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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…]

The Eternal Purpose

Ask the average Christian today, “What is God’s Ultimate Purpose?”

Most will give one of four answers:

1. To save the lost.

2. To make disciples.

3. To make the world a better place.

4. To glorify God.

According to the whole sweep of Scripture, each of these answers is incorrect.

Each answer points to an aspect of God’s Ultimate Purpose, but none of them constitutes His Ultimate Purpose.[Continue Reading…]

Introducing the Mystery of God

The 119th episode of the “Christ is All” podcast has just been published.

It’s a message from Ephesians 3 called “Introduction to the Mystery of God.”

In it, I cover a wide variety of topics and themes, many of which are rarely addressed today.

As always, if you enjoy it, pass this post on (using the share buttons below) and be sure to subscribe in iTunes or Beyond Pod below.

The email address I mentioned in the episode is spelled like this: FrankViolaCourses@hotmail.com

Listen to the episode 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 if you’re busy.

[Continue Reading…]

How to Overcome Bitterness

“You must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. You didn’t come to learn Christ that way. You were taught to put away your old self, to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor. In your anger do not sin. He who has been stealing must steal no longer but must work. Do not let any unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for the building up of others according to their needs. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ has forgiven you.”

~ Ephesians 4:17, 20–32, Paraphrased

Last week I wrote about what to do when other Christians hurt you.

One of the worst ways to react to hurt is to become bitter, for there are few things that are as toxic to the human spirit as bitterness.

Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to get sick.

It hurts you, not them.

In addition, bitterness not only consumes your mind and spirit, but it always ends up unwittingly destroying other people.

Because of bitterness, many Christians have shipwrecked their faith, deceiving themselves as well as others.

“See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

~ Hebrews 12:15, NIV

Bitterness will throttle your spiritual progress and open the door for God’s enemy to both use and abuse you.[Continue Reading…]

Sigh. I Feel Stupid . . .

Like most of you, I own a smart phone. But I don’t use it to read blogs.

So it didn’t dawn on me that many of you would be reading yesterday’s blog post about my current dilemma on a smart phone.

Consequently, if you tried going to the Podbean site with your smart phone, the button I mentioned didn’t appear!

(I felt my IQ drop several points when I discovered this. Sigh.)

So . . . we just added both a link and a button directly to yesterday’s “dilemma” post.

Therefore, if you’ve not yet read the post — or you read it, but couldn’t find the button on the Podbean site — the button now appears directly on the blog post.

Some people asked that I wait to make my decision since some people take awhile to getting around to reading the posts. So I’m submitting to that suggestion. 😉

Go here to read it

Yesterday, I promised I’d publish a content-rich post. I did, and it follows this one. 

If you’re reading this in your email inbox, just scroll down.

What To Do When Other Christians Hurt You – 8 Responses

When Martha complained to Jesus about Mary on His first visit to Bethany, Mary could have chosen to be offended by her sister. But there is no indication that she felt that way. She also could have taken offense when Judas and the disciples protested against her act of extravagant worship. But again, there is no indication that she did.

Don’t make the mistake of underestimating the pain that was inflicted upon Mary in both situations. Here was a woman who loved her Lord with all her heart, and she was unfairly criticized for it. Not by her enemies, but once by her sister and another time by some of the Lord’s own disciples.

It reminds me of the old adage, “No good deed shall go unpunished.”

The words of Elbert Hubbard come to mind: “To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”[Continue Reading…]

Select 3 People to Be on My Ministry Team

Most of you know that I’m built for collaboration.

Team work and co-laboring are part of my DNA.

Speaking historically, it’s obvious to me that the Lord has done far more when His servants worked in teams than He has with individuals flying solo, no matter how gifted those individuals happened to be.

Moving the discussion over to the secular realm, both The Beatles and Led Zeppelin were super groups. What they accomplished together trumped (by far) what each artist accomplished on their own after the bands dissolved and each member went solo.

For these reasons, a ministry coalition is something that deeply appeals to me.

Because I believe so much in the team-concept, I’ve done writing collaborations with Leonard Sweet, Mary DeMuth, Greg Boyd, Derwin Gray, and George Barna.

That said, some of you have expressed your desire to see me involved in a Christ-centered ministry coalition.

I fully resonate with that desire, for it’s been in my own heart for many years.[Continue Reading…]

Big Thank You & Mother’s Day . . .

I’m working on my next post which I believe you will find valuable.

But it’s not ready yet. So look for it on Monday.

I didn’t want to leave you with nothing to read today, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to let you know two things that I’m excited about.

First, I want thank all of you for getting a copy of my new book with Mary DeMuth – The Day I Met Jesus.

On Monday, we learned that the book hit the CBA Bestseller list at #2.

What a surprise and what an honor!

(For those of you who don’t know, the CBA is the “Christian” analog to the New York Times Bestseller list.)

CBA

This means that all Christian bookstores should now carry the book – Family Christian, LifeWay, Parable, etc.

Consequently, if you’re looking for a Mother’s Day gift for your mother (or wife), check out the Sample Chapter, description, and endorsements here, and head over to your local Christian bookstore and grab a copy.[Continue Reading…]