Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Doesn't Anybody Follow Jesus Anymore?

When I sat down to write a book on the subject of following Jesus, I found myself realizing that it's really a lost art in the American Church these days.

We're really good at making converts, but making disciples (followers of Jesus) is something we're pretty bad at in general.

The reason this troubles me is that Jesus commanded us (see "The Great Commission" in Matthew) to make disciples, not to make converts to a religious organization.

This is why the subject of following Jesus is such a passion of mine. This is why I wrote the 40 articles that became the book, "Nobody Follows Jesus (So Why Should You?)" over the last few years.

You can buy the book online at the link below, or you can just download the PDF version totally FREE. What matters to me is getting the ideas contained in the book into the minds of people who have misunderstood our calling to be followers of Jesus, not members of an organization.

VISIT THE SUBVERSIVE BOOKSTORE HERE:
http://stores.lulu.com/store.php?fAcctID=1073843

Here's what one woman said after reading my book:
" I downloaded your "Nobody Follows Jesus" book. I told my friend (youth pastor's wife) about it. I wasn't sure at first what you were going to write about (the title threw me off a little), but I couldn't help thinking, "Right on!" just about the entire time I was reading. I just started it, but wanted to let you know how much it has impacted me already! I feel like you climbed into my brain and scooped out all my thoughts on this issue...thoughts I've been thinking about since I became a Christian at 7 years old. I can't help but want to follow Jesus...your words in this form help point others to do so too!

Thanks!"

You can also purchase or download the book, "The Gospel: For Here Or To Go?" which takes a practical look at being a missionary to the world you're in right now.

peas,
kg

Monday, October 29, 2007

HITCHENS, D'SOUZA DEBATE: IS GOD THE PROBLEM?

If you've got the time you need to watch this debate between noted Atheist Christopher Hitchens ( author of "God Is Not Great") and Dinesh D'Souza ("What's So Great About Christianity?").

You need to know what the greatest (and loudest) voices in our world today are saying about Christianity and Faith in God.

Watch:
http://www.tkc.edu/debate/

kg

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

WEEKEND ROUND-UP

So much to blog about this week, where to begin?

*Ministry to Prostitutes- Last Friday night, around 11pm, I lead a group of six others onto Harbor blvd. to minister to prostitutes there. It wasn't so pretty. We intended to pass out free coffee to the girls in hopes of striking up conversations. Instead, they all avoided us like the plague and some ignored us completely when we tried to talk to them.

We did pass out one cup of java to a man at the bus stop, and another man at a different bus stop asked us for fifty cents, but declined to receive prayer.

In hindsight we realize that most of those girls ignored us because their pimps were just a few feet away watching them and they needed to appear busy and not chit-chatting with passers-by. We'll modify our approach next time and adjust our methods.

One group I'm in touch with up in the Los Angeles area passes out gift bags to the girls with perfume, lip gloss, jewelry, etc. That sounds like a much better idea to me.

I can't help but wonder, however, how effective we can be in the long run since no one in our group has ever walked in this world before. The LA group is made up of former prostitutes and drug addicts and gang-bangers. Our group is made up of housewives, pastors, and desk jockeys. Do we have any hope of relating to them at all?

*My Ooze Article- There's a great storm of responses being made over at TheOoze.com on my article, "Destroy the (Christian) Subculture!" which really makes me smile. One person emailed me directly to say that he forwarded it on to his blog subscribers (about 150 people) and one of those in Brazil loved it so much he did the same.

Maybe there's hope yet for an awakening within the American Christian Church? I pray so. I pray.

My favorite comment was about my use of violent imagery to communicate my passion to destroy this subculture. He suggested that I probably sit at home playing hours of violent video games and watching porn. Ha! Oh yeah, I play "Halo 3" all day, watch porn and then I sit down to write articles on discipleship to Jesus in my spare time. That's the "ABC's of me, baby".

Riiiight.

