By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
Sacred Heart Christian Book & Gift Shoppe in Shinnston will be hosting a book signing on Saturday, June 4th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., featuring author Tim Cogar and his newest book The Janitor. Readers – even those who don’t particularly like to read – will find this book a fast and easy read without complicated, detailed characters to remember … “It’s more like reading a movie,” says Cogar.
This is Cogar’s second book; the first was a small non-fiction book. Although this writing is fictional, readers will find the issues unquestionably authentic! The janitor comes to work in a church that has become perhaps a little too comfortable with the ways of the world drifting into it. So the janitor does more than sweep the floor! He helps the pastor ‘clear the cobwebs’; he notices things about people in the congregation whose habits or ways of living are perhaps not in line with God’s way. Some parishioners are plagued with drinking problems … others with gambling … teenage thefts … couples living together without benefit of marriage, etc. He encourages the pastor to approach them and speak to them, much as a father would do with his child … and as Jesus did with his followers – showing love, not passing judgment.
As the pastor gets more involved with helping people within his church and not worrying so much about sermon delivery, he also notices that there is growth within the church. What brings this about? Is it because he was worrying too much about the “numbers” and not getting personal with the people? Was he counting heads in attendance and not exhibiting the love of God? That is for you, the reader, to decide!
Mr. Cogar admits that the good outcome in all these situations is rather idealistic. “I did that on purpose,” he said. “It hopefully will give hope to those whose lives aren’t perfect. I try to show the love that God has through the process and to give examples of how lives can be turned around with a loving perspective.”
At the conclusion of the book, there is a series of questions that can be used to direct discussion within a group or perhaps just in the reader’s own personal thoughts.
“I wanted the book to create dialogue and go to the heart of the issues presented,” he added. “In fact, it took me longer to write the questions than to write the book!”
Many people say they would like to write a book. What made Tim Cogar take the plunge? He says he felt like God was pushing him to do it, and his first book was to simply “get God off his back”!
“Seriously, I was listening to a sermon in my church and the pastor spoke of how the world was moving into the church and that someone needed to help clean it up,” he continued. “That provoked the thought behind the book along with hearing people talk about how people were hurting. And, of course, news reports on television broadcast this kind of thing all the time! But I discovered that after God got me over the hump, I actually enjoyed writing the book – even though I wasn’t sure how it would end until I was halfway through with it.”
The Janitor stuck a chord with enough people that many have already begun to ask when he might write another. The truth is, he started it this week! In the sequel, the janitor will “sweep his way” into the school system and present issues that today’s youth deal with.
Cogar concluded, “All I wanted to accomplish with The Janitor was to let people know that God loves them where they are, and without being judgmental, to let them know that they have choices when dealing with life’s bumps. Knowing that people have enjoyed the book has been a blessing to me.”
Tim Cogar hails from Flatwoods; he and his son together own ‘Shop West Virginia’ and are distributors for West Virginia products such as jams. jellies, honey, bbq sauce, mustards, as well as natural soaps and hand-carved toys. They sell to small shops throughout the Mountain State.
Cogar has two book-signings next Saturday – in Shinnston and in Summersville, WV. Make plans to visit Sacred Heart Christian Book & Gift Shoppe next Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and pick up a signed copy of The Janitor. The purchase price is $9.99.