Being a part of Karen Baney’s book launch and  the Women’s Literary Cafe has enabled me to meet some wonderful people.

Among them is Larry Armstrong, whose book, Patience: Harvesting the Spirit’s Fruit, is being offered free when you buy 3 of the books on the event. Which I don’t know why you would only buy three since you can get eleven great books for ten dollars, including Karen’s new book, Nickels! But hey, people do strange things. Anyway, back to Larry… as a pastor for many years, he’s come to understand a thing or two about patience. I’m happy to introduce all my readers to him here.

Tell us who you are, where you’re from, and little bit about yourself.  

Larry Armstrong


 

I hale from Erie, Pennsylvania, but grew up bouncing back and forth from Ohio to Pennsylvania with a short stint in Boston. My step-father was a truck driver, and we followed the work. I spent my high school and college years in western Pennsylvania, attending Grove City College. I married my first wife, Doris, a couple of years after high school. After college, we moved back to the Boston area, and I attended Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. I entered the ministry and served the Presbyterian denomination for thirty-five years. Doris and I had three children together. She died in 2001, when our children were all adults.

 

I later met and married Elizabeth, who brought me an adult step-son. She and I lived in Pittsburgh then we returned to her hometown, Latrobe, Pennsylvania, where we live now. I retired from the pastorate in July 2011, but I keep busy speaking, writing, and selling books on the internet through FaithProbe.com.

 

When did you get interested in writing?

 

I’ve always loved books. Growing up, I read almost everything, but especially loved science fiction and history. I wrote a novel when I was a teenager, and a literary agent was interested in it. He wanted $300 to put it in “proper literary form,” as he called it, but I didn’t have that kind of money. So it was never published. The manuscript got lost when my family moved. But writing has always been an interest. I wanted to become a newspaper reporter who wrote novels, sort of a second Hemingway. God, however, called me into the ministry.

 

While working as a minister I did a lot of writing, mostly a weekly sermon. I have almost 1800 of them. But I also wrote newsletters and newspaper articles. I wrote a short story that was published in a Sunday school take-home paper and a few devotionals. In 1979, I had a book on the prophet Micah published, but the publisher went out of business a few years later. I became busy raising a family, pastoring churches, and working on Presbytery committees. So my writing drifted into the background.

 

As retirement drew near, I started to ask, “What will you do in retirement?” I decided to return to writing.

Can you recall a time when you applied the material in your book to a situation in your life?

Certainly! It’s been happening throughout this year. When our beloved dog Annie, a gentle and quiet Shelty, died two summers ago, we waited six months then got a new dog. Finnegan is a mixed breed, with at least two terrier types in his background. He lives up to his name. He’s full of energy, fiesty, and loves to play hard. He also loves to chew everything. He’s turned one year old recently, so he’s still a puppy.
For Christmas last year, my wife received a copy of her favorite poet’s work, Ogden Nash’s limericks. She left it on the bed, and Finnegan found it. He proceeded to chew the covers off! Also, my brand new part of bedroom slippers lost their linings. Our sofa had a corner chewed out of it. We found item after item chewed by little puppy teeth, and no toy has lasted more than a few days.
  Needless to say, we had to practice great patience, and trust in the Lord, that Finnegan would learn not to eat everything he sees. Gradually, he’s stopped most of the chewing. I’ve worn the slippers quite well without the lining, and my wife can read her coverless book!

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