I guess I’ve written, and re-written, this note to you no less than six times in the past few weeks. I have good news to share. A new work to announce. But it hasn’t been the right time to tell you one more thing about me. I’m actually re-writing this note again today, but more at peace with it’s timing and message.
This past year, I’ve written a new Bible Study called REDEEMED. LifeWay will release this new DVD study on August 1st. Several months ago, we all imagined a “marketing campaign” would roll out this summer, promoting the content of the study. We brainstormed many creative ideas to let folks know the study is coming soon.
I’m writing to you this morning after the most recent senseless killing of three Baton Rouge police officers, with three other officers injured. Amid each new report of tragedy in our country, or around the world, I could not find a way to “promote” my work or celebrate it’s release. I couldn’t stomach the thought of tweeting pithy words about myself, or encouraging you to pre-order a book.
Watching the news last night with our family, my daughter voiced the question we’re all asking, “What can we do?” I told her the only thing I knew, “Until God shows us what else to do, we must be diligent to pray. This thing will not change until the souls of men and women are redeemed and then, keep being redeemed by the grace and mercy of God.”
Last night, I felt God release me to tell you about this new study called REDEEMED. Not for the purpose of lifting up my name, or celebrating my accomplishment, but simply because of it’s message. REDEEMED is a study centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. The aims of the study are:
- To teach the Biblical truths of redemption in simple and understandable ways.
- To invite those who are not followers of Jesus to follow Him. To be redeemed.
- To equip followers of Jesus to better understand their faith, so they can share their faith.
- To challenge followers of Jesus to continue being redeemed in their everyday lives, in everyday ways.
- To remind the followers of Jesus of the hope to which they’ve been called. The steadfast love of our Lord never ends.
With this announcement, I also want to honor the very beautiful people who worked diligently so the REDEEMED message could be delivered in the most useful and glorifying ways possible. These people possess hearts so good and so wide that I do not want their diligent and faithful work to be lost in my reluctance to “promote myself” during these turbulent days. They persevere and serve behind the scenes, not to be known, but to make Jesus known and I bless them.
LifeWay Christian Resources in all its departments and capacities. It’s an honor to partner with your people and your mission.
The staff at LifeWay Customer Care. They are right not to call you the sales department because you actually have a phone and email ministry to the people who serve churches and organizations all over this world. Thank you for what you do in the unseen to spread the fame of our Redeemer. A special thank you to Patrick Canfield for all the care you give to this author.
LifeWay Christian Stores. I do not know how many times I have heard the same story from a hurting person: I walked into a LifeWay store not knowing what I needed. The person there listened to my story, guided me to just the right book, prayed with me and encouraged me. Thank you for the tireless ways you serve the Redeemer and His message.
Faith Whatley – Thank you for being the kind of woman who models what it looks like to be filled with the tender love of Christ and lead with purpose from the strength of His wisdom.
Amy Lowe – Thank you for managing a publishing world of messengers and messages with grace and poise, kindness and compassion. Thank you holding up the arms of so many and exalting the name of Jesus. Thank you for holding up mine.
Michelle Hicks – Thank you for being a tireless champion of the work God calls others to do. Your ministry does not measure people by status, only by their heart. You rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep, and your love for me is my blessing.
Rick Simms and my entire LifeWay Production team – Bill Cox, Steve Fralick, James Patterson, Lisa Turner, Greg Smith, Justin Wylie, Mike Breece, and Eugene Whitaker. Thank you for your diligent, creative, prayer-filled work to reach this world with the good news of the Redeemer. I am humbled by your excellence.
Heather Wetherington, Matt Lehman – Thank you for a REDEEMED cover that is both relevant to our message and our culture.
Angela Reed – Thank you for the patient attention you gave to every REDEEMED word and your commitment to the centerpiece of the gospel on each page.
Larissa Roach – Thank you for the creativity and enthusiasm you bring as we invite the whole world, Come and be redeemed!
HomeLife Magazine and David Bennett – Thank you for inviting me to welcome readers to HomeLife and the encouragement you give to families every single day.
Paige Greene – Thank you for inviting this messenger to speak the message of REDEEMED. Even more, thank you for walking alongside me in all these years of being redeemed.
Carol Maxwell, Michelle Parrazzo and Ashley Ethridge – You ministered the grace of God as you cared, laughed, sang, organized and step-by-step, walked me through the details of filming REDEEMED.
This world continues to prove what many of us have already realized for ourselves, we cannot be changed, or forgiven, or transformed by our own strength. Each one of us desperately needs a Savior and Jesus is the answer, Jesus is the way.
I’m humbled to offer this study to you during these days. This is not the way, and these are not the days, I would have chosen. I pray nothing I post, nor any word I write, will fall on your ears as self-promotion. The timing of this feels all wrong, and yet, I now believe the timing is exactly right. We must be redeemed.
And so, I offer this project to you, wrapped in my prayers,
May we all be redeemed by the grace and mercy of Jesus. And then, as the redeemed, may the everyday details of our hearts and lives continue being changed by His grace, for His glory. Father, come redeem our minds, our hearts, our motives, our speech, our dreams, and our actions. Teach us how to truly love as You love, serve as You serve, bless as You bless, see as You see and speak as You speak. Do not let us grow weary in becoming the more true and beautiful image of Your Son. And sweet, blessed Lord, will you begin right here with me? In the name of Jesus, amen.
Humbled by my need. Grateful for God’s grace. I am redeemed. And I am being redeemed.
Angela Thomas Pharr