Saturday, April 18, 2009

Not of My Making - a Healing Journey

Guest Post by Author Margaret W. Jones, Ph.D.


In an email Donna asked what inspired me to write about bullying and scapegoating in churches. Without hesitation I thought, that’s easy, desperation. My very survival depended on it. I felt as if my adversaries had a pillow over my mouth and nose and I had to push them off to save my life. Writing Not of My Making was a healing journey in which I not only found my voice but came to love who I was.


My former church mates did everything they could to prevent me from telling my story to others including shunning, expulsion from church and threatening legal action against me.

While they were successful within our church community, they couldn’t prevent me from talking to others outside of church nor keep me from writing a book about it. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects my right to report the facts and express my opinion. I developed a deeper appreciation for freedom of speech and a greater awareness that without the First Amendment those with more power would silence those weaker and more vulnerable themselves.

During the conflicts at the churches to which I belonged, I kept a journal. It was my way of trying to figure out what was happening to me and why. I first considered pulling all that material into a book after I read Catherine Fairbanks’ book, Hiding Behind the Collar. I considered the possibility of getting a book published. Pretty slim, I thought. So I didn’t start it. I couldn’t go through the pain of writing my story if no one was ever going to read it. Then on a Thursday night in August, 2003 I discovered I had no therapy clients scheduled. Absent-mindedly I picked up the catalog of the local adult learning center and discovered they were offering a seminar on publishing taught by Dan Poynter. At the time I didn’t know he was a self-publishing guru but I seized the opportunity and went. I am glad I did. I now knew that the only obstacles to getting my book published were hard work and a little money. I was certain I had what it took to get the job done.


I read Poynter’s book, The Self Publishing Manuel, organized a binder for my manuscript and began writing. It wasn’t easy. When I first started writing my book I would type until flooded with anxiety. I would then spend the rest of the time curled up on my couch in a fetal position. Eventually as I wrote and processed the events leading to my dechurchings the anxiety became less crippling. I could use the entire four hours plus any other free moment to work on my book. Writing Not of My Making was hard but necessary work.


As a psychologist I was trained to write dry, data filled research papers. Writing a memoir was a very different creature. I struggled. It was emotionally draining and the first draft was absolutely horrible. I knew something was wrong but didn’t know what. I searched Amazon and ordered Tristine Rainer’s book, Your Life as Story. That helped some. I attended a writing seminar at a local college and met Hannah R Goodman. I hired her to do a content edit on my book and took another year to rewrite the manuscript. The result was well worth it.


The process of writing, publishing and marketing has helped me clarify issues and develop new skills. It gave me a new career. In addition to being a psychologist I am now an author and publisher. I have come full circle. I am now more of myself than I have ever been.


Not of My Making is available from www.pluckpress.com and Amazon.com

Friday, April 10, 2009

Biblical Church by Author Beresford Job

“Biblical Church: a Challenge to Unscriptural Tradition and Practice!”

Every once in a while a book comes along which not only challenges the foundations of accepted Christian understanding, it actually tears them up and replaces them with completely new ones. This is one such book.

If you have assumed that you have an understanding of the New Testament teaching on church life and practise then this book will challenge you to reconsider your viewpoint on every level.


Combining meticulously researched scholarship and exegesis with over thirty years of practical experience pioneering New Testament church life and practice, the author takes the reader on a journey of discovery to regain possibly the most important lost biblical truths and understandings since the time of the Reformers.

Biblical Church: A Challenge to un-Scriptural Traditions and Practice! will change your thinking forever and completely revolutionize your understanding of one of the most fundamental and important aspects of the teaching of scripture.



Questions covered by this book:

  • What was the conflict between Jesus and Israel really about?

  • What is ‘the Tradition of the Elders’?

  • Why is it that for 1800 years churches have been so completely different to those we see in the New Testament?

  • What were the New Testament churches actually like?

  • Does the New Testament teach and prescribe a particular way for churches to be?

  • Why did the Early Church Fathers reverse the teaching of the New Testament about church life?

  • What do leading evangelical scholars have to say concerning these issues?

For three decades the author, Beresford Job, has been involved on both sides of the Atlantic in helping to start and nurture churches which are based purely on the teachings and practises revealed in the New Testament. He argues powerfully that what history has come to refer to as the Reformation is not yet complete, and that the restoration of biblical truth regarding Justification by Faith needs to now be followed by a similar restoration concerning what churches should be like and the way in which church life is experienced.


Incredible though it may seem the simple truth is that for 1800 years the Christian Church, when it comes to practise and set up, has been based upon teachings and traditions introduced by men who came on the scene after the Apostles of Jesus were dead and therefore after the New Testament was fully written. Four simple things differentiate biblically based churches from those that have existed for most of church history, and this book argues that the challenge before us is to align ourselves with scripture rather than mere human tradition:

1) Each New Testament church was numerically small and therefore needed nothing other than homes to meet in. The idea was to have as many small churches as possible in any given geographical area rather than fewer numerically large ones.

