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Lifeway Christian Stores carrying 'So Called Christian' 

Lifeway Christian Stores carrying So-Called Christian: Healing Spiritual Wounds Left by the Church This is an amazing blessing since we did not even market the book to them. It was presented in the proverbial 'stack of books' that many distributors place in front of book buyers hoping that one or two of them will be chosen. We are thrilled and honored that ours was selected! Praise to God!

To obtain your copy of "So-Called" Christian: Healing Spiritual Wounds Left by the Church CLICK HERE.

Check our Publisher out: http://ambassador-international.com 

 

 


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Saturday
Feb092013

THE LATEST: TENTATIVE RELEASE DATE MAY 15. eBOOKS SOONER. LOOK FOR THEM HERE AND THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THIS IMPORTANT BOOK!!!

THE LATEST: TENTATIVE RELEASE DATE MAY 15!!!  "So-Called" Christian: Healing Spiritual Wounds Left by the Church is nearly finished and going to print soon. eBooks will be available before the printed version so look for them here soon.  Thank you all for your support!!!

So here’s what I’ve learned about writing a book and getting it published. 

  1. Writing is relatively easy compared to…
  2. Getting Published. 

Writing is not necessarily easy but getting published in today’s marketplace is a feat of extraordinary proportions. Here’s the very short version of what it takes. 

One must have a Platform. A Platform is very simply a large network of people, organizations, contacts, etc. that can easily be turned into buyers.  In other words, one has to have a huge network of friends that see his name and say, “I’ll buy that” because “he” wrote it. Absent that, publishers are typically not interested.  It costs too much to edit, print, promote, etc. a book if a high probability of success can’t be proven before the project begins. 

So what if you have the passion for a subject, ability to write compelling material, and professionals in the industry confirming that your work should be published - But NO Platform? Don’t get me wrong – I have a very small (and dear) platform of friends and acquaintances who are interested in me and the subject matter of my work - I’m not having a pity party. What I don’t have is the ability to be a shameless self-promoter or reach thousands of people interested in buying a book simply because it has my name on it. Nor would I want that. I wish my name to never be the draw for the sale of a book. I want to write clearly Biblical challenges that help the Body of Christ to live victoriously in a fallen world – it’s that simple.

The encouragement I've received from many Christian leaders is that this book NEEDS TO BE PUBLISHED - it will truly help thousands of Christians that have been hurt by fellow believers. With that compelling encouragement I have decided to take another swing at getting the book to print.  I have landed on a way forward that I would like you to consider helping me with. I have a Publisher willing to meet me two thirds of the way (*see his comments below, reprinted with his permission). He will invest $10,000.00 if I will invest $5000.00. I don’t have $5000.00, nor do I have 5000 friends with $1 each. But I do have you and potentially your friends. And I also have the finished manuscript, which I will GIVE YOU in PDF form for any donation amount. My hope is that you will read it, consider it worthy of publishing in book form, and tell your friends about it.

UPDATE (November 28, 2013):   We have contracted with Ambassador Publishing of Greenville, SC and Belfast, Northern Ireland to publish the work. The title will probably change but the work is essentially the same. We will keep you updated on the new title and the progress of the publishing. We anticipate a Spring 2014 arrival!

WE can still use your help. If you choose to donate we will provide a digital or hard copy of the finished work upon completion.  Thank you in advance for your support!

 

*Publishers Comments

Dear Mr Turner,

I have personally read your MS with much interest. Apart from a couple of minor details, more matters of presentation, I must say that you have done an excellent job with a difficult subject. Obviously it will have critics, we must disarm as far as possible. We will not win everybody. We must, and I believe you do, make the case solidly from God's Word.

This is a work our publishing house would be delighted to engage with. If published, we would trust that under God, it would have opportunity to help take the heat out of many an argument and have us focus on other equally valid and important truths.

Should you feel comfortable to move forward, I will have any questions addressed, either by myself or directly by the person responsible.

Sam Lowry PUBLISHER

Ambassador International (800) 209-8570

www.ambassador-international.com

 

WHAT YOU WILL FIND IN "So-Called" Christian: Healing Spiritual Wounds Left by the Church - COMPELLING AND CRITICAL INFORMATION FOR EVERY CHRISTIAN AND EVERY CHURCH!

Overcoming and preventing the most common source of pain in many Christian lives. Healing torn relationships and restoring relational connection between brothers. The key to advancing the Gospel in a love starved world. Drawing close to Christ by caring about what He cares about.

