Beautiful Truth

Thanks to Andrew Peterson on Twitter, I saw this wonderful post about “Proclaiming Truth Beautifully.”┬áTrevin Wax takes a post from The Gospel-Driven Church as a launching point to discuss authors who speak truth, but don’t just do it from a point of giving information. They give it in an artful way that conveys God’s beauty not just via information, but through the language used as well.

Great post – highly recommended. As Trevin ends his post: “May God raise up a generation of writers who not only know the truth, but beckon others to swim in the depths of grace!”

Beautiful Truth

Thanks to Andrew Peterson on Twitter, I saw this wonderful post about “Proclaiming Truth Beautifully.” Trevin Wax takes a post from The Gospel-Driven Church as a launching point to discuss authors who speak truth, but don’t just do it from a point of giving information. They give it in an artful way that conveys God’s beauty not just via information, but through the language used as well.

Great post – highly recommended. As Trevin ends his post: “May God raise up a generation of writers who not only know the truth, but beckon others to swim in the depths of grace!”

Book Review – The Book that Transforms Nations

My friends and regular readers of this blog believe that the Bible is a special book.

If we only knew how much…

I recently finished The Book That Transforms Nations, the latest book by Loren Cunningham. He is the founder of Youth With a Mission, and if there’s anyone who is qualified to write this book, it is him. He has ministered in EVERY country on Earth, as well as numerous territories that don’t count as countries but are distinct areas nonetheless (how many of you have been to Pitcairn Island?).

The book has a straightforward structure. The first part of the book explains the problem, especially in the West, of our turning away as a society in general from God’s Word. He then spends a majority of the book describing ways the Bible has been used to transform cultures, from whole countries like Norway and South Korea to Calvin’s Geneva and yes, Pitcairn Island. Third, he describes how what we believe about God affects how we act in life, and shows how exceptions to the rule actually prove his point, with examples such as Japan and Latin America. Finally, he casts a vision on how we can get the Word out there.

We don’t hear stories anymore of the way God has transformed societies. I was impressed by Hans Nielsen Hauge, the Norwegian who skied to much of Norway spreading the Word, and the difference it made in that land. We may know a little about William Carey and his ministry in India, but I didn’t realize the extent of work done there.

Some of this information isn’t all that new. The idea that how we believe about God affects our culture comes admittedly from Francis Schaeffer (and it isn’t necessarily original with him). Loren touches on the various areas of culture that shape it, the Seven Spheres of Influence, which I have blogged about (after learning them from YWAM). There could be more practical information about how to do what the book is trying to promote: getting the Word out to people and let it transform hearts.

Still, Loren (and his sister Janice Rogers, who has written other books with him) has an easy style to read, and he excels at getting the reader excited about the proposition in the book. I finished and was immediately ready to start tossing Bibles on co-workers’ desks (however, I believe I would better serve the Lord by staying employed for a longer term basis).

What really challenged me was page 198, where he talks about how easy we have it to finish the job, as previous generations had to hand copy the Bible, and travel by foot or animal to get it anywhere. Modern technology puts reaching the whole world with the gospel as a doable goal in our lifetime! His challenge is that “our willingness to obey the Lord and move out is the only real limitation” (p 198).

I encourage anyone who has a love for Jesus and His Word, and a desire to see our country and the other nations changed to check out this book.

Book Review – The Book that Transforms Nations

My friends and regular readers of this blog believe that the Bible is a special book.

If we only knew how much…

I recently finished The Book That Transforms Nations, the latest book by Loren Cunningham. He is the founder of Youth With a Mission, and if there’s anyone who is qualified to write this book, it is him. He has ministered in EVERY country on Earth, as well as numerous territories that don’t count as countries but are distinct areas nonetheless (how many of you have been to Pitcairn Island?).

The book has a straightforward structure. The first part of the book explains the problem, especially in the West, of our turning away as a society in general from God’s Word. He then spends a majority of the book describing ways the Bible has been used to transform cultures, from whole countries like Norway and South Korea to Calvin’s Geneva and yes, Pitcairn Island. Third, he describes how what we believe about God affects how we act in life, and shows how exceptions to the rule actually prove his point, with examples such as Japan and Latin America. Finally, he casts a vision on how we can get the Word out there.

We don’t hear stories anymore of the way God has transformed societies. I was impressed by Hans Nielsen Hauge, the Norwegian who skied to much of Norway spreading the Word, and the difference it made in that land. We may know a little about William Carey and his ministry in India, but I didn’t realize the extent of work done there.

