Kaitlyn’s Gift

December 18, 2014 — Leave a comment

The response to my last post has been so positive, I thought I’d share at least one more Christmas story and devotion from my book, Scripture to Live By.

This is a great story by the well-known author, Kim Vogel Sawyer. She is a gifted story-teller and I’m still so grateful she agreed to submit a story for my book.

Author, Kim Vogel Sawyer

Author, Kim Vogel Sawyer

Kaitlyn’s Gift

By Kim Vogel Sawyer

“Mommy, what is that talking about?”

I looked over the edge of the kitchen counter to my daughter, who pointed at the television. A commercial played, advertising the 1993 Toys for Tots campaign.

Coming around the counter to stand beside her, I explained. “Those soldiers are asking for people to give toys to them. Then, on Christmas Eve, they’ll give the toys to boys and girls who otherwise wouldn’t get any presents for Christmas.”

Kaitlyn’s blue eyes widened as she peered up at me in dismay. “Some kids don’t get presents?”

I shook my head, smoothing her wispy blonde hair from her face. “That’s right, punkin. Some kids aren’t as lucky as you.”

I watched Kaitlyn process this information. Small for her age, having come into the world a bit ahead of schedule, Kaitlyn had nonetheless always had a big heart. I could see she was troubled at the thought of children not receiving Christmas presents. To reassure her, I said, “Don’t worry about it, sweetheart. That’s why they have Toys for Tots—to make sure nobody gets left out at Christmastime.”

That night, as Kaitlyn said her bedtime prayers, she added a postscript: “And God, about those kids who don’t get presents…, could you make sure people give a whole bunch of toys so every kid will get a Christmas present?”

Every night for the next two weeks Kaitlyn made that same prayer. My heart thrilled at the tenderness being expressed through her innocent prayer, and I found myself sending up the same petition when I went to bed at night.

December 10th, a week before Kaitlyn’s seventh birthday, she hopped through the door after school and pulled herself onto the breakfast barstool for her snack. Her mouth full of peanut butter cookies, she asked, “Mommy, can I invite my whole class to my birthday party?”

“Everybody? Not just the girls?”

“No. I want the girls and the boys, too.”

I sent her a teasing wink. “Oh, I know why you want lots of kids at your party.”

She sat up straight, her expression expectant. “You do?”

“Mm-hm. You just want lots of birthday presents.”

Immediately her little face clouded. She climbed down from the stool and disappeared into her bedroom. Assuming I had hurt her feelings in some way, I followed her. She sat on the edge of her bed, her head down.

I sat down beside her and put my around her small shoulders. “What’s the matter, punkin?”

Kaitlyn looked up at me. Tears glistened in the corners of her eyes, making her sky blue eyes appear even brighter. “I don’t want any more presents for me. I have lots of toys already. But can I ask my friends to bring a present for that Toys for Tots thing?” For a moment, she seemed uncertain. “I prayed for God to give those kids toys. Do you think it’s okay if I help?”

Tears stung my eyes as I gave Kaitlyn a hug. “Honey, I think God would be delighted for you to help.” I knew the Toys for Tots campaign was nearing its end. I wasn’t sure if they would still collect toys after Kaitlyn’s birthday. “Do you want me to call and find out if the soldiers need some more toys?”

She nodded with enthusiasm. “Yes!”

Kaitlyn was at school the next day. I called the Army Reserves Armory in nearby McPherson, the nearest collection point.

“We generally don’t receive toys after December 16th, ma’am,” the voice on the other end told me.

My heart sank. Kaitlyn’s birthday was the 17th, and if we had her party on her birthday as we’d planned, we wouldn’t be able to deliver the toys until the 18th of December. I couldn’t bear facing my daughter’s disappointment. Breathing a silent prayer, I asked, “Could you possibly make an exception?” I explained what Kaitlyn wanted to do. The voice asked if I could hold, and it seemed I waited an interminable amount of time until someone returned to the telephone.

“Ma’am? What time could you be here on the 18th?”

“Not until after five, probably,” I said, almost holding my breath.

There was another pause as I prayed inwardly—Please, God, please, please. Kaitlyn will be so crushed—and finally the person said, “I tell you what. I’ll stick around that afternoon so I can let you in.”

“Oh, thank you.” My breath whooshed out with the words. “And bless you!”

