Archives For Francis Chan

I’ve written a bit about Francis and Lisa Chan’s new book, You & Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity. The book is now available, and you definitely need to read it, whether you’re married, engaged, think you might someday be married, or know someone who is or will be. This book is perspective changing, and I’m excited for people everywhere to begin digging into it.

I just came across this 13 minute video that really conveys the heart of the book. The stories in this video are so powerful. They will inspire you to see your marriage as bigger than your own happiness. God has a purpose for you and your marriage. A mission to pursue. He wants to change lives through your marriage, and not just your own. I’m so thankful for people like this who challenge us to see our lives and marriages as God sees them.

Settle in with a box of tissues and watch this video, then order the book below.

You and Me Forever from You and Me Forever on Vimeo.

 

Order the book now at Amazon or at youandmeforever.org.

You & Me Forever Cover - Francis & Lisa Chan

 

I am excited about the upcoming release of You & Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity by Francis and Lisa Chan. The book will release next week: August 26. And while I think the cover design is excellent, I wish Francis hadn’t chosen to use a hand model. So here is my proposed cover revision (which will also require a reformatting of the page layout due to its unconventional height).

 

You & Me Forever Cover Revision

 

This is just a mockup, of course, since nobody knows the actual length of “Francis Fingers.” (Though there are rumors that he can palm an ESV Study Bible.)

Francis Fingers

 

You & Me Forever releases next week (Aug 26), and it will be available at regular book outlets and at youandmeforever.org (100% of the net proceeds will fund important projects around the world). For more on the book, and why I think this particular marriage book is vital for the church today, click here.

 

DISCLAIMER: I am a huge fan of Francis Chan and the message God has given him to preach. His fingers make him neither more nor less adequate as a minister of the gospel. God looks not on the length of the fingers, but on the heart.

You & Me Forever Cover - Francis & Lisa ChanOn August 26, you’ll get to read another powerful book from Francis Chan.

Francis has been hinting at writing a book about marriage for years now, but other important projects have taken priority. But now the wait is (almost) over. Francis and Lisa have been working together on this book, entitled You & Me Forever, and it will finally be available at the end of August.

 

The Premise

Francis and Lisa will tell you that there are many good books on marriage available. If you’re anywhere near the “marriage arena,” chances are you’ve read at least a couple. While You & Me Forever isn’t going to replace the best marriage books out there, it does offer a unique approach—an approach I’ve never seen before. Honestly, I wish this book had been available when I was preparing for marriage, and I plan to use it when I do premarital counseling with engaged couples.

The unique approach is evident from the first pages, when Francis says:

“Even now, I am working to make sure that my family is set up for the future. When most people make that statement, they are talking about financial security for their last few years on earth. When I say it, I’m referring to the millions of years that come after that.”

You & Me Forever is all about viewing marriage in light of eternity. With chapter titles like “Marriage Isn’t that Great” and “Don’t Waste Your Marriage,” the emphasis is on how marriage fits within God’s overarching plan, how marriage displays God’s glory, and how marriage functions as a part of God’s mission for us on earth.

What you won’t find here is a handbook of communication principles, advice to strengthen your sex life, or guidelines for handling finances. It’s not that these things are not important, but Francis and Lisa have written a different type of book—partially because that book has been written many times over, and partially because they wanted to write a book about marriage that didn’t focus on marriage.

To be sure, every chapter is about marriage. But Francis and Lisa insist on every page that while marriage is good—wonderful, even—it’s not ultimate. Our marriage-mania can easily push us to idolize marriage, idolize our spouses, idolize our kids.

You & Me Forever provides an excellent model for thinking deeply about marriage while always subordinating marriage to its proper place in relation to the God who made it and the mission he has given us.

What you will find in this book is a high view of God, a genuine delight in God’s gift of marriage, a passion to work on our marriages for the sake of God and his mission, practical stories that show the beauty and tragedy of marriage, and a call to put God first in everything—which is the only way any of us will survive marriage in the first place, let alone glorify God in it.

 

The Format

Francis and Lisa wrote this book together. In every chapter, the bulk of the material is written from Francis’ perspective (that is, the first person pronouns refer to Francis) and then Lisa adds a section to each chapter from her perspective. At times Lisa’s sections are nearly as long as Francis’, at other times it’s significantly shorter. But even the material that Francis wrote from his perspective was a team effort. Both are great writers, and the combination of their voices adds strength to the book.

Francis and Lisa ChanAnother interesting feature of this book is that Francis and Lisa want to use the book as a donation tool. So 100% of the net proceeds will fund a variety of important charities. As has always been the case, Francis is not looking to get rich off of his books (though he certainly could)—he just wants the book to be used for God’s glory at every possible level.