Some of this information isn’t all that new. The idea that how we believe about God affects our culture comes admittedly from Francis Schaeffer (and it isn’t necessarily original with him). Loren touches on the various areas of culture that shape it, the Seven Spheres of Influence, which I have blogged about (after learning them from YWAM). There could be more practical information about how to do what the book is trying to promote: getting the Word out to people and let it transform hearts.

Still, Loren (and his sister Janice Rogers, who has written other books with him) has an easy style to read, and he excels at getting the reader excited about the proposition in the book. I finished and was immediately ready to start tossing Bibles on co-workers’ desks (however, I believe I would better serve the Lord by staying employed for a longer term basis).

What really challenged me was page 198, where he talks about how easy we have it to finish the job, as previous generations had to hand copy the Bible, and travel by foot or animal to get it anywhere. Modern technology puts reaching the whole world with the gospel as a doable goal in our lifetime! His challenge is that “our willingness to obey the Lord and move out is the only real limitation” (p 198).

I encourage anyone who has a love for Jesus and His Word, and a desire to see our country and the other nations changed to check out this book.

Blog Tour – My Life Unscripted

I don’t have teenagers yet. I don’t have girls. So why am I blogging about Tricia Goyer’s new book, My Life, Unscripted?

Maybe it is because she’s a great fiction writer, and I am in the business of supporting Christian writers? Maybe I’m impressed with the project? Maybe it’s because she lives in Kalispell Montana, one of the greatest places on Earth?

Yes.

Without further ado, here’s info on her book for teen girls, and an interview with Tricia as well.

my life, unscripted
Summary:

Drawing on Biblical prinicples, My Life, Unscripted guides girls through the tumultous teen years by teaching them to have a plan of attack before temptation or hardship come.

Tricia’s Script:

Looking back at my drama-filled teen years I now wonder … What was I thinking?

The truth? I wasn’t. I lived from day to day on every wave of emotion. Some days excitement and passion partnered up, pattering wildly within my heart.

Other days, depression and anxiety were my silent friends. I lived each day as it came, with no plan for my future, for my relationships, or for my heart.

I lived my life completely unscripted … and, well, it didn’t go well for me. Teen pregnancy and a broken heart were only two consequences. Yet my prayer is that when teen girls are asked Who’s Writing Your Life? their answer will be ME … with the guidance of God, My Director.

________________________________
An interview with Tricia Goyer!

Q: Tell me about My Life, Unscripted

Sure! With real-life scripts, screenwriting terms, and timely topics, My Life, Unscripted helps teen girls explore their own inner struggles and outward relationships. It’s my hope they’ll learn the importance of “scripting” their own responses BEFORE challenging life-situations arise.

By contrasting real-life with TV/movies, it’s my hope that teen girls will understand they don’t have to get caught up in the drama. They don’t have to face situations as they arise, but rather they can think about, pray about, and consider how to face these situations before they hit the big screen of their lives.

Q: Is it true that much of YOUR story shows up in these pages?

Gulp. Yes, I’m afraid so. In fact, I shared parts of my story that I SWORE I’d never tell a soul.

My teenage script (portrayed in the book as Trish Valley) wasn’t one I’d suggest my daughter, nor my readers to copy.

Q: Tell me about these scripts.

The introductory script of Trish Valley shows a scene where Trish urges her mom to follow Trish’s boyfriend into the McDonald’s parking lot so she can “spill her news.” The other girl in the car and her boyfriend’s response to Trish’s pregnancy are unfortunately not fiction. I wrote out the scenes as they would appear in an actual script. I even use all the correct terms and layout.

Q: In addition to teen pregnancy, what are some of the other “scripts”?

Do I have to tell? Well, I guess it’s in print now! Let me see: fists fights with a rival, sneaking out of my parents’ house, getting caught by my boyfriend kissing his best friend–does that give you an idea? Do I have to go on?

Q: No, you can stop there. But WHY? Why did you decide to share these stories?

First, because I want girls to understand the heartache of unwise decisions. I want to them to be able to relate to me, rather than feeling preached at. Also, I wanted to share my stories because many young women have faced the same type of situations, or they know friends who have. And finally because they are great object lessons for the importance of following biblical truth. That is something I did learn!

Q: What does your teenage daughter think about this book?