Or maybe I'm a writer who uses language to communicate ideas and sometimes gets creative so that people will have a reaction to my words that goes beyond passive complacency? Maybe I realize that people need to be offended or shocked before they will respond and act and wake up? Yeah…maybe.

Ok, got to get back to my Halo 3 and pornos now.

*The [Subversive Underground] e-newsletter: For the first time in almost two years my free, weekly e-newsletter missed a week. Not because I didn't write it. Not because I didn't post it. But because the good people at Feedblitz didn’t send it out. Usually I catch these little hiccups, which happen almost every other week, and I email the customer support people to wake them up and remind them that they need to send it out because I've posted it and after almost 48 hours it hasn't been sent to the list.

This last weekend I had too much going on, with the Harbor blvd ministry, friends coming over, a sermon to preach at Soul Survivor Church, and family life, and so I wasn't quick enough to email Feedblitz and ask them to send out my [SU].

So, last week's article was sent yesterday. This means I'll have to send out two this week in order to keep the "weekly" promise I made to my subscribers.

To correct this on future articles I've re-set my Feedblitz account to manual send. This means that after I post the weekly article I'll have to go over to Feedblitz and login and send it out
myself. Every time.

See what I do for you people? It isn't all porn and games over here ya know?

*PODCAST SERMON: "LIVING THE MISSIONAL LIFE" - If you use ITunes you can search "Keith Giles" under podcasts and listen to my sermon last week over at Soul Survivor Church. It's more of a conversation than a sermon, really. I purposely tried to engage people in a dialog rather than deliver a prepared speech. I think it came out ok. If you listen to it let me know what you think.

*THE NON-CON UPDATE: As of this moment I am seriously praying about whether or not to throw the switch on the Non-Con for March 2008. Jackie Pullinger is confirmed. David Ruis and all the rest are still on board with it. I've got the location nailed down and I've done like six other conferences like this one before, so it's not that I'm not sure if I can pull it off.

What gives me pause is the fact that all of this stuff is seriously hard work. Because I've done a few of these before I totally understand what this does to me, and to my family, as the date approaches. The time it will take to set up the service projects, the financial risk to my family (since this is the first conference I'll do on my own...not for a non-profit ministry, but all by myself), and the stress that goes along with all of that, makes me really want to pray about doing this.

I have people emailing me all the time asking me when I'll open registration for this event. This is October. The event is in March. I know people are very excited about this, and because of that I want to make it happen because I know it has the potential to really bless a lot of people and especially to educate the Church about the Kingdom and to invite people to step out of their comfort zones and serve the poor. This is very exciting to me.

Please pray for me about this. Please ask God to give me wisdom and guidance about doing this Non-Con. I want it to be His will and His plan, not mine.

Thanks for your support.

Peace,
Keith

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Gospel: For Here Or To Go? - Free Download


My first book project, "The Gospel:For Here Or To Go?" is now available for purchase over at Lulu.com.

About the book:
This is not a book about how to change the world. It’s about changing your world so that God, through you, might introduce Himself to a few of the people around you.

To think of yourself as a missionary is to realize that you have a mission. Every single day of your life, wherever you are, wherever you go, you are on a mission.

This book is intended to shed some much needed light on what it means to live this way without being false. The important thing to remember is that you are not selling anything. The Gospel is not for sale. You are not a salesman. You don’t need to memorize a pitch. You will not track your success on a chart. You will not have to pretend to be someone else.

Free Download
I'm offering everyone the chance to download the book, free of charge. Just go to the link provided, download the .pdf version for free and start reading. It's yours to keep and to forward to your friends.

In addition, my second book, "Nobody Follows Jesus (So Why Should You?)" is also available as a free download and contains forty of my favorite articles published over the last four years on the subject of following Jesus. It's over 200 pages worth of my best writing and I'm proud to share it with all of you.

If you decide to purchase the print version of either book, please keep in mind that the bulk of the price you'll pay goes to the publisher, Lulu.com. I only earn about two dollars per book sold, so no one is getting rich here...except maybe Lulu.com that is.

