Adversities are conquered by strength and courage to weather the storm and triumph, by means of oneself, family, friends and local community; however, most of all, spiritual faith, that grows stronger with every pain and joy in life.
James A. Toups is such a man who has shown such resilience and great faith in times of adversity during Hurricane Katrina in the Deep South in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, and engrossed in the Christian culture, James witnessed misfortunes and sufferings, but through all the strife whether personal or from natural disasters, James’s devotion in God lifted him out of the depth of darkness and into the light. His powerful devotion in God gave him great fortitude in times of discord. In return, James brought this spirit and belief to his New Orleans community in crucial moments in their lives.
James is a devoted husband, a father of six and grandfather who is a motivational public speaker who helps his clients to grow by the economic theory of distributism. He also, served on various parish and school boards while active in Evangelization with the parish of his church.
From life’s anguishes to celebrations, James has brilliantly written 22 different stories about his formidable upbringing in a small town in the Deep South. His published book, The Storm: A Time of Mercy, Choices and Hope is a journey through childhood to adulthood that shapes James’s devout Catholic faith over five decades with his family. This pilgrimage from James’s private accounts, takes his readers through heartaches, laughs, jubilation and intimate memories that is relived in James’s compelling words. He does well in reminding his readers that God the Father would not and has not abandon His faithful during crises.
Most importantly, James’s 22 stories offer his readers hope when all things seem lost.
It is a wonderful privilege to have James A. Toups part of my Arts and Entertainment Features and I would like to thank him, personally, for taking the time to share his life and works.
Tell us about yourself?
To know me is to know my family. After my faith, they are my source of joy and motivation. God has blessed me with a wonderful and supportive wife for nearly 28 years and six children, four girls and two boys, between the ages of 26 and 6; and a granddaughter who has just turned two years old. I grew up the entirety of my life in the Deep South in New Orleans, Louisiana immersed in the Christian culture. Time on the Gulf Coast of the United States of America gave me unique opportunities to witness storms of great proportions, both meteorological and societal.
We currently live in Lafayette, Louisiana, to where we evacuated after Hurricane Katrina, then made our home and re-established our business. We have a small, family business management consulting company in which we have intertwined the philosophy of distributism and bring that to implementation with our clients, showing them how to grow and prosper in unison with their employees and community.
Your first book The Storm: A Time of Mercy, Choices and Hope is a Catholic nonfiction book, Can you tell us more about your book?
In The Storm are presented 22 different stories about our family and the various storms and joys of life over five decades. In it is chronicled not only the lives of the people involved, but also the quickening changes of our society and how, if we allow Him to do so, God will lift us out of our storms, strengthening us and preparing us for future battles.
The book, written in the third person, reads much like an adventure novel drawing the reader into the story. It is my hope that each reader can find their own story in the pages of The Storm and thank God for all He has done for them.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I always chuckle a little bit when asked that question. God decided that for me through a series of events that culminated in my writing the book during the summer of 2015. To be honest, I did not realize I had it in me to write a book, yet God has a way of accomplishing with us what we would have previously thought impossible. I found the process of writing both rewarding and challenging.
Where did you get your ideas for your book?
The Storm: A Time of Mercy, Choices and Hope was first prompted in a moment of divine consolation. I was in our backyard, watching my family swim, and felt a profound desire to praise God the Father for all He had done in my life. At that moment, I began writing The Storm. Through much prayer and time in Adoration, what was initially a journal turned into a book. My wife was extremely helpful in her critiques and adding missing details. In the end I came to know with all my soul that if we allow Him, God can truly do wonderful things through each one of us.
What is the most memorable comment(s) you heard from your readers/fans about your book or as a writer?
I have to say it has been a humbling experience to allow God to work through the book and touch lives. One of the most memorable comments came from a person who read the book and through tears told me it helped them to heal past wounds and learn to forgive. They came to understand that forgiveness is our choice. When we forgive, through the grace of God, we heal our souls and find peace.
What gives you inspiration for your books?
I have always been an observer of human nature and our reactions to joy and suffering. I find the faith, toughness and resiliency of the people I meet in my travels to be incredibly inspiring, as well as how in the most difficult times they find ways to give God praise.
Are you working on another book and what is it about?
Yes, I am very excited about it and am to be released before the US general elections. My second book is titled The Cajun Storm: God’s Servant First. South Louisiana has just suffered a 1-in-1000-years flood. In the book is shown the great response that arose from the Christian faith community in Louisiana after the flood, amid the failings of national leadership to respond adequately. The book makes the case for strong Christian leadership, while cross-sectioning Catholic Social Doctrine and the economic philosophy of distributism.
Please, if possible, to share an excerpt from your first book The Storm: A Time of Mercy, Choices and Hope?
One of my favorite excerpts comes at the very end of the book as I observe a lady that has been severely burned over her entire body:
“Humbled, the latter bows her head and prays, “Lord Jesus, we ask You to bless our sister, sustain her, and heal her in her injuries. She loves You and she is Yours. In Your name, we pray, Our Father, Who art in heaven.”
Dumbfounded, the man thinks, How can she be so joyful?? He can understand with great clarity the excruciating pain she must be in. In a momentary prayer, he internally says, Lord, heal her. She is a beautiful soul. And at that instant, whispered into his heart and impressed upon his inner being, come the words, Son, she has Me. She has all she needs. Be joyful; you have Me, you are Mine. Bring hope and joy wherever you go. Be a man of hope. I will sustain you through all your storms. The world needs hope.”
Author page on Hope and Life Press
Book available on Amazon