Beyond Clichés

Becoming so heavenly minded that we are of some earthly good.

Category: Spiritual Growth (page 1 of 2)

What I Learned in My Crusades to Ban Alcohol, Legalize Pot, Destroy Religion and Save the Nation

For the last 20 years I’ve been involved in some sort of “crusade.” I’ve argued that:

  • Alcohol should be banned.
  • Pot should be legalized.
  • Religion should be destroyed.
  • America should be delivered from crazy liberals.

However, over the last several years I’ve been learning how to spend less time arguing, and more time encouraging people.

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About Josh Monen

Josh is a Christian, entrepreneur and writer from Ridgefield, WA. He's married with three kids: ages 4, 2 and 1. Before he met God, Josh was a drug addict with a $500/day cocaine addiction that almost killed him. Today he's seeking a real authentic relationship with God and others.

Delayed Obedience Is Better Than Disobedience

Or at least at I hope it is.

Recently, I met two new people. Shaun, was at a business prayer meeting I attended in Vancouver, WA (link to his blog) and Tim, is a pastor I met online (link to his blog).

And they both essentially told me the same thing: “Josh, I’ve read your blog and I hope you keep writing on it.”

I thought, Yeah, maybe I should start writing there more. 

So I pulled up this blog to see when the last time I posted was and it was 11 months ago! Wow.

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About Josh Monen

Josh is a Christian, entrepreneur and writer from Ridgefield, WA. He's married with three kids: ages 4, 2 and 1. Before he met God, Josh was a drug addict with a $500/day cocaine addiction that almost killed him. Today he's seeking a real authentic relationship with God and others.

To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice

As I was praying this morning I was reminded of the verse that says, “To obey is better than sacrifice.” I didn’t remember the rest of the verse so I googled it and found 1 Samuel 15:22 which reads:

“So Samuel said: “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.”

When I heard, “to obey is better than sacrifice” I knew God was referring to something specific in my life: writing. More specifically, writing on this blog, Beyond Cliches.

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About Josh Monen

Josh is a Christian, entrepreneur and writer from Ridgefield, WA. He's married with three kids: ages 4, 2 and 1. Before he met God, Josh was a drug addict with a $500/day cocaine addiction that almost killed him. Today he's seeking a real authentic relationship with God and others.

Why Introspection Is A Waste Of Time

Why Introspection Is A  Bad Idea

Should you be more introspective?

Well, it depends what kind of life you want.

If you want to rob yourself of joy, stunt your spiritual growth and become a more self-absorbed person than yes, by all means, you should be introspective.

But seriously, think about it.

Have you ever felt empowered after an intense time of introspection?

Did you examine all your motives and then walk away feeling refreshed and closer to God?

If you’re like most people then probably not.

And why would you?

The nature of introspection is to look for things that are wrong in your life. Areas of your life that need to be corrected. Trying to judge yourself according to your own internal belief system.

And from my experience (and observation of many well meaning Christians) introspection does little to change your life for the better. Continue reading

About Josh Monen

Josh is a Christian, entrepreneur and writer from Ridgefield, WA. He's married with three kids: ages 4, 2 and 1. Before he met God, Josh was a drug addict with a $500/day cocaine addiction that almost killed him. Today he's seeking a real authentic relationship with God and others.

What Do You Believe About Your Nature?

New Creation vs Sin Nature

What Kind Of Nature Do You Have?

The “sin nature” is a subject that is taught, preached and studied extensively in the church today.

Conversely there isn’t much focus on what it means to be a “new creation” in Christ.Think about it for a moment. How often do you hear the sin/human nature mentioned in a sermon compared to the “inward man” or the “new creation”?

If you’re like most Christians you’ve been taught about the sinful, fallen and corrupt nature of man far more than you have about being a new creation.

It’s as if what Adam and Eve did was more important (or powerful) than what Christ did.

And it’s a tragedy. When we neglect to teach Christians the truth about what it means to be a new creation we do a terrible disservice. We end up with Christians and churches who are completely ignorant of the abundant spiritual life available and who continue to strive against sin. Plus, it makes having a real relationship with God almost impossible.

Here’s why…

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About Josh Monen

Josh is a Christian, entrepreneur and writer from Ridgefield, WA. He's married with three kids: ages 4, 2 and 1. Before he met God, Josh was a drug addict with a $500/day cocaine addiction that almost killed him. Today he's seeking a real authentic relationship with God and others.

