Radio Interview

radioguyLast week, I was interviewed on a south Florida radio station about the Inner Mess book. The interviewer, Jerry Newcombe, is the director of Coral Ridge Ministries.

You can hear the interview here (about 15 minutes).

You can get the book right now at a reduced price… normally $13.99, now $10.49 (plus tax/shipping).  Click here.

Faith, Capacity, and a Book Signing

big-mouthGod says, “Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.” (Psalm 81:10).  It seems to be God’s policy that he fills what we give him to fill.

When a woman was on her last penny, Elisha the prophet… “said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors–empty vessels; do not gather just a few.” (2 Ki 4:3).  He then told her to pour her little vial of oil into those gathered vessels.  She would become a commodities broker.

The widow followed the directions and poured her little vial of oil into those vessels till they were full.  It wasn’t till she ran out of vessels that the oil stopped.

“Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased.” 2 Kings 4:6, NKJV.

The only limit on her capacity for blessing was her own FAITH.  How many vessels would she gather?  How many vessels would she trust God to fill?

On Saturday, I had a book signing at Barnes and Noble. I had thought about ordering extra books for the event, but decided not to. I didn’t want [expensiveostrichmouth] excess inventory on my hands, and I figured the store would have a supply.

It turns out that the store had run out, so my books were it.  Fifty-four books in all.  Over the course of two hours, all fifty-four books sold.

Explain this:  the last person in line bought the last book.  There were no extra books. There were no extra people. When the books stopped… the people ceased.

Chance? Coincidence? Au contraire…

Here’s my explanation:  God honors  faith. He is willing to give us what we’re willing to trust him for. I trusted him for 54 books, and he sent 54 buyers (actually fewer because some bought mulitples, which makes the whole thing even more providential…)

I know, this isn’t a fixed rule. Sometimes our faith is big, and we end up with lots of unsold books… but I wonder if that’s not because of unhealthy or weird factors beyond my control.  God still loves the faith… even when it seemingly goes disappointed.

I’m gonna do some jaw stretches: if God’s going to fill my mouth, I want to open really, really wide.

babybigmouthCool footnote:  the bookstore was super-excited by the response.  They said it was their best book signing ever.  THANK YOU to everyone who stopped by.

Book Signing Saturday

wcccsigning1Hey, calling all Northern Californians…

I’d like to invite you to stop by and say hello on Saturday, March 28. Along with four other authors, I’ll be at Holy Family Bookstore, signing books and hanging out. Holy Family Bookstore is Redding’s newest, full-service Christian bookstore, and I hope we can support it. This store bought much of the inventory when Redding Christian Supply liquidated.

There’ll be live music, coffee, books, and authors.  So I  hope you can stop by for a few minutes! If you bought one of my books online, bring it with you, and I’ll be happy to sign it.

I’m always encouraged by the growing number stories of people whose lives are blessed and changed by the truths in this book. I’m routinely stopped by friends on the street, or contacted thru email or on Facebook, with very kind expressions of thankfulness for the book. I’m humbled that I even got to write it.  Thank you for your encouragement.

Be sure to visit the Insanity and Bliss blog on April 2, for an interview about the Inner Mess book and how God brought it about. The blog has two FREE copies to give away… I’ll remind you next week.

Your Inner Barney Fife


Inner Barney Fife

He made a pit and dug it out, And has fallen into the ditch which he made. (Psalms 7:15, NKJV).

That’s the theme verse for your Inner Barney Fife.  This is the corner of your soul that…

  • Shoots yourself in the foot
  • Insecure
  • Gloms onto others
  • Never succeeds
  • False bravado
  • Blowhard
  • An adorable loser
  • Accident-prone
  • Sees problems where there are none
  • Has a thing for Thelma Lou

If you’ve ever felt like your own worst enemy, you’ve met your Inner Barney Fife. He’s a charter member of the sinister menagerie lurking in your soul. Your Inner Barney Fife works tirelessly to make you an adorable failure. You are a champion of “almosts..”

  • You almost land that dream job…
  • You almost ask that good-looking guy/girl out on a date…
  • You almost apply for that job…
  • You almost put together a great resume…
  • You almost read your Bible and pray every day…
  • You almost launch that life-changing ministry…
  • You almost get involved at church…
  • You almost had a good marriage…
  • You almost had your song published…

messcoverWhen opportunity knocks, Barney makes sure you’re snoozing on the back porch rocker.  My Inner Mess book grew out of messages I first preached in 1996. I wrote three chapters, gave it to some friends, and got so-so reviews. I was so discouraged, I put it away for eight years.  It was a book I almost wrote.

It took some encouragement from Dave Meurer, an author who dragged me to the Mt Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference, to get me over the Barney Fife hump.

What gets you past your self-sabotaging, foot-shooting, inept Inner Barney Fife? For me, it was coming to believe I really had something to offer the world. I had to own 1 Corinthians 12:21: “And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.””