Just for the record, the version of "The Gospel:For Here Or To Go?" I'm offering here does not yet include the introduction from author Neil Cole ("Organic Church") but I will offer an updated version of the book, along with additional chapters and supplimental material, as soon as all of that is completed.

The book is available online here:
http://stores.lulu.com/store.php?fAcctID=1073843

Thanks to everyone for reading my articles and for supporting my writing ministry.

Peas,
Keith

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

CONSUMPTION, EXPRESSION, IDENTITY

CONSUMPTION, EXPRESSION, IDENTITY
By Keith Giles

As a society, we are conditioned to find our identity in what we own or purchase. As Christians, we are conditioned to express our faith through the sanctified products we purchase, own or consume. This is the perversion of Christ into Capitalism and an expression of faith through consumption of products. It is wrong.

A good friend sent me an article he found that provided an intriguing historical perspective on our evolution from artisans to consumers. I've pulled out the quotes I found most fascinating below:

"A Short History of Consumption
With the rise of the Industrial Revolution, the relationship between people and the goods that they made was broken. No longer did peasants plant, tend, and harvest their crops; now agricultural workers labored over someone else’s crops in exchange for wages. No longer did artisans design, plan, craft, and sell; now factory workers repeatedly carried out a single step in the production of a product, again in exchange for wages."

"In short, people were no longer producers, they were now consumers."

"Our identities were no longer tied up with the work we did, but with the buying power our work left us with."

"So people found their identities not in their work but in the things they could buy by working."

"People became consumers, not just in the way they got what they needed but in who they felt themselves to be."

"Unlike the artisan who could express his or her identity through the things s/he created, we have learned to do so through the things we buy"

(Full article linked below)
http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/blog-action-day-you-the-consumer.html

**
The entire article is mainly looking at consumption from an environmental impact perspective, but the points made about our lifelong indoctrination to consumerism as a society are very eye-opening to me. Especially in light of the ongoing series of articles I've been writing lately regarding the evils of the Christian Subculture over on my weekly e-newsletter [Subversive Underground].

Here's what I think we need to understand, as followers of Jesus, regarding the observations made in this article above.

CONSUMPTION IS SELF-EXPRESSION
We, as a society, have made consuming and purchasing products part of our identity structure. This is why people will fork out $30 for a t-shirt with some corporate logo and walk around as a billboard for them, not because they love that company or product, not because of their loyalty to the brand, but because they think that logo makes THEM look cool. It says something about them, and so they willingly become walking advertising...and they PAY for the privilege. Amazing.

CHRISTIAN IDENTITY
Honestly, this really does help me to formulate a clear picture of what's going on in the Christian subculture. We're finding our identity as "Christians" in the products we purchase. These products brand us and identify us as a subset of people. Instead of finding our identity in Christ by the way we relate to Him daily, obey His teachings, and emulate His example of service and unconditional love, we now identify ourselves as Christians by our t-shirts, bumper stickers, books and CD collections.

ARTISTS AND CONSUMPTION/IDENTITY/EXPRESSION
It's also fascinating how this shift in our society stems from the devaluing of artisans in our culture. People now express themselves by what they own or purchase more than by what they create with their hands or their imaginations. Artists within our society are influenced by this consumerist identity structure. Artists of faith are compelled to create art that can be sold, or that conforms to the acceptable Christian marketplace. Art in this context is devoid of pure self-expression, unless that expression conforms to the acceptable branding and messaging of the sacred market.

More from the article:
"The rise of consumption as our primary interaction with the rest of our society has had profound effects. For example, social status is obtained and marked by the things we buy and use. A car, for instance, is not just a way to get from one place to another but has to “say something” about who we are — and even the lack of a car says volumes. Unlike the artisan who could express his or her identity through the things s/he created, we have learned to do so through the things we buy: the t-shirt with the logo of our band or team, the bamboo towels that show our environmental commitments, the alternative album that shows off our indie cred, the designer shoes that place us as part of the trend-setting elite, the minivan that shows us to be part of the dependable, hard-working, family-oriented suburban middle class, and so on."

