Interview: Andy Le Peau on Being a Longtime Editor of InterVarsity Press

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Writing is not easy. It is hard work even for a book blogger like me. I don’t have to list it down here all the things a blogger do for just one article. Good thing there lots of resources out there help writer’s like. Write Better by Andrew Le Peau is a solid one for bloggers and authors. So this blog reached out to Andy to tell us about being an editor, working for IV Press and his new book, Write Better.

Hi Andy!  Please tell us what is an editor and the work he does?

In book publishing, there are typically three kinds of editors. Acquisition editors are responsible to sign contracts between authors and the publishing house. They will meet with authors and agents, review proposals, read manuscripts, and sample chapters, all with the purpose of finding the best books that fit their program best.

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Why I’m Into Journaling

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From the beginning of  year, I carved a habit that I think will not just benefit me as a blogger but also as a Christian. I have been putting this off forever and now I’m getting the hang of it. Sure, I do get a Starbucks planner yearly to write down my sermons, jot down messages, blog post and to-do list. However now I can say that I benefit more of journal than merely doing those things.

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8 Favorite Quotes from The Book “Write Better” by Andrew T. Le Peau

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I’m half way in reading this great book from Andy Le Peau and I decided to share my first eight favorite quotes from the book (as of now there are many quotes I love). I’ll have part 2 of my favorite quotes once I finish reading this book. Also please watch out for this blog for the interview of Andy. What’s the interview about? Well of course about his book, Write Better and the other one is something I’ll keep for now to give you some suspense. Just wait for the interview guys!

Anyways, here’s some quotes from book, Write Better published by Inter Varsity Press. If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at IVP.

“Essentially, creativity isn’t concocting something entirely unprecedented. Rather it is bringing together two things that have been around for a while but previously hadn’t been combined. Innovation almost always involves building on the past.”

“We all know titles are important for the success of a book. If we are
self-publishing or titling a blog post, readers will decide to keep going or not based on those few words. Titles can even be important in getting a project a second look from an editor or agent. They are the first audience we may try to capture. So we shouldn’t be satisfied with a placeholder title, the first thing that comes into our head, even when submitting a proposal. We beer to work at it.”

“Always carry a small notebook or a smart phone with a note-taking app so you can put things down right away. Ideas can come to mind at any time—while talking to someone, watching a movie, taking a walk. Write down anything that could be developed later—a character’s name or a piece of her backstory, an illustration for a point in an article, a news item, or a vivid descriptive phrase.”

“Rhetorically, word-for-word repetition is far more effective in speaking than writing. In speaking, repetition can drive home points and implant them firmly in our memories. Repetition in writing must be done carefully and subtly. Too much direct repetition in writing is usually boring, tedious, and boring.”

“Stories aren’t just window dressing. They are every bit as much part of your content as the information or advice you might include. They are bound to stick with us long after the information has been forgotten. In fact, stories can be better than mere data because they are richer, embracing more depth, detail, and dimensions than a statement can. A story can tell us more (and in many ways it tells us more accurately) than a series of propositional statements which inevitably must leave out much.”

“Simplicity extends beyond vocabulary to the overall ideas you want to communicate. If you can’t explain the main concept of your piece in thirty-seconds, you are probably in trouble. This means you may need to limit the range of topics covered or keep working till you can express your key thought in a sentence or two.”

“When thinking about our audience, we should try to be as specific as possible—age range, economic status, religious background, ethnicity, geographic location, life experiences, and so forth. In fact, I encourage writers to pick out one person they know that they would love to have read their work. Then write for that one person.”

“The lesson for nonfiction authors. While opening with a strong, compelling story is always a good option, be sure the story is consistent with your main point as well as your target audience.”

