It was a cold, crisp, sunny day in January—January 12th, 2008, to be exact. I was driving down the road on one of the main highways that run east and west, a few miles north of Detroit, I-696. I had just finished playing about three hours of handball in Clinton Township with some of my handball buddies. This had been my regular Saturday ritual for years. I would get up on Saturday morning and make the 35-mile-or-so journey out to the club where all the guys met, and we would play for hours.
I loved handball. Not just for the exercise, but for the camaraderie and the competition as well. The games could be grueling and fearsome. There were no easy games where we would just lob the ball back and forth for the fun of it. Every game was a battle to the end. We tried to annihilate our opponent and take no prisoners. It was so much fun!
After playing on that particular Saturday, I was spent. I sat around and talked to the guys for a while, about what I can’t remember (usually it was about who had the greatest shots of the day, which were very seldom any of mine), then I showered up, got into my car, and started the drive back home.
Being totally exhausted and relaxed can have a cathartic effect on a person. I was just heading east on this particular highway, I had the cruise-control on, and my thoughts were wandering… How good it felt to be so relaxed after such a hard workout. What a beautiful day it was outside—cold, crisp, a little sunshine. How great it felt to be alive, and then, BAM!!! I started bawling like a little baby. I wasn’t sure what was happening at first; all this emotion was welling up inside of me, and I wasn’t a real emotional kind of guy. And then I felt it and heard it. I felt God’s presence, the Holy Spirit, fill me up, and I heard myself saying out loud, “I am ready Lord, if you will have me.”
About the Book
Author: John Early
Genre: Spiritual / Inspirational
John Early worked in the corporate world for over 25 years. From the outside looking in, it seemed as though he had it all: the beautiful family, the magnificent home, the nice cars and great vacations, the fabulous income with the big 401k. He had what most would consider the American Dream. This was John’s idea of a dream, and this dream was all about him. Then suddenly, in an instant, like the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus, John had an encounter with God that transformed his life forever. John takes the reader through that transformation and the total impact it had on not only his life, but on the lives of those around him, especially those closest to him-his wife and children. He lays out the 10 key bits of wisdom that were instrumental in reconciling and rebuilding those broken relationships. His road on this journey is paved with: Knowing your purpose, Character, Attitude, Goals, Teamwork and Trust, Respect, Courage, Regrets, Reconciliation, and Grace. This book shows all of us, no matter our circumstances or how dark our days may seem, that God is brighter still. Let God start to transform your life.
John moved to Houston, Texas in 1980 at the age of 21. He worked in sales for a manufacturers rep firm selling oil equipment. Sales territory was most of South Texas, driving 4000-5000 miles per month. John had the opportunity to call on customers that were located in remote areas of South Texas as well as the corporate offices of some of the largest oil and gas companies in the world located Houston, Texas.
In 1986 he moved back to Michigan and went to work as a mortgage consultant for a small mortgage company, Tranex Financial and worked there for 13 years. Starting out as a mortgage consultant he moved into training then became an officer of the company and eventually bought the firm. In 1998, he merged Tranex into the Hantz Financial Group.
He worked with Hantz Financial as a Vice President and financial consultant until December of 2010 focusing on marketing and client relationships. His team assisted high net worth clients with their tax planning, estate planning, investment strategies and business owner concerns. Providing advice to clients who needed sophisticated financial planning. While at Hantz Financial the company grew from 100 employees to over 500 and John was able to help build one of the largest practices within the firm.
In April of 2011 he created The Shoe Shine Guys. A mobile shoe shine service that started with an idea, one truck and a handful of clients. He now has three vehicles, a full service cobbler store and hundreds of clients. His company continues to add new clients every month and receive calls at least once a quarter about expanding to other parts of the country.
John attended Saginaw Valley State University. He has been married to his beautiful wife, Janet, for more than 32 years and they have two grown children, a son in law, and a grandson.
A sports enthusiast, John was an avid handball player for over 20 years (new titanium knee and work have sidelined him for a while) and was the Canadian national doubles champion in 1999.