New Blog Location.

It's official my blog has moved: http://www.dearfaithless.tumblr.com
Check me out there. Thanks.


Green Flip-Flops

By my back door sit these two pair of green flip-flops. One my wife's the other mine. For some reason as I was cleaning up around the house this morning this image caught my attention. It grabbed my mind and I saw such significance in our flip-flops sitting next to one another. They're both dirty. We wear them out in the backyard when we're too lazy for shoes. I started connecting these parallels in my mind of how much I love Kristin and this journey of life we're on together. We both come to the table with different things. We have different perspectives on some things. She's a bit more conservative than I am and I'm the one who's always thinking bigger than I probably should be. She reigns me back to earth. We're going to go through good times and hard times. We're going to get a bit dirty along the way I'm sure. The thing is she'll always be by my side and I'll always be by hers. She's my bride, my wife, my help mate, my partner, my love. I'm so thankful she's by my side. So thankful we can take these steps in life together. My God is so good to give me such an amazing wife.


A New Dawn Breaks...

I've been wondering for a long time if I'm on the right track. There are sometimes I wake up in the morning and I feel a sense of longing for something more than myself. I am blessed beyond measure with a wife and a home that I love and that love me. I'm not complaining about that. All I'm saying is that surely there must be something that God has not yet shown me. I feel like I'm right on the brink of Him moving me someplace. I feel like He's about to shift things around and rearrange my furniture. I'm just not sure how or when or where. Maybe it's nothing. But I sense a new day dawning. Some time ago I wrote a poem for an album I recorded with a friend under the name Opposite Day.

The sunrise peaks the horizon
Sparkling the light dances across the iris
The world is young but my soul grows weak
I turn to You if for nothing else than knowing I am safe
Hear in Your arms that I'm ok
The dew drips from the cloroformed leaves and spring to life
The clouds rip apart
The day, the life begins here.
As a new dawn breaks.

I feel like that's where I am. At the brink of a new day.
Excited and completely unsure of what is coming...


Simple Life - Book Review

We all long for simplicity. Our lives pull us in a million different directions. Somewhere in the midst of our work, home, and church lives we hope and long for something that is simple. Something to slow us down. We look for simplicity in how we design artwork and clothing. We want simplicity in how things function and work. We want simplicity in our lives.

Not long ago I had the privilege to play a concert with a band called The Cobalt Season. Their most recent album is called "In Search Of A Unified Theory". Ryan explains that the majority of us compartmentalize our lives. We place things in boxes. We have our work life, in which we do work things, we have sets of morals and values that are exclusive to our work life. Then we have our home life with it's own set of morals and values exclusive to it. Finally we have what we call our spiritual life. There are here exclusive morals and values as well. Ryan explains that "In Search Of A Unified Theory" is a set of songs where he is trying to combine these boxes of life. He is trying to mend the inconsistencies between his boxes. He's trying to make his life line up into one single unit. He longs for simplicity.

In their book Simple Life Thom Rainer and his son Art begin to unpack what it means to have a simple life. They do this in four areas: Time, Relationships, Money, and God. In each of these four ares there are four ways to make them simple. Clarity, Movement, Alignment, and Focus.

Clarity means that you have a plan and that the plan clearly states were you want to go. Movement takes place when we remove the congestion in our lives. Congestion in life means you aren't making progress. You can have a clear plan of where you want to go, clarity, but you aren't moving toward the goal. Alignment is when we look at the bad habits and problems that are interfering with our movement then we eliminate some of those things. Focus is that process of eliminating those things.

The authors walk through this process with each area of life in order to help the reader simplify. There are application section to help the read put into practice what he or she is reading. Rather than just giving information the authors provide the reader with something to literally do. The book is well written and indeed simple.


The Justice Project - Book Review

There are days and moments in which I find myself stopping to ask the question: "Do I have God all wrong?"

I know I must not have Him all wrong I mean I understand the Father's saving grace and the atoning sacrifice of Christ and the indwelling of the Spirit for guidance and direction into all truth. I wonder if I too often ignore the Spirit of God. If my preconceived notions of who God is have gotten in the way with who He really is? Am I believing under false pretenses about who my God is? Have I been speaking so quickly and believing so swiftly that I've missed the words God Himself was whispering?

I feel that God is taking me to some new places in knowing Him... at least I think He's trying to if I'll shut up and let Him. God's been teaching me and molding me through different resources and one of these is The Justice Project, which is a collaboration of Christian thinkers from around the globe asking questions about social justice and justice as it pertains to who God is. If nothing else this book has helped me to clear a path for questions of my own to resurface. Questions that have been brewing for a long time.