Living the Extraordinary Christian Life Part 5

Ecclesiastes 1:9-11 ESV What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, “See, this is new”? It has been already in the ages before us. There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be among those who come after.
We are all curious about our future. That’s why we consult fortune tellers, read horoscope and buy good luck charms. We save money and invest for a brighter future. However, there is a much greater thing to look forward to. A life that God has set before us that is more secure.
Life Near to God: Past, Present and Future
Future: Romans 8: 18-19, Eph. 2:7 and 1 Cor. 15: 55-57
Romans 8:18-19 ESV For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
There are things that are in store for us that will eclipse the pain we experience here on earth. Whatever we are going through, persecution or injustice, let this promise of God sooth our wounded soul .
Ephesians 2:7 ESV so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
If we have lived by the sufficiency of God’s grace through hardships, pain and lost considering its enough for us, then there is more in store for us of this grace in the future. If however the overflowing of blessing we achieve in our joyous moments feels like God flooded us and sank us so deep, that verse in Ephesians lets us there is more. The “immeasurable riches of his grace” is waiting for us. That’s how good God is to us.
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 ESV “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
In our very last breath we are victorious. We may have brought victory for ourselves, our school, family and workplace that we can be proud of. We can fill this world with our trophies of success. But that doesn’t compare to the victory beyond here on earth. We didn’t break a sweat in achieving this but rather Christ gave His blood. In death we will leave all of what we have on earth. But praise God as we go to eternity we are victorious. Truly the future is bright for us Christians.
(To be concluded next week…)

Book Review: Get A Life…Online by Mighty Rasing

Fresh from #SuperEpic” Mighty Rasing delivers another book about a subject he really really knows. Social media is going leaps and bounds. Then it got out of control (sort of). And what better way to sort it all out by reading “Get A Life…Online”.
This book packs lots of meat to enhance you digital life. It has everything for the novice to the hardcore netizen. Mighty not only wrote a book that is readable because its Taglish but grasp the Pinoy context of being online. He knows the Pinoy culture, ethics and behavior that affect how we use social media. He tackled topics like useful apps, how share your talent online, how to use social media for a good cause. The serious issue of privacy and cyber bullying were discussed. All of these topics and much more for a 75 pesos book!
I enjoyed reading because knows well the online culture of Pinoys or making much of social media but also he shared his personal experiences of being a netizen. For someone who’s been there as one of the popular new media practitioner, stories of failures and success is inspiring to people who wants their voice be heard.
This great book helps us understand and engage the online (and also offline) life for every Filipino. If you love “#SuperEpic” then you’ll love this one too. Embrace the digital explosion Pinoy style with “Get A Life…Online”.

The Quotable Round Up #3

It’s another Tuesday and time for The Quotable Round Up. We serve the best and awesome quotes from your favorite authors. This week lets have some from John MacArthur and J. A. Medders. If in anyway this post encourage you, feel free to share this post on Facebook, Twitter or on any social media accounts. That way Delighting Grace will be encourage too and post more of these quotes.

“The central function of the church on earth is to reach the lost.”
–John MacArthur Jr.

“Prayer focuses on God as the One who supplies. It acknowledges that He is the source of all our physical needs, and it teaches us to live one day at a time in the confidence that He will meet those needs.”
–John MacArthur Jr.

“If you want to have that passion in your prayers, you need to realize that the real benefit of prayer is not the changes God may make in your circumstances but the changes He will make in you and in your perception of them.”
–John MacArthur, Jr.

“The cross is the pulpit sermon of God’s matchless love for you.”
–J. A. Medders

“The gospel stands as God’s bouquet of love for you.”
J.A. Medders

“As the blood of Jesus flowed down the cross, it washed away all of our sin stains. Now we are new people in Jesus.”
–J. A. Medders

“To be devoted to prayer is to earnestly, courageously, and persistently bring everything, especially the needs of others, before God.”
–John F. MacArthur Jr.

Study The Book: Delighting Grace Interviews Jacob D. Gerber of 19Baskets

Recently read Jacob D. Gerber’s “5 of the Best Free Bible Study Tools” which is very helpful. His websites http://www.freedailybiblestudy.com articles and podcast are superb. I got the chance to meet him over Tweeter and asked a few questions about Bible Study.

