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Don’t Believe Everything You Read or Hear

Several years ago, Michael Hyatt (former CEO of Thomas Nelson) responded to a rumor on his blog. In the post, Michael wrote,

“According to the most recent rumor—which I’ve now heard twice—we [Thomas Nelson] are planning a layoff for June 19th … We are scheduled to close the transaction on June 12th, so, supposedly, this will happen the week following. I want to assure you that this is indeed a baseless rumor. There is absolutely no truth to it … If you hear this rumor, I would be grateful if you would help me short-circuit it. You can tell ’em it’s not true, and you heard it directly from me.”

I recall when this rumor was circulating and was saddened (and surprised) at how many Christians believed it without going straight to Michael to see if it was true or false.

Another example that’s much more national.[Continue Reading…]

Is it Okay for Christians to be Rich?

Only 8 more days until my discipleship course LIVING BY THE INDWELLING LIFE OF CHRIST closes again. It’s presently on big discount. It won’t reopen again in several months and it will not be discounted.

The following is from Shane Claiborne in answer to the question, “Is it Okay for Christians to be Rich?”

Give it a thoughtful and prayerful read, then tell me if you agree or disagree in the comments and why.

In a future post, I will offer my own thoughts on the subject on what Shane says here.

You go first. ;-)

by Shane Claiborne

Asking if it is okay for Christians to be rich is a strange question. It is like asking if it is okay for Christians to overeat, or watch too much TV. It may be permissible, but that doesn’t mean it is a good idea. I believe Jesus came to set us free — and one of the things he wants to set us free from is our obsession with money and possessions. Which is why he says such harsh things like “Woe to you who are rich…” (Luke 6:24).

Why would we want to try and accumulate the stuff that Scripture says the love of which is the root of all sorts of evil? John Wesley said so well, “If I have money in my hands, I get rid of it quickly lest it make its way into my heart.”

A constant thread in Scripture is that we are not to take more than we need while others have less than they need, a radical critique of the world we live in. The early Christians went so far as to say that if a Christian has more than they need while their neighbor is in need, the Christian is a thief. “If we have two coats we have stolen one.” [Continue Reading…]

Help Me Choose a New Book Cover for EPIC JESUS

Only 9 more days until my discipleship course LIVING BY THE INDWELLING LIFE OF CHRIST closes again. It’s presently on big discount. It won’t reopen again in several months and it will not be discounted.

My landmark message Epic Jesus: The Christ You Never Knew has been transcribed into an eBook.

But it needs a new cover.

Thanks for your votes. We’ve settled on the cover below.

CitisonshipDesign created it.[Continue Reading…]

The Life-Changing Power of Courses

Ever since I was in my 20s, I’ve invested in courses. Spiritual-content courses, ministry-content courses, and blogging/writing courses.

Some of them are on cassette tape. Others are on video or audio.

To this day, I still invest in premium courses because of their transforming power.

A course gives you a “deep dive” into a particular subject. One that you can’t get from a book.

It’s the next best thing to being at a live event where intense training happens in person.

Because I’ve experienced the life-transforming power of courses in my own life, I decided to begin creating my own courses.

You see, I have a ton of valuable material in the form of spoken messages, training sessions, conference talks, etc. on audio tape and CD that are simply dying in my archives.

They haven’t been edited nor enhanced, and no one has heard them since they were first delivered years ago.

I’ve facilitated unique “immersion” sessions on Ephesians, Romans, and Colossians along with extended series on different topics related to the deeper journey.

As you know, I’ve given a lot of this material away on my podcast and I plan to continue to do so as long as the podcast keeps getting new subscribers. (There’s a hint embedded there. If you want me to keep uploading new episodes, then spread the word about the podcast. It takes an enormous amount of time to produce each show and I’ve seriously thought about stopping because of that.)[Continue Reading…]

What You Didn’t Know About C.S. Lewis PLUS The Current Move of God

Okay, so there’s no post today. Not here anyway.

But there are two new posts that you can read elsewhere.

First is my article on Patheos called Shocking Beliefs of C.S. Lewis.

It’s the first installment of a new series I’m writing on the Patheos blog network.

Second is an article I wrote for New Wineskins Magazine in 2008 called The Current Move of God: 8 Characteristics.

It was recently published on another website.

Check out both articles by clicking on the above links. And if you like them, feel free to share the links.

Have a great weekend![Continue Reading…]

How to End Spiritual Stagnation

The 107th podcast episode just released. It’s called “How to End Spiritual Stagnation.”

I’m being interviewed on my new best-selling book, Jesus Now, and during the course of the conversation, I address several hindrances to spiritual progress and how to end them.

Listen in the following venues:

iTunes Subscribe (for Apple devices)

 

Beyond Pod Signet

Beyond Pod (for non-Apple devices)

 

If you don’t use a smart phone, then click here to see the complete list of episodes on one page, including this episode

Click here for detailed instructions on how to subscribe to the podcast using your smart phone or tablet, how to rate the podcast in iTunes, and how to find time to listen to podcasts.

