Church: Body or Building?
I have often heard the following statements, or something similar: “The church should provide for others, the church should help the poor and unfortunate, the church should be a safe haven for others, the church should teach about God’s word, the church needs to welcome people, the church needs to love people.” I’m sure you have a list of your own and have heard many other ideas of what the church should do. I have to say I COULDN’T AGREE MORE to most of these.
The problem lies in the definition of church. So here’s a little pop-quiz. I know I didn’t give you time to study, sorry. From the definitions of church below, taken from dictionary.com which would Jesus say is the correct answer:
a.) A building for public Christian worship.
b.) Public worship of God or a religious service in such a building: to attend church regularly.
c.) The clerical profession or calling: After much study and contemplation, he was prepared to enter the church.
d.) The church is a body of believers.
Now let’s keep in mind that dictionary.com or anything else on the internet are not the best way to gather knowledge however this seems to be where we learn from these days. This information is a representation of what is being taught or what has already been learned in the world today. The dictionary people don’t just make this stuff up as they see fit. They poll people and research with “experts” to determine the best definition(s) possible. So, where did they get this from? US. We (followers of Christ) have allowed these definitions to creep in and define us. We have taken on these views and definitions of church. We have twisted and perverted church into something it is not supposed to be.
Before we go any further, let me be clear. I’m not talking about the way we worship on Sundays or any other time your body chooses to worship. That is not church. Church is not a “DO”. Church is a “BE”. We should BE church.
By the way, if you didn’t catch it yet d.) should have been the correct answer. A church is a body of believers. Yes, it’s that simple. Now a body is designed for motion or activity. What happens to a sedentary body? It gets fat and it grows weak. A body that is not doing what it is designed for eventually becomes ineffective.
So where do you fit here? Do you “DO” church on the weekends or when its convenient or are you the hands and feet of Jesus? Christ commands and commissions us in Mark 16:15 “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” While the Bible never specifically says we are to be “hands and feet” it does does call us (followers of Christ, the church) to go out and preach the gospel and with the words “go into” comes action… and with action we use our hands and feet. If our “body” is in motion it is doing what it was designed to do.
So with the same thinking where does your “church” fall? Does your church “go into the world”? Does it “GO” anywhere other than into a building at the designated times of worship? Well if not you should leave, right? Well, don’t start packing your bags just yet. Remember we’re using the Biblical definition of church. So if you are a part of this body of believers, aren’t you in part responsible for it’s actions? I don’t mean responsible as in to blame for its inaction but responsible to the body to be a part of and facilitate action. The body is at fault, right? You are a part of the body, right? It starts with you. Please, please, please don’t just leave the church/body of which you are a part. See if you, as part of that body can enact change, if it needs to happen. Find other parts of your body to help out. Work together to figure out how to carry this out. If you start this others will come along, trust me. Now if you meet resistance from within and just can’t move things in the direction of Christ then and only then should you consider a move. Just because things aren’t happening your way is not a good reason to leave a body either. If there is movement and momentum and it is in the direction of Jesus, then join in and be a part.
You need to answer the call God has sent to you. What is the burden on your heart? How can you be an effective part of an effective body?
Well, first and foremost, prayer. You need to pray about what your particular piece of God’s “mission” is. Second, carry it out to the best of your ability. Third, pray more. Pray that God will work in you and through you, that He will use you beyond what you are capable of and into the realm of what He is capable of. I believe the results will be amazing.
Want to learn more about GOing with the body (The Ridge) that I belong to? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to learn more about starting a movement with your own body? Contact me. I’d love to help you figure it out and get started. Also, check out “Barefoot Church” by Brandon Hatmaker and “Missional Moves” by Rob Wegner and Jack Magruder. Two awesome resources for inspiration and motivation. These two books have rock my world and pour gasoline on the fire God ignited in me this year.
Know the “One” in order to meet & know your “two”
This book is primarily geared toward those preparing for marriage some day but don’t let that stop you from reading it if you’re already there. In this book, author, Craig Groecschel offers many insights into relationships, past present and future. It is invaluable information you can pass on to others as well as heed for yourself.