Delighting Grace: What is a Bible Study and how important is it to a Christian?

Jacob D. Gerber: At its most basic, a Bible study is when we open up God’s word in the Bible to read it, ask questions about what we are reading, seek out what God is telling us in his word, and then respond to what God has spoken through prayer, faith, and obedience. 

Since Christianity is first of all a relationship with God through Christ, then studying God’s word is of primary importance. Put simply, we cannot know God unless we listen to him speaking. Just like I cannot have a relationship with my wife (or, at least, not a good one!) unless I talk with her—both listening to her and speaking to her—so also we cannot have a good relationship with God unless we listen to him and respond to him.

Delighting Grace: How do you conduct a Bible Study?

Jacob D. Gerber: A Bible study can happen with an individual, but it’s a very beneficial thing to study God’s word with other people in a group. That way, we can help each other to better understand what we are reading, and we can also help encourage each other to apply what we are learning to our lives as we seek to follow Jesus as his disciples.

To conduct a group Bible study, then, here are a couple of quick tips. 

First, make sure that at least one person prepares to lead the discussion. It’s much better if everyone can prepare, but it’s hard to study the Bible deeply if everyone is reading that passage cold for the first time when you meet together.

Second, work hard to get to what God is actually saying in his word rather than on your own thoughts and feelings. This can be difficult, but it’s important to keep in mind that God has actually spoken, and that we are more interested in what he has to say than what we have to say.

Third, don’t forget to pray, and especially to pray that God himself would guide you into truth by his Holy Spirit. Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to lead us into the truth and to bear witness about Jesus (John 15:26–27, 16:13; 1 John 2:20, 5:6–12), so ask God to be faithful to keep that promise as you study his word—he loves to keep his promises!

Delighting Grace: If you’re conducting one for unbelievers, how do you place the gospel in every Bible study you do for them?

Jacob D. Gerber: I think that the two most important aspects of doing a Bible study with unbelievers is (1) to make sure that you explain difficult concepts as you go, and (2) to keep Jesus Christ as the center of your conversation. And frankly, I think that these two factors are important even when your Bible study is filled with believers!

First, always make sure that you aren’t going too fast or using jargon words in your Bible study. I once did a Bible study with an unbeliever who stopped me to ask what all the numbers on the page of the Bible he was using meant! I hadn’t even considered that someone might not understand chapter and verse numbers, but it was a good reminder not to take anything for granted.

Second, keep in mind that the Bible isn’t merely a collection of stories to entertain us or rules to legislate us but that it’s the unfolding revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Everything in the Bible points to him in one way or another, so if you get through a Bible study and never talk about Jesus Christ and him crucified, then you’ve missed the point! Again, pray that God would illuminate the gospel of Jesus Christ as you study his word.

Delighting Grace: What should the participants expect in a Bible study?

Jacob D. Gerber: Participants should expect to study the Bible seriously. That means that sometimes ideas may get challenged (although we should always challenge ideas with kindness, love and zeal for the truth!), and that we may not have time to talk about every bunny trail, distracting idea that pops up. Instead, we want to see Jesus as we open God’s word together.

Delighting Grace:How do we prepare for Bible study?

Jacob D. Gerber:Ideally, participants would prepare for Bible study by reading the passage ahead of time, and especially by praying. I confess that I always have to remind myself to stop and pray because there is a part of me that really believes that I’m smart enough and spiritually sensitive enough to read the Bible on my own. 

God teaches in his word, though, that only the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ as we read God’s word (2 Cor. 3:7–4:6), so we need to pray that God will do just that!

Delighting Grace: For you what book or verse in the Bible should we study first in a Bible study?

Jacob D. Gerber: This really depends on the needs and maturity of the group, but it’s great to start with Jesus. Maybe begin with the Gospel of Mark, and then the Gospel of John. Then, I also think that 1 John is a fantastic book to study to learn more about what it means to follow Jesus as a disciple (I’ll say more about that in question #9).

