Thinking Out Loud is a sharp, essential collection of essays and observations, asking fearless questions about life, love, religion, relationships, parenting and more. Stephen Philip Walrath is clear at the outset: he wishes to give the reader the benefit of the knowledge he has accumulated throughout his life and perhaps spare the reader some of the same mistakes he made.
The tone of the book is personal, confessional, and intimate. It sometimes feels we are invading his personal space, overhearing an internal conversation you weren’t suppose to hear. Each chapter looks at a different moment in Walrath’s life and a different question he was driven to explore.
He takes you from the front porch of his home in Wisconsin to a Seattle dockside. At each point, he is challenged with questions about the nature of existence and the importance of staying true to oneself. One main focus of Walrath’s work is his important journey away from extreme fundamentalism.
He is a man who enjoys pondering the questions of the universe and examining the rigorous answers offered by the structure of his religion. You will read Thinking Out Loud over and over and never exhaust all that it reveals to you.
Stephen was a professional broadcaster and entrepreneur who turned a single AM radio station into seven different companies covering a variety of fields. He was also the president of Crime Stoppers International, helping pave the way for partnerships with the United Nations, Interpol, and the US Marshals Service. For his service, Walrath received the YMCA’s of America Key Leader Award, and many other national and international accolades.
When I began to question my relationships, my beliefs, my purpose, I found untold riches in historical facts, alternative thoughts, and a sense of freedom and well being I had never experienced. I discovered I could learn, unlearn and relearn which is a tremendous hope for any who desire a more fulfilling life than previously thought possible.
Walrath has written Uncommon Sense for Unreasonable Times, Cultivating a Winner from Within, A Divorced Parent’s Guide to Seeing Your Kids,and Thinking Out Loud. Walrath is the proud father of three grown children. He lives with his wife in southern Wisconsin. He and his family are also proud shareholders of the Green Bay Packers.
Take a few moments to watch the first movie chapter from Stephen’s newest book. This chapter is titled – “It Begins”
New discoveries lead to more questions…
When I began to ask questions, research answers to love, relationships, and faith, people started to say, “It’s great to see you so happy!” I didn’t know I wasn’t, but apparently I couldn’t hide an inner struggle with guilt, remorse, and shaking free of the doubts that continually nagged and shadowed my existence. With others reading Thinking Out Loud, the response has been overwhelming with, “I have felt that way!” Or “You have to keep writing. People get it!” I remembered a line from the Mark Helprin novel In Sunlight and in Shadow, “Everything we do will echo.”
One day, I asked a question. And then another. And then another. New discoveries lead to more questions, more answers that made more sense, which lead to even more questions, deeper examinations, which ultimately resulted in healthier decisions and more fulfilling relationships.
Question everything. Follow the evidence.
Always remember – you could be wrong!
It is our human responsibility to ask questions! Who am I? Why do I think the way I do? Why do I believe what I believe? How is my past connected to who I am today? Question everything you can about love, relationships, belief, purpose, and parenting.
And if the answers are unsatisfactory or are not a product of examination and thoughtful investigation, keep asking and asking and asking. The journey is to ask and discover – not to cave to blind belief, falling into a foggy haze of intellectual coma.
A Message from Stephen:
Martin Luther took an extraordinary step of courage by nailing his convictions to the door of the very authority he was questioning. There was a real possibility for retaliation and backlash for questioning what had been accepted for centuries as true. I was told by a friend, upon reading Thinking Out Loud, “You know there will be those who will use this from the pulpit and declare your destination as hell. Very gutsy, my man. I don’t think I could do it.” I am not Martin Luther, but I am nailing my questions to the door. I have learned much. I hope to learn much more as we journey together, multiplying together, renewing together. And yes, I have already received an 8 page letter from one fundamentalist reader outlining why I’m going to hell for having human thoughts, human doubts, human emotions, and yes, human questions.
“Very insightful! You made me examine my own conscience when it comes to the perspective of others. You have an amazing ability to express hurt and resolution.” Phil R.
“This book has really inspired me to ask questions and evaluate who I am and what I want in my life. It’s so refreshing to see people be able to express their inner thoughts, fears, and feelings in an open and non-judgemental way. I experienced your book and movie chapters as you were telling me a story. A very personal story. Your story. Thank you for sharing your stories and for Thinking Out Loud – loud enough so we can all listen and hear your perspectives.” Mark P-R.
– I want to highly recommend this book by thee amazing and fascinating Stephen Philip Walrath. I love the essay format and insights! I often had to stop and reflect or reread. Thank you for sharing yourself with so many. ~Pat F.
– It took guts to write a book like this, my man! Not sure I could do it. ~Tim K.
– A few nights ago I had a stressful evening. I checked the mail to which I found your book had arrived. I kept the silence and started to read. I found myself at peace. More journey’s to come I’m sure. ~Donald C.
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