[Continue Reading…]

This Could Spare You From Life-Long Regret

Regret . . . it’s a horrible thing.

In a moment of stupidity or practical insanity, you do something for which you want to kick yourself, slap yourself, or give yourself an atomic knee drop.

You wish it were a bad dream, a nightmare, but it really happened . . . and you can’t do anything about it.

When I was in my 20s, the Lord would often speak to me through dreams.

Today, only on rare occasion will I receive a dream that I believe is from the Lord.

This morning, I received such a dream. In it, I was supposed to write a blog post on a topic that I’ve never written on or  given much thought to.

So I’m doing that now.[Continue Reading…]

5 Reasons Why People Leave Their Church

Based on my experience and observation over the last 30 years, here are the five top reasons why people leave their local assembly (church).

(1) It’s boring – this is especially true for those who leave the traditional/institutional church. The service is basically the same show every week. There’s no room for spontaneity or creativity from the congregation. Elsewhere, George Barna and I demonstrated that the Sunday Morning Protestant Order of Worship (Service) was created 500 years ago and it’s changed little since. That’s true for virtually all denominations and “non-denominational” assemblies. The changes between them are minimal. I’ve often said the Body of Christ is dying for a lack of imagination. But very few church leaders would dare change this tradition in any significant way. So those who are bored with it end up leaving. And that’s no small number of Christians.

(2) There’s no community – many complain that they don’t know the other members of the congregation, despite trying to forge relationships. A Christian can spend years in a local church and never develop any deep relationships with the other members. While sometimes this is due to the individual’s inability to reach out, oftentimes, the environment of many churches doesn’t foster face-to-face community. For them, getting to know others in their congregation is just as difficult as making friends at the local gym. Not easy to do.

(3) There’s no place to function and minister – again, this is true in most traditional/institutional churches. The church is divided up into the professionals who function and the non-professionals who are spectators. You may reply saying, “but they can volunteer to serve in the church.” Yes, but many Christians have no interest in the typical “church” duties like being an usher, a Sunday school teacher, etc. They wish to function and share what God has given them in the corporate gatherings as envisioned in 1 Corinthians 14:26ff. To their minds, if they want to listen to sermons, they just find a good podcast and listen at home. If they want to worship with a worship team, they buy worship music, etc.  [Continue Reading…]

The Insurgency Began & You Missed It

The 106th podcast episode just released. It’s called “The Insurgency Began and You Missed It” in which I talk about the present Revolution.

Listen in the following venues:

iTunes Subscribe (for Apple devices)

 

Beyond Pod Signet

Beyond Pod (for non-Apple devices)

 

If you don’t use a smart phone, then click here to see the complete list of episodes on one page, including this episode

Click here for detailed instructions on how to subscribe to the podcast using your smart phone or tablet, how to rate the podcast in iTunes, and how to find time to listen to podcasts.

[Continue Reading…]

Don’t Miss This!

Every so often, some of you will tell me, “I can’t believe I missed this!”

So I’m entitling this post “Don’t Miss This!” with the hopes that you’ll take action and not miss out on the following items of interest that are coming soon.

1) I’m holding two special events in 2015. Soon, I’ll be polling those who signed up to get more information on possible dates. So if you have any interest in spending a day with me next year, be sure to fill out the form for the event of your choice.

2) The majority of you who heard the 100th episode of my podcast never voted on which character caller you liked best. Go here to listen to the episode and vote on one of the character callers. Remember, I’ll be interviewing one of the character callers in a future episode. So your input is appreciated.

3) My premium discipleship course LIVING BY THE INDWELLING LIFE OF CHRIST will be available again in both the online and home edition versions in late November. Be sure to get on the waiting list so you don’t miss out. The course will only be open for 7 days.

4) I’m busy writing six new books to release in January 2015. Five are part of The Rethinking Series and another is a book on Christian Community. Your prayers are appreciated as I write these volumes. Combined, the page count will be around 700 pages. Here are some photos.[Continue Reading…]

Beyond Awkward

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Beau Crosetto has just released a new book on evangelism called Beyond Awkward: When Talking About Jesus is Outside Your Comfort Zone.

Recently, I caught up with Beau to talk about his new book. Enjoy!

Beyond-Awkward-300x125

Instead of asking, “what is your book about,” I’m going to ask the question that’s behind that question. And that unspoken question is, “how are readers going to benefit from reading your book?”

Beau Crosetto: Readers are going to benefit from reading my book in three main ways.

1) I am going to help them understand that awkwardness is part of evangelism no matter how gifted you are. I like to say, “awkwardness precedes breakthrough in evangelism.” Most breakthroughs come after some tension that most of us run from. So in this book I help us name the tensions and then move through and beyond them.

All of us have people around us that are open to Jesus but we aren’t talking to them because we are nervous about the tensions (what if I am pushy? What if I don’t have the right words? What if they actually want Jesus and I don’t know how to lead them?). Instead of just telling you it will be ok, I help you name them, move through them and then beyond into breakthrough.[Continue Reading…]