If you want to start at the beginning of the Bible and work your way through, you may enjoy the daily Bible study meditations I write. You can subscribe for free at http://freedailybiblestudy.com/

Delighting Grace: How does a Bible study differ from a worship service or Sunday school class?

Jacob D. Gerber: A Bible study and a Sunday School class are pretty similar—both of those events involve studying God’s word in a group to learn more about Jesus.

A worship service is different, though, in that God meets with his people in more ways than through simply the reading of his word and prayer. In a worship service, God’s people still read his word and pray, but we also worship God through giving, through hearing God’s word preached, through the sacraments (baptism and the Lord’s Supper), and through singing. A worship service is a dialogue where God speaks and then we respond in more ways than in a Bible study.

Delighting Grace: What is 19Baskets and how do we benefit from it?

Jacob D. Gerber: 19Baskets is my publishing company, and the name derives from the leftovers of the two feedings that Jesus gave: when Jesus fed the 5000 (Matt. 14:13–21), his disciples gathered up 12 baskets of leftovers, and when Jesus fed the 4000, his disciples gathered up 7 baskets of leftovers (Matt. 15:32–39). The theme verse of 19Baskets is John 6:12: “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.”

Accordingly, the goal of 19Baskets is to help pastors and Bible teachers to gather up the fragments of their teaching ministries into a more permanent, written form. So, in my case, the book I wrote about discipleship according to 1, 2, and 3 John was a gathering up of the fragments of a sermon series I had preached.

My hope is that 19Baskets can help ordinary pastors to write solid, valuable books for the benefit of their congregations and beyond for years to come, rather than allowing their sermons to be lost in time.

Delighting Grace: Can please tell about your book and invite our readers to check it out?

Jacob D. Gerber: Absolutely! My book, That You May Know: A Primer on Christian Discipleship is a close, careful study of 1, 2, and 3 John. It’s written to serve as a helpful devotional commentary for an individual’s study of God’s word or for a small group of people. In it, I’ve tried to avoid being so topical as to neglect the text of Scripture itself, and I’ve also tried to avoid getting mired in technical details that only a handful of Bible scholars would find interesting.

I want it to be helpful and beneficial for the average Christian who wants to know what God’s word says about following Jesus.

You can download the first two chapters of the book as a sample here:

http://freedailybiblestudy.com/sample-that-you-may-know

And you can get the book on Amazon here:

http://www.amazon.com/That-You-May-Know-Discipleship/dp/0692292632/

May God bless you richly in Christ through the ministry of the Holy Spirit as you study his word!

Delighting Grace: Thank you pastor. God bless you!

(Jacob D. Gerber is the Assistant Pastor of Preaching and Teaching at Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Lincoln, NE. He lives in Lincoln with his wife, Allison, his daughter, Evelyn, and his son, Zachariah. You can find him on Twitter @jacobdgerber)

Marianito “Nitoy” Gonzales is a 30 something blogger who wears many hats. But his passion is to preach the gospel and make God know to all men. He blogs at Delighting Grace (https://delightinggrace.wordpress.com). You can reach him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

A Seasoned Servant of God: Delighting Grace Interviews Bro. Simeon Susi Jr.

Previously we featured a book review and free download of an out of print book titled “Can We Find God?” by Simeon Susi Jr. Today we will get to know more of him, his calling and advice for future servants of Christ.

Delighting Grace: Can you tell us how you got saved and called in the full-time ministry as a missionary servant of Christ and preacher of  the  Word ?

Bro. Simeon Susi: I got saved in 1971, when I yielded my life to Christ and accepted Him as my personal Lord and Saviour. He worked in me for quite a long time convicting me of the truth that I am a slave to sin which is at the bottom of my troubles; preparing me- my heart and my mind to come to a saving knowledge of Christ. Since then I resolved to come to Him and now telling others the great things He had done for me.

