Awkward Girl Games

girlsFirst let me say that I appreciate the miracle of breastfeeding.

I support women who do it publicly (not in a creepy way) and give my wife the admiration she deserves for making that choice for our children–and even model it for our older girls in the hopes that, should they decide to be moms later in life (much much later), they will embrace the practice too.

So I shouldn’t have been as alarmed when my daughter and her friend began playing make-believe in the car on the way home from some church meetings. Continue Reading…

80% of Adventists Still Unsure When to Clap

clapWe’ve all been there. On a rare Sabbath morning a competent musician delivers an awe-inspiring rendition of a spiritual song ushering the congregation into the presence of God.

And upon their conclusion the congregation enters into the valley of wide-eyed uncertainty and indecision.

To clap or not to clap? THAT is the question.

Gratitude is not something commonly expressed in Adventist congregations. Taking a dutiful approach to ministry it is expected that you share your gifts on demand because God—or the Nominating Committee—says so.

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The Three Keys for a Successful Independent Adventist Ministry

We’ve all been disgruntled with church leadership from time and time. And despite the nagging desire to hightail it out of God’s remnant people we know that leaving church is not the best way to fix it.

We’ve all been disgruntled with church leadership from time and time. And despite the nagging desire to hightail it out of God’s remnant people we know that leaving church is not the best way to fix it.

Enter the “Independent Ministry”: the only theologically and ecclesiastically acceptable way to separate from the 90% of the Church that refuses to see and do things our way without losing our membership. Not only can we reform the church from the inside out like the Jesuits of old, but having an Independent Ministry offers other benefits such as:

1. Not “knowingly” collecting tithe dollars

2. Avoiding pesky peer reviews that would dare shed the light of scholarship on your unique truths

3. Being part of the remnant within the remnant

But how does a  non-credentialed, non-recognized expert with a personality disorder and a bee in their bonnet accomplish such a tremendous feat? I offer these Three Keys for Success:

Key One: Find a Common Item Everyone Uses and Link it to the Catholic Church

Many Protestants, including Adventists, panic whenever they find out something is linked to Catholicism therefore inadvertently making them members of the “Mother Church” every time they use it.

Just think of the terror that will ensure when people find out that the following items/activities make them pals of the Papacy:

1. Shopping at Walmart

2. Butter

3. Spoons

4. Steering Wheels

5. Reading Email Fwds

People will cry out as they realize their deception and wonder why their church never told them about such dangers, making you the real handler of truth instead of their church with all its fancy schmancy preachers, institutions, and credibility.

They will realize that  their church has been infiltrated and compromised since they use things–and even distribute things–like spoons and butter.

And didn’t the Conference President have a steering wheel in HIS car? And I think my pastor bought something at Walmart, and…congratulations you have now discredited the church without saying a word so you can’t be indicted.

Start “unknowingly” collecting those tithe dollars…but not before Key Two.

Key Number Two: Spend 5 minutes Linking the Catholic Church to Paganism

Protestants worth their salt already know this, so you shouldn’t belabor the point. Just talk about how weird all the “smells, bells, and chants” are in Catholicism and then mention that modern witchcraft uses a chalice in their services, and that the Catholic Eucharist does too which makes them one in the same.

This almost guarantees you support since not only is your audiences’ church Catholic but now pagan–so any time, talent, or money should really be sent to your ministry since its the only Christian one around and maybe, just maybe, they can play a part in bringing their old church in line with your view…I mean…the Gospel.

Now for the trickiest part, Key Three.

Key Three: Use an Old Typewriter to Write “Testimonies” to be Handed Out Covertly in Church Lobbies When the Pastor Isn’t Looking

The internet can be traced and DVDs and CDs are expensive to produce with any kind of quality. They will come later as you build your army of truth bearers, but for now you want to use the information superhighway within church lobbies.

Stealthily hand out typewritten copies of your findings with a nameless address people can write to recieve a booklet you have produced for $1.00. After a few hundred sales then you can start lecturing at small churches and taking up freewill offerings, which will lead to better materials in the form of various media.

It won’t take long for your street cred to build since many small churches don’t see their pastors every week and will gladly take a complete stranger’s word over theirs. In 6 months minimum you should start seeing and being a profit.

Good luck you and all your endeavors!

Photo credit: capn madd matt / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

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Reason for New Bible Translations #712: Unicorns

family-bible


God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn. Numbers 23v22, KJV

 

Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee? Job 39v10, KJV

And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness. Is 34v7, KJV

See also KJV’s Deuteronomy 33v17, Numbers 24v8, Psalm 22v21, 29v6, 92v10

 

REASON: This isn’t Harry Potter. Scripture is powerful not magical.

