Thursday, June 20, 2013

4 Ways to See the Nail Holes and Place Your Hand in his Side

(We're going to begin exploring matters of faith and family life issues here on the blog, while we continue on Luke's and his soon-to-be sister's young journeys.)

Is that a good idea?

The Bible Says So. The phrase may be cliche, but the reality begs for deeper conversation. Being that we've just finished reading the Bible in a year (Luke and I, that is), it's a good time to bring it up.

Let's be real. Non-christians doubt it. At times, Christian friends I've had through the years have questioned it. Many reject its messages. A few have abandoned believing God wrote it. Privately, others have wondered if they can fully trust it.

We're talking about the authenticity of the Bible. We're talking about whether or not the Bible is true.

A common argument I hear creeping in among intellectuals and academics is many books hold truths that can be applied to life--the Bible is one such book and a compilation men chose, at that (in truth, councils that affirmed the biblical books merely recognized what the church had acknowledged as divinely inspired for years). Therefore, it can be trusted little more than Whitman or Thoreau.

However, one distinction exists. Whitman never said "Song of Myself" was from God. He passionately believed his intoxications of nature, but he understood them to be observations. Similarly, Thoreau wrote from his own sense of searching.

The Bible claims it is divinely inspired by God. Trustworthy in every way to be true.

"Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." 1 Peter 1:20-21


"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

So is the Bible lying or is it true? There are only two options. The question really is--is it from God?

If it is, we can trust it in all situations. And if it is, we must change our lives in response.

In truth, we don't need evidence. Though I've heard many people say they read the Bible yet still need to see proof, my hunch is they aren't actually reading it nearly as much as they say they are (or think they are). If one pores through the Bible with an open heart to know God, his Holy Spirit will show everything it says is true--and we can believe God is really saying it.

Since God really exists, this is easy for him. The more time we invest in his Word (with an open heart), the more we give him this opportunity.

However, for those who tend to ask to see the nail holes and put their hands in his side before believing, go back and do what I just said. No, seriously.

But you can read on too, and see that what God's Spirit will speak to your heart, he doesn't simply say. It actually is.

4 Ways to See the Nail Holes and Place Your Hand in his Side.

1) Archaelogical Evidence. Really? I know, I know. Let's start easy. But think about it for a moment. Secular society considers most Bible stories to be nice, well...fibs. Adam and Eve. Noah's Ark. Jonah. Jericho. Unscientific. Fluffy religious stuff.

The basis for that assumption is evidence. Problem is, every current archaelogical discovery shows more and more places academics thought were made up actually existed. And were exactly the way the Bible reports (one of many references). Do these discoveries trump the weight of God's Word? No. His Word stands alone. But they clearly support it.

2) Medical Advances. In the 1800s, germs were discovered. At a hospital in Vienna, women were dying at an alarming rate during birthing. A Hungarian doctor realized the doctors delivering the babies were coming directly from performing autopsies and must be passing something invisible. He made them wash their hands before assisting in births and the mortality rate dropped from 18% to 2.2%.  Just washing their hands.

God told the Israelites to wash after various impurities made them "unclean" before they could return to camp. God's Word gave instructions about cleanliness thousands of years before germs and the importance of washing to prevent disease were discovered.

Other directions, such as not eating pork, have since been found to be extremely healthful. These are just two of many commands God gave in his Word that could not have been known at the time otherwise.

3) The Agreement of the Message. Around 40 different authors spanning many generations. All with the same enduring message. This isn't one guy scrawling down some thoughts from an angel. Some were uneducated--Peter. Others, extremely learned--Paul.

Critics argue the Bible contradicts itself. Really, passages complement each other for deep, clear insights into wisdom. And think who these guys were:

-Most of the Old Testament books were written by prophets who directly heard from God
     (and Moses, who was so close to God's presence his face shone)
-The ones in the New Testament were the guys who were so filled with the Holy Spirit they
     started and led the church (and confounded the far better educated)

Believable this was a work of God.

