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Nate Palmer is a husband, father of three young kids from Dallas, TX. In addition to working for the software firm SAP, he pursuing his M.A. in Religion online from Reformed Theological Seminary and has had articles published in Modern Reformation and Reformed Perspectives Magazine.
Nate’s new book, Servanthood as Worship, is now available from Cruciform Press. He graciously agreed to take some time and answer a few questions about the process of writing the book, why you should read it and what’s next.
1. What led you to want to write on service as worship in the first place?
As I wrote in the opening chapter, after an initial burst of excitement after being saved I began to really struggle with serving in the local church. I knew something was wrong and that I couldn’t continue like this. Around that time our church in California decided to send a church planting team to Texas. My wife and I felt God calling us to go with them. I knew this embryonic church would need people to serve a lot more than in an established church, but I questioned if I could do that. I knew I couldn’t serve in the condition I was in. I felt as if I would be a dead weight to the church and a liability to my pastor. So I went to my pastor and told him how I was struggling. We talked, prayed, and read some scriptures. As I was leaving his office, I asked him if there was a more in depth resource I could read – to which he replied that other than a few chapters in various books (he wisely pointed me to a chapter in Donald Whitney’s book) that he didn’t know any. So I decided to write my own – I guess the old saying “necessity is the mother of invention” applied in this case.
2. When Cruciform Press picked up the book, what was your initial reaction? Your family’s?
I was absolutely thrilled, shocked, and scared all at the same time. I mean I am a nobody – no platform to speak of, just an ordinary guy who wrote a book on something he stunk at – and here a publisher was picking my little book. My wife, who has been really supportive during the 5 years of writing and rewriting this, was proud and excited for me.
3. What challenges did you find writing this book, if any?
The challenge is to fully cover such a deep subject and feel like I have done it justice.
4. You write about the shift that happened in your own life and attitude toward service, that you from “thrilled to ambivalent to resentful to selfishly ambitious,” all in the span of a few months. Would you say this is a unique experience to you or is it something that’s far too common?
From what I have seen and heard, my experience is not so unique. My attitude shift may have happened faster than most, but everyone at some point feels the same frustrations. It is so common that we even have a term for it called burn-out. Continue Reading…
Over at the Resurgence, Mark Driscoll interviews Randy Alcorn, director of Eternal Perspective Ministries and author of a number of bestselling books, and asks:
Why does Randy Alcorn only make minimum wage?
Adrian Warnock is a longtime staple of the blogosphere. His website, AdrianWarnock.com started in April of 2003 and is home to more than 3500 articles. Married with five children and a medical doctor by trade, Adrian is part of the leadership team of Jubilee church, a multicultural church in London, England, where he has preached regularly for more than ten years.
His first book, Raised with Christ: How the Resurrection Changes Everything, was published by Crossway in January 2010.
A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to read and review Adrian’s book and he has graciously agreed to come by and answer a few questions.
You’re a husband and a father. You serve on your church’s leadership team. You’re a doctor. You preach. You write. How on earth do you manage to balance everything in your life?
I think that one of the main reasons is that I have a very hard working wife who frees me up to focus on all these things. To be honest I also get a lot of help from various people. I am not sure that many books have more acknowledgments than mine. In particular, I have a volunteer editor who helps me with many of my writing projects before they see the publisher or the light of day.
Similarly at church, most of what I do is encourage other leaders to serve God’s purpose. Good team work at home, at church, and at work goes a long way towards getting a lot done. I do work from home, so I don’t have the burden of a daily commute. I also try to use things more than once, so that sermon prep also becomes blog fodder, for example. I don’t watch very much TV either, and to be honest, when things are really busy, sometimes I sleep less than I should.
But I am not sure I do manage to balance everything very well at all times! Someone once said, “If you want something done, ask somebody who is already busy.” I do feel sometimes that I am trying to do too many things, so am trying to learn to say “no” more often.
You’ve run a blog for a number of years now and written a number of book reviews. How does it feel to be on the receiving end, as it were?
It is a real privilege that anyone would want to read anything I have written. When they not only read it, but comment on it, that is so helpful. In fact, even the few that have been a bit critical have helped me. I really believe that our critics serve us more than we realize. Sometimes they say something that helps us see either a weakness in our argument or realize that something we said in one way is being interpreted in an entirely different way! Continue Reading…
Matthew Paul Turner is a blogger, speaker, and author of Churched: One Kid’s Journey Toward God Despite a Holy Mess, The Christian Culture Survival Guide, and several other popular books. His latest, Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music and the Holy Ghost, was officially released yesterday by Waterbrook Press (read the review here). Turner attended Nashville’s Belmont University, where he received a BBA in music business, and is the former editor of CCM magazine. Turner has written for Relevant, HomeLife, Christian Single, and other magazines.
