As I rested early Saturday morning in a strange place, I smiled. I was following instructions of my neurologist and enjoying the moments in a prayer closet: having my MRI. Since I recently had a few problems and was instructed to increase my dosage of anti-epileptic medication, they wanted to check on this brain again and compare results to my last MRI. But while there, thanking God for His many blessings and knowing He was with me in that moment, I smiled.
My last MRI was in Orlando before we moved to GA, so my Atlanta neurologist in Atlanta required me to have a new MRI and EEG. He wants to compare the images and have a better idea of how my brain is doing. We could all offer jokes about how this “brain is doing,” but let’s save those for another time
We will know results soon but today I continue smiling as I write you this letter. I’m thankful that I’m doing so much better than doctors ever thought I would do.
Please pray that the news will be good, that the brain has no new damage, that I adjust to the additional medication, and that I am not having seizures. Also, please continue praying for our family: Debbie as she teaches fourth grade, Taylor & Brittany & the kids in Denver, Aaron & Amber & our new grandson in Senegal (we had hoped to fly there for Christmas but it looks like they will be coming here!), Graham & Ginni as they plan for a wedding this summer, our school year at Emmanuel College, and me as I speak eight times during the next week.
I also request your prayer as we near the release date of my new book, Pause with Jesus: Encountering His Story in Everyday Life. This is my seventh book and the fourth in the “pause” series. The 30 chapters guide us through many of the biblical narratives in the gospels, while helping us think of what those stories mean in our personal lives.
The price of each book will be $20, but several people are already planning to purchase in bulk. You can buy five copies from me for $80, and use them as devotional books for your friends’ Christmas gifts. Some churches and schools and ministries are purchasing in large numbers as gifts for their members, students, and supporters. Talk to me or my publisher if you want to purchase in bulk of 100 or 1,000 or 10,000 books.
Pause with Jesus offers a nice reading for the Liturgical calendar (the chapters would fit well from Advent through Christmas & Easter, and end at Pentecost), personal and group spiritual formation, and conversations with friends about what it means to “walk with Christ.” If you are interested in imagining yourself in the gospel stories, thinking of what Jesus might say to you on a day like today, praying more, listening better, and loving deeper, purchase a pre-order of Pause with Jesus. Buying five ($80) or ten ($150) would provide nice gifts for people while guiding them toward Christ.
You can begin pre-orders now. Write me a note and tell me your plans. You can send a check to Chris Maxwell (15 Meadow Drive, Royston GA, 30662). I will autograph and mail your books to you after the release (November 1). Purchasing in bulk for your church to use as a devotional reading would be a great way to end this year and begin 2016.
We are also working on my speaking schedule for 2016. Contact me if you want me to speak in your church, small group, leadership team, hospital, school, conference, or whatever you lead.
Thanks again for your friendship and your prayers. As we all Pause with Jesus, I pray He will guide our life stories into a new chapter of joy and peace.
Sometimes we’re so busy serving Jesus that we fail to enjoy him. Or so preoccupied with the ministry of the Word, that we forget to commune with the Word made Flesh. Pause with Jesus rescues us from this cruel irony. With sparse, elegant prose, Chris Maxwell gives fresh glimpses of our Lord from the pages of Scripture. Maxwell’s insights and images will encourage you to slow down and enjoy Jesus again—and then serve him out of love and wonder, not duty and shame.
— Drew Dyck
Managing Editor of Leadership Journal
Author of Yawning at Tigers
Pause with Jesus is an excellent addition to Chris Maxwell’s series of “Pause” books. Thirty bite-sized chapters of just a few pages each invite readers to pause and meet Jesus—in poetry and prose, in Scripture, with questions, personal reflection, and practical responses. This is a great resource for individuals and groups to explore and deepen their relationship with Jesus. Thank you, Chris, for your words of blessing, encouragement, and inspiration.
— April Yamasaki
Lead Pastor, Emmanuel Mennonite Church, Abbotsford, BC, Canada
Author of Sacred Pauses: Spiritual Practices for Personal Renewal
Chris Maxell is a storyteller with the eyes of a poet and a pastor with the heart of a mystic. In this fourth installment of the “Pause” series, Chris chooses 30 scenes from the life of Christ and then invites you to hit pause and step into each story. Then he invites you to take the time to read, reflect, receive and respond, before you step back with Jesus into your life.
— Gary W. Moon, MDiv, PhD
Executive Director Martin Institute and Dallas Willard Center, Westmont College,
Author of Apprenticeship with Jesus