All posts by jmichaelrios

Husband of one, father of three, servant of the great three-in-one. Professionally I'm a pastor, but I also write books from time to time. And blogs. A perfect day would involve great coffee, a walk outdoors somewhere beautiful, time playing with my kids, reading, writing, and a home-cooked meal at the end with my wife. Doesn't happen often, but hey!--retirement isn't that far off, right?

Two New Books!

Dear Friends,

The publishing side of my life has not been idle–indeed, over the past year I have been working on not one, but two other book projects! I’m exited to tell you about these today!

Your_Verse_in_the_Bi_Cover_for_KindleThe first is called Your Verse in the Bible. Some years ago (about the time that The Prayer of Jabez was making its rounds) I was in the habit of joking that it would be funny to take an obscure passage from the Scriptures and work a theology around it. Even at that time, I thought that Judges 3:31—the one-verse story of Shamgar—might make a perfect starting point for such a ridiculous exercise. Even these spurious thoughts were not without fruit, and in January of 2012 I preached a sermon on Shamgar which tied together my thoughts on Christian ambition and legacy. While the sermon still retained much of the mirth of my jovial intentions, something serious had come of writing it out as well. I no longer had merely a joke on my hands; I had something worth saying! So, over the next year, I modified, adjusted, and edited that sermon, until I felt that what was in my hands was worthy of a book—albeit a short one!—in its own right.

Your Verse in the Bible is a book about legacy. What will it look like for you to do something memorable with your life, something godly and noble, something worthy of a sentence in the Bible? That may sound like a big question–and it is. It may also sound like a dangerous question–and it is! But ambition works like plumbing–when it works, everything is clean. When it doesn’t work, everything’s a mess. Godly ambition helps clean our lives and get rid of the mess. Your Verse in the Bible, then, is a meditation on legacy and ambition in the Christian life. The first part of the book lays out a robust theology of ambition. The second part describes how to practically pursue a Godly legacy. I think what’s in these pages has the potential to encourage many people.

A_Minister's_Lament_Cover_for_KindleIf Your Verse in the Bible is about success, then my second book, A Minister’s Lament, is about failure–more to the point, about what happens when a ministry comes to an end. In particular, it documents four difficult lessons I learned while I witnessed the end of the church plant I had served for nearly five years. This book is quite personal and focuses on a rather narrow aspect of ministry (church planting, pastoral work, the inner life of a minister), so I recognize that it isn’t likely to appeal to many people. That’s okay. I wrote it out of a sense of obedience to God in the hope that it would bless and encourage other ministers (or perhaps to help some of you understand your own minister).

Both books are short. Print copies of each are $7.99, while the e-book (i.e., the soulless husk, if that’s your thing) versions of each are $5.99. Print copies of Your Verse in the Bible may be purchased through my Createspace store at, and copies of A Minister’s Lament at Alternatively, both titles are available as both print and e-books through

Every Blessing,


New Website, New Look, New Books!

Square wheel
New and Improved!

Things have changed around here! It’s a new website and there are new books! Check out the links to the left, or at the top, to find out more about both Your Verse in the Bible and A Minister’s Lament! Thanks for stopping by!