors were concerned that I might die.  We went through an array of treatments, but none of them really helped that much. The emergency room became a regular visiting spot, and my friends and family began to worry.  Again the naysayers were many, and the hopeful were few, but I was determined not to give up. I refused to succumb to the dark prognosis of the doctors, but determination was not enough to prevent the hospital visits. My condition began to worsen and the only thing I could do was lean on God. It was this dark time in undergrad that I began to jot my heart to God. It was this tough time that I became a writer. I had no other way to express what I was feeling. I started to realize that many of my writings were a bit gloomy.   I began to write goofy stories and songs like, Where the Sidewalk Ends, the book that helped me learn to read years before. Before I knew it, I started to love writing as much as reading. I dreamed of writing books that would touch kids like Silverstein’s crazy books spoke to me.

"White Lie" from Jayce's unpublished book

Soon after, God restored my health.  A few years later I started to look into getting my writing published. My first time out I got a major publisher interested in one of my books. They had a cover made, a contract ready, and then at the last minute they pulled the plug. For nearly four years I didn’t even get close to another book deal. It was one “no” after another. Time went by, and right when I was about to give up the doors opened. One thing led to another and the opportunity to write No Girls Allowed came about, and the rest is history. This book was truly a joy to work on. I hope the parents and boys have as much fun reading it as I did writing it. It is funny that I am a writer. I still don’t always know where to put the comma sometimes, and I have an affinity for run on sentences, but I don’t let that stop me from sharing my heart. I have still yet to publish my Shel Silverstein like book, but I’ll keep trying and I promise I won’t give up. In life, I think faith in God and a strong will to not give up outdoes talent and charisma in the long run. From a former lost cause I encourage you to keep fighting too and always lean on God.


If you’d like a chance to win a free copy of No Girls Allowed, leave a comment.  We’ll randomly pick one lucky commenter to win.

Homeschooling with What’s In the Bible?

For the entire month of July through yesterday (August 19), 50 homeschooling moms took part in a special blog tour for the third DVD of What’s In the Bible? by Phil Vischer.

This DVD, Wanderin’ in the Desert, takes kids through the books of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy–tough books to make interesting for adults, let alone children! Many of the moms who reviewed for us this time around hadn’t seen the first two WITB DVDs before, so we sent them advance viewer copies of those too. Most of them loved the DVDs and came up with some great ways to incorporate them into their homeschool curriculum or to use them as a supplement to the Bible curriculum they already have in place.

Read some of their thoughts and ideas for yourself!

And thanks to all our participating homeschooling moms! Have a wonderful school year!

Employee Profile: Future Missionary Tori Farquhar

This is the first of many employee profiles that we’ll be doing on the blog. We wanted to highlight some of the interesting things that our employees are involved with inside and outside of work.

I recently sat down with Tori Farquhar, one of Tyndale’s customer service representatives for an interview (well, actually I emailed her a list of questions, and she emailed them back). Tori does general customer service, as well as author and national accounts customer service. Her an her husband Tom recently finished a two year program at New Tribes Bible Institute in Jackson, MI.

Tell us a little bit about your history at Tyndale, and why you left the first time?

Well, this is actually my third time being employed by Tyndale. The first time was for about 6 months, I was a temp in the warehouse, then I got married and worked at a local eye clinic. That job lasted about 3 months. Once I found out that the Customer Service Department at Tyndale was hiring, I applied right way and about a week later, I was hired.

Let me back up a bit. When I met my husband-to-be, we had both wanted to attend Bible school and eventually be missionaries overseas. So my second time at Tyndale was only for 8 months and then Tom and I headed off to New Tribes Bible Institute. It was a bittersweet goodbye. I was excited to finally get to Bible School, but I loved my job and I had made some great friends in my department.

Why did you choose to attend New Tribes?
It was very appealing to me once I discovered that it was two years of strictly Bible course, which meant no math and no science. Bingo. 🙂

But in all seriousness, I had first heard about NTBI on a short term missions trip to Mexico (which is also where I met my husband Tom). This was right around the time I had decided that I wanted to be a missionary and be a part of spreading the Gospel to those who haven’t heard. I just had no idea what that looked like or where to start. When I had thought of what it meant to be a missionary, I thought about the pictures of families posted on the bulletin board at our church growing up, and I thought about close mentors of mine that had left to be missionaries in Spain or Tennessee. I don’t think I knew that there were missions organizations that focused on remote indigenous groups it the deepest parts of the earth, let alone that there were people that isolated from the rest of the world. My eyes were opened wide to the fact that there are over 2,500 people groups in the world who don’t have access to the Word of God.
Learning these things, and seeing the great need in those parts of the world, solidified our decision to attend New Tribes Bible Institute with the hopes of someday bringing the life-saving message of the Gospel to one of those groups. The Bible Institute was the first step in that direction.

