Wrecked

I just got finished reading “Wrecked” by Jeff Goins. A friend and hiking buddy :).

Jeff’s book is a practical guide to spiritual awakening (being wrecked) and puts you on the path to spiritual maturity. And he does that largely by telling his own story. About how God turned his life upside down and how God used that to transform his life. It’s a great and challenging book, so check it out!

The Throbbing Heart of New Testament Religion

God is a Person, and in the deep of is mighty nature He thinks, wills, enjoys, feels, loves, desires and suffers as any other person may. In making Himself known to us He stays by the familiar pattern of personality. He communicates with us through the avenues of our minds, our wills and our emotions. The continuous and unembarrassed interchange of love and thought between God and the soul of the redeemed man is the throbbing heart of New Testament religion.

A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, page 11

Book Review: Priceless by Tom Davis

Good Christian fiction seems to be hard to find. And I’m not sure why. I can remember reading  Frank Peretti’s books as a teenager, my imagination was floored by the vivid pictures he painted of spiritual warfare. But that was a long time ago, and since then I haven’t read much or seen much of interesting Christian fiction. Now that’s partially my fault, for a long time I read only Tom Clancy or Michael Crighton, both great authors, but they both paint a world that is void of God and the work that he is doing. After my Dad passed away and I began to turn back to God, I gave up the things of this world that I knew held back from and intimate relationship with God,tons of  movies, pictures, and books were all thrown away. I assumed that good fiction literature was just something I would have to do without. Thankfully I was wrong, I don’t remember exactly how I found his blog (it was probably through Seth’s blog) and I don’t remember what made me add him to my google reader, but I’m very glad I did. A year ago Tom Davis released the book Scared (a book I still am meaning to write a review of :)), if you have a heart for Africa, orphans or just want to see real world example of how God works I suggest you read it.

Tom’s follow up book is called Priceless. The back drop for this book is Russia and focuses on the sex trade that seems rampant not just in Russia but in our own back yard. This book is a spotlight on the darkness that is all around us, we’ve closed our eyes to it for far too long.

The plot of the book is fast paced, I mean the first few chapters alone nearly blew my socks off, and it only gets better from there. Fair warning, putting the book down and going back to life as normal, isn’t possible, after reading it there’s something left behind. A burden for those girls to do something anything. In the past few days I’ve sketched out ideas for how I could create my own band of SEALs or Marines that would bring justice to sick men and freedom to innocent girls. I know that will probably never happen but I can dream. 🙂

I’m reminded of Eph 6:12

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (NLT)

And the more I think about the more God puts a burden on my heart to pray, pray for the girls for protection and redemption, pray for the men who are paying to have sex with them that they will be saved, pray for the men who are responsible  that they will be saved as well. God’s agenda is to save all… That at times can be so hard to remember. Especially when it comes to harming innocent little girls even more so when you are a father of a priceless little angel.

What I liked about Priceless is that it redefines the norm. The norm is that God isn’t active in the world today and Tom’s books paint a very different picture. And that’s a message I hope continues to spread.

I’m glad to have found good Christian fiction again. Fiction that entertains, inspires, and exposes the world to the truth.

Embracing the Glory

Embracing the Glory

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us . . . And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. (Marianne Williamson)

When I first read this quote, I thought, No, that’s not true. We don’t fear our glory. We fear we are not glorious at all. We fear that at bottom, we are going to be revealed as . . . disappointments. Mandela is just trying to make a nice speech, like a sermon, to buoy us up for a day or two. But as I thought about it more, I realized we do fear our glory. We fear even heading this direction because, for one thing, it seems prideful. Now pride is a bad thing, to be sure, but it’s not prideful to embrace the truth that you bear the image of God. Paul says it brings glory to God. We walk in humility because we know it is a glory bestowed. It reflects something of the Lord’s glory.

(Waking the Dead , 87)

Via A Revolutionary Love

Win a Pre-Release Copy of Priceless

Priceless

Over on his blog Tom Davis is giving away a pre-release copy of priceless.

