Pause: The Secret to a Better Life One Word at a Time

Imagine a quiet walk, hand in hand with a loved one, really listening, really connecting. Bask in the moment, feel the love. It sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Much too often these potentially precious moments are swept away in the rush of everyday life.

Now is the time to enter the world of PAUSE … a time to think, evaluate, listen, observe and enjoy.

Pause with author Chris Maxwell as he explores a collection of words. Words of wonder, confession, hope, longing and dreams. Words we often rush past, rather than taking time to ponder their meanings and true value.

Immerse yourself in each story. Ponder and meditate on each reflective word. Reconnect with life and all it has to offer. Pause.

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Endorsements for Pause: The Secret to a Better Life One Word at a Time:

Here it is, my friends: a great book to be read one word at a time. My major mistake while reading Pause was that I did so too quickly. I must read it again…and again until I slow down and let it change me. Read it at the right pace and you will see it is a lexicon of life, a glossary for goodness, a dictionary for the disciplines of an inner journey. And, it is just the kind of book to be read a page a day, for to read it any faster is to miss Chris Maxwell’s intent, which is the development of Christlikeness in your every exchange with the world.

— Calvin Miller / Author


Who would have thought that such ordinary moments could produce such expansive insights: hauling luggage on a plane trip, chatting with a waitress, coping with a paralyzing ice storm, singing along while a pop song plays? Anyone might see these as mundane situations. But not with Chris Maxwell’s Spiritsharpened perception. His “collection of words” speak with power and poignancy. He seeks great graces hidden in the most seemingly random encounters. They are not random, Chris reminds us, and they can usher us into an encounter of wonder.

— Timothy Jones
Dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Columbia, South Carolina / Author, The Art of Prayer: A Simple Guide to Conversation with God


Since Chris Maxwell and I became close friends more than fifteen years ago, he has taught me the value of a rich devotional life. For Chris, spending time with God is not a religious duty or a mundane exercise. Intimacy with God is like breathing. Chris carries on a constant conversation with the Lord, and he has learned to expect to see God’s hand in the most commonplace moments of life. And Chris shares what he’s discovered as encouragement to everyone he knows. The words in this book will draw you deeper into your own daily dialogue with God.

— J. Lee Grady / Author, Speaker
Founder of The Mordecai Project


Chris Maxwell has done it again! His creative insights about life, God, situations, and hope come through in this collection designed to take us through fifty-two weeks of the year. The alphabetical arrangement reminds me of the Hebrew version of Psalm 119. The verses fall into sections that begin with each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It’s like the Psalmist was so full of praise and revelation about God that he filled up the alphabet with his passion for the living God. That’s what Chris has done here. His passion for the living God rings true. His insights as a pastor in a regular congregation in Orlando, Florida, and now campus pastor at Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Georgia, invite us into a weekly encounter that will inspire and transform.

— Dr. A.D. Beacham / General Superintendent, International
Pentecostal Holiness Church


Chris Maxwell shows us—through real-life encounters, conversations, and observations—that good stories are everywhere, and every story is good if we let it be. These pocket-sized metaphors are skillfully combined into life-sized narratives that, combined, make a Story so magnificent that only God could tell it. I’m glad that Chris listened and wrote for us what he heard.

— Bob Kilpatrick / Musician, Author


I met Chris Maxwell by “pre-ordained accident.” He reached out to me as someone suffering from epilepsy while I was working to change thinking about this dreadful disease. I didn’t know his name on my phone message list so it languished there for several weeks. When we finally communicated my life changed. And so did thousands of others. I had a platform with not much to put on it. Chris had a message: Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Don’t doubt yourself. You can make a difference. I watched him deliver this message in many states in the U.S. and in Tokyo. I watched people of different cultures, experiences, and stages of life all nod in agreement when Chris talked about change and hope and progress. I watched believers and non-believers see a Christlike spirit of love, kindness, and grace encourage them. I witnessed Chris change the lives of hundreds of people across the years…just because he had the courage to encourage. Chris’ only tool in this journey was words. Words that put just a little piece of himself into their hearts. The piece of himself that said, “It’s okay…it’s all going to be okay.” Pause is an extension of Chris as I have learned to drink in every minute I get to share with Chris, I encourage you to drink in these words. Just like me, your life will be changed.

