Several years ago Donald Miller (one of my favorite writers) wrote a book called A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. Just before it was released I received a note inviting me to download a special sneak peek at the book.
I remember thinking how cool it was to read part of the book before it was out. I also remember thinking that if I ever had my own book published, I'd want to do the same thing.
Now I am.
Called: My Journey to C. S. Lewis's House and Back Again will be out in February. And I can't wait to share it with you.
Called is a story about the time I left home and a career in the Pacific Northwest to pursue a calling to Oxford and theology and wound up living in C. S. Lewis's house. It's also about what I learned in the peaks and valleys of this journey about what it means to be called by the living God.
This sample chapter was one of the most difficult things I've ever written. It's certainly the most candid. But it sets the stage for the rest of the book. I hope you enjoy it.
And, if you like it, I hope you'll consider doing two things: 1) pre-order your copy of Called; and 2) tell a friend. That'd be the biggest compliment you could give.
As always, thanks for reading. It means so much.
P.S. After you've had a chance to check it out, I'd love to hear what you think. Drop me a line or sign up to receive news about the release of Called here.
Download the Introduction and first chapter of Called:
What Others Are Saying
“Ryan perfectly captures the roller coaster of mixed emotions you really experience when you dare to answer one of God’s big questions for your life, ‘What if?’ There’s an adventure hidden in this book and one inside you too. Read Ryan’s words to find both.”
New York Times Bestselling author of Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average & Do Work that Matters
"With a poignant and unflinching voice, Ryan Pemberton brings a fresh perspective to the winding and often complex journey of faith. His writing brings to mind the work of Donald Miller, mixed with the vulnerability of my favorite stories from NPR’s “This American Life.” Pemberton is a thinking Christian who does not shy away from thought provoking questions about faith. He is a writer to watch and I eagerly await his next work. Quietly powerful and inspiring, Called: My Journey To C.S. Lewis's House and Back Again is a memoir that is not to be missed."
Author of Man in the Blue Moon, Slow Way Home and A Place Called Wiregrass
"In this finely written memoir Ryan Pemberton takes us into the halls and streets and stories of magical, historic Oxford, and into the life and home of its renowned thinker-poet C. S. Lewis. As we follow Ryan on his quest to find what it means to be called, with all the excitement and doubt and second-guessing that entails, we are the ones who make the discovery that in the end, calling isn't so much about a grand task or an exciting journey, but about listening, trust and deep surrender."
Writer, speaker, broadcaster, and author of Resurrection Year: Turning Broken Dreams into New Beginnings
"Like David the young Psalmist, Ryan knows how to write and has something to say. Intelligent, personal and refreshingly honest, Ryan’s warm heart, active mind and hungry soul shine through on every page, illuminating what is often a dimly lit path towards knowing and doing God’s will. A worthy read."
Author, broadcaster, founder of The Kindlings Muse, and country parson on Orcas Island
“I cannot think of a memoir I have related to more than Ryan Pemberton’s Called. It’s a book I could not put down, not only because I have deep fondness for Lewis and Oxford but also because I sympathize with the unpredictable rhythms of life and calling that Ryan so eloquently captures. Calling unfurls itself more often as a twisty roller coaster than a smooth, open road.
"Oxford. C. S. Lewis. Living at the Kilns. An aspiring writer. A young marriage. A life of faith. These are the ingredients of what proved to be a most enjoyable memoir. Ryan Pemberton takes you right into Oxford's stately halls, he opens up doors to occasional C. S. Lewis tidbits that even many seasoned scholars haven't seen, and he weaves a tale of faith, love, hope and life to create a delightful and entertaining journey."
Author of Sacred Marriage and A Lifelong Love
“Called is beautiful and heart wrenching. It’s a breath of fresh air for the generations raised to equate divine calling with radical adventure. Pemberton offers a rare invitation to slow down, recognize our humanity, and rely on God’s faithfulness. He could be the genuine radical of the 20-somethings. Readers will appreciate his honesty as he tells the story of living in the home of his hero, C. S. Lewis, where he learned a profound lesson—that our calling is to trust God’s persistent love, and that it is through the painful stutter-steps of life, we hear Jesus say, ‘Follow me.’”
—Laura Anderson Kurk
Author of Glass Girl and Perfect Glass
“Calling is complex and few have unraveled it as well as Pemberton. Called is an impassioned testimony that shows what it means to follow Jesus—it’s inspiring, witty, honest, and brave. Pemberton will help you change your life for the better.”
—John D. Barry
CEO of Jesus’ Economy, editor of Faithlife Study Bible, and author
"I must confess that when Ryan first told me about his experience in the land of Lewis, I was more than a bit jealous. But as I started reading Called, that jealously quickly began to disappear. Ryan’s writing is so vivid and so immersive that I felt like I was right there with him in England, enjoying magical dinners at the Kilns and roaming through the hallowed halls of Oxford University.
For anyone who has ever dreamed of walking in the footsteps of C. S. Lewis, but has been unable to make the voyage across the pond, this book is an absolute must read."
Blogger at The American Jesus