Easter and Your Fragile Relationships

Please enjoy this excerpt from the Gospel Rich Book’s release, “It is Finished”.

Relationships, even the strongest of them, are fragile things.  At work, you can be rocking and rolling along, hitting all of your goals, getting good reviews, and then one day your boss doesn’t interact with you like he or she normally does, and you think, “Uh oh, is my job in jeopardy?”

When parents correct their children, even when they do it biblically, a child can still think, “Mom and Dad are upset with me.  Do they still love me?”

But it is probably Mom and Dad, husband and wife, who have to work through these insecurities the most.  We ask questions like:

“Honey, do these jeans make me look fat?

“Do you still think I’m pretty?”

“Don’t you appreciate all the hard work I do for this family?”

Sometimes, there is great fear attached: “Are you cheating on me?”

I’m hesitant to give too specific examples because I fear it might dredge up fears that you have finally conquered.  But the reason I mention this is that so often, we structure our lives around the fears we have in relationships.  Our lives are governed by the “eithers”.

We either slavishly give ourselves over to try to win people’s approval or at times we stand as far back emotionally as we can from folks to say, “I don’t need you.”

Either direction you take there, you are living your life based upon your relationships with others.

Either slavishly going after approval or standing off from others – either one is still saying, “Hey I am directly based on you.

Either you are loving me or I’m proving to you I don’t need you, I’m still basing things off of you.”

These patterns cause so much damage:  alcoholism, porn addiction, co-dependency, slavish work habits to prove you can provide.  Entire personalities are built around these issues.  Whew, it sounds almost like there is no hope in these things.  And I will say, “There isn’t except for one thing, and that one thing is Jesus.”

As we approach Easter where we gather to celebrate Christ’s finished work for us on the cross, we need to recognize that Christ has made our relationship with the Father secure.  Every single thing necessary for you to be loved, accepted, and forgiven, Jesus has done.  You don’t need to, and cannot, add one thing to what Christ has done for you.

That truth, that realization, should give you rest, should enable you to find that peace that you have never had in any other relationship and it should also free you up to love and live in other relationships with vitality.  The question is, “Do you believe Jesus has accomplished everything for you?  Do you live out that belief?”

“It Is Finished”  is a sweet meditation of the scriptures surrounding the events from Good Friday all the way to resurrection morn.  You can find it here.

The second is “Easter – Simple Sermon Solution”.  This book follows the same themes, but its focus it to help any who might have the privilege of speaking or leading a Bible study around the Easter Season.  It offers a great methodology for organization and delivery.  You can find it here.

No matter what, please take this Easter season to rejoice yet again for the finished work of Christ.  It is our sole hope and joy for this world and the world to come.

Gospel Rich Books

If you would like to learn more about Gospel Rich books, we offer a host of challenging and encouraging resources.  You can find them below:

Gospel Rich Books Amazon Catalog

Gospel Rich Books Blog

And to enable more writers to publish their works, we offer the BestSeller Template which is a publisher ready resource that authors can cut and paste their works into to make them Amazon ready.

If you want to follow more of what’s going on with Gordon, check out the website www.jgordonduncan.com and his recently launched podcast at

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/this-is-gonna-hurt-the-podcast-of-j-gordon-duncan/id1356352968

 

 

 

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Gospel Rich Books to Release Spurgeon Classics in the “Pocket Spurgeon” Series

Nearly every pastor references Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  In fact, Spurgeon is where many a pastor goes to find an answer to their Biblical and theological questions.  Surely, he has been quoted in sermons more than any other pastor.

But for too long, Spurgeon’s works have been regulated to academia and the pulpit.  The irony of that fact is that Spurgeon preached to an estimated 10 million people in his lifetime.

Gospel Rich Books hopes to put an end to that irony by releasing a series entitled, “Pocket Spurgeon”.  Pocket Spurgeon books hope to make the impactful words and sermons of C.H. Spurgeon more accessible, by creating editions that are easy to carry and even easier to read.

