Fully Booked! Enjoying Christian Books: an Interview with Church Strengthening Ministry Publishing

21 05 2010

Aside from the Bible, we ought to read Christian books. Reading makes us grow and mature as Christians. We learn a lot and discover things about being a Christian .So we asked Ms. Joy C. Solina, Editorial Manager of Church Strengthening Ministry Publishing, about Christian books, what to read and more…

ROCK Ministry: What’s the importance of reading Christian books?

Joy C. Solina: Christian books are literature or reading material that are written from a Christian or biblical perspective. They help hone the reader’s mind to see things from a biblical point of view and learn to think that way. Otherwise, he is vulnerable to all sorts of ideas that do not necessarily reflect spiritual values or have anything to do with God. Good Christian books, next to the Bible, satisfy one’s spiritual hunger for knowledge and guidance in dealing with life’s struggles and questions. They have often inspired gifted Christian writers to fulfill their calling of changing people’s lives through the printed word. What would this world be like without the works of C.S. Lewis, John Stott, A.W. Tozer, Oswald Chambers, Rick Warren and Billy Graham?

ROCK Ministry: How do we cultivate reading as part of our Christian life?

Joy C. Solina: It pays to start early. If you grew up in a family that loved books, you already have an advantage. You have developed the interest and the habit, and all you have to do is choose the books you read. If you didn’t grow up reading books for pleasure, you can still develop the interest and habit. First of all, you have to believe in its overall spiritual benefit because if you’re not fully convinced that it will make you a better person and Christian, you’ve lost the battle before you’ve even started. Second, ask godly people you admire and respect what books they can recommend to you. They would most likely lend or even give you some books that have blessed them tremendously in their spiritual growth. It also goes without saying that reading the Bible everyday helps instill the discipline if not the passion for reading Christian books.

ROCK Ministry: Many Christians read but are not readers. How do you encourage them to pick up a book?

Joy C. Solina: If you’ve personally enjoyed a book, you won’t keep that to yourself. You would gladly recommend it to your family, your friends or people you’re discipling. Aside from a highly respected author’s name on a book, a friend’s recommendation is a good enough motivation to read that book. Like a coach, ask feedback after a couple of days or weeks. If your Christian friend stopped reading it, ask why. Point out which sections you enjoyed the most or have proven helpful in your life and encourage him to read some more. When he has finished the book, suggest another one and help him get a hold of a copy. Nothing is as effective as a friend’s encouragement and example.

ROCK Ministry: For first-timers, what advice or book do they need to read?

Joy C. Solina: If you mean first-timers in reading Christian books, I would encourage them to find out who’s the best Christian author in the genre that interests them the most. If a person is fond of historical novels, go look for one that was written by a Christian. If a person is fond of biographies, find one that’s about a well-known Christian. If a person is fond of deep, philosophical discussions, find one that’s written by a Christian philosopher or apologist. You may also look for books that can help meet a pressing or current need. If a person is new in the faith, offer books that explain what salvation means and how to grow as a Christian. If a person is having trouble with finances or people at work, look for Christian books that deal with this.

ROCK Ministry: How do Christians choose the right Christian book?

Joy C. Solina: The “right” Christian book will depend on your interest, your need, and your budget. Whichever of these three takes priority, ask your pastor, your friend who loves books, your discipler, and Christians you look up to for their recommendations. Check the blurbs of books for endorsements. Classical authors on the Christian faith such as C. S. Lewis, John Stott and A.W. Tozer are always a good choice. The latest best-selling title by a Christian author may not necessarily appeal to you unless someone you know personally benefitted from reading it. If you have learned a lot from a Bible study guide or curriculum, you may take note of books mentioned in the lessons or in a reading list given by the author(s).

RM: Is there a right time to read a particular type of book? Let’s say, a new Christian should read Christian living first then if he is mature enough, he can read about apologetics.

JCS: New Christians instinctively know that they need to study the basics of the faith for them to grow spiritually but I would not limit them to one kind of books. It will also depend on their level of reading “maturity” and the genre they’re interested in. Those who love to read can read “unexplored territory” to find out if they’re prepared for it or not. If a new Christian wants to know what apologetics is all about, he can go ahead and read it, then decide for himself if he can already handle it or not.

