My book Habits for Our Holiness has now been out for a little over two weeks. I appreciate the reception that so many people have given it. It is a exhausting thing to pour your heart and energy into such a project over the course of (in this case) years. It is exhilarating to get it done. It is humbling to see God work through these efforts for His glory and the good of others.
What I know is that writing a book is a solitary endeavor that is held together by others. My only response to such is a heart of gratitutde.
Let me begin where I should… by offering my thanks to the Lord. I am humbled that He has allowed me to take on this work. God has been gracious to me through many hours of planning, writing, and rewriting. It is an honor to take His Word and help others get the sense of how it is applied to their lives. It is a joy to be a servant of the King.
Now, let me thank my sweet wife Angie. She is lovely in every way a person can be lovely. When I need encouragement, she gives it without hesitation. When I need to be spurred along, she does so with grace. As I thought fitting, the book is dedicated to her.
Your capacity for love and hope always amaze me. You have my heart.
Today and always.
I love you.
I pray it reflects some of what we are learning along the journey of our walk together with Jesus in this life.
Angie, I am unashamed to say that you are my favorite person in the world and I love you deeply.
Also, my sons Andrew and Chris deserve my gratitude as well. No longer little boys, these young men have been immensely patient with me during the last few years of work, ministry, traveling, and writing. To Andrew, my prayer for you today is to experience God’s deep joy over you. His love is more immense than you will know in this life but I hope you will carry a sense of its depth with you. To Chris, my prayer for you today is that His grace will characterize you. He is everything you will ever need to define who you are and what you do. My hope is that both of my sons will always walk in the holiness God has already provided through Christ. I love you guys!
A good word is also deserved for my dad, Phil Nation. I am grateful for his unyielding support for the work God has assigned to me along the way. I’m thankful to have an example of a man who loved his wife so well. We both miss her every day but certainly in days like these when she would have smiled bigger and laughed harder than anyone else in the room. Thanks, Dad, for being a close friend and a good man to follow.
It is also a journey that required good friends. I am deeply appreciative to some close friends who encouraged my writing journey. Specifically, I want to mention Trevin Wax, Matt Capps, Marty Duren, Sam O’Neal, Brian Daniel, and Michael DiMarco. Thanks guys for helping along through the publishing process.
Finally, let me thank you, my faithful friends. The personal encouragement that I’ve gained from my friends in Nashville has been crucial to this project. My gratefulness to fellow pastors, friends at work, and the members of The Fellowship cannot be overstated. For those that I’ve met on the road somewhere when I was teaching in a conference or preaching at your church, thanks to you as well. Plus, the support I’ve received from those of you who are my Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Blogosphere friends is quite amazing. It is humbling to be so encouraged by so many people.
My consistent prayer will remain that God will use the spiritual disciplines in your life to deepen your faith and increase your work in God’s mission to make disciples of all nations.