Distant Thunder by Jimmy Root Jr.

Jimmy Root Jr., has served as an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God since 1982, including service in Nebraska, Missouri, and a seven year term as a missionary in Colombia, South America. Jimmy is the lead Pastor of Family Worship Center of Smithville, a growing suburb of Kansas City, Missouri. Married to his wife Jean for twenty-nine years, the Roots have three grown children.

Root is a 1981 alumnus of Central Bible College of Springfield, Missouri where he majored in Biblical Studies and Pastoral Theology. He is also an alumnus of Southeastern University, Lakeland Florida, where he majored in Intercultural Studies.

A lifetime student of Biblical prophecy, Jimmy is also the Professor of Eschatology, The Study of End Times, for Berean University through the Northern Missouri District School of Ministry. He is a featured speaker at Churches and other venues, and is the host of “The Bible Uncensored” radio broadcast heard on radio stations around the country.

His writings, both in book form as well as his blog, are purposed to be a wake-up call to a sleepy American church that seems to be losing a truly Christian World View. Distant Thunder and its sequels, A Gathering Storm and Then Comes Lightning, will reveal to the adventure/thriller aficionado the reality of the coming fulfillment of Biblically prophesied events. You can visit his website at http://www.lightningchronicles.com/ or his blog at http://www.prophecyalert.blogspot.com/. Connect with him on twitter at www.twitter.com/JimmyRootJr and Facebook at http://facebook.com/jimmyrootjr

The unthinkable has happened. Iranian terrorists are poised to strike the United States and Israel with tactical nuclear weapons. How will the world respond? More importantly, how will a sleepy suburban Church in America respond?

Ty Dempsey is a young American pastor who finds himself in a trial of grief after the loss of his younger brother to the war in Iraq. During his darkest hours, God brings to life a series of passages in the Bible that Ty had always considered allegorical in nature. They aren’t. With a strong sense of urgency that the message must be preached to his congregation, Ty dares to go beyond anything he has ever done before. Most of his people are intrigued, but others begin to stir trouble. The result is a church conflict that threatens to destroy his ministry. His only reprieve is found in a budding romance with talented and beautiful singer, Blake Sieler.

Meanwhile, Moshe Eldan is an Israeli F-16 “Lightning” pilot who is faithfully doing his duty to protect his increasingly beleaguered nation. But things have gotten more complicated than normal. Beyond the fact that Hizbollah fighters are administering their cyclical rocket attacks across the border of Lebanon, neighbor nations are beginning to act provocatively, even after a Palestinian State has been formed. Worse, his wife confronts him with a startling prophecy from the Bible that seems to be coming true ten thousand feet beneath his wings. Never one to be anything other than a secular Jew, Moshe is forced into a journey toward faith. Then, his Lightning jet is shot down by a Russian Mig 29, and things get suddenly complicated.

Strangely, these two men, from totally different backgrounds and cultures are connected in ways that can only be orchestrated by God. This fast plausible, paced thriller never stops moving, and the end will be shocking.

I was lucky enough to get the author to agree to answer some questions. Here is what he had to say:

Could you please tell us a little about your book?

Distant Thunder is the first book of a Prophetic Fiction trilogy called The Lightning Chronicles. The story poses a question that I believe needs to be asked: What would happen if radical terrorists somehow got their hands on tactical nuclear weapons, and then used them against both America and Israel? It is a frightening scenario that is becoming more and more plausible in light of current world events. But in the midst of unimaginable terror and tragedy, two unsung heroes rise to extraordinary heights as they begin to understand that everything has been prophesied.

Two main characters form the storylines of Distant Thunder. Moshe Eldan is an Israeli F-16 “Lightning” fighter pilot who is doing his best to defend his country against the latest cycle of attacks. Unbeknownst to him, the greatest horror imaginable is waiting in the form of a nuclear tipped missile. Moshe finds himself in an unlooked for journey toward faith as he attempts to save his people.

