Eat This Book: Stop Dating the Church (Fall in Love with the Family of God) by Joshua Harris

26 12 2010

Probably this is one of the book of Josh Harris you wouldn’t buy because of two things:

1.) It’s not about relationships (like “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” and “Boy Meets Girl”)

2.) The book is short (144 pages) yet it’s priced like his other long (or thick for that matter) relationship books

The truth is, this is a “relationship” book and we thank Harris for making it short for a topic that is very important (that can be written volumes). Relationship, because it’s about “falling in love” with the family of God or the Church. Short, because it’s short enough for us digest and understand the relevance of having a church.

Josh Harris with his down to earth and search mode style (we all love and familiar with) of conveying the topic gives you a personal and biblical approach on why we need to belong to other believers. We can relate to him because of his honesty on this book, how he use to be a “church dater” to saying “I Do” to his church. He unravels how God view His bride (the church) and how important to be a part of this phenomenal group God created. I think it’s one of the important issues that anyone who is either a new Christian or a professing Christian yet hasn’t made a commitment to a church. Christianity is not a solo effort and it will never be. A saved person needs to find a church for his spiritual growth. Harris gives us how to have passion, choosing a church and how to make the most of that special day, Sunday. He took this topic from the high theological shelf, placed it on our table for us to savor God’s intent plans for us as a member of His family. A very serious topic done it humble and friendly way that will surely grab you and consider how essential it is to love fellow believers and love the God who made the church.

Great for both new believers and long time church goers, who lost their appetite for intimacy to fellow Christians; this short book will lead and take you to that love you’re longing for God’s people. Now it’s time to fall in love with the church and get married to it.

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Basta Advice ni Kuya: ROCK interviews Kuya Kevin Sanders

19 06 2010

Love, sex and relationships. These three grabs Pinoys interest. You don’t believe me? Well check out tons of Mexican and Korean telenovelas out there. Or your neighborhood sari-sari store pocketbooks for rent. Or try to tune in the radio to hear Joe D’ Mangos wannabes. Filipinos love talking about these topics.

ROCK Ministry recently got a hold with Kuya Kevin Sanders, a campus minister, author and host of the radio show “Basta Love Life” and asked some questions about his blog, books, radio and campus ministry.

ROCK Ministry: How did all this things happen? Did you plan all this? When did you start being a kuya?

Kuya Kevin: I became a Christian when I was very young.  A few years later (my teenage years) I felt that God was calling me to serve Him.  It didn’t make much sense to me at the time because I’m more of an introvert (shy type).  But God has continued to confirm this decision.

To make a long story short, I got interested in missions when I was in college.  I told God I would be willing to go if He would make a way.  He eventually did, and I ended up here.  One of the reasons I chose Manila is I really wanted to work with college students.  There are hundreds of thousands of them here, so I have plenty of work to do.  This is my dream job!

ROCK Ministry:  There are lots of people especially in the media that has this love advice segments or columns. Dr. Love copycats are like mushroom here. So tell us what makes your advice different from those gazillions out there who wants to take a stab on someone’s relationship problem?

Kuya Kevin: The show was started in part as a response to some of the shallow, worldly advice that seems so prevalent on some shows.  Erwin (my co-host) got the idea while on a late-night bus ride.  He heard this radio “counselor” telling a caller that same-sex relationships are OK as long as you are in love (definitely not what the Bible teaches).  We started talking about doing our own show–a show based on biblical principles.

I think what sets us apart is the biblical approach.  We stick to the Word and try to make it very practical and relevant.

We are also careful to avoid legalism.  The Bible gives us some clear guidelines (such as saving sex for marriage), but I’m afraid some Christian teachers and authors go a little overboard.  It makes me think of Paul’s words: “Do not go beyond what is written” (1st Conrinthians 6:4).

ROCK Ministry:    One question that rises is: you are American, so how can you give advice to Pinoy considering the culture background?

