“We need the wild-eyed wonder of a child to see the beauty. We need the innocence. When we open our eyes again, when we return to a state of discovery like a child, we see that God’s brilliance cannot be overcome. No matter how dark our world, no matter how many shadows cast their despair on us, beauty remains.”

We all have those moments, where just for a split second we remember what it was like to be a child and we see the world for the wonder it is. In their book “Home Behind the Sun”, Timothy Willard and Jason Locy challenge to regain this sense of wonder in our lives especially in the way we view God. Growing up should never be the reason that we lose our wonder and sense of awe concerning the God we serve. In the hustle and bustle of life, it seems that most have forgotten how to slow down and appreciate the small things of life. We have lost the value of sitting and watching a bird fly or the flower that has grown up out of the crack in the concrete. Life is literally all around us proclaiming the wonder and goodness of this God we serve and we are missing while we supposedly live. Throughout the book there are beautiful stories that help recapture the wonder of our childhood and allow the reader to find God in the simple things of life again.

I really enjoyed this book but one thing that I did have a problem with was the way in which the authors wrote the book. Although it is full of beautiful imagery and poetry, I found it very hard to press through certain sections of the book and repeatedly had to put it down in order to come back to it later. This literally is the only thing that I had an issue with in the book. I personally do not like this method of writing but I highly enjoyed the meaning and focus of the book. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has lost that sense of childlike faith and wonder in their lives. I would just preface that the writing style is not for everyone.

 

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookLookBloggers.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

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Great thoughts from Eugene Cho which are taken from upcoming book Overrated. Check it out and go ahead and pre-order book!

Eugene Cho

romero

There are many beautiful aspects of our larger culture … and then they are broken things. There are also things that are incredibly encouraging and of course, disconcerting.

One of my concerns in our larger culture – including the Church:

We’re
lacking
d  e  p  t  h  .

In my first book – Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World than Actually Changing the World? (set to release on September 1 but available for pre-order now),  there’s a chapter entitled, “Have More Depth than 140 Characters.”

I am the first to tell you that I don’t know everything about everything. But when it comes to my core pursuits, my passions, the issues that inspire me and drive me to serve, I try to learn as much as I can.

Over the past few years, I have met many people who are not only…

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“Our spiritual lives are devoid of passion. Yes, we believe, but often our knowledge of God is dry and cerebral. We give mere mental assent to truths that should leave us shaking. We mumble perfunctory prayers. We ask God to keep us safe, not realizing that it is from Him we most need protecting. Even when we see evidence of God in our midst, when we glimpse his holiness, we’re more likely to yawn than yell. Somehow we’ve succeeded in making the strange ordinary. We walk by tigers without looking twice.
Why are we so anesthetized? What’s behind our lack of reverence, fear, and awe? I think it’s simple.
We’ve forgotten how BIG God is!” – Drew Dyck

Every so often you come upon a book that challenges you to change everything. This book was that one for me. Dyck writes about a God that sadly I had never met. Yawning at Tigers described my spirituality more than I realized and was a wake up call to a sleeping child who had lost his wonder. This book is for anyone who loves to be challenged in their thinking towards who God is and also for anyone who knows that there has to be more but just can’t figure out what it was they didn’t find.

In Yawning at Tigers, Dyck inspires the reader to find again the God of the Bible. That today there is still a God who is awe inspiring and full of mystery and wonder. This book has truly given my faith a breath of fresh air and has allowed me to want to find God in new ways every day. This book is a new beginning into a relationship that will never be dull again.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookLookBloggers.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Video  —  Posted: June 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

“I was attending a movie with my son recently and, during several of the previews, Nathan leaned over to me and said, “We have got to see that!” It got me thinking about the art of the movie trailer. There are so many films, and we have such little time, that those two-minute clips have to reach into our hearts and garner that coveted response, “I have to see that.”

The church is like that — a compelling preview of what is to come, intended to draw the world in to see the full picture. Your life, as part of the church, is meant to be a preview as well. You are called to offer a picture of how beautiful self-denial, shared discipleship, and mission can be in a culture of shallow entertainment and radical individualism.

We live in a world that so often looks at the church and, seeing hypocrisy, exclusivity, and stringent rules, says, “I don’t want any part in that!”