Love, Sex and Happily Ever After will give you great advice for your future spouse (your #2) as well as guide you in your relationship with the “One” (Jesus Christ). You first need to meet and know the “One” and develop your relationship with Him to truly be able to understand and develop your relationship with your “two”.
Craig’s openness in his own failures and successes in relationships with the opposite sex are very real and even painful at times (such as the pick-up line he first used on his wife Amy).
I believe I could have made things much easier for myself but especially for my wife had I read this 25 years ago. So, whether you are just dipping your toe into the dating pool for the first time or you’ve been married for years, Love, Sex and Happily Ever After is a great book for staying the course or getting back on track.
I will certainly be giving a copy to my 19 year old daughter and her boyfriend soon.
Craig Groeschel is the founding and senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv. Meeting in multiple locations around the United States, and globally at Church Online, LifeChurch.tv is known for the innovative use of technology to spread the Gospel.
With a passion for serving the Church and partnering to reach people for Christ, LifeChurch.tv develops and shares resources and applications with churches worldwide.
Craig, his wife, Amy, and their six children live in the Edmond, Oklahoma area where LifeChurch.tv began in 1996. He speaks at conferences worldwide and has written several books, including his recent release: The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living As If He Doesn’t Exist.
FTC DISCLAIMER: “I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.
Life Change, One Day at a Time…
As I found myself, last year, entering into the “no longer in my 30’s” club I discovered that the growing lack of energy and stamina accompanied with a change in my metabolism resulted in a little extra weight around my mid-drift. After a while of observation I determined this was not going away on its own. I came to the conclusion after great internal debate that I would need to do something about it. That “something” proved to be harder to find, start and maintain than I ever thought it would be.
I’ve observed (usually at a distance) various exercise programs and weight loss plans over the years but never found one, outside of the mandatory physical training during my 6 years in the Army that seemed to suit me and I was never to keen on that one either. However, I happen to have been blessed with one of those metabolisms that seem to take care of the majority of the junk I put in my body. That is until the last few years. A growing unhealthy eating pattern and lacking fitness regimen seem to have finally caught up with me. I’m not too far out of shape that I can’t get a handle on it however I have spent the large part of the last forty years feeling like I didn’t need to be concerned about any of this. Therefore, I feel I need a lifestyle change rather than a “plan” that may get me back on track but leave me with these same unhealthy habits when the plan is finished.
I got a copy of “The One Day Way” by Chantel Hobbs out of shear curiosity. What I discovered was an amazing resource and guidance that is applicable to much more than health and fitness. The book and program are certainly geared around changing bad habits but the method of small, bite sized, achievable, realistic goals really rocked my thought process. I’ve always looked at life as “play big or go home” which has caused me over the years to avoid things that I felt I could not accomplish in a big way. The One Day Way can still help you accomplish the ultimate goal of finishing well but it helps you to establish these short term goals that are a lot more attainable but if you do not succeed it doesn’t equal the “end of the world” or the demise of the over-all program.
Also, the “Failure is not an option” approach leads to a big crash and “game over” when we slip up. We feel we have wasted our time, we feel like a big loser and we scrap the whole thing. But as Chantel says “there’s always tomorrow”.
I have observed others struggle with weight and fitness issues. I have explored different options with some of them over the years and I feel “The One Day Way” is the first program that breaks it all down and simplifies it into an achievable, maintainable lifestyle.
I have started applying what I have learned in the book and have already begun experiencing differences. I look forward to moving forward with this program as well as sharing it with others around me. Thank you, Chantel, for your dedication and commitment.
FTC DISCLAIMER: “I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.
Please Stop Laughing at Me…
“Please Stop Laughing at Me” by Jodee Blanco sheds some light on the age old problem of bullying. Jodee spent the vast majority of her school years from 5th grade through high school being the victim of countless physical and mental attacks by her peers. Jodee has done a good job of putting the reader in her shoes as we walk through her life of fear and frustration. We experience Jodee’s suffering from her attackers as well as her shame in what she perceives as her fault and letting down her family.
Time and time again bullying is ignored, pushed aside or excused as “kids being kids” but as you can read here the lack of social acceptance and constant demeaning and out-right torture has serious effects on the victims at the time as well as unforeseen long-term damage. As a child and young man I found myself on both sides of bullying and this book gives a painfully accurate description of the mindset of the giver as well as the receiver.