— Tom Roberts / Managing Director
UCB Korea


As a child psychologist, I have a front row seat at a great drama of how the Presence of God enters and shapes human lives. Chris understands the backdrop of the drama. He brilliantly uses the verbs of our daily lives and spins them into deep spiritual insights. Do yourself a great favor and step into his insight on this profound mystery.

— Beverly J. Oxley, Ph.D. / Licensed Child Psychologist


There are moments when a word connects with us deeply. It happens in conversations, through music and cinema, and in the written form as well. Chris harnesses the power in words to tell stories that lead the reader to a place of reflection. The normal happenings of life can be seen for the extraordinary moments that they are. This book is for anyone who seeks to alter the pace of life in order to see the beauty and the challenge that awaits us in each day. It is not a read to simply finish, but to relish and reflect, then follow the steps provided to respond. Chris creates a rhythm that will enable the reader to deepen their soul while remaining connected to the world around them, and it is truly remarkable.

— Charlie Dawes / Director of First Year Experience / Adjunct
Professor, College of Christian Ministries and Religion, Southeastern University, Lakeland, Florida


Chris Maxwell is gifted wordsmith whose love of language is evident in his new book, Pause: The Secret to a Better Life One Word at a Time. But his meditations and suggested application of each story-lesson exceed a study of fifty-two words. The stories and exercises presented provide us with examples of how to experience the world around us with renewed appreciation and faith. Maxwell asks us to “pause” and contemplate the vast spiritual life that is all around us. I suspect that after a few weeks of reflecting, receiving, and responding to his wonderful words, we will find ourselves experiencing other words—such as peace, serenity, and compassion—with a new sense of personal meaning.

— Brigid Elsken Galloway / Writer and Freelance Journalist
NPR contributor


Chris Maxwell is one of the warmest, wisest people I know. He doesn’t know how to give bad advice. These Bible-based thoughts provide valuable guidance and life lessons. Take it from a Jew who loves evangelical Christians.

— Mark I. Pinsky / Author, Amazing Gifts: Stories of Faith, Disability, and Inclusion and A Jew Among the Evangelicals


Once again my friend Chris inspires us with stories about real life and God’s ever-present love. Pause brings everyday life into a new light. Some of God’s bigger works are easy to see, but Chris brings God’s greatness out in our everyday life stories. With my busy life Chris also found a way to deliver this in daily doses. Read one in the morning, one during a hectic day, and maybe one before bed…if you can wait that long! I find myself going back a little more often than that. I am blessed to watch Chris live his inspirational life. I am glad he has offered others a glimpse into this life lived for a greater good. Thanks for the inspiration!

— T.J. Rosene / Men’s basketball coach, Emmanuel College
Director of PGC basketball / Better Basketball Clinician


Chris Maxwell discusses the deep water of everyday life and how to walk it out in very practical ways. He talks of spiritual formation in a way that makes it practical and doable. He leaves off the heavy, wordy, theological discussions and cuts to the core issues. He writes from the experience of a man who has had to walk out of the darkness of very serious brain trauma and once again find the light of living. In the book he lets some of this light shine on us, the readers.

— Dr. Harold Rhoades / Psychologist in private practice and Director of Healing Springs Retreat Ministries


In his book Pause: The Secret to a Better Life One Word at a Time, Chris Maxwell calls us to action. Not the busy, harried, frenzied action so common to our society and our own existence. He coaxes us to a gentle kind of action that results when we pause to take in the deeper things of life and “actively” appreciate the simple yet profound moments we often miss. Chris knows both types of action. He juggles many demands in his packed schedule—as a sought-after speaker, writer, and interview subject, in addition to his work as Campus Pastor to a college full of young minds and tomorrow’s leaders, and, of course, author. Yet, he still finds time to take in the world around him with wonderment. I have never seen Chris speak to an audience he didn’t hold captive in the palm of his hand. I can only imagine that same thing occurs as his reading audience consumes his written words. I know it does with me.

— Doree Rice / Associate Director, Career Development
Full Sail University


People crave stories that make sense of their life. Chris Maxwell’s Pause: The Secret to a Better Life One Word at a Time is a wonderful book of words that satisfies those cravings and makes sense of not only our daily lives but also our spiritual lives with a rich and practical coherence. This is a book full of wisdom and delightful insights that is worth reading and living.

