Blog and writing news

The Launch of Life-Ecstatic

1 Thessalonians 5:

23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

This is a key verse and, if read both in its context and simply, implies that God may “sanctify” a Christian “completely”, keeping the whole soul and body blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. It continues to say that God is faithful and “he will surely do it.”

Can we see what it says? It says we may be “completely” or “entirely” sanctified. For any person who has come to life in Christ Jesus (AKA, a Christian) this is a pretty stunning promise.

Psalm 16:

5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures [delights] for evermore.

It’s with these two verses that I relaunch my faith blog under the name Life-Ecstatic. The word “ecstatic” is used as a noun for mystics and as an adjective for experiencing joy and excitement. I’ll be using it in both these respects, pointing toward a ‘valid’ mysticism that belongs to the Christian life, a mysticism that’s about ‘devotion’ (that alone should give you a clue where that’s going to go) and speak about the single goal of every Christian’s life, which is joy in God. My blogs will go around qualifying why I see it that way and encouraging Christians to bring all of their life onto one single focus, one single goal.

I’m of the firm belief that many Christians feel pulled this way and that way with the mass of information, books, blogs and teachings out there. Yes, my one is another one. But, I’ve found that when you’re able to pull your focus toward one thing, there is fruit and direction in your life. Pursuing “joy in God” is another way of saying that our central goal is to “worship God”, but I don’t use that language because the word “worship” has become quite vague for many of us.

To come back to the beginning, it’s this ‘joy in God’ that leads us to sanctification, the outcome of that inward desire of the Christian to live a holy life before God and man. “Holy” means a life of perfect love, the kind of love Jesus had. It doesn’t mean we dress in strange clothes and hang out on a mountain in solitude, but solitude is certainly a way of getting to the goal! So how all of these sorts of things interconnect will be the main themes of these blogs.

My blogs on business, current affairs and so on will be housed at my www.ryanpeterwrites.com website.

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Blog and writing news

ALIVE: How to Enjoy Living e-Book Now Available

The e-Book version of ALIVE: How to Enjoy Living is now available at lulu.com

ALIVE: How to Enjoy Living eBook

The point of life is to enjoy it. But so few of us do. ALIVE is about finding where true joy really lies, where contentment can be found. It affirms the idea that the quest for joy and pleasure is the quest of life, but that these are found in the places no one taught us to look.

Get the eBook here for only $4.00 (about R30).

A Kindle-specific version and the print version will be available shortly on Amazon. So watch this space for that.

A list of all the devices the eBook will work with can be found here. Since the book is in PDF format it’ll work on the Kindle or pretty much any handheld device, but as mentioned above a Kindle-specific version is in the works so that it can be downloaded from Amazon’s store from the Kindle.

My other book Single will soon also be available in the same formats, now revised and up to date.

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Blog and writing news

To Prosperity Preachers: Commend Christ As Gain

(Picture sourced from 1 Adventure.com)

I’ve been following a series of posts at DesiringGod.org (John Piper’s website) around prosperity preaching. Basically, they’re a set of posts appealing to prosperity preachers.

Prosperity preaching, for those that don’t know, can probably be summarised as preaching that encourages Christians to trust God to make them prosper. That sounds ok, but much of the preaching stops there, and that’s the problem. It’s not about telling people that they can know God, have eternal life in Jesus, be saved completely from sin and death etc., but it only ever talks about how God will make us rich.

Wikipedia probably puts it better — ‘[it is] the teaching that “believers have a right to the blessings of health and wealth and that they can obtain these blessings through positive confessions of faith and the ‘sowing of seeds’ through the faithful payments of tithes and offerings.”‘

I see it as a very legalistic teaching, to be honest. It’s all about doing the right things and having the right faith to see God bless you. That’s not a relationship, that’s just formula and legalism.

At any rate, here are some quotes from Piper’s post in the series today that encouraged me:

My biggest concern about the effects of the prosperity movement is that it diminishes Christ by making him less central and less satisfying than his gifts. Christ is not magnified most by being the giver of wealth. He is magnified most by satisfying the soul of those who sacrifice to love others in the ministry of the gospel.

I do not want prosperity preachers to stop calling people to maximum joy. On the contrary, I appeal to them to stop encouraging people to seek their joy in material things. The joy Christ offers is so great and so durable that it enables us to lose prosperity and still rejoice. “You joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one” (Hebrews 10:34). The grace to be joyful in the loss of prosperity—that is the miracle prosperity preachers should seek. That would be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. That would magnify Christ as supremely valuable.

Check out the full post here.

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Blog and writing news

Alive First Draft Finished!

Hooray! The first draft for my new book Alive is finished! Now it’s going to my pastor for him to check out and advise on some of the more theological and pastoral matters 🙂

This gives me more time to focus on my fiction book and writing music — really hoping for December to be a great month for creativity! Can’t wait for things to quieten down.

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Seven Chapters In

I’m seven chapters in with the first draft of my new book “Alive”, which is about enjoying life, and I’m quite excited about that. It looks like it’ll be a nice short book, like I planned, maybe about 120 book pages.

I originally planned for it to be seven chapters but that has increased to nine as I’ve added a few more in that seemed important.

So far, I’ve covered a chapter on the purpose of the book; a chapter on hedonism; a chapter on knowing God; a chapter on being in communion with God; a chapter on love; a chapter on money; and this morning I’ve just finished a chapter on taking risks.

It’s flowing very nicely and I’m really excited about this work. It has also helped to solidify stuff I believe around the topic of enjoying life. Once its done I’ll probably post a few snippets of it here on this blog, so if anyone is interested they should check back here.

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Blog and writing news

Excited About My New Book “Alive”

Today I’ve embarked on a journey on writing a new book, with the working title “Alive“.

It’s going to be a relatively short book. So far I’ve planned only seven chapters, and it will be a lot less intensive than my last book “Single.”

The book is focusing on enjoying God and life, and will incorporate a lot of stuff about worship and finding God in every aspect of living.

I hope for it to be a little more ‘evangelistic’ in its scope – in other words, that non-Christians, anti-Christians, or those looking in or are interested in Christianity will find the book interesting and will see why Jesus is truly awesome.

So far, the first draft for chapter one is under the belt – so I’m really looking forward to it.

As to my fantasy-fiction work, that’s still work in progress. It looks like I may have about seven or eight chapters left before the book is done. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the bucks to get the book looked at by an agent yet but if everything goes well I’ll be able to embark on that next year Feb or March.

If all goes well, maybe I’ll have both Alive and my fantasy book finished by then 🙂 If I can get some time off for Christmas, I’ll be spending a lot of time writing.. looking forward to that!

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