Why This Book – The New You

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THE NEW YOU

Why this book?
A look behind the scenes at the development of
Introducing The New You.

I never set out to write a book, but it was obviously part of God’s plan. Sharing anything on the Lord’s behalf has serious ramifications—a task never to be taken lightly. Therefore, this book has been a long time in the making, and is the result of a lifetime of in-depth study of God’s Word.
In fact, it has been hammered out on the anvil of my life experiences with the Lord. It also has been confirmed by the lives and teachings of many others, too numerous to mention. Actually, I believe the Lord has been preparing me for this awesome assignment all my life.

I have been fascinated with books ever since I was a young child. The printed page has been an integral part of our family history. My granddad had a printing shop, and it was one of the places that I enjoyed visiting the most. I was especially enamored at the way he printed words. In those days, type was set one letter at a time. Most children have alphabet block letters to play with, but I felt as though my playing was big time!

When I went to his print shop, I had the real thing—printer’s block letters. As I sat there trying to make words, I had no idea that I was in the process of becoming a wordsmith.

Later, I noticed that my dad was an avid reader; and my mother was constantly reading Bible stories to me, as well as other children’s books. It seems I could never get enough. Therefore, once I was old enough, I eagerly learned to read; and it wasn’t long before reading became one of my hobbies.

I acquired an interest in many types of stories. I wanted to learn everything I could. I enjoyed sitting around listening to my dad and his friends tell stories about their past experiences.

God also blessed me with a vivid imagination. Often, I would daydream and make up various kinds of stories. It was great entertainment for me—words, stories, and books—all intrigued me. Reading has clearly had an impact on my life.

However, when I finally grasped the significance of the Bible, reading took on a whole new meaning. Once God’s Word became alive to me, I really couldn’t get enough of it. I was astounded at the wealth of spiritual wisdom and knowledge that it contained.

In 1970, after I began to come alive in Christ, I started sharing what little I knew about the good news with others and saw many come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior. However, I immediately became concerned about my new converts to Christ. I wanted to be sure that they were aware of what God had done for them and what they had received when they accepted Christ. Since I couldn’t find anything that explained this in clear, simple, concise terms, I began writing letters to them describing their new life in Christ.

Without realizing it, my writing ministry had begun, and I had no idea that those letters were the prelude to a book.

When God called me into the ministry in 1971, I became consumed with a divine passion to share the life-giving message of God’s Word. During the next several years, this was accomplished primarily through teaching and preaching.

Then in 1981, God gave me the opportunity to serve as administrator of Fulness House, a Christian publishing company in Fort Worth, Texas. The president, Ras Robinson, was a great inspiration to me. He had devoted his life to spreading God’s Word through the printed page. Being around publishing certainly whetted my interest in utilizing the printed page to communicate the message.
The following year the Lord led me to work with Dr. John Hash, president of Bible Pathway Ministries in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Dr. Hash was so convinced about the significance of God’s Word that he sacrificed everything to publish a daily Bible devotional, which has been translated into many different languages and distributed throughout the world.

This was further inspiration to me to utilize the printed page to get the Word out. I believe God used these experiences to plant a seed concerning writing a book.

Finally, in 1983, the Lord led me to begin putting in print the message that I had been sharing about the new creation. This occurred shortly after beginning Source Ministries. It also was at this point that the Lord placed it on my and Lue’s hearts to take this message around the world. He showed us that the only truly cross-cultural message was the message of the cross. But the challenge was how to communicate this message to people with little or no Bible knowledge.

In fact, the more I traveled around the United States, the more I realized all of us were in the same spiritual boat. We live in what is now being referred to as a post-Christian society—because many Americans are biblically illiterate. Therefore, the necessity of providing sound discipleship and biblical teaching weighed heavily on my heart.

After years of witnessing and counseling, it became evident that far too many Christians were unclear about the essence of Christianity. The Lord impressed me that I needed to write a simple little booklet summarizing the essentials of Christian living.

I did, and by 1984, I developed teaching material entitled Introducing The New You. I immediately began using it in my teaching on the mission field. It was well received in every country where I ministered. In fact, Dr. Leleng Boto—president of INALTA Bible School in Jakarta, Indonesia—liked it so much he asked me to come back and spend six days teaching it to his students, for six hours each day.

During this time, the Spirit revealed to Dr. Boto the truth of his union with Christ. The impact was so great that he began sharing with the students in his own language. He also was so caught up in what the Lord had done, he completely forgot about me for at least twenty minutes, while he continued to teach.

The session culminated with a time of joyous celebration and worship of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Afterward, Dr. Boto urged me to expand the material into a book. He said I had developed a Christian anthropology, and many people needed to know these truths.

In 1988, I learned that the doctoral program at Luther Rice Seminary required their students to write a book in lieu of a doctoral thesis. Although I had no interest in going back to school because I was very busy, the idea of writing a book proved to be just the “carrot” I needed for God to get my attention.

Therefore, I returned to seminary to study for my doctorate and wrote a book as part of the requirements for my degree program. It was titled A Christian Character Sketch.

After it was completed, Lue and I breathed a sigh of relief, albeit very briefly, because there was one big problem—it was the wrong kind of book. Instead of being a very readable book—written for the spiritual needs of our world today—it was a formal, theological book. Perhaps, you know the kind—impersonal, impractical, with a lot of big words. To say the least, the book was boring!

It became evident that this kind of book would never do for the general public. However, at least it provided a theological foundation for the book you now hold in your hands.

I presented the entire matter to the Lord in prayer, “Lord, this book is on Your timetable. Just show me what You want and how You want it done. Your timing is perfect. Therefore, I trust You to motivate me and enable me to get it done in Your perfect time.”

Over the following years, many ministry duties occupied my time. However, periodically the Lord would inspire me to work on revising my original material.

At last, in 1997, I had it ready for review, or so I thought. The Lord led me to send it out to about twenty friends and fellow ministers for their evaluation. Their questions and comments were very helpful. However, these opened up a whole new can of worms—all of which required a lot more time and prayer to address the issues they raised. The Lord used their comments to show me there were many more details that He wanted me to include.

Through all of this, I knew God’s timing is perfect. Now, at long last and after much revision, Introducing The New You is ready for the general public—in His time!

Hallelujah! Dr. Lewis W. Gregory April 2005

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