Pause With Jesus: Encountering His Story in Everyday Life

 
9781943852062: Pause With Jesus: Encountering His Story in Everyday Life

Think of reading the biblical stories of Jesus as a written travelogue. Each verse, story, chapter, account stands alone as an example of the exquisite life of Christ as each snapshot from a vacation individually reflects a unique experience of life. Unless surveyed as a whole, the completeness escapes and leaves us grasping mere fragments. The totality of a vacation, missed when viewing individual photos, can be seen by observing the album containing all the pictures, or a video showing the story in motion. Places and people. Good days and bad. Events comprising the entire trip come into focus, accurately portraying a journey that would appear out of balance when only certain pictures were noticed. This biblical travelogue presents description, like snapshots of a historical person. Knitted together, stories from Christ's life bring into focus a true and astounding picture. More than a portrait of a movement, it is representation of the Man Himself. A Man who loved all the characters of the drama. The lonely? He loved them. The misfits? He loved them. The legalistic, religious, gotta-do-it-our-way-or-we-will-kill-you folks? He loved them. Demonstrations of that love differ with each scene, but uniqueness merges with unity; the same pure, profound love shines in every sighting. What I've offered here is an awareness, a glimpse, of what the Gospel writers were telling us. And what life seems to be revealing. These stories have caused me to see Jesus in fresh ways. I am more aware than ever of both my imperfections and His love for me in spite of my frailty. Watching Him with sinners in Matthew's house, seeing Him gaze at the impish Zaccheus while certainly grinning, hearing His powerful words stifle the storm: such scenes moved me despite my familiarity with them. Moments of study offered me the impossible task of laying aside my preconceptions long enough to live through the events unfettered by prematurely drawn conclusions. Along the way, I met Jesus. Again. And He is very real, very alive. And He seems to think we are all important. May we refuse to think lightly of Jesus. May we refrain from closeness to Him that merely leaves us callous to His majesty. May we refuse to be ordinary. May we not work so hard to rise above others. May we pause. May we pause with Jesus.

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About the Author:

Chris Maxwell joined Emmanuel College as Director of Spiritual Life and Campus Pastor after pastoring in Orlando for 19 years. Chris speaks around the world in churches, retreat centers, conferences, and medical conventions. Pause With Jesus is Chris's seventh book and fourth in the Pause series. In his career Chris has written thousands of articles, reviews, curriculum, poetry, songs, commercials and speeches for various magazines, publishing companies, websites, and newspapers, including, Leadership Journal, God's Word for Today, Ministry Today, The Orlando Sentinel, Charisma, Enrichment, LIVE, Lift, The Sonshine Bulletin and others. He has also served as contributor, editor or ghostwriter for over twenty books.

Review:

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 Maxwell 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

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