2) When a church met for its weekly Sunday gathering the format was strictly that everyone was free to take part as the Spirit led them. All present were used by the Lord in different ways to edify their brothers and sisters and each person was seen to have a unique contribution to make. Unbelievable though it may seem to the vast majority of Christians there is no such thing in the New Testament as a church ‘service.’ Further, because of this format and design passed on by the Lord to the Apostles, there was also no need for anyone to lead the proceedings from the front. Indeed, in a lounge in someone’s home there is no ‘front’ to lead from. Equally unbelievable is that neither is there any such thing in the New Testament as ‘the Minister’ of a church.

3) The other aspect of their weekly Sunday gatherings was that the Lord’s Supper was an actual meal which those present ate together, the loaf and cup being shared together as part of it. Basically a church was seen to be an extended family of the Lord’s people, and the New Testament format for church gatherings was such that those present could actually function as such. Here was spiritual intimacy, here was close, genuine and significant fellowship and the freedom for believers to truly gather together around the Lord to celebrate his presence in their midst.

4) When it came to church government the New Testament clearly shows that decisions were made collectively by all in the church with leaders, referred to as elders, shepherds or overseers, being merely part of the decision-making process rather than the process itself. Further, this function of local church leadership was undertaken by brothers raised up from within, and recognised by, the church of which they were a part. Itinerant ministries from outside of each church augmented such local leadership on a limited, occasional and temporary basis, but the practise of some ‘professional’ coming in from the outside as a permanent leader of a church is alien to the New Testament. As already noted, scripture knows nothing of ‘the Pastor’ of a church.


However strange the above description of church life may appear no serious Biblical scholar would disagree with the simple proposition that it is simply, and quite unarguably, what churches in New Testament times were like whilst the teachings of the Apostles of Jesus held sway. Quote after quote from top evangelical scholars is offered as confirmation that the burden of the book is fully aligned with scripture, and all necessary textual, cultural and historical relevancies are dealt with in detail in its pages.


We therefore urge you to accept the challenge this book presents and in reading it to be willing to question and rethink some of the most important issues any Christian will ever have to face. Every word on every page is written on the absolute understanding that only what scripture clearly reveals is of any importance whatever, and you will be amazed to discover what clear and self-evident biblical truths regarding church life, as confirmed by top evangelical scholarship, have been obscured and neglected because of the simple fact that Christians are doing the exact opposite and don’t even realise it. The need before us is nothing less than the process of a full return to the teaching of scripture, and “Biblical Church: a Challenge to Unscriptural Tradition and Practice!” clarifies the issues and makes crystal clear what the way forward regarding church life and practise should be.


Order through www.house-church.org

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Book Connection Presents The Man Overboard

Learn more about Darryl Hagar and his inspiring story of recovery at The Book Connection http://thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com/2009/04/darryl-hagar-and-man-overboard.html. Darryl's book The Man Overboard memoir chronicles his life as an alcoholic oil tanker officer with alcoholism and drug addiction problems while navigating 900 foot supertankers, and then offers his readers the hope as he shares his journey to recovery.


When you top by, take a moment to watch his video and be sure to leave a comment. Each commenter will be entered for a chance to win a copy of his book, The Man Overboard http://www.themanoverboard.com/book.html. For more chances to win, follow Darryl on his tour and leave comments along the way. You'll also be entered in a weekly drawing for a chance to win one of Darryl's graphic novels http://www.themanoverboard.com/programs.


Darryl is fervent about his recovery and committed to helping others find the strength and support needed to reclaim their lives from addiction. He will check in throughout the day to answer questions.

For the most up to date information about his tour, visit http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2009/03/man-overboard-by-darryl-hagar-virtual.html

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Books and Authors Reviews The Man Overboard by Darryl Hagar


Books and Authors http://joyce-anthony.blogspot.com/2009/04/man-overboard-by-darryl-hagar-review.html reviews The Man Overboard by Darryl Hagar. Reviewer Joyce Anthony says, "This is one book I will continue to recommend for years to come. Parents, high school and college students, counselors, and addicts themselves will all benefit from the words within the covers of The Man Overboard."


Stop by to read the entire review and take time to leave a comment as Darryl will stop by to answer questions. When you leave a comment you'll also be entered for a chance to win a copy of his book, The Man Overboard http://www.themanoverboard.com/book.html.


For more chances to win, follow Darryl on his tour and leave comments along the way. You'll also be entered in a weekly drawing for a chance to win one of Darryl's graphic novels http://www.themanoverboard.co/programs.


Darryl is fervent about his recovery and committed to helping others find the strength and support needed to reclaim their lives from addiction. He will check in throughout the day to answer questions.


For the most up to date information about his tour, visit http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2009/03/man-overboard-by-darryl-hagar-virtual.html