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Archive for March, 2010

The Sacred Journey by Charles Foster

Let me start out by saying, I really wanted to like this book but alas, it was not meant to be.

Before I get to the things that bothered me, let me say the concept is one that I find appealing. God often calls us into journey, the wilderness, or as I like to call it, exile. There is great benefits to being in this raw place that drives us to such passionate faith. The quote from the book that jumped out to me and made a great Facebook status was “Physical pilgrimage involves bodies, blisters, hunger, and diarrhea. And it’s a Kingdom activity. It is accordingly one of the best prophylactic against, and cures for, one of the deadliest and most prevalent diseases crippling the church: Gnosticism. It is also effective against bigotry, self-righteousness, and angst.”

Sadly the details and focus of the point left it cold at that point. I felt the author was saying we were made to be nomads and settlers were bad using all kinds of Biblical examples of wanderers in the grace of God and evil settlers who blew it. Let’s not forgot that there is also a place for structure and establishment. The Israelites didn’t just wander because God liked it. They did so as punishment and to draw them closer to Him. His goal was the promised land all along.

Then I find another book with Emergent overtones….

– isn’t it cool how other religions have the same things as us and you can’t tell the difference. He plays a game with his church people on this that I find a little disturbing.
– He advocates us dropping the words “God” and “Christian” because they are tainted and go with cool words like “El Shaddai” and “Jesus Freak”. I never get this…. Why don’t we partner with non-Christians that we too are frustrated with the misuse and reclaim their meanings? Do you really think a non-Christian is going to think the renaming is cool and captivating or will they just think it’s white paint on an old fence?
– There are a few personalized paraphrasing of the Bible including Acts and the story of Able that I find disturbing…

I’ll stop there. I love the concept but not the points. Another quote in the book says “There are many books about pilgrimage…” I think I will go check them out.

This book was provided to me free of charge by Thomas Nelson for an honest review.

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Twitter: The next best thing to being there…..

LynnNoe: From #catoneday by @andystanley “Negative circumstances R the fertile soil 4 a burst of momentum.” God always works for good if we listen.

dOcto: “Most delays in decision making are not because of a lack of knowledge but a lack of courage.” (Craig Groeschel) #catoneday

fecciello: RT @ronedmondson: Create margin in your time & budget so you can fully take advantage of unexpected opportunities – Craig Groeschel #catoneday

jdmoore1867: RT @LeadingLadyTee: Fair is not a Christian value. -@AndyStanley #catoneday.

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For those who don’t know, I am currently in Chicago for a few days with two purposes in mind….

First, I came for Catalyst One Day event which was held yesterday at one of the Willow Creek campus churches.

Second, I came to hang out with my friend Pat who pastors a church just outside of Chicago in a town named Bolingbroke. I love what I hear they are doing there and want to be part of his community for a few days. I head there later today.

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This is the new book by John Maxwell, world known author and speaker in both the Christian and Secular world. He is wildly successful so when he has advise on how to communicate, anyone who wants to be successful should want to listen.

The challenge for me is it’s just that. How to be “successful” at communicating to people who respect “successful” people because they have it all together. I used to be that way and run in that crowd but now I look for “relational” more than “successful” so some of these bullet point items just don’t stick for me.

That said, it’s still a good book. While some of the advice should be common sense for most anyone who has been a communicator for while, it’s good they are there for the novice communicator. Most of the  instruction is solid, time-tested, and worth the read. I just can’t get past the overly polished feel myself. Bring your brains, bring some balance, and you can learn a lot from this book.

Thomas Nelson provided me a free copy of this book for an honest review on the blogs.

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“The Map” by David Murrow is a two-part book for men concerning their growth in their spiritual lives. The first part is fiction in how the author came across “The Map” (think a Christian version of the DaVinci Code style) and the second half is the life application in people’s life from “The Map” as observed in the book of Matthew.

In all honesty, I thought it was going to be a little lame. Not just because of the two styles but I get leery of anything that someone claims they found that was “secret” in the Bible. To my surprise, this is one of the best books I have read in a while and decided to buy a handful more to give to friends.

The fiction part was written very well in the area of pulling men in. Men are not known for being the biggest reading fans but the style the author uses hooks you quickly and builds a trust with the reader to continue once the format switches.

The Christian living part at first glance kinda basic. As the author discusses the three journeys though, the details of each really hit home. Some very real challenges are felt for the modern-day church at what we teach men (or better yet, what drives many men away from church). The encouragement within the steps can be scary for some at first but I find more empowerment in the life of Christ than restraint.

I would highly recommend this book which is a 360 turn from what I expected my experience to be.

Thomas Nelson has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.

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“We may as well face it: the whole level of spirituality among us is low. We have measured ourselves by ourselves until the incentive to seek higher plateaus in the things of the Spirit is all but gone… (We) have imitated the world, sought popular favor, manufactured delights to substitute for the joy of the Lord and produced a cheap and synthetic power to substitute for the power of the Holy Ghost.” A. W. Tozer

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Hi all,

This one is not as much a blog as it is an invitation….

A sister church of ours from the Smokies made us aware of a group where you can buy tents for people in Haiti that do not have homes. The rainy season started this past weekend and the need is great.

We took this oppurtunity to our church family (again we are small but you can always do your part) and yesturday we took a special collection. They raised $150 towards buying a tent (s)! I know it doesn’t solve the concern for eveyone but it does for one family!

I wanted to make you aware of this oppurtunity (like our sister church made us aware) and give you a chance to get involved too! There are tents as low as $55 and go up from there. You can see the selection by going to http://ahomeinhaiti.org/amazon.html.

What difference might you make if you can.

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