Happy Birthday Joel Vestal! I’m so happy for him to have such a blessed in the basement time 🙂
There aren’t many chances that I’ve in being part of the process of printing a book and also to see how the final touch up looked like. Further more even before reading the book actually knowing the author in person.
This is a long awaited post … and I think it’s timely now since it’s Joel’s Birthday. Joel, here’s a picture of the baby who was born near the birth of your book 🙂
For those in are in Malaysia who want a copy of the book please email me (Joel was kind enough to leave a box of books for us … all the proceeds of the book will go to ServLife orphanages.
As you can see in the picture below, he was really excited like a father holding on to his new born baby! 🙂 I’m the Chinese looking “midwife” next to him equally proud of his efforts.
Anyway, here’ some paragraphs I picked out … to wet your appetite (there’s lot real life stories of “Indian Joel” as I call him cheekily one day). Joel mentioned that he had the North American audience in mind, BUt I told him what he shared in the book has relevance for us too in Asia:
“Augustine wrote that the older we grow in faith the less we like to be instructed — but we all need to be reminded. This book will take you on a journey across the globe and at the same time remind you of some important keys for your own spiritual journey here at home. Perhaps it will bring instruction for some as well. My hope is that it will leave you wanting more. You don’t have to buy a plane ticket or get your passport to travel on this journey with me (though perhaps you will want to after reading the book!).” (p.15)
“Clearly, the way we approach global ministry in North America needs to change… perhaps it is a paradox to say that we as westerners can make the most impact overseas by taking a back seat and working through local church communities that are indigenous to a particular region. After all, these people know their culture and language. they live in the same standard of living, and face the same daily struggles as the souls they are trying to reach.” (p. 26)
“… I believe that we, as the western church, do simply play a crucial role in world evangelization. And yet, the western church simply cannot accomplish the task on its own.” (p. 27)
“The purpose of the church is to both fill up and to pour out. It is the gathering of the people for worship, sacrament, teaching and community so they can be sent out to demonstrate and proclaim the love of God in their community and the entire world. Unfortunately, churches in the West are usually best known for the first aspect (bringing people in), but rarely for the second (sending disciples out).” (p. 33-34)
“The core issues of a healthy, vibrant church are not rooted in the organizational structure or style of music but in the character qualities of its people — qualities like humility, integrity, brokenness, holiness, love, authenticity and patience. So embrace the diversity of the body of Christ. Celebrate how Jesus is building His church today in so many different kinds of models and forms.” (p. 40)
“Mother Theresa taught me something very beautiful that day about prayer, and I will never forget it. There is a mystery and a deep beauty to the role of prayer in the Christian life. Prayer embraces both vertical and horizontal dimension of the Christian journey. The spiritual nurturing and growth of our lives as our ministry to the poor, lost and despised are woven together like two pieces of yarn. Discipleship and evangelism are married. Being and doing are somehow integrated in a holistic manner. Like breathing is to the human body, prayer is essential to us as followers of Jesus to both our spiritual growth and service to others.” (p. 115)