A Renegade’s Guide to God
Finding Life Outside Conventional Christianity
Dynamic speaker and author David Foster leads people to an untamed, unpredictable relationship with the ultimate renegade of all time–Jesus.
Growing up, David Foster resented the self-righteousness found at churches whose missions centered on fear and guilt. He longed to be free – away from force-fed religion – but still follow Jesus. He considered himself a renegade, for God.
Filled with firsthand discoveries that often put Foster at odds with his peers, this book exposes myths and half-truths found in organized religion today. Foster boasts that “God loves you as you are, not as you ought to be,” and shows an exciting Christian life does not have to be an oxymoron. He dares Christians to be what they were made to be – renegades for God.
“…reads like a thunderstorm of insight and energy. David Foster’s enthusiasm and undomesticated faith provide a desperately needed alternative to the grim, furrowed, lamentable religiosity that is too common these days. Like a great cup of coffee or a jump into a refreshing river, this joyful book will wake you up and get you moving — and smiling.” – Brian McLaren, author/activist
“…David Foster gives voice to a greatly needed message for times like these. I am energized and encouraged by like-minded brothers who are spreading the message that there’s a new thing coming: the next great revival in America.” – Stephen Baldwin, actor and author of “The Unusual Suspect“.
“At a young age, David Foster was a Christian who asked questions. Uncomfortable growing up in a church whose mission centered on fear instead of faith and guilt instead of God, he has used his God-given renegade ways to discover for himself God’s definition of Christianity. His story shows that you don’t have to be a religious robot to be a faithful follower of Christ.” – Mike Huckabee, governor of Arkansas and author of “Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork“
“David Foster has burst across the American literary scene with fire and brimstone. His latest book will force you to think, but more importantly, it will inspire you to evaluate your life, take action, and step out boldly for our Creator.” – Pat Williams, Senior Vice President, Orlando Magic, and author of “Coaching Your Kids to Be Leaders”
“Refreshingly contagious! With Velveteen Rabbit-like stories, David Foster reminds us that ‘real’ Christianity usually involves a measure of pain and discomfort, but once a person dicovers ‘real’ love, he or she will settle for nothing less.” – Ken Abraham, New York Times bestselling author
The Power To Prevail
Turning Your Adversities Into Advantages
Renowned pastor David Foster looks to the Scriptures for advice on how to overcome the obstacles in life and turn adversity into advantage.
Many people believe that once someone becomes a Christian, life is suddenly easy, and problems disappear. However, this could not be further from the truth. In fact, Christians often face more challenges, as the same faith that provides them with support and consolation is tested on a daily basis.
In The Power To Prevail, David Foster explores the paradox of adversity. While obstacles and trials are bound to arise, he asserts that it is how people respond to those challenges that determines whether they grow in faith or crumble in defeat. Foster then details a three point plan that helps to promote a positive response: He says if we choose our attitudes, change our aptitudes, and control our actions, adversity ceases to be a stumbling block and starts to become an opportunity.
Practical, hard-hitting, and inspiring, The Power To Prevail is a manual for those who want to make the most of their Christian walk, regardless of their circumstances.
Chapter 1: Turning Crawling into Climbing
Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. MURIEL STRODE
At the top of my “all-time best memories” list stands the moment I brought my firstborn home from the hospital. I carried Erin around the house while spewing baby talk to try to make her smile. I cherish the memory of rocking her to sleep!
But as much as I loved carrying her, she quickly tired of it. As she grew stronger and bolder she wanted to crawl. Crawling quickly turned into pulling up on a chair leg, and pulling up turned into climbing. She started by climbing up and down the stairs, followed soon after by climbing up and down the furniture in the house, the car in the garage, and the trees in the yard. She climbed as if she had an internal climbing gear. My wife called me home one day because our sweet, precious, dainty baby girl had climbed up a chest of drawers so high that the thing toppled over.
For her own good and our peace of mind, we forbade her to climb. She climbed anyway. We threatened to punish her. Her climbing continued. One day I brought home a little trike called an “Olle,” a yellow plastic thing with four wheels low to the ground. I hoped she might take to coasting along on her Olle, but this proved only a momentary distraction from her real passion, climbing.
In the end we could come up with only one safe solution. We put in a swing set so she could at least have a safe place to climb. She loved it. It gave her many more creative ways to climb. She found ways to hang off the high bar by her hands and feet, ways that sometimes took my breath away. I took comfort in the thought that maybe, as the firstborn, she just felt bored. But when little sisters one and two arrived, they all climbed! My wife and I faithfully delivered our warnings, but our daughters heedlessly continued their fanatical climbing.
I have since concluded that all kids are born with an internal climbing gear. Could it be that we humans will always feel dissatisfied with crawling or coasting so long as we have something close by to climb?
“Foster’s insight is clearly God-given and his talent for delivering that insight will delight you…prepare to be thrilled…” – Gary Chapman, singer, songwriter, media personality
“…will encourage, motivate, and empower you without lying to you about the pain and the peril…” – Steve Brown, president of Key Life Network, Inc., professor at Reformed Seminary, Orlando, Florida
“Insightful, whimsical and faith provoking…left me with a renewed commitment to strive for greatness…A must read.” – Richard Marx, singer/songwriter/producer>/em>
“…David s passionate and creative approach helps adversity become a strong ally rather a paralyzing conqueror.” – Bob Russell, senior minister, Southeast Christian Church
“…careful, clear, biblically accurate guidance into the presence of God…a great book written by a man who deeply knows.” – Ralph Hodge, Regional Director Mid South Region, LifeWay Christian Resources
“…will inspire you, encourage you, and allow you to understand what it takes to move through the barriers in life…” – Steve Ayers, lead pastor of Hillvue Heights Church, Bowling Green, KY
“…challenges modern-day believers to experience the power of God in turning would-be defeats into triumphs…” – Rubel Shelly, preaching minister, Family of God at Woodmont Hills, Nashville, Tennessee
Accept No Mediocre Life: Living Beyond Labels, Libels, and Limitations
Listen to David Foster reading from Chapter 9
Widely loved speaker and pastor David Foster urges readers to shed the labels others so often place on us, especially the most dangerous label of all: mediocre. All labels are libels and this is the most insidious. When we believe the opinions of others about us, we can’t fail to measure up to their meager expectations.
