The Release of the Spirit

When I was in my early 20s, I read Watchman Nee’s book The Release of the Spirit. The content of the book came out of a long period of silence from Nee, after he was grossly mistreated by fellow Christians.

Nee was someone who never defended himself or justified his actions.

He was teachable, humble, and broken. He recognized the cross when it came into his life, and wanted God to waste nothing.

In the same way, he never defended when under false accusation and personal attack. He, like Jesus, was silent at such times, entrusting himself to God as 1 Peter 2 commands.

Nee was a broken vessel who knew the cross and thus he was qualified to preach it in all its ugly depths.

Release of the Spirit: The Breaking of the Outward Man for

Nee suspended his ministry for a number of years. When Nee resumed his ministry, however, he delivered a series of powerful messages on brokenness.

Those messages are contained in the book, The Release of the Spirit.

I’m re-reading this book, some 20 years after I first read it as a young man. And it awakened in me an instinct for the cross. Something that only God can teach another mortal.[Continue Reading...]

The Difference Between Persuasion and Manipulation & Is Business Incompatible with Being a Christian?

Today I interview Ray Edwards. Ray is a Christian businessman – a copywriter by trade. There’s a lot of confusion today among the Christian community on the matters of having a business and the ethics of marketing.

I caught up with Ray to ask him some questions about these topics, as he’s a seasoned expert in the field.  For those of you who are like me and give much of your income to the poor, you’ll want to learn how you can help others more by having a business of your own.

I hope you’ll read the interview and check out Ray’s resources.

Ray, you are a professional copywriter. Many of my blog readers are bloggers, authors, pastors and/or teachers in some capacity. What exactly is a copywriter and how can your services be of help to my readers?

Ray Edwards: Copywriting is persuasion in print. These days, “print” can mean ink on paper or more likely words on a screen.

The copywriter’s job is to tell a story that persuades the reader to take action. This skill is really about more than mere advertising and marketing. It’s about impacting human behavior.[Continue Reading...]

Religious Jealousy: The Unspoken Root Behind Hatred, Slander & Murder

The religious elite ignored Him as long as they could. Since Jesus sported no theological degrees and wasn’t part of the pastors guild, they didn’t take Him seriously. He was not credible in their eyes. But they could only follow this course for so long. His influence grew so large that they couldn’t ignore Him any longer. So they must extend to Him the credibility of engagement.

They came out with all guns blazing, seeking to refute Him. First, their pushback was targeted at the content of His teaching. But after realizing that they couldn’t successfully discount what He said, they downshifted to an ad hominem assault. Personal attacks became their new weapon for dismissal: “He has no authority to say what He’s saying.” “He’s not seminary trained.” “He has no ordination papers.” “He’s not a scholar.”

Then it escalated: “He was born as the result of fornication.” “He’s a blasphemer.” “He’s deceptive.” “He’s a glutton and a drunkard.” “He’s a false prophet.” And the ultimate attack: “Satan is working through Him!”[Continue Reading...]

Introducing Two Amazing Graphic Designers

Today, I want to introduce you to two incredible graphic designers.

One is Ralph Polendo. I recently found out about Ralph’s work. Ralph created the cover for my eBook Rethinking the Will of God (Revised).

(This is a free eBook to everyone who subscribes to the blog via Email. New subscribers will receive it at the beginning of each new month.)

RTWGCover

Ralph has created other book covers as well, such as To Preach or Not to Preach.[Continue Reading...]

God’s Favorite Place – 2012 Conference Message Part I

The 75th episode of my podcast has just been published.

Frank Viola

Episode Overview

  • The first talk from the 2012 God’s Favorite Place Conference.

Listen to the Episode

An Important & Surprising Note from the Publisher of “God’s Favorite Place on Earth”

Dear Friends,

Stay tuned for Monday’s post. I will be releasing a special conference message from 2012 on the Lord Jesus Christ. I’m confident it will bless you.

In the meantime, check out my recent discussion with Dr. Michael Brown. It was a rare and touching moment in talk radio.

Here is a special note from my publisher.

A NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER OF GOD’S FAVORITE PLACE ON EARTH

Good morning, my name is Alex Field, and I am deputy publisher at David C Cook, the publisher of Frank Viola’s bold and powerful new book, God’s Favorite Place On Earth.

And I just wanted to say “Thank You.”

Thank you to everyone who purchased a copy of God’s Favorite Place On Earth in the past two weeks, a book that we are immeasurably proud of here at DCC. It is a fantastic book and we continue to pray that this message and Frank’s vision for this project will transform lives as the book gets into people’s hands.

Here’s the crazy news: We literally sold out of God’s Favorite Place On Earth at multiple outlets all over the country! The demand is high for this book, but despite difficulty in finding copies, we know that Frank’s message about how to make your heart a Bethany for Jesus today will continue to go far and wide.

I have a couple quick updates for you:

First, here’s my reality. Today we are scrambling to get more copies of the book to all retail outlets, including Amazon. We’re printing more fast! I want you to know that if you ordered the book from Amazon and got a message from them asking you about canceling your order, please rest assured, you will get the book from Amazon in the coming days and weeks. The book is on its way! It may take a little longer due to the increased demand, but again, thank you again for your loyalty to Frank and to the message of this book. It is deeply appreciated.”

Second, If you have not yet ordered the book and want it quickly, you can still get the book today at BarnesandNoble.com, at FamilyChristian.com, and at other independent bookstores.

Finally, if you have not yet ordered the book, I encourage to go out and get a copy of this book, sit down with a cup of coffee, and soak in the message of God’s Favorite Place On Earth. This is a book that will live with you long after you’ve read it the first time.

Thank you again!

