Ann Voskamp – One Thousand Gifts

Ann Voskamp is the author of the blockbuster bestseller, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. I caught up with Ann recently to talk with her about her book and how she became an author.

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are  -              By: Ann Voskamp

You’ll notice that Ann was a blogger long before she got a book publishing deal and became a bestselling author. She is one of many who share that same narrative. If you’re someone who wishes to begin a blog, I recommend BlueHost to get your started. You can choose your domain name from them and they will even set you up with WordPress for an incredibly low price. To find a domain name for your blog, click here and then click the “Sign Up Now” button when you get on the page. Click here to begin a new WordPress blog on BlueHost. I’ll give step-by-step instructions in my post on Friday. So stay tuned. But you can try it now using that link. As you will see, Ann’s story is so inspiring that I wanted to put legs on it for my readers.

Here’s my interview with Ann Voskamp. If you enjoy it, share it via the share buttons below.[Continue Reading...]

To Preach or Not to Preach

My good friend and co-worker Jon Zens has just re-issued David Norrington’s classic book on the sermon. In To Preach or Not to Preach, Norrington carefully documents the origin of the modern sermon, showing how it’s different from New Testament preaching and teaching.

Norrington’s book was one of the many sources I used in my research for Pagan Christianity. Before he passed on, I had some wonderful correspondence with Norrington about his book. In this new edition, Jon Zens has added a powerful introduction and Dave Norrington responds to critics. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the topic.

Order To Preach or Not to Preach in paperback

Order To Preach or Not to Preach in Kindle

Join over 25,000 other readers and receive free blog updates. If you subscribe by Email, you will receive my Next Reformation Seminar as a free gift. By subscribing, you also won’t miss a post. If you are new to the blog, be sure to check out my Top Posts of All Time. I look forward to your input and comments. Be part of the conversation!

What Makes Jesus Angry?

Since Jesus was human “in every way that we are, except without sin” (Hebrews 4:15), it is not surprising that He showed anger. His anger never ran wild, however, and anger danger was never an issue with Him.

But Jesus often got angry at His disciples, especially Peter. He got angry with the Pharisees. Jesus got angry with the priests and publicans of the temple. It is very revealing what ticked Jesus off. Of course, we are encoded beings, and human nature is not the same in all ages. If Jesus exhibited the seven basic facial expressions that correspond to seven basic emotions recognized by people from all cultures, the emotion ascribed to that face would depend on the broader context in which it occurred. What sparks anger in particular can differ radically from one age to another.

The Range of Jesus’ Ire is Impressive

The range of Jesus’ ire is impressive. For example, within a very short period of time in Jesus’ life, three things made Him see red, and each one reveals something important about the essence of the Gospel. In this post, we’ll just look at one of them . . . along with His greatest irritant.[Continue Reading...]

Why I’ve Decided to Post Less Often

For the last year, I’ve been posting 5 days a week steadily. To date, I’ve published 540 posts since June 2008. All free content. I’ve also produced 66 episodes on the podcast with many more in the queue . . . again, all free content. (I enjoy giving away my material whenever I’m able.)

I advise bloggers who are starting out to post frequently. However, once you’ve hit a decent inflection point, posting every week day (or every day) has it’s downside. Namely, it’s too much for some people. They just can’t keep up.

Recently, a few of my friends complained about this very thing. They said they loved the blog, but they couldn’t keep up with the frequency of 5 posts a week. I’ve even lost subscribers because of it.

I also happen to be in the process of launching two new businesses, and I’m seeking to spend more time in my ministry to the poor and forging relationships with non-Christians. I’m also working on a new online course that I plan to launch in the Fall.

For all of these reasons, I’ve decided to cut back on my blogging frequency. So here’s the new frequency . . .[Continue Reading...]

How to Hear God’s Voice

The subject of hearing God’s voice is both a mystery and a struggle for many. On this score, two books that I’ve personally found helpful on the topic are . . .

Hearing God by Peter Lord (revised and expanded)

Hearing God, revised and expanded: An Easy-to-Follow, Step-by-Step Guide to Two-Way Communication with God  -              By: Peter Lord

Hearing God by Dallas Willard

Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God  -              By: Dallas Willard

My friend Felicity Dale has also written a neat little eBook on the subject of hearing God, and she’s giving it away for free. Click here to obtain your copy.

