My book How to Grow: Applying the Gospel to All of Life comes out on August 7. But you don’t need to wait until then to get started.
My desire in writing this book was to provide a clear, practical, guilt-free guide on how to take the next step in growth. So many of us feel stuck and don’t know where to start. I want to help people grow, not just for their own sake, but so they can make a difference in the lives of others.
Here’s a sneak peak at the table of contents, and the first chapter. The book is available for preorders at all major booksellers.
Here’s the table of contents:
Here’s the start of chapter one:
Lola was a slave.
She grew up in a poor family in a rural part of the Philippines. She was penniless, unschooled, and gullible. Her parents wanted her to marry a pig farmer twice her age, but she was unhappy at the prospect. When a lieutenant approached her with an offer, she couldn’t resist: she could have food and shelter if she would commit to taking care of his young daughter.
Lola agreed. She had no idea she had signed up to become a slave for life.
Lola lived with that daughter, and eventually her children and grandchildren, for fifty-six years, both in the Philippines and America. She raised children. She cooked and cleaned from dawn to dark. She was tongue-lashed and beaten, wore used clothing, and ate scraps and leftovers by herself in the kitchen. She slept anywhere she could find a spot: on couches, in storage areas, in corners, or on piles of laundry.
As Alex, the son of the family that enslaved Lola, grew up he began to understand that Lola was a slave. As a young adult, he gave her an ATM card linked to his account and taught her how to use it. He tried to teach her how to drive.
Later he invited Lola to live with him and his family. He gave her a bedroom and permission to do whatever she wanted: sleep in, watch TV, or do nothing all day. “She could relax—and be free—for the first time in her life. I should have known it wouldn’t be that simple,” he writes in a recent article for The Atlantic. He sat her down. “This is your house now . . . you’re not here to serve us. You can relax, okay?”
“Okay,” she said. And went back to cleaning. She didn’t know how not to be a slave.
One day he came home and found Lola sitting on the couch with her feet up, doing a word puzzle and watching TV, with a cup of tea beside her. She looked up sheepishly. “Progress,” he thought.
Lola had been a slave for so long that she struggled to embrace freedom when it was offered her. She spent the last years of her life with only a fleeting understanding that she was free and loved.
In a similar way, many of us find it difficult to accept our freedom in Christ. The Bible says that we—all of us—have lived as slaves to sin (John 8:34; Rom. 6:20). We’re so used to it that we struggle to understand that, in Jesus, we’re no longer slaves. We’ll spend the rest of our lives trying to live in light of two truths we find hard to grasp: in Jesus we’re free and we’re loved.