It has taken Richard Krauland almost three years to get his thoughts down on paper.
“I wanted to write a series of letters to my children,” he explained during interviews on local radio station WTYM. “I wanted them to understand the things that I’ve learned through my life.”
There is no doubt that the East Franklin Township resident has learned a lot. As the President and CEO of Nextier Bank until his retirement in 2016, he navigated the organization through mergers providing oversight for more than 200 employees. He and his wife successfully raised three children – all in their thirties now – that are leaders in their various fields. And most of all, he has journeyed from being an atheist to a Christian which required a radical spiritual change.
“I wanted my children to understand what is true and what wasn’t true. There’s a lot of misconceptions out there in the world.”
Krauland has always approached his life with a certain methodology – evaluating a situation, and then coming up with a plan for it. His systematic approach invites readers to do more than just entertain themselves, but rather causes them to become involved in the process.
“The book is in three parts. The first part is a lot of science. I present it in a very easy-to-read way. No one’s going to get blown away by technical stuff, but I talk about the scientific discoveries of the 21st Century, and what we’ve learned in science. People may think that there are contradictions between science and religion when, in fact, there are no contradictions. I have a section on the Big Bang, Evolution, and Creationism. We know now, through science, that there’s nothing in science that contradicts the truth about God’s existence and I go into that in quite a bit of detail.”
Krauland said that he had to come to grips with his personal theology when he was nearly 40 years of age. He wrestled with science and life and how it coincided with his concept of faith.
“I have been blessed by having a handful of pretty serious scientists in my family and I’ve always been kind of a science junky,” he admitted. “But once you believe that God is real, the next logical question for this Being that is taking care of the whole universe is, ‘Does He even know that I’m around? Is He even aware of me?’ ”
Krauland’s book goes through nine very personal stories that he calls “miracles”.
“These are things that have happened to me in my life which are incredibly improbable, but they reset the course of my life in a very positive way. So not only is God real, but He IS aware of each of us and He’s available to help.”
Krauland said his book isn’t denominational, but strictly stays within the context of the four Gospels in his religious references. He also added that although it’s not political, he does address the culture of government today.
“The last section of the book is, ‘Ok, God is real. He’s available to us. How do I get onto that team? How do I interact with God?’ That’s pretty much like where the book closes with really a pretty persuasive argument that you’ve got to read the Gospels to understand what Christ’s message was.”
The 103-page book is concise but has drawn its readers into an introspection of their own life, just as Krauland had to do in his life.
The book has already seen skyrocketing sales in eight states, selling out of Amazon three times. Locally, it is available at Kittanning News, also affectionately known as the “Hallmark Shop”, on Market Street in downtown Kittanning. Store clerks said their phone has been ringing “off the hook” with inquiries about the book, but they promise to have a sufficient number of copies for a special book signing this Saturday between 11AM-2PM. Krauland will be there to autograph books and personally talk to prospective readers.
For more information, contact the Kittanning News at 724-548-8916.