But to maximize one’s time (hardly anyone has all the time in the world to read anything), I would recommend a mix of serious study and light reading. Choose a tested and proven study material on growing spiritually, such as Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God or Beth Moore’s A Heart Like His, alongside an easy-to-read but insightfully loaded book, such as Bob Sjogren and Gerald Robison’s Cat & Dog Theology or Rene Resurreccion’s Called to Excel.

RM: Church Strengthening Ministry has lots of titles to offer. Tell us what books you highly recommend to people.

JCS: We have a lot. I’ll try to be brief (if I could). This year we have local editions of best-selling Christian authors in the US, such as Gary Chapman (Five Love Languages, Five Love Languages for Singles, Five Love Languages for Teenagers), Nancy Leigh de Moss (Surrender, Brokenness, Lies Women Believe, Lies Young Women Believe), and Richard Blackaby (Unlimiting God).

For church lay leaders and pastors, James Garlow’s Partners in Ministry will enlighten and equip pastoral and ministry teams. Pastors can add variety to their exhortation when officiating the Lord’s Supper by using Jim Townsend’s Two-Minute Messages for Communion.

The Lord has blessed us with more local authors who have equally powerful messages to share to Filipino believers and Filipinos in general. Rene Resurreccion’s The Power to Create Righteous Wealth and The Heart of the Economic Crisis are positive reads for facing these financially challenging times. Bing Pajaron’s Parenting Teens gives much-needed advice and biblical principles to parents struggling to understand and raise their teenaged kids the right way. Campus minister Kevin Sanders’ second book with CSM, Learning the Hard Way, uses true-to-life stories sent by readers of his blog. Former mayor Marides Fernando’s Urbanidad explains how urban dwellers can live harmoniously under the law based on biblical insights shared by DZAS station manager and pastor Eric C. Maliwat who also has his first book with us, Maging Ubas Huwag Pasas.

A growing number of readers now prefer conversational Tagalog and need not feel limited in choosing books to read. For people in the workplace, Maloi Salumbides’ ProTips, Standing Tall through Tough Times and Shining Attitudes for Women at Work are ideal reads while traveling to and from the office or during break times. For young mothers, Bessie Rios’ Memo ni Mommy serves as daily doses of advice and encouragement. For couples wanting to communicate with each other better, Gary Chapman’s Now You’re Speaking My Language in conversational Tagalog offers practical tips on developing intimacy in your marriage. For anyone else who wants to relate to God more deeply, Joey Umali’s Mahal Ka ng Diyos contains selected messages from his well-loved early morning radio program, Hardin ng Panalangin.

For readers who also listen to MP3s and audio CDs, we have compiled Ed Lapiz’s messages into 15 audio CDs, each containing eight (8) messages, and have also produced three (3) audio books of his best-selling titles, I Will Survive, Pera o Puri and Sa Tao ang Ngawa.

RM: How does CSM choose a book to release? Do you choose it because this will be a best seller; it’s the fad or what?

JCS: A publisher always wishes each title it releases becomes a bestseller. But realistically, that will not happen. So what’s our basis for choosing which books to publish? Those that align with our company’s mission of strengthening the church, equipping the saints and reaching mankind for the Lord—what our name stands for. When we translate this mission into products, they fall into the following categories: evangelism, discipleship, worker training, family enrichment, Christian living, missions, and leadership.

Our core products have always been church-based curriculum (Sunday school, Vacation Bible School, discipleship and pastoral resources) which we consider our special niche in local Christian publishing. Therefore, we are on the constant lookout for curriculum writers, editorial board members, reviewers, translators and songwriters/arrangers.

When it comes to books, we follow the same basic guideline. For imported titles, we choose the titles from publishers’ catalogs, request review copies from the publishers, have them read and reviewed, then seek republishing rights. For local titles, we choose the authors and/or manuscripts based on certain criteria, such as writers’ credentials, writing style, unique approach, timeliness of message, theological stance, etc.

RM: Just an observation, why do most Pinoy Christian readers prefer foreign titles than home grown titles?

