Paul is both a retired pastor and social worker. He worked for the State of California Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing from 1987 to 2000. Prior to, and during that time, he also served part time as a senior pastor, youth pastor, and music minister. He graduated from Azusa Pacific University in May 1973 with a major in Religion and a strong minor in Social Work and was ordained into Pastoral Ministry by the Southern Baptist Churches of America in March 1985.
Paul is an accomplished conference and workshop speaker. His credits include marriage conferences; child care workshops on safety, laws, and regulations. He is available for speaking at your church or Christian group events. Contact him via E-mail: email@example.com.
Over the years he has been listed in numerous Who's Who Publications; and received numerous awards for his professional contributions as a volunteer and paid professional with civic groups and agencies serving children, youth and families. His most notable award was being named Youth Advocate of the Year by the Riverside County Office of Education in 1994.
Paul, and his wife Shelly, have been married since 1980 and they fellowship at Moreno Christian Assembly - Moreno Valley, CA.
CB: You majored in Religion and minored in Social Work. Was your career goal always focused on working in those two fields and why? Do you come from a background centered in those areas?
PZ: Well, Cindy, it was my hope to spend my life serving the Lord and His church, as a Pastor. The Social Work studies were simply the cherry on the top of the Sundae. I knew I could always integrate my Social Work skills in to the ministry.
As for having a family background in either of these fields, I'd have to say no, my parents and grandparents were basically, blue collar. I was personally called to the ministry on Christmas Eve 1966 [Prodigal Daze has a complete chapter, or two, dedicated to this answer], but, it wasn't until I was drafted and enlisted, and nearly ended up in Viet Nam that I made a commitment to God that if He got me through that war, alive, I'd complete college and go into the ministry.
As for my dad, he was a printer with NASA/JPL, very blue collar, and after I flunked out of Junior College, I worked as a machine operator, and could see myself spending my next 40-50 years in the blue-collar field of machine works.
CB: You are an accomplished conference and workshop speaker, two excellent merits when writing and publishing. Explain briefly why they are important to you and what motivates you.
PZ: I started speaking for my numerous employers. I was accomplished in many topics, but none so important than my speaking and guest lecturing (for local Junior College Childhood Education coursework) in regard to Early Childhood Education. From 1991 to 2000, I was the Unit Supervisor for the Child Care Licensing Department in Riverside County, and it became my hearts desire to better educate the providers in the laws, statutes, and regulations governing their operation of licensed day care homes.
I was able to pro-actively provide the day care operator with the necessary tools needed to be the very best care provider that child ever had. As the years went by, I could see that my lecturing was creating safer homes, and more compliant providers. This meant that the children left in the care of the providers had a better chance of getting through each day without being injured by neglect, or abuse. The truth is, these countywide lectures resulted in less complaints by parents, and less violations found during safety visits by my staff to the licensed homes.
I was proud of these accomplishments, and the recognition I received from the County Office of Education and Associations of Group Providers made each late night class and trip well worth the sacrifice.
CB: Married to lovely wife, Shelly. God is so good! Where did you meet and fall in love and, do you have any children or grandchildren?
PZ: I guess most people will have to read Prodigal Daze to get the full story behind how we met and fell in love. The truth is, I was the Teen Center Manager for the City of Grand Island Parks and Recreation. It was a cold Friday night in March 1980, and because of a fight at the center, I closed down early, and went to our local Hobo Joe’s for a cup of coffee and a piece of pie. Shelly was there, with her sister, and I simply went over and introduced myself to her. You see, I knew her sister through the city youth job program, and couldn’t help but notice this really beautiful young lady sitting there with her. From there, it was all ordained of God, and we were married a few months later. Love at first sight, and let me tell you…..after two failed marriages, I wasn't looking for a third. Still, she was a looker, and our hearts were caught up with one another, and love could not be stopped.
As for children, the only regret I have, after 29 years of marriage, is that we had no children. We both had children from other relationships, but, together, we simply decided to raise a few cats and dogs. After watching her son [who lived with his father] and my son and daughter, I can honestly say, there is definitely less sass, and not as many late nights worrying about their decisions, good and bad, as they grew into adults. As of now, we do not have any grandchildren, although, that would be just as special as having a child with Shelly.
CB: You've written two non-fiction books: Prodigal Daze and Thorn Daze. Interesting titles! What are they about?