4) The Prophecies of Jesus. Perhaps most compelling, there are over 300 prophecies about the Jewish Messiah that were all fulfilled in Jesus (here are 44, clearly outlined. Check them out!).

They are irrefutable, things like where the Messiah would be born, what line of descendants he would come from, how he would die--things no one could fake.

And all these come from the Holy Scriptures of a people who largely do not even accept him (mostly because he threatens their status quo). They pre-date his birth, and can all still be read there. There's no way they could be doctored by a bunch of upstart newbies.


So put your finger here. See his hands. Reach out yours and put it into his side. Stop doubting and believe.

But "blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 20:29).

In other words, go to his Word. Read it daily with renewed excitement and an open heart. His Holy Spirit will speak to you so powerfully there you will find it changes your life.

Stop doubting and believe.

And you will find what is true is exactly what he says. What the Bible says so.

Sounds about right, Dad

Friday, June 14, 2013

Luke's First Birthday!

Congratulations, Luke! You're 1. I can't believe it. I'll reject the temptation to say you've lived 1/100 of your life if you reach 100, that you're only 32 parts younger than Daddy, or that you're half the time again to putting your toys back in the toy bin, and just take this moment to say "I love you. Daddy couldn't be prouder of his little guy."

Of course, what everyone is dying to know...Luke has read the entire Bible!

He finished his last official reading with Daddy on June 12, 2013, 365 days after this:

So I think the perfect way to celebrate your life is to chronicle your little online photo journey.

Your Life. In picture.

First, Mommy was pregnant.

That was you, Luke!

You were hiding. It was dark in there. But then you came out and met Mommy and Daddy!

We read about "In the beginning..."

You learned quickly.

Sometimes you quivered!

And you slept a lot.

Sometimes with Daddy! Those were some of Dad's favorite moments.

You'd sleep on his chest and he'd feel like a million bucks. It was the best place in the world Dad could be.

You went on your first adventure! We won't mention the escapade in the car.

Sometimes you went on adventures with just Dad. Tucked away and safe.

You started showing your funny personality!

And your adorable one.

You went out to see the world.

With the most loving family ever! (in your frog suit)

Daddy swaddled you a lot. You were always surprised.

We celebrated the 4th of July together (Mommy's favorite holiday)! She picked out your outfit.

What a fascinating place.

You learned about Thai food.

And baths.

And playing on playmats. Which you loved! Daddy sang with the songs.

You met your adorable cousins. That's Sky!

You had parties. :)

It was tiring.

And you got cuter.

And cuter.

And cuter.

And cuter.

And cuter!

Like on Easter with Mommy and Daddy. 

Or just chillin' in your dipes!

 But you were always the coolest kiddo around.

 And Daddy's best friend.

I love you, Luke Israel Demsick.


Happy 1st Birthday!

Congrats on your 1st Bible!

I'm so proud of you.



(John-Peter lives in Vero Beach, Florida with his wife Angela, son Luke, and daughter-to-be. His new release, Breathing In and Breathing Out: Leader of Men, recently hit #22 on Amazon's top 100 Christian men's issues Kindle books and is available here)

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Final Day of Release Week

This is it! Crazy to think everything with Breathing In and Breathing Out happened in four days (since release) and the release week will culminate in 12 hours (with the party!).

Thank you to those who've rushed over to Amazon and bought the book, and to those who've sent everyone willing to listen stampeding (or wandering) over to buy one.

The results are in for the first four days:

Thursday, why you do dat?

A Recap.

Monday is a compilation of about five to ten pre-orders of different kinds and three people who jumped off their couches to buy after I learned how to use the internet (about 2/3 through the day).

Tuesday clearly saw our best results, as somewhere edging near 20 books were sold, I presume to 20 people--not antelopes, who are also very interested in breathing, and not 6.66 people who were so excited they wanted to read with one book in each hand. And another as some sort of non-kosher, recyclable yamaka.

