“Sometimes words alone cannot convey meaning and feelings the way we’d like them to,” James Washington wrote in one of his popular “Spiritually Speaking” columns for The Atlanta Voice. “Trust, for example. The reference point for my meaning is ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all things acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.’”

Washington, who serves as president of The Atlanta Voice, was citing a passage from the book of Proverbs (chapter 3, verses 5-6). As he has become well-known for, Washington provided his readers with a thorough explanation – one that likely provided encouragement and inspiration to many.

“Trust is such a complex thing. Have you ever been betrayed by someone in whom you had total trust? Have you been able to totally trust another person since?” he writes. “You can see how easily misplaced trust puts you in a terribly vulnerable place. It’s uncomfortable. It’s abnormal. It ain’t fun.”

Many have argued that Washington’s style of journalism and talent for delivering simple straightforward advice is tailor-made for a book.

And now, Washington has obliged, penning a new book, “Spiritually Speaking: Reflections for and from a New Christian,” available on Amazon.com.

“Spiritually Speaking: Reflections for and from a New Christian,” is a collection of some of the columns Washington has written under a weekly column, “Spiritually Speaking.”

Each week, millions of readers find that they can easily relate to Washington’s prose, which is as thought-provoking as it is rich in spiritual wisdom.

“The 258-page book is written to give spiritual insight to the New Christian,” Washington said.

“It is not based on doctrine but rather unquestioned faith; the kind that answers the question, ‘Why me?’ and understands the answer is and always has been ‘Why not you?’” he said.

Even though he writes regularly for the printed and digital press, writing a book hadn’t always been on Washington’s radar.

“It was a suggestion from a very good friend who reads the column regularly,” Washington said.

“I know it was not something that ever occurred to me and then I asked a few people who wholeheartedly agreed that it was a good thing,” he said.

“I never knew how much support [the book] had until I began receiving emails for markets around the country who read the columns in National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) newspapers,” Washington said.

The NNPA is the trade organization that represents African American-owned newspapers and media companies throughout the country, providing authors like Washington the opportunity to reach all 47 million people of African descent in the United States — along with the millions of others that read NNPA member content online and in print each week.

“This week allow me to talk about freedom,” one of Washington’s columns began. “The freedom I’m talking about is the freedom afforded you when you come to Christ. There is something quite liberating when you know or realize that you’ve been, as they say, ‘set free.’”

In addition to his family and supporters, Washington said he drew inspiration from a host of other people and places. “Inspiration comes from a myriad of sources; some from the pulpit, some from Bible study, but mostly from life situations,” he said.

“Many columns have come from simple meditation, prayer and my Bible’s concordance,” Washington said. “I am just a sinner who has come to grips with the blessing of being able to write. I began this journey to publicly declare this talent as a gift from God.

“The result is personal and public evidence that God is indeed in charge,” he continued. “Anything that results from this declaration is His doing, including my first book. I’m just doing what I am led to do. It is truly humbling and amazing to see how folks are responding. I am overwhelmed at times.”

Washington said that he will host a book signing for “Spiritually Speaking: Reflections for and from a New Christian,” on Sunday, July 21, at First Baptist Church in East Point Georgia. Donald Suggs, the publisher of the St. Louis American Newspaper, plans to host a second signing for Washington later in the summer.

(Photo: Trarell Torrence)

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