New Book Go Small

I am excited to share with you all my new book GO SMALL.

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Back in August I wrote a post called Slowing Down that you can read that might explain a little bit more about my last year. I learned a lot in this season and a lot of it came out in this new book.

I think the best way to explain the book is that it’s really a celebration of the everyday. 

That we need to have grace for ourselves and not get down on ourselves when we feel like we had a mundane day. 

That we just do the best we can with what we have and trust that God knows how to make something come of it. 

That we don’t pursue the big moments JUST TO PURSUE the big moments, but rather build to them and let them come to us naturally. 

I’m finding that, when I describe the book to people, they breathe a sigh of relief and say something like, “That sounds awesome.” There’s a felt need; people want permission to relax and to work to build the Kingdom of God without anxiety. I hope you feel the same way after reading it because the world we live in is all about going big or going home. That bigger is better than small, that more is better than less, and that success is all about who has the most stuff. 

Sound exhausting? That’s because it is. 

We believe God doesn’t care about your size, status, or success. We believe God’s definitions of those things make our definitions look small by comparison. 

We’re giving you permission to do whatever God has put in front of you. We’re giving you the opportunity to redefine what “success” means for you. 

Check out the Go Small Website and enter for a chance to win the smallest car in the Country.

Buy the book online here.

A few things about me. I don’t know how to use Photoshop and I can barely create a new spreadsheet in excel. I do like looking at both PSD files and csv files. There are some things that if I knew how to do I just think I would never sleep so I am glad I can’t figure them out. I have been working on some new ideas for XXXchurch.com website in my head for about 5 months. We are starting to build this out and thought I would show you some rough ideas so far.

Here is the idea for the home page, the start here page and the one of the get help pages.

a lot of placeholders in there for now.

Farther Along

Farther Along by Josh Garrels

Farther along we’ll know all about it 
Farther along we’ll understand why 
Cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine 
We’ll understand this, all by and by 

Tempted and tried, I wondered why 
The good man died, the bad man thrives 
And Jesus cries because he loves em’ both 
We’re all cast-aways in need of ropes 
Hangin’ on by the last threads of our hope 
In a house of mirrors full of smoke 
Confusing illusions I’ve seen 

Where did I go wrong, I sang along 
To every chorus of the song 
That the devil wrote like a piper at the gates 
Leading mice and men down to their fates 
But some will courageously escape 
The seductive voice with a heart of faith 
While walkin’ that line back home 

So much more to life than we’ve been told 
It’s full of beauty that will unfold 
And shine like you struck gold my wayward son 
That deadweight burden weighs a ton 
Go down into the river and let it run 
And wash away all the things you’ve done 
Forgiveness alright 

Chorus 

Still I get hard pressed on every side 
Between the rock and a compromise 
Like the truth and pack of lies fightin’ for my soul 
And I’ve got no place left go 
Cause I got changed by what I’ve been shown 
More glory than the world has known 
Keeps me ramblin’ on 

Skipping like a calf loosed from its stall 
I’m free to love once and for all 
And even when I fall I’ll get back up 
For the joy that overflows my cup 
Heaven filled me with more than enough 
Broke down my levee and my bluff 
Let the flood wash me 

And one day when the sky rolls back on us 
Some rejoice and the others fuss 
Cause every knee must bow and tongue confess 
That the son of god is forever blessed 
His is the kingdom, we’re the guests 
So put your voice up to the test 
Sing Lord, come soon 

Touchy Subjects Out NOW

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Craig Gross and David Dean  aren’t medical doctors or academics with “Ph.D.” written after our names. We’re just a couple of dads who love our kids and who want to make sure they get the truth about touchy subjects. Craig lives in Los Angeles and is the founder of XXXchurch.com,  X3watch  and iParent.TV. David is a full time clean comedian from Indiana. Craig’s kids are 8 and 11 and both live in the house and David’s have finally moved out of his house. 


