Monthly Archives: December 2011
“Now suppose you come to a country where you could fill a theatre by simply bringing a covered plate on to the stage and then slowly lifting the cover so as to let every one see, just before the lights went out, that it contained a mutton chop or a bit of bacon, would you not think that in that country something had gone wrong with the appetite for food?” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Lewis made this statement as an analogy for our society’s preoccupation with sex, but he may have been closer to the mark about food than we’d like to admit.
Commercials for restaurants or food brands, ads for diet plans, the pictures of the ultra-fit and the less-than-fit that cover our magazines, all tell us the same story; what counts is food. Whether that means eating it or avoiding it, counting calories or eating that dish we’ve craved all day, food can easily turn into an obsession.
Food, sex, money, power – in every case we crave something created when we were actually designed to crave our creator, God. Many of us have misplaced that craving, overindulging in physical pleasures instead of lasting spiritual satisfaction.
In the Made to Crave DVD curriculum, Lysa TerKeurst explains how we can,
- Break the “I’ll start again Monday cycle”
- Stop beating ourselves up over the numbers on the scale and make peace with the body we’ve been given
- Discover how weight loss struggles aren’t a curse but, rather, a blessing in the making
- Replace justifications that lead to diet failure with empowering go-to scripts that lead to victory
- Eat healthy without feeling deprived
- And, reach a healthy weight goal while growing closer to God through the process
The final round of our Holiday Interview series is with Brandon Hatmaker, author of Barefoot Church.
Happy Christmas from all of us at Zondervan!
EC: “What should a young pastor who is launching his ministry this new year be thinking about?”
BH: “Unlocking the Kingdom. How? Be consumed with seeking specific revelation from God on what he is uniquely gifted to do (beyond just starting a church or ministry). Treating that revelation as a “Kingdom” (bigger than us) moral imperative and trusting Jesus to build His Church while we remain faithful to Kingdom. See Peter and Jesus via Matthew 16: Blessed are you… because this was not revealed to you by man, but by my father in heaven… and I will build my church… and I will give you the keys to the Kingdom. In other words: Jesus never gave us the keys to the church. He gave us the keys to the Kingdom. Go unlock stuff.”
EC: “What is one reason Barefoot Church should be in our readers stockings this year?”
BH: “The holiday presents some of the greatest opportunities to involve people in serving. In fact, the church most often looks like the Church during the holidays. yet many times we just go back to our normal routines come January. Barefoot Church offers practical ideas for church leaders to leverage those service opportunities for the Gospel… building upon congregants exposure to need in helping them gain a greater understanding of what it means to be a missionary in their own context. It’s a springboard for engaging need throughout the year. (Also, it will help their perspective of serving move quickly beyond just checking the box and feeling good about themselves to something bigger than the event itself.)”
EC: “What would you want to say to someone who just finished Barefoot Church?”
BH: “Read it again. Ha. Seriously, some of the best books I’ve ever read I had to read 4 times or more. The first time it starts to get in my brain. The second I tend to hold it under more of a “is this biblical?” lens, the third for parts that truly resonate and tend to create tension in me personally… and the fourth for reproducible practices and principles that can and/or should apply to my ministry and/or life. They tend to either make more sense or seem more ridiculous each time I read a book. Seems worthwhile.”
Round two of our Holiday Interview series features Kevin Harney, author of Organic Outreach for Churches.
EC: “What is one reason Organic Outreach for Churches should be in our readers stockings this year?”
KH: “Get your pastor something even better than a tie or a gift card to the local coffee shop. A copy of Organic Outreach for Churches will inspire all of your church leaders to help your congregation do one of the things they most want to do…reach your community with the love, grace, and message of Jesus!”
EC: “What responses to Organic Outreach for Churches have stood out to you?”
KH: People are saying, ”This book is practical, immediately applicable, and these ideas really work. This will be transformational for our church!” “Who would have thought reaching out could be so comfortable and fit so naturally. I can do this stuff!” “Finally, a book on outreach that will help a whole church move in new and healthy directions.”