Kuya Kevin: Well, part of the answer is this: many of the issues I deal with are common among youth/singles all around the world.  Sometimes I find myself personally relating to questions I’m asked–things I’ve experienced myself when I was a student in the States.

But culture does play a role.  I had already lived in the Philippines for a few years before I started doing purity seminars–I didn’t start this as soon as I stepped off the plane.  In other words, I had a pretty decent understanding of Filipino culture by the time this aspect of ministry developed.

ROCK Ministry: Wow. So what can you say about Pinoys and how they handle their love life?

Kuya Kevin: I think Filipinos tend to take courtship very seriously.  The process is a little more formal than what we do in the States.  We Westerners, for example, only use the term “propose” to refer to a marriage proposal.  We don’t make a formal proposal for courtship.

I hate to admit this, but the Filipinos’ biggest problem is they are starting to act like Americans–having premarital sex, having children outside of wedlock, cohabitation (living together outside of marriage), etc.  The traditional Filipino values more closely match the biblical teaching on love, sex, and marriage.

RM: What do you think makes good advice?

KK: First and foremost, good advice is based on the Bible.  Beyond that I think keeping things as simple and as practical as possible is the way to go.

RM: In your experience as a campus minister, what are the challenges you face daily as you minister to students? Do you have an unforgettable story you can share with us?

KK: The ministry I do is kind of unique in that I spend a great deal of time outside the church.  Most of my ministry happens in schools, with students that may not have any spiritual background.  The greatest challenge is reaching out and being patient with the students’ responses–even those who are not interested in the gospel.

I’m not sure that I have one favorite story–there are so many.  Celebrating victories is important, so I make sure to reflect on every life I see changed by the power of the gospel.

RM:   I’m also a campus minister and I learned a lot from listening to students when they pour their hearts out. It’s not just to connect to their generation but to share what I experienced. How about you? What is the most important lesson you have learned while these college kids express how they feel?

KK: The most important thing I learn is whatever is going on in that particular student’s life.  It is a great honor to have someone share his or her life with you.  I’ve learned that just being willing to listen goes a long way in doing ministry.

RM:  Who do you seek for encouragement and advice?

KK: My parents have been a source of support and encouragement for me.  They’ve always told me to do whatever it is God is calling me to do.

I have some great friends, and each of them encourage me in different ways.  Some of them may just hang out with me for coffee and a movie.  I have a friend in the States who has known me since college.  He’s the one I usually email to talk about issues in my personal life–I can pretty much tell him anything.

I’ve also been blessed with some great mentors over the years.  I still keep in touch with most of them.

RM:  Lets get to your books, you wrote two of them. Can you tell us about the books? How did you get the idea to put out a book?

KK: It all started with the blog (KuyaKevin.com).  I was looking for a way to connect with students I met in seminars–a way to keep sharing my thoughts with them once the seminar was over and they go back home.  I started blogging as a way to share advice.

Students were responding to my blog articles, so I kept writing.  I contacted Church Strengthening Ministry (CSM, my publisher) after a year or so of writing–it seemed publishing was the next logical step.

That’s how Basta LoveLife came into being.

I’ll give you a little more background on Basta LoveLife.  I noticed two things when looking at relationship books in the Philippines: 1. Most of the books here were simply imported from the States.  2.  It seemed many of the locally authored books were written by women.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but I figured it was time for something written from the masculine perspective.

This first book is basically a collection of my thoughts about love, sex and relationships–from a biblical perspective, of course.

The second book, Learning the Hard Way, also started on my blog.  I was seeing a lot of sad stories in my email inbox–testimonies of those who were making terrible mistakes and paying the price. “What if stories like these were used to warn others?”  I asked myself.

I started a “Learning the Hard Way” section on my blog, and it was a big hit.  It seemed like it would make a good book, so I approached my publisher (CSM) about it.  The end result was book number 2.  Erwin designed the cover and artwork for it.

RM: Those are things that a Christian Pinoy looks for. You know Kevin “Basta Love Life” book is very Pinoy. What are some reaction of people who read that book?

