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Announcing My New Book!

My new book, Working in Us What Is Pleasing to Him, is released today! See below how you can purchase copies for yourself, family and friends.

Here is my heart in writing this book. Virtually every time I sat down to write, I thought about how we as believers try so hard to change ourselves in our own strength, grit and determination, as though we can become more Christlike through mere behavior modification. We come up empty-handed every time, because it is God who transforms us from the inside out. Our role is to cooperate with Him and to follow the Spirit’s lead in our daily life. This book comes alongside believers in a relatable way to show how God “works in us what is pleasing to Him.” Read the back cover for more!

Like my first book, Christ in Me, this new release is well suited for personal reflection, and its structure makes it an ideal resource for small group discussion.

If this theme resonates with you personally, if you know family and friends who are trying to change in themselves what only God can change, or if your small group is looking for a helpful growth resource, please help spread the word that God is Working in Us What is Pleasing to Him. You may obtain a paperback copy through Amazon, directly from my publisher Xulon Press, or through my website. The $14.99 price is the same through each. The Kindle version is available through Amazon for $7.99; the Apple iBook version is available through Apple’s app store for the same price.

Blessings!
Paul

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The Winner Is

As I write, the 2020 presidential election has been “over” for several days—sort of. Counting starts and stops; ballots appear and disappear; allegations summon judicial review. How ironic, then, that Americans who have been increasingly divided from a political perspective now find ourselves in the same position—suspicious, restless, hopeful, doubtful, and seemingly powerless. Moreover, the agita we share for this brief moment is not over some minor issue, but the critical matters of who will lead us forward and in what direction.

Then imagine being one of Jesus’ disciples during the empty three-day expanse between crucifixion and resurrection. He who you thought to be your Messiah is gone from your midst, and you have no idea where to go, what to do, or even how to survive in your leaderless world. Those of you who remain are gathered together “with the doors locked for fear”1 of the persecution that surely awaits. Even when several women come with news of your leaders’ empty tomb and an angelic encounter there, the report seems “like nonsense”2 in your state of despair. But then what was it the angels said to the women? “He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you . . .”3 It is enough to stir hope in at least one of you—Peter ran to the tomb and found it indeed to be empty, but “went away, wondering to himself what had happened.”4 Being without Jesus is not what you wanted, and resurrection is still a mystery. But these three days of not knowing are something you’ve endured together, a shared experience that ultimately strengthens bonds and builds faith.

As our election results solidify, some of us will go forward in joyful celebration, and others of us in utter devastation. Yet we must remain united in this: We look to the risen Messiah in a Kingdom not of this world. If our political candidate lost, it still remains true: “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.”5 And if our favorite candidate won, we must all the more look to Him who is our rightful King, for even those who espouse our views are deeply flawed people. Instead, may this be our hope: “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”6 God is sovereign. Christ is Lord. He lives in us. We have won.

Father, You reign over all, and our hope is in You. Send Your Spirit, that we would fix our eyes on You and follow as You lead us today. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

1 John 20:19
2 Luke 24:11
3 Luke 24:6
4 Luke 24:12
5 Proverbs 21:1 ESV
6 Psalm 121:1-2 ESV

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Announcing My New Book

To my readers:

I am very excited to announce to you the November 16, 2020, release date of my new book, Working in Us What Is Pleasing to Him.

The title is based on Hebrews 13:20-21, and as it suggests, this book is about ways in which the Holy Spirit changes us over time to be more and more like Jesus. God meets us where we are, but He doesn’t leave us that way—He continuously molds us into something glorious, something “pleasing to Him.”

Through 48 short, relatable teaching-reflections, we will visit 12 Biblical figures — people just like us — and see God at work in each one of them. We will find our life reflected in their stories, for our predecessors’ past illumines our path. Like Christ in Me, my new book is a great resource for personal quiet time, yet its structure is also very well suited for small group discussion.

Beginning November 16, Working in Us What Is Pleasing to Him will be available from Amazon and from my website as well. If you prefer, you will be able to purchase it as an eBook from Amazon or as an Apple iBook. (Electronic versions will probably be available before November 16.)

Thank you not only for being my readers, but for encouraging me along the way as well. Enjoy!