Hope Lies Ahead Q&A and Giveaway

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About the Book

Book:  Hope Lies Ahead

Author: James & Geoffrey Banks

Genre:  Christian non-fiction, Christian living, family and relationships

Release Date: April, 2020

HopeLiesAhead_Cover.inddNo prodigal is beyond the reach of God

 Every inch of my body was in pain and my skin was crawling. I couldn’t think straight or even form coherent sentences . . . How did I end up like this? –Geoffrey Banks

Geoff’s situation seemed hopeless: a heroin addict going through a nightmarish detox on the floor of an overpopulated jail cell. He had made a mess of his life.

His parents felt their son slipping away. They loved him so much and felt so powerless. And so they prayed—through the hurt, the questions, the frustrations. And through it all, God walked with them.

Hope Lies Ahead shares Geoff’s prodigal journey and James’s perspective as his father. Each man writes his own story and candidly addresses the spiritual and practical challenges families with prodigals face. As someone who loves a prodigal, you’ll know you are not alone and that there is hope!


Click here to get your copy


About the Authors

James Banks_2017

Dr. James Banks is the author of Prayers for Prodigals, Prayers for Your Children, Praying the Prayers of the Bible, Praying Together, and Praying with Jesus. Through books, blog posts, and magazine articles, he regularly encourages people to pray. Dr. Banks has been a pastor and church planter for more than twenty-five years and lives with his wife, Cari, in Durham, North Carolina. They have two adult children.



Geoffrey Banks serves as the high school coordinator at Port City Community Church in Wilmington, North Carolina. He loves reaching students where they are and helping them walk with God. He is an avid surfer and skater. Geoffrey struggled with heroin addiction throughout his teens and early twenties before coming to know Jesus and having his life radically change. Now he is host of the podcast Too Many Christians, which explores beliefs in the pursuit of ultimate truth.


More from Geoffrey and Dr. Banks

From James

My son, Geoff, and I chose to tell our story in Hope Lies Ahead because we believe it’s what God would have us do. So many families suffer in silence when their loved ones go down prodigal paths, and we want them to know they are not alone. God truly offers hope when it seems like none can be found.

Geoff and I could only write this book because of God’s kindness to us. Like the father in the parable of the prodigal, “My son was lost and now is found,” and I’m still celebrating. Geoff is so much more than his past sins and mistakes. He is a new creation, made stronger in the broken places by God’s amazing love. Today God uses him to reach people in ways that would not have been possible had he not been down such difficult roads. God wastes nothing—redemption is a precious, priceless thing.

God never gives up on us. He goes to lengths that defy reason to save us and love us back to Himself. Even when our children make choices that break our hearts, God doesn’t abandon them. He loves our prodigals even more than we do.

Jesus is still “a friend of sinners.” No one is beyond God’s reach. When answers to prayer are long in coming, He Himself is the best answer. In the rough and raw places where we feel numb or even nothing at all, God is able to meet us with help and healing as we cast our cares on Him.

So if you find yourself in a similar situation, keep loving, keep praying, and keep the lines of communication open. God can empower us in love beyond what we think is possible, and give us the wisdom and direction we need to face each day.


From Geoff

Substance abuse is so prevalent in our world right now. There is no specific socioeconomic class, community, or age that struggles with it, it is everywhere. With that being the reality, there is a lot of negative stories out there. All over the news you hear of overdoses, arrests, and other things related to this topic going on. My heart behind writing Hope Lies Ahead is that people will find some hope in the midst of an incredibly difficult time.

It is an up close and personal book for both my father and I, and that is on purpose. We looked at both of our failings, our strengths, and where we could have done things differently. For us it was an honest dialogue about what our journey through substance abuse as a family was like and how we came out on the other side. I hope that it can be the start of an honest dialogue for a lot of other families as well that will point everyone involved toward our one hope—Jesus.

As you read through Hope Lies Ahead, you will see a little bit of yourself in both of us. At times I am pretty hard on my father for some of the things that he did. The thing that I want to remind the reader of is that even when he made mistakes, it was done out of love. He wasn’t the religious Bible thumper I sometimes make him out to be but rather was driven by a deep love for his kids that sometimes got expressed in the wrong way. I think that his perspective is so unique because now he recognizes those moments for what they are and is able to help other people not fall in those same traps. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for my parents, and this experience ended up sharpening both of us.

Based on what we learned going through this experience, I would say to a parent of a prodigal  above all else, maintain relationship. Let them know you love them even when they make huge mistakes. Let them know that if they ever want help you are right there waiting. Make sure they are aware of their options as far as treatment goes and when the opportunity arises to get them there, jump on it. Do it immediately. Don’t wait.