— Robert A. Fryling / Author, The Leadership Ellipse: Shaping How We Lead by Who We Are


Chris Maxwell’s writing style is analogous to the way he addresses an audience. His writing style captivates the reader from the onset. The book, Pause, causes you to focus on every detail, every word, and penetrates your mind. His use of simple, everyday colloquy causes you to re-evaluate your daily routines and encounters in such a way as to realize that every moment is important. Each encounter is an opportunity to make a spiritual impact on the world around us.

— Sherry V. Story, Ph.D. / Professor, Author


With clarity, compassion, and insight, Chris Maxwell highlights everyday words that cause us to pause for response. Chris has a wonderful gift for embracing the moment and encouraging the reader to savor it with a heartfelt mindfulness. This is a wonderful tool to supplement your encounter time with God and in reflection with yourself.

— Dennis Wells / Counselor, Author


The words in Pause, and the stories behind them, challenge us to live intentionally, authentically, purposefully, and full of hope. They challenge us to change others’ lives, extend the Kingdom of God, and be more like our heavenly Father. Isn’t that the call? Thank you, Chris, for another life-changing book!

— Cindy Gaultney / MA LAPC, Emmanuel College
Counselor, Co-Pastor of Athens Link Fellowship


Almost four years ago God orchestrated a coming together of Chris Maxwell’s path and mine. In that time we have both laughed and cried together; we pray together often—weekly, in fact. I am delighted to endorse Chris Maxwell as both a writer and a person—there is congruency between what he writes and what he lives. In basic geometry we learn about congruence, where two objects are of the same shape and size. However, in our fast-paced world where relationships are managed with keyboard and mouse clicks, it is sometimes difficult to ascertain whether or not there is congruency between what a person says and what a person lives.

— Rick Womack / Conference Missions Director
LifePoint Ministries


Many times in life we let too many negative words shape us. Chris Maxwell allows us to slow our pace and focus on words in a way that encourages us to have lives shape these words. Each word has a purpose to complement our lives of purpose and the way this book is presented allows us to hone in on the importance of the action we can give to these already impacting words. Talk is cheap. By breaking down why we use words and the potential they have to mean so much more in our lives makes our life speak of a worth much higher than cheap talk.

— Taylor Maxwell / Singer/Songwriter


Once again, Chris Maxwell provides the world with a masterpiece in Pause: The Secret to a Better Life One Word at a Time. In Chris’ customary style of writing based on personal experience and insight, readers will benefit greatly from this new work. In fact, I believe they are destined for a better life…one word at a time!

— Shell Osbon / Lead Pastor, LIFE CHURCH
Smyrna, Georgia


As long as I have known Chris he has had a wealth of words, not just quantity, but quality. When he had to relearn everything after a bout with encephalitis he had an extended war with words. After many struggles and battles, he won that war. As you read this book you will find none of that effort was wasted. Chris truly has a way with words.

— Garrett Bain / Long-time friend and fellow graduate of Emmanuel College


Today we live in a world that promotes quick, fast, instant, carryout, drive-through. The ability to scramble through life at warp speed has become the benchmark. Life-altering moments sometimes seem to be just on the peripheral, out of reach; never noticing the authentic quiet moments that surround us. Contrary to this intention, moments that life presents are fundamental to how we approach each circumstance. Each breath is a piece of the journey that defines us, momentary fragments transforming us into significance. To acknowledge this we need to be attentive to each moment. Chris Maxwell, in his book Pause: The Secret to a Better Life One Word at a Time, challenges us to slow the pace of our lives: a brief pause to inhale the splendor of God’s voice illuminating the moment and meaning through experience, through words. Chris has carefully chosen these words that shape all of us on a daily basis. Take this journey that will make you aware of each moment that has meaning, words that will become the bedrock of how you interpret the simple things God desires to share with you.

— Chip B. Furr / Founder & President, The CLIMB INC.
Author, Thin Places


One. One word can make a huge difference. One word, heard by our ears or heard in our hearts, can encourage or defeat, lift up or beat down. Chris knows this well, and he is a good steward of the power of a word. Not only is this collection of words a good reminder to each of us to choose words carefully, it is also a window into Chris’ daily walk as he does the same on his own journey. He’s a blessing on our campus to students and colleagues, and I appreciate his insight and example in word and deed.

— Paula Dixon / believer. wife. mom. sister. friend. fan of fun.
Director of Communication at Emmanuel College

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Take a look at some of the pictures from Chris' travels and speaking engagements. Click here to see the pictures