Leslie thinks it’s great I’m able to connect with other teens. She’s heard these stories for a while! She was 11-years-old when we first started volunteering together at a support group for teenage mothers together. As I taught the young moms things like nutrition and potty training, Leslie assisted adults in babysitting the toddlers. And while we loved giving and serving, it was the ride home that soon became the most meaningful part. As Leslie sat in the passenger’s seat, I could see her mind considering my life as a teen mom, and she started asking questions.

Although it was hard to talk about my past mistakes, I knew this was an ideal opportunity to share real-life truths with my daughter. Each person walking this earth has regrets. Our talks showed me that instead of hiding my past troubles (and hoping my kids didn’t find out) sharing my mistakes could actually give my daughter a better understanding to why values and wise decision-making skills are important.

Q: So now you’re “having a heart-to-heart” with other teens through this book?

I sure hope that’s how they see it! Those first talks with my daughter brought us closer, but I knew not every girl has had someone to offer advice such as: “build a supporting cast of people you can trust” or “consider the character qualities you’d like for a leading man.”

Q: Okay, so your book is for teens, but what about the moms out there who feel they have past mistakes they don’t want to share?

Well, they could each write a book about their teen years! Ha- just kidding!

But for those moms out there, maybe your teen years were not as drama-filled as mine. Or, if they were, maybe you are fearful of sharing them with your teen. The truth is, teens learn best not with information and knowledge, but rather by hearing life examples and understanding how decisions can affect all parts of our lives. So, time to get brave, Mom. Open your heart and share what worked and what didn’t. It just might help your daughter write a better script for herself.

Oh, yes, and consider buying your daughter My Life, Unscripted! Hopefully every teen girl can get some take-away to scripting a bright future!

____________________________________
Bio!
Tricia Goyer has published over 300 articles for national publications such as Today’s Christian Woman, Guideposts for Kids, and Focus on the Family, and is the co-author of Meal Time Moments (Focus on the Family). She has led numerous Bible Studies, and her study notes appear in the Women of Faith Study Bible (Zondervan).

She has written seven novels for Moody Publishing: From Dust and Ashes (2003); Night Song (2004), Dawn of a Thousand Nights (2005); Arms of Deliverance (2006); A Valley of Betrayal (2007); A Shadow of Treason (Fall 2007); and A Whisper of Freedom (Spring 2008). Night Song was awarded American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2005 Book of the Year for Best Long Historical. Dawn of a Thousand Nights won the same award in 2006.

Tricia has also written Life Interrupted: The Scoop on Being a Young Mom (Zondervan, 2004), 10 Minutes to Showtime (Thomas Nelson, 2004), and Generation NeXt Parenting (Multnomah, 2006). Life Interrupted was a 2005 Gold Medallion finalist in the Youth Category. Also, coming out in the next year are: My Life, Unscripted (Thomas Nelson, 2007), Generation NeXt Marriage (Multnomah, Spring 2008), and 3:16-the teen version of the a book by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson, Spring 2008).

Tricia and her husband John live with their three children in Kalispell, Montana. Tricia’s grandmother also lives with them, and Tricia volunteers mentoring teen moms and leading children’s church. Although Tricia doesn’t live on a farm, she can hit one with a rock by standing on her back porch and giving it a good throw.

Tricia has two books that will be out soon …A Shadow of Treason (Moody Publishing), Fall 2007Generation NeXt Marriage (Multnomah), January 2008

Blog Tour – My Life Unscripted

I don’t have teenagers yet. I don’t have girls. So why am I blogging about Tricia Goyer’s new book, My Life, Unscripted?

Maybe it is because she’s a great fiction writer, and I am in the business of supporting Christian writers? Maybe I’m impressed with the project? Maybe it’s because she lives in Kalispell Montana, one of the greatest places on Earth?

Yes.

Without further ado, here’s info on her book for teen girls, and an interview with Tricia as well.

my life, unscripted
Summary:

Drawing on Biblical prinicples, My Life, Unscripted guides girls through the tumultous teen years by teaching them to have a plan of attack before temptation or hardship come.

Tricia’s Script:

Looking back at my drama-filled teen years I now wonder … What was I thinking?

The truth? I wasn’t. I lived from day to day on every wave of emotion. Some days excitement and passion partnered up, pattering wildly within my heart.

Other days, depression and anxiety were my silent friends. I lived each day as it came, with no plan for my future, for my relationships, or for my heart.