JCS: We haven’t gotten over the colonial mentality or the Pinoy’s propensity to be mesmerized by anything foreign. But that is significantly changing. Our line-up of local authors and conversational Tagalog titles is increasing. More and more Pinoys are buying locally written books, but the preference for foreign authors (especially the famous ones) is still strong.

For one thing, foreign titles have the uncontested advantage of “marketing” or media mileage. They’re more exposed to the international market because of the much promoted success or wide following of the authors’ ministries in their home countries. We can already learn something from that picture. We do have gifted Pinoy Christian leaders who have a lot to say that will benefit a much wider audience. The challenge lies in putting those messages into well-written, attractive, affordable print form and getting it into the hands of readers who will appreciate it the most.

RM: I’ve checked your website and you carry Ed Lapiz titles. Tell us more about him and his books.

JCS: Ed Lapiz’s books have enjoyed huge sales in mainstream bookstores for years. His success as an author is the exception to what you previously said about Pinoys preferring foreign titles to local ones. I can only explain the secret to his publishing success as his ability to communicate flawlessly and to teach deep, biblical truths simply to any Pinoy who reads his book. When I asked a friend why she likes reading Ed Lapiz, she said in Tagalog, “I don’t have to analyze further or ask someone to explain to me what he means. I get it right away.” His radio program, Day by Day, raises the ratings of any radio station that airs it. We are, therefore, so privileged to enter into an agreement with him to exclusively distribute his titles and will soon publish two new book titles from him.

RM: Please tell us more about CSM, what you do and how they can contact you. What can we look forward to in the coming year from you?

JCS: In keeping with our name, we also publish curriculum for churches and Christian schools, conduct training seminars and workshops for church workers and pastors, and produce audio books and videos for equipping and outreach. We strive to keep up with the changing times by studying how technology affects the way people communicate and learn. Thus, we have added audio (MP3 format) and video CDs to our list of products.

We have just produced our first one-year children’s Sunday school curriculum pack called Faith Grower containing free CDs for the music and reproducible teaching pictures. We plan to release another one-year Sunday school curriculum pack for all ages with a separate CD of new songs by the end of this year. We also released our first children’s music video entitled Songs for Jesus that was quickly sold out. Another children’s music video entitled God of Creation will be released soon.

In our last training season (November to April), we organized over 30 training workshops for Vacation Bible School and children’s Sunday school for local church workers and volunteers in partnership with PCBS bookstores as well as Thompson Chain Bible Institute seminars for pastors and preachers all over the country. We will expand our training program to include youth and adult Sunday school teacher workshops, parenting seminars, and trainings for school teachers.

This year we started offering music clinics for worship teams. Some of our clinic instructors are our video “authors” (Bernie Duran for Learning to Play Bass Guitar, Dehann Ballesteros for Guitar for Beginners, Relly Villanueva for Drums for Beginners). Other instructional videos in our Music Station line-up are Worship Leading by Roy Fabella and Voice Lessons by Lyn Fabella, the husband and wife team of Windsong. We are exploring possibilities for training accredited facilitators of these instructional videos.

We’re the first Christian publisher to offer audio books. We have released 22 titles by local authors: Leah Darwin’s Yes! I’m a Pastor’s Wife, Eric Maliwat’s Maging Ubas Huwag Pasas, Maloi Salumbides’ ProTips in 3 volumes, Standing Tall and Shining Attitudes, and Ed Lapiz’s messages in 15 volume CDs. We have just released three (3) audio books by Ed Lapiz and three (3) new Ed Lapiz videos soon. Our latest MP3 audio CD title is John Maxwell’s Leadership 101 containing nine of his books.

CSM also offers design, typesetting and printing services for your church and school. Our building has facilities that churches and other groups can use for seminars and corporate events, and guest units for travelers at affordable rates. We are located very near the international airport or NAIA 1 and can be contacted by phone (8527301 to 02) or email (direct@csm-publishing.com). You may also visit our website (www.csm-publishing.com) for a complete listing of products, updates and upcoming events.

RM: Thank you granting us an interview and God bless your publishing ministry. God bless also those Christians who read and support your books.