Online, he’s perhaps best known for his blog, “Jesus Needs New PR,” where he regularly pokes fun at some of the more silly aspects of the Christian subculture, as well as his running commentary on shows like The Bachelor and American Idol on Twitter. Love him or loathe him, Turner gets people’s attention (and a laugh while he’s at it).
Today’s a special day, because he’s joining us over here for an interview, and I’m giving away a copy of Hear No Evil (provided by Waterbrook Press)! The giveaway details follow the interview. Enjoy!
AA: I’m not from a Christian background, so it’s been interesting/bizarre to read about your experiences in such a conservative setting. Because you’ve quite obviously gotten out of the bubble, how do you navigate the tendency to “overcorrect” that can happen?
MPT: Though it might come across this way to some, I don’t write in hopes of “pro-actively” correcting my past (though it has helped me heal), I write to simply tell my story. Of course, that’s not to say that some people don’t read what I write and “see” that written in the context. I suppose if I’m tempted to “over correct,” it’s in my desire to not exclude anybody from God’s story. And to protect and defend those who most often get excluded. I spent years hating a lot of people and excluding them from God’s story, and I’m certain I probably go too far once in a while in hopes of making that right.
Did you seriously have people sign your Bible?
Yes. Mostly evangelists. After they would speak, there’d be long lines of people waiting to get their Bibles signed.
Have you ever found an answer to why Dylan has a career?
Sure. He’s a fantastic thinker, poet, and champion of ideas… but I still don’t think he’s a good singer.
What’s the weirdest song you have ever seen co-opted for a church service?
Avril Lavigne’s ”Complicated”– to make it worse, there was a guy who was interpreting the song with sign language. And I am not lying, when the girl finished singing and he finished signing, HE was covered in sweat. Forehead, shirt, armpits–all wet from attempting to translate a Christianized version of Avril’s song to the three hearing impaired people who were at church that day. Continue Reading…
Chris Tomlinson is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Acadamy and the UCLA Anderson School of Business. He lives in North Virginia with his wife, Anna, and is the author of the newly-released Crave: Wanting So Much More of God.
But if there’s one thing you need to know about him, it’s that he really loves Jesus and wants you to love Him, too.
(Okay, maybe that’s two things.)
Chris and his publisher, Harvest House, were kind enough to include me in the blog tour in support of the book, and he has graciously agreed to take part in a short Q&A.
Enjoy the interview and look for the review tomorrow.
What was the greatest challenge you faced writing this book?
Writing this book was a tremendous joy and an enormous challenge. I think there are two ways to get at this, and there’s nuance to both.
In one way, the actual writing was both easy and hard—easy because the words often just seemed to flow onto the page, and hard because going back and putting those words into their final form for the book was a slow, painful process. I once heard that the hardest part of writing is in the re-writing, and I’ve found this to be true. So the two years it took to rewrite the book (twice) posed a huge challenge to my ability to be a good disciple, husband, worker, and friend.
In another way, the writing of this book opened up the sinfulness of my heart in entirely new ways. I never knew how much I longed for affirmation from people rather than God. I never knew how hard it would be to accept praise on God’s behalf for the gift He has given me to be used for His glory. I never knew how self-absorbed I would become during the promotional phase of the book. Dealing with this kind of sin has been a challenge as well, but one I am embracing, through confession and meditation, as a means towards greater Christ-likeness. Continue Reading…
This week, A Real Alternative Lifestyle continues. This week, we hear from Petra, a 24-year-old woman in Ontario, Canada.
Aaron: How did you become a Christian?
Petra: At an Acquire the Fire Conference when I was fifteen.
Aaron: What does it mean to have a biblical worldview?
Petra: I try to live as Christ has taught me to live. I take the moral of the stories that he told his disciples, the character of God, the complete Word, leaving nothing out, and the commandments and apply them daily to the way I live. I don’t accept everything I am told by the world as truth but rather listen to what the Lord and the Bible tell me is true. There is absolute truth that exists in the world, and so as long as I allow the absolute truth to guide my worldview: God is good, He cares for me, turn the other cheek, bless those who curse you, etc. then everything else can be relative. It’s easy for me to be counter cultural, because I’ve never enjoyed doing what everyone else is doing. But what I’m realizing more and more is that the thought pattern of the majority of the world is upside down. I cannot cling to the changing nature of society. It’s too transient, too mutable, and unstable. So, I try to change my thought pattern and listen to the Word. Continue Reading…