EC: “What would you say to someone who just finished Organic Outreach for Churches?”
KH: “Now, go do it! There is a world out there that needs the love and friendship of Jesus. We have the skills. God is with us. Let’s go out and live lives of organic outreach and change the world in the name of Jesus!”
Thanks to Kevin for taking time to participate in our interview series this Christmas season!
John Koessler, author of Folly, Grace, and Power, was gracious enough to agree to an interview during the busy holiday season. In the following clips he talks about his latest book, and gives some important advice for all of you who are preparing sermons for Christmas day.
Advice for Preaching During the Holidays
Why Would Your Book Be The Ultimate Christmas Gift For Pastors?
What Would You Say To Someone Who Just Read Folly, Grace, and Power?
Often people say the words “Jesus Christ” like Jesus is his given name and Christ is a surname, as if his parents were Mary and Joseph Christ.
But as John Dickson explains in the second session of The Life of Jesus, the name Christ was not actually a name at all; it was a title meaning Messiah or Anointed One. And when someone claimed to be the Messiah, everyone at the time knew that meant they were making a claim to be anointed for kingship like David had been a thousand years earlier.
Of course the tension in the story of Jesus, is that he didn’t look like the sort of Messiah the people had come to expect. Born in humble circumstances, working most of his life in relative obscurity, coming from the backwater of Nazareth instead of the halls of power in Jerusalem, he didn’t look like the kings they were used to, the Herods, Pilates, and Caesars.
But that was the point right from the start. In the temptation narrative Jesus turns down the offer to attain power and domination, and in the end his ultimate victory looks like defeat on a Roman cross.
The historical figure of Jesus broke every mold, and in the six sessions of The Life of Jesus, John Dickson guides us through his story, from birth to resurrection.
“John Dickson has done a marvelous job of presenting the story of Jesus, and the full meaning of that story, in a way that is both deeply faithful to the biblical sources and refreshingly relevant to tomorrow’s world and church. I strongly recommend this study to anyone who wants to re-examine the deep historical roots of Christian faith and to find them as life-giving as they ever were.” — Tom Wright
“John Dickson is an engaging and gifted scholar whom I am privileged to work alongside in various global settings. His passion for history, keen knowledge of the Scriptures, and ability to communicate are truly inspiring. I am thrilled to see his unique work displayed in Life of Jesus and I know you will find this study equally fascinating.” — Ravi Zacharias
Hope everyone is having an excellent holiday season!
So stop on by their blog, and perhaps there will be a little extra under the tree (or on the bookshelf) this year.
Congrats to Chris, who won this week’s giveaway and will receive a copy of Mike Wittmer’s Don’t Stop Believing!
Have an excellent weekend everyone!
Over the past few years Evangelicalism has witnessed some dramatic shifts. Some have begun to imagine a Evangelicalism rebuilt from the deconstructed remnants of an older vision, while others have retuned to the roots of their traditions and found new hope and energy there.
In this week’s giveaway, Don’t Stop Believing, Mike Wittmer warns that Evangelicals who reject the narrow fundamentalism of previous generations are in danger of over-correction, while those clinging to it are in danger of missing the full picture of the Christian faith and the mission of the Church.
While Wittmer applauds a renewed focus on right practice and concern for social issues, he also insists that this must be coupled with right belief and an emphasis on the core doctrines of our faith. Don’t Stop Believing addresses some of Evangelicalisms most pressing questions, such as: Must you believe something to be saved? Does the kingdom of God include non-Christians? And, is hell for real and forever?
These are big questions. Hard questions. Questions that often divide Christians. But throughout each chapter Wittmer demonstrates why no one wins when left and right push each other to extremes, because what is needed is a third way where love meets belief.
To enter this giveaway simply comment below with your answer to this question – After writing Heaven is a Place on Earth and Don’t Stop Believing, what 80′s mega-hit should Wittmer use as a title next?
*If you are reading this via Facebook, email, or RSS, please visit the blog to enter. Winner determined by Random Integer Generator. Giveaway ends Friday at noon*