Buy A Christian Survival Guide and 3 Other Books for the Price of One

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Starting Monday, August 18th and ending Friday, August 22nd, three of my most recent books will be $2.99, and one will be $4.99. Best yet, my latest book A Christian Survival Guide is available as a free eBook on Monday the 18th only. Here are all of the details:

 

A Christian Survival Guide is also being offered at a steep discount this week.

On Monday, August 18th, it will be offered as a free eBook at select sites:

Amazon and B&N.

Tuesday-Friday, August 19-22, it will be offered for $2.99. (See also the Publisher)

Print Copies: Get $3 off on Amazon this week.

Survival Guide Order Button

 

 

DISCOUNTED EBOOKS: The Good News of Revelation and Hazardous (a book about making the risky decisions that result from following Jesus), are both $2.99 at Amazon. Unfollowers is $4.99 at my publisher’s website. Scroll down for the links. All offers end August 22nd!

 

Publisher’s Weekly shared about A Christian Survival Guide:

“Cyzewski approaches each topic with candor, sharing stories that make it easy to relate to the topic at hand. While many of the topics are complex, he provides a point of entry into each and raises thoughtful questions about how much importance Christians can assign to aspects of the discussion.”

After you’re done reading A Christian Survival Guide, I’d love for you to share what you think in a brief review.

Thanks so much for reading!

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The Good News of Revelation
$2.99 on Amazon

Purchase from the publisher.

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Hazardous: Committing to the Cost of Following Jesus
$2.99 on Amazon

Purchase from the publisher.

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Unfollowers: Unlikely Lessons on Faith from the Doubters of Jesus

Purchase from the publisher for $4.99.


A Christian Survival Guide
FREE (Monday) or $2.99 (T-F)
Learn More Here…

Purchase from the publisher.

Note: All Amazon links are affiliate links. 

Thanks so much for reading my books. If you have a moment today to share this post using the social media links below, I’d be grateful.

Happy reading!

A Writing Shift and a Sabbatical for In a Mirror Dimly

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This blog wasn’t my idea. I don’t think many readers know that.

I had just graduated from seminary with a degree that I didn’t want to use in a church job when a close friend from New Jersey dropped me an email. We had been living pretty far apart for a few years, and a move to Vermont loomed on the horizon for me. Our mornings discussing theology at diners were sadly a thing of the past, but he had set up this blog called inamirrordimly.com to keep our discussions going.

In the early days back in 2005, we both posted on the site. Then my friend’s busy work schedule ate up all of his writing time. I was still in full-blown ministry/church/career crisis mode. This blog became my therapist. I dumped everything here. It got ranty and preachy more than I would have liked.

After releasing my first book Coffeehouse Theology, I started moving the blog more toward issues of discipleship and Bible study without delving directly into more academic theology, systematics, or philosophy. I envisioned this blog to be a place that made solid Bible study and theology accessible and practical for people who want to follow Jesus.

Around 2010 I also had a strong sense that God was calling me to serve and help other writers. I’d only published one book commercially, so I didn’t think I could serve others as an expert. I also didn’t know how to do that as part of this blog that was more focused on making theology accessible.

In a sense, I’ve lived a double calling here since then. I published A Path to Publishing and organized the Renew and Refine Retreat for writers. I also kept publishing practical Bible study/theology books: Hazardous, Unfollowers, The Good News of Revelation, and A Christian Survival Guide.

Over the past few years my blog topics at inamirrordimly.com have started shifting more toward prayer and writing, even if I still weigh in on something I’ve learned through studying scripture or praying the hours. My writing has shifted enough that this blog doesn’t quite fit where I sense myself going personally. I’ve also grown a bit weary of writing about theology in an increasingly fractured evangelical subculture.

I’m not shutting things down here. I’m not even saying that I’m done here. I just need a break. I need a year to sort out where this blog fits and whether it should be a part of my writing ministry moving forward.