These books are intended to be bite-sized morsels of his works that can be digested in 90 minutes or less.  They are easy to carry and even easier to read.  No paraphrasing has occurred. What you will read are Spurgeon’s words.

Hopefully, this series will expand and many of his great works will become more accessible in the day to day lives of the laity…just as Spurgeon wanted it.

Our first release is entitled, “The Hold Fast”.  “The Hold Fast” is a sermon (No. 1418) delivered on Lord’s Day morning, June 9th, 1878, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington. It is based on Proverbs 4:13: “Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.”

You can find “The Hold Fast” at Amazon, and of course, you can find other Gospel Rich Books there as well.

Hopefully, the works of C.H. Spurgeon will make an impact on this generation as they did on his.

The Hold Fast

If you would like to learn more about Gospel Rich books, we offer a host of challenging and encouraging resources.  You can find them below:

Gospel Rich Books Amazon Catalog

Monthly Gospel Rich Journal

Gospel Rich Books Blog

And to enable more writers to publish their works, we offer the BestSeller Template which is a publisher ready resource that authors can cut and paste their works into to make them Amazon ready.

 

The First Action of Humility is Prayer

The promises of God are true.  They are a reflection of His character, and they are authoritative.  Because of those truths, meditating and praying on them are transformational practices.  Despite that fact, knowing and embracing God’s promises often elude us.  Prayer and meditation are often the desire, but the daily practice of both is rare these days.  As a result, many believers in Christ live weak and faithless lives of desperation.  Yet God promises more:

2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

In this prophecy given to King Solomon at the completion of the Temple, God promises to forgive His people’s sin and heal their land.  What He commands is that His people walk in humility, pray, seek God’s face, and repent (turn away) from their sins.  This is the pattern by which we walk in and enjoy prayers to God that draw us closer to Him and His purposes.

We are to walk in humility recognizing our finiteness before an infinite God.  This includes a recognition of our slavish desire to trust ourselves and our own wisdom before God’s.  This humility has an action though, and that action is prayer.  If we avoid or lose the discipline of prayer, it is because we are walking in the wisdom (or lack thereof) of our own understanding.  Humility says, “I need to commune with God.”

As our humility draws us to God in prayer, we seek His face which is the Biblical equivalent of seeking God’s will.  We seek what is pleasing to the Father.  This seeking immediately shines a light on our sins and transgressions.  The face of the Father stands against sin, and our humility agrees with our guilt.  But if we seek the Father as He has promised, we will walk in newness of life and forgiveness.

Then, our hearts and minds take on a bigger picture:  a kingdom picture.  We pray bold prayers of God’s work in our land which include prayers for family, friends, neighbors, churches, cities, and governments.

This is the call of not only the people of Solomon’s day, but the call of our day as well.

Gospel Rich Books

If you would like to learn more about Gospel Rich books, we offer a host of challenging and encouraging resources.  You can find them below:

Gospel Rich Books Amazon Catalog

Monthly Gospel Rich Journal

Gospel Rich Books Blog

And to enable more writers to publish their works, we offer the BestSeller Template which is a publisher ready resource that authors can cut and paste their works into to make them Amazon ready.

 

 

The Lost Art of Reading Christian Biographies

Reading biographies and autobiographies of great people of faith is a lost art, or at least a fading interest, for many.  There is actually some biblical precedent for it:

Hebrews 6:12 11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Imitating the saints who have gone before us is a command, and the primary way in which we can know their stories is reading their books.  In reading their story, we learn what faith looks like in…

War – Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

Suffering – Surprised by Joy by CS Lewis

Revival – Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther

Missionary Service – A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael

It is a rich study to dwell on the thoughts and acts of faith of Christians who inspired so many.  Reading their books insures that their lives will influence Christians for years to come.

If you are interested in reading a few more stories, Gospel Rich Books has published two biographies.

The first is “I am my father’s son”.  This is the story of Thom Duncan and his faithful service as a bi-vocational minister.

