Christian

I need your help

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Most of you know I recently published and released a new book, “Gazing At Grace.” The book is a collection of six sermons that were written in order to give folks, both Christian and Non-Christian a clearer picture of who Jesus is. So far the book has done “ok” on Amazon, but my real desire is to get this book in the hands of as many people as possible…This is where you guys come in.

First, I feel like I need to say this. This isn’t about money…I make very little from the sales of my books. In fact I think I’m yet to actually turn any profit at all…That’s okay, I don’t write for money. Also, this isn’t about getting famous. I have no illusions that I will ever be a famous writer.

What this IS about is telling as many people as possible about who Jesus is, and to bring him glory. Can my writing do this better than someone else’s? I won’t say that, but I do believe I bring a bit of a different perspective to things that others might not have. Unlike many people, I did not grow up in church. I became a Christian much later in life. I’ve experienced the world, and all of it’s attempts to draw us away from God. I lived my life chasing after sin and the pleasures of this world for many years. I stand before you all as one amazed by God and his amazing grace, and his willingness to save a sinner as wretched as myself. This awe is renewed daily, as I continue to see the areas in which I still fall short.

So you may ask, “Where do we come in?”

Well, obviously the first thing you can do is buy the book. Starting tomorrow I will be making the kindle version of the book just $1 for the next two weeks. Yep, just $1. If you have had any thoughts at all about buying the book, I ask you to do it in the next few days. Having several people purchase the book in a shorter period of time will help the sales rankings on Amazon, which will in turn get the book seen by more people. This exposure for a self published author is priceless. You spending $1 to help get the book seen will help more than you know. If you choose, you can also purchase the book on Amazon in paperback for $6.95. If you don’t have Amazon or Kindle, contact me and I’ll make sure you can get a copy.

Secondly, share links to the book. Even if you haven’t read it yet, you can still share the link. Simply informing folks the book is out and peaking their curiosity is huge. Those who have read this blog or read my status updates or followed me on social media have a good idea of what the book is about. I’ve even posted several excerpts from the book already. Also, if you’ve purchased the paperback version of the book, or received one as a gift, post your pictures on social media. This too helps to create buzz.

Thirdly, if you have read the book. Please, write a short review on Amazon. If you have a blog, please write a review on your blog. (This goes for any of my titles) There are few better ways to get the word out about your book than honest reviews. If you do have a blog and would like to write a review, let me know and I’ll get you a PDF copy of the book for free.

Lastly, if you have a local independent bookstore or Christian bookstore in your area, ask for the book. (Again this is true for all of my titles) This is true especially locally here in Wilmington, NC where I know most of my readers are. Bookstores are also more apt to stock books and host book signings by local authors.

So, I ask you all, if you’re able please go out and buy the book. Take a few moments and help me get the word out. As a self published author I don’t have a large entity with lots of funds to support me and to publicize my work. I have myself, and my readers. Apart from friends and family and those of you who read my work on a regular basis, I have no other means of advertising.

I thank you all for your encouragement, prayers, and whatever assistance you can lend in this endeavor. May you all be richly blessed.

To order, or to learn more about the book, click here.

Restless In The Home: Finding Our Rest In Christ Alone

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Hi guys, I know it’s been a while. Just letting you all know I’ve recently published a short Bible study. It is designed for personal, family, or church use. Here is a little bit about it, followed by a link to the kindle version. When the link to the paperback is ready I will post that as well.

“In the daily struggle to honor God and to love those closest to us, many have grown weary. We are restless. From where will our rest come? Join Chris Canuel in this short bible study exploring the causes of restlessness in our family lives. After discussing the causes of this restlessness that so many of us feel, Chris will then point us to Christ and the glorious rest that only He can offer.

This short booklet can be used by individuals for personal study, or is ideal for Sunday School classes or small group studies.

Purchase now for just $1.99!

Beginning of December

Everyday a new day,
a reminder of resurrection.
Everyday a new day,
a chance to start again.
God’s love is in the sunrise,
he whispers in the breeze.
A gentle word of affirmation,
with you he is well pleased.
Yesterday is no more,
don’t forget to remember,
November is only the beginning of December.
Sin is gone, east from the west.
He loves the poor in spirit.
Damn, I must be blessed…

The art of self deception

From the journal:

Thinking a lot lately about how easy it is to deceive ourselves.

I normally fancy myself that I am a pretty good guy.
I think I’m a good husband, and pretty good looking too.
I’m a better Christian than most people, and I’m not bald.

I continue to think these things despite the fact that there is so much evidence to the contrary.