We live in a touchscreen world. The more technology develops, the more integrated it becomes into our culture, the more it tends to involve some sort of screen. And, increasingly, that screen itself is becoming the way we interact with our tech.  So now the word touch is getting broader in its definition. We carry little computers in our pockets that we operate through touch. We use social media to share touching stories or reach out and touch base with someone virtually. And technology is opening all kinds of windows for a different kind of touch: sex. These are all, in their unique way, touchy subjects. 

How can we as parents guide our kids through responsible interactions with these touchy subjects? 

How can we teach them to use sex, technology, and social media in the best ways possible so that they can mature into responsible, emotionally healthy adults? 


What’s your approach, or do you even have one? 


Maybe your son or daughter is young and you don’t know when you should even broach these subjects.


Maybe you’re too nervous or embarrassed to bring up some of these touchy subjects in the first place. 


Maybe you don’t even realize how important these topics are. 


Maybe you want to talk to your kids but just don’t know what to say. 


Sound appealing? Then we wrote this book for you. 

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Craig Gross and David Dean provide guidelines for discussing and implementing a culturally sensitive and healthy environment for the discussion and mentoring of healthy relationships and issues for families today. The questions in the back of the book are deep and profound and honest and all parents NEED TO READ through this because our children will go through the valley, with or without you and your guidance. Great resource! Get it now!


Every parent and grandparent needs to read this! Easy to read. As a parent I was unsure how to approach the subject of sex and porn. This is a perfect read.

This book is informative— it is both serious and funny. Definitely a read that is confrontational but necessary and yet lighthearted enough that you feel like the authors are just friends sitting in the living room having this conversation with you. I appreciate that. I don’t want just statistics from psychologists— I want to hear from parents who are doing this right and that is what I felt I got when I read Touchy Subjects.

WOW! This is the best book on this subject! I appreciate how they encourage and cheer parents to dive in and talk about this with their kids. Open, honest conversations with our kids about these subjects are needed! I have read many books on talking to your kids about sex and by far this one was the most REAL and HELPFUL! GREAT BOOK! GET YOURS TODAY!!!
 

I am the mother to a young son, and another son on the way. I haven’t taken much thought to talking to my boys about this subject yet, but after reading this book I know realize how imperative this is. These discussions need to be had, and will be had. Thanks to Gross’, and Dean’s book, I now have the much needed guidance and information to one day talk to my boys about these “Touchy Subjects.” Every parent needs to read this book!

Read more at www.touchysubjects.net

Cages and Walls

I wrote this post called GREY GOD. My friend Rachel who says she is going to blog before 2017 sent me this. I am posting this on my blog since she lost the log in for her blog I set up for her.

There is way more tension in our faith than absolutes. But people love cages and walls because that keeps them safe. But love is never safe. The black and white is that God is the ultimate pursuer and lover of His people, gays, women, fringe. It’s like do people understand that he loved the people out in ‘the grey’ ? Doesn’t mean that we don’t hold scripture to be true, it just means that loving God and loving people requires you to do things that go beyond our comfort. All I know is that guy in your blog should be loved not ‘caged’. He needed people to walk with him through the difficult places and not leave him with professionals in a camp. To know that it’s each one of us that works out our faith in fear trembling before God.

And I believe most Christians that I know are scared to talk about the grey because people think they don’t believe in scripture. I freaking love scripture. I love God and people. And Gays. All of them. And loving people means you have to get comfortable with the Grey. Cause we DONT always have the answers. We don’t. And God is still good in that. He still speaks. Okay. I need to stop rambling.

Grey God

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I recently wrote a piece for Relevant talking about how Christians need to follow a Grey God instead of a Black or White God. 

A couple of weeks later, I got an email from a guy named Aaron I met once before who read it and felt like he needed to reach out to me. Here is a piece of that email:

The reason I felt impelled to write you this note was not to discuss the movie,  but more so declare my admiration for how you handled your accusers.  It also made me wish that you were the type of person I had in my life when I was in the process of de-converting from Christianity. 

