Summer Reading List

Hello readers! I hope all of you are doing well today.

Well, even though spring is still here, summer is right around the corner. Now I will fully admit that I am not the biggest reader in the world. I would, however, like to read some books this summer. I need your help though

Here is where you come in. I want you to suggest some books to me. I am a 28-year-old guy with odd tastes. To give you an idea of what I like, here is a list of books that I have read in the past.

Forgotten God by Francis Chan

Crazy Love by Francis Chan

Stiff by Mary Roach

The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs

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So readers, let me know of some good books to read. Tell me a little something about them as well.

Thanks, and God Bless!

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Supernatural Church

Hello readers! Well, it has been a great ride through Francis Chan’s Forgotten God Today we finish the book by looking at Chapter 7.

In this chapter, Mr. Chan points out the difference between a Holy Spirit led church, and churches that don’t. He says that society has created a whole brand of non-Holy Spirit following churches and even Christians who are not disciples. These are a new group of ” followers” who do not follow.

I like what he says in the middle of page 143 as well.

If all God asked for were faceless numbers to fill the churches, then we would all be doing all right. Most of us would feel pretty confident. But simply having a good speaker, a service that is short and engaging, a good venue, and whatever else we add to the mix does not make a “good” or “successful” church. God intended for His bride, those who claim His name, to be much more than this.

God is not interested in numbers. He cares most about the faithfulness, not the size, of His bride. He cares about whether people are lovers of Him.

Some churches of today, and the people who attend them could be compared to the prophets of Baal. (1 Kings 18), more than Elijah. Elijah was the prophet of God. Below is a brief summary provided by Mr. Chan.

The prophets of Baal had a loud, passionate worship gathering that lasted from morning till evening. When they were done, they had a great time of fellowship. But “no one answered; no one paid attention” (18:29). After all of that, Elijah prayed. God heard his prayer, and fire came down from heaven. After it was all over, the prophets of Baal were saying, “The LORD— he is God! the LORD— he is God!” (18:39 NIV). They didn’t say, “Elijah is a great speaker” or “Elijah sure knows how to connect with God!” They were stunned by God. They were in awe of His power. They knew that what they experienced could not have been manipulated by Elijah. They experienced the power of God.


Along with the gatherings we attend as church goers, we need to use the same principle in our personal lives. People should be able to see the transformation in our lives after we accept Jesus Christ into our life. They should see His works in us and say, “The LORD– He is God” instead of, “Wow, Isn’t _____ a great person?”. We shouldn’t  let people think we are responsible for the change. The Holy Spirit should be the main focus!

Well readers, I am going to stop there. I wanna leave you with some questions.

  1. Do you attend that is like the prophets of Baal or the prophet of Elijah?
  2. Does your church pride itself on a great speaker, a great worship, great programs, number of members, etc…? Or does it pride itself on its following of the Holy Spirit?
  3. Is the Holy Spirit the focus in your life?

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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Just Stop and Think

Morning readers! Today is another day that has been given to you by Him. I hope that it has been great so far. We have one more chapter in Francis Chan’s Forgotten God to go, but I wanted to share my thoughts at the moment.

With the crazy, non-stop world we live in today, do you ever sit back and take a moment to just stop and think? Do you even have the time to really think about the actions you take day in and day out?

As I get older, a statement my dad said to me as a child becomes more and more clear.

“Think before you act.”

I recently watched a video that Francis Chan called “Just Stop and Think” and it really made me, well, stop and think. It is 15 minutes long, so turn up your speakers, gather the family, and watch the following video. It will forever change you life!

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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Forget About His Will for Your Life!

Hello again readers! I hope all of you are having blessed days! Today we will be discussing Chapter 6 of Francis Chan’s Fogotten God. Only two more chapters to go. Let’s make them really count by opening our hearts and minds to what God is saying.

Ever ask yourself or even others, “What’s God will for my life?” There are only a few people in the Bible who got their life plan from God in advance. Abraham was one of these people. God told him to pack up his family and everything he owned and start walking. Abraham didn’t know where he was going or if he would ever return. No details were given to him at all. God said go, and he went.

Mr. Chan says we need to forget about God’s will for my life. He continues to say that God cares more about our response to His Spirit’s leading today, in this moment, than about what we intend to do next year. In fact, the decisions we make next year will be profoundly affected by the degree to which we submit to the Spirit right now, in today’s decisions.

It is easy to use the phrase “God’s will for my life” as an excuse for inaction or even disobedience. It’s much less demanding to think about God’s will for your future than it is to ask Him what He wants you to do in the next ten minutes. It’s safer to commit to following Him someday instead of this day.

Do you agree with the last two paragraphs above? It makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

God wants us to listen to the Holy Spirit on a daily basis, and even during the day, as difficult and stretching moments arise, and in the midst of the mundane. We need to learn to pray for an open and willing heart, to surrender to the Spirit’s leading that friend, child, spouse, circumstance, or decision in our lives right now.

In Galatians we read Paul say the following:

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh…. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (5:16, 25).