“Please Stop Laughing at Me” is not exactly a victims survival guide but one persons story of survival and even some resolution which shows there is always hope.
Thank you Jodee Blanco for having the courage to rehash and open this agonizing season of your life to help others to see the error of their ways as victimizers and for those victims to see it is possible to heal and move on. I commend you for breaking free and driving onward with your life.
FTC DISCLAIMER: “I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.
Permission to Speak Freely
I just finished my review copy of “Permission to Speak Freely” by Anne Jackson. This book was birthed from a simple question posed on her blog FlowerDust.net a few years ago. “What is one thing you feel you can’t say in the church?”
With that one question Anne put a crack in a dam of sin and confessions flooded in from all corners of the world. “Permission to Speak Freely” has not only allowed a venue for these individuals to confess sin but it has uncovered how the church we have created has helped to create, perpetuate or hide these sins. I say the church we have created because I believe it is not the Church Jesus had in mind for us.
Through the stories in this book and the ones that continue to appear at Permissiontospeakfreely.com we see a church that is not always built on the love that Jesus teaches but one of ritualism, legalism and even of hate. I’m not speaking of one individual church but of the global church as a whole. I believe this church could align with the Church Christ had in mind if we as it’s body can just get our act together and start working as one in His light and not based on our own wishes, wants or understandings.
With the bravery and faith shown in confessing her own stories Anne shows how God can use our sin and repentance to reach out and help others with similar struggles. Thank you Anne for your honesty, strength, faith and for cracking this dam and let us all pray that it will continue to weaken and crumble until it is no more.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Plan B by Pete Wilson
Plan B: What do you do when God doesn’t show up the way you thought he would? Did you ever think you had it all worked out? Even for a small time. For just a short portion of your life did you think “this is where I’m supposed to be” or “this is the path to _______”. Did it seem so, totally, clear that the end result was within sight or even within your grasp? Have you had it all come to a screeching halt? Sudden, news of a death in the family, serious health issue, dire financial concerns, devastating relationship problems, all can send the best laid plans careening into the ditch. Have you experienced a Plan B in your life? I have. Ironically enough I experienced a few while reading this book. In his book Plan B, author and pastor, Pete Wilson gives us a look into the lives of others that have experienced Plan B’s. I saw myself reflected in a few of these stories and I saw people I know in the others. If you have experienced what might be considered a Plan B, this book is a great light in the darkness, please read it. If you have not experienced one, get ready because yours is coming and this book may be a great way to prepare for it, read it.
I must warn you though this book may not exactly answer some of your questions. It may not explain why your Plan B happened. However, you may begin to understand that Plan B’s are all part of the “big picture”. It will show you how God can use our Plan B’s to stretch us beyond our current selves. Also, how He can use our Plan B’s to show others what faith in Him can bring. Sometimes we can learn from the Plan B’s of others too. I truly enjoyed Pete’s no-nonsense, almost conversational way of writing. Thank you Pete and God bless. Learn more or purchase the book at http://www.planbbook.com/ Thomas Nelson has provided me with a complimentary advanced copy of this book to review.
What would your Christianity look like if it was stripped down to the simplest, rawest, purest faith possible? You would have more, not less. You would have the beginning of a new reformation—in your generation, your church, your own soul. You would have primal Christianity.
This book is an invitation to become part of a reformation movement. It is an invitation to rediscover the compassion, wonder, curiosity, and energy that turned the world upside down two thousand years ago. It is an invitation to be astonished again.
I just finished Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity by Mark Batterson. I was thrilled and challenged by Marks previous books In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day and Wild Goose Chase But I believe he has outdone himself this time or more appropriately God has used Mark in bigger and broader ways through this book.
Primal begins with a descent into some of the history of Christianity where we find the “prime directive” from God through Jesus. The Great Commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” That alone is the most primal piece of knowledge one can obtain from God’s word. With that one commandment in place in your life everything else is, to some degree, inconsequential. Now don’t get me wrong here I’m not saying, nor is Mark saying, the rest is unimportant but this is the prime piece of scripture, without loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength the rest won’t get you to far.
