Signed copies of Heart Journey and Sacred Heart Attack available for purchase

While I’m working on a process for online ordering for signed copies of my two books, you can email me to order a signed copy.



A softcover version of Sacred Heart Attack signed by the author and mailed to you in the USA is $14.00 per copy. The hardcover version with dustcover and autographed by the author, mailed via USPS to you in the USA is $28.00. Email me at jimmy(at) for ordering information.



The prices are slightly higher for Heart Journey as the mailing costs are higher because the book is larger and heavier. So, the softcover is $15.00 and includes personalized signing by the author and mailed to you via USPS in the USA. The hardcover is $29.00 and is also signed and shipped via USPS. The hardcover is a glossy full-color finished book with no dustcover. This was designed as a devotional book you can write your own reflections in for future use. Again, just email me at jimmy(at) to learn how you can purchase your signed copy.

Of course, you can always order both books in multiple formats, including ebooks, from or or or your favorite book selling website.

Be inspired and share your story!

Q. & A. with Heart Attack Survivor & Author – October 24th!


Q. & A. with Heart Attack Survivor, Author of

Sacred Heart Attack and Intown Community Church Elder – Jimmy Locklear

Book signing and short workshop on the value of writing your story for healing and wholeness. And what’s the value of journaling? Also, an introduction to Jimmy’s latest book Heart Journey: Following Jesus to the Heart of God, including 30 studies in the Gospel of St. Matthew. An intro journal will be given to everyone who purchases a book. $1 for each book purchased that night donated to Intown’s Deacon Fund.  (Price of books $11.95 each)   Event: Thursday Oct. 24 7:00–8:30 PM

Intown Community Church • 2059 Lavista Road • Atlanta, GA 30329 [Room 302/304]

Kickstarter Backers Helped Publish “Sacred Heart Attack”

When my new book Sacred Heart Attack | Sacrée Crise Cardiaque rolled off the presses last month much of the cost was underwritten by 47 friends and family who backed the project via Kickstarter. The use of “crowdfunding” has become an important slice of the financing pie to launch all kinds of creative and innovative projects from books to fashion lines to recycling initiatives. And I decided to use has an objective third-party to facilitate the helping hand that several friends had wanted to offer. It worked out great! Currently, 42% of Kickstarter projects are successfully 100% funded. If a project doesn’t meet its goal then pledges are cancelled. Our project received 107% funding.

Most backers received a “reward” for their support and that was usually a signed copy or two of the finished book. Some received ebooks and others only wanted to make a donation.

It was a great experience for me to learn about running a campaign and being consistent in a 30-day effort. So, it was a win-win!

I’d also like to thank all of my backers by listing their names here:

Jenny Locklear

Jameson & Bethany Locklear

Craig Perry

Danielle Georgiou & Justin Locklear

Joe & Kristine Hope

David & Mary Harris

Howard Huddleston

Collin Setterberg

William T. Locklear

Frank Gross

Jim Skesavage

Clell Deaver

Bill & Bernie Locklear

Jody Locklear

Bobby Gross

Teresa Ariail Willis

Michael Lee

Debbie & Ben Buchanan

Tom & Gail Buchanan

Patrick Freeman

Lance Lipman

Carolyn Hansen

Jennifer & Ryan Haeseler

Bill & Terri Reid

Gwen JeSchonek

Diane Hunter

Carol Shunnarah

John Arnold

Chuck Vogt

Jeanie Arnold

Tamara McElhannon

Rebecca McKnight

Michael Roche

Judy Miller

Laura Wells

Bill Christian

Elaine Hansen

Alice Scott

Lou Locklear

Jed Locklear

Josh Jackson

Dennis Cox

Courtney Micksch

Joe Kirk

Paulo Barrera

Samantha Rodriquez

Jae Robbins

Derek Owens

You will forever be in my heart.


Sacred Heart Attack available through online booksellers

SKU-000658085_COVEROn July 25th, I received the first soft cover copy of Sacred Heart Attack! This is the printer’s proof to make sure that all the pages are straight and the colors are correct. And it looked and felt great! I let the printer know on Friday that it had my approval and requested additional copies. The hard cover version takes a few more days to set up, print and bind and I’m still waiting for the first copy. I expect it by the end of the week.–sacre-crise-cardiaque.aspx

You may have seen our book on the Amazon, WestBow or Barnes & Noble websites for a couple of weeks. Apparently this is commonplace to post the book before actual copies are available. And today, I noticed that Amazon had added the Kindle version is available. I quickly downloaded it to see how it looked. Awesome! Those of you who requested the ebook premium for your pledge of support, I hope to be able to send you the info on your free download shortly, too.