But there are ways to break free, to go through life dancing, twirling, testing our limits, embracing the best God has in store for us. As an old proverb has it, “He who aims at excellence will be above mediocrity; he who aims at mediocrity will be far short of it.”
Organized in a series of four Commitments, Foster outlines promises we will make ourselves as we learn to strive for excellence in our lives. These twelve promises–among them, “I will embrace my uniqueness,” “I will conquer my fears,” “I will serve a noble cause,” “I will treat time as life”–form a personal agenda by which we can realize our full potential, whatever our circumstances.
The perfect conditions, perfect timing, perfect skills for achieving excellence will never come. We have to seize today and vow to begin a life-changing, life-affirming journey to reach the awesome possibilities ahead of us. As Foster says, “We will not be denied, because we refuse to live within the limits of man-made labels and libels. We will not accept a mediocre life and we will not disappear quietly into the middle. We gladly accept the proverb, ‘Those who hear not the music, think the dancer’s mad.’ We hear the music, it’s in our heart and soul, and we must dance.”
Chapter 1: I Will Embrace My Uniqueness
The first time I was told to be ashamed of myself was at home.The first time I actually felt ashamed of myself was at church on Senior Day. This rite of passage awaited every high school senior in my childhood church. We seniors lined up behind the ornate white pulpit and, one by one, shuffled to the microphone to announce the universities to which we would be matriculating in the fall. Just as cruel fate would have it, the kid just before me announced he was going to Harvard on a full ride, no less. Then I stepped to the microphone with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I didn’t want to be there. It was silly. It was no one’s business but my own what I was going to do with my life. I wanted to run, but since I couldn’t, I did the next best thing; I lied. I thought about announcing I was going to Harvard, but my teachers in the audience knew my grades. In the heat of the moment I stepped to the microphone and blurted out, “While they’re all going to school, I’m going to work!” Ha, ha, not really?
No one laughed, seemed shocked, or disappointed. The reaction was nil. I guess it sounded like the right thing for an average kid from an average family to do. I was the only one surprised or wounded by my words. Everything within me wanted someone to stand up in protest. I wanted my coach, one of my teachers,my parents,my pastor, or anyone to stand up and say,”You’re a smart kid, David. You’re destined for great things!” I shuffled off the stage in a hurry to get anywhere but there. I ran down the hallway, wanting more than anything to hear the sound of someone running after me. I needed someone to tell me I was important, I was special, and I could do anything I set my mind to do. But no one came, no one called, and no one seemed to notice or care. It wasn’t just okay for me to be ordinary; it was expected. It was okay with my parents and my school, and now I had the misguided opinion it was even okay with God. But it wasn’t okay with me. I already hated my life and dreaded my future. I decided from that day on, I would show the world just how common and ordinary my behavior could be.
I didn’t know why or how, but as I lit up a Marlboro in my souped-up, flaming orange ‘66 Chevy Impala Super Sport that morning, I vowed to break loose from the labels and limitations that were suffocating me even before I had the chance to succeed, or fail for that matter. I set out on a quest that day to find someone to believe in me.There had to be someone in this world who could see beyond my rough, tough-guy exterior and discover something of greatness, but where was this person, and how could I find him? That day I rejected the mind-set that said,”Get a job, get a wife, get a mortgage, and then get burial insurance!”
“David Foster’s Accept No Mediocre Life motivates! This is how life is meant to be lived, full, passionate, pedal to the metal, stepping into all that God has for us! The “I Will” chapters made me promise myself that I truly WILL. This book will launch you to your real potential and make you anything but normal and mediocre. You owe yourself a read of this, you won’t, you can’t walk away from this one once you start.” – Dave Ramsey, national radio host and New York Times bestselling author of The Total Money Makeover, Financial Peace, and More Than Enough
“Instead of sitting on a throne of pretended perfection, Dave Foster plunges into the battle that all of us fight everyday: to find hope, faith, and grace. He reminds us that all of us are broken, and that God’s love moves creatively in this brokenness. Dave Foster seeks to do what the leaders do, demolishing the old labels of limitation and opening our hearts to the power of God’s love.” – Randall Wallace, Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Braveheart and bestselling author of Love and Honor
“In this remarkable follow up to his first book, The Power to Prevail, Dr. David Foster translates Biblical truths, and combines them with quotes from famous people of faith, into his own engaging words of wisdom that challenge us to ACCEPT NO MEDIOCRE LIFE. My only regret in reading this book is that it wasn’t available for me to read 20 years ago.” – Brian Prout, drummer, Diamond Rio
“David Foster sells hope! His words, written or spoken, energize and motivate people to want to change. Most admirably he does this without asking people to escape their real lives. Instead he weaves his insights in and through the stories of everyday people trying to find a reason to hope in a world gone sideways.” – Jim Henderson, executive director, Off The Map