“South Pole Vendetta” pre-release copies now available!

20130828-220639.jpgWhat an amazing day!

After months of preparation the news came today – pre-release copies of “South Pole Vendetta” can now be ordered to prepare my personal author’s inventory. That means I can now sell books to friends and supporters, before they’re available anywhere else.

Part of the excitement of that news is the fact that I have a certain level of control over the price, number, and type of books I order.

I have decided – knowing so little about marketing I may cut my own throat, but I’ll do it with a smile on my face – that I will offer a “social media – introductory offer” to my friends and supporters.

Here’s what I’d like to do:

1. The regular price for SPV is set at $26.99.
2. Those books that I buyback give me an impressive amount of “wiggle-room” in setting the prices of the books that I will sell to my “niche market” – or sell myself at book signings, over the internet, and at other events.
3. I have also discovered that I can purchase “hardback” books, for author resale only, at a substantial savings as well. These books will not be available to anyone other than me as the author.
4. My ultimate reason for writing SPV was to get my name out on the market so that I could market the more “important” books – those that are part of the Country Life Discipleship Ministry.
5. I am also hoping that there might end up being finances available to make resources more available for small and rural churches.

SO…

1. I want to offer the paperback at the lower price of $20.
2. I am also interested in offering the hardback “special edition” copy of the book for the nearly equal price as the bookshelf price of the paperback at $26.99. For $30 I can give a very limited and special edition of the work to those who might be interested, both those who purchased the earlier copy and those interested in an rare copy.
3. Every copy that I release personally will be signed.
3. This approach allows me to commit whatever – if any – profit to the ministry that birthed this whole venture; Country Life Discipleship.

Whether you’re a fan of techno/military fiction, a personal fan, friend, or family member, or simply someone ready to try a book by a new and different author; I hope this will be your chance to join the “SPV fan” community.

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Submissive vs Compliant

Believers, the disciples of Jesus Christ, are called to be submissive people. On the other hand it seems Americans devalue submission – no, they despise submission. This results in a very natural conflict over submission for the American Church. Unfortunately, it seems the result has often been simple compliance. I think most church attenders in this country would call themselves “obedient”, “submissive”, or even followers.

I would then ask such a person, “Are you a submissive believer or simply a compliant one?”

You may be saying, “How do I know which I am, they sound the same to me?”

Let’s try an illustration:

Driving down the road in a rural, lonely area, the sign next to the highway reads “Speed Limit – 55”. You’re late for an appointment, there are simply no other cars around, and you set your cruise control for, what you feel is, the fastest you can morally go.

I could ask you what that speed would be; 54, 55, or somewhat higher, but I won’t.

Let me ask you this: If a police car passes by, what will your reaction be? Do you watch the rear-view mirror like I do? Do you maybe even tap the brakes lightly to make sure you drop a mile or two in speed?

Why would I ask that question, and why would I ask it in that way? I think we have a tendency to “follow the rules” much more with a mind toward fear of the consequences than a true, deep-seated desire to obey.

I use the illustration I do because it is very revealing about me, and it may be that you have no problem in that area. If so, you might want to think of an area where you struggle with “obeying the rules”, because I believe most of us – and Americans in particular – fight a battle every day in this area.

I say that because I think most people that know me would have a tendency to place me in the “submissive” category, when in reality I probably am much more simply compliant – and need to continue to work on becoming submissive.

Let’s define the two ideas and see if you might not feel kind of the same way:

Compliant is defined as “inclined to agree with others or obey rules; especially to an excessive degree.”

Submissive could be defined as, “a voluntary placing of ourselves under the authority and leadership of someone else; with a desire to obey and respect out of a spirit of love.” – this definition is my own.

Now, I know, I’m no real accepted authority on the subject; but if you begin a study of true Biblical submission I think you’ll find that the definition is correct. We, as Americans especially, have been programmed to see submission as a negative thing, and something that someone within our sphere of influence imposes upon us. That’s not what Scripture means!

To be honest disciples of Jesus Christ, we must be people committed to submission. Because the implications are so extreme. Scripture is filled with examples and commands of areas in which we are called to be submissive – to freely place ourselves under the will and desire of someone else.