So, we’re just waiting for delivering of everything and then I’ll be signing and delivering to you in person or via mail ASAP.

As I’ve mentioned before, one of my hopes is that my story will inspire others to share their stories and experience freedom, healing, creative empowerment or some other food for their souls. I’m hoping to take this idea a step further and use some other resources like Dan Allender’s “To Be Told” in a workshop, seminar and small group setting to encourage a process of writing your story so that you can be guided by it in the future.

Just wanted to let you know how the publishing process was progressing. It’s moved a bit faster than I had expected, so, we should have books to you by the end of August. Which is earlier than my promised September timeframe.

I’ll leave you with a couple of lines from Chapter 4 to show how sharing our stories can bring healing: “I suppose it was no surprise that everyone was shocked by the news. Since I was hundreds of miles away, we (Jenny and I) had made the decision to temporarily underplay the severity of the heart attack by not going into a lot of detail. And since I was sounding pretty good on the phone—I guess I still had some adrenaline in my system—it was easy to pull off. But from time to time, the medical staff and Curt would remind me of the reality and gravity of my situation to keep my feet on the ground.”

Talk to you soon,


Chapter 13: To Discharge or Not to Discharge?

The discharge instructions and discussions were pretty straightforward. A pharmacist from the hospital and a student pharmacist who had been part of the resident doctors group that had followed my case came by to give me a prescription list. Included on the list were the medicines I had taken while in the hospital and which ones I would now be continuing or ceasing to take after my release.

At some point, a nurse stopped in and removed all the remaining I-V cannulas from my arms and hands; and the heart monitoring contacts or leads from my stomach, chest and shoulders. That felt good.

Dr. Lalonde came by to see how I had done over the weekend. He listened to my heart and lungs and they sounded good. Although my “numbers” looked good, he was concerned that I didn’t seem to be feeling well. First, I thought, “Wow, this guy is pretty perceptive and a damn good doctor.” Next I started worrying that he wasn’t going to let me go home tomorrow.

As we talked, I agreed that I wasn’t feeling as good as I had been on Friday and Saturday, but it was primarily due to my not having a good night’s sleep since leaving my CCU bed late Saturday evening. I told him I was feeling a bit tired and anxious, but that I expected to get a good night’s sleep tonight at the hotel and be ready to fly home the next day. Dr. Lalonde agreed that the hospital is not the best place to convalesce.

So, somewhat reluctantly, Lalonde wrote the letter giving me permission to fly to Atlanta on Tuesday. Jenny and I assured him that we would not do something carelessly and we would change our plans if I didn’t feel well. Little did I know that those promises would be called into question several times during the next 16 hours.

The hospital provided quite a cache of records and documents. So, after gathering up the official envelopes, DVDs, and permission letter, we pretty unceremoniously packed up and walked out. We said good-bye and thank you to anyone who made eye contact. There was no wheelchair and no escort!

So, here was Jenny, Jameson, Gus and I, and our first task was making the long walk to the entrance/exit of the hospital. Even though folks had told me, I had no idea what a huge operation this hospital was. There were steady streams of people entering and exiting the facility.


Chapter 11: Cardiac Choices & Perspectives

In my new room, there was a Greek-born gentleman who had lived most of his life in North Montreal. He speaks three languages and was very helpful and friendly to me. He was in the hospital to get a new defibrillator put into his chest. He had suffered a heart attack about eight years ago. He said that it was a Friday evening and he wasn’t feeling well, so, he told the staff at one of the restaurants that he owned that he was going home early. He drove himself home took a shower, which he said “you’re not suppose to do,” and told his wife he thought he might be having a heart attack. She drove him to Sacred Heart Hospital and shortly he had open-heart surgery. He and his wife raved about this hospital and the great medical staff here. And they were generous in offering to help me in any way.

A pragmatic man, my new friend said that he had been offered an opportunity to be put on the list for a transplant, but he turned it down. To him, it seemed too risky and painful a process to go through. He said that heart-transplant patients are miserable for a year with lots of pain and discomfort just to add a couple of years to your life. He wasn’t interested. Now, he was quick to add that his wife and daughter had shared a different perspective, but so far he had won the argument. He is 68 and a successful restaurateur. He said that his family would be fine.

As you might imagine, his perspective raised some questions in my mind. I could see where he was coming from. On more than one occasion, I had been critical of terminally ill patients who had spend more money than their families would ever have to extend life for a short amount of time. It seemed to me to be a selfish attitude on the patient’s part or a fear-based or guilt-based posture for the family to take.

On Monday morning, he and I were talking and I asked him if he believed in heaven. With no hesitation he said, “No.” He thought that once you died that was it. There was a big nothing at that point. He was content that he had lived a full, good life and taken care of his children and grandchildren.