Together, Kaitlyn and I designed birthday invitations. In crayon, Kaitlyn painstakingly wrote on the bottom of each invitation, “Bring one unwrapped gift for a boy or girl for Toys for Tots (not for Kaitlyn).” She followed the line of instruction with a smiley face.

She handed the invitations to every classmate during recess at school the next day. At suppertime, I asked if her friends were excited about her party.

“They all want to come, Mommy! That means seventeen presents.” Then she paused, her brow furrowed. “But it will be eighteen if I buy a present, too.”

I laughed. “Okay, we’ll buy you a present, too, to give away.”

She grinned her thanks.

The day of her party, Kaitlyn squealed with delight at every toy that was carried through the door. She deposited the cars, dolls, coloring books, games, and stuffed animals in big boxes, which we had decorated with Christmas wrapping paper and bows. With each delivery, she announced, her eyes shining, “Won’t those kids be surprised?”

The morning after her birthday, she and I loaded the boxes into the back of our van and drove to the Armory. Three volunteers greeted us.

“Hello!” Kaitlyn chirped, beaming her toothless smile as she bounced through the doors with her arms full. “Look! These are my birthday presents, but you can have them. They’re for those kids for Christmas.” She hummed as she helped the volunteers arrange her gifts on tabletops scattered with every variety of toy.

Kaitlyn walked between the rows of tables, pointing to the piles of unwrapped toys, her blue eyes wide with wonder. “Look at all these presents, Mommy. I bet every kid gets a present now.”

“I’ll bet you’re right, punkin.” How it lifted my heart to see Kaitlyn in action, her joy so obvious at the opportunity to give.

Before we left, Kaitlyn gave each of the volunteers a hug and wished them a merry Christmas. All the way home, she jabbered about what she’d seen—the abundance of toys awaiting delivery to boys and girls. She seemed awed by the number of presents. “Where did they all come from?” she asked.

“Well, just like you gave presents, other people gave presents, too. Lots of people brought in toys for those boys and girls.”

She nodded, satisfied with my answer. That night, when she knelt for her prayers, she said, “God, thank you for the people who gave all those toys. Give them a hug for me, would you, please? And thank you that all the boys and girls will have a good Christmas now.”

When I went to bed that night, I gave God thanks, too—for the others who had generously given so a needy child might enjoy a gift on Christmas morning, but mostly for Kaitlyn, my precious little girl who could see beyond selfishness to the joy of giving. “God, bless Kaitlyn….”

On Doing “I Love You”…For Your Consideration

by Arron Chambers

I John 3:16-18

16This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “That’s easier said than done.”

So many things in life are easier said than done:

“Dad, I want to learn how to ride my bike.”

“When I grow up I want to be a doctor.”

“Let’s get married.”

“Let’s have a baby.”

“Of course, I can handle watching all four kids on Saturday while you’re at the “Women’s Retreat.”

“I’m going to start exercising tomorrow morning.”

“I’m going to have daily devotions for the next thirty days.”

“I think it’s time for us to start going to church, again.”

“Yes, your parents can stay with us for a month this summer.”

Mother of fourteen-year-old girl: “Honey, can you go in there and find out why your daughter is crying?” Father of aforementioned fourteen-year-old girl: “No problem.”

“I love you.”

Love is easier said than done. Twenty-four years ago, I stood at the altar, looked at my lovely bride, and said, “I love you.” I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was the easy part—saying, “I love you.”

Doing, “I love you,” is hard work and sometimes not that fun. Doing, “I love you,” requires sacrifice, patience, compromise, communication, selflessness, serving, commitment, in-laws, “I’m sorry,” and changing diapers when it’s your turn!

Knowing this, the Apostle John, points to Jesus as the perfect example of doing, “I love you.” John says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” Jesus spoke a message of love each day of his life, but never was his love as clearly communicated as it was on the cross. Christ’s words about love—his stories, his sermons, his prayers—describe love clearly, but his death defined true love once and for all time.

Saying, “I love you,” is easy—it doesn’t require sacrifice, effort, time, commitment, a marriage license, a cross, or a birthday party for needy kids.

But, doing, “I love you,” makes us more like Jesus . . . and Kaitlyn.

©2014 Arron Chambers

This post is an excerpt from my book, Scripture to Live By. In that book I accumulated stories from various authors and added a devotion to each story. This is one of my favorites from the book…and not just because my sister Leslie wrote it.

