Tuesday, October 20, 2009

O2 Breathing Fresh Life / contest / interview

Title: O2: Breathing New Life into Faith
Author: Richard Dahlstrom
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
October 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7369-2241-2
Genre: Inspirational/Christian living

We need oxygen in order to survive. Inhaling and exhaling are both equally important. If we try to inhale without exhaling, or to exhale without inhaling we’ll find ourselves in trouble. Both are equally important.

But, in ministry we have those who are always inhaling by studying, praying, and other things like that. And those that only exhale by service, generosity, and hospitality. But if you try to do one without the other, you are going to become seriously worn down, tired, and wonder if its all worth it. Pastor Dahlstrom maintains that is a reason that many people leave the church. They are too busy inhaling or exhaling and not focusing on both aspects of their spiritual life.

O2 is divided up into four parts:

1. The Case for Breathing
2. The Exhaling Disciplines
3. The Inhaling Disciplines
4. Integation

O2 will help you to discover a balanced spiritual life that will reflect the life of Jesus and keep your faith growing strong.

Written in a conversational manner, Pastor Dahlstrom instills wisdom and balance into our hectic lives by reminding us to breathe… To not just soak in God to the point of become pious or busy to the point of becoming burned out, but to mix both areas well. Several pages of end notes are included.
$13.99. 270 pages.

About the book:

Your physical body needs oxygen in order to survive. Inhale, exhale ... one leads naturally to the other. Inhale too long and you feel as if your lungs will burst. Exhale too long and you get light-headed.

The same rhythm is essential in the life of faith. You inhale life-giving strength from God through things like prayer, study, solitude, and silence. You exhale generosity, hospitality, and service to the poor. If you try to do one without the other, you wont' last very long.

This fresh perspective on the classic disciplines of the faith will empower you to process the oxygen of the Spirit. Discover how you can develop a balanced spirituality that reflects the life of Jesus and keeps your faith growing stronger.

About Richard: Richard Dahlstrom is Senior Pastor of Bethany Community Church in Seattle , WA , in the heart of the city, among university students, young professionals, families, the homeless, and the elderly. He is also a popular teacher in North America and Europe for the Capernwray Missionary Fellowship of Torchbearers. He holds a M.Div. from Talbot Theological Seminary. Find out more about Richard at: http://raincitypastor.blogspot.com/

Link to buy the book: http://www.amazon.com/O2-Breathing-Life-Faith-ConversantLife-com®/dp/0736922148/ref=sprightly-20


Watch a video about the book: http://www.conversantlife.com/life-with-god/o2-breathing-new-life-into-faith

Read the first chapter: http://www.conversantlife.com/files/resource_downloads/O2.pdf

Study Guide: http://www.conversantlife.com/files/resource_downloads/O2%20Discussion%20Questions.pdf

Contest: The contest for this blog tour is: (Please tweet & facebook this contest – please use the hashtag #O2)

Win a signed copy of 02 for yourself! There are two ways to enter! The winners will be announced 10/26.

Jump over to Pastor Richard’s blog “Pastoral Musings from Rain City ” (http://www.raincitypastor.blogspot.com/ ) and leave a comment between October 5th and October 24th. Just say hi or tell Pastor Richard what you liked about his book, or share with him how you’ve experienced ‘new life’ in your faith!
Tweet this: @raincitypastor Pub. Weekly voted Breathing New Life into Faith as top 10 book in 2008 check it out! http://tr.im/Au8q #02

Blog tour schedule: http://www.litfusegroup.com/latest/current-blog-tours/92-02-breathing-fresh-life-into-faith-by-richard-dahlstrom-blog-tour

Can you tell me about your book? – o2 is a book about moving the stuff that many of us have learned in our heads down through the years, out into our daily living. I address this by showing the need we have for particular practices in our lives, things that will cause our faith to thrive and last for the long haul. In particular, I show how all of us are prone to either activism (“doing” things for God, like service, hospitality, mission trips) or quietism (focusing on things like prayer, Bible reading, and solitude). The reality is that we need both sides of this equation in the same way we need both exhaling and inhaling (hence the title, “Breathing New Life into Faith”). The book shares lots of stories about how I have wrestled with finding this balance. It’s practical, narrative, and a little bit theological.

