7 Stories: How to Study & Teach the Nonviolent Bible

Review of Anthony W. Bartlett’s book, “Seven Stories: How to Study and Teach the Nonviolent Bible. (Free preview at end of review.)

I’m extremely thankful for this resource. It deals with one of the most important ideas working within human consciousness that leads to a deeper & richer understanding of God’s truest nature. It will help you see in great detail, one of Jesus’ main missions to heal a deep human issue that has affected every culture. It will also help you understand various Scripture passages from a viewpoint that will truly bring the text to bear on the way life actually is, which is a progressive unfolding of a Larger Story, which you are guided to see within the Bible itself.

This truth is so practical that it often gets missed in understanding the Larger Story God is working within us. And this is what makes this book so valuable. It walks you through various storylines that lead to a bigger conclusion that will transform your world, while you then carry the seed that can transform the entire world, just as Jesus intended.

One of my favorite things this book does is it helps you understand sub-story’s in Scripture that have often been idolized as the whole, which causes you to miss where the Larger Story is going. One example from the book is of the sacred Temple that was a center for religious life at the time of Jesus. People could not let go of that sub-story because they thought the Temple was immovable to God and literally defended it to death. Without moving on from that sub-story they could not believe God was doing something new. This prevented them from understanding the much Larger Story Jesus was revealing.

It also makes sense why Jesus had to fulfill inferior storylines, so we could become aware of a much better story in our understanding God’s truest nature. A nature that is stunningly revealed as non-violent in Jesus. No wonder a later Apostle would say the Way of Jesus is so foolish to the violent world.

The progressive understanding of Spirit within Scripture and in real time is so important! We must be patient enough with the sub-story’s we find ourselves in, so we can move into the Larger Reality of who God actually is, which confirms who we were designed to be. Otherwise, we are left defending things as true that are only shells until we are ready to move onto the next phase of the story. It’s why we no longer sacrifice animals at church and would be thought as weird if we were still acting out that inferior storyline today.

What also makes this book so valuable is the format that fits perfectly for group study. With reflection questions and invitations to dive deeper, this can be a transformational tool that leads you beyond the information. Overall, this is a great resource that will challenge, inspire, and equip you to experience God in a way that can faithfully lead our world to fulfill Scriptures best promises. It provides a much healthier context for reading the Scripture with an inspired view of what is actually happening in the text and in reality. These tools allow Spirit to work within both our best, and our most inferior storylines we tell ourselves about God, others, and the world.

May this book lead you to understand God is much better than you think and much better than even the Bible sometimes thinks. May you see how good God is in Jesus and why Jesus is perfect theology. Enjoy and follow the much Larger Story of a God who is far better than you often find promoted within this violent world. And may you be a blessed peacemaker that helps nations no longer train for war. (Isaiah 2:4, Matthew 5:9)


I received this book from SpeakEasy in exchange for my honest review.  You can preview or order the book by clicking on cover below.



Tantric Jesus: The Erotic Heart of Early Christianity Review

Book Review for “Tantric Christianity: The Erotic Heart of Early Christianity by James Hughes Reho. (See cover and read preview at end)

When this book was brought to my attention I was thrown off by the title. What settled my apprehension was the description on the back of the book because my mind had little connection to understand how Christianity could be “erotic.” What peeked my interest was the tantric idea of the body as a temple, as I have been looking to learn more about this beyond unhealthy Gnostic ideas that are laced throughout Western Christianity. These ideas separate us from the body and each other in far too many ways. So it was fitting I read this book at a time where I felt God asking me to learn “body prayers.”

And yeah, I’m still learning.

I do not know the author of this book and cannot endorse him as person because I do not know what he is like in every day practice. A subject like this raises a lot of questions in our sexualized culture and so I am basing this review on the book itself, as I should. I found the book to be challenging in both positive and negative ways, while also having many excellent insights that left me thankful that I moved beyond a bias to ignore a subject like this. I also found the author expressing a lot of wisdom when talking about “erotic energy” as something that is sacred and not to be mishandled, or used in a spirit of lust. I see this beautifully summed up on the back of the cover when the author gives the definition of Tantra as

“Tantra is a holistic transformative path of life, love, and being- grounded in practice.”