Warmest Regards,

Alex Field
Deputy Publisher, David C Cook

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Join over 30,000 other readers and receive free blog updates. If you subscribe by Email, you will receive my eBook Rethinking the Will of God (Revised) and my Next Reformation Seminar as a free gift. By subscribing, you also won’t miss a post. If you want to start your own blog from scratch in less than 10 minutes, click here. And if you’re looking for a hosting or domain-name service, I highly recommend BlueHost.

A Woman’s Heart for God

Sheila Cragg’s new book, A Woman’s Heart for God, explores how women can draw closer to the Lover of their souls. I caught up with Sheila recently to interview her about her new book. Enjoy!

a womans heart for God bookcover

Tell us a bit about the experiences that shaped the insights in the book.

Sheila Cragg: For thirteen years now the Lord has been teaching me about His sovereignty and His plans for my life that I would never have chosen. Between serious illnesses, my husband becoming suddenly blind, and other family struggles, nothing has seemed to go right. I have begged God to answer prayers and deliver us from our difficulties. Yet God hasn’t answered my way or in my timing. Instead, He has been teaching me to watch for Him working in our trials, in the unchanging circumstances. He has revealed His Sovereign plans and called me to serve Him in ways that I had never imagined doing.[Continue Reading...]

Confessions of a Frustrated Author

Many of you who read this blog are published authors. And many of you are aspiring authors.

So I’m writing this candid post for two reasons:

1) to give you a back-stage peek into the life of an author.

2) to give you an update on what’s happening with God’s Favorite Place on Earth.

Seeing that you all helped the book hit the Amazon bestseller list, I thought you’d be interested.

(If you’re new to the blog, God’s Favorite Place on Earth hit #13 on Amazon and stayed below #50 for 8 days straight. The chances of a book hitting the top 15 on Amazon are slim to none. And slim left town. The thanks and credit goes to all of you who bought a copy.)

However, there is something that has hurt the book big time. And it continues to hurt it. For an author who regards this little volume to be his “life’s work,” the problem is beyond frustrating. Let me ‘splain.[Continue Reading...]

Everything: An Interview with One of the Most Gifted Writers of Our Time

One of the most gifted writers of our generation is Mary DeMuth. Mary has the unique talent of switch-hitting in literature. That is, she has the exotically rare ability to write both fiction and nonfiction. And she excels at both.

But more than her flare for the writing craft, Mary’s insight into Jesus Christ is beyond that of most contemporary writers. She’s also accessible (something I highly value in authors), friendly, discerning and generous.

In other words, she exhibits the Lord Jesus.

I caught up with Mary recently to talk with her about her recent book, Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus.

Enjoy the interview and pass it on.

Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus

Mary, 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?”[Continue Reading...]

Dallas Willard & Brennan Manning

Dallas Willard and Brennan Manning were luminous souls who transitioned to heavenly places recently. Both men made remarkable contributions to the body of Christ.

One of the outstanding marks demonstrating that all of these men were making a profound impact on the Kingdom of God is the fact that all of them were slandered, misrepresented, lied about, and attacked by fellow “Christians.”

I talked about this problem recently in my defense of Rick Warren. But it bears repeating.

If you are doing something significant for the Lord, expect the worst kinds of sordid attacks to come your way. Not just from the world, but from so called “brethren.”

Jesus promised so much.

Remember the words I spoke to you: “No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” John 15:20

It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub [the head of devils], how much more the members of his household! Matthew 10:25 

Woe to you when all men speak well of you . . . Luke 6:26

Consider what Jesus was referring to here. And Just imagine if the Internet existed during His day:

*He was accused of being an illegitimate child (John 8:41).

*He was accused of being a deceiver(John 7:12).

*He was accused of being mentally ill (John 10:20).

*He was accused of being demon possessed (Matt. 9:34; John 7:20).

*He was accused of being Beelzebub [Satan] (Matt. 10:25).

*He was accused of being a blasphemer (Matt. 9:3; 26:65; Mark 2:7)

*He was accused of being an enemy to the Law of Moses. (To put this in modern terms, His teachings and practices went against the Bible).

*He was accused of saying that he would destroy the Temple in Jerusalem (Mark 14:58).

Jesus’ warning about what would happen to those who followed faithfully in His steps was exhibited in the life of Paul of Tarsus in living color. Here are the accusations leveled against Paul during his lifetime:

*He was accused of being a man pleaser and a coward (Gal. 1:10; 1 Thess. 2:4).

*He was accused of being a false apostle (Gal. 1:11-2:10; 2 Cor. 11:16-12:12).

*He was accused of being a flatterer (1 Thess. 2:5).

*He was slandered and his good was evil spoken of (1 Cor. 10:30).

*He was accused of being greedy (1 Thess. 2:5,9).

*He was accused of seeking glory from men (1 Thess. 2:6).

*He was accused of extorting God’s people (2 Cor. 2:17; 11:7-21).

*He was accused of being a deceiver and a crafty manipulator (2 Cor. 6:8; 12:16).

*He was given a bad report (reputation) by some (2 Cor. 6:8).

*He was the subject of insults (2 Cor. 12:10).

*He was accused of being a controller (2 Cor. 10:1-2, 9-11).

*He was accused of blasphemy (Acts 24:6).

*He was accused of being a “cult” leader (Acts 24:5).

*He was accused of being a criminal (Acts 16:20-21; 24:5; 2 Tim. 2:9).

Both Willard and Manning were true servants of the Master. Choice vessels in His hands. And each of them bore the marks of unjust persecution to prove it.

Now . . . they have rested from their labors and from the bitter agony of personal attacks at the hands of professing Christians.

See also Warning: The World is Watching How We Christians Treat One Another.

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