Tonight I sat in a warm bath to read some of this book. A tub full of clean water that I pulled a lever to access and gallons filled my clean tub in moments. Earlier today I filled a gallon jug in seconds with fresh cold clean water to use for coffee beans that I pulled from a bag and ground and brewed for myself and a friend with no thought at all. As I filled my tub and my jug today at both times God has reminded me of so many around the world without clean water to even drink. Here I sit wallowing in it. Here I can call it up at any temperature desired from the tap, if I'm feeling luxurious I might filter it... God has blessed me with so many things that I take for granted. What does it say about Him that so many go without? Rather what does it say about what my response to these situations should be. Justice is at the top of the list for God. He calls us to follow Him in this in Micah 6:8. He calls us to "do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly" with Him.

The Justice Project I hope will bring some questions to your mind as well concerning your role in social justice. I'm praying that God keeps my heart open to hear Him speak.


The word variously thrills, or it terrifies, or it bores. Justice is something we’re longing for, something we’re trying to evade, or something we feel vaguely guilty about because – in a post-ONE Campaign world – it’s something we’re supposed to be passionate about.

Whither justice?

This question is vitally enmeshed in early 21st century life, whether we’re approaching it politically, spiritually, philosophically, or pop culturally. Clothing lines that promise easy-purchasing justice, theological interpretations of the Gospel that say ‘Thank God we don’t get justice,’ and a litigious culture that demands justice for coffee that’s too hot – it’s a hot-button topic, for sure.

The contributors to this new anthology The Justice Project feel our pain. And they contend that the world has never been in greater need of Jesus-followers who "do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God."

The Justice League:
This collection of essays contains more than thirty brief chapters by some of the most penetrating thinkers in the contemporary Christian ‘justice conversation,’ including voices from evangelical, mainline, and emerging contexts:

* Rene Padilla
* Peggy Campolo
* Will and Lisa Samson
* Sylvia Keesmaat
* Bart Campolo
* Lynne Hybels
* Tony Jones
* Richard Twiss
* many others

The essays are fresh, and take nothing for granted. You can read ‘em in order or peruse at will. The Justice Project is eating through my jaded-ness to inspire me to live a beautiful life of justice-making unto God’s new creation.

"Put together by exemplary leaders, this will be a handbook for any who are committed to working for biblically based social justice. It's comprehensive and brilliantly well written."
– Tony Campolo

"Absolutely dazzling. Here is a choir for social justice that makes the prophets smile. The editors have conducted a symphony of voices, harmonizing without homogenizing. You may find some voices here a little high pitched or unfamiliar, but together they are magical. These authors are not just the 'usual suspects' of the religious left, but signs of a movement that is coloring outside the lines of partisan politics and stale debates in a post-religious right world. They insist that our faith must be as daring and sassy, as gentle and fascinating, as our lover, Jesus."
– Shane Claiborne

Brian McLaren explaining his heart behind being the editor – and how his proceeds will be used:

25-page PDF excerpt:

Even the book’s potential theological critics are turning a hopeful eye:

Through The River - Book Review

"Your truth is what you make it." has never been more fleshed out than it is in modern culture. People all around the world and across the street come to the table with varying views on truth. Some believe truth is non-existent or that truth is created by one's own personal belief system. Some believe that truth is absolute and unchanging that it can be directly proven by facts and hard evidence. Some base truth on experience and ideas.

In their book Through the River, by John and Mindy Hirst - with Dr. Paul Hiebert, attempt to paint a picture of the reader of three main truth lenses (positivism-instrumentalism-critical realism) through the example of a place called River Town. In River Town there are three different types of villagers and each village represents a different truth lens.

The readers are given a fair and objective explanation of the three truth lenses. Positivism being the more extreme conservative view in which truth is absolute; and Instrumentalism being the extreme liberal view in which truth is fluid and changeable. The authors tend to lean a bit toward critical realism, a combination of positivism and instrumentalism.

The book is very practical and well written. It takes some large ideas by the late Dr. Paul Hiebert and puts them in a format that is easy to understand and dig through for every reader. I hope it's published again later by a larger company. This book deserves the press.


Through the River blog

Jon and Mindy Hirst on Twitter: @generousmind

Through the River Facebook Fan Page.

Through the River Facebook discussion group.


Whenever I can't get something out of my mind.
\Something I'm thinking pretty heavily about I end up walking around talking to myself about it.
This can seem and look pretty hilarious. However the most fun is when I get really into it.