The other character is a man named Ty Dempsey. His story is a bit closer to home. He is a suburban Kansas City pastor who, in working through the grief of losing his younger brother to the war in Iraq, has begun to discover the ancient prophecies of Ezekiel. So enthralled is he by the information that he preaches the prophecies to his congregation. Some of his people listen and are interested. Others, however, do not want the status quo of their comfortable lives challenged by something they consider allegorical in nature. A good old fashioned church conflict ensues. Ty decides to stay the course in face of tremendous opposition and is ultimately vindicated when nearby Kansas City is the target of a terrorist attack. Moshe and Ty become connected throughout the story in strange, spiritual ways that will only increase as the series progresses.

Who or what is the inspiration behind this book?

I am a life-long student of Bible prophecy. It is stunning, not only in its predictions, but in the fact that prophecies are being fulfilled in the light of current world events. I wanted to demonstrate that the Bible is much more than a devotional, religious document. It is one hundred percent accurate, and one hundred percent true. With that in mind, I took another great passion, the military thriller genre, and blended the two into a relevant, fast-paced story.

Who is your biggest supporter?

My wife, Jean, is my most faithful, as well as prettiest supporter.

Your biggest critic?

That would be me. I show no mercy, give no quarter, and am absolutely ruthless in self-criticism. But that is not in the form of a self-image or perfectionism problem. I simply want to do the very best I can in every area pertinent to my life.

In the last year have you learned or improved on any skills?

I am light years ahead in my understanding of grammar. My sentence formation has improved dramatically. This is especially true in the concept of making them short and powerful.

What is the most important thing in your life right now?

The most important thing in my life will always be found in fulfilling my calling as a Pastor. My motto is: Serve God first, and everything else will find its proper place.

What are you currently working on?

I am multi-tasking. The second book of the Lightning Chronicles, A Gathering Storm, is in the editing process. That is keeping me occupied. Plus, I am nearly half way through the final book of the series. Throw in the publicity work for the release of Distant Thunder and you can see I am extremely busy.

Do you have any advice for writers or readers?

Absolutely! Never, ever give up your dream. Persevere even when it feels hopeless. Hone your craft. Tell your story. A door will eventually open if you beat on it long enough.

Is there an author that inspired you to write?

My favorite authors are Clive Cussler, Dale Brown, David Hagburg, and Joel C. Rosenberg. All are fiction thriller writers that have kept me sitting at the edge of my chair for years.

What are some of your long term goals?

After the Lightning Chronicles trilogy is complete I have a strong desire to write an extended series based on the life and times of Daniel the prophet. It would be strictly classified as historical fiction, but with all of the action germane to the sixth century B.C.

What do you feel has been your greatest achievement as an author?

Getting the word out about how current world events align with Biblical prophecy has been the greatest achievement. That is also the purpose behind Distant Thunder and its sequels.

What do you feel is your biggest strength?

Stick-to-itiveness. I will not give up.

Biggest weakness?

I probably enjoy football a bit too much. I am an avid Kansas City Chiefs fan and an absolute freak when it comes to Nebraska Cornhusker football.

What do you feel sets this book apart from others in the same genre?

Other books in the genre, like Joel C. Rosenberg’s recent series, are designed around the world of geo-politics. Distant Thunder was created to demonstrate that ordinary, unsung heroes are really the ones that make things happen for the good in this world. Though their deeds may go unheralded, they are incredibly valuable none-the-less.

You know the scenario – you’re stuck on an island. What book would you bring with you and why?

The Bible. It is filled with action. Every human strength and weakness is found in the stories. It is packed with wisdom, and it is the message of life. I would need nothing else.

Are you a different person now than you were 5 years ago? In what way/s?

Absolutely. If you are not growing, you are stagnant. Difficulties and trials come our way to build character and integrity. I am certain that those two ingredients are continually being refined in my life.

What is the most important lesson you have learned from life so far?

It is actually a Bible verse, and a great one it is. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

What is your favorite past-time?

Beyond football I love to fish, hunt, and take advantage of the great outdoors. I am also a gardener and a carpenter.