And that is what this book entails, as it goes far beyond sexuality to help us understand a more holistic approach to all of life. I love the authors’ words from the book that highlight this further.

“Our worship influences who we are and what we believe, as it should: any tantric practitioner knows that we are woven into divinity not solely or even primarily through an intellectual process but through a holistic constellation involving engagement with ritual, breath, body, and the many layers of our consciousness. Deep and healthful worship involves this.”

So first let me start with the positive and negative challenges mixed together because that is how they appeared to me. It was challenging for me to hear different names of deities from other religions because I have very little understanding of them. I often asked myself: “Are these legit deities or are they competing with the God I am familiar with (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)?” At times I wasn’t sure, and other times I was delighted to see how things fit together across traditions. As wise teachers famously say, “If it’s true then it’s true.” So for the less mature, you will need discernment as you read this, but for those seeing Spirit moving in all people and religions, you will be encouraged throughout.

With these challenges I am still learning through the tensions in the book and focusing only on that which resonates deep within. I’d encourage you to do the same.

The best part of the book is that I cannot deny the MANY insights that are presented throughout. There were great insights moving beyond the illusion of separation and dualistic thought. There was great insight from Scripture and context surrounding Jesus and the Apostle Paul. Insights you don’t often hear in the West, which is not familiar with the East from where Jesus lived. All this is helping me further wake up from the illusions within my own Western Christianity. (It’s not all bad, but we got some issues here.)

One of my favorite chapters was Chapter 3 on “The body as the Temple of God.” The author does a great job of reminding us why the body (Including the mind and heart) is so important as “the place where one most directly and fruitfully encounters the Divine.” I felt the author did an excellent job of giving context to the Apostle Paul’s teaching on the body or “flesh” from the Scriptures, which is often very confusing to most people.

Before I make this too long, I enjoyed the book overall. I appreciated the wealth of insight that I would not hear by ignoring this subject and felt some of the practices were very beneficial as well. I’m grateful the author reminded us that Tantric Spirituality does find roots in Jesus in many ways, and is a path that is to be treated with purity, wisdom and discipline.

Lastly, this book is a helpful tool for us in the Western Culture to learn from. Whether it is sexuality (often ignored or shamed in churches) or the beautiful practices from the lands Jesus came from that are foreign to us (literally and spiritually), James gives us useful things to consider that can deepen our faith and understanding. I think this book can be another step forward to bridge all that God is doing in every culture all over the world. May it instruct you in a more holistic faith for us to understand all that God has created us to be.


I received this book from SpeakEasy in exchange for my honest review.  You can preview or order the book by clicking on cover below.


Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb Review


Book Review of Keith Giles book: Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb.

I first wanted to read this book when I read this from the back cover:

You can’t convert a culture that has already converted you.”

This point is essential, especially for us in America who are currently in the midst of great political & religious tension.  Christians and Non-Christians are searching for clarity and Keith’s book can help, while also bringing a corresponding challenge.  Keith reveals that this is what the Kingdom of God naturally does.  It challenges our much of our faulty religious and cultural conditioning, while asking us to be transformed in order to embrace the dangerous freedom Jesus invites us to.

This book will be beneficial for the Non-Christians who have had some of the best critique for the Church in America.  It will also be beneficial for Christians who want to wrestle with what it means to be faithful to Jesus in a world where things are often done much differently than God intends, yet often in God’s name.  Others will certainly be upset with this material as it challenges deeply rooted assumptions.  These are all normal responses to the cognitive dissonance that is often experienced when people truly wrestle with this message, even by those who accept it.

There were some parts of the book that I disagreed with, as I am not completely against politics, which seems to come across in some of Keith’s points.  In the progressive unfolding of our humanity, the Spirit certainly works within politics, not because God wants to, but because God will always work with what we have, even if it is dysfunctional. They key point here is that God’s heart is always trying to work within our dysfunctional narratives in order to set us free from them, so we continue to learn how to love ALL of humanity as God does. This said, I certainly agree with Keith’s heart behind this message because it is on track for us to be most faithful to a better understanding of Scripture, and to God’s actual nature as perfectly revealed in Jesus.