So, together, as Christ’s church, may we put the brilliance of Jesus on display in such a way that elicits only one response from a watching world: “I have to be part of that!”” Jon Tyson

From beginning to end, Jon Tyson and Barna Groups do an amazing job at showing the actual perception of the church and what we as Christ followers need to be actually doing. As Tyson writes, “When you look at the ministry of Jesus, you see Him apprenticing his disciples, not just teaching them. To take on the way of Jesus wasn’t simply to take on his worldview or interpretation of the Scriptures; it was to take on his lifestyle — to learn how to think, love, act, relate, practice, embody, and model the Kingdom of God.” I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever been to church. We may never truly “get” it right but I truly believe that Tyson gives us a good start in correcting the perception and view of the church to those both inside and outside of it.

 

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookLookBloggers.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

From the first time I met Carlos Whittaker after a concert in Charlotte, I knew that this dude lived on purpose. Everything from the way he worshipped through his songs to the interaction with everyone who made it to his table he was intentional. Knowing this about him firsthand I had to read his first book and I was met with the same intentionality about both his personal life and how we should expect the same for our own lives.

From the opening line, Moment Maker had my attention and never lost it at any point during the book. From one beautiful Moment Making story to the next, Carlos brilliantly invites the reader into his life and shows what it means to live like Christ in everyday life: intentional.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone who feels like life has become a little stagnant or boring. Carlos’ stories are truly compelling and many times even convicting in the sense that God has called us to so much more than a “Bucket-list” life or spirituality. Every moment of every day is an opportunity to allow the presence of God to have His way and interrupt our lives however He sees fit. I personally thank Carlos and his Moment Making intentionality for reminding me of this and jump starting a heart that had become cynical and self focused. That jump start I pray will put me back on the heartbeat of the original Moment Maker Himself, Jesus.

So take the first step in being a Moment Maker and read this book. Allow yourself to be reminded that you were made for more and all it takes is looking outside of yourself. Be intentional! BE!

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookLookBloggers.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

  

God. Love. Marriage. Sex.

For most of us growing up in the church these four words were seldom spoken in the same context with the honesty that they required. In Loveology, John Mark Comer approaches these topics and so much more with a true and biblical perspective that I personally wish I had been able to read years ago. From talking about the true purpose of marriage, the biblical intention of sex and a how to identify love versus lust; Comer recovers the discussion on these so called taboo topics and puts them back in the hands of the God that created it all.

Loveology is a much needed resource in the conversation on love, marriage, sex and also homosexuality. John Mark Comer honestly and openly discusses his views based on scripture to show the reader how God truly created us. I will definitely be relying on this book to have conversations with my youth group as well as my own children when the time is right.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

 

Love this brother and his ministry! check out this awesome video and his ministry Catching Creation!!

Catching Creation

I’m proud to present to you the first ever Catching Creation rap video…If you like it, share it!  Let’s get everyone dancing and let this catchy song about amphibians lay eggs in your brain.

“Slippy Slimy Salamander”
Written/Performed by
Stan Lake/Stephen LaVine/Daniel Charles/Chance Feimster
Beat Produced by
Terrance Hawkins
Recorded by
Stephen LaVine
Mixed by
E-Jay Chandler and Jeff “Kid” Prince
©2014 Catching Creation

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From the opening lines of The Ragamuffin Gospel I knew that Brennan Manning had a way of delivering the truth about the grace of God that I had never experienced before. In his last work The Prodigal co-written by Greg Garrett I was not disappointed either. From the opening pages Manning invites the reader into a story that we can all find ourselves apart of at some point in life. Following the public fallout of the “people’s pastor” Jack Chisholm, the reader is taken through a journey of brokenness, despair, grief, forgiveness, hope, restoration and grace. Brennan Manning beautifully shows the story of the prodigal son in the relationship of Jack and his own father. This book is a must read! I could write out hundreds of words to describe it to you and do it no justice. This book and its story of grace and how we are able to receive the restoration that we find in the arms of our Abba is a beautiful ending to the life of Brennan Manning.

“A true companion piece to The Ragamuffin Gospel, The Prodigal illustrates the power of grace through the story of a broken man who finally saw Jesus not because he preached his greatest sermon or wrote his most powerful book, BUT because he failed miserably.”