He subsequently “went off” for some time on the political nature of the Pope and the Apostle Paul. He said that Paul was a big time opportunist who saw an opening for political gain and went for it. The fact that much of the New Testament was written by a guy who was late to the party seemed very suspicious to him.

Our own intelligence, reasoning and beliefs about what God should be like often form a barrier to true faith. We are often looking at ways to prove ourselves smarter than God.

I hadn’t slept well the night before or the night before that. In fact, I was beginning to be anxious about leaving the hospital for my recuperation period. Along with the discomfort of changing beds and rooms and the increased noise of not being in a private CCU room, my slower breathing and heart rate created some anxiety and I felt like I was going to stop breathing if I went to sleep. That’ll definitely keep you awake! It would later become apparent that I still had some fluid in my lungs that was hindering my breathing.

Chapter 9: Moving Day

Saturday is “Moving Day” in the context of professional golf’s typical four-day tournament, Thursday and Friday are used to whittle down the field of players to the final 40 or so who will play the two weekend rounds. Everyone who fails to make the cut goes home. Saturday is called “Moving Day” because it is the day when competitors try to set themselves us for the final push on Sunday.

There are a couple of similarities for me on this Saturday. Moving out of CCU is very likely according to the nurses and doctors I had seen so far. And moving to a semi-private room means I was one step closer to being discharged and one step closer to returning home to Atlanta. The implications of changing rooms and eventually being discharged were the dominant themes for the day. It must be similar to the golfer fielding questions about where he needs to be on Sunday in order to have a chance to win the tournament. But he hasn’t even played the 18 holes scheduled for today! One thing at a time, please.

Curt was trying to get a new plane reservation to fly to Atlanta on Saturday evening or Sunday, but there were long wait times on the phone. Eventually, he took a taxi to the airport and made a reservation for Sunday at 1:00 PM. Curt had been a great support and friend to me when I really needed him to help me. I thanked him for everything as he left my room that afternoon.

I had changed the station on the radio that Lind had secured for me. All day Saturday there was classical music filling the background in my room. The music reminded me of beauty being born of suffering as I recalled the struggles that had filled the lives of many composers. Perhaps beauty could come from my pain.

I had received an email message from my friend and fellow elder Brian Terrell saying that he was going to be making an announcement during the worship service on Sunday morning at our church. He had expressed his shock and disbelief upon receiving my email on the 10th that I had sent to elders and pastors at my church. Later in the day I sent an email with the following prayer requests:

  1. Thankful for wonderful care at hospital in Montreal
  2. Safe travel for Jenny & Jameson to Montreal on Sunday
  3. Good discharge from hospital on Monday
  4. Smooth flight home on Tuesday.

It all seemed so simple.

Again, I was told in the afternoon that I would probably have to leave my CCU room and move to the Cardiology section that was two floors up later that day. I would likely go to a semi-private room with one other patient. The hospital was experiencing high emergency demand with a flu epidemic and the usual influx of sick people on the weekend.

Rev. Terry Gyger was an old friend of mine who had spent many years helping folks plant new churches in major cities around the world. Terry had recently “retired” from a position as president of Redeemer City To City based in New York. He and his wife Dorothy had been using Atlanta as home base and now Terry would be working from there as well. He was helping my church in our transitions and we had just made the decision to hire him as our Interim Senior Pastor prior to my trip to Montreal. Thus, he was on my distribution when I emailed the Intown folks about my heart attack. Terry contacted a pastor friend of his who lived in Montreal to let him know of my situation. Consequently, I received a call that morning from Rev. Jean Zoellner who was traveling back to Montreal from Ottawa and wanted to come see me this evening. I was delighted to hear from him and looked forward to his visit. He came by after dinner and we had a refreshing and encouraging time. He lived in a South Montreal neighborhood with a L’Arche community. The L’Arche folks had converted a church into a day program center and the rectory was now the L’Arche residential house.

Since I now had my suitcase, backpack and a plastic bag of clothes (think large bag including boots and a winter coat – Montreal in January, remember!) that I had worn to the ER, moving me to another unit would not be a simple feat. However, around 10:00 PM, the nurse told me to go to sleep because they had not heard anything. After expecting to move all day, I was wondering what was going to happen. She said, “We’re keeping you here as long as we can because we know we are better when you are here.”

I was so struck by her comment that I immediately entered it into the notepad in my iPhone. I was not sure exactly what she meant, but I liked the sentiment.

Finally, at 11:40 PM, a couple of nurses and an orderly came in and said that it was time to move.