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Eat This Book: Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die by John Piper

12 03 2010

Everybody got excited with this book. Not just because we gave it for free but the central theme of this book. Its rarely we see a subject about salvation dealt this way. So we gave Fifty Reasons… book five reasons why we like this book:

  1. It answers the “Why” questions. Everybody wants answers to why questions. Fifty thought provoking answers drawn from the New Testament. Some are common, some are very intriguing. John Piper opens those common answers then expounded with clarity and those intriguing answers, that we often miss, were given the magnifying glass treatment for us to zero in and intimately know more.
  2. The theme is about salvation and we only say “Wow. Jesus did all that!” You will never look at Christ redemptive act the same way again. It tackles also justification, sanctification and future glorification.
  3. An easy to read book. Because every reason or (God’s purpose as the book calls it) acts like a chapter which is just 2 pages long. You can actually finish this 127 pgs book in 1 day or so. Done in sort of a “countdown style”, you want to read it until you get to the “Top 50”.
  4. Not only is it a Christian living book but also an evangelistic one. It represents the gospel within those reasons. It mentions salvation by faith alone and eternal security to name a few.
  5. It’s not just a Christian living or evangelistic book but you can use it as a devotional book. Those fifty reasons can be use in a fifty day devotionals. Every chapter starts with Bible verses. Talk about usefulness.

My Top Five Favorite Reasons (and must read reason):

  1. Reason #5 To Show the Wealth of God’s Love and Grace for Sinners
  2. Reason #7 To Cancel the Legal Demands of the Law Against Us
  3. Reason #22 To Bring Us to God
  1. Reason #28 To Free Us from the Futility of Our Ancestry
  2. Reason #37 To Call Us to Follow His Example of Lowliness and Costly Love

Quotables:

“Imitation is not salvation. But salvation brings imitation. Christ

is not given to us first as model, but as Savior. In the experience

of the believer, first comes the pardon of Christ, then the pattern of Christ.” pg. 92-93

“When all is said and done, God is the gospel. Gospel means

“good news.” Christianity is not first theology, but news.” pg. 62

John Piper’s “Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die” will give the reader a better understanding of Jesus Christ of why He came to die. Powerful read for everyone who seeks more depth on why God send His Son for us.

This book is available for FREE to ANY one in Lyceum of the Philippines University Batangas City campus Please contact leaders and advisers of ROCK campus ministry for your copy. Also you can download this book FREE (PDF format) by clicking here:

http://www.desiringgod.org/media/pdf/books_pojc/bpojc_all.pdf





Living on Power Prayer!

12 03 2010

What is prayer and how can we have an effective prayer life? We ask Ptr. Andrew Craig to help us answer these questions.

To me, prayer is our line of communication with the Lord. It is like the supply link for an army and we need to keep the communication lines open. A husband must keep communicating with his wife for the relationship to grow. Likewise we need prayer as an important part of our growing in our faith relationship with the Lord.

Praying isn’t something that is by ritual or rote, not something mechanical or by formula or certain method. Prayer is our natural language where we talk with our Heavenly Father and seek to express our heart to Him and find His grace and forgiveness. We can ask in His will for His help and guiding power for our lives and for others.

The Bible urges us to pray and so it is important, as our Lord wants us to depend upon Him and listen to Him. We need to stop and take time to turn our thoughts towards Him. Effective prayer happens as we learn to trust the Lord Jesus as our Saviour and find the peace that comes from yielding to Him and finding the joy of living in His favour. We can take small steps to learn to pray as we, moment by moment, have a prayerful life. And especially we can become thankful, for the blessings we often take for granted, and we can grow to be more gracious in how we relate to others about us. A prayerful person will find comfort in the scriptures, and the peace that passeth all understanding will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Andrew Craig – Aussie pastor, Fair Dinkum magazine www.thedinkum.com

Recommendation: Read “Of Christ, In the School of Prayer” by Andrew Murray. The classic and most popular book about prayer can be downloaded FREE:

http://www.davidcox.com.mx/library/M/Murray%20-%20With%20Christ%20is%20the%20School%20of%20Prayer.pdf





Discipleship: A Deeper Love for Christ–an interview with Life Changing Discipleship (LCD)

24 01 2010

Like a newly born baby, a new believer needs help for him to grow. A new Christian should desire to mature and be useful for God’s purpose. He needs discipleship. Its a big word for many. But we need it to have deeper love for Christ. So we asked Ptr Elmer Quilas of Life Changing Discipleship (LCD) about Discipleship.