I start preaching about it. I mean like old school fire and brimstone preaching about it.
I'm not sure where this comes from.

Today I can't get my Grandfather's funeral out of my mind. I'm trying to figure out when and where it is this weekend and it's frustrating that I can't get the answers I'm looking for. So this morning in the shower I started preaching. I was talking to imaginary people about how the Bible condemns laziness and gluttony (not sure how gluttony got in there) and that they needed to give me the times for the funeral.

That transferred to me actually preaching his funeral in my mind. I began to share all these stories and memories about my life and time with my grandfather. (At this point my cats began to give me strange looks.)

The earliest I can trace this habit back (to where I remember myself doing it) was once in 4th or 5th grade when I was listening to Carman's Cassette Tape "American Standard" where he preach/sings through "We Need God In America Again". I was listening to the cassette and pretending I was Carman preaching at the mirror. My dad came in without me noticing and scared the crap out of me.

Some of you are now doing one of a few things
+ You can't believe that I had a Carman Cassette Tape
+ You don't know who Carman is or what a Cassette Tape is.
+ You're still thinking about my cats making faces.

Regardless. What are your hang ups?
Those little quirky things that just kick in and you're not quite sure where they come from.


Ted Dekker's Green - A Book Review

Let me first say how excited I am to have the privilege of reviewing such an amazing work of fiction. I am a big fan of Ted Dekker's work and have read through almost all of his literary contributions. This is no exception. Green can be read as with the beginning or the end of the Circle Series which includes Dekker's other works Black, Red, and White.

Green is the much awaited beginning... or end to the Circle Series by Ted Dekker. It's a story that captures elements of love, truth, adventure, suspense, betrayal, and faith in a way that few Christian authors are able to capture. Dekker's imagination never ceases to captivate.

Green is a must have for any Ted Dekker fan. It is a great beginning and ending for the Circle Series, probably Dekker's most famous work. Green ties together the loose ends from many of the Books of History and Paradise novels.

Green wrestles with the idea of trusting and having faith in a God that sometimes seems distant or even absent. It's amazing how a work of fiction can hit home so hard with a Christian audience in real life. Much like in the novel hopping from one reality to another. Dekker causes the reader to pass from the reality of the book into the reality of life. Challenging and encourage a trust in a God who never fails.

Be sure to check out Ted Dekker's Green Website for Downloads, Videos and More!

I am a member of Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger program: http://brb.thomasnelson.com/


A Prayer To Our Father - Hebrew Origins Of The Lord's Prayer - Book Review

A Prayer To Our Father by Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson is VERY hard to get into. In the first 50 pages all the authors do is talk about how they met, how they want got to the point of wanting to work together and how they come together despite their differences in order to write on the Hebrew Origins of the Lord's Prayer (The Avinu Prayer). The writing is very hard to read and seems more like a diary for personal use of the authors that for actual education of the reader. The authors begin using terms, such as the Avinu Prayer before they explain them. Overall this was not an enjoyable read.

Extraordinary - Book Review

Grace brings believers into relationship with God. But many Christians don’t understand that grace is also the power source for incredible joy, success, and peace in life. In Extraordinary, John Bevere presents a logical, compelling, and deeply inspiring case straight from Scripture for living a life far above “the ordinary.”
There’s a question that troubles many believers: “Why am I not experiencing more joy, more hope, more satisfaction, more intimacy, more power, more everything in my Christian life--didn’t Jesus promise that?”
He did promise an abundant life, but too many people are trapped by the curse of “the ordinary.” They have accepted the wrong idea that following God means losing individuality, creativity, and a passion for achieving lofty goals.
Nothing could be further from the truth! John Bevere builds a convincing case, straight from Scripture, for a way of living marked by extraordinary experiences and accomplishments—the life God always intended for his children.
Here is a guide to understanding God’s incredible plans, and how to enjoy a life where he adds the “extra” to “ordinary.”
Author Bio:
John Bevere is an internationally popular conference speaker, teacher, and author of bestsellers, including The Bait of Satan, Drawing Near, andDriven by Eternity. His award-winning curriculum and books have been translated in over sixty languages and his weekly television program,The Messenger, is broadcast around the world. John and his wife, Lisa—also a bestselling author and speaker—reside with their family inColorado Springs, Colorado. Visit his ministry website atwww.messengerinternational.org.
This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
If you are interested in purchasing EXTRAORDINARY please be sure to check out the random house site! http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307457721&ref=externallink_wbp_extraordinary_sec_0817_01