Suggested Alternatives:
NIV
ESV
NKJV
ASV

Writing for Fun or Money?

pen-to-paperIts been awhile since I have posted, but perhaps it was a good break for me to gather my thoughts and line up the obscene amount of incoming projects at my finger tips.

I have been really wrestling between writing on assignment and writing for fun--not that the two have to be mutually exclusive.

Nor is writing something that’s pleasing to God out of the equation for either–I think both arenas can do that, which is why I wrestle as well.

I have two books in the works that have built in audiences–the third in my Peter Paul Pappenfuss series and the next “What We Believe” book that I hope to release with Pacific Press in time for GC 2015.

Both of these books are in one sense “on assignment”–both guarantee a paycheck at the end of the process. With my name on 7 books now I know my market fairly well. 

That paycheck is nice since we are expecting our third child in June and I plan on beginning a PhD at some point within the next couple years.

Its a good motivator when things get sluggish and its always nice to know the manuscript will sit upon a shelf in a bookstore.

In recent weeks I have also been offered a paid columnist position–my third outing as a paid monthly columnist–and am delighted that it offers a great deal of freedom…and that regular check.

However I do have a couple other projects I have tinkered with from time to time that really excite me.

Continue Reading…

Why I Will stop Using Exclamation Points with “lol.”

lol.

Laugh out loud.

The excitement is implied in the text.

Laughing out loud is by definition an explosive expression of joy. It conjures up images of friends  reminicing on funny stories,  the newest Youtube video featuring someone injuring themselves in a stupid way, listening to a faux pas by the preacher and watching them scramble to recover, and reacting to funny posts I make on Facebook such as this:

banana

Hilarious.

So we laugh out loud.

lol.

Normal, healthy, boisterous expression of delight.

But then there are those who insist in placing a “!” after “lol”–and what was once a happy articulation of emotion, has now become the cry of the clinically insane.

Continue Reading…

A Plug for “Platforming”

platform by michael hyatt

Hello everyone. I am teaching a class on writing this week and one of the subjects is “platforming.” This subject covers a range of concepts revolving around how to connect with people you want to experience your product. Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing, left his job and began marketing himself online. As a result he now has a wider readership and a higher income. His book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World is a bestseller and has helped me start on my journey of connecting with people who read my books.

platform

This book was recommended to me by my friend Lorilee at lovingsimpleliving.com. she has been able to build amazing online presence and I am grateful for her advice. Please go over and check out what she is doing to see what is possible with some time, patience, and a little starting capital.

Hyatt’s book covers everything from marketing principles to step-by-step instructions for social media and blogging. Even if you are not media savvy, Hyatt can help you become comfortable navigating the digital landscape. At times the book is almost hyper-detailed, but in the long run it is helpful to have all your questions–and questions you may never have considered–answered.

It is cheap on amazon.com and is well worth the purchase. Just click on any of the links, or the cover picture, and pick it up. I am an Amazon Affiliate–so when you buy through my website it helps me out a tiny bit.

Enjoy!

Author Journal #2: Revelation, De-teening, Peter Paul

caught-in-the-fence_l

Its out!!!!

My new book on Revelation is making the rounds at campmeeting, already out of stock on Amazon.com but is still available through the ABC website. Click on the image for your copy!

Prophecies of Revelation for Teens

As for other news, I am working on chapter two of Peter Paul and trying to maintain continuity with the precious books. Its amazing how many little quirks, jokes, and even plot points you can forget–even for books you wrote! I have outlined most of the chapters. May has been such a mess with graduations, meetings and the like I have barely been able to write let alone post anything.

I just finished “de-teening” Daniel and Pacific Press hopes to release it this fall for adults. For some reason adults enjoy the content but feel sheepish buying a book that says “for teens” on it. So we have remedied that problem.

Stay tuned for more updates, and in the mean time, get your copy of Revelation!

Interview With My Mormon Student

book-of-mormon_l

photo-4

One of the best parts about teaching Bible at Northwest Christian, is being able to interact with students with a wide variety of faith backgrounds.

One of my students this year, Brig Richards, is a Mormon. He is a very sincere and conscientious young man.

Brig is also very dedicated to his faith.

Throughout the year we have had several chats in my office about our two faith traditions–Adventism and Mormonism–and I thought it would be fun to interview him for my website.

This is an opportunity to learn a little about another faith tradition from the perspective of a non-Adventist–attending an Adventist institution. 

Q) To begin with, how old are you and what grade are you in?

A) I am 12 (13 in May) and am in 7th grade.

Q) Can you share a little of your faith background with the readers? 

A) I am part of a family that have been Latter-day Saints (LDS; aka Mormons) for many generations on both my mom’s & dad’s side of the family which means that naturally I was raised LDS, as were my parents and grandparents.

But each of us is encouraged to discover truth, individually.

Continue Reading…