Yes,  you read that correctly.  De-converting.    A quick backstory on myself.  Born in a christian home.  I was the model of the perfect child of a christian parent.   I went to youth group,  went on every mission trip,  went to a Christian University.   I loved Jesus.  When I was 19 I became aware of my homosexual attractions and I have spent the last 15 years in reparative therapy trying to reverse those attractions.  I have finally now come to the conclusion that reversing my orientation is not possible.   My journey of having my homosexuality “fixed” is long, complicated, heartbreaking, and exhaustive.  Unfortunately through all of this my faith in God suffered.  I started asking too many questions,  I was suffering with too much doubt and all paths led me to where I am today….Agnostic.   I actually prefer to say “Agnostic Deist” because although I don’t know for sure there is a God,  I choose to believe there is a creator God.   The concept of a personal God is completely lost on me and I don’t believe in the reliability, relevance, or inerrancy of the Bible like I once did.   This is not something that came overnight or was an irrational decision based on me not getting my own way.  The last two years of figuring out the ridiculousness of Christianity and detoxing from strong beliefs that I once thought helped me have been extremely intense.  What I thought helped me actually hurt me  

I loved the part in your blog when you were talking about the grey areas and that “grey” represents your belief system.   This is the part where I wish i had someone like you in my life years ago and I could have that same mentality.  Unfortunately I was raised, indoctrinated, and educated in a religion that only endorsed black and white thinking and if I made one step or had one thought in the opposite direction,  I was going straight to hell.  Living a black and white life is destructive and my relationship with Jesus suffered because of it.  I think that the Jesus of the bible lived in a grey belief system. Thats the Jesus i think I could love now if I ever had the faith again to believe his existence was true and worthwhile.  I could fall in love with a Gray Jesus.   The Black and White Jesus failed me.   The Gray Jesus could have restored my hope in a personal God.   Black and White Jesus only presented me with despair.  I could fall in love with a Grey Jesus.   I could.  But i’ve been tainted.  Faith in God represents hopelessness to me.   

I read this email and knew I had to meet this guy in person. If you know me, you know I act pretty quickly on things, so I contacted Aaron and met him for lunch the next day. I sat and listened to Aaron’s story for almost two hours, asking a lot of questions and discovering more reasons why I wish people who “issue statements” or “take a stand” would just listen a bit more.

I found it interesting that Aaron’s church enlisted him to do a video testimony that played on Easter Sunday about his freedom from homosexuality—even though he was still gay. And then he did a “cardboard testimony” stating the same thing, and then some donors in his church (as well as the church itself) spent thousands of dollars to send him to “Straight Camp” so he definitely wouldn’t be gay anymore.  

The problem is, it didn’t work. 

Nor did the nine months he spent at YWAM’s discipleship training school.

Nor did any of the countless therapy sessions, psychologists, counselors, homosexual healing groups, books written by ex-gays, bondage-breaking intercessory prayer, or anything else he has tried for the last 15 years.

So, what has the church left him with? Unbelief. He can no longer believe in God because everything he has been told about God “curing” him and “fixing” him hasn’t worked. All it’s given him is a long list of questions about God and about himself. 

I can sympathize. If I was told for years that what I was doing was wrong and the feelings I felt were wrong and that God would give me a way out, but still felt all that stuff after thousands of dollars and thousands of hours invested… yeah, I’d have trouble believing, too.

I shared Aaron’s story with a friend today and she told me, ”Come on, Craig. I get the idea of a ‘grey God’ but he has to be black and white on some things…” I wanted to mute her. She’s got it all wrong. 

Last month World Vision got it all wrong, first issuing a statement saying they would employ homosexuals who were either celibate or were in legal, church-sanctioned marriages. Countless vehemently angry phone calls and 10,000 cancelled child sponsorships later, they retracted the employment policy and reassured donors everyone working there would be straight.