Keith brings good clarity to all this in multiple different ways, both from history and the present.

Overall, this is an important book.  It helps bring context and clarity to God’s nature and ways that often defy the laws and agendas of politics and religion, while embracing humanity outside the walls of social class, politics, tribalism, violence, and status quo.  It helps us become untangled from the mess of compromise that gets defended in the name of God.  It helps us understand the foundation upon which the Kingdom of God and Unconditional Love actually advances in our world.  Be challenged and enjoy the process, as this book will show you at least one thing that needs to be untangled in your perspective of God.


I received this book from SpeakEasy in exchange for my honest review.  You can get the book by clicking through the link below the picture of the book cover above.



The Divine Dance Book Review


If there was ever a book that was necessary and critical for our time, this is one of them. The Divine Dance possesses the keys to experiencing God unlike any book I’ve ever read.  It is not a book you can breeze through, but is one that will continuously blow the fresh breath of the Spirit over your limited or even chaotic understanding of God.  Take your sweet time when you read it.

This book is not just for “spiritual” people who already search the depths of Reality, but it is also for the curious.  It is for those who may not know what to think in a world full of ideas about God that fail to measure up to the standards of our deepest heart desire to know who God actually is.  Or in the Trinitarian language you will discover in this book, to know God as “They” are.  This book will help clarify the misrepresentations of God that have plagued our imaginations and religions.  At times you will proclaim, “I always knew that was true!”, but for some reason you were afraid to say it.

It is deeply practical and relational.

Richard knows that the words he uses to communicate can only go so far and he makes that clear throughout the book.  Even so, there will be various times where the words will be brimming with an inspiration that invite those words to become flesh within you.  There will be bursts of clarity about the Reality of God, our world and ourselves.  At other times there will be things that lead you further on your journey by joyfully giving you more questions than answers.

It is truly a remarkable book that constantly invites you to experience what you are reading.

Personally I believe this book helps us deeply understand this Relationship of God that has been called the Trinity.  I believe it further points to the fact that we originated from a Heavenly Family and the more we understand & experience this Family, the more our world will benefit from the unconditional love we are intended to live in.  It will also bring healing to our orphaned understanding of God that is often blindly championed by the gatekeepers of religion.  It invites you to a better Way of seeing everything.

I have now read the book a second time in which things I did not understand at the first became clearer.  I believe it will take multiple readings for years to come to extract the wisdom layered throughout this book.  Take your time to practice and participate in what it invites you know.

In closing, what Richard and Mike have here is a destined classic.  It is a book that gives us a much clearer revelation of who God is and will assist us to further know the Trinity and our transformation, exactly as the title reads.  Simply put:  It will help us understand Reality as it is AND as it should be within the never ending dance of Unconditional Love.

And all we have to do is receive this Love that is freely given by the Trinity without anymore periods of stopping that flow

Much Love,


I received this book from SpeakEasy in exchange for my honest review and it did not dissapoint.

Official Website for Book:  http://thedivinedance.org

Amazon Book Link:  http://a.co/6Hoskyf

The Way Forward

Last night the United States elected a new president and you know this process has been filled with much emotion and discussion.  Today there is heartache, loss, pain, excitement, joy, fear of the future and every possible emotion you can think of from all sides of humanity.  But one thing is clear:

Regardless of what happens God is always trying to inspire humanity forward.  Of the increase of God’s government there is no end, even though it often looks quite different than the governments of the world.

It actually takes quite a bit of faith to believe this and not the faith you psyche yourself up for, but the kind that surrenders to Love in a world where there are many troubles.

As I was reading a spectacular new book by Richard Rohr with Mike Morrell today, I became extremely excited with God’s own excitement for America and the world.  I know this because the excitement was not manufactured from myself.  The book is called “The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation” and I sincerely believe it will bring much healing to you and the world.

I was convinced long before this book came out that understanding the Trinity (God as 3 Persons) is one of the greatest keys for our time and of course for all time.  This will become clearer as we move on and especially in regards to the mindsets that manifest around election season yet which are common in day-to-day thinking.  Here is some of what I read that is part of the encouraging word I want to share with you:

“We’re moving from a dualistic, or binary, map of reality, into a ternary map of reality-reality based on a pattern of three.