  • The two life altering things on Jesus’ mind the night before He died on the cross. 
  • The most powerful rebuke to the early Church and how to avoid it for yourself, your church, or your Christian ministry.
  • THE EVIDENCE the Church presents to the world to prove that God loves them and sent Jesus to die for them.
  • The wisdom of God about differences in the Body of Christ and how to deal with them.
  • The healing power of rightly relating to believers with whom we disagree. 
  • The Bible passages that confront personal “truth” attacks and give instruction on how to stop them.
  • The rare occasions when Christians are commanded to avoid or separate from other Christians.
  • The importance of recognizing “Those who Can and Those who Can’t”.
  • The Apostolic challenge to the modern Church to address what may be the greatest hindrance to our Gospel witness in the world. 
  • The dividing line between Christian and Non-Christian – what Christians must agree on. Or, What makes us Christian. 
Thursday
May312012

For Darren. From a friend.

 

 

I’ve come face to face with an enemy in the last few days. Horrid, twisted, silent, devilish. Capable of immense devastation. One who delights at ripping hearts to bits, creating bottomless wells of emotion I don’t really know how to deal with. An enemy that masks himself in laughter and old stories to hide the pain – maybe hide is not correct – to endure the pain. An enemy that stalks an entire crowd even as they gather to remember and honor one of his victims.

I despise his frothing malice, his knowing sneer, his absolute confidence of victory. I stand like an angry, red-faced child looking at him, powerless to stop his pursuit and his reckless arrogance. I want to scream at him, pound my fists into his chest, and make him go away. I want him to die! And that’s exactly what Death wants of me.

And yet I know something very keenly. I know in that room where the crowd gathered and he stalked and weighed out his next victim he lost a little bit. Some of his power was drained. I’m certain of this because there was a room full of living, loving people gathered to remember Life and a Loved one. We filled the room with a humble defiance of everything our enemy stands for. We determined to push back at his callous advance. We set aside rivalries and bitterness and misunderstanding, knowing them to be petty and small compared to the reality of life that pulsed around us. We hugged, laughed, and said uncomfortable things but we lived and in so doing, frightened our scowling adversary!

Many of us in the room knew even more. We know this enemy as a shriveling coward, striking from a secret place, never showing himself, always skulking around the corners of life, too ashamed to crawl out from his shadowy lair. We know his influence is relegated to a passing time.  He knows even as he rages that his end is certain. The day is coming when this monster Death will begin his eternal dying. Right now for many, death has no sting! He has been rendered utterly impotent by one with power - unrivaled, unimaginable, raw, limitless, death crushing, life exuding power!

Even as I watched death celebrating in the corner I knew he couldn’t see the brightness and glory of his conqueror towering over him. He chuckled like a scorned and lonely bully, taking pleasure in causing pain, but his laughter hollowed out in the presence of a resounding peal of victory. I know the truth. I know that Life stands ready to annihilate death.  I know there is a resurrection. I know that death cowers in the reality of his certain defeat.

I know that Jesus Christ said, “I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me will never die.” Nobody talks like this unless they are insane or they can back up the claim. Have any of my friends or loved ones ever told me that they can be my life? Overcome death for me? Conquer my most feared and hated enemy while giving me abundance above and beyond anything I could ever ask or imagine? Either he is capable of doing just what he said or he is an absolute evil. To claim so much and deceive so many would be abominable. If not true, he cannot be considered good. If true, my greatest enemy is slain!

Knowing this, I see death as an insolent whelp; a whimpering, angry, powerless, puny god (to quote a large green man). He’s a pretender, insecure, frightened, anxious, and mean but he is no threat. The Lord Jesus Christ is Lord of the living and the dead. Death has robbed him of none that he has saved. Death is simply the threshold into a ravishing love meant for everyone who will believe. The journey to that threshold begins the moment we die to ourselves and live unto God. My greatest desire is to know for myself and every one of my friends and loved ones that we share this great confidence – Christ has conquered death for me and will raise me up so he can love me eternally. This is my hope for Darren and for everyone who hates death with a holy passion!

Friday
May182012

Welcoming Royalty.

Do you remember the incessant media frenzy over the fairytale wedding of Prince Charles to the relatively unknown Diana Spencer? The event brought into sharp contrast the gulf between “commoners” and “royalty”. Constant pictures of everyday people clamoring for the slightest glimpse of royal pomp flash into my mind. It was a magnificent affair for the ages that kept populations from Britain, to Australia, to the U.S. entranced. It’s estimated that 750 million people tuned in to view the ceremony! That kind of riveted attention, the honor given to the couple, the amazement at the trappings, the appreciation of the imperial graces on display, all melded together into a sort of public joy. It’s the sort of joy James encourages when trials come into our lives. His language is truly remarkable. Listen to what he is communicating.