SUBCULTURE AND IDENTITY
The Christian Subculture has a market. That market embraces a brand. That brand has a message connected to it. That message serves the market and encourages ongoing participation in that market. It means providing reasons to continue purchasing these products day after day and week after week. The market serves itself. It exists to keep itself in business.

The Christian Subculture provides an oasis made of soothing products that help us escape from the Big Bad World that is "Out There". It's a sacred version of "Calgon-Take Me Away!" only our message is more pervasive. It's not just one soothing bath to calm our fears of being trapped in a world of sin, it's music and movies and clothing and books and toys and key chains and license plate frames and decals and candy and pens and pretty much every conceivable object and piece of product that can ever be branded with our message. It's nearly a complete world unto itself, and it's exactly what Jesus prayed to God would never happen to us. (see John 17:15)

THE CART THAT PULLS THE HORSE
I'm not against art or music or expressions of faith. Most of my favorite musicians are believers and their music contains references to our Lord and to faith in Him. Many of my friends are Artists who paint and sculpt and create art to communicate a Kingdom reality. The issue is not that creating art or any sincere expression of devotion to Christ is wrong. What is evil is the marketplace we've created to showcase product. In the beginning the market existed to serve the Art, now the Art exists to serve the marketplace. We have lost focus. Making money is now the main objective. Evangelism or edification or worship is secondary at best, if considered at all.

During my six years in the Christian Music Industry I slowly began to realize the sickness of it all. At first I saw the industry as a way to spread the Gospel and to provide a voice for talented musicians of faith. But soon I realized that it didn't matter if your music ministry was responsible for leading thousands to Christ each year. What mattered was record sales. If your CD's weren't selling at least 20,000 units per sales cycle you'd be dropped from the label in a heartbeat. It was, after all, a Record BUSINESS, and like every business making money and selling product is the very bottom line. Ministry is incidental, and sadly only useful in the context of marketing the product to your target audience, in order to drive more sales.

Like the money-changers in front of the Temple that Jesus chased away with a whip, the original idea was a good one; To provide animals for sacrifice so that people could enter the Temple and participate in the worship of God. However, when money got in the way the original vision was corrupted and the Temple became a marketplace which obscured access for the common man and made a mockery of real worship. The same is true today.

BACK TO JESUS
The tension still remains between the clear command of our Lord to "Go into all the world.." and a subculture that bears His Name, yet encourages a full retreat from the World and identifies membership based on purchasing the acceptable, branded product. The product carries a message that we should fear those outside of our group. It encourages non-involvement with the culture. It makes minimizing contact with those outside the subculture a preferable reality.

If Jesus modeled radical inclusion and commanded us to be known by our love for everyone, especially those who hate us, and a subculture emerges with His Name on it that encourages us to be radically exclusive and creates behavior by which we are known for our intolerance, hatred and condemnation of those outside our group, we must make a choice. Do we choose Jesus or do we choose the man-made subculture with his Name on it?

I choose Jesus.

If Jesus clearly teaches something, and another organization or person teaches the exact opposite we call that "Anti-Christ". To me it's plainly obvious that the Christian Subculture is "Anti-Christ" because it contradicts His message of inclusion, involvement and meaningful relationships with sinners.

I've said it before and I say it again; "Death to the Christian Subculture!"

BRINGING A CHANGE
Where can we fashion a whip and drive out the money-changers from the Temple? It's difficult because we now deal with this on a massive scale. Participation in this market-driven Christian Subculture is pervasive and intangible. There is no physical structure to kick over. There is no clear method for applying the whip necessary to drive them out.

All we can really do is to begin, one person at a time, to disassociate ourselves with this subculture. Stop participating. Stop identifying yourself as a follower of Jesus based on your purchases. Stop pandering to what the Christian Marketplace finds acceptable and palatable. Make Jesus your single source of Truth. Ask God to show you where you have replaced a Jesus way of life with a carefully branded subculture way of life. Escape the false notions of "Sacred" and "Secular" and just start living, as a disciple of Jesus, in this World (the only World), right now.