So, I ask again, “Are you a submissive disciple or simply a compliant one?” If you’re interested in those types of questions, I would invite you to stop by countrylifedisciple.com and look at some of the free stuff pages. I’m also interested to hear your comments on the topic – because I think discipleship revolves around the concept. What about you?

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The Cost of Discipleship

Ed Stetzer makes this dynamic comment:

“…discipleship is a daily process. Pastors, we have to develop more robust discipleship plans than just our weekly messages. Discipleship is not a Sunday event, it is a daily commitment.”

Read more of Ed’s interview with Christianity Today at http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2013/august/better-discipleship.html

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“Country Life Discipleship” site is up and running

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The long awaited day has arrived!

Maybe “a” long awaited day would be better, but it’s still an amazing step.

After spending the last weeks working on “South Pole Vendetta” the time opened up to address the related issue of a website to call home. The result is countrylifedisciple.com.

Home to all my books, a page for freebies, and a store all my own, I have taken the next step down the road of “Country Life Discipleship Ministries”.

If you’re interested in the latest on my books, have a passion for discipleship, or are just a genuinely nice person; may I invite you to stop by and let me know what you think? I’m very interested in any comments or ideas – and you could even buy a book while you’re there. Except for “South Pole Vendetta” – we’re still a few months away from that release (but you can pre-order).

Anyhow, meander on over and visit for a minute or two. We’ve tried to create a comfortable, easy site to look around on; and we think you may just learn something while you’re there.

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And now for Something Completely Different

Can supernatural forces actually impact someone falling on a square-foot-size piece of ice?

Years ago my father and I determined to have a little bet between ourselves, maybe contest would be more precise. You see, we were both artists, both pastors, and had a mutual concern about what appears to be a dying art-form; chalk-talks.

I bet your on the edge of your seat with anticipation over what comes next, am I right?

So, a few years later my father came to me with the words, “I want you to have everything I’ve collected about chalk-talks. I’m not going to pursue it any further.”

Since then chalk-talks have been a “labor of love”, or more accurately a “feeling of compulsion”. I have tried to use them to honor my father even as I have seen the amazing ability to connect visual and auditory learning.

Fast forward to this week.

I had been asked to do a chalk-talk at the long-term care facility where my wife works. The opportunity to impact a group of people who often struggle to retain and comprehend spiritual matters is a special one.

Are you biting your figure-nails yet?

About two weeks ago I was delivering some work we had completed in the woodworking shop to a client when I stepped out of the pickup onto a small patch of ice little more than six inches square. Seconds later I was standing next to the truck glancing around checking to see who had seen my embarrassing tumble.

It was only later that my sore shoulder indicated that the event was more than just embarrassing. I realized over the next couple of days that I had actually injured myself.

Aging to the point where you have to begin considering seeing the doctor after slipping on the ice is a staggering point to arrive at – so, in keeping with my denial of my own mortality, I chose to “tough it out”.

Okay, so my physical ailments are not your favorite topic of “blog-ology” (I’m hoping I can come up with a new internet term that will make me famous).

Hang with me. There is a method to my madness. Or a madness to my method – I’m not sure which.

On Thursday I was working on another woodworking job. My arm was much better, thanks for asking. While finishing up I managed to re-injure my arm.

Wait a minute! You’re getting ready to move on to another blog – right?

Let me finish, I beg you.

Instead of drawing for a group of people, I’m writing this. My injury has resulted in me being unable to do the chalk-talk I was supposed to do.

So the question was raised, “If the chalk-talk was to be used of God, could the fall have been a weapon of Satan to thwart that plan?””

So, what would you say to my question now?

Can supernatural forces actually impact someone falling on a square-foot-size piece of ice?

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Does your small group make these 10 mistakes?

Does Your Small Group Make These 10 Discipling Mistakes?

1. Downplay the importance of contacts
2. Overlook divine appointments
3. Use words rather than work
4. Fail to understand their true power
5. Not knowing when to speak and when to be quiet
6. Include fewer mentors than it should
7. Fail to have a program for teaching Bible doctrine
8. Misunderstand the place of conflict
9. Deal poorly with error
10. Hold on to a disciple for too long

Country Life Discipleship is committed to addressing, and helping churches address, these things in a biblical manner. Follow our journey at http://www.countrylifediscipleship.com.