I lived my life completely unscripted … and, well, it didn’t go well for me. Teen pregnancy and a broken heart were only two consequences. Yet my prayer is that when teen girls are asked Who’s Writing Your Life? their answer will be ME … with the guidance of God, My Director.

________________________________
An interview with Tricia Goyer!

Q: Tell me about My Life, Unscripted

Sure! With real-life scripts, screenwriting terms, and timely topics, My Life, Unscripted helps teen girls explore their own inner struggles and outward relationships. It’s my hope they’ll learn the importance of “scripting” their own responses BEFORE challenging life-situations arise.

By contrasting real-life with TV/movies, it’s my hope that teen girls will understand they don’t have to get caught up in the drama. They don’t have to face situations as they arise, but rather they can think about, pray about, and consider how to face these situations before they hit the big screen of their lives.

Q: Is it true that much of YOUR story shows up in these pages?

Gulp. Yes, I’m afraid so. In fact, I shared parts of my story that I SWORE I’d never tell a soul.

My teenage script (portrayed in the book as Trish Valley) wasn’t one I’d suggest my daughter, nor my readers to copy.

Q: Tell me about these scripts.

The introductory script of Trish Valley shows a scene where Trish urges her mom to follow Trish’s boyfriend into the McDonald’s parking lot so she can “spill her news.” The other girl in the car and her boyfriend’s response to Trish’s pregnancy are unfortunately not fiction. I wrote out the scenes as they would appear in an actual script. I even use all the correct terms and layout.

Q: In addition to teen pregnancy, what are some of the other “scripts”?

Do I have to tell? Well, I guess it’s in print now! Let me see: fists fights with a rival, sneaking out of my parents’ house, getting caught by my boyfriend kissing his best friend–does that give you an idea? Do I have to go on?

Q: No, you can stop there. But WHY? Why did you decide to share these stories?

First, because I want girls to understand the heartache of unwise decisions. I want to them to be able to relate to me, rather than feeling preached at. Also, I wanted to share my stories because many young women have faced the same type of situations, or they know friends who have. And finally because they are great object lessons for the importance of following biblical truth. That is something I did learn!

Q: What does your teenage daughter think about this book?

Leslie thinks it’s great I’m able to connect with other teens. She’s heard these stories for a while! She was 11-years-old when we first started volunteering together at a support group for teenage mothers together. As I taught the young moms things like nutrition and potty training, Leslie assisted adults in babysitting the toddlers. And while we loved giving and serving, it was the ride home that soon became the most meaningful part. As Leslie sat in the passenger’s seat, I could see her mind considering my life as a teen mom, and she started asking questions.

Although it was hard to talk about my past mistakes, I knew this was an ideal opportunity to share real-life truths with my daughter. Each person walking this earth has regrets. Our talks showed me that instead of hiding my past troubles (and hoping my kids didn’t find out) sharing my mistakes could actually give my daughter a better understanding to why values and wise decision-making skills are important.

Q: So now you’re “having a heart-to-heart” with other teens through this book?

I sure hope that’s how they see it! Those first talks with my daughter brought us closer, but I knew not every girl has had someone to offer advice such as: “build a supporting cast of people you can trust” or “consider the character qualities you’d like for a leading man.”

Q: Okay, so your book is for teens, but what about the moms out there who feel they have past mistakes they don’t want to share?

Well, they could each write a book about their teen years! Ha- just kidding!

But for those moms out there, maybe your teen years were not as drama-filled as mine. Or, if they were, maybe you are fearful of sharing them with your teen. The truth is, teens learn best not with information and knowledge, but rather by hearing life examples and understanding how decisions can affect all parts of our lives. So, time to get brave, Mom. Open your heart and share what worked and what didn’t. It just might help your daughter write a better script for herself.

Oh, yes, and consider buying your daughter My Life, Unscripted! Hopefully every teen girl can get some take-away to scripting a bright future!

____________________________________
Bio!
Tricia Goyer has published over 300 articles for national publications such as Today’s Christian Woman, Guideposts for Kids, and Focus on the Family, and is the co-author of Meal Time Moments (Focus on the Family). She has led numerous Bible Studies, and her study notes appear in the Women of Faith Study Bible (Zondervan).

She has written seven novels for Moody Publishing: From Dust and Ashes (2003); Night Song (2004), Dawn of a Thousand Nights (2005); Arms of Deliverance (2006); A Valley of Betrayal (2007); A Shadow of Treason (Fall 2007); and A Whisper of Freedom (Spring 2008). Night Song was awarded American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2005 Book of the Year for Best Long Historical. Dawn of a Thousand Nights won the same award in 2006.