Let me say this clearly, Christians: we don’t need more statements and stances.

You know what we need? More people who are willing to see that this is not about morality or culture wars or doctrinal differences. 

It’s about people

Think about the people who were welcomed to work at World Vision one day and unwelcome the next? How do they feel about Jesus now?

What about the 10,000 kids whose sponsorships were cancelled? What should we tell them about Jesus?

What about Aaron and a 15-year struggle that has left him on fragile terms with his family, as well as without a church family or God? How should he feel about Jesus? 

I’ve said this before, but it needs to be said over and over: be quick to listen and slow to speak. Most people and companies issuing statements and talking about a definitive black and white God have never sat and listened to the people and lives on the other end of their statements. That takes a little work; you have to get out from behind your stance and sit down for a two-hour lunch with a confused kid who’s been told he doesn’t belong. You have to blow past the black-and-white rhetoric of the establishment and get down in the grey dirt with the outcasts. 

You know. What Jesus did. 

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I just bought greygod.com and have no clue what to do with it or what else I will write about this but I think there is something here. Maybe it is a book or maybe it could be a blog. Not sure but thought it was worth 7 bucks. And for all you people reading this thinking I spelled grey wrong. That to is just your opinion because there are two ways to spell grey and both are right. Grey or Gray. Imagine that two different ways to spell the same word…kind of like two different ways to see the same God. Just saying.

How Do I Get My Book Published?

I got on the phone today with my buddy David Dean and he said, how did you get out book Touchy Subjects out there. I explained to him a few things and then thought I would just share them with you if you are interested. I think when I told David I was just going to publish it ourselves he was bummed and didn’t understand how cool this could be.

I get asked all the time how do you get a book published?

Typical Publisher: 

  • Come up with great idea.
  • Spend 20 bucks and buy this - http://michaelhyatt.com/writing-a-winning-book-proposal
  • Submit your book proposal to a literary agent you can find online or through a friend.
  • Your agent pitches to a publisher.
  • Publisher says yes or no.
  • If yes, you start writing and about 15 months later a book comes out.
  • You sometimes get an advance 
  • You make on average about 10% of the net of book sales
  • Most books don’t sell 5k copies and a few books do
  • The end.

You As The Publisher:

  • Come up with great idea
  • Start writing
  • Finish writing
  • Hire an editor - Here’s one -  Adam Palmer
  • Design a cover and back cover.
  • Upload your book as a word document to Kindle store.
  • Upload your book as a word document to Smashwords 
  • If you want a printed book upload your book to createspace
  • Register some url for a website here 
  • Pay Godaddy $1 a month for a customized template website
  • Start selling your book the following day. YES I said the following day.
  • Total out of pocket expense - not much
  • Send your finished book to a publisher and see if they are interested now and then go from there or keep selling on your own.

So, David Dean and I started writing Touchy Subjects years ago. We got interest from different publishers but in the end they said it was a small market. The thing that drove me to make this book happen was when I searched on Amazon the #1 book on talking to your kids about sex was from 1998. We needed something current.

We bought the name www.touchysubjects.net

I took the picture of my daughter for the cover.

We wanted to sell on paperback and digital and createspace is owned by Amazon so that is easy. We can purchase books from them directly for $3.25 whether we buy one or buy one thousand. 

We wanted this book out now, I didn’t know how fast this would be but once I submitted the files yesterday, the links were all active by last night.

I have amazon prime and ordered a book which is on demand printing and it somehow is set to arrive to my doorstep tomorrow.  If you have something to say and you are passionate about getting it out there, put it out yourself and see if others share in that same passion.

In the meantime, go buy our book.

***A bit more of an explanation. Createspace gets your book in the amazon store for you. Smashwords gets your book in all other digital markets except Kindle and other places online like the iBooks store. These will make more sense as you start the process.