Questions I wanna leave with you today:

  1. What does your walk with Christ and the Holy Spirit look like?
  2. Are you following the direction of the Holy Spirit, or are you wanting the Holy Spirit to follow you?

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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A Real Relationship (part 2)

Afternoon readers. Today we are going to continue Chapter 5 of Francis Chan’s Forgotten God. As mentioned in a part 1, this post is going to cover two obstacles that may be stopping you from having real intimacy with God.

Comfort (Maybe Your Life Is Too Safe)

The first obstacle Mr. Chan presents is comfort. The Bible says that the Spirit comes through in times where we would normally be afraid (Luke 12:11-12). Jesus refers the Spirit as the “Helper” or “Comforter.” Mr Chan asks a great question here.

Why would we need to experience the Comforter if our lives are already comfortable?

The Bible says that it is those who put their lives at risk and suffer for the gospel (Phil. 1:29) who will most often experience His being “with you always, even to the end of age” (Matt. 28:20 NASB).

Are you being too comfortable?

Volume (Maybe Your Life is Too Loud)

I like the question that Mr. Chan asks at the beginning of this section.

When was the last time you had an uninterrupted conversation with anyone? No phones, text messages, or to-do lists running through your mind?

Some of us would have to think for a while to come up with that answer. Our lives are becoming so fast paced and full of continual multitasking, it is hard to focus on one thing or one person. This constant going and going and going probably has affected your prayer life, I know it has affected mine.

Jesus didn’t get to experience the technology we have today, but he did have tons of people pursuing Him at once. At any given part of the day, people were looking for Jesus. He had the priority of His relationship with His Father, and found ways to escape. He took the time to focus and be quiet (Mark 1:35). He was willing to remove Himself from people’s reach in order to pray and commune with God the Father.

Mr.Chan says something so true here.

Our lack of intimacy often is due to our refusal to unplug and shut off communication from all others so we can be alone with him.

Francis challenges us at the end of this chapter to read John 14-16. He tells us to get in a space free from distraction and soak in the words we read. He says to notice particularly how Christ desires that His disciples have peace and how He comforts His disciples with the truth that they are not left alone. Part of His answer to how we are to have peace and be comforted is through the provision of the Holy Spirit, the other Counselor, who He promised would come one He left.

So right now, take the time to read John 14-16. Afterward, come back for today’s questions.

—–

  1. Does your personal baggage keep you from enjoying intimacy with God?
  2. Do you ever want to distance yourself from Him because you feel so much shame over your sin?
  3. What obstacles do you have in your life keeping you from Him?

Until next time readers, God Bless!


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A Real Relationship (part 1)

Good afternoon readers. I am super excited today. Today I graduated from college. Took me a while to do it, but I can finally say I am a college graduate. On another note, we are a little over half-way done with Francis Chan’s Forgotten God. Today we will be covering Chapter 5.

I like what Mr. Chan says in the beginning of this chapter. Serving God and living faithfully can become a constant guilt trip of “trying harder” and “doing better next time.” Can you relate with that? I know I can. Several times in my life, I have felt like I have been a failure by not living up to people’s expectations. Being insecure in what I do, and in relationships is something I deal with often. Insecurity in our personal lives can hinder the relationship we have with God. How?

Mr. Chan says it perfectly here.

Our upbringings definitely can create challenges for us. Some of us have wounds so deep that we wonder if we’ll ever be able to trust. Perhaps we’ve subconsciously taken the failures from sinful human relationships and imposed those shortcomings onto a perfect God. Now uncertainty creeps into your relationship with God.

It is the Holy Spirit who keeps us from this path and gives us confidence so we can enjoy intimacy with our Creator. Though I do not believe God gives us His Spirit solely for our personal benefit, it is undeniable that one of the greatest aspects of being in relationship with the Holy Spirit is the intimacy, security, and encouragement He brings us. It is then we can serve God as a beloved child rather than a stressed-out, guilt-ridden slave.

Wow! That is a true and powerful statement!

In the Bible, Galatians 4:9 teaches us to destroy the strongholds of earning and insecurity.

But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?

In Galatians 4:6-7, Paul says this:

“Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father’, so you are no longer slaves, but God’s children; and since you are his children, he has made you also heirs.”

Paul also writes to the Romans in Romans 8:15-17

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs— heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

After reading this, you may feel that you are totally in touch with the Holy Spirit. That is awesome! Maybe you are reading that and thinking that you really don’t experience that kind of closeness with God where you are crying out to Him.

In the next post, I will go over two potential obstacles that Mr. Chan says to consider:

Comfort and Volume.

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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Forgotten God– A Reflection

Hello readers. I just wanted to take some time and reflect over what we have read in Francis Chan’s Forgotten God. We have covered through Chapter 4, and it has been an amazing journey for me. I have learned so much about the Holy Spirit and myself. I believe I am a different person after even reading just these couple of chapters.

I wanted to share a verse with you that is currently on my heart right now.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away ll I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. — 1 Cor. 13:1-3

What are you thoughts and feelings after reading Chapter 1-4?

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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