Secondly is our biography of his wife, Ann, entitled, “Bedside – a Memoir of Care”.  Ann faithfully supported her husband, helped raise five children, and served the Lord faithfully for over 60 years.

We also offer a 2-1 hardback edition.  Please note, this edition will be taken down soon as it will be re-edited to remove several printing errors.

No matter who you study, seek out great people of faith and learn from their lives.  It is a study worth undertaking.

Gospel Rich Books

If you would like to learn more about Gospel Rich books, we offer a host of challenging and encouraging resources.  You can find them below:

Gospel Rich Books Amazon Catalog

Monthly Gospel Rich Journal

Gospel Rich Books Blog

And to enable more writers to publish their works, we offer the BestSeller Template which is a publisher ready resource that authors can cut and paste their works into to make them Amazon ready.

 

A Monthly Resource for the Spiritually Thirsty

I love coffee.  It is my favorite beverage.  I don’t use cream or sugar.  I just like good coffee.

But I know I can’t drink coffee all day.  If I do, I’ll be over-caffeinated and massively dehydrated.  You see, what my body really needs is water.  Lots and lots of water.  The body just functions better when hydrated, and the body fails when it doesn’t have enough.

The Bible describes our need for God in a similar way as our need for water.  Psalm 42 says,

“1 As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”

Because of this, the Christian is in constant need of soul nourishment.  By God’s grace, we have corporate worship, the sacraments, the scriptures, and so many other means of God’s grace.  Additionally, there are a host wonderful resources (books, podcasts, etc.) which help explain and apply God’s word in our day to day lives.

In humility, this is what Gospel Rich Books hopes to provide:  resources that are rich with the Gospel that feed the soul.  This blog is one of the avenues by which we attempt to do this (as is our newsletter), both of which will always be free of charge.

However, we do have a brand-new monthly resource:  the Gospel Rich Journal.  This is a digital journal emailed directly to subscribers.

If you are a subscriber, at the beginning of the month, you will receive an email with your journal, each with articles focusing primarily on three areas:  your spiritual life, your physical health, and your professional life.  That covers a lot.  Examples articles might be:

“Creating a Pattern of Rest in Your Busy Day”

“Prioritizing Exercise Without It Consuming Your Life”

“Practical Applications of Growing in Your Identity in Christ”

“Fighting Loneliness at Work and at Home”

These will be exclusive articles as well as works curated from prior publications.  Every now and then, we might just through in a free digital copy from our Gospel Rich Books catalog.

And to say, “thanks” to our subscribers, we will include a copy of our international bestseller, “Joy in Trials”.  If you have read it before, enjoy it again or even share it with a friend.  All of these things cost only $2.99 a month. You can subscribe here.

If you have ideas or topics that you would like for the Gospel Rich Journal to pursue, just email our editor, Gordon Duncan, at gordon@jgordonduncan.com.

Thanks for walking with us on our journey to know Christ fully and to provide Gospel Rich publications to the world!

As always, you can find a wealth of resources online at:

The Gospel Rich Blog is www.gospelrichbooks.com

The Gospel Rich Amazon Catalog

Thanks again for taking the journey with us!

Gospel Rich Books

https://gum.co/thegospelrichjournal

 

Fighting the Loneliness that Accompanies Responsibility

A note of an encouragement from one of our authors, Gordon Duncan…

Work, marriage, parenting, and every other sphere of our lives will be discouraging without support.

My life is busy like yours.  In the past 15 years, I’ve started two churches four businesses, while being married, and raising three girls.  Each one of those privileges is a potential area for loneliness and discouragement.

I think about the beginnings of my churches and businesses.  Each launched with great enthusiasm.  There was an initial idea and call that just wouldn’t go away that I had to act on.  As the structures of each came to place, my hopes rose, and the thrill of the first few interested parties was like their own drug to me.

Getting married and having children were the same.  Initially, my excitement was immeasurable.  The joys were greater than anything I could describe.

But of course, there are challenging, lonely moments.  Church attendance declines.  Sales in the businesses dry up.  Marriage and parenting are hard.  Left to myself, it is tempting to think that no one was interested in me, my mission, or my products.  Doubt crept in, and temptations to give up were frequent.