I think we often find ourselves wanting to preach. Addiction can be an infuriating disease to experience, whether you are the one who is addicted or a family member is. In the midst of that anger and frustration, we need to be reminded that our battle is not against flesh and blood. Your war isn’t with that person, it is with the sin that is dominating their life. Don’t exchange your relationship with them for an off handed comment or a sermon about their behavior. It isn’t worth it.

My prayer is that people reading this book will be encouraged in their situation and that they turn first to Jesus. I believe that ultimate redemption looks like Jesus on the cross. It is when something meant for evil gets turned around and used for good. There are many stories of people going through addiction and then using their experience to help others out of it. There is nothing more beautiful than a giant struggle becoming an incredible strength.

Mindy Houng’s Q&A with Dr. James Banks

What inspired this book?

The breathtaking transformation of my son’s life by God’s love.


Which chapter was the most difficult to write?

Chapter 5, “A Far Country,” where several mistakes I made as a dad struck me with fresh force.


What would you like your readers to get out of this book?

That no one is beyond the reach of God’s love.


Which author influenced you the most?

William Cowper, a British poet and contemporary of John Newton. His depth of insight into human nature and understanding of God’s work in our hearts is genius.


What is your favorite Bible verse or life verse?

2 Corinthians 5:17:  Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.


Where is your favorite vacation spot?

Santa Barbara. My wife and I met there in college and we love to go back!

What are you reading right now?

I read several books at once, but my favorite currently is a little known classic from the 18th century, Samuel Clarke’s “Precious Bible Promises.”


What is your most well-loved and well-used house appliance?

I love our Instapot. I use it weekly to make Greek yogurt and steel cut oats.


Describe your view as you’re sitting in your writing chair.

A large desk with each of the books I’ve written in view, an open window with a glance down the street, and a chocolate Labrador Retriever nestled against my feet.


If you could have one piece of art or music a deserted island, what would it be and why?

Could I say the ceiling of the Sistene Chapel? That way I’d have shelter and an amazing view at the same time!

Thank you Dr. James for letting us get to know you better!

Mindy Houng’s Q&A with Geoffrey Banks

What inspired this book?

A desire to give back and help others. When I look back at my life and everything that is in this book, I had so many people help me along the way. Some of those stories are told in the book and others I may not even remember, but the grace and kindness of so many people have helped me get to where I am today. One of those people I talked to not long ago and asked her how I could repay her for everything she has done for me. She told me to keep helping others. That is what the heart is behind this book: to help people, point them to Jesus, and give them hope.

Which chapter was the most difficult to write?

There is one chapter that I describe the process of using heroin in great detail. That was an especially difficult chapter to write because of what happened during that time in my life, and where I had to go in my head to write it. It was a dark chapter but I felt it was necessary to truly show the depths of addiction and where it takes you. My father and I tried not to pull punches in this book. Most of the people who will read it have probably been to some incredibly difficult, raw, dark places in their life with a prodigal and we wanted to honor that by being honest about what it was like for us.

What is your favorite Bible verse or life verse?

This is a big part in the book so I won’t spoil how I came to them but I have two verses that are incredibly important to me. One is Isaiah 43:2, where God is reminding Israel that no matter what, He is right there. That is a promise that I hold onto, that God is with His people no matter the circumstances. The other is Ephesians 5:1 where Paul is telling the Church in Ephesus what it looks like to follow Jesus and he tells them to imitate God as beloved children. It is a picture of a child looking at their father and wanting to be like him. That is a beautiful way to view our relationship with God.

Where is your favorite vacation spot?

I go to Puerto Rico about once a year (more if I can help it) and do nothing but surf and spend time in the ocean. Some of my best friends live down there and it has become a beautiful escape for me. I love the country, culture, the people, and of course, the waves.

Describe your view as you’re sitting in your writing chair.

It is about 4 pm in the afternoon and the sun is beginning to get low in the sky. It is way too warm for a January day and the light is spilling through my open blinds. My huge labradoodle is poking her head above the window sill so that she can have an unobstructed view of the neighborhood cats. Through the window I can see tree roots breaking through the sidewalk in front of my house and my garbage can is still out front even though the trash came 3 days ago. Don’t tell my HOA.

Thank you Geoffrey for letting us get to know you better!

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, April 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 25

Andrea Christenson, April 26 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, April 27

For Him and My Family, April 28

Genesis 5020, April 29

For the Love of Literature, April 30 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, May 1

A Baker’s Perspective, May 2 (Author Interview)

A Reader’s Brain, May 3

Simple Harvest Reads, May 4 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 5

Through the Fire Blogs, May 6

Artistic Nobody, May 7 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)


To celebrate their tour, James and Geoffrey are giving away the grand prize package of Hope Lies Ahead, Prayers For Prodigals and $10 Amazon Gift Card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


4 thoughts on “Hope Lies Ahead Q&A and Giveaway”

  1. Thank you for sharing your book with us. I always look forward to finding out about another great read.

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