Here’s the plan…

I’m moving my blogging over to my writer site: www.edcyzewski.com. Having a blog under my own name gives me some flexibility to explore topics outside of the narrow realm of “theology” without feeling like I’m pulling a bait and switch on my readers. If anything, this new site gives me the freedom I need to evolve as a writer.

As most writers can tell you, sometimes you just need to write that “draft” and see where it takes you. 

If you’ve been reading www.inamirrordimly.com over the past few years, you won’t notice a major change at the www.edcyzewski.com site. If anything, I’m publicly owning a shift that has already taken place. The biggest change will be the periodic post about writing or a promotion for people exploring publishing. The content about prayer, discipleship, and Bible study will remain.

I am deeply grateful that you’ve been a part of my blogging and book publishing journey. I’m as committed to serving the church and fellow writers through my blogging as ever, and I would love for you to join me at my place. If you subscribed through Feedblitz, I’ve already migrated you over to my new email RSS feed through MailChimp. Check your “promotions” folder if you haven’t received an email for a while.

For RSS subscribers, I’ll need to you to sign up for my new RSS feed. You have two options: email subscription or adding the RSS feed to your feed reader (check out Feedly or Feedspot).

Subscribe to www.edcyzewski.com via my RSS feed

Thanks for your time! I’ll see you at the new blog!

Reimagining Good Friday: Why Would Anyone Want to Kill Jesus?

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If you stepped into a room full of Christians, skeptics, and atheists and asked, “Who likes Jesus?” there’s a good chance almost every hand would go up. Even those who deny the divinity of Jesus think he was pretty swell.

Taking things a step further, if you walked into the same room and asked, “Who wants to kill Jesus?” I doubt a single hand would go up.

Ignore Jesus? Sure. Plenty of people do that today. But actually plotting to kill a guy who healed lame people, fed the multitudes, and elevated the social standing of women?

Not cool.

In fact, I would argue that the reasons for the conspiracy behind the execution of Jesus are a bit of a mystery for modern readers. Do we fully grasp the reasons why a bunch of people, who really wanted God to show up, would murder God when he actually did show up as promised?

cross Good Friday Jesus

It’s a mystery of sorts, and we have to step back into their world, kicking our imaginations into high gear.

Read the rest at my other blog:  www.edcyzewski.com. 

Becoming a Community That Takes the Right Kinds of Risks

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I have been making a mistake for years. You’ve most likely been making the same mistake for years.

 

I finally got some much-needed perspective at the Festival of Faith and Writing last week.

I forget that the tiny slices of people that we find online can’t possibly stand in for the whole person. Everyone I’ve met through Facebook or Twitter and then met with in real life is far more fascinating, complex, and wonderful when we meet up in real life. I have made the mistake of “fearing” these in-person meet ups because I fear we won’t get along or, most likely, they won’t think all that much of me.

Getting to the point of meeting up with online friends requires some risks. We have to risk those awkward first moments when we shake hands or give a side hug. We have to break the ice (which some of us are better at than others).

We have to risk a conversation where we may find out that we don’t have anything in common.

We have to risk a conversation knowing that the other person, someone we may admire, could find our interests and passions boring or insignificant.

We have to overcome these fears in order to make the most of our relationships. However, every time I reached out to someone I even vaguely knew online, I was delighted to learn more about their stories. Even more so, I was energized by their dreams and goals. I wanted to help them.

In the world of writing, this can be a tricky matter. I want to help writers with worthy stories, but I also want to give them a list of caveats. I want to show them the hope/discouragement graph from my Examine app.

“See all of those low points from the past two months? Those are from my book releases.”

It’s my “secret” mission to help writers when I can. I want to push them to sit down and write, to explore the tough points of their lives, and to develop those ideas into book proposals when appropriate.

I want to warn writers that they are leaping off a cliff and the landing may not go well.

As honest as I want to be about the pain and fear that comes with both writing and marketing a book, there’s so much more to talk about if time permits at a conference.

I’ve fallen on my face several times. I’ve crashed off that cliff. I’ve received really painful emails. I’ve questioned whether I should keep writing more times than I should admit publicly.