KK: It’s funny you mention that.  One of the greatest honors I’ve received is hearing Filipinos tell me they can relate to what I’ve written.  It puts a smile on my face because I known I somehow managed to reach my target audience.

RM: Your radio show/podcast is great. You and Kuya Erwin make a good tandem. So tell us how do you prepare for the radio show? Have you already made your response to the questions that you received? How do you pick the questions you will discuss in the show?
KK: Thanks–I’m glad you like the show.  Erwin and I jokingly call ourselves the Philippines’ most unprofessional broadcasters.  Don’t get me wrong–we are very concerned with quality.  But neither of us really come from a broadcasting background, and both of us have full-time ministries off the air.

Here’s how we usually arrange the show:  I choose the topics and questions, and Erwin is responsible for the music and production.  You’ve heard the show, so you know he also gives his own insights during counseling segments section.  This arrangement works well because Erwin is the musician/artist.

Or different cultural backgrounds are also a big asset.  Erwin is a Filipino.  He grew up in Manila, moved to the States as a teenager, and moved back to the Philippines a few years back.   I’m an American who moved here about eight years ago.  I think it gives us a pretty good balance in terms of cultural perspectives.

RM: You have a blog, books, radio podcast and you minister to students. I think many are curious; do you still have time for your own love life?

KK: Well, it can be challenging to balance full-time ministry and a social life.  But the biggest challenge for me has been finding the right person, not finding the time.  I can always make time for the right person.

I’ll add something here–something I find a little amusing.  People have asked me how I can write a book on love when I’m not married.  Here’s my answer: my books are not about married life.

I think it is great to hear from those who marry young and had relatively few romantic troubles.  But what about the rest of us?  I think we need to hear from those who, like me, have experienced rejection, breakups, blind dates, and all the other trials of single life.  Basta LoveLife, for example, has a chapter or two on breakups.  I included this because I noticed this kind of thing was mysteriously absent in some Christian books–as if Christians never experience broken hearts.  Believers need to know God is with them in the midst of their most trying moments.

RM:  In closing, please give a message to those who follow you in Twitter, Facebook, read your blog and books and listen to your podcast. Most of them really benefited with your advices for sure.

KK: I would probably refer back to the “two commandments”: be pure and be wise.  Keep yourself sexually pure and use biblical wisdom in your relationship choices.  Do this and you’ll avoid most of the disasters.

Bro Kevin thanks for giving your time for this interview and God bless as you minister to students.





Get Into the Game! An Interview with Sportscaster Chris Schneider

11 11 2009

We always hear them comment on our favorite sports. But how do they get to that work and how do they live up being a Christian in their profession. These and more as we interview Chris Schneider.You can reach him to his website: http://www.radioactivespeaking.com.

ROCK Ministry: Hi Chris, so tell me how did you end up in this work? Does it take special talent to do what you do?

Chris Schneider : I’ve known since I was 11 years old that I wanted to be in broadcasting, I guess it was an early sign from God.  I applied for my first job at a radio station when I was 12, I was turned down because I was too young, but when I turned 16 and was able to drive, I drove down to another station, put in an application, and then bugged the Program Director of the station until he finally gave me a job on the air.  It does take some special talents, you have to be able to speak well, be enjoyable to listen to, and it really helps to be able to write well too.

ROCK Ministry: Tell us briefly how you became a Christian? How does being a sportscaster or an athlete who profess he or she is a Christian fit in this line of work?

Chris Schneider: I have been blessed to be going to church all my life.  My relationship with Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior has grown out of that.  I now base my life on serving our great and wonderful God.  Being a Christian in this line of work is pretty much the same as in any other line of work, you try to live a life worthy of positive notice from those around you and hopefully they will want to know more about what it is that we have that they don’t.  The good part about it is that sometimes it allows me to be able to speak to groups of people about the Lord.  As for Christian athletes, it is a great venue for people to share their faith.

ROCK Ministry: How do you maintain professionalism?

