Reciting the Lord's Prayer with his six children inspired Kevin Gruen of Marshalltown to help others - especially children - understand the prayer's power and lessons.
He recently wrote the book "Teaching the Message of the Lord's Prayer."
"Millions pray the Lord's Prayer," Gruen said. "I wrote the book to help the reader understand its true meaning and how to apply it in practical situations."
T-R PHOTO BY MIKE DONAHEY
Kevin Gruen of Marshalltown is shown with his recently published book “Teaching the Message of the Lord’s Prayer” at Stepping Stones Christian Book Store in Marshalltown Friday.
His work is directed to children, with use of vivid, colorful images of many youngsters in example-setting situations.
However, Gruen strongly emphasized all can learn from the book.
The book not only breaks the prayer down into easy-to-understand sections, it contains "Share Time" "Art Time" and "Action Time" exercises to help readers clearly understand.
"I have found that if a child can depict truth in and through their art, they will almost have grasped an understanding of that truth," Gruen said.
There are brief but succinct directions for Sunday School or other teachers in classroom settings.
Susan Ringstad Emery of Washington state illustrated the book, which was published by WestBow Press.
Gruen said his roles - father, husband, minister and educator - helped him develop the book's theme.
He has been preaching, teaching and ministering to children and adults for more than 25 years.
He previously worked as a youth minister in Conrad four years.
Gruen is taking a sabbatical from traditional pastoral duties to explore writing opportunities and serve as a substitute para-educator in the Marshalltown Community School District. He is also employed by Marshalltown Lawn Doctor.
Spouse Rikki is a counselor at Center Associates in Marshalltown, and the family resides in Marshalltown.
Gruen said he has written three other books and will evaluate sales of "Teaching" before entering into contracts to have others published.
"There are significant upfront expenses amounting to thousands of dollars in publishing a book," he said.
"Teaching" can be purchased at the Marshalltown and Grinnell Stepping Stones Christian Book Store and from Amazon, Google and Barnes & Noble.