I hope this story “changes” your Christmas for the better.–Arron

Scriptures Cover

Change Through a Manger

By Leslie Wood

Don’t you just love Christmastime? All the decorations, wonderful songs, and poignant movies?

My childhood Christmas memories were filled with happy times with family and friends. I can remember riding on the church bus, caroling to our friends and neighbors. One year, we went to see the “Nutcracker” on Christmas Eve. Another year, we saw the movie Oliver! Cutting down our Christmas tree was always an exciting time, because it marked the beginning of the holiday season. When I became a mom, I had dreams of creating special memories with my own children, although, this particular event can’t really be described as beautiful or special. It was just—well, just bizarre.

It was the Christmas of 2000. We had been living in Stafford, Virginia, for about four years. Our church did not have a building, so we were meeting in a middle school gymnasium. Because we had church in a gym, it was often difficult to create those special, beautiful memories that I remember as a child.

Christmas Eve services offered a wonderful opportunity to reach out to the community and to   the church family with the message of Jesus’s birth. In fact, the Christmas Eve service is an easy opportunity to reach out to the community. It takes a lot to mess up a Christmas Eve Service. After all, it’s Christmas—right?

Well, that year we decided we would put a manger up in the front to allow our church people to participate in giving to others less fortunate. Everyone could either bring in non-perishable food items or a monetary gift to put in the manger. We envisioned a deeply meaningful time of sharing and giving—a truly wonderful memory in the making. Oh, it was a memory in the making, all right.

The evening of December 24th arrived.

Earlier that day, we had gone to the Rain Forest Café in Northern Virginia, which had become a tradition in our family. My twins, Connor and Taylor, who were just five at the time, and my daughter Kendall, who was two, were so excited! Not only was it Jesus’s birthday tonight, it also was the night a present could be opened. To add to the fun, we had my aunt and uncle from Florida visiting for the evening. They were on their way to Williamsburg and had decided to come up for our service. So anticipating a wonderful time, we bundled the kids up and headed for the church.

As we walked in, the candles were burning and beautiful music was playing. We found a seat on the last row, because as always, we came in at the last-minute (Did I tell you I have three kids?) My husband, the minister, spoke and prepared our hearts for the time of giving. I wish I had been prepared. I, of course, had forgotten to bring canned goods with me, and only remembered after we sat down that I was supposed to have brought something to put in the manger. My kids, who could sense my concern, leaned over to me and asked, “Mommy, what are we going to put in the manger?” I froze in panic and started digging in my wallet and the bottom of my purse for money, which is where all my loose change always ended up. Wouldn’t you know it? I had no bills with me, only change. If I had stopped to think about it, I probably would have stayed in my seat. Being the minister’s wife, I knew that my absence from participating would be noticed, especially by my children, so we proceeded to make my way to the front.

Most everyone else had already put gifts in the manger, so now it was our turn. Upon approaching the manger, I looked down and realized that the manger had big open slats in the side. Too late. My two-year-old daughter enthusiastically threw her money in, and down and out it went. Before I could warn the other two, their change dropped into the manger, fell out and proceeded to roll across the gym floor. Luckily, the beautiful song being sung drowned out the sounds of coins hitting and rolling across the basketball floor. Before I could grab him, my industrious son, Connor, crawled under the manger, rescued some of the money and said—loudly—“Mommy, I found some!” He then threw it in again and well, you know what happened.

By this time, I wanted to throw myself under the manger with my son, who was once again under the manger trying to rescue the money for Baby Jesus. I looked behind me and the entire front row was on the verge of hysterics. I thought, at the time, that we might have to perform CPR on more than a few of them. To the sounds of hushed laughter and “O Holy Night” I grabbed my kids and quickly walked back to our seats, which as you remember, were on the last row.

I wish that I had been prepared to give my gift. If I had just put three or four dollars in my wallet, there would have been no need to be ashamed or embarrassed about my gift. My intentions were good, but like so many times before, I hadn’t given my best.

I would have preferred not to stop at our seats, but head on out the door and home, but we didn’t. We sat down, grateful for God’s love and his grace . . . and for His manger.

On Re-Gifting…For Your Consideration

by Arron Chambers

Matthew 26:6-13

6While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, 7a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. 8When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9“This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” 10Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. 12When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

She had been forever changed, so she responded with an act that will be remembered forever.

