Book: The Reproducers (New Life for Thousands) by Chuck Smith

thereproducersImagine 1,500 people arriving an hour early for church, or watching 500 people be baptized in a few short hours in the pacific ocean, and Bible studies more popular than anything else. These are just a few of the amazing things that transpired during the Jesus movement of the 1970’s and they are captured within the pages of ‘The Reproducers’.

Yes, the stories contained within this book are from forty years ago, but the truths that transformed these lives are as real and true today as they were in 1972 when this book was originally published. It is my prayer that you would be blessed, encouraged, and challenged as you read the testimony of what God did and what He desires to do today through people just like us.

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Joe Focht, Pastor at Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia says:

“I believe The Reproducers captures the heartbeat of the Jesus Movement. As I read and re-read the book, I am overwhelmed with the beauty, power, and simplicity of Jesus, His Spirit and His Word. ‘Lord uncomplicate us, cause us to be flexible and grace us with a fresh and continued Jesus Movement.'”

Book: Zeal Without Burnout by Christopher Ash

zealwithoutburnoutThere are too many Christians who stop serving in their local church or in a ministry. Why? Burnout. I don’t believe they have lost their love for Christ, or their desire to serve him, but for one reason or another, they are exhausted and simply cannot carry on. This is why we must recognize our own limits to help reduce the risk of what we call “burnout”.

In “Zeal Without Burnout” author Christopher Ash says, “it is a healthy thing, a realistic truth, to grasp that I am dust. I am made from dust. In this mortal life I will never be more than a few particles of dust into which God has temporarily breathed the breath of life. I am frail and fragile, and I do well never to forget it.” People serving in ministry must understand this truth, and know their limitations to reduce the risk of burning out.

This book provides several keys which author Christopher Ash has found to help us not grow weary while doing good. These principles are: 1) We need sleep. 2) We need Sabbath Rests. 3) We need friends. 4) We need nourishment. 5) A warning: beware celebrity. 6) An encouragement: it’s worth it. And 7) A delight: rejoice in grace not gifts.

After you read this book, you will no doubt understand what it means to be burned out and you might discover whether you are yourself burned out. I think that it would be especially encouraging to all who serve in Christian ministry.

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Devo: Pastors Are People Too (7 Days): What They Won’t Tell You but You Need to Know

In light of October being Pastor Appreciation Month (started by Focus on the Family in 1994), here is a recommended 7-Day Devotion for you to enjoy.

devoimage720x405A healthy church requires a healthy pastor. Discover proven ways to make a positive impact in your pastor’s world and the life of your church. This practical devotion offers tangible ways to better understand and care for the pastor who cares so deeply about you. Pastors and their families live under incredible pressures. Their lives are played out in a fishbowl, with the entire congregation and community watching their every move. They are expected to have ideal families, to be perfect people, to always be available, to never be down and to have all the answers we need to keep our own lives stable and moving forward. Those are unrealistic expectations to place on anyone, yet most of us are disappointed when a pastor becomes overwhelmed, seems depressed, lets us down or completely burns out. Learn how you can help and better appreciate your pastor and his family through this free 7-day devotion.

Book: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

theScrewtapeLettersBookThis book is a timeless classic on Hell’s latest novelties and heaven’s unanswerable answer. A masterpiece of satire, this classic has enlightened readers with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life. C.S. Lewis gives us the correspondence of the worldly-wise Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood, a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary young man.

The Screwtape Letters is an engaging account of temptation, pride, and the ultimate victory of faith over evil forces. If you have ever had a sinful thought that appeared to be at random, think again. This book will remind you that the enemy shoots fiery darts continually trying to bring us down. Ultimately this book closes with the victory we have in Jesus and encourages readers to stay close to God.

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Movie: Woodlawn

007517In 1973, a spiritual awakening captured the heart of nearly every player of the Woodlawn High School Football team. This riveting true story of courage, strength, and football at the height of racial tension in Birmingham, Alabama, tells the story of Coach Tandy Gerelds, his running back Tony Nathan, and a high school football game that healed a city. In this Inspirational and uplifting movie, it is a story of how faith, teamwork, and purpose can heal a divided community.

Its theme is straightforward: Believe in Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and honor him, and anything is possible. This movie is an inspiring and well-constructed telling of a young man’s life journey, and those connected to him. Chaplain Hank’s line, “This is what happens when God shows up,” is really the overall theme of the film. Based on a true story, “Woodlawn” is a must see film in our generation.

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A moving film about what happens when faith in Jesus collides with a radically transformed heart.” Jim Daly, President, Focus on the Family

“Woodlawn is the best Christian Film I have ever seen ” Pastor Brian Brodersen, Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, CA

“Woodlawn is one the most powerful faith-based films I have ever seen… I wholeheartedly endorse it and encourage you to see it. Take along someone who does not know the Lord yet as well!” Greg Laurie, Harvest Crusade