And yet, I wake up, and get an itch to write about something. Before I realize what has happened, I’ve filled an entire page and exposed a liberating truth about myself. I start to wonder if it may help someone else…

Perhaps it’s an addiction. Maybe it’s a fatal flaw. Maybe it’s the only way I can keep myself sane or at least truly “know” something. I need to jot down notes, outline, scratch out the inane, and scribble, scribble, scribble until some kind of direction takes shape on my page. 

It’s like I need to draw an arrow for myself, but I need to experiment with wiggling lines and unruly circles first.

Everything with writing and relationships is risky. But we can’t tap into the beauty of our relationships or our writing without taking risks. Mind you, let’s take the right risks. Let’s explore our writing, let’s ask the “what if” questions, and let’s jump on opportunities to meet our “online friends” in real life when appropriate.

To that end of taking risks and reaching out to each other, I have an idea I’d like to share with you.

Lent is almost over. A new season of the Christian year begins next Monday. Perhaps you’ve been fasting. Perhaps you’ve been just hanging on by a thread. Wherever you are, I wonder if you need to take some risks along with me into this world of writing and relationships.

What if we all made a commitment to spend at least one morning or at most five each week getting up to write at least one page around 6 am? The rules aren’t ironclad. Maybe that’s a notebook page. Maybe that’s a Word doc with tiny font. Maybe that’s an index card or it’s a Note app on your smart phone. And maybe you won’t start until 6:15 am. Maybe you need to start at 5:30 am.

If you know me, you know I’m not one for rules and precision. Just get a page done each morning around 6 am. And when you do it, mention it on Twitter or take a picture on Instagram to let us know what you’re up to. I’ll try to do the same.

Use the hashtags: #6am #1page.

Maybe we’ll find the courage and encouragement we need if we know that others are trying this out. This is something I’ve done for a season after our son was born, but I’ve started staying up later and sleeping in. Hearing Anne Lamott talk about getting your butt in the chair, especially before your kids wake up and the day begins, has left me wistful for those days of early morning writing. And wouldn’t it be better if we could all do it together?

We’ll give it a shot this year, starting Monday, April 21st. If you want to join me or just write whenever your schedule permits (even one day a week), let me know in the comments or drop me a like on Twitter at @edcyzewski and mention the hastags: #6am #1page.

The Stations of the Cross: Jesus Before Pilate

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My friend Emily Miller has put together a great series of blog posts walking through the stations of the cross through a series of posts meditating on each one. Today I’m writing about the story of Jesus before Pilate, but be sure to follow along with the rest of the posts

The story of Jesus and Pilate has long frustrated me.

Pilate stood in judgment over Jesus, the author of life, the Word of God and the Son of God. How in the world could God incarnate let a mere man judge him, let alone win? Why would Jesus submit to the trumped-up charges and injustice brought against him?

Pilate, wearing his fine robes, stood before a bloodied Jesus with the military might of Rome behind him, seemingly invincible and all-powerful. However, the mere snap of the finger by Jesus could have brought him and his legions to the ground, stone cold dead.

Why hold back his power? Why let Rome and the corrupt religious leaders win?

Read the Rest at Emily Miller’s Blog

Why I Don’t Want Anyone’s Magisterium: My Deeper Story Post

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I’m posting at A Deeper Church today about my struggles with the authority structures churches, from Catholics to Baptists: 

There are parts of me that will always be Catholic. The way I dress, for instance, is little more than a holdover from my days at a Catholic prep school.

Back in Catholic school we could wear pants that were any shade of khaki we liked, which would have been suffocating fascism for some. For me, it was the greatest thing ever. Today I just swap different plaid shirts with the same exact kind of jeans piled in my drawer.

However, I also can’t get far enough away from powerful, man-made authority structures, such as the Catholic Church’s magisterium.

In a sense, it was inevitable. I’m a freewheeling, imaginative, creative type. I don’t do precision, and I don’t follow chains of command or the “because I said so” reasoning that every authority structure from the military to the Catholic Church relies on. I had my first confrontation with Catholic authority before I even reached high school.

Read the rest at A Deeper Church