Wednesda, as I've smartly coined above, saw a steady flow of sales the first half of the day, raking in 11 book sales by 1:30, and then right when I predicted we could edge out Tuesday by a slight margin and still be on track to reach $1,000 by Friday, anonymous people everywhere put their fingers in their ears and said, "Book? What book?", a Roman centurion bemused, "What is truth?", Don McLean died*, and antelopes went on breathing as usual. 

Still, one person kicked open the door to Amazon and bought a book.

Thursday five copies were snatched up, and that brings us to...

The Final Day of Release Week!

Yes, this is the last day your purchases (all you antelopes out there) will be donated to orphans. Tomorrow, any books sold will go toward other problems like erasing substantial third world book debt and things of that nature.

This has been a fun ride! The real adventure, however, begins when you open page 1. I am thrilled many of you will be reading the book and I can't wait to hear from you about it.

I pray God blesses you so richly. I pray God speaks to your heart about what he is saying to men, women, and the church. I pray it produces real action and change in our lives.

Isn't that what a good book should do?

I wonder if I can eat this...

And if not, perhaps you can recycle it. Or eat it.

(If you haven't bought your copy or want to give others as Father's Day gifts, click here for the Paperback and Kindle)

*not a real thing

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Nature of Men

The Book. If you haven't read the beginning of the book, stop right now and click here for the beginning of Chapter 1.

Part 2:

A Different Setting

     But men don't belong in church.

     As I sit staring ahead, listening to the sermon, pondering the back of the person's head in front of me, while he is pondering the back of the person's head in front of him, I wonder how we got here. I mean, I got here by way of the parking lot. A smiling man in an orange vest, no doubt cautious of the dangers of reckless, late church-goers competing with time on natural grass turf, waved me in.

     And I slid into my spot.

     So now I'm here.

     But, I have to admit, not much more thought was put into it. And I'll add, for the majority of us, not much more will be. We're not lazy, worthless bums or lumps of creamer-fed donut fat, although if we're lucky we rolled through the local donut shop drive thru (without stopping) and filled up on our weekly ration of double chocolate glazed before we arrived. Late.

     We're good men. We saved halves of cream cheesed bagels for our wives and iced coffees to get them through the struggles of wriggling the kids to Sunday School.

     Oh, yeah. And I almost forgot. I did my manly duty this morning. I picked out the family pew seat.

     And I slid into my spot.

     Not much more has been asked of me, and if I stick around, I have a feeling probably not much more will be.

     You see, I'm in church.

     And, like I said, men don't belong in church.

The Dilemma

     Now, I don't mean men shouldn't be in church, but that there is no place for them. Not in the current church.

     Let me explain. Guys throughout time have longed to fight, to strategize, to lead. To embark. To accept a top secret mission. We dream about jumping in front of bullets or kicking through walls and shooting bad guys who threaten lives of damsels in distress, who in turn fall madly in love with us as we gingerly sweep them off their feet. Without breaking a sweat (or an appendage). And without a post-rampage chiropractic appointment. We want something real. Like that. Well, make-believe real, anyway. Something with action and feet sweeping.

     Really, we want an exciting mission that's romantic. Life or death. The stakes raised. The future resting on us.

     And that's how we feel about church, too. Give us that kind of call, and we're all in. Set us along the wall with a stack of service bulletins and a hello name tag and we're...unimpressed.

     So what does that mean for men? Where does it leave us now?

     Well, in the pages that follow, this book will unveil the simple, clear call of God on every man. It will reveal, through his design, that God has a plan, and the patterns we see in nature, the desires that stir deeply in our hearts, he intended to fulfill a crucial purpose. In every man. That means every man has a purpose in the church. It means you do. If true, this will have revolutionary implications.

     If man's nature is unique, if he was formed with a specific design--a blueprint, perhaps--of strength, initiative, and leadership at creation, then the church needs to change to match that. Not the other way around. In this culture, we often ask men to change to fit the church. Follow the rules, be quiet, fold your hands, find your pew, and please sit down. Or as I was once asked--if you're going to dance while worshiping, please stand in the back. We don't want you to distract anyone. When I politely mentioned David dancing before the Lord, I was told I would be welcome to find another church.

