It took more than a quarter-century from original writing to completed publication, but a book written by a Hernando church pastor is out to walk believers through the rough times and difficulties that one may term as Christian discipline.
Dr. Bobby Mullins, senior pastor of Friendship Baptist Church, 625 Highway 51 South in Hernando, said he started writing the manuscript for his book, “Divine Disciplines,” in 1990 and said it was almost published in 1991.
Through rewrites and edits, the book was eventually done in 2017 and is now available in paperback and online via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Walmart.
“I call it the training ground for spiritual growth and maturity,” Mullins said. “This is how God disciplines us. Hebrews 12 reads, ‘He disciplines us as a father to a son.’ We want to help our children develop properly.”
Mullins adds God’s disciplines help us develop as believers.
His name may be recognized in the Mid-South for his work through his Back to the Basics Ministry and A Fresh Start television program that airs on Memphis and Knoxville, Tennessee stations several times a week.
He has been in ministry since 1981, is married to wife Wanda since 1980 and they have three children, a daughter-in-law, two sons-in-law and three grandchildren.
As one reviewer pointed out, Divine Disciplines “draws the reader into the truth of what a Christian life should look like.”
“I had gone through experiences in my life and I thought, ‘Lord, am I in Your will or am I not doing something right?’” Mullins said. “Later on, I discovered it wasn’t that I was doing something wrong, but it’s how you train to become stronger in the faith.”
There are seven “disciplines” Mullins lays out for his readers in the publication: divine darkness, delay, differences, difficulty, disappointment, disturbance, and drudgery.
“In every chapter, I center around a Biblical personality and use Biblical references,” Mullins explained. “Regarding divine darkness, the very first person I use is Job where he lost everything that he had and everything but his wife. He went through a time of divine darkness, but in the end, God doubled everything he had.”
The seven disciplines are not the only ones, but they are the ones that can touch all of us in our lives and point to the power God has in every area of our lives.
“The disciplines are just to let the people know God is a God of grace,” Mullins said. “It’s not because you’ve done something wrong that you suffer and things happen. But it will help you mature in the faith if you allow it to discipline you.”
The book also shows that, while the stories may be ancient in chronological terms, the message is fresh and relevant for today.
Another book Mullins self-published in 1990 on spiritual gifts was the subject in his work toward a doctorate of divinity degree from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary.
“It’s called, ‘Channel of Blessing,’ and it’s how to find and apply your spiritual gifts,” Mullins said. “That’s the main thing with the book. The two books, ‘Divine Disciplines’ and the one on spiritual gifts, don’t get outdated. They’re the same forever and just as relevant at any time.”
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.