Now, I feel safe with you , so I feel like it’s OK to confess to you that I re-gifted once. Do you know what that is? It’s when you give a gift to someone that once was given to you. It was a glass candy dish we received for our wedding. It was beautiful, but my wife and I saw no future for that dish in our lives, so when we were guests at a wedding a couple of years later and a few dozen dollars below the poverty line, we decided to look for a gift a little closer to home. So we went to the closet and selected the nice glass bowl and the box that had never been opened.

I still regret re-gifting.

Those people deserved our best—or at least something on sale at Walmart. We spent nothing on them. What does that say about us? What does that say about them?

I wouldn’t re-gift my brother.

I wouldn’t re-gift my mom.

I wouldn’t even re-gift my mother-in-law, nor would I suggest it.

And, I definitely wouldn’t re-gift Jesus.

He deserves the best we have, not some afterthought we find way back in some corner of our closet.

That’s exactly what Mary thought, too.

Not THAT Mary. The other Mary.

We all know that Mary, the mother of our Jesus, was forever changed by the manger, but did you know that there was another Mary who was changed by the manger?

Matthew doesn’t name the woman who gave Jesus an amazing gift at the home of Simon the Leper, but John tells us that her name was Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus (John 12:1-8). This Mary wasn’t there when Jesus inhaled air for the first time, but she was there when Jesus called her brothers name, “Lazarus!” and he began to inhale air for the first time—again. She saw his power, his love, and his tears. She loves him. He saved her brother and he saved her, too.

She wasn’t there to give him a gift at his birth, but she is here—and Jesus is here—and she wants to give him a gift before his death robs her of the opportunity, so she gives him one of the best gifts in the history of gifts.

As Jesus reclined at the table Mary, poured very expensive perfume on Christ’s head. It was worth about a year’s wages, so, by today’s standards, she poured about $30,000 worth of perfume on Christ’s head.

The disciples, led by Judas, were beside themselves, “Why this waste?” they asked.

I bet Judas was a re-gifter.

Judas, and the other disciples, didn’t understand the extravagance of the gift. It appeared to be too much. Surely, Jesus, knowing the number of poor people sitting on street corners and beside wells in Jerusalem, would rebuke this senseless waste of money.

No.

Wrong.

Just the opposite.

Jesus praised her and promised that, “Wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Why? Jesus praised her because she gave him her best. She did what we all should do. The manger changed everything for us. It’s not a prop. It wasn’t a gimmick. It wasn’t a photo-op to help Jesus’ public image. It was a gift.

God loved us so much that He gave us a gift—his son—wrapped carefully in a manger. And the tag on this gift read, “For the World.”

That’s why Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, gave Jesus her best and wasn’t content to just throw loose change in the manger.

Put this post into action by giving Jesus a great gift. Maybe you need to write a large check to your house of worship. Maybe you need to make a donation of new clothes, supplies, or toys to a family who is in need. Maybe God’s been calling you to do something amazing for him. Maybe God’s calling you to do something that your family, or friends, may consider a “waste,” but you know it’s the right thing to do and the right time to do it. Make this a wondrous day by giving your best gift to Jesus, now.

©2014 Arron Chambers

I’m preparing a message for the near future on depression because, it seems, I’m encountering it with people in the church, in relationships, movies, books, and in my own life more often than ever.

In light of that, I was blessed by a recent post by my friend, Ron Klave on his blog Bible Resolute.

Ron is the author of “Liar! Liar! Lies Told by Imperfect People, Used by a Perfect God” (CrossLink Publishing). He is an Air Force veteran, a former Police Officer and Private Investigator and works full-time for Select Energy Services. Ron has served as ministry leader, speaker and Bible teacher for churches in Iowa and Colorado.

Here’s an excerpt from his blog:

Below are several Scripture verses that may help you during your time of depression and anxiety.
–Read them, aloud if you can.
–Pray through them, aloud if you can.
–Meditate on them throughout the day.

You don’t have to go through them all at once, so just pick a few at a time each day…You are loved, valuable and precious in the sight of God. You are worth His sacrifice upon the cross and you are worth every drop of His blood that was shed for you. You are not alone. Accept His precious gift of grace.