Join over 25,000 other readers and receive free blog updates. If you subscribe by Email, you will receive my Next Reformation Seminar as a free gift. By subscribing, you also won’t miss a post. If you are new to the blog, be sure to check out my Top Posts of All Time. I look forward to your input and comments. Be part of the conversation!

Mike Morrell Interviews Leonard Sweet & Me

Last year, Mike Morrell interviewed Leonard Sweet and me on our book Jesus: A Theography. Here is the complete interview. (Note: From now until February 3rd, Jesus: A Theography and Jesus Manifesto are on sale for only $8.00. Click here for the discount.)

Mike Morrell: “Theography?” What’s a theography?   

Len: “Theography” literally means “the story of a god.” Even though I’m not averse to coining words (some would call that an understatement), we did not make up the word “theography.” It’s an actual genre of literature which has a long history. Rather than write a “biography of God” (Jack Miles) or a “history of God” (Karen Armstrong), we decided to lay our cards on the table and write the story of someone we believe is, as the Nicene Creed puts it, “God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made.”

Frank: A theography is a theological biography. The book, therefore, tells the story of Jesus, beginning from eternity (John 1:1), all the way through the Old Testament (where Christ is foreshadowed, prefigured, and prophesied about), all the way through the New Testament and ending in Revelation. It seeks to marry theology with biography, bringing together Christology with historical Jesus studies.[Continue Reading...]

Five Principles of Interpreting the Bible

The following principles come from T. Austin-Sparks. This is excerpted from his writings.

1. The Eternity Of God

The first principle of the interpretation of the Bible is the eternity of God. We must always remember that all time is present time with God. There is no past and future with God: all that is past and future with us has been present with God always. At any moment in what is time to us, eternity is present with God.

The architect always has the completed plan before him. If he is the designer of a ship, he has a model made of that ship before anything is done. He sees in the model the completed object, that is, exactly how the thing will appear when it is finished. If it is a great building, or even a city, it is the same. The architect draws what we call a scale model, and he sees in that model exactly how the building, or the city, will be when it is finished. The builder works day by day according to that completed plan. Those who only see the parts cannot understand, and must not take the parts as being the whole. Sometimes when you look at the parts of a building, you cannot for the life of you understand what it is going to be. It is only as the completed thing is seen that you can understand the parts.[Continue Reading...]

10 Ways to Handle Stress

Stress is a part of life. But it can be toxic to your health — emotional, spiritual, and physical — if it’s not managed properly. Consequently, learning how to handle it is imperative.

Here are 10 ways that I’ve found helpful in handling stress in my own life. Perhaps you can add some that have worked for you:[Continue Reading...]

Envy & Jealousy on Facebook – What New Research Has Revealed

Several new studies have revealed that Facebook makes countless people feel bad about themselves, leading to anger and hate against other people. Why? Because of envy and jealousy.

Shine recently published the findings of the research. And it’s not pretty. Here’s an excerpt:

“More than a third of the respondents reported feeling negative, but it had nothing to do with Facebook’s ever-changing privacy policies and advertisements—most of those bad vibes were rooted in jealousy . . . We were surprised by how many people have a negative experience from Facebook, with envy leaving them feeling lonely, frustrated or angry . . . The fact that we spend so much time on Facebook means that our petty retaliations take place there as well. Users who felt jealous of their friends’ status updates, photos, and life events often dealt with it by exaggerating their own accomplishments, posting unrealistically pretty profile shots, and sharing over-the-top status updates. That, in turn led other Facebook friends to feel jealous and inadequate—something the researchers dubbed an ‘envy spiral.’ All of that virtual envy creates a real-life problem: Users end up feeling dissatisfied with their own lives. “

Many people who aren’t happy with themselves will read of the successes of other people on social media sites and blogs. Instead of “rejoicing with those who rejoice,” they will instead become envious. This will often lead them to embellish their own accomplishments, successes, and life-achievements, lifting themselves up while tearing others down. Often people they don’t know personally. This kind of envy and jealousy is often the root behind personal attacks, slander, and character assassination which are designed to hurt the reputation of others. The motive of which is jealousy.

Christians are not immune to this problem. And it has been with us since the first century. James wrote,[Continue Reading...]