Visit HearItFirst.com to enter the “Hear It First, Read It First” contest and promotion for Glenn Packiam’s book Secondhand Jesus and Brian Doerksen’s book, Make Love, Make War, sponsored by David C Cook, Integrity Music, HearItFirst.com, and Gibson/Epiphone Guitars. By visiting HearItFirst.com, fans and readers will be able to enter to win prizes, as well as download free music video performances of Glenn Packiam (i.e., “Burning in Me”) and Brian Doerksen (i.e., “It’s Time” and “Holy God”) and free sample chapters from their new books.
Prizes include a set of worship CDs from Integrity, an Epiphone guitar signed by Glenn Packiam or Brian Doerksen, and an Epiphone amplifier! Want to find out more about these worship leaders and authors? Download a sample chapter and videos at hearitfirst.com/GlennPackiam and hearitfirst.com/BrianDoerksen!
Hear it First
We live in a culture of experts. Everywhere one turns, there are professionals touting advice on everything from how to repair your car to how to fix your marriage. And, in Christian circles, some have even started to believe that there are “God experts”—people who can pray in just the right way that God hears them or who worship in such a way as to make God listen. We begin to rely on these people as our sole source of information about God, rather than make the effort to encounter Him directly ourselves.
In his new book, Secondhand Jesus: Trading Rumors of God for a Firsthand Faith (David C Cook, June 2009), author and worship pastor of New Life Church Glenn Packiam summons readers upon a passionate quest—a holy pursuit—to truly experience Christ’s power and love for themselves. “God wants us to know Him deeply and personally,” Packiam says. “But there are no shortcuts to God. The Bible tells us that ‘The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.’” (Matthew 7:14, The Message)
God has offered us firsthand knowledge of His love, His grace, and His power. Yet so often, we too easily settle for someone else’s descriptions, the Cliff notes from another’s spiritual journey. We are content for others to do the heavy lifting and then give us the bottom line. And, like any secondhand information, after enough times through the grapevine, the truth about God deteriorates and crumbs of rumor are all that remain.
But when life derails, and things don’t go as we had planned, our thin view of God is challenged. In those critical moments, we can choose to walk away from God, or to let our questions lead us home. When we choose to wrestle with God, to engage Him individually, we—like Jacob and Job and David—will see rumors die and revelation come alive.
Crushing rumors of God that many Christians mistakenly hold, Secondhand Jesus isn’t a five-step formula, but rather a challenge to Christians to own their faith by questioning their preconceived ideas about God. “It’s time to hear the magnificent, Divine Invitation,” says Packiam. “It’s time to take God up on His offer and embrace the mystery and majesty of knowing Him for ourselves.”
What is true worship? It can elevate us into the presence of God, renew and refresh our spirits, and offer the deepest expression of love for our Savior. Yet worship can also be a call to arms, a battle cry, a salvo in an ancient spiritual war that continues today. In his first book, Make Love, Make War: Now Is the Time to Worship (David C Cook, August 2009), award-winning songwriter Brian Doerksen challenges Christians to make their lives an offering of radical worship.
An acclaimed songwriter, recording artist, author, conference speaker, and pastor, Doerksen believes God is calling us to love and to battle—to spread peace and wage spiritual warfare. “Each is essential to our daily spiritual walk,” writes Doerksen. “We do this through how we live, how we serve Him, and how we protect and fight for what matters most. One of the ways I make love and war is through music.”
In Make Love, Make War, Doerksen shares the stories and inspirations behind some of today’s most influential songs of worship, including “Come, Now Is the Time to Worship,” “Hallelujah (Your Love Is Amazing),” and “Refiner’s Fire.” While offering special tips for aspiring songwriters, Doerksen also reveals rich truths and insights about the nature of God, His calling for us, and how we can wage spiritual war and share His love through a life of radical worship.
“I believe that we know love and war are at the heart of everything inside us, and everything going on all around us,” says Doerksen. “We sense that there is nothing that Satan hates more than the worship of Yahweh by those who are faithful to the Lamb. He spends more than a little energy convincing us that there really is no war going on, and that the sum total of our lives’ calling is to be nice. But God is provoking us to rise up and fight. The war He calls us to make is always for the sake of love!”