The Norman Transcript

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September 8, 2013

Joey and Ashley Armstrong never expected to become writers, but they took up the pen to help their son

NORMAN — Joey and Ashley Armstrong admit that they never intended to be writers, but they also know from experience that sometimes life takes you on a journey you never could have imagined.

Joey Armstrong, University and LifeSong worship leader at First Baptist Church, along with his wife Ashley will release their first book, “God Loves it When …” on Sept. 24. The 24-page book published by Tate Publishing was actually something the couple worked on during graduate school.

“We just felt like there was something missing in the children’s religion department in terms of something kind of fun and whimsical and not so much Bible stories,” Ashley said.

The book, based on scripture from Mark 10:14, “Let the little children come to Me. Don’t stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these,” is a celebration of the good in everyone and celebrates those of the human race in whom good and innocence are reflected most clearly — children.

“Children tend to see things more purely and simply, which is a little closer to what the truth might be. Just that God loves all the little things that we do as well as the big things we do and that we are made in his image,” Ashley said.

But, again, the couple never expected to be writers. So they put the poem they worked on together on the back burner. That is, until the birth of their son Finn 18 months ago.

“We wrote it in grad school and basically forgot about it. That was in 2008. When Finn came along, all the pieces started to fall in place. We heard about Tate. We were looking for an illustrator and they provided that. It just worked out perfectly. It was an opportunity for us to be a fundraiser to bring in for his medical bills,” Joey said.

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