ROCK Ministry: Hi Ptr Elmer . So tell us what is Discipleship?

Elmer Quilas: Discipleship is the unveiling of God’s heart in the Word into the hearts of God’s children.

ROCK Ministry: Wow. Its what God’s want for his children. How important is discipleship especially to the new believers?

Elmer Quilas : It is very important because the Bible needs to be read and heard, it needs to be grasped or understood, also it needs to be acted upon and lived out in obedience and another thing which accomplishes the great commission is that the Bible needs to shared with others.

ROCK Ministry: Does it take a lot of time? Does it have to be one on one? Does it have to be a pastor member approach?
Elmer Quilas : 30 minutes or so each week will work. Discipleship is a process of growing a new believer to maturity. Consistency will play a great deal in the entire process. As a common saying says, “one apple a day takes the doctor away.” 30 minutes of sharing one’s life to another when accumulates in time matures a believer.
We cannot be effective to all but we can always be to someone. Since human personality is so complex, I believe that the Spirit of God uses people according to how a person can be best effective in sharing. God is using our experiences, culture, education and other things so the one discipling can clearly relate to his disciple.

RM: How can busy student and professionals benefit with discipleship?

EQ: Discipleship is a personal relationship developed. Flexibility can be applied. It doesn’t require permanent place only common place, doesn’t require permanent time only common interest, and it doesn’t require all of my time only common commitment.

RM: I read somewhere that discipleship can be easy if we establish first a relationship. whats your comment on that?

EQ: I strongly believe that relationship comes first in many cases of effective discipleship. It it true that I have to sell myself first before my product it is also true in effective discipleship.

RM: OK. How do you start discipleship?What are the necessary tools for it?

EQ: I always approach discipleship in the light of the Lord’s life how He first chooses people. In Matthew 4:18-22 account, Jesus saw the people, He called them and they followed Him. In John 12:32 account, Jesus draws people. You disciple people you attract.

RM: Do you recommend self discipleship or a person can just pick up his Bible or buy a Christian book?

EQ: I believe that every child of God is accountable for every action he makes. I cannot discount the benefits that Christians get through personal reading and devotions. The Bible is strongly expressing the benefits you get when you become like Joshua who was a disciple of Moses, Elisha who received the double portion of Elijah’s power, and in the New Testament Timothy whom Paul claimed to be his son in the faith. Nonetheless, before the apostle Paul’s execution, he told Timothy to “Take Mark” which implies a son and father relationship. I would say that great men of the Bible are the product of great mentoring and nurturing.

RM: Any message for those students who wants to be discipled?

EQ: A musician will learn under another musician because he wants to emulate him. There is something about his playing that the student desires. We become followers of Jesus because we love Him and desires to become like Him. This is the all-encompassing goal of a disciples’ faith.

RM: Please tell us about LCD, you and your church.

EQ: LCD is a ministry that hold retreats, seminars, trainings and Bible Studies that helps the youth, family and individuals discover their potentials and develop it. Through our series of meetings, we encourage them to use their God given potentials not only for their personal benefit but also to others.
I am Dr. Elmer C. Quilas, Senior Pastor of Gateway Christian Baptist and Ministries Inc. Our purpose is to love God and to love people. Our vision is to evangelize and make disciples. And our goal is to make every believer a leader

RM: Thank you Pastor for your time and God bless!

If you want to reach Pastor Elmer Castillo Quilas, Life Changing Discipleship Network (LCD) check his blog: http://lcdnetworklifesmart.blogspot.com/ or search his ministry and name at Facebook.





True Love Weights

24 01 2010

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

For those who are in a relationship (and also who aren’t) check these verses carefully. It gives you a glimpse of what awaits you in the married life. Pretty heavy right? If your not ready to prepare for what the verse asked, then are you ready for a relationship in the first place? How does your love for someone weights? Lets dig deeper:

1.It is a command “love your wives”. From God Himself. Not from a romance novel or movie. God commands it because it is His will. Do you want to please God? Remember to love your wife.