He then shares over 40 Scriptures that speak to the issues of depression and anxiety. I found these very helpful and a great introduction into what I’ll be sharing in the coming weeks.

Click Here to Read Those Scriptures on Bible Resolute

 

devoted cover

My book Devoted was released by Navpress and Tyndale Publishing House in September and it’s been exciting to see God already using this simple book to begin to raise up a generation of Christians who love Jesus more. Stories are coming in from around the country from Devotees who are falling more in love with Jesus.

I love this note I got from a girl named Amber:

“I have to say I am more in love now with Jesus than I have ever been. My heart is more full if joy than ever, and I’m so excited to continue to grow! :)” –Amber

And this note I received from Dave Stone, Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky:

“Arron Chambers has done it again.  His writings always teach me truth, hold my attention and challenge me to become more intentional about my relationship with Jesus Christ.    Arron Chambers loves Jesus and Arron helps me to know and love Jesus more.” –Dave Stone, pastor, Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, KY

And this note from Dr. Leonard Sweet:

“In a world of 1-calorie Christianity and diet discipleship, Arron Chambers issues a clarion call for ‘devotees,’ disciples utterly devoted to Jesus. Without this dazzling gem of a book, I never would have properly understood my vocation as devotion.Leonard Sweet, best-selling author, professor (Drew University, George Fox University), and chief contributor to sermons.com

And this note from my 11-year-old daughter:

“Please buy my Dad’s book. I really want him to be able to pay for my college tuition in the future.”–Payton Chambers

Being a disciple of Jesus is an issue of devotion rather than duty. Before Peter began–arguably the most important act of discipleship—Jesus didn’t ask him, “How many chapters of the Torah did you read today?” or “Are you attending services at the synagogue each week?” or “Did you give your tithe today?” No, before Peter began his journey of discipleship, Jesus asked him, “Do you love Me?”

I think that we are asking new disciples of Christ the wrong questions and that it’s time to start truly following the example of Christ by asking of disciples what Christ asked of Peter: devotion, not duty. In Devoted, I present a new paradigm for discipleship: falling in love with Jesus. This approach to discipleship emphasizes passion for Jesus as opposed to a plan for following Jesus.

Which is why I’m so excited to be able to finally share the 40-Day Devoted Church-Wide Experience with you!

The 40-Day Devoted Church-Wide Experience is a FREE resource I’m providing on my website: www.DevotedDiscipleship.com.  On http://www.DevotedDiscipleship.com you’ll find sermons for each week of the 40-Day Church-Wide Experience, small group studies for each week, video introductions for each sermon, video introductions for each small group study, personal videos for each day of the 40-Day Devoted Experience in the back of my book, and much, much, more.

And it’s all FREE!

My book and this 40-Day Devoted Church-Wide Experience are designed to help new believers–and mature believers–fall more in love with Jesus by introducing them to what it means to be in a loving relationship with Jesus.

Devoted is also written to serve as a sort of theological primer—leading you through some key theological issues.

Introduction: Just Love . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . God

1 .  Waiting: True Love Waits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Meditation

2 .  Trusting: Of Dependency and Dynamite . . . . . . . . . . . The Holy Spirit

3 .  Seeing: Love at First Sight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jesus

4 .  Speaking: The Right to Not Remain Silent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gospel

5 .  Learning: “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste” . . . . . . . . . Doctrine

6 .  Sharing: On Pound-Cake-Filled Purses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Community

7 .  Remembering: The Descanso at Mile Marker 38 . . . . .Lord’s Supper

8 .  Praying: I Pledge Allegiance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Prayer

9 .  Believing: Leap! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faith

10 .  Sacrificing: “Or, Buy Myself a Car!” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Stewardship

11 .  Enjoying: Waist-Deep in Unexpected Joy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joy

12 .  Praising: 6 Nickels and 3 Dimes’ Worth of Worship . . . . . . Worship

13 .  Growing: The Magic Pill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Spiritual Growth

The FREE 40-Day Devoted Church-Wide Experience is an excellent resource for anyone interested in raising up a generation of believers who are more devoted to Jesus.

I hope you’ll help me spread the word about this free resource.

For more information, click here: The FREE 40-Day Devoted Church-Wide Experience

Dad’s Whistle

October 21, 2014 — 3 Comments

whistle

Recently I heard a Dad whistle for his kids and it brought back memories of my childhood and thoughts on God.