 I think every one of us has a certain resistance to a ternary map because our whole lives have been formed by binary oppositions.  We think that way. (Richard calls it the dualistic mind)  Most people fight back and forth between either/or binaries-just look at our political parties.  The one with the loudest voice appears to win, but then you always go away dissatisfied, feeling you have been cheated. And you have been.

 At the Center for Action and Contemplation, we try to practice what we call Third Way approaches to conflict, problem-solving, and creativity.  You almost have to let “the two” fail you. You almost have to die to them.   You almost have to be willing to be disappointed in both of them.

 But what most people do-I think to reassure their egos and their need to be right- is to take a stand mightily on one side and make a god out of their ideology, religion, or partial truth. But this comes at such a cost! It’s such a defeat for intelligence, for wisdom, for depth, for truth.

 Stridently taking sides in a binary system has nothing to do with truth.  The gospel itself is neither liberal nor conservative but severely critiques both sides of this false choice.  The true good news of Jesus will never fill stadiums, because dualistic masses can never collectively embrace an enlightened “Third Way,” which, contemplatively speaking, always feels like nothing, because in this position you are indeed like Jesus-you have “no place to lay your head.”” (See Luke 9:58)

 Although I hope collective masses can embrace the “Third Way”, I was extremely inspired by the Sprit to inspire you in what They are doing and have always been doing!  They are ALWAYS trying to help us rightly relate to Them as They are so we can be One with Them. (John 17:21)  This is the ultimate will of God.  But we can only see this by this “Third Way” Richard speaks of.  Happy are the eyes that see!

So here it goes.

People collectively really are beginning to move away from binary systems of thought that can’t rightly relate to God.  This has constantly been happening in small clusters that grow like leaven inside of bread.  This moving away from binary systems is a true maturing in what it means to have the Mind of Christ.  This mind is able to transcend the “us vs. them”-“either/or” thought patterns that dominate much religion & politics, and quite frankly many human beings.  This is the “Third Way” of seeing and is simply the realization of our participation in the divine nature of the Trinity.

Polls have verified that most Americans in the recent election voted for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, not because they wanted to, but because they felt they had to.  I think this was the case more than ever and is a clear dissatisfaction with the binary us vs. them thinking that is finally leading us towards an actual change in consciousness.  And it is clear, whether some admit it or not, that we actually have to do something with the current political system to add more ways of understanding reality that will better love and serve our world and not just those who are on “our” side.

Jesus clearly taught this Third Way of thinking when he subverted much of the consciousness of his day.  Israelites hated Samaritans, so Jesus teaches about the Good Samaritan.  People hated their enemies who were killing them, so Jesus teaches them to love their enemies.  Religious leaders worshipped their interpretation of the Bible, so Jesus teaches a different way of understanding that actually made them want to kill him.  Many wanted to make “Israel great again” by their fulfillment of prophecy involving a violent Messiah wiping out their enemies, but instead they got Jesus.

The dualistic mind cannot comprehend this way of seeing the world.

And all of this might even look like dualistic ideas from Jesus, but He was flowing from a place of Unconditional Love that doesn’t live from either/or thinking.  The Trinity is far more generous and loving than our either/or projections of God have become.  Trinity doesn’t feed off the knowledge of good evil.  As the Bread of Life, Jesus revealed this.

The Bread of Life gives Life to the ENTIRE world and is the light of ALL humanity.  (John 1:9)

Go ahead and try to comprehend that with a dualistic mind.

Rest assured the Trinitarian Way is still largely persecuted by binary systems of understanding, but it is slowly making ground.  Like Jesus who went to the edges and found His most faithful followers, the edges are gaining ground to have credible voices that speak to the unseen masses that are ready for change.  Many voices are arising to lead us this transition, and the coming age will reveal this was true.

Practically speaking, this Third Way of seeing allows us to better listen to people, especially those we disagree with.  It allows us to include far more than we reject.  To respond, rather than react.  It is the Way, the Truth and the Life that Loves the world without judging it.  (John 12:47)

It allows us to partake in the actual nature of the Trinity, which is the pattern and design of all creation.  