     Well, this isn't a book about dancing. It isn't about styles of worship, the top ten rules of how not to rock the half-submerged boat, or why fitting in is better than standing up. It is a book about men. It is about exactly who we are. But because it's about men, it's also about the church. The two are inseparable; one flows naturally out of the other.

     And the only way for the church to meet its true purpose is to fulfill the purpose of every person in it.

     To empower them in Christ, as men and as women. That is discipleship.

     But where does that leave us now? Unfortunately, as I think you'll see, it's not very far.

(stay tuned tomorrow for more or purchase your copy of the Paperback or Kindle version now!

The Mission. Let's check our progress...

Two days done and three days left -- we're on our way! Monday's sales were a combination of Monday and a number of early sales the week before, so Tuesday made improvement. We'll just need to finish with a few strong days to raise $1,000 for orphans.

Consider sharing about Breathing In and Breathing Out: Leader of Men today. I know, I know. You have. But in addition to social media, let's think of a few friends we could personally tell about it.

Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing, because friends trust you in a way they never would an ad or random post.

What would you tell them?  I'd tell them it's an inspiring book about empowering men to become leaders of men in their churches and families. It's a perfect $12 Father's Day gift, and the proceeds are donated to orphans. What's not to like? :)

If you haven't bought your copy, head over to Amazon now.

The Gifts. Thank you to everyone who has participated in release week! Be sure to fill out the form below so you're eligible for the daily prizes.

The winner of yesterday's $50.00 gift card for sharing the book with friends was Keith Vinson. Thanks Keith!

There was no winner for the book gift set, so I think we'll just change that division to a surprise gift for RAORing and allow people to choose if they want to participate or not.

Click below if you'd like to be entered for today's $50 gift card to one of your choice: Lowe's, Bass Pro Shop, or Outback Steakhouse.

The success of release week is because of YOU! I'm so grateful you've joined me in spreading a message that will inspire, challenge, and call men on to live boldly for Christ. To be leaders of men.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Breathing In and Breathing Out -- Official Release -- Take Two!

(Okay, we're going to try this again, because my form company failed me yesterday. So I fired that company and hired a better one. Yesterday's gifts are available today -- Tuesday. Briefly enter your information anytime from now until midnight tonight. Thanks for your patience guys!)

Buy Breathing In and Breathing Out: Leader of Men now in Paperback or Kindle!

And now, the book...

Chapter 1 - The Modern Day Church

     Men don't belong in church.

     As I sit in the cove of my back porch, watching the white pines sway and toss before me, gusts showering small, dart-like missiles in surging waves across my lawn, I huddle into my chair a little deeper. Wind howls through the trees as a siren begins to wail in the distance, reminding that danger lurks out in the vast beyond. Overly aggressive fronts spatter across and into my hiding place, chilling me with cold, hard pellets of water. Impending dark clouds loom in the sky, warning with an occasional menacing boom of their approach. The Florida treasure coast has come alive with a fury that must have once sent the fiercest Seminole scurrying for cover.

     I should probably be inside. That is precisely the reason I'm out here.

     The deep forest that butts up against my house holds something majestic that beckons me. Perhaps it is mystery of the unknown. Today, perhaps, it is a conquest that reflects a battle within. A battle at this moment I'm winning, as I hunker down and take the brute force of the storm. At times like these, it calls in a way no magnitude of wetness or warning of danger can prevent.

     I was born to be here at this moment.

     I was born to live free, no to live or die in a great conquest, a sweeping story. However, my conquest may not be found underneath palmetto brush or in deep woods padded with beds of pine needles. I may be inspired there. But they can never keep me, not longer than the awe of exploring or rush of the outdoors, which wear thin. No, what I sense runs deeper. Something this raging wild before me reminds me of. Awesome and powerful, breathtaking yet surreal, it captures the fierceness of scores of warriors lined up for a combative rush yet the picturesque beauty of a Bride breathlessly awaiting a wedding day.

