Port Allen native releases lighthearted book about Jesus

wpid-Keion-Jackson-Picture2One thing 29-year-old Keion Jackson is pretty sure of is that God has a sense of humor. His newly-released book “Because Jesus” was written to show just that.

“Often when faith is discussed, we forget that joy is a part of God’s personality.  Laughter is one of the greatest gifts he’s given us,” Jackson said. “I wanted to write this book to inspire people in a fun, new way that explores the humorous and lighthearted parts of faith.”

And even though this Port Allen, La. native is in Kansas City where he’s undoubtedly missing Louisiana staples such as boudin, étouffée and crawfish boils, Jackson is making his mark in the industry as an accomplished writer and author, having published several children’s books.

“Because Jesus” is filled with small, funny reminders that God’s love is all around. Jackson, who writes for Hallmark, uses simple things most people come into contact with on a daily basis- such weather, technology and even food- to show that.

“He did not come to condemn. One of the many ways God is not like the comment section on YouTube,” one page of the book states.

“‘Don’t worry- I got this” is pretty much the essence of the whole gospel,” another page reads.

imageJackson’s favorite part of the book, which has received positive reviews, is its accessibility. The playful phrases, colors and imagery on each page make “Because Jesus” a page-turner and instant favorite.

“I’m not a pastor. I’m not a bishop. I’m not even a deacon. I’m just a regular dude who’s been touched by the love of Christ,” Jackson said.  “It’s cool that I get to share the faith from that point of view. I’m trying to live this thing out according to The Word, and it’s not always easy.”

“But this book gives me the chance to talk about God’s love and forgiveness in a fun, lighthearted, down-to-Earth kind of way.  That’s really exciting to me,” he added.

“Because Jesus,” available on Hallmark.com, is the first installment of Jackson’s faith-based collection that will be released in Hallmark Gold Crown stores and online in 2016. The collection will feature items such as mugs, plaques and journals.

Jackson doesn’t have any inspirational quotes or mottos that he lives by, but simply a Bible verse: Romans 8:28.

“It’s a reminder that God is working on situations in our lives, even when we can’t see it.  He’s got an eternal viewpoint,” he said. “He’s looking down on us from forever, with a perspective we can’t see from the middle of our situation. This verse is a reminder that—no matter what—things will eventually get back to good.”

He says that due to social media usage, today’s young people have a strong grasp on the value of individual voice and understand that their perspectives matter. He hopes his work can inspire those wanting to follow in his footsteps.

“Believing your voice is worthy of being heard is a big part of being a writer.  But it’s not enough.  Young writers must pair that with education.  Learn the craft.  Learn structure.  Learn literary devices,” he said.

Jackson’s parents Leonard and Kathy realized their son loved to write at a young age and always referred to him as a writer. That declaration helped him get to where he is today.

“I thank them for that,” he said. “Hearing them say my dream out loud made it feel more attainable, more real.”

As a child he would make up elaborate story lines and act them out with his Hot Wheels cars. Jackson would then get his twin sister Kourtney, who was the first person to listen to his creative ideas, to be his audience.

“It was basically a soap opera starring Toyotas,” he joked.

Jackson is a Clark Atlanta University graduate who enjoys filmmaking, volunteering and watching TV in his spare time. Fans can expect more books from him in the near future. If he gets his way, some of them will be about his home state and the teenage condition- always with extra doses of humor and optimism.

“Life is interesting; there’s a story everywhere you look,” Jackson said.

By Anastasia L Semien
Jozef Syndicate reporter

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