Good memories.

Now, I know that whistling for your kids may not be done very often these days but for my Dad–who grew up on a farm–it was an effective way of “communication.”

My Dad used his whistle to connect with us and communicate with us. If he wanted us he would whistle and we’d come running. Often, I would run up to him, out of breath, only to find out he hadn’t whistled, which he found to be quite endearing.

As I reflect, there were several significant things about Dad’s whistle:

  1. Dad’s whistle was always loud and strong and always for an important reason.
  2. If we couldn’t hear Dad’s whistle we were too far from home.
  3. When we heard that whistle we better come home quickly.
  4. If we chose to ignore the signal there would be consequences to our actions.

God doesn’t want us to be devoured by sin, so He will “whistle” for us through His word, His Holy Spirit, other Saints, and a myriad of other ways.

As I reflect, there are several significant things about God’s “whistles”:

  1. God’s warnings are always loud and strong and always for an important reason.
  2. If we don’t sense God’s presence in our lives then maybe we’re too far from home.
  3. If we think God is calling then we better come home quickly.
  4. If we choose to ignore God’s warning there would be consequences to our actions.

And, if we run into His presence, out of breath, only to find out He hadn’t whistled, I bet He finds that to be quite endearing, too.

©2014 Arron Chambers

I recorded this video this morning as my tribute to my friend, Delmar Schroeder on the day of his funeral.

preorder-banner-3

In a little over a week (9/1/14) my latest book Devoted will be available for purchase at your favorite online retailer and in bookstores all over the country. I believe in Devoted and I want it to be a Best-Seller, so I need your help.

Why do I want it to be a Best-Seller? Good question! I wrote this book to raise up a generation of Christians who view discipleship as a relationship to be experienced as opposed to a plan to be followed…and the best way for that to happen is for a bunch of Christians to read it. Understand? :)

I can’t wait for you to read this book.

What would happen if we just fell more in love with Jesus?

Before Peter began the most important act of his life—discipleship—Jesus didn’t ask him, “How many chapters of the Torah did you read today?” or “Are you attending services at the synagogue each week?” or “Did you give your tithe today?” No, before Peter began his journey of discipleship, Jesus asked him, “Do you love Me?” Arron thinks that we are asking new disciples of Christ the wrong questions and that it’s time to start truly following the example of Christ by asking of disciples what Christ asked of Peter: devotion, not duty.

In Devoted, I present a new paradigm for discipleship: falling in love with Jesus. This approach to discipleship emphasizes passion for Jesus as opposed to a plan for following Jesus.

On the Devoted book website you can watch a short video that explains Devoted discipleship a little more. Devoted Discipleship

Devoted has received some fantastic endorsements from some well-known and respected Christian leaders. Here are a few:

What I love most about Arron Chambers is his raw transparency and honesty about what it means to follow Jesus. That’s why Devoted isn’t a step-by-step plan to discipleship, but a devotee’s journal of the journey to loving Jesus. Devoted is a great starting place for any new (or growing) Jesus follower.–Geoff Surratt, Pastor, author of Ten Stupid Things that Keep Churches from Growing

Arron Chambers has done it again.  His writings always teach me truth, hold my attention and challenge me to become more intentional about my relationship with Jesus Christ.    Arron Chambers loves Jesus and Arron helps me to know and love Jesus more.–Dave Stone, pastor, Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, KY

What a romp! I have rarely enjoyed reading a book as much as I did this one. It was filled with great stories, joyous delight and powerful meaning. Mary Poppins was right, A little bit of sugar does make the medicine go down. And what is that medicine? Become a fully devoted follower of Jesus. –Bill Hull , Author of The Disciple Making Pastor, The Disciple Making Church, Christlike and the Complete Book of Discipleship.