Your Inner Barney needs to feel valuable; not in a patronizing, “Mommy thinks you’re the best” way, but in an authentic, “new creation in Christ” way.  You need to embrace your true identity in Christ, as a uniquely gifted servant of God. So what if your dad called you good for nothing, your peers called you a loser. You are who Jesus says you are. You derive your identity from him–not from the crazy people who surround you.

You are who God says you are.

jesuswalkingonwatercartdotcomYou need to believe that however brightly you shine, it is for Christ. It is to radiate his glory.  It’s not about the impression you make; it’s about Jesus.  Only then can you take the pressure off yourself.  Only then will Barney stop shooting you in the foot.

Self-esteem is what happens to people who embrace their riches in Christ, and esteem Christ above all.

My cousin, Steve Hendricks, of Sundance Creative, drew Barney for me. He’s a great guy and an incredible artist.  He’s done some other caricatures, and I’ll introduce them here in the coming days. Inner Brat, coming up next.  Wait till you see her picture!


procrastinators_timeI’ve just posted a new Inner Mess Character Profile… Meet your Inner Procrastinator!  When you feel like getting around to it, click the links.  There are two versions… a colorful one for fun, and a black & white one for printing.

Click over to the Inner Mess website for the free download.

And the winner is…

slothI’m referring to the poll question in the previous post… “Which of your Inner Mess Characters is feistiest lately?”  Of the six choices, the winner, with 32% of the vote, is Procrastinator.

Interesting that people who are reading my BLOG should choose Procrastinator… hmmmmm…. let’s think about blogs and procrastinating, shall we?  Naaahhhhh.  No discernible correlation.

I’ll write more later.

Here’s the first Scripture that comes to mind:  A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep– So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, And your need like an armed man. (Proverbs 6:10, 11, NKJV).

procrastinators_timeI know, that’s more about the Inner Sloth than the Inner Procrastinator, but it’s the first Scripture that came to mind.  Check the Inner Mess website later today for a Character Profile sheet on the Inner Procrastinator… and thanks for taking the poll.

Okay, if it’s not up today, maybe I’ll get around to it tomorrow.


Update:  it’s impossible to really know how the Inner Mess book is selling.  All I know is that the odds of a second book depend on the sales of the first book, which I won’t know for several more months.  I’m still waiting on news regarding two proposals in the hands of publishers… waiting is the middle name of the publishing industry, especially in this tough economy.  Thanks for praying, and I’ll keep you posted.

Book Signing Update & Other Stuff

booksigning1The book signing was a blast. A big thank you to everybody who braved the cold rain and stopped by.  For two hours, a steady stream of friends and well-wishers walked through the doors.  The owners at Bibles, Books, and More were excited–it was great exposure for them.  I really want to support the Christian bookstores in town.

I was so encouraged by each one who took the time to show up and to pray.  Thank you.

booksigning2I’d appreciate your prayers as an army of germs claws through my sore throat.  I’ll be conducting the funeral services this Friday, in Chicago, for a very dear uncle. “Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints.” (Psalms 116:15, NKJV). Pray for comfort for our extended family… and that I’ll be able to share Christ clearly and powerfully.

ATTENTION CHICAGOANS:  I’ll also be speaking at Windy City Church on Sunday, Feb 22. Please come and visit.  The service starts at 10:00 a.m.  We can have a mini-reunion… I hope to see you.  For a map, click here.

Book Signing!

prisonsigningIf you’re in Redding, please come to my first ever official book signing.  It’s on Valentine’s day, Feb 14, Saturday.  There’s a short time window, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  I’m a little jittery that nobody’s going to show up, so I’m asking you.  Bring a friend too!

Here are the details:

  • Where: Bibles, Books, and More… the new Christian bookstore in town, next to C.R. Gibbs on Hilltop Drive.  (click here for a map).
  • What:  a book signing.  That’s basically where a few authors (there will be four) hang out, chat with people, sell books, and autograph them.
  • What book: In case you haven’t heard, I was privileged to publish How To Keep Your Inner Mess from Trashing Your Outer World thru a major publisher.  I’m excited, because this was a lifelong dream.  I’m more excited, because I am totally sold on the material in the book, and I believe it should be in every Christian’s hands.  One guy in my brother’s church told him, “I wish I had this book 30 year ago.”
  • When: Saturday, Feb 14, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • messcov3dWhat else: you can check out the book website at Complete with pretty whacked-out video. I’ve added some Inner Mess Character Profiles on the Characters page. Check it out.  I’ll be adding more soon.
  • One last thing:  I’ll have a couple of other local signings too, in the future, so if you can’t make this one, there’ll be others.  I’ll let you know.

Oh… of course, I’d love to sell out all the books.  But even if you have your copy, or don’t plan to get a copy, please stop by just to say hi anyway!

Hope to see you.  If not, I’d appreciate your prayers.  I’ll let you know how it went!