This message is being sent to the Daily Devotional Reader Groups on email, Facebook, and the Oak Hill Baptist Church website.
One of my personal goals for 2018 is to publish my next book. I have already had a meeting with my publisher and we have a tentative agreement in place. However, I have three different manuscripts, each of which is pretty much complete, with the exception of some formatting and editing. Therefore any one of the three could become the next book. My task is now to decide which of the three it will be. I would like to ask for your feedback to help me decide.
Whichever of the three manuscripts becomes the next book, the profits from the book will all go to the Oak Hill Baptist Church Mission Trip Scholarship Fund. This is a fund we maintain at the church to provide financial assistance to our church members who need it, in order to go on international mission trips.
Below I will provide the working title and a brief description of the book. I would like to ask you to vote for the book you would be mostly likely to buy, read, and give as a gift to friends and relatives (especially at Christmastime).
1. “Breakfast with Barnabas: Encouraging Devotionals to Start Your Day” This book was inspired by one of my favorite people in the New Testament, Barnabas “The Son of Encouragement”. This is a compilation of the 12 most popular Daily Devotional themes from the last seven years (as voted for by you).
The book will have 12 chapters. Each chapter will be about a particular theme and will contain 26 daily devotional readings on that theme. It can be used as a One Year Daily Devotional Guide or it can be used for quick reference. If the individual is seeking information or guidance on one of the 12 themes they can turn to that chapter and find 26 passages of scripture and 26 short teachings on that subject.
The downside here is that it is a daily devotional guide, and anyone seeking a daily devotional could simply sign up to receive the ones I write each day. (Unless you want two daily devotionals, one for the morning and one for the evening. Then you could read the new one in the morning and use Breakfast with Barnabas at night. I do this myself. I have the daily devotional I write for publication each morning and then I also have another devotional guide I use at night just before going to bed).
2. Grounded in Grace: Living free in Christ without running amuck.
A life application commentary of the books of Galatians and James. This book will be similar to my second book “Walking with Paul”. It will be a life application commentary which will examine the major themes in Galatians and James and it will offer practical applications for living the Christian life well.
The reason this book will consider both Galatians and James is because Galatians is all about grace and living free in Christ, whereas James is largely about the structure and self-discipline we need in order to live well. On the face of it those two emphasis’ could appear to be contradictory or even counterintuitive. But they’re not. Actually they compliment each other and fit hand-in-glove. We need to fully embrace the grace described in Galatians in order to enjoy our freedom in Christ, but we need the structure and self-discipline taught by James so that we don’t run amuck and slide into what C.S. Lewis once referred to as “cheap grace”.
3. Biblical Sexual Ethics in an Age of Controversy and Conflict: Getting along without going along; loving your neighbor without compromising your principles.
This book first of all establishes God’s ethics for sexual relations as clearly explained in the Bible. It then addresses a wide range of sexual ethics issues in our society today including homosexual behavior, same-sex marriage, transgender issues, sex outside of marriage, polygamy, open marriages, recent court decisions, social and legal issues faced by Christians today, and much more.
The book is based entirely upon what the Bible actually says, and is supplemented by significant social and scientific research. It is written from the perspective that Christians can stand firmly on clear Biblical principles, without apology and without fear, but we can do so without being mean, ugly, or unnecessarily provoking. It is possible to love your neighbor without compromising your principles.
So those are the three choices. Again, please tell me which of the three you would be most likely to buy, read, and give as a gift. Please rank them in order, 1-3.
Also, the titles listed are just the working titles and can still be changed. So if you have a suggestion for a better title by all means please share your suggestions with me.
Thanks in advance for your feedback!