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I have never met Paula Harrington in person, but I have provided a link to her blog (Thinking Jesus) for quite some time now, and I really enjoy the passion and insights of her writing.  Paula is a sister in Christ who resides in Calvert City, Kentucky, and she has just published her second book, A Common Bond.  Paula posed a series of questions related to life in full-time ministry to a group of 30 preachers among Churches of Christ.  A Common Bond is a compilation of their responses.

Paula has a special place in her heart for preachers.  As she explains in the Foreword of the new book, her father, Paul Nicklaus, was a minister of the Gospel of Christ whose life was cut short by Lou Gehrig’s disease at the age of 30.  Yet, his faith, influence, and legacy live on in numerous ways, not the least of which is through his daughter. 

Among the 30 preachers of various ages who provided responses for A Common Bond, most are known to me, at least by name.  I have been acquainted with several of them for many years, and some I am blessed to count as dear friends and brothers.  That makes their responses all the more meaningful to me; I know their hearts, and I have witnessed Christ living in them and speaking through them.

I wish that I could have read a book like this in the earliest days of my ministry.  I still would have made plenty of “rookie mistakes,” but I feel certain that the number would have been significantly reduced by the kind of wisdom and counsel that these brothers provide on a wide variety of topics.  There are twenty-seven chapters that deal that with everything from ministry resources and preparing sermons to financial concerns, effects of ministry on one’s family, being fired, humorous stories, and God’s providence in their lives.  “What You Wish You Had Known” and “Most Important Advice” are particularly insightful chapters. 

I am still reading the book, but I am honored that Paula asked me to participate in her Book Blog Tour.  I highly recommend A Common Bond to anyone wishing to gain greater insight into both the joys and the challenges of a life devoted to proclaiming Jesus and His message of salvation and serving in His church. 

Click here to visit Paula’s blog, Thinking Jesus.

Click here to purchase a copy of A Common Bond online.

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March 2011