Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Piece of Silver by Clark Burbidge

Two thousand years ago in Bethlehem, a young homeless boy named Daniel finds shelter in a stable and witnesses the birth of the Savior. Wanting to present the child with something, he gives the baby his only possession—a silver ring he wears on a piece of twine around his neck. But Daniel’s life remains one of living on the fringe of society until, in his darkest and loneliest moment, he again meets the Savior.

This powerful story provides a unique perspective of the birth and death of Jesus through the eyes and heart of a desolate young man. Infused with wonder and awe, this story is one of unconditional love and endless hope.

About the author:
Clark Burbidge received an MBA degree from the University of Southern California and a BS Degree in finance from the University of Utah. His career spans 31 years in banking, project finance, investment banking and more recently as Chief Financial Officer of three separate companies. He has been actively involved in community and church service, including lay youth and adult ministry, for over 35 years. It has been his long-term dream to write and publish several works that have been kicking around in his mind for many years. His first book, Life on the Narrow Path: A Mountain Biker's Guide to Spiritual Growth in Troubled Times was released nationally in March 2011. He looks forward to this next phase of life's wonderful adventures. Learn more about the author at his websites: A Piece of Silver.com, A Mountain Bikers Guide.com and Clark R Burbidge.com.

Clark Burbidge and his family recently visited Atlanta for the International Christian Retail Show and he was gracious enough to sit down and talk about the writing process of A Piece of Silver, how to engage the family into conversation about Jesus, and what it will take to create influence and change in others.

MN-You have two degrees in finance, yet you have your finger on the pulse point of humanity. How did that happen?
CB-Investment banking has taught me a few things. First, to do whatever I do with the highest quality necessary and the very best I can. Second, pay attention to detail. There's a big difference between writing and being published. If there is a word that describes writing a book, it is painstaking. You have to pay attention to detail (while writing) so those traits really translated very well.

MN-Do you read to your children?
CB-Well, I've always created stories for my children for bedtime. We've been one of those families that looks for that Christmas book to add to our traditions every year. (We ask) "What's the new book that we can read as a family and experience the true meaning of Christmas?" There are so many parallel fables out there that talk about the traits of Jesus and they are wonderful (but) they kind of skip the fact that there was a Jesus who those traits come from. The true meaning of Christmas-that's what we try to emphasize in our home.

MN-Let's talk about the main character Daniel in your book. What was the significance in making this character homeless and somewhat of a lost individual as opposed to a prominent leader or wealthy merchant?
CB-It was very natural for me to pick a young child who isn't educated, who isn't tainted by the world and wasn't being taught in the synagogues and was from out of town. He's completely new to all of this. He's a blank slate and we give him this experience which kids will relate to immediately. This is a real story for real lives.

MN-You're not just a researcher or gifted writer. You have experience with this.
CB-I have ten children and I've seen them grow and step out of the shadow of their parents and older siblings and become their own person. This is a very exciting thing to see a child do. I have worked in ministry with the youth-hundreds of youth-over 35 years and there is a common theme that I have seen from Elementary school up to even when they are in College. They go through this period where they have a very difficult time finding their place in this life. They feel out of place. They don't know what their purpose is. Even if they have been trained, even if they know all of the teachings of the Bible and the scriptures, they have to find their own feet. I think Satan's most successful tools are not the obvious ones. It's simply getting kids to feel like they are invisible and that nobody cares and they can't make a difference, so why even try? They give up. We see that over and over.

MN-There are adults that sit in our pews Sunday after Sunday, afraid to say 'I have a problem' because they don't want to be judged. What would you say to them?
CB-Adults need to know that no matter what they've been through, they are not broken. You may be beaten and battered, you may be worn down by the world but you are not broken. You have value. I think a lot of times people forget that they are a child of God and that He loves them.

MN-So the key is to build self esteem.
CB-Sure. What I tell people is that your life is what exists between the lines of your resume because that is what has made you who you are. Those tough experiences, the times you've been out of work, the times you've struggled, that's what has made you who you are.

MN-Tell me about your book A Piece of Silver.
CB-A Piece of Silver speaks about the gift that eleven year old Daniel, who is the primary character, gives to the Savior when he unexpectedly discovers that he is in the stable on the night of all nights. Being from another town-he is orphaned and living homeless-he isn't taught like the other Jewish children are taught while growing up. This piece of silver is what his mother has given him during their travels when she is dying. It's his only possession. He's moved greatly by this feeling he has, by the experience he has being with the Savior and his parents and the Nativity and wants to give them something.

MN-Readers will experience Christmas with Daniel.
CB-You can remember when you came to know Jesus the kind of feelings you had in those special moments when you knew he loved you and was close to you. You can't tell a child that and have them feel it. You can't manipulate that situation-they have to feel it for themselves. In test readings with adults and children, as they finished the book, they have this experience together where the parent can turn to the child and say 'You see, that feeling I've always told you about? That's what it feels like.' Those moments are priceless.

Hardcover: 28 pages
Publisher: Winepress Publishing (July 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1606152017
ISBN-13: 978-1606152010
Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.7 x 0.4 inches