     And I'm sure of it now.

     Something more than me, my blanket, my chair, and the wild lingers out here in the cold. Something demanding a response. More than a feeling, it is an ache, a desire, or...calling.

     Perhaps that's what I've found out here in the storm, as the heavens pelt away at me with friendly fire, whilst I curl up under the safety of my little hideaway. A calling from within that was written on my heart since boyhood but etched in the stars long before.

     One so epic it becomes holy.

     A calling that leads me to the church.

(to be continued tomorrow...)

That's right, we are officially published. The adventure has begun!

And we're moving toward our goal of raising $1,000 for orphans by this Friday at midnight.

So it's time to give away some gifts!

And it's time to RAOR.

Put up a social media post, tweet, blog post--whatever--even send an email, make a phone call, or stop your day to specifically honor a man from your church, neighborhood, job, or family in person to RAOR your Random Act of Respect. They all count! If it's on social media, mention the RAOR movement or add a #RAOR or #RAOR movement. 

Today's gift to one lucky person who RAORs is a masculinity and femininity gift set by acclaimed author Elisabeth Elliot: The Mark of a Man and Let Me Be a Woman!

Also, share Breathing In and Breathing Out today in a social media post, tweet, blog, email, phone call, or conversation with a friend you think would enjoy the book, and click below for a chance to win a $50 gift card to Lowe's, Bass Pro Shop, or Outback Steakhouse! The winner chooses. Sometimes just personally mentioning to a friend that they've gotta read this book is the most powerful message.

As a reminder, ALL proceeds from books bought today until Friday will be donated to orphans (providing for the fatherless). Thank you for honoring men, providing for children, and empowering the church!

May Breathing In and Breathing Out: Leader of Men bless you richly!


Sunday, June 2, 2013

The RAOR Movement (and Curling Up with a Good Book)

So it's official, Luke likes to read!

And darn cute at it, too!

Good timing, buddy, because Daddy has something really important to share with you...

Tomorrow, RELEASE WEEK begins and Breathing In and Breathing Out: Leader of Men officially releases!

Which brings me to the exciting part: I am giving away cool stuff every day on the blog, from Monday to Friday, to celebrate the release with you!

Breathing In and Breathing Out is a book to inspire and empower men, and it fits neatly before Father's Day (psst...Father's Day gift). But I don't just want to empower men. I want to honor them.

So I've come up with what I'm calling the RAOR movement. That's right. RAOR. It's a movement of Random Acts Of Respect on social media to men from your church, neighborhood, job, and family -- wherever -- who have influenced you positively and who would appreciate hearing it leading up to Father's Day.

Would you RAOR with me?

I want to create such a RAOR this week it is DEAFENING.

Just put up a social media post, tweet, blog post--whatever--even send an email, make a phone call, or stop your day to specifically honor a man. If it's on social media, mention the RAOR movement or add a #RAOR or #RAOR movement. Yep, it's that easy. Will you join me?

Every day this week -- Monday to Friday -- there will be an entry form on the blog. Simply click that you'll honor a father or man that specific day (in a specific way that you normally wouldn't). Each day I'll select one entry to win the day's gift. Every day, new opportunities to win!

Tomorrow's gift is a masculinity and femininity gift set!! One lucky entry will receive a set of masculinity and femininity books by Elisabeth Elliot -- The Mark of a Man and Let Me Be a Woman!

Additionally, every day you can click that you'll share something about Breathing In and Breathing Out: Leader of Men that day in a social media post, tweet, blog, email, phone call, or conversation with a friend you think would enjoy the book, and you'll be entered for a chance to win a $50 gift card to Lowe's, Bass Pro Shop, or Outback Steakhouse. The winner gets to choose.

Every day two options: 1. RAOR  2. Share Breathing In and Breathing Out with friends

Two opportunities:  1. A gift set  2. A $50 gift card.

Will you RAOR with me?

Most importantly, I want to carry out the mission of the book through the sales on So I'm donating ALL proceeds during RELEASE WEEK to charity (specifically orphans--the fatherless).