We gathered all my stuff, decided to toss my 3 different oxygen masks, and I sat in a mega wheeled chair and we were off. It reminded me of a Jeff Foxworthy story about his family going to Hawaii. I think he called it, “The Clampetts Go On Vacation.” When the elevator door opened to the 4th Floor I thought I had crossed into the tropics. The air was thick and hot. Where was I? There were even beds in the hallway and it was dark and seemed foggy, though I expect that was my brain having been awakened during my first rim cycle of sleep.

Soon, we reached my new room. It was smaller and there was sleeping person on the other side of the curtain. I got into a harder, flatter bed. It was nosier with new nurses who insisted on checking my vital signs and connecting me to an older, heavier transmitter for monitoring my heart activity. Unfortunately, I was not able to get much sleep that night.

Moving Day was finally over. It had been a really terrific day, but the ending minutes gave me even greater desire for Home.



Sacred Heart Attack – Chapter 4: Everyone is Shocked

We pick up my journal on Thursday afternoon, the day after my heart attack. The ripple of communication about my Montreal surprise is just beginning to widen.

“I didn’t have much of an appetite and hadn’t eaten since breakfast on Wednesday. For lunch, I ate some fruit, a small salad and a cracker. I couldn’t eat the spaghetti, although it looked good.

Curt was finally able to reach Jenny by phone after school on Thursday. She quickly called me back on the hospital phone in my room. We talked for several minutes and were both in shock. And we were both encouraged that my voice sounded strong and healthy. Pretty normal. I told her what had happened and we talked about how we would tell the boys and my siblings. She would call the boys and our daughter-in-law and invite them to call me. I would send an email to my two brothers and sister. I also sent an email to the elders and pastors at my church and a few other friends.

I suppose it was no surprise that everyone was shocked by the news. Since I was hundreds of miles away, we had made the decision to underplay the significance or the severity of the heart attack for a few days by not going into a lot of detail. And since I was sounding pretty good on the phone – I guess I still had some adrenaline in my system – it was easy to pull off. But, the medical staff and Curt would remind me of the reality of my situation from time to time to keep my feet on the ground. I could not deny the reality that my heart had been weakened and damaged. I didn’t know what that would mean, but I knew that things were going to be different.

I was taking a large potassium pill and a water pill due to some extra fluid that was still in my lungs. Early on, I would simply take whatever pill the nurse was offering me. I was trusting that all of the bases were being covered. I had a bit of a fever, too, and the Tylenol seemed to take care of that. That was my only option for fever or pain.

Curt was interested in talking about when Jenny would be flying to Montreal. I was more concerned with protecting her during her busy season at school and not wanting to make plans until we knew my status and how long I might be staying in the hospital. There was a thought floating around that I might have to stay in Montreal for two weeks before flying home. Making international travel plans required a bit more planning than we had data for at that point.

At some point Thursday evening, I talked to our oldest son Jameson. He was totally shocked, as was his wife Bethany who was listening in the background when Jenny had called Jameson. Bethany said that she knew they couldn’t be talking about me and must be talking about someone else who had heart problems. It was good to talk with them. It was Friday when I talked with Justin, our middle son, who had been called by Jenny the night before during rehearsals of a new show that was about to open. Justin said that he had been too emotionally spent from his day and my news to call on Thursday. I know the feeling. Jed would call later in the weekend and in his unique style started off by saying something to the effect of, “So, you had a little surprise up there in Montreal.”

As messages began to come back from friends and family, it is restorative and nourishing one’s soul to hear folks say that they are glad and thankful that you are alive. And for them to be thanking God that you are alive.

For a couple of years, I have been using a birthday greeting that I learned from Henri Nouwen. It is in his “daybook” called “Bread for the Journey” on the reading for February 13. Here it is:

 Celebrating Being Alive

Birthdays are so important. On our birthdays we celebrate being alive. On our birthdays people can say to us, “Thank you for being!” Birthday presents are signs of our families’ and friends’ joy that we are part of their lives. Little children often look forward to their birthdays for months. Their birthdays are their big days, when they are the center of attention and all their friends come to celebrate.

We should never forget our birthdays or the birthdays of those who are close to us. Birthdays keep us childlike. They remind us that what is important is not what we do or accomplish, not what we have or who we know, but that we are, here and now. On birthdays let us be grateful for the gift of life.’

It is a powerful and profound message that truly says what we feel, but are often afraid to say. Coming near to death gives us an invitation to express how we really feel about someone. A birthday can do that as well.

Curt, also, shared with me that night some of his and Nathan’s conversation from Wednesday evening while I was in surgery. They discussed ways that this heart attack might change my life and how things would be different. They observed that I was a good man and that I really “got” the mission and vision of L’Arche. Good words to hear.

I slept well that night.”