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Thoughts on the Christian life in a fallen world

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Most Excellent Way to Lead- Perry Noble

Discover the heart of great leadership. Foreward by John C. Maxwell.
So, this book came to me just days after Perry Noble's actions became public and he was suspended from his position of senior pastor at New Spring Church in South Carolina. I won't get into all the details of all of the situation, it has been rehashed elsewhere.
It would be easy to write a negative review of this book knowing what has come to light recently, nut I am not going to do that. I am not going to discount everything he says here because of recent events. I am sure others are using the words hypocrite and backslider. My belief is if some read this book without knowing who the author was, would decide this was a good book on leadership. Would they then throw all the ideas out when they found out it was written byPeople Perry Noble?
The truth is, we are all sinners, and I can imagine that very few people know all the facts of this case, I certainly don't. People will point to one of the summary statements n page 216 such as "A leadership mistake is truly bad only if a person keeps making the same mistake over and over again."
Chapter 15 titled Always Hopes, is quite interesting, based on I Corinthians 13:6-7. "Love always hopes."
or this one from page 219, "Hope is what causes us to believe that our setbacks are merely setups for greater things than e could ever imagine."
Frankly, I have more of an issue that he thanks Lysa Terkeurst, who bases a lot of her ministry on emotion and thanks her by saying "this book wouldn't have been written without your help. Also, in the thanks is Steven Furtick who he thanks for his friendship, this person has coloring books of himself in the Sunday School classes. I am more disturbed by these mentions, than anything else that has transpired in the last few months.
He dedicates the book to the staff of New Spring church, who he calls the "most amazing people in the world." and "Thank you for allowing me to make mistakes." Apparently, he made too many mistakes for the staff to ignore.
Part of Biblical church discipline is ding what this staff did, even though I am sure it was a hard decision. A recent visit to www.perrynoble.com just reveals a promotional cover of this book, and not really any statement of what is going on, at least not on the front page.
People are going to quote the judge not verse, but I really don't think that works here. The staff at New Spring church did what they thought they had to do. as hard as it was. When a pastor is in that kind of position, it effects all involved.
A recent quote from Christianity Today:“I love my church,” Noble said. “The leadership of NewSpring Church made the right decision. God has gotten my attention. I’m focused on getting better.”

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Honestly - Daniel Fusco

Find Jesus in the midst of your mess. Getting real about Jesus and our messy lives. The author is lead pastor of Crossroads Community Church in Vancouver, Washington and a church planter, evangelist, and musician.
This book begins with the author's personal story of his mom's diagnosis and eventual death from cancer. The author states "Life's really messy for all of us."
This book is loosely based on the book of Ephesians, with a quote from Ephesians at the beginning of every chapter. The quotes are from the Message paraphrase of the Bible, a fact that isn't made real clear unless you look at the fine print on the title page. There area also other quotes through out the book from the ESV translation. The author has structured the book into 4 parts, based on A Love Supreme. Acknowledgement, Resolution, Persuance, and Psalm.
In explaining some of the messiness of life, the author states, "God loves to bring blessings out of perceived curses." The things that seen to be cursing us, sometimes turn out to be blessings.
 Carries the jazz analogy on to by the questions at the end of each section called Riffing on. A lot of the musicians that read this book will be able to relate to all of the musical references, but even those unfamiliar with musical terms can relate to messiness in their lives. Like this jazz analogy on page 79, "As we walk the bass line of our lives, we either create a context in which others around us can flourish, or we can detract from their opportunity to do that."
And another one from page 25, "See, the saving is all in God's court. All of it." And that is true.
Quotes from CS Lewis and STeve Taylor round out the author's thoughts, and there is a Coda section at the end of each section to continue to carry on the musical theme.
He mentions John Coltrane a lot, and especially The Love Supreme album.
I would recommend this book to those who think everyone else has it together, and that they are the only one with a messy life. And in Honestly, the author makes it clear that is why Jesus came to save us.
Published by Navpress in alliance with Tyndale House publishers. I have been provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a review.