Delighting Grace: What is your “Life Verse” in the Bible? Do you have a favorite theme or text that you always want to preach  ?

Bro. Simeon Susi: I was enlightened through the Book of Ephesians – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph 2:8-9). I always preach the Gospel in whatever topic I touch; and also the subject of “Growing in the knowledge of  Christ.”

Delighting Grace: 
Aside from the Bible and your book, what are the books, authors you’ve read that you may recommend for the Christians?

Bro. Simeon Susi: Here’s my list of recommended books for you edification:
1.) Books written by A.W.Tozer
2.) Basic Christianity and Your Mind Matters by J.R.W. Stott
3.) Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges
4.) Books written by William MacDonald
5.) Books written by the late H.A.Ironside
There are lots of good books, but let us be careful- do not substitute them to the Bible.

Delighting Grace: You wrote a book titled “Can We Find God?” can you tell us hows the experience writing one?

Bro. Simeon Susi: I’m not a professional writer, but as a servant of the Lord, being a preacher and a teacher of the Word. I finally thought that I have to put down in writing my convictions. I decided to share God and His Words through writing, and after much prayers, I wrote the book through the guidance of Him.

Delighting Grace: Can you differentiate preaching a sermon and writing it down for everyone to read?

Bro. Simeon Susi: By preaching you share the Word by the word of mouth. In writing, through pen; but the difference lies, in  writing, we present our ideas in a more polished language, and in detailed form; many times quoting authorities  to authenticate our subject which is seldom done in speaking.

Delighting Grace: Any advice to budding Christian writers who wants to get their works published?

Bro. Simeon Susi: Know your subject better- meaning, know the Bible better.  Pray for the Lord’s guidance as you write about Him. Be patient until the work is published: It is hard to published books when you don’t  compromise with the truth of God’s Word.

Delighting Grace: What do you think is the one lesson every person called to be a preacher of the Word should remember?

Bro. Simeon Susi: Study the Word. We are not called to preach what we know, but what God desires through His Word. God is not interested on the things we learn through secular education, or even in the seminaries if does not conform to the truths of the Word of God.

Delighting Grace: How can a servant of the Lord leave a lasting legacy?

Bro. Simeon SusiBy faithfulness  in  preaching the Word. This includes obedience. Holiness is a by product of obedience. This two important truths will reproduce Christ’s life in us.

Delighting Grace: How do we replenish our passion to go further for God?

 Bro. Simeon Susi: As we daily submit our life to Christ, meditates on His Person, “…we are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory…” ( II Cor.3:18). Let us always “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” ( II Tim.2:1)

Delighting Grace: Thank you brother Simeon M. Susi Jr., if ever they want to contact you how can we connect? You do have speaking engagement?

Bro. Simeon Susi: I have some speaking engagement in churches where the Lord blessed me to plant some in Pampanga and Bataan.  My Contact no: 0920-5448-246 or you may email brother Arlan : arlan2nd@gmail.com. Thank you Delighting Grace, I really appreciate your book review on my book “Can We Find God” and for this brief but interesting interview, Thank you! God bless you!

Delighting Grace: Youre welcome. By the way, if you havent read the book review and free download of the book “Can You Find God?”, check the review below with the download link:

Its a privilege for me to be able to receive books for the book review that this blog is giving out. But this one is a stand out because this book is out of print.

In “Can We Find  God?” Pastor Susi opens the book with a call for Christians get real. He states that the stumblingblock of people coming to God is our slackness of in getting to know Him and how we handle this knowledge. Susi clears things out and acknowledge that we can only know God when He reveals Himself first to us. Then through this short book, he takes us to chapters in getting to know Him.

As I read the book, it draws you in despite of the seriousness of the message it tackles. It will not turn you off but it will convict you. As the book unfolds, Pastor Susi unpacks how God graciously reveals Himself. He also has injects some doctrine and apologetics with a “you never saw it coming” style. i think only a seasoned pastor can hack that style. I would like to point out, some of the chapters are too short. I think Pstr. Susi should expound it more or add more chapters. Their are lots more to be tackled but still this book is a good read.

