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Raised in a small town in Oregon, in a religious family, his mother and father were firmly convinced that God's forgiveness did not extend to homosexuality. And, while in his younger years he vehemently denied it, it was clear to many around him that he was a homosexual. Undaunted, he was the first to take a sewing class. He wrote a gay-themed play. He secretly hid Playgirl magazines in his bedroom, to be discovered and severely punished by his father. At school, too, he was teased, targeted, and tormented on a daily basis.
When he at last was kicked out of his home, he struck out on his own and joined the Air Force. After a foot injury, he moved out of the dorms to an apartment with gay roommates. When he gained the courage to come out to his parents, his mother warned him he would burn in hell. It was then that he turned his back on God.
After that, the author was called to Desert Storm, juggled a heterosexual marriage with gay flirtations, filed for divorce, earned a college degree, and after leaving the military began a new phase of life in Dallas, employed at a distance learning company. His toxic relationship with his partner Ed became a pivotal point in his life, which led him to Heart of the Samurai and Samurai Camp. There, he experienced defining moments about his atheism, became close with his camp buddy and cherished friend Brett, and moved ever closer to God.
Finally, after more than twenty years, S. Michael Edwards prayed. This simple act of worship set him on the road to a spiritual project of great personal magnitude, his ongoing blog in which he shares 365 prayers in seven weeks. An Atheist's Journey to the Most Unexpected Gift presents these blogs, one miraculous day at a time. Starting on December 27, 2010, he offers up daily thoughts and prayers-and also logs how those prayers were answered. On some days, he appeals to the Lord for strength in business dealings, or on behalf of grieving loved ones, each message to God brims with love, respect, and honor. On others, he simply lets the Lord know that He rocks.
Through travels, trials, and triumphs, each prayer demonstrates both the devotion and deepening love with the same God the author once cast out. Page after humble page also celebrates the bounty he has received from his steady, sincere prayer. In addition, the blog entries include comments from a growing community of loved ones, including the family members with whom he was once estranged. A fascinating story of one miraculous journey, An Atheist's Journey to the Most Unexpected Gift glows with insights, inspiring lyrics, and thoughtful meditations on spiritual literature. Each entry nourishes the soul through its reflection, compassion, and love of God.