Thursday, July 29, 2010

Author Interview - Dr. Bob Kellemen

This blog post is unique in two ways. This post is an author interview -- a first for me. And being a interview, it is significantly longer than most of my other posts. I hope that won't discourage you from reading as I think you will be blessed by what you find.

The interviewee is Dr. Bob Kellemen, author of the recently released book God’s Healing for Life’s Losses: How to Find Hope When You’re Hurting.

Let me begin by quickly introducing you to Dr. Kellemen. Bob has served as a pastor, counselor, professor and seminary department chairman. He is also an accomplished author and blogger, and his ministry has touched lives around the world. I admire Bob for many reasons, not the least of which is his NW Indiana heritage and his love for the Chicago Bulls. For more on Dr. Kellemen and his ministry, visit

God's Healing for Life's Losses is a short book, but it is packed with life-changing truth. We all face pain and hurt, and Dr. Kellemen provides succinct, Biblical wisdom for how to handle life's difficulties in a spiritually-healthy and God-honoring way. Here are a few questions that Bob answers about his book:

Dr. Kellemen, what’s the “big idea” behind God’s Healing for Life’s Losses? What would you like readers to take away from it?

In a biblical sentence: you can grieve with hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). God’s Healing for Life’s Losses gives readers permission to grieve and offers a pathway toward hope. I want people to see their suffering from God’s perspective without denying the reality that suffering still hurts.

What would I like readers to take away?

The title and subtitle say it best. I’d like readers to walk away with God’s healing hope.

Who should read God’s Healing for Life’s Losses?

Sometimes the second we hear words like loss and grief, our minds focus exclusively on death and dying. God’s Healing for Life’s Losses focuses on any type of loss—from the grand loss of death, to the daily casket experiences of the loss of a job, the loss of a dream, the loss of a relationship… anyone struggling with any life loss would benefit from reading God’s Healing.

God’s Healing for Life’s Losses also equips spiritual friends, pastors, and counselors. When we’re helping hurting people, it can get messy and confusing. A few “handles,” a few “road markers” on the journey sure would help. That’s what God’s Healing for Life’s Losses offers. It provides a “map” without becoming a straight-jacket. It suggests eight “directional markers” that become something of a GPS—God’s Positioning System—for the grief and growth journey.

God’s Healing for Life’s Losses examines Scripture relationally and practically so that helpers grow in their ability to explore passages with hurting people—and do so in a natural, loving, caring, skillful way. Also, the two built-in discussion/application guides benefit small group leaders—providing an ideal forum and format for candid discussions about grief, emotions, hurt, hope, healing, God’s purposes, and much more.

In the four stages of grieving, you use your own grief experience as an example. Tell my readers about your grief story.

On my 21st birthday, I entered official adulthood not only because I turned 21, but also because my father passed away on my birthday. And for a year, I lived basically in denial—not really facing deeply the loss of my father. Then on my 22nd birthday, I began to move from denial to candor. I remember like it was yesterday—walking around the outskirts of the campus of Grace Seminary—telling myself the truth about how I felt, how I grieved the loss of my Dad. Over the course of that entire next year, I continued to move through the grief process. Again, walking the seminary campus, I had some long conversations with God. I lamented—I shared my heart about my hurt. During those times I cried out to God, acknowledging not only how much I missed my earthly father, but how much I longed for God as my heavenly Father. During those spiritual conversations I began to find God’s comfort—His hope in my hurt. I tell it now like it was a nice neat process, but at the time it was anything but. God and I had some messy, real, and raw conversations. I prayed my feelings to God. I wept. I surrendered. I asked God for comfort and He came.

How can people learn more about God’s Healing for Life’s Losses?

On my website at people can find and download a free sample chapter of the book. Also at my website, people can order the book at 33% off. Additionally, I offer seminars around the country on God’s Healing for Life’s Losses. People can find my speaking schedule at the website. If a church or para-church group is interested in seeing if I could speak for their group, they can contact me at

If you are interested in a free copy of the book, post a comment after reading the interview and you may be selected to receive a complimentary copy.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Missionaries & Culture Shock

Here is a good blog post on the reverse culture-shock that missionaries face when returning to the States. Not something that most of us ever think about.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Kevin DeYoung on the Church

One of my primary references for my recent sermon on the church was Kevin DeYoung, co-author (with Ted Kluck) of the recently released Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion. I would highly recommend DeYoung's books and his blog. He also recently spoke on the Church at the Next 2010 Conference. Listen to his message here, or simply read a summary by CJ Mahaney.


As we hit the dog days of summer, here is a good post by Elyse Fitzpatrick on modesty.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Christians and Cremation

Every once in a while I am asked what I and/or the Bible have to say about cremation. This is a difficult topic, because very simply, the Bible does not directly address it. However, you might find this post by Justin Taylor helpful as you consider a matter that is gaining in popularity.

Why I Love the Church (And You Should Too) Message

This weekend at Bethel I had the privilige of preaching on the topic of the church. You can listen to the message here.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Video Games, Idols, and Your Child's Heart

As a father of two young boys who love video games, I really need this advice from CJ Mahaney:

I want to try to introduce my son to a study that isn’t correction specific to an occasion. I want to study the heart, I want to study anger, I want to study idolatry, unrelated to an occasion where I am bringing discipline, so that the study hopefully can have the most effect. I want to engage in a study from Scripture. I want to choose age-appropriate material. I want to choose appropriate passages. And then my study with my son is supplemented by stories from my life, because I do the same thing. I don’t cry anymore like a child but I know how to cry in adult ways. I want my child to know that no matter what the category, I can identify.

Read the whole thing here.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Why I Love the Church (And You Should Too)

Next weekend I will have the privilege of preaching at Bethel (I appreciate your prayers for my preparation). The title of my message is "Why I Love the Church (And You Should Too)". Without giving too much away, one of my primary resources will be Ed Stetzer's message on the Church and the Kingdom from the Advance09 conference. This is an incredibly powerful and important message and has had a significant impact on my understanding and passion for the church. Listen to it here.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Blog Update

Well, it's been over three months since my last post. This has largely been due to moving to a new home, a death in the family (my grandmother) and some very busy days at church. It has been a crazy three months. Tonight I am posting to make you aware of several issues:

1) I have been working on a new blog format and hope to have that ready to go soon.

2) One of the church matters that I have been dedicating significant time to is a leadership development initiative called The Barnabas Project. A part of this project is a blog, which you can access here.

3) This post signifies that I am returning to a regular posting. This may be somewhat less than in the past as I will be posting both here and at blog mentioned above, but I hope to post at least a couple of times a week.

Looking forward to getting back in the saddle!



About Me

I am a husband to Eva, father of 4, pastor, and most of all passionate follower of Jesus Christ. The focus of my life is to make the most of every opportunity God gives me to bring glory to Him. Outside of the time spent in my role as a pastor, I spend most of my time with my family -- a good deal of that coaching various sports teams that my children are involved with. Every fall and winter you will find me rushing to the woods of Indiana and West Virginia in search of a monster whitetail buck.