Thankfully, with good mentors and a supportive spouse, I’ve been able to persevere through those moments.  Some of my efforts have been successful, others not so much.  Even more so, the reminders of God’s grace and the never-ending love of my Savior, Jesus, keep me grounded.

The key, I’ve learned in the midst of the ups and downs is to remain focused on my goals.  For the churches, I knew we were doing good and honoring God.  I knew we were helping people.  I needed to focus on that.  For the businesses, I knew we were providing solid products and helpful services.  Educating my customers about those products and services, while tightening my procedures, were key.

What about you?  Do you ever struggle with the loneliness of your responsibilities, of ownership, or leadership?  What do you do to remind yourself to persevere?  I encourage you to do a few of the things mentioned above.  Remind yourself of your faithful Savior and loving God.  Remind yourself of the good that you are doing.  Double up your efforts to help others.  Pursue Bible studies of your identity in Christ and God’s promises of faithfulness.

No matter what, don’t attempt any of the above alone.  Speak to your pastor or church leader.  Find a mentor or consultant.  Entrust your thoughts to an honest, supportive friend.

No matter what you do, just don’t go it alone.

Gordon Duncan

Gospel Rich BooksAdditionally, Gospel Rich Books offers a host of resources to encourage you.  We have:

Come on Back – $.99 devotionals covering the book of Joel focusing on the people of God returning to vibrant worship.

Joy in Trials – Our bestseller focusing on the book of Ruth with a focus on enduring trials.

God Creates Joy – Finding joy in the book of Psalm 32

 

 

Happy New Year! Here are Three Tips to Help You Get Started

Happy New Year!  I hope your holiday season was enjoyable for your family.  I also hope that you have had the time to reflect on the past year and pray for the new.

As you think about the New Year, did your hopes come to fruition?  Did you enjoy your time with your family?  Do you feel like you were faithful and able to honor God in 2017?  Are you making plans for 2018?

Planning is not condemned by God.  Instead, we are only asked to present our plans to God to be sifted by His will.  For example, James says:

James 4:13-15,“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.  What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’” 

Knowing these things to be true, the real question for the New Year is, “What are you going to do to achieve the highest joy while being as faithful to God as possible?”  We offer this encouragement:  Plan your days to align with your goals.

Take some time and design what you want your life and work to look like.  Then align your life around those goals.  Follow the “Streamlining” pattern.  Take time each day to:

Reduce – These are planned times when you focus on one singular, important task at a time.  You will get so much more done when you reduce distractions.

Reuse – These are planned times when you multi-task on things that you can do at the same time.  For example, meet your goals of exercising and listening to podcasts by doing them simultaneously.

Rest – Even if it is for 15 mins, plan moments in your day where you can rest.  Remove all distractions, nap, walk, just do whatever it takes to find rest so you can be the best you.

Doing these things will transform every aspect of your life.

Gospel Rich Books has partnered with ProSight Success (a business resource publisher) to help you accomplish these plans.  This joint partnership is a book called “Streamlining” which is intended to help you plan your days around the Reduce, Reuse, Rest cycle.  Originally, it was published as part of a 7-book system for Optometrists, but for the New Year, we are offering “Streamlining” in e-book format for $19.99.  Get your copy here.

Additionaly, we have created the “Streamlining” planner which enables you to plan your days with the Reduce, Reuse, Rest pattern.  This great planner is fully customizable and is also $19.99.  Grab your copy here.  Once you order yours, if you email us proof of purchase, we will email you a digital copy of the “Streamlining” book for free.

However, you approach the New Year, we hope you find great joy with your family and in your relationship with God.

If you want to pursue any of the other Gospel Rich Books for your New Year, you can find them at our Amazon page.

Look for emails and posts regularly.  Also, if you are interested in publishing your own book, email us at gordon@jgordonduncan.com.

We can’t wait to serve you.

Gospel Rich Books