Les Linz watched “The Passion of the Christ” when the move debuted in 2004.
Ten years later, the Seymour minister watched the two-hour, seven-minute film once a day for 40 days during Lent.
“It began as a result of prayer,” he said. “Shortly before Lent started, I was asking the Lord how I might get closer to him, how I could focus more on him.”
He wrote down some of his favorite quotables from the movie, and the result was an e-book, “40 Days of Passion: Toward Greater Intimacy with Your Lord.”
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“Once I realized that was what I was supposed to do, I assumed I should jot down some prayerful insights about it,” he said. “That’s when I realized how significant the insights were for everyday relationship with the Lord. That’s when I said, ‘This has got to be published.’”
Linz said the movie, which depicts the last 12 hours of Jesus Christ’s life, was gripping when he saw it for the first time.
When he was called to watch it 40 times during Lent, he said he wasn’t sure if he would get the same insights every time. But he did.
“I’ve been a Christian for
30 years and a minister of the Gospel since 2006, but having watched that movie that many times prayerfully has made my walk with him exponentially closer,” he said. “That’s what I got out of that.”
Linz said he hopes readers have the same outcome.
“I suspect that they would prayerfully get a closer walk with the Lord than they had before they read that,” he said. “I’d like that for them, and I’d also like it for the Lord because I believe he is worthy of that friendship, that intimate relationship.”
Local author Emma VonDielingen helped Linz put the 102-page book in the proper format, and Linz’s wife, Kathi, designed the cover. It’s available for $2.99, and if purchased this month, 10 percent of the proceeds will benefit The Alley Street Kitchen in Seymour.
Linz said he chose to do that for all of the work Pastor Rick Wilson puts into the local church and the meals it offers to the public.
“He provides an important service to members of our community,” Linz said. “It’s just a way of saying thank-you.”
Linz said he is in the process of making the book available in paperback.
In 1997, Linz was drawn to ministry after his wife of 15 years died of breast cancer at age 37. He took online Bible college classes until becoming credentialed as a licensed minister with the Assemblies of God denomination in February 2006.
In August 2013, he became licensed with Faith Christian Fellowship International and was ordained a year later.
Also in 2013, he founded Servant’s Heart Healing Ministries, where he prays for the physical healing of the uninsured and underinsured, veterans of any conflict, prison inmates and pets as an evangelical outreach.
“Early on in my Christian walk, almost 30 years ago, I got the understanding of the importance of being able to pray for healing for those that lacked insurance before insurance lacking was a big thing,” Linz said.
“(In 2013) I had just prayerfully resigned from a job I had been with six years in Jeffersonville,” he said. “I had been without insurance at the time. I knew what it was like to have to do medical expenditures that weren’t in the budget.”
He also became a volunteer chaplain with the Jackson County Jail, hospice and Recovery Road Ministries.
“I really like blessing the one who is worthy of blessing, which is Jesus,” Linz said of his ministry. “And the other is I like blessing others by what he pours through me.”
Les Linz’s book “40 Days of Passion: Toward Greater Intimacy with Your Lord” is available online for Amazon Kindle at tinyurl.com/mdsa6te.
Cost is $2.99, and 10 percent of the proceeds from purchases this month will go toward The Alley Kitchen in Seymour.
If you don’t have a Kindle device, an app can be downloaded for free to mobile phones and computers by searching “Free Kindle download.”
Name: Les Linz
Experience: Licensed minister with the Assemblies of God denomination from 2006 to 2008; licensed minister with Faith Christian Fellowship International in 2013 and ordained in 2014; founded Servant’s Heart Healing Ministries in 2013 and became a volunteer chaplain with the Jackson County Jail, Hospice and Recovery Road Ministries
Family: Wife, Kathi Linz; one daughter