Readers and friends, this week I am giving awayone pre-release copy of Priceless to one lucky winner. I have just received a few of my author copies – this will be the very first book anyone has seen. My publicist doesn’t even have copies!

Priceless is not due to release until June 1–but you can get this exclusive copy next week. I will even personalize and sign this copy for you or someone you’d like to give it to.

If you want to read the first chapter of Priceless, just visit SheisPriceless.com for a free download.

Click here to Enter

Are you and orphan or a son?

I’ve been slowly working my way through an amazing book written by Jack Frost called “Spiritual Slavery to Spiritual Sonship“. The main focus of his book is to identify the orphan heart and thinking that mankind has had since the fall of Adam and then guide the reader toward the true spirit of sonship that God has called us to by his son Jesus. I highly recommend this book it’s definitely one of those perspective (even life) changing books.

Midway through the book Frost contrasts the spirit of an orphan with the spirit of sonship. Below are the three the impacted me the most.

Dependency

Orphans are independent and self-reliant. They depend upon their gifts, talents, intellect, and anointing. They are convinced that they cannot trust anyone else. If they want anything, they must get it for themselves. “If anything is going to get done right, I’ll just have to do it myself.”

Sons are interdependent; they know they need the community of love that God and the Body of Christ offer. This interdependency allows them to be open for Father’s love to flow through them to others. Sons also know they are completely dependent on their heavenly Father,  just as Jesus was. “The Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing;  for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner” (John 5:19b)

This contrast hit me on two fronts the first was that in the definition of Sonship, I see everything that I want from “Church” or the Body of Christ, and then second in the definition of the orphan I see everything that I am.

Need for Approval

The need for approval is universal; we all desire acceptance. Orphans, however, are addicted to and strive for the praise, approval, and acceptance of man, But these counterfeit affections will not satisfy and instead lead to the fear of failure and rejection, which pulls an orphan hear farther away from God.

Sons are not influenced by this turmoil and fear because they know that they are totally accepted in God’s love and justified by His grace. They don’t have to strive for approval because in Christ they already have it.

I see myself here a lot in how I relate to my boss, my wife, and even my Pastor. I feel great when they affirm me, they tell me how good a job I’m doing (pat me on the head in a sense), but I feel fearful or insecure when they don’t. It can be one horrible roller coaster of emotions to ride. But there’s a much better way in the spirit of sonship.

Sense of God’s Presence

For orphans, God’s presence, if they sense it at all, is conditional and distant. If everything goes all right, if they have a good day, if they feel they’ve appeased the Master, if they Tthink they have dotted all their i’s and crossed all their t’s, then they man sense God’s presence. But even then, He often seems far away because their hearts are closed to intimacy.

Sons enjoy the close and intimate presence of God because they know that His presence and nearness do not depend on their behavior. They have discovered that He is with them all the time,  no matter how much they get off center of His love. All they have to do is stop, return to the center of their heart where God’s love dwells, and He is always right there. Sons know from personal experience the truth of the scripture that says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb 13:5b). Orphans question whether God loves them; sons know that God is crazy about them.

For more on Jack Frost and his ministry see Shiloh Place Ministries.

Radical

Here’s a book I’m looking forward to reading: Radical by David Platt

Brent @ Holiday at the Sea summarizes the book like this:

Always pointing to Jesus, Platt reminds us that, what we now call “radical” is simply what Jesus expects of all of His followers. The answer is not to try harder but draw closer to Jesus. The book culminates in what Platt calls the Radical Experiment, calling people to one year of:

  1. Pray for the entire world
  2. Read through the entire Word
  3. Sacrifice your money for a specific purpose
  4. Spend your time in another context
  5. Commit your life to multiplying community

While this list initially seems like quite a bit for most people, closer examination simply reveals it to be biblical living. If that’s what the world now calls “radical,” then so be it. But it’s time that we realize that there is no other way of living if we truly desire to follow Jesus. Here is Platt introducing the book:

Via: Holiday at the Sea