Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Why I Love My Pastor #1

Pastor Don has had a huge impact on my life. Throughout high school, he provided me with teaching that allowed me to grow so much more in my walk with God. I still own my handout from my favorite sunday school lesson on soteriology. He is also the best example of a husband I think I have ever met. His love and devotion to Charlotte and his kids always give me the assurance that I don't have to lower my standards for a husband. He loves her as Christ loves the church. —Jamie Robinson

[Note: This is the first of our "Why I Love My Pastor" posts from people around the world honoring the faithful leaders of their local churches. Here's how it works: Jamie sent us her thoughts and the name and address of her pastor. Now we'll send her pastor a free, signed copy of "Stop Dating the Church" along with the note that Jamie wrote. For more info on how you can participate, please visit the joshharris.com homepage.]

Friday, October 22, 2004

The Kind of Letter That Keeps You Writing

My publisher emailed me the following letter that a pastor sent them. This is the kind of letter that makes me want to jump up and do cartwheels! Praise God! Hearing that the book could be used by pastors like this is such an answer to prayer. Here it is...

Tom,
As we have been emphasizing a "deeper, more passionate commitment to the church" at Grace the last month, Josh Harris' book could not have been more timely! Thank you for passing it along to us.

Here is why I believe it is one of the top 10 books that Christians should read and have on their shelves:

• There are very few books written on the church that are accessible to the whole church
• Josh does an excellent job of staying gospel and Christ centered as he builds his case for a passionate commitment to the local church
• Josh writes in an engaging way that will draw the "postmodern" or generation X and Y into a sound doctrinal conversation about the nature and function of the local church today.
• It provides a wonderful opportunity for small groups to walk through this book in a short time, and center their discussion around how their Christian walks would be strengthened through a more passionate commitment to the local church.
• It is readable enough (and Josh has enough of a "name recognition" ) that I plan to use it with our high school students.
• This book will help us to engage them when they have yet to probably "choose" a church for themselves, and cause them to think rightly about what the definition and function of the church is.
• There has not been enough written about the church being the bride of Christ. That chapter alone is worth the price of the book and caused me to exalt Christ more as a result!

Thank you again for publishing such books. They are a great help to pastors wishing to teach their congregation that there is a more abundant, joyful life available for them and that includes the church!

By His Grace,
Jeff B.

Monday, October 18, 2004

A Wonderful Wedding

My brother Joel married Kimberly Paul on Saturday. I had the honor of being best man. I am so grateful to God for the man that my brother has become. He is humble, gentle and passionate. He's going to make an incredible husband and dad. And he's only 21! Wow!

It was so neat to see how God has blessed he and Kimmy's patience and purity. They've liked each other for a long time (even though they're so young.) It's neat to see that God writes love stories in many different ways when we're trusting and obeying him.

It was truly a family affair. Emma was a flower girl Shannon sang a special song. Both did an outstanding job. Only Joshua Quinn was without an official role. But he did a good job of keeping everyone else feel needed.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Reaching Pastors

I need your help to get the word out to pastors about this new book. My biggest prayer for "Stop Dating the Church" is that it will be used by pastors to turn people's hearts back to passionate involvement and commitment in local churches. But pastors need to know about the book to use it.

Would you help me by informing your pastor, or one of the leaders in your church about this book?

I just found out that there's a great website for churches where they can purchase the book for 50% off the normal price. This way, churches can get it and either give it or sell it at a discount to folks in their church. The website is:

www.feedingthefold.com

Thanks for your help!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

My Brother's Wedding

Tomorrow our family flies to Oregon for my brother Joel's wedding. I can't believe my kid brother is getting married. I still remember being 8 years old when he was born. I propped him up on my bed, surrounded him with Star Wars toys and pretended he was Jabba the Hut. He even drooled! Now he's marrying a wonderful girl.

Little Emma will be the flower girl. My youngest brother, James, who is four will be the ring bearer. I'm the best man. What an honor.

A Cute Kid Moment

Here's a funny email that I got from a family in my church...

