Sunday, December 14, 2014

Book Review: Unchristian by David Kinnaman



Merriam-Webster define Unchristian as:
 \-ˈkris-chən, -ˈkrish-\
adjective
1
:not of the Christian faith
2
a :contrary to the Christian spirit or character
b :uncivilizedbarbarous
(http://i.word.com/idictionary/unchristian)

In Unchristian, Kinnaman investigates the 16-29 year Olds perception of Christians. First he analyzes Barna research and statistics, and then he discusses why it matters. The responses are not flattering. Words like anti-homosexual, judgmental, hypocritical, and too political are among the recurring themes from those interviewed. 

"What are Christians known for? Outsiders think our moralizing, our condemnations, and our attempts to draw boundaries around everything. Even if these standards are accurate and biblical, they seem to be all we have to offer. And our lives are a poor advertisement for the standards. We have set the gameboard to register lifestyle points; then we are surprised to be trapped by our mistakes. The truth is we have invited the hypocrite image." - David Kinnaman.


Unchristian challenges us to live lives that reflect Christ, to humble ourselves, and consider how we live our lives can be a road block to others developing a relationship with the a loving God.


"When outsiders claim that we are unchristian, it is a reflection of this jumbled (and predominately negative) set of perceptions. When they see Christians not acting like Jesus, they quickly conclude that the group deserves an unchristian label. Like a corrupted computer file or a bad photocopy, Christianity, they say, is no longer in pure form, and so they reject it. One quarter of outsiders say therefore most perception of Christianity is that the faith has changed for the worse. It has gotten off-track and is not what Christ intended. Modern-day Christianity no longer seems Christian." - David Kinnaman

UnChristian challenges each of and the church to carefully examine how we are representing Christ in our everyday lives. It is disturbing, challenging, and thought provoking. I highly recommend it for both individual reading as well as group study.

-Peace

Monday, December 01, 2014

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Congratulations, Debra Southern, you have won the Shaken Awake book Giveaway! Send me your contact information so I can get your prize in the mail ☺

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Santa: For the People

image source: https://farm3.staticflickr.com/

While out and about this weekend, we walked out of a restaurant in St. Pete and a billboard caught my eye. It read "Santa Claus: For the People".   I found this an odd message to spend a couple thousand dollars to communicate to the masses. I started asking questions. Did I miss Santa getting a bad rap? Are there individuals in our society who have begun questioning Santa's motives? Does Santa have his boot on the throat of the elves forcing them to endure the hardships of suppression, repression, and depressions? Who felt it so important to improve the fat man's reputation they were willing to part with thousands of dollars?

So I did what any red blooded first world citizen would do, I googled it. The super array of knowledgebases spun to life and quickly imparted wisdom into my quandary. The slogan "For the People" is the tagline for Morgan and Morgan, a law firm with offices in the Tampa/St. Pete area and Atlanta. Apparently, the bearded "Santa" on the billboard is John Morgan who thought it a great ad campaign for Christmas. Suffice it to say, I just think it odd.

But the odd billboard got me thinking. With all of the condescending attitudes and judgemental responses displayed by many calling themselves Christians, perhaps we should concern ourselves with the damage we have done to God's reputation. Why do the forgiven seem to think we are better than those who have yet to accept the gift of forgiveness? We are quick to judge and condemn. While we may not stand on the corner screaming, "You are going to hell!", we are quick to withhold grace, love, and forgiveness to those we deem unworthy. And by doing so while calling ourselves Christians, we have done a disservice to God himself. Maybe it is time for the church to begin embracing the lost, the outcast, the ones Jesus himself sought out - tax collectors, prostitutes, blind, lame, the least of these. Maybe we need to start paying for billboards that say "God: For the People"

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Everyone Loves to Hear a Good Story



Since the release of Shaken Awake, I have come across several writer friends that have encountered some block to writing. In the old days I remember hearing people say they had "hit the wall" or had "writer's block". As I listen to them, I hear them talking about trying to decide what their voice is and trying to decide if their writing is any good or not. The answer to both of these issues is simple - WRITE. You develop a writing voice by writing regularly and often. Your writing becomes better by writing - regularly and often. Everyone loves to hear a good story, and we all have hundreds trapped in our skulls.

I am over at Andlilit.com discussing this and more. Drop by and check it out. Read More Here!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Shaken Awake Book Giveaway

To celebrate my birthday, I am going to giveaway a free paperback copy of my new book Shaken Awake. What do you have to do to enter the giveaway? Simple! In the comment section below, tell me you would like to win a copy and that you would be willing to post an honest review on Amazon.com. How easy is that? I will select a winner on November 30th. Ready? Set? GO!