We have all failed miserably and we all need God’s grace to find us and let us know we can “come home.” This updated version of the prodigal son is one that needs to be read so that a new generation of ragamuffins can understand the grace and tenderness that  Brennan Manning devoted his life to. He will forever be remembered sharing a message that speaks to the prodigal in all of us, “God loves us just as we are, and not as we should be”.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The year of 2013 all started with a challenge I made for myself that I would read more books than I had in any other year previously. It was definitely one of my favorite years of personal growth and finding myself as well as God in the many books that I was able to read. My reading journey took me through some amazing theological insights into the wonders of God as well as some amazing stories of that same God and how He has challenged and impacted people in all walks of life. This past year, reading became a way for me to find God in new ways and really show me that He is more creative than I had ever thought possible before. So here is a look back at all the books I was able to read.

2013 Reading List Total: 43

  1. Pure Scum by Mike Sares
  2. The Noticer by Andy Andrews
  3. The Janitor by Hopkins & Hilbert
  4. The Two Doors of Heaven by John Bolin
  5. Samson: A Savior Will Rise by Shawn Hoffman
  6. Clear Winter Nights by Trevin Wax
  7. Patched Together by Brenna Manning
  8. A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
  9. A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket
  10. Blessed Child by Ted Dekker & Bill Bright
  11. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
  12. Wrecked by Jeff Goins
  13. The Vertical Self by Mark Sayers
  14. Father Fiction by Donald Miller
  15. The Core Issue by Christine Caine
  16. Searching For God Knows What by Donald Miller
  17. One Month to Live by Kerry & Chris Shook
  18. The Importance of Being Foolish by Brennan Manning
  19. A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards
  20. The Lord of the Ring by Phil Anderson
  21. The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson
  22. Grace (Eventually) – Thoughts on Faith by Anne LaMott
  23. The Pastor by Eugene Peterson
  24. Neighbors and Wise Men by Tony Kriz
  25. By Grace Alone by Sinclair B. Ferguson
  26. Pursuing Justice by K. Wystma & D. Jacobson
  27. gods at war by Kyle Idleman
  28. Chasing Francis by Ian Morgan Cron
  29. Jesus, My Father, The CIA and me by Ian Morgan Cron
  30. Fathered by God by John Elderedge
  31. Through Painted Deserts by Donald Miller
  32. What It Means to Be a Man by Rhett Smith
  33. This Beautiful Mess by rick McKinley
  34. Packing Light by Ally Vesterfelt
  35. Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
  36. God in Slow Motion by Mike Nappa
  37. The Boy Who Cried Abba by Brennan Manning
  38. Clowning in Rome by Henri Nouwen
  39. You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader by Mark Sanborn
  40. God on the Streets of Gotham by Paul Asay
  41. Runaway Emotions by Jeff Shreve
  42. Wounded by God’s People by Anne Graham Lotz
  43. The Sound of Silence by T. Willard & J. Locy

 

Top 5 of 2013:

  1. Chasing Francis by Ian Morgan Cron
  2. Packing Light by Ally Vesterfelt
  3. The Janitor by Hopkins & Hilbert
  4. A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards
  5. Pure Scum by Mike Sares

*Honorable Mentions: This Beautiful Mess by Rick McKinley & Clowning in Rome by Henri Nouwen

* Most surprised that I liked: God on the Streets of Gotham by Paul Asay

 

So here’s to a new year and a new journey! My goal for 2014 is going to be 60 which is must higher but I feel that it is reachable. Also this year I will be adding a new kind of book into the mix. Sometime around September I am going to be a first time dad so there will be much to read and learn about the amazing wonder that is children.

….let the new journey continue….

Help my friend go back to Africa

Posted: January 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

Help a brother with a passion burning in his heart fund his way back to Africa.

My friend Jarrett Connick is going back to Africa in March and he needs our help. Jarrett and I have been friends for a little more than a year now, he loves coffee, love his eno hammock and has cool tattoos. He plays drums with me, we have gone to some cool places this year, and he is always down for a good time. I am going to miss him while he is gone.

Those things aside, Jarrett has a good heart that is really tender before The Lord. His passion for Africa and for the prophetic move of God is evident within 5 minutes of any conversation. He is good soil, I trust him, and you can trust him too. Let’s help send him back to Africa. Click here or the prayer card below for more information about his trip and what we can do to help.

prayer card

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