Josh, 
We bought a copy of "Stop Dating the Church" for Nate and Lela so that they could see the results of their prayers for you as you were writing the book.  The conversation with Nate went like this:
 
Me: Here is the book that Mr. Harris was writing.  This is the book that we prayed for.
Nate:  Oh.  Who is it in that picture?
Me: I don't know.  They are holding a sign with the name of the book on it.
Nate:  Oh.  What does it say?
Me:  Stop Dating the Church...Fall in Love with the Family of God.
Nate:  Oh.  That's the church book?
Me:  Yes.  It is all about how special the church is.
Nate:  (Silence.  Wheels turning.)
Nate:  So I guess you and mommy can't go to church for date night, huh?
 
Just thought I'd share this with you... 
 
Thankful for you!
Jeremy M.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Big Plug

Someone just told me today that the website discerningreader.com has made "Stop Dating the Church" a feature book this month. When customers make any purchase they can get a copy of the book free!

You can check out the October newsletter they do that features the book at: http://www.therightbooks.com/

And the folks at bookschristian.com are also giving us a plug. This company is headed by Rebecca St. James brother which is cool. I got to know him back in the day. I tell you that whole family is amazing. Becca's dad, David, has really raised his kids to be doers in the full sense of the word.


Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The First "Official" Email

What follows is a really cool letter that is...drumroll please...the first official letter in response to the book. Okay, I know this is silly, but this is how you act when you spent half a year writing a book and praying that God would use it to encourage His people. You know how it is...when you write a really important letter to someone you keep checking to see what their response is. I guess it's the same with a book. You write it then you're on pins and needles waiting to hear what they think. Good, bad...anything! It's just a thrill to know that real live human-beings are reading it and interacting with its message. Anyway, here's the letter:

Dear Josh,
I don't know if you remember me, but I wrote you when your last book released (Not Even a Hint). I wanted to express my gratitude that once again you have a written a thought provoking book. You have such a gift of sharing your passion for God and his word without sounding judgmental. You have convicted me several times over the years with how I ought to live my life. (Or better yet, how God wants me to live my life.)

When I first heard about your new book I was so excited. The subject has long been on my heart as well. While I am still coming out of my "dating" faze, I think this message should be spread especially with my generation. When I went off to college 5 years ago I noticed that kids my age (including myself) were so passionate about God and spreading His message of hope and love. But unfortunately when it comes to the church we aren't as passionate. We built up great youth groups and college groups but don't contribute and commit to the church as a whole.

Thank you for writing a book about how to fall in love with the church. You stirred my own heart to fall back in love. Making it a priority is my number one priority! The were two things in your book that really stood out to me. First, when you said that we are held accountable for what we have heard even if it didn‚t move us emotionally. That really hit home. Church isn't about me! (Huh, you'd think I would know that by now!) The second was when you said to trust God when it might not be possible to find the best church at the moment. It reminded me of Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God." Something I have to remind myself everyday.

Sorry if I talked your ear off, I just wanted to let you know that even from all the way across the United States you are spreading the Gospel and sharing the love of Jesus. Just from hearing the sermons online from your church it's easy to see hear why you love your church. Which no doubt makes you the best person to share this message. (Thanks for making the sermons available, they are another way to get fed!)

As silly as it might sound I do pray for you and your ministry. I was so excited for you and your church when you became the senior pastor. Congratulations and rock the world for Jesus!

Your sister in Christ,
Katie (Ephesians 4:15-16)

P.S. - Can you thank Shannon for me for her contribution to the study guide for Not Even a Hint. Her insight was really wonderful!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

A Hodge Podge of Stuff

On October 3 Shannon and I celebrated our 6-year anniversary! I do not deserve this lady.

Hey, thanks for all the response posts! It's great to get a little feedback. Bob asked when it hits the shelves. I really don't know. I found out that Amazon is shipping it and we got it here at the church, but it takes awhile to get to bookstores.

The timing of this book being released really is so special. I officially stepped into the Senior pastor position at our church on September 19. And now, through this book, I'm trying to spread a passion for the local church.

I just got Watermark's new CD and Chris Tomlin's "Arriving". Both are great.

I've been praying for awhile that God would help me figure out how to get more exercise in my life (didn't I say this was a hodge podge of thoughts?) and I've discovered it: TENNIS! Me and my buddy Joe are bringing tennis back. Now Shannon and I are going and playing on our date nights. A lot of fun. So much better than jogging. I'm not good but I like pretending.


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