I declare a personal War against the Christian Subculture.

kg

**

Monday, October 15, 2007

LOVE THE POOR

LOVE THE POOR
by Keith Giles

I received a very encouraging email this week from a friend in Torrance, California who just hosted a massive "Health Fair" for the homeless a few weeks ago.

Read below what this ministry did to serve the poor in their community. The Kingdom is advancing here.
**
Keith,

Our Health Fair was an incredible success. All attendees registered at thee door and received cards with all the stations color coded.

In order:
1) Foot washing- Allowed for a few relaxing, intimate minutes with people. Washed, cleaned, dried, powdered, with new socks and foot medicine provided to those who had athletes feet or some fungus. This usually finished off with a few minutes of prayer for the person receiving the washing. If you ever want to get to know a homeless person, wash their feet and ask them to tell you about themselves. I find everyone has a story to tell and they really do want to share it, only no one cares enough to ask them for it. Mother Teresa said most people she cared for actually died of a lonely heart.

2) Next stop - 2 barbers chairs cutting hair, beards.

3) Dentist visit- Free dental inspection and appointments with Dr Carl who goes to our Church and donates every Friday afternoon to free dental care for the homeless. He pays all the secretary and dental hygienists, plus the labs, and crowns and whatever.

4) Nurses administered free Hepatitis A, B and C shots and Pneumonia shoots. (At our Wednesday night before Thanksgiving dinner we will give free flu shots).

5) Prayer team corner. Always busy, worked in pairs and alternated prayers in/out over the course of the evening.

6) Mental health Doctors to talk with folks, review medications and make recommendations. No medicine was dispensed.

7) County Drug and Alcohol booth that could place people in recovery shelters that night or as soon as they are ready.

8) Free shirts, protein bars, and goodies

9) Free Dinner and lots of it. As much as you wanted. Desert cart with cupcakes and the icing and goodies applied at table side just as they wanted.

Re-Cap:
We had 140 attendees, 15 of which were complete families. We had 125 volunteers form 3 churches.

Our God is such a Great God.

As I explained to the Press- These folks are our family. We treat and love them as we would our close kin at Thanksgiving dinner, with the respect and love we show our family.

THANKSGIVING DINNER PLANS
We will have our third annual Thanksgiving dinner this year. I go to the homeless camps, freeway under crossings, the crack and meth camps along the river in Harbor city, the corners were the migrants hang out and invite them all. We have staged intersections and shuttle them to dinner and back to their corners.

MINISTRY TO PROSTITUTES
I worked with a Ministry an Assemblies of God in the LBC at the North Long Beach Compton border. I was big into fresh fruit and vegetables food distribution to any Churches in need I could find. They would have a once a month "Ladies of the Night" ministry. The Church was in a prostitution/crack neighborhood were the girls pimps hung out. The pimps were bitter and mean and would not let the women come, but praise God they started coming for fellowship prayer and occasional help. A few women were secreted away from the location and from their pimps to start new lives.

Remember: Always travel in pairs and with one or two women in ministry to street prostitutes in case the Police want to talk with you.

Sorry for the long email, (it might be a record for me). Looking forward to new Kingdom adventures with your Church.

His Peace in your life - Amen
Bernie
**

I am SO encouraged by this email. Not only because of all the beautiful expressions of love being shown to the poor, but also because of Bernie's heart for people. It makes me want to get on my knees and ask God for more of His love for others. I want to have a heart like Jesus for those in need.

Blessings to you Bernie. May your tribe increase.
-kg

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

THE GOSPEL: For Here Or To Go? (The Book)


"Learning to live an incarnational life is essentially about re-learning what it means to be human, and how to relate to other humans as a human being; not as a christian to a non-christian." - Keith Giles (from the book, "The Gospel: For Here Or To Go?")