PZ: Prodigal Daze is a candid, open book about my sinful fall from the ministry, and my failed marriages. I was caught up in sexual sin, a few years before my first marriage ended in divorce, and it was this sin that latched unto my soul, and took me for the ride of my life, and down to the depths of demonic darkness that I never knew existed. My guilt led me to that rifle, and the fact that I came so close to ending my sin filled life, led me back to God.
Shelly and I had a very good music ministry, and that ministry afforded me with the opportunity to share my testimony. Over several years, many, many folks would ask if I had that testimony in book form, which I didn't‘, so, that was when it came to be..
Thorn Daze is my answer to people who have sought the healing hand of God in their physical and emotional pain.. Like these many wonderful folks, I too suffered from the guilt of never being healed, and decided to write the book after I read about Paul’s thorn. I had read that passage many times over the years, but, in the midst of pain, suffering, guilt and suffering, I finally felt the moving of God’s spirit to write a book about my struggles, and His grace to live and minister regardless of the pain and suffering I incurred.
CB: What, or who, would you say has had the most influence in your life, which led you to write about your life and why?
PZ: I don't want to sound Holier than Thou, but, the one single person who the most influence in my life is Jesus, my Savior and Lord. Both books are as candid as candid can be, as the content does not shy away from telling the truth, no matter how "ugly" it is at times. The fact that God still loved me after my "affair" with the devil and sin, is nothing less than proof positive that no matter how far down into the pit a Child of God may slip and tumble, His love never stops.
It was that unconditional love of the Father that nudged me to putting my testimony in book form. I tried to share my testimony with as many people I could, but I always felt like God wanted more. It was never something I really wanted to do, because, to be candid, I just flat-out "detest" reading. That seems to be the true irony of both books. I take my story and put it down on paper, and expect others to get the books and read them.
Still, when God calls you to do something, you don't say know. Prodigal Daze was not easy, because it was like His Spirit was always nudging me to be as candid as possible. Whenever I tried to skirt around a topic in Prodigal Daze especially, I never felt at peace until I cleared up the paragraph and completely revealed the truth.
Thorn Daze was another work that I knew He was behind. I wrote and edited that book in less than a month, and that month involved a 4-day, 7-message revival at a church in Costa Mesa, CA. It was like every word, sentence, paragraph, and chapter were "gushing out" of me, and there was no rest until I wrote that final sentence in Chapter 13.
Both books were entirely motivated and spiritually inspired by the Father. I have total confidence that these books will find an audience, and when they do, they will reach tens-of-thousands of believers and non-believers, and that their lives will be changed for the good from my struggles and overall victory.
CB: Are you currently working on any more?
PZ: At this time I have an idea for a third book, but that is all it is, just an idea. I know, that I know, that there will be a third book, but I am prayerfully waiting for the leading of the Father. I know what it means to be lead of God, because I personally experienced that spiritual nudging in Prodigal Daze and Thorn Daze. And until I get that heavenly approval, I remain prayerfully obedient to God. For the last 18 months, He has been giving me the material for the book, but that material has yet to become something that puts all the scripture and statistics together in a book that makes sense. This book will not be a testimony, but rather, a book of spiritual warning of things to come as we enter the days before the Lord comes to take the church out of this world.
This kind of book and its topic need lots of investigation and study, and slowly but surely, the Lord is building up my findings, statistics, and more importantly, the scripture to support my premise.
CB: Where can we learn more about you and your books?
PZ: At my web site: http://www.removethehaze.com. It has 5 pages of information about me, the books, and places the book can be purchased from on line.
CB: Where can we purchase copies of your books and do you offer signed copies?
PZ: At every online bookstore, http://www.buy.com [which have the best prices in town], http://www.barnesandnoble.com, http://www.berean.com, http://www.amazon.com and my publisher: http://www.Winepress.com. As for signed copies, I can purchase, sign and mail the book to the customer. The price for that service, which includes packaging and postage is: $25.00 for Prodigal Daze and $18.00 for Thorn Daze. I only ask that the purchaser send a check with their address and what they'd like the signed copy to say, PRIOR to my sending them the book(s). This will take a few weeks, because I have to order the book from my publisher.
CB: Is there anything else you would like to say that I may not have covered here?
PZ: Just a big, and I mean a great big, huge "THANK YOU." This interview is a real blessing, and it comes from our web friendship, which I appreciate very much. It is a true blessing to be featured in your monthly newsletter, so please accept my gratitude. I know the Lord will bless your work Cindy, and for all you give, I know the Lord gives back "ten-fold.