I call these Freder’s Favorites…
…because I have gathered insights from scores of my favorite “passive mentors,” the books I have read.
The following are all UNPUBLISHED manuscripts.
For the books I published with Amazon.Com, go to Available on Amazon.com.
This Living God we follow is relational at His core. The NT calls us to be “led by the Spirit.” What I have written is all I see now. What I have missed is an invitation for you to come alongside so we can learn together. If any of these building blocks are already strong in your T-E-A-M (Together Each Accomplishes More), skip on. Be flexible.
Why Prayers Are Unanswered by John Allan Lavender (Free PDF of out-of-print book)
Despite the title pointing to the problems, this small, older book is chock full of very positive helps as a primer on prayer. Unfortunately, the book is out-of-print book. Click on the title above for a free PDF copy. Authority. Freedom. Design. Identity in Christ.Success. Forgiveness. Trials.
Seven pillars or creation, or essential nutrients for a spiritual soil conducive to growth. These are so fundamental that they are closely intertwined throughout Scripture, and in healthy spiritual lives.
Other Books to Study the Bible
Three Cycles of Spiritual Development (1 John 2:12-14)
First Cycle: Beloved Child (free PDF)
Second Cycle: Servant-Warrior (free PDF)
Begin Strong, Finish Stronger, Twilight Reflections from the Brink of Eternity: This full-length book uses 1 John 2:12-14 to sketch out the third cycle of our spiritual development. I have blogged short portions of this beginning December 10, 2017 and welcome any comments before I publish. On August 25, 2019 I updated by blogging four more on this website.
James, Jesus’ oldest half-brother (Matthew 13:55), hears reports that his scattered friends have settled, wandering from their passionate Lover, the true God Himself (James 5:19-20). No wonder James is so intense! He cares deeply about his friends settling for less than God intends because their choices diminish their lives. As a concerned spiritual father, his tone is direct, mincing no words. Please don’t interpret this as harsh. James aims to change how they view and respond to God and life in order to renew their minds and capture their hearts.
Galatians: New Culture of FREEDOM (5 weeks)
Galatians is probably Paul’s first boo. He wrote Galatians to the recent converts on his First Missionary Journey because agitators were attempting to rob them of their freedom in Christ. For those who cannot free themselves from “religion,” what they teach often turns into tool to control others. Not the Good News Jesus brought! With all the passion and brilliance Paul has, he uses every legitimate means to free his dearly loved spiritual children from this web of deceit to experience true freedom in Christ again.
Matthew 5-7: Sermon on the Mount (6 weeks)
In Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5-7, commonly called the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus lays out the new culture He brought with Him for His followers. The8-fold Beatitudes give a glimpse forward to the new way to do life flowing from life in Jesus. Then He calls us to the outward towards a lost world as salt and light before exposing four community viruses and His antidote, the presence of the Father and Jesus as Lord.
Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7)
This is one of Jesus’ earliest teaching on the culture of freedom He came to sow in His followers. As any good teacher, He taught with language and examples that His current audience would understand. So, it has a strong Jewish feel to it. Yet as any great trainer, Jesus also taught with His ultimate end in mind…raising up disciples to minister to the ends of the world. So, Jesus began from a perspective of Genesis 1 and 2, God’s original design of humanity as image-bearers. See the 8-fold beatitudes. In my opinion, He also taught with space for all He would offer after His death and resurrection. This dual-lens could be why there’s so much difference of opinion on this great teaching.