So many of us, as believers, today are so caught up in a quest for knowledge and answers that we forget to live out our lives with and for God. We forget that our actions and acts toward others are to be the actions and acts of Jesus Himself. We need to be totally sold out for Him. It is so easy to get caught up in the trappings and busyness of “life” and forget that without Christ we cannot truly have life. We are only waiting around to die.
It is my hope and prayer that you would open your heart and mind to Primal and allow God to speak to you through this book as He has to me.
This book is available from Random House Publishers here.
The author of Wild Goose Chase and In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C. One church with nine services in five locations, NCC is focused on reaching emerging generations and meets in movie theaters at metro stops throughout the D.C. area. Mark has two Masters degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago. He and his wife, Lora, live on Capitol Hill with their three children. www.markbatterson.com
Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs
Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs By Emerson Eggerichs.
This book is based upon the message God has given us through Paul in Ephesians 5:33. Through this and extensive biblical and psychological research, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs reveals the power of unconditional love and unconditional respect and how husbands and wives can reap the benefits of marriage that God intended.
I must say I was unsure of what to epect when this book first arrived. Before long I was deeply engrossed and totally enthralled by this often over-looked and misunderstood area of relationships. This book can and has saved marriages. It also has the potential to make good marriages great. More imortantly though is the spiritual growth you can experience in your obedience to God in the practices set forth in Ephesians 5:33. This book stretched me beyond a capacity I was aware I had and has convicted me to work harder at being a better husband to my wife and a better example of a husband for my daughter. I have already passed this book onto my wife in the hope of growing closer not only to her but to God along side her. I have had the opportunity to used much of the material in counseling others. I also lead a small group and can’t wait to introduce this material in an upcoming study. I would highly recommend this book to any and all.
I’d like to tell you about an awesome book I just read by Shawn Wood called Wasabi Gospel. This book will be available for retail sales on July 8th in a “book bomb” at Amazon.com Check it out!
I’m not a big fan of hot or spicy foods like hot wings, Mexican food, Indian food those sorts of things. For one reason they don’t seem to like my body and I can’t get to far from the house after eating them. But another reason is I don’t understand the point of having your lips, mouth, throat, stomach and eventually other body parts burning or even to the point where you can’t even feel them anymore. I just don’t get the appeal. But for some reason the first time I tried Wasabi I loved it. Sure it was a bit scary at first and I only tried a small teeny tiny bit but I soon found that not only did I like the taste, it also agreed with my body.
Jesus saved me a little more than three years ago and over this span of time I have experience many gut punch moments with scripture. I had never made the comparison of wasabi and scriture but being familiar with both I love the idea. To compare the effects of wasabi to the effects of scripture is brilliant in my opinion. I love how wasabi and The Word stimulate your senses, awaken you and gives you the punch that Shawn Wood discribes so well in his new book Wasabi Gospel. For those of you that are unfamiliar with this little unassuming glob of green paste it is typically served with sushi. It seems very innocent and harmless but as Shawn found out it packs quite a punch. Gods word can do the same thing. Shawn does a wonderful job in this book explaining how certain scriptures can seem so innocent and harmless until you get a little taste of them at just the right moment under just the right circumstances and <POW!> right in the gut.
This book may look small but don’t let that fool you. It too packs quite a punch. I highly recommand it one and all. If you believe it delivers affirmation on what you may already have experienced and it convicts you to be bolder in spreading the Gods word. If you’re not a believer or you are confused and have questions this book may help explain what God means in the way He describes and commands certain things in scripture. Again, you can find it HERE at Amazon on July 8th.
You can learn more about the book or Shawn at www.wasabigospel.com or his blog at www.shawnwoodwrites.com or follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/shawnwood or friend him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/shawnwood
The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley
When reading The Principle of the Path you must keep in mind “simplicity”. Please don’t take that as a deterrent in any way. As has been stated in other reviews on this book and is even implied by the author himself it is pretty simple. “Direction – not intention – determines our destination.” I read that and I thought “well, huh? that’s it?!? It’s only been 14 pages!” But trust me it is worth the read. You can’t begin this book expecting some great exploration of theology but very often we don’t need that to open our eyes.