Some of this may not make sense to you and so here is where I highly recommend you get, “The Divine Dance” book.  You will probably enjoy reading it multiple times for years to come.  It can be a tool to assist us in the Reality of what God is doing to help us connect with Them and to Love the world like They do apart from the competitive thinking that causes so much damage.

As I was wondering whether to post this I came across an advertisement for a song on my Facebook feed.  The post highlighting the track had these as the first few sentences highlighted in blue,

America is experiencing the chasm of the heart.

The inability to see the others pain, dignity and humanity.

Binary either/or thinking furthers the divide.

Seeing this was a strong confirmation to share all this with you and plant a Seed that can truly transform the world.  Take your time and ask God to give you eyes to see.

It’s time the dividing walls further fall down as we work together to help each other see with new eyes.  Eyes that value everyone so we can err on the side of unconditional love and not on the side of either/or thinking that destroys people, especially those who we think are not like us.  The Trinity thinks everyone is in some capacity like Them because:

They created mankind in Their image. (Genesis 1:26)

We all would do well to connect with Them and Love like they do.


Here is the song I came across on my Facebook feed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9dBcE4A6l8&sns=fb

Please please get a copy of The Divine Dance: Check it out here: http://thedivinedance.org   Bono even likes it. 🙂

Dirty Glory: A Review of Pete Greig’s Latest Book

dirty-gloryIt was with great anticipation that I received Pete’s new book, which is said to be the sequel of a book that changed my life, “Red Moon Rising: How 24-7 Prayer Is Awakening a Generation.”  I was not disappointed as Pete recounts stories of the growing 24-7 prayer movement with further insight into the joys and complexities of this seemingly uncontrollable worldwide phenomenon.  Most people, religious or not, pray and want to know more about what prayer actually is.  This book and this movement continues to provide ways for us to learn what prayer might look like for you and me, along with inspiring stories of answered prayer.

One of my favorite things about this book is the authenticity with which Pete writes. He never comes across as one who knows it all, but he is humbly real with his own thoughts, concerns and fears surrounding this adventure of prayer and life with God.  This posture of vulnerability opens up so much wealth of insight for people who know little to nothing about prayer along with those of us who are continually learning more even though we have been a part of various movements with God for many years. This posture of authenticity makes it easy for ALL to learn from and appreciate.

I really enjoyed the stories of peoples adventures with prayer.  You simply start smiling as you read about the faithfulness of God to answer prayer as people venture out to take action, which proves powerful to transform people and culture.  This is so important.  It is not just about sitting in a room and praying, but it is moving on from that place to pursue what you think God has revealed and seeing how your prayers become enfleshed in you to transform the world around you.  It is getting your hands dirty in the world, hence the fitting title of this book.  Simply put: It is our words or prayers becoming flesh like Jesus.

Overall, I highly recommend this book.  It will inspire people to see that prayer is a beautiful thing that is far more practical and exciting than we sometimes think.  It will give clear steps through learned experience of ways to pray effectively and what core values can help you sustain a powerful life of prayer and action.  It even provides a study guide at the end of the book.

Get ready for some great insights and powerful stories that truly can lead you to go where your best prayers take you.

I received this book from Tyndale House in exchange for an open and honest review.

You can purchase the book by copying this link: https://amzn.com/1631466151

For more on the 24-7 prayer movement go here: https://www.24-7prayer.com

Butterfly Movement



Opinion makers of previous movements are threatened by anything that creates a disruption.  Control to them is more important than thinking.” – Randall Worley

How true the above is. Yet how can we help people to remain open to think through the ever expanding process of transformation and growth without shutting down the always advancing nature of the Spirit? How can opinion makers of previous movements become destiny makers of the new movements God always invites us to? I hope I can help build a bridge to these questions so that we can get used to the continual seasons of life that say:

The old has gone and the new has come.”

We are invited to be a part of God’s advancing nature “within” us that affects the world “outside” us. The more we grow to know God within the more we go without needing to live as know-it-alls who reject our previous stages of growth in an unhealthy way.  We can embrace the all-encompassing reality of God’s continual transformation with a peace that surpasses all of the previous stages understanding, while also appreciating them.