This book is a quick, one sitting read but the depths of the message of this book amazes me. This kind of message is desperately needed in our churches. In todays Pinoy Christian books scene, this type of book may be forgotten or wont make it to the bestseller list. It wont even sell. But to those who wants to get serious with being a Christian and make an impact, reading this book will take you there. Let us all pray for this book that it may make a comeback to every Christian bookstores. But for now you can download this out of print book for free in PDF format. This is a Delighting Grace exclusive and its for a limited time only!

Click this link to get the free book:http://www.scribd.com/doc/234551016/Can-We-Find-God-S-M-Susi-Jr

Book Review+Free Book Download: Can We Find God? by Simeon M. Susi Jr.

Its a privilege for me to be able to receive books for the book review that this blog is giving out. But this one is a stand out because this book is out of print.

In “Can We Find  God?” Pastor Susi opens the book with a call for Christians get real. He states that the stumblingblock of people coming to God is our slackness of in getting to know Him and how we handle this knowledge. Susi clears things out and acknowledge that we can only know God when He reveals Himself first to us. Then through this short book, he takes us to chapters in getting to know Him.

As I read the book, it draws you in despite of the seriousness of the message it tackles. It will not turn you off but it will convict you. As the book unfolds, Pastor Susi unpacks how God graciously reveals Himself. He also has injects some doctrine and apologetics with a “you never saw it coming” style. i think only a seasoned pastor can hack that style. I would like to point out, some of the chapters are too short. I think Pstr. Susi should expound it more or add more chapters. Their are lots more to be tackled but still this book is a good read.

This book is a quick, one sitting read but the depths of the message of this book amazes me. This kind of message is desperately needed in our churches. In todays Pinoy Christian books scene, this type of book may be forgotten or wont make it to the bestseller list. It wont even sell. But to those who wants to get serious with being a Christian and make an impact, reading this book will take you there. Let us all pray for this book that it may make a comeback to every Christian bookstores. But for now you can download this out of print book for free in PDF format. This is a Delighting Grace exclusive and its for a limited time only!

Click this link to get the free book:http://www.scribd.com/doc/234551016/Can-We-Find-God-S-M-Susi-Jr

Recap “15 Days/15 Books” Part 2

imageBefore I round up the 5 children’s book reviews in this book campaign, I would like to say something to our online friends. First, a thank you for reading the reviews and following me the blog. May you be bless by the review and the gospel message that goes along with it. Second, an apology if I’m posting too much in your little space over Facebook and making it look like spam post. Please bear another 5 days (?) and this is all over. Please pray that this blog will make an impact to people specially the gospel.

So before I tell you a good news, lets take another look at the 2nd batch of book reviews:

The White Shoes by Grace D. Chong and Sergio Bumatay III
http://tinyurl.com/m2n9q3t

Boom Bang Clang by Maloi Malibiran-Salumbides and Robert Magnuson
http://tinyurl.com/myndoxv

What’s in Jochebed’s Basket? by Beng Alba and Ingrid Camille G. Tan
http://tinyurl.com/kfeybot

Bakit Hindi Naka-lipistik si Nanay? by Grace D. Chong and Kora Dandan-Albano
http://tinyurl.com/lqtzrbe

So You Want to be a Scientist? by Elizabeth Ong and Harvey Ong
http://tinyurl.com/p6z8b3b

As I have said I have a good news. Creation Ministries International has a special concern over the Philippines in terms of educating us with creation science. They will be opening a Philippine based organization called Philippine Creation Network (PCN). They will be providing resources either free or low cost to reach out Pinoys. Not only that they will be speakers that will be send to hold seminars. Still in the works though but please include them in your prayers. Also I would like to contribute in PCN by offering my blogging skill. If God willing, this organization will help spread the creation science and the gospel. You can check CMI website, http://www.creation.com for more info. Till next post guys!