2.God brought this great love to the level of husband and wife relationship. His love for his church (the redeemed ones) should not come less to what marital love is. Thats high the standard! That’s true love!

3.Love between husband and wife is compared with Christ and the church. He redeemed His church by his blood. A sacrificial love. One commentator states” It doesn’t just gave us the duty but the measure of duty. I love what my pastor always says about love” The measure of love is to love without measure.” Love is not just a word. True love has a price to pay. But it will be all worth the risk if its a sacrificial love.

God didn’t command this love for us just to give us a set of rules and earn points for Him. He command it because He is the one who showed it first to us and we as followers of Christ should follow it. We don’t just follow a command but follow His footsteps for this kind of love.





A Devotional Life: An Interview with Ed Wrather of Burning Bush Devotional

16 10 2009

Devotional time is a time spent with God and enjoying His word. So how does one get started and put it on his or her busy schedule? These and more when R.O.C.K Ministry talked to Pastor Ed Wrather, writer of Burning Bush Devotional.

1. First things first what do you mean by devotional? Why do we need to spend time with it?
A devotional is a tool that can be used to inspire you spiritually. One definition from dictionary.com is “used in devotions.” A devotional writing may be used in a time devoted to your Lord. I try to include three elements in my devotional writings: Scripture; a story; relevance of the Scripture and story to our lives; and a call to action in some way.

2. How does Bible study differ from devotional time?

I think of devotional time as time spent with a friend drawing closer to my Lord, listening for His voice. In study of the Scriptures we may be more analytical of each word and verse. When we are studying the Bible we are focused and if the Lord has something else to speak to us about it may be harder for Him to communicate. When you are having a devotional time of reading the Bible or a devotional writing, listen for the small, still voice to speak, even if it is about something completely unexpected.

3. How does one prepare to have a devotional? How do students have devotional squeezed in their tight schedule or busy life?

A devotional time in the United States is often called a “quiet time.” It can be hard to find time with a full schedule to actually have the ideal quiet time every day or even to find a quiet place. A short devotional writing can be helpful to facilitate a few quiet moments with the Lord, especially in busy times.

4. So now, a student wants to spend time with devotions, how does he or she start? Does he or she have to buy popular devotional books or just a Bible?

There are a vast number of great devotional writings available for free on the Internet. If you have access to the Internet you can even read the Bible there too. Biblegateway.com is a great resource, and I use it nearly every time that I write a devotional. Radio Bible Class at rbc. org does have some free resources in several translations. They publish the “Our Daily Bread” Devotional, which is perhaps the oldest continuously published devotional.

5. How about you, how do you spend your devotional time? When is the perfect time to do this?

My ideal devotional time, quiet time is to spend an hour or more in prayer, Bible reading, and reading devotional writings in the morning. It is vital to do this on a consistent basis and keep a journal writing down the date, chapters in the Bible read, and if God spoke to you in some way record that too. It is a way of holding yourself accountable and can be valuable, especially if God is calling you to serve Him.
Here is an excerpt from my online testimony. This occurred in 1990 and for years I had been beginning my day with a quiet time when on this particular day God spoke to me:
One night I wrote out a prayer (This is a somewhat dangerous thing to do!) asking that if God really wanted me to preach His Word to reveal that to me in black and white so that I wouldn’t have any doubt. The next morning in my quiet time I turned in the Our Daily Bread devotional guide that I used for some of my quiet time reading to that morning’s selection. The Scripture reading was in Luke chapter 8. Another nice warm devotional thought until I realized that Luke 8 is virtually the same as Mark chapter 5. (God had brought this particular passage of Scripture to my attention six years before.)
Suddenly, I realized that God was answering my prayer that I had written out the night before, “Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to thine own house, and show how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published through out the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him (Luke 8:38-39).”
Now I realized that God was trying to tell me something, the same thing that He had tried to tell me before. This time I was going to look into this more deeply. I got down a commentary to see what it would say about this Scripture. The commentary said, Jesus had to leave Gadara, but he left behind a preacher. I opened up the Our Daily Bread devotional guide again to read the devotional thought. That day’s devotion was about a man in South America that was saved and grew in the Lord. This man started a Bible study which eventually grew into a church, and he became the pastor of that church. There it was! For me, it was in black and white, God had called and was calling me to preach His Word.
You can read my entire testimony online at my website theburningbush. net Click on the link on the left side of the page “Journey to Fruitfulness.” I have never had any doubt about God’s call upon my life since that morning in 1990.