Can you tell us about the school itself?

I sure can. In order to be a missionary with New Tribes Mission, you have to attend Bible School-not necessarily NTBI and then complete the 1 ½ year program at the Missionary Training Center in Camdenton, Missouri.

There are two Bible School Campuses, one in Waukesha, WI and the other in Jackson, MI. Tom and I just recently graduated from NTBI in Jackson. Even though I’m only 23 years old, my time at the Bible school was the best two years of my life. The Biblical foundation I have received from there has drastically changed my relationship with the Lord and with others. I might be biased, but I don’t think you’ll ever find a better set of teachers and staff, and I think all former Jackson New Tribers would agree.
New Tribes approaches teaching at the Bible school in the same way that the missionaries teach the people they are working with; chronologically through Scripture. When we first got there, they taught us the basics. Bibliology, where the Bible came from, Biblical Foundations, essential truths to understand Scripture as a whole, Evangelism, how to effectively share truth with others and understanding what makes up our worldviews, and Hermeneutics, how to accurately study the Bible. When I first told a friend here at Tyndale that I had ‘Hermeneutics,’ he replied with “You have what??!?!? Does Tom know????”

This was just our first block. In the two years, we studied almost every book of the Bible in depth as well as taking other courses and electives like: Christian Apologetics, Intro to New Tribes Mission, Oral Communications (not everyone’s favorite class…), and courses that teach on other religions in the world. An additional privilege is that a majority of the Staff have been missionaries overseas, so you’re being taught by people that know first-hand what it’s like to be a part of such a challenging and rewarding work.
I loved class. I was immediately humbled by how much I didn’t know and blown away by how much God loved me. I didn’t have an accurate understanding of His grace before I went there, and for that I am thankful.

I thought that the “no math and science” part would mean that school would be a bit easier. I was wrong. We had on average about 3-4 hours of homework every night (along with being married and working part time) and it was all GOOD stuff…so you really wanted to give it all your time and energy. But it was different, I wasn’t studying stuff that I could care less or not if I forgot, but I was studying the life-changing Word of God. And my teachers knew it well, so forget about slacking. It’s rewarding to see God reshaping your mind and heart through his Word. It can also be exhausting and hurt quite a bit at times, especially when sin and failures are exposed in your life and you’re reminded of your great need of a savior. Math can’t do that to you.

So basically what I’m trying to say is, go to New Tribes.

I haven’t been to the Missionary Training Center yet, but just to give you a quick overview, you basically go there with your bags half packed. There, you will be trained in practical skills like basic medical training, how to build your own shelter, and survive in remote parts of the world. You will also learn about strange and foreign things like Phonetics and Linguistics. I got a crash course in these over our senior retreat, fascinating stuff. You are being trained to plant a church among people who think, believe and speak different than you. I hear it’s amazing and I can’t wait to get there.

So, I’m assuming you had a good enough experience at Tyndale the first time you worked here to make you want to spend your break between schools here?

Definitely, I’m so thankful that I’ve had the privilege to work here, and that they keep taking me back! It’s truly a blessing to work with all the people that make up Tyndale and be a tiny part in getting Bibles and Christian literature into the hands of so many people. Plus I get to talk to people on the phone every day…and you never know who you’ll have the privilege of talking to or helping. I like meeting new people.

Where do hope to see your life take you in the coming years?

Well, the goal right now is to save up our funds again to get to the MTC in about 1 ½ to 2 years. After that, we’d love to be somewhere overseas and a part of a church-planting team. We have no idea where we want to go. There’s so much need all over the world, and I’m not too concerned about going to the ‘wrong’ country. What’s the worst that could happen-the wrong people get saved? J I’d also like to be a mom sometime soon . 🙂

Will you get to eat bugs?

Yep. You don’t have to be a missionary to do that.

Will you give me some recipes?

Yep. I can give you some recipes right now.

Thanks for spending the time to tell us about yourself, any final thoughts you’d like to leave us with?

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share some of my life with you. I suppose I’d like to encourage anyone out there who has ever considered missions. Tom and I didn’t hear a booming voice from the heavens that told us to become missionaries. We have read God’s clear command that we are to go and make disciples of all the nations, we know that there are so many out there who have not yet heard and decided that we would be robbing ourselves to not be a part of what God’s doing in this world. This doesn’t mean that we need to be missionaries with New Tribes Mission overseas somewhere, but just that we want to be a part of getting the Gospel to the unreached. And we know that can be here or in the utter most parts of the earth. And it’s terrifying. We know that on our own we are completely inadequate for the task, but that’s why He’s given us His Spirit. It’s God that has reconciled man to Himself, we just need to share this good news.

