Breaking the Chains of Addiction

book

I spoke on addiction today at Revolution Church. If you missed it, you can listen to it here.

As a way to help men and women stuck in what seems a losing battle against addiction, temptation, negative emotions and be able to move forward by choosing the hard right over the easy wrong, here is a list of resources we put together to help.

My good friend Brian Howard also has a blog about 4 ways to protect your house from porn, which I would highly recommend if that is a struggle for you or your kids.

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Lots of Cheap Kindle Books 4.18.12

There are a ton of great kindle books for cheap today:

$2.99

$3.49

$3.82

$3.99

$4.99

Reading 50 Books in 2011

I am halfway through 2011 (and so are the rest of you). One of my goals this year was to read 50 books, I figured since I’m halfway through the year, I’d share with you my progress in case you’ve missed some of my thoughts on these books. As I’ve said before, what I love about looking back on the reading I’ve done, I can see how God has worked in my life and shaped my thinking. So, here goes. They are in order of reading:

  1. Missional Community Life by Porterbrook Network
  2. Why Johnny Can’t Preach by T. David Gordon
  3. Exponential: How You and Your Friends can Start a Missional Church Movement by Dave & Jon Ferguson
  4. Reclaiming Adoption: Missional Living Through the Rediscovery of Abba Father by Dan Cruver
  5. Gospel Change by Porterbrook Network
  6. Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes us Just by Timothy Keller
  7. Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip & Dan Heath
  8. On the Old Testament (A Book You’ll Actually Read) by Mark Driscoll
  9. The Message of the Old Testament:  Promises Made by Mark Dever
  10. Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell & the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived by Rob Bell
  11. Practicing Greatness: 7 Disciplines of Extraordinary Spiritual Leaders by Reggie McNeal
  12. A Work of Heart: How God Shapes Spiritual Leaders by Reggie McNeal
  13. The Confession: A Novel by John Grisham
  14. Five Ministry Killers and How to Defeat Them by Charles Stone
  15.  The Prodigal God by Tim Keller
  16. Wrestling an Angel: A Story of Love, Disability, and the Lessons of Grace by Greg Lucas
  17. The Drama of Scripture by Michael Goheen & Craig Bartholomew
  18. Speak Like a CEO by Suzanne Bates
  19. How the Mighty Fall by Jim Collins
  20. Redemption: How Jesus Frees from the Idols we Worship and the Wounds we Carry by Mike Wilkerson
  21. The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan
  22. Moneyball by Michael Lewis
  23. On the Verge by Dave Ferguson & Alan Hirsch

Recommended Resources for our Next Series on the Old Testament

I revealed a few weeks ago that we are starting our next series at Revolution on April 23rd called The Story of God. It is a 5 month journey through the Old Testament. For many, the Old Testament is something they often avoid. It is seen as archaic, hard to understand, has names you can’t pronounce, God seems to be unjust, angry or tyrant, whereas Jesus seems more compassionate, gentler and gracious. So, Christians and pastors for that matter, stick to the New Testament. But, without the Old Testament the New Testament doesn’t make any sense.

I have been working on this series and the study guide for several months and I am seeing the Old Testament in a new light. I am seeing a God that pursues broken people, refuses to leave them when they sin over and over and ultimately, creates a way for him to have a relationship with us. The gospel and mission of God through the person and work of Jesus are woven through every page of the Old Testament. It is beautiful.

Because the Old Testament was written 2,000-3,500 years ago, it can be hard to understand. For this reason, we will be sharing more resources than we normally do in this series. Below are a few of the books that I’ve read over the last few months that have proven to be helpful in understanding the Old Testament, particularly its message and how to understand God through the lens of the Old Testament.

