12 book give away!

Many of you who know me know that I love book! Well here’s a way for both of us to get a chance to get free signed copies of books! Not only are there book give aways yhey are giving away tickets to the conference!

Click this link enter your email to sign up and then paste the link for others to get a chance as well!

http://brazenchurch.com/giveaways/open-table-atlanta/?lucky=1199

Hope for the best!

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Proverbs Challenge

Proverbs Challenge

I was scouring the blogs on WordPress and I happened upon Zachary Pierpont’s blog and read his post titled “Proverbs Reading Challenge”. I have been on a reading plan with my wife, and let me admit we aren’t doing so well at keeping up with it. BUT we were talking about starting it up again or at the very least just jumping into a book of the Bible and reading through it.  And this seems just like the thing we can do!

Although I am 3 days behind. I want to jump into the practice of reading through the Book of Proverbs at least once a month. Proverbs has 31 chapters within it, and the days of the month commonly range from 30-31 days—with the exception of that tricky February. So it seems pretty easy doesn’t it? Pick up your Bible and read one chapter a day, with the exception of the last few days of February where you double up to make up for the “lost days”, and those months which have 30 days and require you to double up that final day.

So here is an example of what I mean:

Month Day/Ch.  
Jan. 1 / 1 2/2 …25/25 … 26/26 27/27 28/28 29/29 30/30 31/31
Feb. 1 / 1 2/2 …25/25 & 26 26/27 & 28 27/ 29 & 30 28/ 31      

 

 

I want to challenge you all, and hope you all will challenge me on as well: let’s do the “Proverb Challenge” together! For those who already have a Bible reading plan could you partner with us and add this in? For those who do not have a Bible reading plan, I challenge you to make this an introduction to integrating a Bible reading plan. It isn’t a hefty amount to read per day at all and it will help set in the habit. I would estimate that it would not take more than 5 mins to complete.

Simple enough isn’t it? And if you’re jumping in mid-month or you are behind a few days, you can either make up the chapters you have missed or continue with the chapter listed for your day (you’ll get it next month for sure). I highly recommend the first option, but this month I just want us to develop a habit!

As Christians, consistent reading of Scripture is important, how else are we to make it a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path?

The War Against the Intellect: God’s Creation Diminished

One of the battles I face as a Pentecostal who has a God given passion for academia is the battle between faith and reason. The older I get the more I hope that this war would end, but with every step in the right direction that I face I am reminded that  perfect peace is not attainable this side of Heaven.

I am all about the emotive expressions that are found within the Pentecostal tradition, and I am a firm believer in the miracles and supernatural; I would even label myself a Continuationist (one who believes that the spiritual gifts of God are still present even today). But must we disregard our intellect for our expression? I see a wide spread motion within Pentecostalism, that places our intellect as inferior to other aspects of our interaction with God. And it is sad to see, given that the philosophy which pushes the idea that intellect is subservient to one’s experience, does not find it’s origin Scripture.

This idea which places a false dichotomy (a false war) between faith and reason, has an ill effect on the life of a Christian and Christianity as a whole. While there are many consequences that can be named, here are but a few:

Continue reading “The War Against the Intellect: God’s Creation Diminished”

My Anthem. My Heartcry. My Battlecry.

As an undergraduate I struggled to keep a 3.0. For some that would be a miracle, since they do not enjoy school and or have a difficult time with it. But for someone who aspires to be a professor and attend a top notch university, that is almost like academic suicide.
I made a few poor decisions and made a habit of pushing myself too hard with a ton of things on my plate. Massive amounts of stress, lack of sleep and sometimes a day or to without eating because I couldn’t spare the 3 hours a day one spends eating; which as you can imagine, led to emotional drain and panic/anxiety attacks almost weekly.

Many friends and professors had no idea what was going on only that I seemed different. I just wasn’t turning in assignments. I wasn’t spending time with friends. I am pretty sure I cried myself to sleep a couple times, for a degree I was not sure I even wanted anymore; even as I walked across the stage at graduation a new anxiety gripped me. An echo of a new fear resonated in the auditorium, it overpowered the cheers and mass celebrations of the crowds, and it trumped the sense of victory that finishing the race should have brought.

The same phrase reverberated not just within my head, it seemed to shake the very foundations of the auditorium.

Continue reading “My Anthem. My Heartcry. My Battlecry.”

Nike Living

There are very few things in life that we are born doing really well (other than crying profusely and testing the durability claims made by diaper companies of course).
While “gifts” may be apparent and certain activities appealing, one must pursue desires and hone the skills necessary to do well.

Michael Jordan may have showed an exceptional talent, but it was his hard work that made him legendary with a basketball. Leonardo da Vinci may have captured images well in his mind, and had above average abilities in countless areas (drawing, painting, sculpting, science, philosophy); but many pencils, lumps of clay, notebooks and canvases marked the pathway towards his realized potential. Harriet Tubman may have always had a love for others and compassion for those around her, but it was her active pursuit of justice that helped sculpt her into the hero she has become to be known as.

These three individuals have, among many things, one specific commonality that I want to draw on; they were overcomers.

They were not satisfied with the status quo, they were not satisfied with “the standard”. In fact, Ii would wager that they were not satisfied with “their standard”, and they sought to better themselves day after day. I am sure that there were days where Jordan would have much rather prefered to have been with friends or family rather than run sprints; and Tubman would have wanted to safety and security rather than dangerous and death-defying living, but they most likely chose otherwise.

While I may not be the next legendary basketball player to dunk and defy the laws of gravity, nor invent the next greatest contraption, nor save countless mistreated and oppressed individuals, I still have the ability to make investments every day that will reap a tremendous reward (even if intrinsically). Although I may not go down in history, I can over come.

“But how?”, you may ask.

As I was trying to find a way to get better at writing, improve in my martial arts skills, become physically stronger, mentally stronger, emotionally intelligent, and spiritually mature and engaged, I realized there was really only one way; I needed to “just do it”. I need to write more, I need to train more, I need to think more, I need to feel more and I need to actively pursue the spiritual.

Nike, the industry/company known by it’s “Check Mark” logo, is based on the concept of “overcoming”. The Greek word νίκη, pronounced “nē’-kā” (or for those who have a hard time with understanding that, like me, “Knee-kay”) means victory, and is the root word for overcome (νικάω, nē-kä’-ō).

To be a Victor, to overcome, I need  to DO; all else is a continuation of that “doing”, it is daily and hourly intentionality, that is built every second of every minute.