If you have a minute or two, check out or for more information.

Also, if you want to watch a cool video of the testimony of one man from the Moi Tribe, watch this:

And if you have any questions about anything I’ve mentioned or would like to hear more about New Tribes, please feel free to contact me. Thanks so much!

Have any questions or comments for Tori? Leave them in the comments section of this blog post.

My Day with Drew

Coming Back Stronger by Drew Brees debuted at No. 3 on the New York Times hardcover nonfiction Best Sellers List on Sunday, July 25. According to Nielsen BookScan, which accounts for about 70 percent of all books sold, it was the top-selling hardcover nonfiction best seller in the country that week. It also appeared on the USA Today Best- Selling Books list that was released on July 15. That list includes all fiction and nonfiction books, including both hardcover and soft cover titles. This is very exciting news!
I had to opportunity to spend the day with Drew Brees during the Lafayette and West Lafayette, IN leg of his book tour, and I thought I’d share some of my experience.

Friday July 9th

5:00AM CST
I arrived at Tyndale where I picked up Christy Wong, we immediately headed to Starbucks. The SUV I rented had a full tank of gas, but our brains still needed the caffeine boost.

6:45 AM CST
We entered Indiana and began to notice the increasing number of country music stations.

9:00AM EST
We arrived in Lafayette and headed to Meijer, where the 11:00 AM signing would be taking place. We wanted to see if they had a table set up yet, and if anyone was in line. Not only did they have a large area roped off and a table, but the line already spanned the entire length of the store. The people in the front of the line looked like they had been there all night; they had pajamas and sleeping bags.

9:15 AM EST
Christy and I left Meijer to explore the town and the route to the second bookstore. West Lafayette seemed like a cool college town (i.e. they have a Chick-fil-A). Despite all of the construction, it was pretty easy to navigate our way around.

9:45 AM EST
I dropped Christy off at Meijer and journeyed to the hotel to pick up Drew, Chris (Drew’s marketing agent and foundation rep.), and Todd (Tyndale’s public relations manager).

10:30 AM EST
I arrived at the hotel and picked up the guys. We drove through some construction, past Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A, and chatted about recent sports news. When we arrived at the Meijer, I felt like I was in the secret service. Not only was I driving a large black SUV with tinted windows, but I got to pull up to the back of the store to a hidden entrance.

11:00 AM EST
After some quick interviews, Drew began signing books, he is a true pro. Drew signed almost 2000 books in two hours, stopping only once for a quick TV interview.

1:00PM EST
After the crowd dispersed, we headed to the back of the store so drew could sign some books for the Meijer employees and do another quick interview.

1:30PM EST
We departed Meijer and headed to our next destination. There was some construction, and because Drew had lived in Lafayette during his time at Purdue, he was going to lead me to the next book signing. He ended up leading me straight to a Jimmy John’s instead. After a quick sub (we all got the #9) we were on our way.

2:00 PM EST
We arrived at the already packed Follett Purdue West bookstore, and were greeted with another back entrance and a cheering crowd. After yet another interview, and a breather, Drew began signing books. Follett had a really great system for managing the large crowd. The staff put people in labeled groups of 50, this allowed people to continue to browse the store while they waited for their group letter to be called.

Me handing books to Drew

4:25PM EST
Drew, Chris, and Todd had a plane to catch at the Purdue airport across the street, but there were still about 50 people in line. Drew then kicked it in to over drive and signed the last 50 books in what appeared to be some sort of super human one continuous motion. After a quick picture with some Tyndale staff, we hopped in the car and headed towards the air port. I was given the privilege of driving on the runway right up to the plane to make the loading of luggage easier. I then dropped the guys off, shook hands and I was on my way.

4:50 PM EST
I picked Christy up at the bookstore, and we were on our way. An hour into our trip I pulled into a gas station to fill up. When I got out of the truck I noticed the air rushing out of one of the back tires. After we were finally able to get a hold of someone to come out and fix the tire, we treated ourselves to some ice cream and were thankful the flat didn’t come earlier in the day.

Four weeks after its release, Coming Back Stronger by Drew Brees continues to sell very well. Tyndale has been blessed time and time again with the opportunity to help spread people’s stories of life, love, and faith, and this book is no exception.