2010-09-02 / Front Page

Mark McKinney shares testimony in powerful and insightful book

MARK MCKINNEY MARK MCKINNEY “I’m sitting in church thinking, ‘I must not be saved, and I am sitting here amongst a bunch of haves, when I am a have-not. You are broken. Something is wrong with your inner workings if everyone sitting around you has had the “event” and seen the light, felt the shuddering, and been overcome with joy, peace, or heard a voice...’”

Mark McKinney of Lincolnton has written an honest, heartfelt book about his struggle with faith and life with an alcoholic father, a man so in denial about his disease that it ended up alienating him from family and friends and causing serious health problems.

“I did not know it or even realize it then, but looking back, it is clear to see that this was one of God’s pieces in my puzzle,” the author said of his father’s sudden hospitalization as a result of years of heavy drinking. “I was so far away from any sort of relationship with Christ at this point in my life that it never occurred to me to even pray for my daddy’s recovery.”

Commenting on his book, McKinney said, “This book will not teach you how to interpret carbon dating samples, how to be a better singer of hymns, or even the difference between Methodists and Baptists. But it will provide you with a foundation to understand your faith, to embrace that faith, and to utilize it to impact every single aspect of your life and the lives around you.”

According to McKinney, it all started when he was asked to lead a coed Sunday School class at Lincolnton Baptist Church. “During the first class I ever taught, I shared with the folks in the room how I came to be sitting in that very spot at that very moment. Afterwards, I realized was that I had just given my testimony, which I had previously thought did not exist.

“People told me how much my story had touched them, so I decided to put it all down on paper so I would never forget any of the details. I realized that my dad’s death as the result of alcoholism was for a reason, and that reason had everything to do with me asking tons of questions and in the end, discovering my faith.”

McKinney indicated that once he decided to forge ahead with a formal book, he felt a sense of God’s assurance.

“I have been adamant from the beginning that the intent of the book is to have an impact on someone’s faith – it may be 10; it may be a million – but if it touches just one person then it has been worth it.”

He went on to say that it has been a humbling experience when people tell him how much the book touched them or how it changed their life.

“At the end of the day, I would like for every reader to laugh, cry, and reflect on his own life and daily walk.”

In other remarks, McKinney said, “Although the original intent of the book was to say to those who have similar faith-based questions that it is OK to struggle and speak up, I was surprised to find out how much this book has meant to people who live or have lived with similar additions in their families. One of the main things I have learned since this book was published is I am not the Lone Ranger.

“I have also learned that you should never be ashamed of things that you or your family members struggle with because these may be the very things that will make you stronger and able to offer support to someone else.”

In addition, he learned that things truly do happen for a reason, and if people simply turn around from time to time, they will clearly see the spiritual markers in their lives.

As for the concept of the sticky note, McKinney said he likes to distill ideas down to one page. “A sticky note gives me just enough room to write down what I need to think about for the day.”

McKinney used the idea of sticky notes, which are basically minidocumentaries of what is important to an individual, to relay how he discovered his faith — tracking down the spiritual sticky notes of his life, then piecing them together like a puzzle. “I never had my moment...,” he wrote. “I had many moments.”

To obtain a copy of “Faith on a Sticky Note,” visit the following website: www.faithonasticky note.com or contact the author at 1- 864-630-1082.

Born and raised in McCormick, South Carolina, McKinney attended Clemson University before marrying the former Britt Mattison of Lincolnton. They are the parents of two children.

For 12 years, the couple lived in Greenville, South Carolina, before moving to Lincolnton in 2007, following the death of the author’s father in 2006.

Currently, McKinney travels the Eastern seaboard as a software salesman for the Follett Software Company. Also, he is part owner of the Lincolnton Athletic Club.

A portion of the proceeds from every book sold will be donated to the Lincoln County Ministerial Association to help support benevolent works in the community.

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