While this book is written by a pastor and that could be a turn-off for some do not let that stop you. Also, as Andy himself states this is not a self-help book. That may be correct in the true sense of the meaning. But, the contents can help you not only discover direction but help you identify misdirection already taken and avoid it in the future.
I love to take away things from every book I read and Principle did not disappoint. While I took away a few things I feel the most important, for me, is a new look at Proverbs 3:6 “in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” But through a more precise definition of “acknowledge” Andy shows us that we should not take this to mean that God will straighten out whatever path we choose choose but rather, He will make the best path obvious.
I can’t say this book was what I had expected after reading previous Andy Stanley books. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this eye opening, inspiring easy read. I would recommend it to any and all especially those early on in their journey.
Less Clutter Less Noise
I just finished Less Clutter Less Noise by Kem Meyer and I must say thank you. Thank you Jesus for the passion You have given Kem for church communications. Thank you to all who have driven, inspired, challenged and otherwise shaped and molded Kem into the person she is. Thank you to Granger Community Church for fostering an attitude of sharing and love among your leaders. And last but certainly not least thank you Kem for your hard work, dedication, inspiration, motivation and any other -tion I may have forgotten.
I first met Kem a few years ago at a workshop she was conducting at GCC. I had a fire burning for our newly formed communications position I was helping to start at our growing church, The Ridge, and Kem effectively threw gasoline on that fire. Over the years I have valued her insight and commentary as well as her wit, reality and humbleness. I am also the owner of a small business and I have found that this information is applicable not only in the church but business as well.
The willingness to share from Kem and the entire staff at GCC is amazing and unfortunately not often found in business or church. At times I’m not sure how appreciative our patoral staff has been for what I have learned from Kem but ultimately it has all worked out for the best (just kidding). Less Clutter Less Noise is a great source to aleviate or outright avoid some of the trials and tribulations one can and will encounter in the arena of communications. Whether you are a seasoned vetereran or a newbie there is plenty of “take-away” available. Buy it now, I dare you…
Thanks again Kem, you ROCK!!!
Double Book Recommendation
Experiencing the Spirit: Serve God as never before
The first Christians “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6) shaking the gates of hell even in the face of severe persecution. The result:
People all around “were filled with wonder and amazement” (Acts 3:10).What can give Christians today the same impact?
God’s Holy Spirit is ready to answer that for us in an awesome way, as Henry Blackaby and his son Mel Blackaby make clear in Experiencing the Spirit. You’ll see how the proof of the Spirit’s presence is our awareness of God’s personal assignments for us, plus our supernatural enablement to carry out those assignments. You’ll find essential clarification on the difference between natural talents and spiritual gifts. You’ll explore the dynamics of being filled with the Spirit through intimate relationship with Him, committed obedience, and radical departure from sin.
Instead of considering what you can do for God with your abilities and talents, you’ll be encouraged here to seek what God wants to do through you supernaturally by His Spirit, empowering you beyond your personal competence and capacities. Release the Holy Spirit’s work at the very core of your experience of the Christian life.
For me “Experiencing the Spirit” could not have come at a better time, right on the heals of finishing a small group study of “Experiencing God”. Once again Henry Blackaby challenges you to open your eyes, heart and mind to God and the Holy Spirit. More than that though he and his son Mel help you to better understand the importance of God’s gift to us in the Holy Spirit if you allow Him to take up residence in you.
Dr. Henry Blackaby has devoted his life to the ministry. A multi-faceted talent, he has served as a music director, senior pastor, college president, missionary, and later as an executive in Southern Baptist Convention. Blackaby is the author of more than a dozen books with more than one million copies sold, including the best-selling Experiencing God. As the President of Blackaby Ministries, he is a vibrant speaker and the father of Dr. Melvin Blackaby. Melvin serves as the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Jonesboro in Georgia, where he lives with his wife, Gina, and their three children.
The Treasure Principle – Flip-Flop Your Concept of Giving!