James is encouraging us to treat as the prince of graces, every trial of every kind that surrounds us. Usher in every trial as if it were a king, esteem its presence as you would a great royal (not a royal pain): whether it be from God (Luke 22:28, Acts 20:19, 1 Peter 1:6), from internal battle with sin (Luke 8:13, 1 Cor. 10:13, 1 Tim. 6:9, Luke 4:13), or from external pressure to sin or despair (1 Peter 4:12 Matt. 26:41).  These variegated trials are to be cherished as means to holiness and grace. Conflict is a minister of grace. James is all-inclusive of the types of trials – the word “various” meaning many-colored, multi-striped, or dappled with different hues.

This is an incredible picture to describe what our attitude toward conflict should be! James is asking us to welcome trials/temptations as we would welcome a regal king or queen. Imagine the fuss and toil to prepare for such a visit!  This idea of conflict as royalty comes from the word James uses. The word esteem (consider or count) is a word rooted in the idea of giving honor to imperial figures. James uses this word to describe the joy, anxious anticipation, delight, and diligence we should exercise when engaging with trials that enter into our lives. Not that we are signing gold leaf invitations for more of them – but that when they come we see them as gifts of God sent to perfect us. Even more powerful is the nuance Thayer’s Greek Lexicon adds to the use of the word. He says esteem “denotes a belief not resting on one’s inner feeling or sentiment, but on the due consideration of external grounds, the weighing and comparing of facts.” In other words when we consider the usefulness of conflict to create character it is not a subjective (touchy, feely) whim, it is a truth proposition based on the integrity of God. God says to “consider” conflict a joy! Weigh the evidence – God is working in your crucible of grace!

That’s driving in the rearview mirror to me. Joy is the last emotion I conjure up when facing trials. It’s a contentious correction of my normal response. I’m provoked by this approach and also humiliated that I so seldom get there. But it’s such a radical challenge that it summons me. I want an about-face in my attitude toward suffering. I want to bow to it in honor, expectation, and triumph. I want to be in the holy place of welcome for those friends who would make me more like Jesus. I want joy in the midst of trial so I want James to continue drawing me toward this extreme contradiction to my standard response.

Is God’s instruction a shock to you? Does it surprise you that the Lord directs us into an entirely supernatural attitude toward suffering? Does it irritate you that He does not allow us one moment to gripe about our circumstances or wallow in our “woe is me” self pity? Isn’t it a little perturbing that we can’t invite the attention of others to our trials for a little sympathy? Can’t we indulge ourselves in a rousing chorus of the old Hee Haw number, “Gloom, Despair, and Agony on me, Deep Dark Depression, Excessive Misery. If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all. Gloom, Despair, and Agony on Me!”

The short answer - No! Why? Because to do so denies the very reason God allows trials to come. These royal guests come with Gifts! They come bearing “an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones” like the queen of Sheba brought to Solomon. (1 Kings 10:10) God sees the gifts brought by His noble ambassadors as worth more treasure than all the empty dainties brought by our self-appointed kings and queens. The store of wealth they bring is of eternal value – unfading, stainless, lasting, fulfilling, and precious. Once their incomparable value captures us, penetrates us, we will find ourselves welcoming these imperial visitors in ways we never imagined. James is going to give us unrestricted access into the regal planning room to reveal to us just what God has in mind for us. He is the giver of “every good and perfect gift” – Want to see what He’s got working for you?

Thursday
May102012

Conflict Sucks! But it just might be my best friend.

Conflict Sucks! But it just might be my best friend. That’s a bit crass, I know, but it comes closest to hitting the mark of how I typically react to conflict. My very conservative background tells me not to use this common colloquialism. My sensitivities to my social circle are clanging in loud alarm. But the word “sucks” works! I hate conflict! The knots I get in my stomach and that tightness on the right side of my back – the one that always gives me a headache if it doesn’t get relieved – testify to my displeasure at any sign of conflict. I could be polite and say, “Conflict is an irritant” but that just doesn’t say it. I suppose if I had the vocabulary of a Harvard professor I could come up with a word that says the same thing, in the same shocking tone, but with less offense. My education was great but I missed that class.

Saying that conflict sucks is shouting the human perspective out loud. It’s the earth’s-eye view. Seeing conflict as a good thing is almost never in my range of thought. I see trials, temptations, testings, and the like as gross inconveniences to my comfortable daily doings. I can say very glibly (especially with no conflict on the horizon) that we all grow when tested. I can repeat the worn illustrations of the tree that is strong because it endured the fiercest winds. I can trip merrily along on these quaint idioms until real, raw, conflict stalks into my world. Then I hate it. I want it out faster than it came in. I want relief and I want my comfort back. I don’t want the pressure and I don’t believe that it can really do me any good. There it is – that’s where I live. How about you?

So where did I get this idea about conflict maybe being my best friend? From James, the guy that many would characterize as being the sternest apostle of them all. We are going to learn that the various trials that come into our lives, regardless of their origin in evil or good, are to be esteemed like royal monarchs. They are to be honored and given heed as if they were kings and queens in full ceremonial regalia. They are to be treated as some of our dearest friends – not because of the pain and displeasure they bring – but because of the refining and fruit bearing they produce in us. James will show us that great gain often hides in the folds of displeasure and great loss is sewn tightly into the broad fabric of self-interested pleasure.