Tricia has also written Life Interrupted: The Scoop on Being a Young Mom (Zondervan, 2004), 10 Minutes to Showtime (Thomas Nelson, 2004), and Generation NeXt Parenting (Multnomah, 2006). Life Interrupted was a 2005 Gold Medallion finalist in the Youth Category. Also, coming out in the next year are: My Life, Unscripted (Thomas Nelson, 2007), Generation NeXt Marriage (Multnomah, Spring 2008), and 3:16-the teen version of the a book by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson, Spring 2008).

Tricia and her husband John live with their three children in Kalispell, Montana. Tricia’s grandmother also lives with them, and Tricia volunteers mentoring teen moms and leading children’s church. Although Tricia doesn’t live on a farm, she can hit one with a rock by standing on her back porch and giving it a good throw.

Tricia has two books that will be out soon …A Shadow of Treason (Moody Publishing), Fall 2007Generation NeXt Marriage (Multnomah), January 2008

The Brain Doesn’t Play Fair

I’ve been taking a little break from writing over the last several weeks. There were two big events that were drawing my attention: the worship weekend with Noel and Tricia Richards, and I have a major certifying exam for my work that I take in 2 weeks.

I still think about my projects and issues in general, but I’ve definitely been distracted from my usual level of pondering. However, some aspects of creating are not as easy to turn off.

I’m trying to use this time as a step back from what I’ve been working on and seeing what weaknesses I can work on and what strengths to play up. This is happening to a degree, but my brain is not necessarily cooperating. It’s not something I want to turn off anyway.

I’ve been coming up with MORE ideas.

Jeez, brain. Aren’t I having enough trouble tackling the mess you’ve already conjured up for me? No, you like being in a frazzle, so why not choose this particular time to inspire me with projects that could be as worthy of attention as what I’ve been spending the last 2+ years on. Man o’ live!

My wife said something earlier this year that has stuck with me since regarding our kids: write the stories they would want to read. I know my current WIP doesn’t qualify, so I’ve considered some other ideas, one of which seems to be gelling a little. Then Sunday I had inspiration for a possible non-fiction project. Great.

Actually, I’m not complaining. It is good to have ideas to play around with inside my noggin. There’s just too many temptations – which to choose?

The Brain Doesn’t Play Fair

I’ve been taking a little break from writing over the last several weeks. There were two big events that were drawing my attention: the worship weekend with Noel and Tricia Richards, and I have a major certifying exam for my work that I take in 2 weeks.

I still think about my projects and issues in general, but I’ve definitely been distracted from my usual level of pondering. However, some aspects of creating are not as easy to turn off.

I’m trying to use this time as a step back from what I’ve been working on and seeing what weaknesses I can work on and what strengths to play up. This is happening to a degree, but my brain is not necessarily cooperating. It’s not something I want to turn off anyway.

I’ve been coming up with MORE ideas.

Jeez, brain. Aren’t I having enough trouble tackling the mess you’ve already conjured up for me? No, you like being in a frazzle, so why not choose this particular time to inspire me with projects that could be as worthy of attention as what I’ve been spending the last 2+ years on. Man o’ live!

My wife said something earlier this year that has stuck with me since regarding our kids: write the stories they would want to read. I know my current WIP doesn’t qualify, so I’ve considered some other ideas, one of which seems to be gelling a little. Then Sunday I had inspiration for a possible non-fiction project. Great.

Actually, I’m not complaining. It is good to have ideas to play around with inside my noggin. There’s just too many temptations – which to choose?

Authentic Parenting

This was a different type of tour than I am used to. I’ll stick to reviewing fiction, but I did enjoy this book, and again recommend it heartily. I wouldn’t do this lightly either – not with a subject like this.

The book we’ve been discussing, Authentic Parenting in a Post-Modern Culture, by Mary DeMuth is available now. You can purchase your autographed copy directly from Mary at the link above. I encourage you pick it up today!

Authentic Parenting

This was a different type of tour than I am used to. I’ll stick to reviewing fiction, but I did enjoy this book, and again recommend it heartily. I wouldn’t do this lightly either – not with a subject like this.

The book we’ve been discussing, Authentic Parenting in a Post-Modern Culture, by Mary DeMuth is available now. You can purchase your autographed copy directly from Mary at the link above. I encourage you pick it up today!