Easter Continues . . .

My new book The Day I Met Jesus is now in Audiobook as well as a Large Print edition. There’s also The Day I Met Jesus Master Course with 20 audio messages by Mary DeMuth and me, eight bonus eBooks, and a printed workbook.

One of the inspirations of my books on biblical narrative — God’s Favorite Place on Earth (written from the perspective of Lazarus) and The Day I Met Jesus with Mary DeMuth (written from the perspective of five women from the Gospels) — is my friend Don Francisco’s classic song “He’s Alive” told from the perspective of Peter.

Here is a video where Don shares why he chose to tell the story through the lips of Peter followed by the lyrics.

Those of you who are your 20s and 30s (which is the majority of my blog subscribers), please share this post with all your friends in your age group.

Don’s song will be unknown to most of them, yet they will be immensely blessed by it!

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The Chiseling of God

In resurrection, God starts all over with a new creation. But resurrection always follows suffering and death.

Herein lies an important lesson. If you make a home for the Lord Jesus Christ, hard times will come. Crisis will come. Suffering will come. Even death – in some form – will come.

Suffering is worldwide and neck deep. But for the Christian, suffering has a purpose. It’s the chiseling of God designed to transform you into the image of His Son.

A word of encouragement: if your foundations are in Jesus Christ, then you can weather the storm. You can endure the crisis. You can put on your asbestos suit and walk through the fire because you are standing on Him who is the Immovable Rock.

Sometimes God will deliver you from trouble. Oftentimes He will deliver you through it.[Continue Reading…]

A Nicodemus Moment

A number of years ago I was invited to share with a group of pastors, teachers, and leaders for a two-day retreat.

On the last day of the retreat, I was asked to share some snapshots of Christ-centered community from my own experience.

I told the story of one such community. This body of believers didn’t have a clergy or a pastor, but they discovered Jesus Christ in the depths and learned to love one another through thick or thin.

They also learned to have New Testament-styled church meetings where every member functioned, sharing the riches of Christ through their various gifts . . . all without a pastor, a facilitator, or an administrator present.

Their gatherings and their community life was under the headship of Jesus Christ.[Continue Reading…]

This!

Two new episodes have been added to the “Christ is All” podcast.

Diary of a Prostitute Who Loved Much

Christ Before Time

You can also subscribe to the podcast in the following ways:

iTunes Subscribe (for Apple devices)

 

Beyond Pod Signet

Beyond Pod (for non-Apple devices)

 

Click here to see the complete list of episodes on one page

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 (which helps new people find the podcast), and how to find time to listen to podcasts if you’re busy.

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A Lesson We Can All Learn from Charles Manson

Young and up-and-coming authors often ask me for advice on the craft of writing. Especially the art of writing books.

An oft-repeated question I get has to do with critics and how to deal with them.

One must first understand that not all critics are created equal. There are three main types. And each one deserves a different kind of response.

I address the topic in Three Kinds of Critics & How to Deal With Them.

Another question has to do with being misrepresented by others, including self-professing “fans.”

Example: A fan of Francis Chan is teaching that we need to destroy all church buildings because they are evil and start having church in coffee shops and houses.

Chan, of course, was blamed for promoting this concept because at least one of his “followers” was promoting it.

I have no idea what Mr. Chan believes or has written about this (I’ve only read one of his books because Patheos asked me to review it), but I seriously doubt that he teaches what this fan of his claims.[Continue Reading…]

Blindsided by God

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Peter Chin has written a new book entitled Blindsided by God. In it, Chin explores the reality of suffering, the mystery of God’s ways, and why, even in the darkest times, there’s always reason for hope.

I caught up with Peter recently to discuss his new book. Enjoy!

BlindsidedByGod-highres

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?”

Peter Chin: That really depends on the context of the reader. For those who are doing pretty well in life but are simply looking for an interesting read, the book will definitely provide that. It is a remarkable true story, one filled with as many twists and turns as you would find in any work of fiction.

But the book was really written with a more specific audience in mind. I wrote the book for those who find themselves in an especially difficult season of life, where they have experienced loss or disappointment. For those who find themselves in that context, this book will help them to remember something precious – that they are not alone in their pain. This in itself is an important realization, and a powerful source of encouragement.[Continue Reading…]

Small Groups

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Within the world of church, we have the following groups of people:

1. Those who gather in the institutional form of church.

2. Those who gather outside the institutional form of church.

3. Those who belong to no local gathering at all.

4. Those who gather in the institutional form of church but who also gather in small groups.

Scott Boren’s new book Leading Small Groups in the Way of Jesus is a book for small group leaders and those interested in the benefit of small groups.

I caught up with Scott to ask him some questions about his book. Enjoy![Continue Reading…]

5 Shades of Jesus

Sneak Preview: I’m researching my next installment of the “Shocking Beliefs” series . . . and it’s going to be on the shocking beliefs of John Calvin. So stay tuned for it.

In 1 Corinthians 1, Paul calls Jesus Christ the Wisdom of God.

Jesus is the incarnation of wisdom.

In Ephesians 3, Paul uses the phrase, the manifold (which can be translated “many colored”) wisdom of God.

Jesus Christ, the embodiment of wisdom, is multi-colored.

That means that Christ reveals Himself in infinite variety, because His riches are “unsearchable” and His fullness cannot be exhausted.[Continue Reading…]