Former Associate Pastor at Church of the Incarnation Pouring His Heart and Soul into One Final Mission
The former associate pastor at Church of the Incarnation in Arlington Heights, Ill., is on a mission, one he plans to pursue with every ounce of his being. "I have decided that for whatever time I have left on this planet, I'm going to LIVE in all caps!" said Shane Allen Burton. "I'm going to make my life shout!"
And there's a particular message he is shouting as loud as he can for all to hear: "There is a God that loves everyone. Everyone is loveable, and everyone is love-able." In other words, we are all born with the ability to love.
That message was the core of his ministry when he led congregations in Illinois and Minnesota from 1993 to 2001, and later in other congregations. It is also the main takeaway from both of his published books. Untamed Devotions: Stories of a Wild God was published in 2014. More Untamed Devotions is set for release in June 2020. Both books were published by Radiant Heart Press, an imprint of Henschel HAUS Publishing of Milwaukee, Wisc.
"I didn't think I was going to publish a second book, but after receiving a diagnosis of terminal cancer, I felt it was important to get more of my devotions published. I had so much material that didn't make it into the first book, plus I had written more since the first book came out," said Burton, who previously had beaten esophageal cancer. In 2019, he learned the disease had returned and metastasized in his liver and other organs.
More Untamed Devotions begins with the author's dedication to his wife, Dani, and their children: "Both the ones I've had the blessing of fathering, and those who came into my life later," he writes. He then shares a total of 60 devotions originally written for sermons he has delivered over the years.
The core message about how much love God has for everyone makes its way into all of the stories. Among Burton's favorite devotions in his second book are "Edelweiss, Dancing & Smiles," a story he had written about his mother, who died of cancer in 2001 at the age of 50; and the Epilogue, in which he shares the story a man had told him during a shuttle ride from the Denver Airport to their hotel.
In "Edelweiss, Dancing & Smiles," Burton lovingly writes a tribute to his mother, who "in spite of a rough childhood, grew up knowing how to celebrate life. The reason I love to dance so much is because of her... and when she danced, she smiled. She truly came alive. It was a gift to see." He concludes the story by pointing out that we are given 365 gifts each year to open with Joyful expectancy. "Open your gifts. Because now is the time for living, for smiling, for dancing," he says in the book.
In the Epilogue, Burton writes about the profound story a stranger had shared with him. It was about the man's wife, who had died at the age of 47. In response to the question, "How did she die?" The man had said the doctors didn't know, and that his wife had just stopped living.
Those three words have inspired Burton to do the exact opposite, and live life to the fullest. "Every day is a gift and some people, despite horrific circumstances, are still able to live with joy. How is that possible? For me it's that they know there is a God who loves them, and there is a sense of Hope with a Capital H. There is so much good happening if you just have the eyes to see it."
Early reviews of the book have been very favorable. "What do I love about this book? I love Shane's vulnerability and heart. It seems so basic to talk about love and to be able to love others, but he breaks it down not only biblically, but speaks in terms that are real - speaks to us as the broken imperfect yet love-able people that we are," said Nicole Remini.
"I have laughed! I have cried! I have squirmed in conviction! I have seen my 'untamed self' in many of Shane's More Untamed Devotions. Once again, Shane has inspired us to come before an Untamed God, the only One who can release us from our untamed ways," said Cindy Dingwall, Christian author and educator.
"I've known Shane for a long time. He's solid. His new book, More Untamed Devotions, is an example. The Preface and Prologue alone are worth far more than the price of the book," said Bill Easum, The Effective Church Group.
Copies of Shane Allen Burton's books, Untamed Devotions: Stories of a Wild God, and More Untamed Devotions are available for purchase through both Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
About the Author
Shane Allen Burton has been a pastor in both established churches and church plants throughout his 24 years of ministry. For much of that time, he was a pastor in the United Methodist Church, including one church plant, but also led a Baptist congregation, a non-denominational church plant, a Lutheran church, and has been a worship leader as well.
He has also worked as an insurance agent, pawn broker, mortgage broker, executive director of a publishing company, supervisor in an oil refinery, editor, and most recently as the Merchandising Assistant Store Manager at the Home Depot in Hudson, Wisc. He currently resides in Hudson, Wisc., with his beautiful wife Dani, and between the two of them there are nine children: Patrick, Josh, Rachel, Tucker, Cole, Isaac, Darby, Lilli, and Zander.
Shane loves good coffee, fine chocolate (any chocolate, for that matter), reading books, Grand Adventures with his wife Dani, writing, editing, musical performance (drums, guitar, vocals), and composition. His child-like, untamed faith is contagious and he will challenge you to LIVE life in ALL CAPS!