Re-created Community (Romans 5-8)
This is another of my “deep artesian wells.” I plunge into this more detailed meditation on Romans 5-8 whenever my spiritual life becomes a bit dry or musty. Paul’s fabulous truth on how satisfied we are as His people stirs me to my depths. This is mine because of His abounding provision through faith in Christ. Thoroughly Trinitarian, this invites us into the presence of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Romans (with emphasis on 5-8) (10 weeks)
Romans 14:1-15:1 – Contentious Disputes in the Church
1 John (5 weeks)
Colossians (5 weeks)
Paul’s Leadership Letters (2 Timothy, Titus, 1 Timothy) (5 weeks)
10 Baseline Spiritual Health Markers (10) – Follow-up for new Christians or spiritual tune-up for maturing Christians.
Together on Mission (topical, First section)
Jesus has called us so He can make us fishers of men. This piece explores Scriptural passages and concepts, and avenues and ways we can engage people. I wrote this in three sections, the first specifically for people like me who have not experienced this as a strength. Join me in this first section if you struggle here…or want to give me ideas!
Section I: Inviters & Includers (PDF): Begin by learning to be aware of what the Father is doing around you since the Father is always at work. Ideally, red two chapters each week (short, 4-page chapters. In addition, read three chapters in the Gospel of John to see John’s view on how Jesus brought His life into natural contact with those He met. Here is a place to gather your thoughts as you read the Gospel of John rapidly, Meet Jesus: A Biography by Jesus’ Best Friend.
Section II: Infiltrators (not available yet; in-process): Intentionally reaching out to engage those without Christ in our circle of influence.
Section III: Informal Missionaries (not available; rough concepts):
Cultivating DiscipleMaking Communities (1 Thessalonians)
This read-along through Paul’s earliest letter flows out of 1 Thessalonians. 1 Thessalonians is Paul’s earliest ideas on how to mature Christians. With a thoroughly relational Trinitarian view of life, Paul’s vision launches and grows disciples into reproducing faith-communities as His Word works in us.
Mining God’s Word (topical) (an older version Mining God’s Word)
This hands-on approach draws us to love God’s Word, His love-letter to us. The aim is to develop solid Bible study and teaching habits as lifelong life-learners. This time-proven approach is very user friendly. This booklet can also be used as a read-along with the 1st “sprint,” “A Healthy Disciple,” to broaden some basics of how to study God’s Word.
Renewing Wineskins, Ongoing Renewal on our Spiritual Journey (topical)
When we came to Christ, in that instance God did a vast array of spiritual changes accompanied with our new life in Christ. What a great package deal! There’s one thing God never did! God never pushed “reset” on our past memories when we came to Christ. God’s plan was for us to progressively renew our minds on our journey to deepen relationship with Him (Romans 12:1-2). This PDF lays out broad strokes and some specifics along with why ongoing spiritual renewal is so crucial.
Training our Twelve as Disciples (Gospels) (in-process; not yet available)
Jesus is not only our perfect “moral” model, but also our ministry model. The Gospels are our blueprint to recapture some of the vibrancy of 1st century disciples for the church today.
Sailing the High Seas (Leadership Letters)
The relational Community-God Himself is our model for all leadership. This more community-based leadership dialog honors positional leadership while releasing God’s people to reach for all He intends in the 21st century.
Bounce Well (in-process; still rough) (topical)
We will all cycle down, even when we give Jesus our wholehearted allegiance. I’m looking forward to more insight to finish this up, one of my favorite, Freder’s Favorites! Maturity does not mean we don’t spiral down. Maturity is marked by “bouncing well.” How quickly do we recover? Do we know our solid spiritual DNA, or are their gaps in our understanding? What is it that causes you to spiral down, and are their answers?
Sent by the Father (Gospel of John)
John writes 60 years after Jesus arose from the dead with Genesis 1 and 2 as the backdrop, restoring God’s original Eden-intent and revealing God’s renewed mental map for His new creation in the 21st century. This read-along guides you through John’s Gospel.
Eternally Relational (Rough Draft) (topical)
I was in my mid-50’s when I began to explore the Trinity, not as a theological belief, but as a power-point for my life. I had believed in the Trinity since Jesus captured my heart at 25. Now I saw this relational God, Father, Son and Spirit, as my life-focus. And it changed my practical Christian responses and how I approached others. I am writing this book to sketch out some of this impact.