 

Where to Get It

You will be able to get a copy of the book at regular book outlets and at youandmeforever.org. Once the book releases, there will also be videos corresponding to the each chapter that you’ll be able to access for free at that web address. A workbook is also in the works that will facilitate group discussion and premarital counseling.

A big thank you to Francis and Lisa for continuing to follow the Lord and for sharing their insights in such a gospel-centered way.

 

You and Me Forever – Francis & Lisa Chan (Trailer) from Marcus Hung on Vimeo.

Francis Chan 3I recently read Francis Chan answering those who call him crazy, and it brought me to a realization. He is crazy. He calls us to the impossible. He advocates giving up our dreams, lowering our high view of our families, giving away our hard-earned wealth, letting go of our most valued possessions, and structuring our lives around other people rather than ourselves. He insists that we should make decisions that will actually produce pain in the short term simply because God promises to reward us in eternity.

By nearly any standard, this is crazy. But that’s the crazy thing. The standard Francis is trying to operate by is Jesus’ standard. If we were honest with ourselves, we’d probably all agree that Jesus’ standard is crazy. Who says, “You therefore must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48)? Who takes commands against committing adultery and applies them to a person’s thought life? Or commands against murder and applies them to hatred? It’s hard enough to love a friend; who would command a person to love—to bless—one’s enemies?

Jesus’ standard is crazy, so Francis’ earnest desire to call the church to this lifestyle is crazy by association. And yet, we should wonder who is truly crazy in this situation: the person who makes it his aim to live like Jesus or the people who claim to follow Jesus and yet call people crazy for trying to follow Jesus?

To my mind, it’s crazier to say that the followers of a rejected, crucified, mocked, despised Savior (who promised that his followers would be equally hated and rejected) should expect to be accepted, pampered, praised, and indulged. It’s nuts to say that a follower of Jesus shouldn’t be following Jesus. That insisting on obedience to Jesus’ command to love him more than our own families is somehow unchristian. I don’t see the logic in it.

I’m not really trying to bolster Francis’ reputation or publicly praise him or anything like that (though I am a huge fan). But Francis and others like him give us a great opportunity to ask ourselves about the nature of Christianity. Is Christianity about a modern subculture? Is it about the modus operandi of the average American churchgoer? Is it about stated beliefs and occasional Bible reading and other religious identifications? If so, then Francis is the crazy one. Why go to extremes? Why give up so much comfort, and why bother the church to do the same?

But maybe—just maybe—Christianity is about Christ. Maybe being a Christian means being like Christ. Maybe being a follower of Jesus means following Jesus. Maybe when Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and then told them to do likewise, he meant that they should do likewise. Maybe when he told us to pray for those who persecute us, he wanted us to do just that. Maybe when he told us to pursue his kingdom and righteousness before we seek our very real and very urgent daily needs, he was actually giving us a command, rather than a religious platitude.

Let’s just say that both sides are crazy. It’s crazy to say that we should actually be like Jesus. I’ll be the first to admit it. But it’s also crazy to say that we can be like Jesus without being like Jesus. I know which kind of crazy I want to pursue, and by God’s grace—by his love that surrounds, invades, and transforms me—crazy will increasingly replace normal in my life.

Eternity Bible College GraduationIn the unrelenting stream of life, the significance of each event, each person, each thing often goes unappreciated. Milestones help us to pause and take stock of what has happened and why it matters.

This weekend’s graduation marks ten years of Eternity Bible College. I’ve been here for eight of those ten years, and looking back, I can testify that God has done amazing things. This weekend we hosted a vision banquet, where we celebrated what God has done and looked forward to what we believe God wants to do through Eternity.

In the midst of lectures, meetings, projects, grading, and all of the other consistent aspects of my job, the significance of it all sometimes hides just out of sight. I’m thankful for this milestone because it forced me to stop, look around, and remember that God has been working in miraculous ways.

I was reminded of the transformed lives we’ve sent out across the world. Of the supernatural financial provision that has carried us to this point. Of the unbelievably gifted staff, faculty, board members, students, and supporters of many kinds that God has brought to the school.

Perhaps best of all, I was so encouraged to see that God has taken the mission of Eternity Bible College and has been making that into a reality. Our graduates are able to bring transformation into so many areas of society, all around the world. Our graduates are able to work hard and graduate without being crippled by student debt—94% of our students have graduated debt free, and the remaining 6% have less than $2,000 to pay off. All of this has been happening in close partnership with local churches around the world, and our graduates are leaving with a passionate commitment to the church.

Looking back at these first ten years makes me very excited for the Kingdom of God. If you resonate with the mission of Eternity Bible College, I’d encourage you to take a look at one or more of the short videos below. We showed these at our vision banquet this weekend, and they tell the story of Eternity from a few different angles. If you’d like to partner with us in some way, please visit our partnership page. And thanks to everyone who has supported the school in so many ways over these past ten years!