Personal Posts

My new devotional: 40 Days of Increase

My 40 Days of Increase devotional is live on Amazon! Use this link to get copy for yourself. It’s only available in digital format now, but the print version is coming. And just an FYI, you don’t need a Kindle device to read Kindle books. Your phone or laptop will work just fine.

If you don’t know the story behind 40 Days of Increase, here’s an excerpt from the introduction:

I didn’t grow up in a family that observed Lent. I think my first participation in an Ash Wednesday service was just a few years ago when I attended one with my brother at Kensington Community Church—and I haven’t attended one since. So, admittedly, I have minimal exposure to Lent, how it’s observed, and the impact it has on people’s spiritual formation. My brother found it to be a powerful experience, but that’s my lone case study.

What I do have is a growing exposure to people talking about Lent, usually via social media. And for the most part, it’s about “what I’m giving up.” I understand that there’s more to it than that, but would you agree with me that restraint, denial and fasting have become predominant themes among most observances of Lent?

It was this dynamic that provoked me to carry out a bit of a counter-Lent study back in 2015, which I called 40 Days of Increase. Rather than spending the season focused on what I was giving up for Lent and what I was doing for God, I focused on what I have gained in him and what he has already done for me.

The distinction might sound stronger than it actually is. I know that for many, denial, sacrifice and penitence is how they focus on what he’s done. So, I’m not setting out to be critical of that approach. It’s just that for me, self-imposed restraint and introspection has rarely given me deeper revelation of Jesus and often carries me into self-focus. And I’m terribly unimpressive and uninspiring.

But Jesus and his ever-increasing Kingdom are incredibly impressive and absolutely inspiring. Isaiah prophesied, “Of the increase of His government and peace, There will be no end…” (Isaiah 9:7a). This means something to each of us personally and impacts our day-to-day lives, but it’s a topic I’ve rarely heard discussed.

40 Days of Increase seeks to make this somewhat vague promise of perpetual Kingdom increase applicable, provoking and transformative. I hope you’ll find it so.

For all you writers out there... take your calling seriously! Nicholas Lobo, Vicky Lorencen, Randy Streu, Julie...

Posted by Joel Maust on Monday, August 3, 2015

Are you taking your gifting and calling seriously?

I posted a quote to Facebook yesterday and I wanted to expound upon it some more. The Facebook post is embedded above, but here’s the quote:

“I am, by calling, a dealer in words; and words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” ― Rudyard Kipling

Where, when or how I came across that quote, I do not remember. But it has stuck with me ever sense. And so I shared it as an inspiring quote on Facebook and tagged some other writers I know.

After I posted it, something activated within me even more. Just the processes of getting it out there and encouraging other writers to take their callings seriously stirred me all the more to take my calling seriously. How much longer would I back-burner what I know is a mandate on my life?

"Real generosity toward the future consists in giving all to what is present."

Lee Segall

TBT: Serving the Best Wine

Is it significant that I’m starting back into blogging 10 years after I first began? Unlikely. But I guess it is novel if nothing else. (Did I use that word right?)

Anyway, in honor of Throwback Thursdays, every other week I’m going to resurface an old post from around 10 years ago. It will give you a look into my humble beginnings as a blogger, drama-filled young adult years, and initial encounters with the charismatic stream I’ve fully embraced. And lots of other stuff.

It’s self serving in some ways, I suppose, because I have over 600 posts I want to review anyway. So I might was well do something with them while I’m at it.

This week I’m serving up a short reflection I had on a book I was reading: Jesus CEO: Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership. What struck me was this:

Jesus loved recklessly and with abandon. He didn’t save himself for some ambiguous time or person in the future… He gave the wine freely to anyone who wanted it. He poured out the best of himself to all he encountered.

Read the full post here:  “Oh bother” or “I could get the hang of this”