I Made the Mistake of Reading George MacDonald (aka C.S. Lewis’s “Master”)

I didn’t even know who George MacDonald was until recently. I think the first time I heard his name was last summer when my good friend Matt Perkins of Northwest Anglican and my mother-in-law Tiffany Seppala were discussing his books over lunch. They said he was a great influence on C.S. Lewis.Discovering_the_Character_of_God

So I started reading, Discovering the Character of God by MacDonald recently and realized his writings aren’t something I can just quickly read through and say, “Oh that was good,” and move on with life. No. I say “I made the mistake of reading George MacDonald” because I can’t do that. I can’t read a chapter, smile and then just go on with life like nothing happened.

For whatever reason, his writing has challenged me at the core of who I am. As he writes about the character of God I begin to think about who God really is.

And I want to share a statement that really rocked me last night. So much so that I had to sit my book down, sit up straight in bed and really consider what I had just read. But before I share that let me give you a little background on George MacDonald in case you aren’t familiar with him. Continue reading

About Josh Monen

Josh is a Christian, entrepreneur and writer from Ridgefield, WA. He's married with three kids: ages 4, 2 and 1. Before he met God, Josh was a drug addict with a $500/day cocaine addiction that almost killed him. Today he's seeking a real authentic relationship with God and others.

Fighting or Embracing the Process?

I just finished listening to a sermon (on podcast) by Banning Liebscher from Bethel Church in Redding, CA. He shared his story of being young and zealous for the Lord. At 19 years old he felt like all he wanted to do was travel around and preach (I think he’s in his mid-30s now). He didn’t feel “called” to the local church or to youth.

Today he is the youth pastor at his local church and loves it.

As he shared I found myself laughing out loud a few times because I could relate to what he was saying and his type-A personality. He talked about how he would think about the timeline of his life and how he would always feel like he was “behind” a few years (something I’ve thought about a time or two). Continue reading

About Josh Monen

Josh is a Christian, entrepreneur and writer from Ridgefield, WA. He's married with three kids: ages 4, 2 and 1. Before he met God, Josh was a drug addict with a $500/day cocaine addiction that almost killed him. Today he's seeking a real authentic relationship with God and others.

Is the Gospel Behavior Modification?

No. There are lots of great programs out there (i.e. Alcoholics Anonymous) that help you change your behavior. I don’t know many Believers who would claim that the Gospel is behavior modification. It’s not about trying to get us to just act a certain way. It’s the story about someone else, Jesus, who did everything for us so that we could become sons and daughters of God.

Does our behavior change?

Of course it does. When someone is born again they act different. When someone just starts “going to church” they might try to act different to fit in with the new church culture but just “going to church” will not change you on the inside. Continue reading

About Josh Monen

Josh is a Christian, entrepreneur and writer from Ridgefield, WA. He's married with three kids: ages 4, 2 and 1. Before he met God, Josh was a drug addict with a $500/day cocaine addiction that almost killed him. Today he's seeking a real authentic relationship with God and others.

Empathy: Weep with those who weep

sad thumb faces

It was a tough day. I woke up at 5:30 in the morning (after going to sleep at 1 A.M.) and packed my bags before I left for the office. I was running late so didn’t have time to stop for my usual cup of coffee (which would have probably helped with my nodding off in traffic). After spending an hour in traffic I arrived at the office to find six voicemails, twenty unread emails, and a stack of unopened mail. Continue reading

About Josh Monen

Josh is a Christian, entrepreneur and writer from Ridgefield, WA. He's married with three kids: ages 4, 2 and 1. Before he met God, Josh was a drug addict with a $500/day cocaine addiction that almost killed him. Today he's seeking a real authentic relationship with God and others.

Pondering Perfectionism

 

Josh, when you play so competitively in basketball the addictive behavior I see in you is perfection.

I heard this during a Feedback Meeting when I was in drug rehab. We would take turns going around the room and pointing out addictive behaviors in our peers. I believe perfection was my most popular addictive behavior (I think second was masking with humor). Continue reading

About Josh Monen

Josh is a Christian, entrepreneur and writer from Ridgefield, WA. He's married with three kids: ages 4, 2 and 1. Before he met God, Josh was a drug addict with a $500/day cocaine addiction that almost killed him. Today he's seeking a real authentic relationship with God and others.

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