Last year I set a goal for myself to write at least one book project. I actually wrote two of them.
This year my goal was to publish at least one of them and I couldn't be more thrilled to announce that this book will soon be available for purchase on this very website.
"The Gospel:For Here Or To Go?" is essentially about incarnational ministry, or "Missional Life" as some like to call it.
The book started out as a workshop I did for Soul Survivor's "Momentum" Conference about two years ago. From there I wanted to write down what came out of this workshop and I ended up writing a six part series of articles which appeared online at both Ginkworld.net and at Neil Cole's CMAResources.com.
The book itself contains all of the same material you'll find in those six articles, but I've added another six chapters worth of material to make this a more robust discussion of what it means to live out the calling to go and make disciples.
This amazing cover image was created by artist, illustrator and very dear friend, Scott Laumann (http://www.scottlaumann.com/) who has done professional work for SPIN Magazine, Rolling Stone, Time, and a few other national publications. I can't tell you how thrilled I am to have this cover from Scott.
Neil Cole (author of "Organic Church") has also agreed to contribute an introduction to my first book and I'm honored to have someone of his reputation do so. Plus it only seemed fitting since he was one of the first to champion those early six articles on his website.
WAIT...THERE'S MORE!
In addition, I will also release a 200 page collection of 50 articles on spiritual formation called "Nobody Follows Jesus (So Why Should You?)" alongside this book. This book collects my favorite articles on discipleship which have appeared over the last four years in magazines like Relevant, TheOoze, Ginkworld, SeedStories.com, and at Soul Survivor USA's website.
I'll have the online store open very soon. You'll have the choice to purchase the print version of the book or to download an e-book (pdf) version if that's your thing.
Hang in there. There's more to come.
peas,
kg

Monday, October 08, 2007

A GOOD LOOK IN THE MIRROR

For a long time now I've been saying that Christians are their own worst enemy. We complain about the fact that popular media lampoons us as being alarmist, extremist, and hateful.

The sad thing is, the popular media, and the average citizen, only reacts to what they see. We've not demonstrated to this World that we are like Jesus. Instead we embrace a political agenda which urges us into war, celebrates the death of those who are not like us, and largely ignores the poor and the sick.

Our example, Jesus, was a man of peace. He said, "Blessed are the peace makers for they shall inherit the Earth". Yet the political party most closely associated with Jesus celebrates war.

Jesus said that if we shared food or water or clothing or shelter with someone in need that it was the same as expressing our love for Him. (Matthew 25) Yet the Church in America is not known for compassion on the homeless, the poor, the orphan or the widow.

Jesus embraced the leper, yet those who call themselves His followers largely ignore those suffering from AIDS, the leprosy of our time.

I just saw this article online today and couldn't help but sympathize with those who commented in the negative about us - the followers of Jesus.

Read the comments found on this link
http://digg.com/politics/A_Nation_of_Christians_Is_Not_a_Christian_Nation

Just read the comments. Don't freak out. Please don't post a hot-tempered rebuttal and make the rest of us look stupid and hateful. Just read. Listen to what these people are saying. Ask yourself why they think this way? What has lead them to believe that the followers of Jesus are narrow-minded, arrogant, and self-absorbed?

We've created the image that is in their minds.

I wish that the label "Christian" was equated with people who are full of love, patience, kindness, understanding and compassion.

I wish.

kg

Thursday, October 04, 2007

WHAT WOULD CS LEWIS DO?

What Would CS Lewis Do?
by Keith Giles

The other day a good friend of mine asked me if I ever thought about writing anything other than spiritual matters? Like fiction, for example.

The truth is that I did write fiction before I started the whole "Subversive" thing that's going on now. I had started to write a sci-fi novel called "Digerati" which dealt with memory replacement, bio-engineering and identity. Eventually that novel-in-progress inherited an artist and suddenly it was a comicbook/graphic novel-in-progress. Out of that project sprung a second project called "Hard Video" which was based on a short story I wrote. That project got an artist attached and soon I had several other sci-fi/graphic novel projects going all at once. After that came "Durango Silver" and "UV:Target" and then it totally snowballed.