Bestselling author Randy Alcorn introduced readers to a revolution in material freedom and radical generosity with the release of the original The Treasure Principle in 2001. Now the revision to the compact, perennial bestseller includes a provocative new concluding chapter depicting God asking a believer questions about his stewardship over material resources. Readers are moved from the realms of thoughtful Bible exposition into the highly personal arena of everyday life. Because when Jesus told His followers to “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,” He intended that they discover an astounding secret: how joyful giving brings God maximum glory and His children maximum pleasure. Discover a joy more precious than gold!
Story Behind the Book: After years of writing and teaching on the theme “God owns everything,” in 1990 Randy Alcorn was sued by an abortion clinic (for peaceful, nonviolent intervention for the unborn). Suddenly he had to resign as a pastor and was restricted to making minimum wage. Legally unable to own anything, Randy gave all his book royalties to missions work and need-meeting ministries. He and his family have experienced the reality of The Treasure Principle-that God really does own everything, takes care of us, and graciously puts assets into our hands that we might have the joy and privilege of investing in what will last for eternity.
“The Treasure Principle” by Randy Alcorn is a quick read…but don’t let that fool you. It is jam packed with seven biblically based tips of wisdom. They are each expanded in a chapter and then also shown through practical real life experiences the author has had. He also is good to weave them periodically throughout the book to show how each of these steps works together. At the end of the book he also provides questions for you to ask yourself and then gives you scripture verses to refer to as to why this is biblically sound. His best piece of advice…when you realize you are God’s “money manager” and truly grasp that “you can’t take it with you, but instead can send it ahead” it frees you to truly do what God wants you to do rather than be confined to our world’s materialistic ways. I highly recommend this book if you are feeling the stress of this slumping economy to find ways to truly put it in perspective to truly achieve the “wealth” that God has in store for you. -Jenni Phillips
Randy Alcorn is the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM). Prior to 1990, when he started EPM, he served as a pastor for fourteen years. He has spoken around the world and has taught on the adjunct faculties of Multnomah Bible College and Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. Randy is the best-selling author of twenty-seven books (over three million in print), including the novels Deadline, Dominion, and Deception as well as Lord Foulgrin’s Letters, the Gold Medallion winner Safely Home, and Wait Until Then.
When did the Christian life become so complicated?
Your greatest desire is to please God, but with each passing week, your spiritual to-do list grows longer. As you strive to fulfill a never-ending inventory of requirements for being a godly parent, spouse, voter, employee, and more, you feel increasingly disconnected from the God you’re trying to serve.
It’s time to cut through the clutter and get to the heart of what it means to please God. In this liberating look at the core principles of faith, Dr. Robert Jeffress reveals the truth about what God really wants from you-and what He wants to do for you.
Through solid biblical teaching and practical insights, Dr. Jeffress points you toward a revitalized faith centered on becoming more like Jesus in action, attitude, and affection. You’ll learn how to partner with God in the process of spiritual transformation as you choose to follow Christ in forgiveness, obedience, trust, contentment, service, and prayer.
Through a renewed focus on experiencing the kingdom of God right now, you’ll find your to-do list shrinking and your spiritual life deepening. It all comes with embracing Clutter-Free Christianity.
I found the authors approach to some of the issues that have “cluttered up” Christianity thought provoking, amusing and sad all at the same time. Dr. Jeffress really sums it all up in his chapter titles. It is a matter of the heart. We need to remember that when we let Jesus into our hearts we can’t keep Him locked in there for our own selfish devices. We need to let Him use us as a conduit for spreading that love to others.
This book is a refreshing look at what we as Christains should have already been aware of but tend to ignore or sweep under the rug.
Dr. Robert Jeffress is the senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas, one of the most historic churches in the Southern Baptist Convention. The author of sixteen books, he is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition, live broadcasts of Dr. Jeffress’ weekly messages reach millions of listeners and viewers each week, while his daily sermon series airs on 1,100 television stations and cable systems nationwide. Dr. Jeffress and his wife, Amy, are the parents of two adult daughters.
Dinner with a Perfect Stranger and Day with a Perfect Stranger
I recently had the opportunity to check out two new books by David Gregory. Dinner with a Perfect Stranger and Day with a Perfect Stranger. Both books explore the possibilities of modern day encounters with Jesus. I absolutely love the authors depictions of the conversations. They are exactly as I would picture them if Jesus made individual, personal appointments with each of us to discuss our faith or lack of faith. I truly believe He does do this through circumstance and others but these books illustrate it so clear, concise and entertaining. This is exactly what could happen if one could take an evening or a day and suspend their beliefs or mis-beliefs and just talk with Him, something I highly encourage, and these two books could begin your journey. For those who do believe these books are a great chance to reach your friends and family and spark those sometimes difficult conversations.