My goal is to raise $1,000 for orphans in 5 days, from Monday to Friday. I believe we can do it.

And now, your first bit of the book...Chapter 1 will be on the blog starting tomorrow!!



     Years ago, a friend Terry, my brother Richard, and I led a Christian club at the local public high school. After some discussion, we tried a bold move—we had the students lead everything. They planned meetings, gave talks, and led prayers. Surprisingly, far more students showed up wanting to lead than to participate.
     And in one of those moments when you recall someone beckoning you over and uttering a secret that has since changed your life, Terry leaned in and whispered a statement that stuck with me.
     “When natural leaders walk into a place where there are no opportunities to lead, they naturally leave.”
     I have never been able to shake it.

     That is what has happened with the church.


Get ready to RAOR.

And to find a corner to curl up in with a good book.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

15 Things You May Have Missed While Mommy and Daddy Played Russian Roulette With the Baby Bottle

Well, there you have it. It's been nearly seven months since I posted on Luke's life. Er...Luke's flailing on playmats while wailing at milk ducts. And now it's time to post again.

For, he has a competitor.

Little, adorable Luke has a little, adorable timecapsule playdate. And Mommy has a stomach ache.

Somehow when I began reading the Bible with Luke I didn't have the foresight to realize I almost literally wouldn't be able to stop. It's like that crazy colored merry-go-round the big kid from two grades up starts pushing once you get on. You contemplate the sloppy joes you ate for lunch and instinctively assume it would hurt more to jump off than clutch the side rail and ride it out.

Ok it isn't too much like that.

But I swear parenting could use side rails.

Or possibly a sign saying don't jump on the crazy colored merry-go-round when fat kids are present.

Instead, while others were whispering phrases like "family planning" and "is this a working emergency exit?" in hushed tones on other sides of rooms we entered, Daddy and Mommy were just carefreely playing away at the russian roulette game in the corner with the baby bottle.

And now, (croaks) ...

There. is. another. Demsick.

Yes, approximately two months after Luke's first birthday, another Demsick will gasp, cry, and fall asleep in two hour intervals. And we will begin again.

Though--I'll admit--I've neglected to post our little fun misadventures for seven months, our somewhat less little parenting miscalculations, and our downright not-at-all little mischievous infantary, I have continued to read to Luke.

Translation: Luke has read almost the entire Bible before learning to pee discriminately and not call the long-haired one, "Dad."

So, in the spirit of sharing or learning or something more productive than post-apocalyptic fat kid sighting signs--in order--I figure I'll bring you up to speed on the last seven (ish) months:

The 15 Things You Missed This Year

1. Tinkling on the wall. Sprayin' right across the paint.

2. Rolling onto stomach. Crying at being on stomach.

3. Emergency room. $$$. False alarm.

4. Rolling onto stomach. Flailing in failed attempt to move. More crying.

5. Baby food. Mess. Bath.

6. Emergency room. More $$$. False alarm two.

7. Dad cutting off Emergency room visits.

8. Crawling.

9. Crawling off side of bed. Mom says Dad's fault.  ...

10.Saying first almost word, "Da..."

11.Repeating first almost word, "Da..." endlessly at Mom. :)

12.Pulling oneself to standing.

13.Standing. Sitting. St--sitting.

14.Crawling after Dad as he leaves for work. Heartbreak.

15.Clawing at Dad's legs. Personifying cuddliness in miniature, huggable form.

There you have it.

Nearly seven months of knee-high variety misadventures. But ages since a heart fell in love with wonder bottled in little blue eyes.

Makes it a whole lot easier to jump in for another spin at the roulette game with the bottle in the corner.

The one, I know this time, we won't lose.

The one I wouldn't want to for all the world.

Not too long ago, I told Luke I am his father.

Very soon he will get the chance to reply-- "The Spirit runs strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. sister has it."

Very soon.

---Click here to check out my exciting new book, which releases June 3rd!---

I think you'll love it!