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Veteran Arrested For Feeding Homeless

Maybe I am biased, but I am appalled at this story. Any government that thinks for a second that this is justice or that this is the best way to resolve homelessness is seriously misguided.

  90 year old Arnold Abbott has been serving hundreds of free meals to the homeless every week in Fort Lauderdale,  Florida for the past 24 years. He was arrested for it Tuesday. “I love the city. I live here, it’s a beautiful place and I’d like to keep it beautiful, but you cannot sweep the homeless under a rug… There is no rug large enough for that.” - via Countercurrentnews.com




http://countercurrentnews.com/2014/11/man-arrested-for-feeding-homeless-gets-arrested-again-one-day-after-first-arrest/

To contact Mayor Seiler, please call (954) 828-5003 or send an e-mail to jack.seiler@fortlauderdale.gov


Friday, November 07, 2014

Six Questions

Had a few questions about Shaken Awake and sat down to answer them at Katdish.net



Q: What inspired you to write Shaken Awake?
A: I wrote “Shaken Awake” to shine a light on homelessness and hunger in the United States and as a challenge to individuals and churches to become aware of the magnitude of these issues and their impact on families. I firmly believe that these are the people that Jesus talked about... Read the rest at Katdish.net

Saturday, November 01, 2014

The Story Behind The Story



I have had several people ask what led me to write Shaken Awake, and I admit I have wanted to ask several authors that question about many books I have enjoyed over the year. I think the story behind the story a lot of times is almost as good as the main story line, and I would be remiss if I left it untold.

For 14 years, I lived in the Metro Atlanta area and for five of those years, I worked in midtown allowing me to see the homeless situation first hand. For the last three years, I have worked with community activist working to relieve hunger in our communities. Initially, I was shocked to discover the level of hunger in our community....Read the rest in my guest post at Bookwi.se

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Shaken Awake!

available now at 

Community Advocate Allen Madding 
Releases Thought Provoking Novella, Shaken Awake

When a homeless man freezes to death on the steps of an Atlanta church, the church is forced to re-examine its mission


Community Advocate, Author, and blogger Allen Madding releases his debut novella “Shaken Awake!” the story of a church in downtown Atlanta, Georgia faced with a dwindling and aging congregation that has been forced to shut down the majority of their building and dismissed much of its staff. With limited funds, they shutter all of their ministries and programs leaving only a couple adult Sunday School classes and a Sunday morning worship service. When a homeless man freezes to death on the steps of their sanctuary, the church begins to re-examine their mission and priorities.

"This is the perfect story to get people motivated to make a difference in the live of others. Easy, quick book with a solid purpose." Jeannette Ringeisen, Director Feed St. Pete
"I am not ashamed to admit some wet eyelids as I read the story. But wet eyelids ain’t worth squat if they don’t lead to action. I plan to investigate what is and can be done here. And you?"
Bill Grandi, 
billgrandi.ovcf.org

"A thought provoking book written by a man with a passion for others." - Dawn Lott

"Reading Allen’s book made me ask myself 'is that enough, what else can we do – what else can I do?' I encourage you to get a copy and answer questions for yourself." 
- Steven Vore, 
steven.vorefamily.net

"This is just the kind of wake up call that the modern church needs." - Rick Waters

"I enjoyed this book; it really makes you think about how we walk around blindly in our daily lives."
-Ann Rice

Monday, October 06, 2014

Launch!


I need your help. If you know me, you know that was difficult to type. But I admit it. I really do. We are approaching the release of my first book, Shaken Awake. For those of you who regularly visit my blog and enjoy my writing, I greatly appreciate your support over the years. Now,  I need your help in getting the word out about this book.

So what is the book about? Funny you should ask! A church in downtown Atlanta, Georgia faced with a dwindling and aging congregation has been forced to shutdown the majority of their building and dismissed much of its staff. Their budget barely pays the pastor's salary and the utilities. With limited funds, they shutter all of their ministries and programs leaving only a couple adult Sunday School classes and a Sunday morning worship service. When a homeless man freezes to death on the steps of their sanctuary, the church begins to re-examine their mission and priorities.

As a launch team member, you will received a free electronic copy of the book before it is released to the public. In return, as the launch date approaches, I will ask your help by sharing about the book on Facebook and Twitter, as well as posting a review on your blog, Amazon, Barnes and NobleGoodReads, and any other site you might like. But do not worry, we will provide you with helpful information and ideas on ways to help.