Chris Schneider : Not sure what you mean by maintaining professionalism.  I think it’s pretty much the same as in any other business, you just have to try and live your convictions, and know that in all things we do, we do them unto the Lord, whether that be talking on the air, or doing something off the air that nobody notices.

RM: How do you share Jesus in your work?

Chris: I share it of course in my personal relationships, but my line of work also allows me to speaking to groups, it helps having worked at some of the places that I have, and having talking to some big name players and coaches with stories that people want to hear.  It allows me to share my faith, and exhort my brothers and sisters in Christ.

RM: There are things a sportscaster should take care. I think, one will be your voice. How do you maintain it? Another is the things you will say and remember. How do you grasp words and remember names, stats etc.?

Chris: It is important in this business to take care of your voice.  That usually doesn’t mean doing anything too different that other folks, but it does mean you shouldn’t go out shouting at a sporting event, or do anything that could damage your vocal cords.  It is vital to actually be a sports fan if you’re going to be in this business, otherwise there is no way you could accumulate and remember the information you need to do this job well.  You can’t fake it.  I grew up a huge sports fan, watching and listening to all different kings of things, and over the years I have built up a pretty nice knowledge of things that helps in the job.  Grasping for words can be tough sometimes, its funny how that happens.  The key when you’re talking on the air is if you can’t think of a certain word or person, to try and talk around it so that people understand what you’re saying, and maybe even who you’re talking about.

RM: A sportscaster has these cool words that describe, say a great move, or scoring in sports. Where do you get those stuff and what’s your favorite expression?

Chris: We do come up with some good descriptions sometimes, and again, that all comes from loving sports and being around it our entire lives. I don’t know that I have a favorite expression, sometimes I get tired of broadcasters who think they have to come up with a cute saying they have to repeat everytime something happens.  I think its better just to be yourself and let the games play out.

RM: How do you spend your quite time for the Lord?

Chris: I like to learn about the Lord as much as possible so I listen to Bible teachers and try to take in what they’re saying.  I also try to stay in the Word as much as I can and hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to me through the scriptures and in the Spirit.  In my prayer time I try to just communicate with God, I think that’s what He really wants.  I don’t think he wants any wrote religious talk, or endless babble, but real conversation.  So I try to do this.

RM: Can you give us a game plan that a student should consider for he or she to succeed not just in sports but in real life?

Chris: Not too many people can make a living playing sports, the percentages are very low.  So I would recommend getting a well rounded education (hopefully a Christian education) and going from there.  Of course our life path should begin and end with where the Lord is telling us to go.  God gives every one of us talents, skills and abilities, and then calls us to use them for His honor and glory in some way.  Most of the time that just means doing a regular job, but that is very important.  We are called to be the salt of the earth in every way, no matter what form that takes.  As far as I’m concerned, as long as we’re doing what God has called us to do, nobody is more important than the other.  We are all equally loved and cherished n God’s eyes if we’re answering His call.

RM: If anyone wants to follow your foot steps what should they do?

Chris: Their are several different ways to get into broadcasting.  The best way is to go to school and learn about it while getting a well rounded education in other areas in case you decide it’s not what you thought, or if our God is calling you to do something else.  If school isn’t an option, the next best thing is to try to get a job at a radio staiton in a smaller town, and try to work your way up the ladder.  Its better to start in a small town because they allow you to do more things, and make more mistakes without getting fired.

RM: I know you have a ministry and I’ve seen it on YouTube. So tell us more about it and how do we get in touch with you?

Chris: I believe the Lord has called us each into ministry, it just takes different forms with everyone.  Since the Lord has blessed me with the ability to speak, that’s exactly what I do.  I pray that He will touch other people when I talk on the air.  I also am a public speaker, where I speaking to audiences in person, that ministry alows me to talk to people face to face.  And then the “God A Minute” ministry that I do on Youtube is just an extension of all that.  It is an honor and a blessing to be able to express the Word in various ways.  We are so blessed!

RM: Chris, thank you so much for giving us a chance to interview you and may this interview glorify God and many people who read this will open their hearts for God and his gospel. God bless you.