Dinner with a Perfect Stranger: You are Invited to a Dinner with Jesus of Nazareth The mysterious envelope arrives on Nick Cominsky’s desk amid a stack of credit card applications and business-related junk mail. Although his seventy-hour workweek has already eaten into his limited family time, Nick can’t pass up the opportunity to see what kind of plot his colleagues have hatched. The normally confident, cynical Nick soon finds himself thrown off-balance, drawn into an intriguing conversation with a baffling man who appears to be more than comfortable discussing everything from world religions to the existence of heaven and hell. And this man who calls himself Jesus also seems to know a disturbing amount about Nick’s personal life. ………….. “You’re bored, Nick. You were made for more than this. You’re worried about God stealing your fun, but you’ve got it backwards.… There’s no adventure like being joined to the Creator of the universe.” He leaned back off the table. “And your first mission would be to let him guide you out of the mess you’re in at work.” …………. As the evening progresses, their conversation touches on life, God, meaning, pain, faith, and doubt–and it seems that having Dinner with a Perfect Stranger may change Nick’s life forever. This book may be purchased here.
Day with a Perfect Stranger: What if a fascinating stranger knew you better than you know yourself? When her husband comes home with a farfetched story about eating dinner with someone he believes to be Jesus, Mattie Cominsky thinks this may signal the end of her shaky marriage. Convinced that Nick is, at best, turning into a religious nut, the self-described agnostic hopes that a quick business trip will give her time to think things through. On board the plane, Mattie strikes up a conversation with a fellow passenger. When she discovers their shared scorn for religion, she confides her frustration over her husband’s recent conversion. The stranger suggests that perhaps her husband isn’t seeking religion but true spiritual connection, an idea that prompts her to reflect on her own search for fulfillment. As their conversation turns to issues of spiritual longing and deeper questions about the nature of God, Mattie finds herself increasingly drawn to this insightful stranger. But when the discussion unexpectedly turns personal, touching on things she’s never told anyone, Mattie is startled and disturbed. Who is this man who seems to peer straight into her soul? This book may be purchased here.
David Gregory is the author of the best-selling books Dinner with a Perfect Stranger and A Day with a Perfect Stranger, and coauthor of two nonfiction books. After a ten-year business career, he returned to school to study religion and communications, earning graduate degrees from The University of North Texas and Dallas Theological Seminary. A native Texan, David now devotes himself to writing full time.
Experiencing God week 1
My wife, Jenni, and I started a class this week called Experiencing God. It is a 12-13 week lesson in a small group setting. I had heard a little bit about the course from friends that said it can change your life. Two of my dear friends actually quit their full time jobs to become pastors after taking this course. Knowing this Jenni was very leery of allowing me to take it as was I. It’s not that we’re not open to God’s calling but we have grown comfortable in our current positions and settings. This can be a very dangerous thing. I have already felt a calling to the church/ministry for some time now and wrestled with it a bit. I don’t think the time has come yet but it is coming. Well some circumstances occurred (divine intervention?) that gave us the opportunity to sign up for the group.
The first class was last Wednesday and was very interesting. So far the homework has been very eye opening and thought provoking. It is my hope and prayer that Jenni and I can take our next steps together, grow spiritually and learn what God wants us to do. I will keep you posted as the course progresses and we learn to better obey and experience God.
Pop Goes the Church
I just finished the book Pop Goes the Church by Tim Stevens. WOW!!! What an amazing piece of work. It’s about leveraging pop culture to reach people for Christ. I have always been on fire about this concept well Tim has dowsed that fire with gasoline. I could go on all week about this book and how dead on I feel it is but I wouldn’t do it justice. GO OUT AND BUY THE THING!!! You can find it here I can’t wait to attend the seminar on it June 23 at GCC Tim, thank you and thank You God, for giving Tim the inspiration, passion and ability to write this book.