Jogging, Jesus & a BOOK GIVEAWAY

***For the week of 2.11.13, Tyler is giving this book away for FREE. You can download it here.***

I enjoy running. Its great exercise for my aging body. Running provides a space for me to unwind & clear out the clutter from my head. Its like detox from sitting in my grey, bland, lifeless cubicle from 8-5 at my day-job. Yet, as much as I believe running is a great remedy for my heart & soul… I continually find myself inconsistent with my routines, habits, and goals in regards to this invigorating cardio outlet. After some time, I just give up. Whether I get distracted or the busyness of life invades that sacred time, I find that I’m paralyzed by guilt & shame when I consider starting back up running once again. My desire & intent to continue running doesn’t disappear, but stuff just happens…

Every time my wife has been pregnant, its almost a given that I will gain 25-30 pounds during her pregnancy. Call it sympathy weight, call it exercising my love for Ben & Jerry’s Brownie Batter Ice Cream… call it an excuse to be lazy. However you look at it, I can tell you that running was usually the farthest thing from my mind — unless it was making a late-night run to Chick-fil-A for a couple Banana Creme milkshakes. I was overcome by defeat… delicious, fat-packing defeat.

I’m sure that you too have found yourself in a similar predicament a time or two before. We want what’s best for our lives, yet settle for the more comfortable thing at the time & justify our ways by means of a “well, it could be worse…” type mentality.

The mess that underlies my running dilemma & much of the inconsistencies in my life are brought to light in Tyler Braun’s book Why Holiness Matters. Tyler looks at what it means to be holy from a Christian worldview perspective through the eyes of a millennial [the generation of people born from about 1980-2000]. He resonates with the reader’s desire to live a righteous life, but settling for just living an “authentic/relevant/transparent” life embracing our faults/fears/failures as just who we are destined to be. Why Holiness Matters tackles the issues surrounding guilt & shame that seek to impede our progress made as Christians through sanctification. Tyler implores us to revisit & reside within the truth that any holiness that we desire to achieve starts (and ends) with the Holiness of God. It’s the work of Christ imparted to us that provides access to pursue any morsel of holiness within our lives.

Braun’s ability to connect with the reader seems to come with ease. With references from 90’s-kid-favorite “Boy Meets World” to the introspective film “Good Will Hunting”, Tyler’s observations resonate with my hopes, fear, and aspirations revolving around living a holistic life empowered by the Spirit of God. [He even has his own much-more-eloquent illustration(s) regarding running.]

I’m currently involved with helping launch a “louder/younger” Sunday evening gathering at our church starting this fall; and I found Braun’s “Values” chapter especially intriguing when he unpacks his thoughts about tradition vs traditionalism — and how that pertains to millenials. Tyler gives us a lot to chew on in less than 160 pages. I most definitely recommend this book to anyone who might be interested in something the church itself doesn’t quite address head-on all the time…

But don’t take me word for it. [said in my best Levar Burton impression] I’m giving away a free copy of Why Holiness Matters right here on my blog. Just leave your name, city, state, and what holiness ‘means to you’ in the comments of this post & someone will be chosen at random on Friday (August 17th) to receive a copy of Tyler’s book (in paperback via snail mail).

If you aren’t chosen or you just can’t hardly wait to read Why Holiness Matters, you can purchase a copy here.

~God bless

I likeā€¦ reading.

I like reading.

Sometimes.

Honestly, I’m more partial to watching television, going to the movies, and listening to music/podcasts… but I do like to read.

I mostly read blogs, magazines, and billboards… yet, books are definitely my favorite. I don’t like e-readers, though. There is something about turning actual pages and carrying around a different book every few weeks that just seems right. And this is coming from someone that is a lover of all things tech. Its awesome to see the book cover age with time read after read. I enjoy seeing the character that the book adapts as I tote it from my bedside table, to my cubicle at work, to the local coffee shop, so on and so forth back to my bookshelf in the hallway cupboard of our 1000 sqft condo here in Lake Forest, CA.

The book I read the most is the bible. Go figure, I’m a pastor. I teach middle-schoolers. More times than not, it’s the only book I’m reading. This week I’m reading thru & studying Genesis 6-9 while I prepare to deliver this Sunday’s message. I like to read things repeatedly. When studying for a message, I will normally read the entire text 6-8 different times. When I read a book, it isn’t uncommon for me to read the same sentence 4-5 times before moving on to the next sentence/page/chapter. I like to soak it in…

What do you like to read?