Book Title: Paul’s Letters to the Early Church
Trina Bresser Matous
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Genre: Christian, non-fiction, devotional
Release Date: Sept 2014
About the Book: Reading and studying Paul’s letters can be a daunting task. Verses often require a great deal of study, prayer, and meditation in order to gain an adequate understanding. But don’t lose heart! God reveals His Word to those who earnestly seek Him (Jer. 29:13). Paul’s Letters to the Early Church is designed to assist you in your relationship with God, help you understand difficult passages, shed new light on familiar verses, and gain an appreciation for statements made within the confines of ancient cultural practices. You will learn about Paul and his intense desire to see both Jews and Gentiles not only know about the work of his Savior, Jesus Christ, but also personally experience the love, grace, mercy, and redemption offered by the Father through the sacrifice of the Son. As you learn more about the history and purpose of each verse, you will find yourself growing in wisdom and knowledge.
Brief Interview with Trina
Trina, what do you love about this book? I love this book because God opened doors for the Christian Living Bible Study Series to be written, not because I set out to write a book.
For several years, my church encouraged the body to read through the Bible in a year, and asked me to write notes to accompany the daily reading schedule. The notes included background information, definitions, explanations of ancient cultural practices, cross-references to applicable scripture, historical context, and modern day application. Our members loved the notes. Fifty to 100 copies would be taken off the racks every Sunday. People frequently expressed their appreciation when a reference helped them understand what they were reading.
After I finished writing the notes, my husband and I attended a writer’s conference where I met Eddie Jones of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. That was the birth of the Christian Living Bible Study Series.
I had no idea when I started writing these notes for my church that God had much bigger plans than I could see at that moment.
What do you hope readers will tell other readers about it? I hope that readers will tell others readers that this book is a great tool for deepening their faith through comprehension not just of God’s word, but also of His immeasurable love. My hope is not just that readers would gain more knowledge, but that they would also fall more and more in love with God the Father who loves us beyond what we can imagine, God the Son who sacrificed His life to pay the penalty for our sins and God the Holy Spirit who empowers us with love and grace.
Please share two things you learned during the writing and publication process about your topic or yourself. Over and over in the Bible, we are encouraged to seek and do God’s will. Yet a frequent question by the participants of Bible studies I’ve been involved in is, “What is God’s will for me?” I have asked the same question more than once myself.
This project turned out to be bigger than I ever imagined when I was first asked to consider taking it on. As I look back at all the steps involved in first writing the series and then bringing it to print, I can clearly see God leading the way. Today I am more certain of God’s will for me than I ever have been. What I have learned from the experience is that we often don’t know where God is leading when He first calls us, but if we are obedient to taking the next step He is calling us to, we may find He uses us in ways we never would have imagined.
I have also learned that God does not call us to a particular project or ministry and then leave us to fumble through on our own. He provides just what we need when we need it.
When I initially wrote this for my church, I was working on a weekly deadline. I write best during the day, yet on a couple of occasions God gave me the attentiveness and focus I needed to write late into the night to meet the deadline. More recently during the proofreading process, I submitted several pages of changes. When I received the corrected copy back, all but one of the changes had been made. A closer look at the change that was not made showed that a more expansive change was needed.. Had God not prevented that one change from being made, the book would have gone to print with a confusing error.
I have loved God’s involvement in this entire process and so appreciate all He has been teaching me through it.
About the Author: Trina Bresser Matous has a Masters of Arts in Christian Ministry from Ashland Theological Seminary and is a passionate Bible teacher and writer. For over 20 years, she has shared Biblical truths in compelling and memorable ways as a Bible study leader and a member of the Restorative Prayer Team at her church. Her three week, 2,400 mile trip through Turkey in a rental car visiting historic sites including Istanbul, Ephesus, Cappadocia, Haran and Antioch, as well as two trips to Israel’s holy sites bring reality to Trina’s teaching and writing. Additionally, Trina is an avid birder, loves to cook, travel, work in her garden, and knit, especially lace. She and her husband live in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan.
· Website: http://www.christianlivingbiblestudy.com
· Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/TBresserMatous
· Twitter: @TBresserMatous