The result was something we called "Plastic Animal Studios" and you can take a look at the projects we had going at the website: http://www.plasticanimalstudios.com

We actually had some of our stuff published in a giant anthology called "Prophecy" (not a Christian publication, in spite of the name). The "Hard Video" short story was in there first (and only) edition. We had finished pages on a second short called "The Devil's Riding Horse", and you can read that entire story at the website link provided, but it never got published because they went out of business.

One day, I will get back to my sci-fi projects and self-publish those as well. When I do, the question is whether not I should combine the fiction and the spiritual books into one blog/website or if I should create a separate identity for the fiction. My friend asked me about this the other day. He wanted to know if I would feel comfortable with people who follow my spiritual writings being exposed to my fiction, and conversely how I would feel if those who followed my fiction discovered my writings on being a Jesus follower. Good question.

I admit I've thought about this, but my kneejerk reaction is to ask, "What did C.S. Lewis do"? He just wrote and allowed the two worlds to co-exist. Go to Amazon.com and search his name and you'll find books on Christian Theology side by side with books on science fiction and books for children based on myth and fantasy. I think that's what I'll do too.

Granted, it's inevitable that some will read my fiction and be offended that I include violence and adult situations, and some will outright reject my fiction completely when they discover that I'm a "Christian Author"…so in some ways I can't win either way. That's just the way it will have to be, I guess.

I've done a lot of thinking lately about the false distinction of "Sacred" and "Secular" created by the Christian subculture. In order to further demonstrate my desire to eliminate the kind of mentality created by this man-made evil, it makes even more sense than ever for me to bundle everything into one unsafe package.

At the moment, however, I am firmly focused on publishing my books on spiritual matters.
Very soon I will announce the availability of my book, "Nobody Follows Jesus (So Why Should You?)" and provide a link here on this blog for online sales of the physical book, and pdf download option as well. This book is over 200 pages long and contains 50 articles on spiritual formation and discipleship I've published over the last four years at RelevantMagazine.com, TheOoze.com, and several other outlets. It really is a great collection of some of my very favorite articles on the subject of following Jesus. I can't wait to release it!

Following that I will make "The Gospel:For Here Or To Go?" available for online purchase. The cover, by Scott Laumann, is already finished and it is totally gorgeous. I'd buy it just for that cover image. The hold up on this book has been the introduction which Neil Cole (the author of "Organic Church") has been working on for me. He's been travelling a lot lately, and he's also in the middle of finishing up his own book too, so I have no problem waiting on him to provide me with his introduction at his earliest convenience. It will be worth the wait, I assure you.

After the New Year I will publish "Top 10 Things Every Christian Should Know (But Probably Doesn't)" based on the monthly series I wrote this year, with additional material which wasn't included in the online version of those articles.

Following that I want to release another set of books collecting my interviews with Dallas Willard, Matt Redman, Jim Wallis, Todd Hunter, Spencer Burke, Dr. Scott Bartchy, Tim Hughes, and uh…a lot of other people. I'll call that "Subversive Interviews" I think.

After that I'll publish a collection of my articles on house church called "The Mission: Adventures in House Church" and another collection after that of my articles on caring for poor called "Secret Service:Developing a Heart for the Poor".

Some of you may also remember that I have been writing another book of totally original material called "The Power of Weakness". This book has not been published in any online format. Right now, the book is still in the development stage and I will insert that book into the release schedule as soon as I have the time to put that final bit of polish on the manuscript. I mean, it's totally done, but I need to add a bit of narrative to the beginning of each chapter and just haven't had the time to do it.

Taking a look at that list, I think I have plenty to keep me busy in the self-publishing department.

Just between you and me, I'd really LOVE it if a publisher would offer to do all of this for me. As much as I love the freedom of self-publishing, it would really great if I could just write my books and someone else could handle the editing, the layout, the cover, and the marketing for me.

Ahh….yeah, that would be SO nice. If you know of any Christian publishers looking for great writers send them my way.

Until then…

kg