Not everyone can say they created a book genre, much less to have sold millions of books, but Brentwood resident Jack Countryman can make that claim.
Countryman founded the gift division at Thomas Nelson – and many publishers credit him with the creation of gift books, those beautiful faith-filled products you will find not only at bookstores but other retail stores to give to someone you care about.
His latest gift book, God’s Promises Every Day: 365 Devotional, is available here.
Thomas Nelson said in a statement, “Each week, we receive letters from readers all over the world telling Jack how impactful his words are and how he’s changed their lives with presentation of scripture and his teachings. From God’s Promises Every Day to God’s Promises for Graduates, Jack’s message is clear – you can trust in God and he will never fail you. From time to time, the busyness of the daily grind or the tough situations we endure can make it difficult to see the promises of God; however, Jack’s writings are a reminder that we are all capable of so much more and are never alone.”
Countryman won the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association’s Jordan Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 for exceptional contributions to the industry, the trade association’s highest individual award.
In 2014, the Tennessee House of Representatives issued a proclamation saying he was “one of those citizens who have worked with compassion and conviction to open the doors of spirituality for their fellow Christians through the printed word…”
Countryman has made many contacts in the publishing and Christian communities in his lifetime. One of those, Anne Graham Lotz, wrote this: “I love Jack Countryman! His creative ideas in the publishing world are legendary, as is his boundless energy and enthusiasm. But what truly sets him apart is not only his professional expertise, but his love for God’s Word and desire to get people to read it. I’m honored not only to call him my publisher, but my friend.”Countryman spoke to Followers of the Cross recently about his latest book, God’s Promises Every Day: 365 Devotional, which released in late November, as well as his contribution to the gift book concept.
He created God’s Promises for Your Every Need in 1982. He and his wife created that and sold that scripture book and has now sold over 15 million copies.
“People want to know what God has promised them,” he said.
The Bible contains 7,000 promises, Countryman said, and he picked 365 for this book “to share with the reader the encouragement and love that Jesus Christ has for each and everyone of us. And the truth is that the scripture speaks loud and I just added some words of thought around the scripture that might be encouraging to the reader and draw them into the Bible.”
He hopes this devotional will reach both believers and yet-to-be believers, he said.
I asked Countryman to name his favorite of the 365 devotionals. He named April 2. That day’s devotion is titled “Complete in Christ” and is based on Colossians 2:9-10. The devotion discusses how the “fullness of the Godhead” is in Christ, and how the believer is “complete in Him.”
The devotion reads, in part, “That means all the power to forgive, to love, to offer grace and mercy and salvation is found in Christ.” The devotional prayer is, “Jesus You fill in all the empty spaces and make me whole. Thank You for supplying all I need.”
One of my favorites is Aug. 24, titled, “We Can Do All Things.” Countryman writes that Philippians 4:13 is one of the most misused verses. When Paul said he could do all things through Christ, he meant he could do whatever God wanted. Paul spoke about contentment.
Countryman’s prayer for this devotional is, “Lord, help me walk in Your will and experience Your strength, confidence, and provision.”
That is good advice for all of us. Learning to be content is an ongoing challenge for me, so this devotion is a treasure.
There are 364 more treasures in this book.
— Jason M. Reynolds