The mantra of the Christian life is often articulated more like, ‘Do More, Be Better, Work Harder’ than it is, ‘Be Still, Listen, and Follow.’ In a world where the faith Jesus invites us into is often twisted into a works- and guilt-driven religion, Devoted guides us back toward finding rest in the ways of Jesus.–Chuck Bomar, pastor of Colossae Church in Portland, OR, and author of Losing Your Religion and Better Off Without Jesus

Arron’s engaging, easy-going style and biblical viewpoint in Devoted show me that loving Jesus is not about checking off a religious to-do list. It begins with exploring the depth of His love for me. Devoted is a practical, down-to-earth unveiling of the beauty and simplicity of the Gospel.—Ron Block, banjoist/guitarist/songwriter/vocalist with Alison Krauss and Union Station

In a world of 1-calorie Christianity and diet discipleship, Arron Chambers issues a clarion call for “devotees,” disciples utterly devoted to Jesus. Without this dazzling gem of a book, I never would have properly understood my vocation as devotion.–Leonard Sweet, best-selling author, professor (Drew University, George Fox University), and chief contributor to sermons.com

Devoted by Arron Chambers: This is one of those reads that I am so thankful for. In July my friend Arron Chambers handed me the first pre-release copy of this book and asked if I would give it a read. I could not wait to dive into this. The major premise of this book is that we as Christ followers are called to be radically devoted to Jesus. This is a book that every church leader should put into the hands of every new Christ follower. This is a book that reminds us that our call is to be FULLY DEVOTED FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST! Devoted comes out on September 1st and I recommend that each of you pick it up and radically change your life.–Trevor DeVage—Lead Pastor Mason Christian Church

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What will happen in your life if you fall more in love with Jesus?

What will happen in your church if everyone in your church fell more in love with Jesus?

What will happen if we raise up a generation of Devotees who love Jesus more?

I can’t wait to find out!

Will you join me in getting Devoted to as many people as possible? If so, here’s what I need for you to do:

1) Pre-order copies of Devoted for yourself and for your church from your favorite online retailer and Christian bookstore. I put a link on my pre-order page for Amazon, but it actually helps me most if you don’t pre-order books from Amazon. I’ll explain that a little more in #7 below. Pre-order Devoted Here 

For a book to gain traction in the marketplace it’s important for it to sell well in the first few weeks–especially the 1st week!

2) Contact your local Christian bookstore and ask them to carry Devoted in their store.

3) As soon as you buy or download your copy of Devoted during the week of 9/1-9/8, I need you to write a short review on Amazon or another e-tailer site. 

Your help with this is so appreciated because Amazon has certain algorithms that kick in after a book gets more than 25 reviews. I need Devoted to get as many reviews as possible in the first month.

4) Help spread the word about Devoted on your blog, Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest…or on any of your existing platforms, especially during the week of September 1st.

5) I need your ideas! Share ideas and brainstorm additional ways we might further expose the message to an even greater audience. You can send your ideas to arron@arronchambers.com.

6) Join my launch team! I’m looking for 25 people who will help me launch Devoted over the next 30 days. You can apply (Just tell me why you should be on the team) by emailing me at arron@arronchambers.com.  In return for your assistance you’ll receive the following perks:

-A free personalized copy of Eats with Sinners and Remember Who You Are

-Access to me—and the other team members—via a private Facebook group.

-A free half-hour teleseminar with me during launch week.

-I will publicly thank you on my blog.

-And, anything else I think of in the next few weeks to thank you for your help in making Devoted a best-seller!

7) You can help make Devoted a Best-Seller by not just Pre-Ordering it from your favorite online retailer and bookstore, but by also purchasing it during the week of 9/1-9/8 (i.e. “Launch Week”).

This is a strategy I learned from Christian Best-Selling author, Michael Hyatt. The reason is that I want to register as many sales as possible during this period of time in an attempt to get the book on the New York Times best sellers list.

You are the key. And I need your help.

The bestseller lists measure sales for a seven-day period. The book that sells the most through the channels and stores they poll, takes the number one slot. The book that sells the second most, takes the second slot, and so on. Each week, the list resets, starting from zero.

What this means is that selling ten thousand copies in one week is very different than selling the same amount over two weeks. Assuming you sell five thousand copies in each of the first two weeks, you have essentially cut your chances of hitting the bestseller list in half.

Pre-ordering on Amazon doesn’t help me that much because Amazon only releases the books when they have them to ship, which may or may not be launch week and I need to sell as many books as possible in the first week (9/1-9/8).

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Also…We’re also producing a 5-Week Church-wide event to go along with the Devoted 40-Day Experience in the back of the book. This 5-Week Church-Wide event will include sermons, small group study, videos, and other resources your church can use to maximize the impact of Devoted. And…wait for it…wait for it…it will all be available for download on 10/1 from http://www.devotedbook.com for FREE!