This peace is not based on our performance or man’s opinions, but on unconditional Love.  Only unconditional Love can train us to value the old and new properly.

Jesus said, Every scribe who has been trained for heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

This is what we need because only knowing the old will cause bacteria to infect the old without the new that is necessary to sustain the whole. Old manna gets moldy when you don’t rely on the new manna available today. Like living water that needs constant flow to thrive, life is sustained by growth & movement.  Yet even if we get too comfortable in our current understanding the current will still take us towards the waterfalls of change.

As you know some people would rather die than change, but everyone will eventually die and be confronted with it. This is why Jesus says it is best to willingly lose your life to find it instead of letting outside circumstances take your life from you. Your willingness to change and remain open is a factor that keeps the flow of Life constantly moving.

And this is why many people in old movements will naturally have to move on in order to sustain true life, while people who choose to stay and protect the old movements will eventually be a part of a dying system. The death process of movements can take hundreds of years, but a willful change can take about 3 days to start experiencing a Resurrection.  But always know this about God’s constant flow of Life:  It is always current and never old.  

God is Love, which means the current Reality is always now AND forever moving towards unconditional Love.  This naturally moves against the current of anything that hinders it.  Love is a never-ending relationship cycle where anything outside of the flow is always invited into it, even if it has to die to get us there.    

It is now my constant goal to help us keep our hearts wide open to the greater Reality that will always transcend previous understandings, while also including the previous understandings properly. To transcend but reject a previous movement or stage is still a subtle form of control.  We need to have a heart space open enough to not conform to the arrogance of thinking we are part of the only thing God is doing and be completely comfortable with knowing God is always much bigger than we can currently imagine.  

The metamorphosis process of a butterfly is a great picture here.

A butterfly doesn’t reject the darkness of the cocoon that prepared her for flight but she will leave that cocoon (movement) to transcend into a greater understanding of existence. When her cocoon opened the butterfly proclaimed:The old has gone and the new light has come”, even though the “new light” has always been there. The previous stage assisted the butterfly into a greater understanding of Reality.

But if a butterfly talks bad about others because they are still in cocoons she would not understand that she is rejecting the previous movement that helped her get her wings. We would call the butterfly ignorant even though she was clearly a part of a new movement of flight that had transcended the previous stage. Those in the previous movement might get upset if this butterfly is mean to them instead of her lovingly inviting them to the more. Maturing butterflies have value for the previous stages because they know that, while those stages are not as mature, they are a part of the journey to greater transformation.

On the other side, if the one in the cocoon stayed in the cocoon forever and proclaimed that this was all there is, we see a perfect example of fear & control. This is especially true when the one in the cocoon is threatened by butterflies talking from “outside” of its own safe environment telling her that there is more than she currently knows. The cocoon must then shout to all who will listen to not talk to or listen to the butterflies and to stand firm in the truth so they are not deceived into contemplating the butterflies (new movements) ideas. The butterflies caused a disruption in the camp because now questions are being asked and new possibilities are being entertained, which those who need control can’t allow. They have to get the troops together to fortify the cocoons so that they never open to the light of this new information.

The cocoon leader must control what people think in order to keep them safe from the butterflies.

Yet the Reality remains that there is always more. The transformation process takes a certain kind of trust in God & Mystery to not have to be certain you know it all and so that you don’t miss the new thing or that you don’t have bitterness towards the old.  Get this and you will no longer try to control what people think.  You will simply better learn to follow the flow of Unconditional Love that seeks to meet people wherever they are and allow people to learn in all the different ways the Spirit leads. Ways that are often like the wind, so you have no idea where they come from but the Spirit allows you to let go of the need to control Her creative ways.  

Ways that give birth to new things, cause old things to be born again and brings dead things to life. 

So let go. Surrender. Think freely. Be thankful. Embrace Change.  Follow the Spirit wherever the Spirit leads in all your transcending and including because…

There is always more and you will always be invited to go…

Deeper Still



“If nothing ever changed there would be no butterflies” -Unknown