Sunday Night Mind Dump…

  • I normally do this on Saturday, unless I get home Saturday and just find myself spent
  • Last night was a pretty emotional and spiritually draining night of preaching for me
  • I continued preaching through the book of James and I preached on 4:1 – 12 last night on the topic of sin and finding freedom
  • As a pastor, those passages are hard because I know so many people in my church are struggling, hanging on in their lives, hoping to find freedom and wondering if it is just a mirage or if the gospel actually can bring freedom
  • Fighting sin is a battle and any pastor who preaches on sin can tell you that preaching sin, grace and freedom is a battle
  • If tonight spoke to you in some way, here are some books that would be worth checking out:  Unfashionable:  Making a Difference in the World by Being Different, You Can Change, and Redemption:  Freed by Jesus from the Idols We Worship and the Wounds we Carry
  • It was also our last night of having just one service
  • I’m so excited about going to 2 services next week and seeing how God continues to work at Revolution and grow our church
  • I’ve been working on the study guide for our next series, so excited to spend 5 months going through the Old Testament
  • I think it is going to be very eye opening for a lot of people
  • Met a local pastor last night who came to check out Revolution, love that we can be a church that gives pastors a place to worship and be fed
  • It was also cool when he shared all the things he had heard about Revolution, what we’re doing in the city and how God is working in people’s lives
  • Humbling that the name of Jesus is spreading in our city and we get to be a part of it
  • Pretty excited about grilling some burgers, making homemade fries in the deep fryer and hanging on the back porch with Katie tonight
  • Started a challenging book on Friday that every young leader should read, The making of a leader by Robert Clinton
  • Wow
  • After chapter 2 I told Katie that I wished I had read it 10 years ago, would’ve saved me a ton of leadership pain
  • In case you missed the release of Rob Bell’s latest book and the controversy surrounding it, I’d encourage you to read my review of it before buying the book, might save you $12
  • We had a rummage sale for our adoption over the weekend and raised over $1,200
  • I am so humbled by how many people not only donated stuff, but gave up hours to help us set up, work the sale and tear it down
  • If you haven’t “liked” our adoption fan page on facebook, please do so
  • It is the best way to stay up to date on what is happening and how you can be involved in making one less orphan in the world
  • If you’d like an easy to support our adoption, here is one
  • I’m heading up to Phoenix this week to spend some time with some other Acts 29 pastors, always walk away from those times blessed with a lot to think about, always challenging
  • So excited about preaching on the concept of “Someday” next week and that many of us are someday people
  • I’d ask you to be praying for me and the other leaders at Revolution this week as we gear up for 2 services and what God is going to do as we move forward as a church

Saturday Night Mind Dump…

  • Tonight was a hard night to get through
  • Some nights just flow and the sermon hits on all cylinders and everyone seems engaged
  • And then other nights, usually when I am preaching through a heavy passage or text like I was tonight, it feels like trudging through snow
  • What I love about nights like tonight is that after pouring my heart and soul into a sermon, having conversations with people about how God is speaking to them and working on their hearts through the gospel
  • The night’s that often seem to be the flattest, turn out to be the most powerful in terms of what happens in the hearts and lives of people
  • Tonight definitely had a lot of theology and meat in it, because of that I listed more recommended resources than normal to help you work through a lot of what we talked about. If you are interested in more on tonight’s topic of faith, justification and works, here are some books I’d recommend:  The Future of Justification by John Piper, Dug Down Deep: Unearthing what I Believe and why it Matters by Joshua Harris, Reclaiming Christianity: A Call to Authentic Faith by A.W. Tozer, and Redemption: Freed by Jesus from the Idols we Worship and the Wounds we Carry by Mike Wilkerson.
  • Shared some of the vision behind going to 2 services on March 26th
  • Really excited about what this is going to mean for our church and how God will allow us to reach more people
  • Working my way through a book right now that if you are leading some kind of change, you need to read
  • So excited to see my family tomorrow
  • Katie and the kids have been visiting family all this past week, can’t wait to be with them tomorrow
  • Last Sunday I preached at The Crossing, the church that is joining us
  • If you’d like to hear it, you can listen to it here
  • I preached on gospel fluency and how to share the gospel and how to let the gospel speak to the idols of your heart
  • Got the word this week, that we are officially an Acts 29 church, so excited about this
  • If you missed it this week, we shared some exciting news about our adoption and the next steps that you can read about here
  • Some moments it feels like we are right around the corner from the end and other times it feels like we are miles away
  • I know this is shorter than normal, but I’m tired and not long on words as my sermon was longer than normal tonight