I’ve lost some weight, so now I’m skinny.
I’m a GREAT father.

I really do think these things most days…but then when I get honest with myself, if honesty with oneself is even possible…it seems more and more likely that I am a liar.

But, why is it so easy to lie to ourselves? Shouldn’t we be able to see through our own lies? Shouldn’t we know ourselves pretty well?

I suppose Jeremiah hit the nail on the head when he said, “The heart is deceitful above all things.”

I am a deceiver. Every day I deceive myself, I deceive others….I think I even try to deceive God. I know in the end though, this won’t work out very well.

Don’t miss the point…

I was part of a discussion recently in which we were speaking of baptism. When you get a group of baptists together and start talking baptism, the conversation always seems to get to Romans 6, in particular verses 3-5:

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.”

My dear baptist brethren(it’s okay if I pick on them, I am one) love to take these verses and start proof texting believer’s baptism by immersion. Not only that, as we continued, and I think many people make this mistake, as we went on through verse 11, it seemed that what we we’re being told is that the resurrection that Paul is talking about is our resurrection from the dead at the end of the age, or our “going to heaven”.

In my estimation, this is a horrible, and dangerous misunderstanding of the text. While I believe that we do see an apt description of what baptism is, and an illustration of how it was and should be done, I don’t believe that is the point Paul was here trying to make. Paul’s main point here, and throughout Romans 6, is the “newness of life”(v.4) we have in Christ. Yes we do hope in the resurrection, and we do have that hope because as Christ was raised from the dead, we too can look forward to the day when we too will rise. (1 Cor. 15:20-23) The “newness of life” Paul is talking about here though, is now. Paul is here, and throughout Romans 6 talking about the “new birth” Jesus refers to in John 3. Paul himself also refers to this in 1 Corinthians 5:14-17:

“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

You see my friends? Our newness of life starts at the new birth. When Christ saved(saves) us, we are new creations then and there. If we’re all sitting around, waiting for Christ to come back, or for the rapture, or whatever your eschatology leads you to believe, then you are missing it. Right now you are a new creation. You have already died with Christ. The death Paul speaks of isn’t our physical death at the end of our lives, he is speaking in Romans 6 of our deaths to ourselves. He is speaking of our being “dead to sin” and “alive to God”(v.11)

Context is so important. Before telling others what a passage is talking about…Read the entire passage, read the chapter, read the book, cross-reference, but don’t miss the point. This is such a crucial passage in the book of Romans, if you miss this point, you miss so much, maybe even the entire point of the book. I believe Romans is really Paul’s understanding of the Gospel, and how that works itself out in our lives. If you think the Bible, and the Gospel is all about some future time when we are going to leave earth and go to heaven…You are missing out, you are missing the point.

The Gospel is now. You must live the Gospel in your life. You must not only know the Gospel, you must “BE” the Gospel. Allow the “newness” of life that Christ has already given you to overwhelm you. That is what Romans 6 is saying…Please don’t miss the point.

There is no escape…

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
(Psalm 139:7-12 ESV)

As I was meditating on Psalm 139, these verses struck me. As a child of God, it ought to be such a joy and a comfort to know that there is no place we can go that is away from the presence of God. I think generally we all know this in principle, or have a general head knowledge that this is true, yet I don’t know that we live as if it is. If we do get it, I don’t know that we actually take joy in it. I think there are times where we wish we could escape the presence of an all knowing God.(yes that sentence is a bit ridiculous, but aren’t we ridiculous sometimes in our walk with God?)

Many times I think we want to “make our bed in Sheol”. Even if it isn’t a conscious decision on our part to do that, that is precisely where we’ve ended up! The great thing though, is that even in that place, God is there. Many times in our walks with God, we’ve tried to flee as far away from God as we could. God would not allow that to happen. Many times we try to hide in the darkness, so that others cannot see our sin. Yet there, God is still present. Not only is He there, He is not hindered, for “even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.” Many times I think it is in these periods of darkness, or our periods of trying to flee from the presence of God that His light shines the brightest, as He draws us back, and even closer to Him.

God’s presence, God’s love, God’s grace, isn’t a burden. It shouldn’t scare us, it should bring us joy. We should delight in it! How do we not find joy in the fact that God is holding us, God is caring for us, God is loving us?!?!

Stop fleeing from God, stop trying to hide from God, perhaps I should even say, stop trying to make God love you. If you are His, he already does, and He is with you right where you are. Receive Him… Receive His love. Let Him hold you, let Him lay His hand upon you(v.5)…

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.

(Psalm 139:13-18 ESV)