Monday, November 11, 2013

Book #10 - Follow Me

In 2005, at the age of 26, David Platt became the lead pastor of The Church at Brook Hills, a megachurch in Birmingham. He was known as the youngest megachurch pastor in America. I imagine this has to be a pretty huge honor and responsibility.

It's probably a good thing God never called me to be the youngest megachurch pastor in America because I'd probably be too prideful.

That said, Platt wrote a book called Radical in 2009. I read it and then studied it a little bit with the Northeastern High School FCS group a couple of years ago. The subtitle of the book was "Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream."

Platt is telling us that something is wrong, then he sets out to fix it.

His latest book, Follow Me is about making disciples. He takes aim at the Sinner's Prayer and some of the cliche ways we've gone about furthering the kingdom. I even preached a sermon about this a couple weeks ago called, coincidentally "Follow Me."

Needless to say, the concepts really struck me. He's completely right that too often we preach for converts but not disciples. Because, the truth is, converts are easy to get, disciples are much harder to make. But the mission of Jesus is to make disciples. His call is to follow; his mission is to make disciples.

I was challenged by this book, and a quote from the book jumped out at me more than any other.
"We've taken the lifeblood out of Christianity and put Kool-Aid in its place so that it tastes better to the crowds, and the results are catastrophic."

With 9 and a half months to go before my birthday, I'm 1/3 of the way through my goal of 30 books! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Book #9 - Gods at War

I read Kyle Idleman's first book, Not a Fan, a few years ago. It was a great book about seriously following Jesus, as opposed to being a fan of Jesus. We even used that book as the foundation for a sermon series at church. When I saw that he had written a second book, I made sure that I included it on my list of books to finish before I turned 30.

Then, my Sunday School class at my new church decided to use this book as a study resource. I bought the book and read it, we're still going through it as a class, but I finished the book a few weeks ago.

Basically, the premise of the book is that all of our sins boil down to idolatry, and that's why the sin of idolatry is mentioned so many times in the Bible. Kyle suggests that everyone of us has created idols in various forms. These idols range from sex to money to food to self.

The book was hard to read because he cuts through the muck to deliver simple truth that's difficult to digest at times. I'd recommend the book to any of my friends, but I'd also recommend the study materials too. There's a video series that goes with the book including a spectacular section with Chuck Colson's story. He must've recorded it just weeks/months before he passed away last year.

Next up, Follow Me by David Platt.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Paying the Piper - A look back at the 2013 baseball season

Yes, I'm bitter. My hatred for the Red Sox just flows through me. I will admit, however, that the Sox had some incredible beards, though! One of the first posts I made on this blog was my predictions for the baseball season. So, it's time to pay the piper and see how I did.

I had the Orioles winning the AL East. They did not.

I had the Tigers winning the AL Central. They did!

I had the Angels winning the AL West. They weren't even close.

I had the Blue Jays and White Sox winning the 2 Wild Card spots. They finished a combined 25 games under .500, and nowhere near the playoffs!

I had the Nationals winning the NL East. They did not.

I predicted that the Reds would win the NL Central. Nope.

I felt that the Giants would win the NL West. They finished 16 games back.

The NL Wild Cards, I thought, would be won by the Cardinals and the Dodgers. They were not.

Now, in the NL, I had 3 of the 5 playoff teams correct, just in the wrong place!

All in all, I got 40% of the MLB playoff teams correct. How'd you do??

Just for kicks, who's my money on for next year? The Dodgers.