My friend, Paul O’Rear, graciously agreed to write the Foreword to Bethlehem Road: A Guide to Ruth. I was very excited about this for a lot of reasons, one of the main ones being that Paul wrote an incredible book that was published earlier this year. It’s called “Living With a Broken Heart.”
This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Paul and his sweet wife lost their daughter to cancer in 2001. Paul’s book talks about how we, by the grace of God, learn to live with a broken heart.
In the past month, as many of us have been praying for Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol as they recover from Ebola, I have seen several comment on Kent’s “risky faith.” The likes of Ann Coulter and Donald Trump can’t understand what would motivate a young man with a degree from medical school to “waste” it in service on the dark continent. Christians, however, understand that Kent was serving as a way of fulfilling God’s call to go to all the world.
As I have joined with thousands of others in praying for Kent, I have also been thinking about the church’s other missionaries that (shall we be honest?) receive less attention than Kent has. All of our missionaries, state-side and abroad, make many sacrifices as they fulfill God’s call to go to all the world (Mark 16:15). Their lives and examples require and demonstrate more self-denial and more sacrifice than the rest of us will ever be called to offer. So here’s my question:
On Friday, Aug. 29th at 11:59 pm, the doors to the Books4Life Club will once again close. At that point, we will be PERMANENTLY closing two membership levels (eBooks4Life and Books4Life).
Our eGuides4Life and Guides4Life levels will remain, but the price will increase for club membership. Current members of eBooks4Life and Books4Life will not be affected in any way. We are currently 110 members strong, and we want to add as many as possible before August 29th.
Editor’s Note: In its infancy, The Epic of God was intended to be Bible class curriculum on Genesis. Naturally, I’ve been greatly encouraged to see churches wanting to study Genesis and use The Epic of God as a companion or guide. Lennie Reagan, minister for the Oak Forest Church of Christ in Goldsboro, NC, recently used The Epic of God in his Sunday morning Bible class and the church saw very positive results. At my request, he shares his story below. Thanks, Lennie, for your support of Start2Finish Books! — mcw
It is a tremendous pleasure for a gospel preacher to see the expression on the face of his students when he/she “gets it!” Understanding what had once seemed so far and unobtainable had now come within the grasp of realization and application. What an intense joy! I have seen that expression many times in one of our young adult Bible classes using The Epic of God: A Guide to Genesis written by Michael Whitworth.
Growing up, Dad often spoke of the “heartless right” and the “headless left” in church world. In his experience, religious conservatives were often right doctrinally, but they struggled to “truth in love” (cf. Eph 4:15). Liberals on the left, however, had the opposite problem in his estimation. They were often loving individuals, but also considered religious convictions to be of little or no consequence.
I concede that this is a very general, reductionistic way of looking at things, but that’s for another blog post some other time.
“Churches that feel no hope develop a maintenance mentality and just go through the motions year in and year out. But when a church feels the sovereign kindness of God hovering overhead and moving, hope starts to thrive, and righteousness ceases to be simply the avoidance of evil and becomes active and strategic.”
Editor’s Note: During the month of August, Start2Finish Books is making a strong push to increase our Books4Life Club membership. Adam Richardson, preacher for the Petersville Church of Christ near Florence, AL, is one of our members. Adam uses his membership in a unique way, and I wanted him to share that with you. Thanks to Adam for being a Books4Life member and for his support of Start2Finish Books! – mcw
Yesterday, I along with many of you saw that Ann Coulter had written a piece on her personal blog about Kent Brantly. Since I had been following Kent’s story with a lot of interest and prayer, I read Ann’s thoughts.
I wish I hadn’t.
In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve read some of Coulter’s books in the past and agreed with some of what she said. I’m deeply conservative in my politics, but I’m starting to feel the same way about Ann Coulter as I do Tony Romo. After one too many interceptions (or in Ann’s case, vitriol and logical fallacies), it’s too exhausting to defend you to others.