6. Let me ask you about Burning Bush Devotional, how did it started?

I began the Burning Bush website in January of 1998 where I posted some of my writings. By May of that year my son and several online friends were encouraging me to begin writing an email devotional, and I began to do that on June 8, 1998.

7. How do you write entries for the devotional? Pastor Ed, you have to do this everyday, do you get tired of it?

I believe that it is part of my call to do what I am doing. Currently, I am resending some older devotionals that I wrote in 2002 and 2003 and using it as an opportunity to rewrite and tweak the meaning to make them better. I wrote a new devotional today, but I do not always have the inspiration to write. At times I can write every day for months and then the inspiration suddenly is not there. It can be frustrating. I never tire of writing only of not always having the inspiration, the ideas that are needed to write. I believe it has to do with the amount of prayer support that I have. Only through God’s power can I write devotionals that have meaning and change people’s lives and that will only happen with much prayer by me and many others. Everyone who prays for me and for the devotional has a part in this ministry. It is one of the greatest joys of my life to write a new devotional which God can use to touch hearts and lives.

8. What do people say about Burning Bush? What is the impact it has to them?

Nearly every time I send out a devotional or post it online I receive some feedback about it. Here are a few comments I have received recently:
“What a great way to end the day!”
“great thoughts Ed- challenged me 2 live better for the Lord many thanks”
“This was wonderful today…God is with us each day”
“THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR GOOD DEVOTIONALS.”
“Thanks Ed, that is exactly what it is all about. I could not have said it better.”
“Well said, Ed. Thanks for sharing this! I’m passing it on, with the prayer
that it will be passed on… and on… and onnnnn.…”
“Your a wonderful blessing to many!!! …Your encouraging words really hit the heart of the matter!!! …God has given you a voice & talent in words to help others!!”
There have been so many people, hundreds of people, maybe more that have written to encourage me to keep writing, and I am thankful for every one of them

9. Please tell me about your ministry, website and how we can get in touch with you?

I am a full-time pastor of a small church in western Oklahoma that has a heart for missions and believes in what I do. The Burning Bush website has been online since January 31, 1998 and you can access the website through these links: http://www.theburningbush.net (The new website)
http://www.theburningbush.org (The old website) or you can use my name, edwrather and add . net, .com or . org
You can email me at edwrather@theburningbush.org
Edwrather@yahoo.com or wrather@dobsonteleco.com
10. Any parting words for those students and professors who might be reading this?

I have never regretted the time that I have spent in serving God, or worshiping God. However, I do have regrets about the years when I did not pursue a closer relationship with my Lord and Savior.

R.O.C.K PICKS: Best online devotionals:
Days of Praise:http://www.icr.org/signup/
Our Daily Bread: http://www.rbc.org/odb/odb.shtml





ROCK LIST: Top 10 Advices for Aspiring Talents To Make It Big

25 09 2009

Do you have hidden talents for the university (or the world) to see and hear? Here are some tips from Dwayna Litz a country singer on how to jump start your career.

1. Be true to yourself—KNOW yourself (values, etc.)
2. Know your musical style—“what you want to say” and be true to that
3. Get to know “who you are” and don’t compromise on that
4. Do whatever you do in excellence
5. As a Christian, know that God declares the end from the beginning, and He wants to be glorified through the process of accomplishing any goal. Any compromise of what the Bible says is not of God, and the answer is “No”.
6. God gives us a reward greater than this world can give.
7. Live for God’s pleasure and HE WILL BE FAITHFUL
8. God’s plans are higher than ours—purpose first to glorify Him with your HEART
9. Flee temptation—sin is a lie; God never requires us to sin to accomplish something in the end that we may believe will “bring Him glory”
10. A life “hidden with Christ in God” is the best life on earth.