What are you working on now? – I’m presently in the midst of writing a book called, “Spilling Hope”, which is invites we who follow Christ to be intentional about taking up our calling as, what I call “artisans of hope”, painting the colors of justice, mercy, and intimacy across the canvass of our lives. Learning to be people of hope right now, in the midst of our own fears and messes, is one of the most important issues of our time.

What are some of your hobbies, besides writing? – When given a chance, I’m usually either outside, climbing rocks or mountains, or reading a good book, or cooking and hanging out with my wife, kids, and friends.

Who are your favorite authors? – I’m enjoying NT Wright these days, and have always enjoyed C.S. Lewis, David James Duncan, Annie Lamont, and Annie Dillard.

What is your favorite genre to read? – If I look at the proportions of my library, I’d say non-fiction, but if I look at my heart I’d say, “nothing beats a good story”

What sparked the idea for your last story? – I wrote o2 because the reality is that each and every Sunday people leave church and never return, often because nobody taught them how to develop the habits that are essential to knowing intimacy with God and being involved in God’s purposes. The number of “ex-evangelicals” out there is astonishing, and this book will be helpful, both for them, and for those who are tired of their faith, or are wondering how to make it real, as in, more than a Sunday ritual.

Who or what inspired you to write? – I studied architecture and music composition in college. The fact of the matter is that I just love creating!

What is your favorite verse, and why? In Jeremiah 9:23-27, I’m reminded that the main thing worth pursuing in this life is an intimate relationship with God. When I get weary, confused, or overwhelmed, this verse is my compass, calling me back to what matters. From there, I can get my bearings for the next practical steps I also need to take.

How can reading your book have an impact on the reader’s life? - I’m old enough to see that trends in American Christianity come and go. People rush from “end times” obsessions, to “the gifts of the spirit”, to “short term missions”, to “healing prayer”, to “emergent Christianity”, to “post-modern theology”. I’m here to say that what’s needed is a balanced commitment to the practices of the faith that have served mature saints well for centuries. My hope is that those who read this book will catch the vision to develop these practices in intentional, life-sustaining ways. If they do, I think they’ll be walking with Jesus until the last day, and enjoying the adventure of the journey God provides along the way. That’s what I hope the book accomplishes.

How did you become a Christian? - I was in church, as a kid, and the preacher said some stuff that made me want to know Jesus and follow Him. That was the beginning of the journey.

How has your book been received from its readers? - I’ve gotten very positive feedback, and all the reviews on Amazon.com have been positive. People have expressed gratitude that I’ve been honest with my own faith struggles in the book and that I’ve shared lots of stories from my own life to show how the truths are applied in reality. I’m perhaps most proud of the fact that Publishers Weekly deemed it one of the 10 best Religious Books of 2008.

Can you tell us a little bit about your personal life? – I just celebrated my 30th wedding anniversary, and I have three great kids, aged 25, 23, 19. I pastor Bethany Community Church in Seattle, (www.churchbcc.org) and love travel, as I teach in many parts of the world. I subscribe to Time, Climbing Magazine, and Fast Times, and spend my days off in the winter skiing in the morning, and soaking in the hot tub reading the latest magazines in the afternoon. Our family eats together every Sunday afternoon, and the sound you’d hear most frequently at our table is laughter. Oh, and I tweet (http://twitter.com/raincitypastor)

What is your current ring tone? – retro telephone

What is your favorite vending machine item? – peanut m&m’s

What is your earliest memory? – my dad threw fake vomit on the patio when I was about three. My mom thought I did, thought I was sick, and made me leave the party. I remember crying on my bed until she came back in the room laughing, and told me I could come out.

What is your biggest fear? – I think I fear becoming a ‘hollow religionist’ more than anything else. I don’t want to be a person who perpetuates the forms of the church instead of shepherding a community to thriving, life changing adventure of being the presence of Jesus in the world.

How can our readers purchase your book? - Amazon has it. Lots of Christian bookstores have it. Any bookstore can order it. And if all else fails, write me: coffee.dahlstrom@gmail.com and I’ll get it in your hands.

I have received a copy of this book for review purposes from the publicist. This is the only compensation I'll receive for the review of the book.

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