9/17/12

THE IMPOSSIBLE MENTOR - By Ray Hollenbach




Ray Hollenbach is one of the greatest men I know. I don't say this lightly. For 8 years, he was my pastor. He baptized my oldest son. And over the last 3 years, he's become a dear friend and fellow author with whom I've shared the journey of writing and publishing. And even though he's not my pastor anymore, I still consider him a mentor and counselor.

Most often the books I feature here on my blog are fiction. Most of the authors I know write fiction, and most of the books I read are fiction. Occasionally, I make an exception. Today is one of those days. Ray's new book, "The Impossible Mentor: Finding Courage to Follow Jesus", doesn't read like a textbook or instructional manual. It reads with the wit and wisdom of the author himself, whose conversational style of teaching is responsible for a good portion of the adult I am today.

I'm thrilled to introduce you to Ray and his writing. I hope you'll take a moment to read on as Ray talks about his book and why he thinks it's important for everyone!

"The Impossible Mentor: Finding Courage to Follow Jesus"
By: Ray Hollenbach


If publishing a blog is an act of vanity, writing and publishing a book is megalomania. I am guilty on both counts. Saturday saw the release of my spiritual-formation book. The Impossible Mentor: Finding Courage to Follow Jesus. I want to tell you why I wrote it, and why I’m foolish enough to think you need to read it.

Most Christians find Jesus a worthy role model while holding the conviction that no one could possibly live up to his example. That’s a problem. It creates conflict in our hearts and tension in our lives.

Discipleship and spiritual formation books come and go at the pace of diet and exercise manuals, with approximately the same results in the lives of believers. Deep down, in the secret place, we believe it’s impossible to obey what Jesus modeled and taught. This means we experience a cycle of good intentions and fresh starts, followed by frustration, guilt, and eventually resignation. Why would anyone choose a mentor who’s impossible to follow?

The Impossible Mentor explores how to take the yoke of discipleship Jesus offered in a manner that breaks the cycle of resolve-and-failure. Jesus actually invited us to imitate him and follow his example. He said, “learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Yet most Christians think his ways and his example are distant and impossible to attain. If we try to become like our Master we find ourselves restless and burdened. Why would Jesus extend this invitation if there is no hope of following it?

The Impossible Mentor will give you the courage to follow, and experience the surprising joy of true transformation. Come join me in the journey.


Book Blurb:
Can you live up to the example Jesus set?
Why would anyone choose a mentor who’s impossible to follow?
What if it’s possible to experience real transformation?
What if we really can be conformed to his image--in this life?

The Impossible Mentor explores why Christians find Jesus a worthy role model but also hold the conviction that no one could possibly live up to his example. Discipleship and spiritual formation books come and go at the pace of diet and exercise manuals, with approximately the same results in the lives of believers. It’s the same cycle: good intentions, fresh starts, followed by frustration, guilt, and eventually resignation.

You can break the yo-yo cycle of false starts and the guilt that follows when you stumble. The Impossible Mentor explores the four great challenges to following Jesus, and suggests five practical answers that have helped people of faith through the ages. You can put these answers to work in your life, right now.

Author Ray Hollenbach combines slice-of-life vignettes with Biblical resources in a highly readable, conversational style: part pastor, part theologian and fellow-traveller, he explores how to take the yoke of disciple Jesus offered in a manner that will break the cycle of resolve-and-failure.



You can connect with Ray online at the following places:
Twitter: @Hollenbach


Happy Reading and Writing!

2 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the blog. And there are days I think I've succeeded in doing as Jesus would. And days when I know I fall short. But whenever I'm tempted to be less than kind to people, less than grateful for what I have, I take a step back and say by God's grace I have all that I have. Without it, I'd have nothing.
    Your book sounds as though it would help me hold on to that at the times I'm struggling. I truly will check it out.
    Teresa R.


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  2. I downloaded Ray's book from Amazon.com just now for free! I'm sure it's worth the sticker price, but we all need a deal from time to time ...I'm looking forward to reading it!

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