And what about the things that make me happy or bring pleasure? Where do you get off telling me they may be my worst enemies? We love pleasure don’t we! We are all closet hedonists. We want what we want. We know that pleasure as a gift of God is not evil so we excuse many of our wanton pursuits. I’m not speaking of God given pleasures and neither is James. James will be pointing out to us those pleasures that have slithered into the camp of the righteous masquerading as virtues. Those masked manifestations of our dark but lively old man. The ones we excuse and nurture and brandish at the time most appropriate to our advantage. The ones that are truly our darkest enemies posing as our dearest friends. He is about to expose them to the white-hot light of holiness. He will show us our love for them and make us recoil from ourselves in the realization. James never shoots but that he unloads the whole clip. Gird up, my brother, to face the man in the mirror.

Friday
Apr062012

Missing the Message: Living in the “Idiot Light” Zone.

I ran into a friend today at the local coffee connection. She said she ran out of gas this morning on her way to work. After expressing how sorry I felt for her she explained exactly what she meant by running out of gas. What she meant by running out of gas is that the little “low fuel” warning light popped on that morning. Oh! I exclaimed, that’s not running out of gas – that’s normal operating range for me. She went on to explain that she just hates it when the “idiot light” comes on – it makes her feel so stupid. Wow, I said, then I live in the “idiot light” zone. What made the conversation more ironic was that I really had run out of gas – just yesterday!  I was temporarily stranded on the side of a very busy road – waiting for my daughter to rescue me with the spare gas can.

 

That conversation took my brain out of idle and shifted me into another gear. Living in the “idiot light” zone seems a common theme for me. I haven’t traditionally been very good at paying attention to warning lights. I’m a “foot on the gas” at the yellow light kind of guy. Braking is only a last ditch fallback. My mindset is - I can always go another 50 miles with the light on. Maybe you, or your husband, are the same.

God uses “idiot lights” you know. The Bible is replete with cautions to pay heed to the pitfalls of life. A quick reference search for “take heed” in the KJV reveals no less than 65 passages that warn us to pay attention – at least 65 “idiot lights” for us. I’m sure there are many more – we seem to need frequent alerts. 

One of the most poignant of these warnings is found in Galatians 5:15. It reads, “But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.”

At first glance this seems like a very strange analogy –  a reference to some sort of cannibalism – a little freaky to my ears. Paul is setting up a stark contrast with this phrase. Paul utters this immediately after saying, “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Vs. 14” Cannibalism Vs. Love is the message. The analogy is shocking but valid. We do have a tendency to cannibalize one another – we do bite and we do devour. Been bitten lately? Have any bite-mark scars from past attacks? Are you a biter?

I’m continually amazed at how much devouring goes on within the Kingdom. If you are reading this blog my guess is that you read others and maybe you keep up with some of the controversies within the Church. If you’ve entered the scary world of the Christian blogosphere then you may well have seen Christian Cannibalism up close. (Not that blogs are the only place this happens!) It’s a frightening and often disgusting experience. Snarky comments, arrogant accusations, fangs out, eyes afire, slavering saints ripping at other saints with the ferocity of a feeding frenzy. Sometimes I think there are believers that lie awake at night lusting for the next fight. They feel no life unless there’s a battle.

Paul was God’s instrument in a similar frenzy. He flicked the “idiot light” on with the intention that it shine brightly in our eyes when we are tempted to exalt correctness over concern for our brothers. The love of truth (or their own idea of truth) had pumped the Galatians into a snarling, thrashing, flesh tearing, and bloody fight. The clear warning is that the fight for truth threatened to consume the Body. We could never rightly accuse Paul of not loving truth so let’s not think that he is asking us to put truth aside for love. The warning light is against destruction – take heed that you don’t destroy your brother with your appetite for your infallible position.  

The stinging brilliance of this warning is that Love doesn’t trump Truth – Love trumps being right! Love is ONE with Truth – they are completely impossible to separate! If we decide to bite and devour for the sake of our prized position – be warned – we might be consumed! We never ignore God’s warnings without consequences. In this case we don’t just run out of gas – we drive straight into the jaws of destruction. We threaten ourselves, and those we are supposed to love, with extermination. It’s serious business to kill the Bride!

If you find yourself in the midst of a fight and the “idiot light” flickers in your soul – take heed. If you can’t slow your own momentum – get help. If the brakes are failing – call a mechanic. If the car is out of gas – find a filling station. If you’ve tried everything you know of and haven’t found peace or resolution – contact us at churchone! We want to help! Don’t hesitate – cautions come before casualties.