20/20 VISION REVIEWS

20/20 VISIONeddielong1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       In a way that only he can, Bishop Jim Swilley has taken the principles of Scripture and made them practical and doable.  20/20 VISION challenges its readers to elevate their perception from being down-trodden, victimized and hopeless, to being empowered, capable and victorious….

—Bishop Eddie L. Long

Senior Pastor, New BirthMissionaryBaptistChurch

 

 

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—Prophet Kim Clement

Prophetic Image Expressions

  

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                                          —Dr. Mark J. Chironna

Mark Chironna Ministries

       

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—Minister Steen “Newslady” Miles

Senator, State of Georgia  

 

 

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—Pastor Dony McGuire

The River at MusicCity

JOHN IN THE NOW

From the preface to John In The Now

Why write a new paraphrase of the book of John?

1. Because I love Jesus.

I love the real, living Jesus…the outspoken, passionate, confrontational, provocative, liberating, counter-culture, strong and brave and totally secure-within-Himself, fully integrated Jesus…the Word made flesh who became Jesus, the Christ…Jesus in the now…the One who embodies the “I Am,” the God who defies definition and description…the manna or the “what is it?” that came down from heaven…the One whose humanity is every bit as beautiful and intriguing and wonderful as is His divinity…the God-man who cannot be bound or limited in any way by religion or philosophy or doctrines or dogma…the firstborn among many siblings in the family of God who live in the 21st century. I love that real Jesus now more than ever and am in no way offended that He says that I must eat His flesh and drink His blood to have a revelation of Him!
2. Because I love the Scriptures.
They are a part of me, as absorbed into the fiber of my being as they could possibly be. The words of God vibrate in every cell of my body… they occupy the largest part of my mind…they completely saturate my spirit. The Bible is a miracle – not a book, but a collection of 66 books written by 40 authors over a period of 1,500 years in different languages to different people groups in different generations for different purposes. Therefore, the Scriptures must be rightly divided instead of wrongly connected. In other words, each book must be judged in its own context and on its own terms, whether it confirms any other book or not. In this way, biblical contradictions are not only acknowledged and accepted…they are expected. I celebrate the tension caused by the conflicting viewpoints of the writers who had different paradigms of God; their contradictions make the Bible literally pulsate with life! And amazingly, in spite of the given contention, the confirmation of Jesus, the Christ, is still the glue that holds the whole collection together!
3. Because I love the Gospel of John.
John’s gospel is unique – so different from the three synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. They are all certainly wonderful biographies of the God-man, and each one brings something original to the table, but John’s account of the greatest story ever told is in a class all by itself. It is the gospel written for non-conformists and individualists – for those who can comprehend Jesus outside the box. Can you imagine the visionary mind of someone who begins his story with, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”? You could spend a lifetime just discussing that one wonderful sentence and still would not be able to fully plumb the depths of its meaning!
4. Because I love the diversity among all the translations and paraphrases of the Bible.
Although I wholeheartedly reject the notion of an official “authorized version,” I do honor the grandeur and loftiness of the Bible that James, the King of England, authorized for his subjects to read in the 17th century (King James Version). That’s why I have memorized vast sections of it. And I love the way James Moffatt could turn a phrase in his translation. I could virtually live in The Amplified Bible with all of its shades of meanings and wordy explanations and parentheses and brackets. It’s like heaven to someone who loves exploring words and their meanings as I do. When I was young, Kenneth Taylor’s beautifully accessible Living Bible changed my life and set the course for my whole ministry. Many years later, Eugene Peterson’s daring paraphrase called The Message affected me nearly as dramatically. In recent years I have grown to respect the Today’s New International Version for its modernity and clarity and lack of religious sexism. In my opinion, it is probably the most accurate mainstream translation of them all. But I also love the New English Bible and The Jerusalem Bible for other reasons. I am constantly referring to all of these translations for my teaching and writing, along with some other great ones not mentioned here. You may ask then, “If you love all these translations so much, why write a new one?” My only answer is that this writing is my way to pay homage to those who have already blazed this trail of translation before me. I could not do this if they hadn’t done what they did. But this translation is what I hear when I read and teach these chapters and verses. These are the things I have seen…what I have read between the lines…for the last 36 years of ministry, and I simply want to submit them to you, the reader, for your consideration.
5. Because I love communication.
Nothing is more important to the life of relationships than communication, and nothing is more gratifying than knowing that you have effectively communicated your message to someone else. I certainly don’t claim to know everything about Jesus; in fact, the more that I increase in my knowledge of Him throughout the course of my life, the more mysterious He actually becomes to me. For me that’s not a problem. I’m rather glad that, even though I know Him more intimately than I know anyone else, there is always a part of Him that is past my finding out. I know that I will never reach the limits of the breadth and length and depth and height of Him, ever. But, what I do know about Him is the most wonderful knowledge that I possess, and I have a need to share that knowledge with others.
                                                                                                                                                                                                               
6. Because I love people.
One of the greatest songs ever written contains the words, “If I can help somebody as I pass along…then my living shall not be in vain.” I try to live by the philosophy of that song, so if this book can help someone to rediscover and rethink the Bible – someone who has previously been intimidated or confused or bored by it, regardless of its available translations and paraphrases – then I will have fulfilled at least a part of my destiny. I want to help people know and love Jesus better, but I also want to make them more comfortable with the Bible and with their own interpretations and opinions about it. The Bible is hearty, robust – it is not delicate or fragile – it can withstand a lot of handling by human beings, because it was meant to be people-friendly, and I want to open a door to the house of understanding and let the people in!

7. Because I love living in the now.

More than anything else, I believe that I was specifically put here on this planet to be a good steward of the concept of living in the now. God is in the now because He is always revealed as the I Am. His word is in the now because people cannot live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds (present tense) out of His mouth. His kingdom is in the now because it can only be discerned one day at a time by those who take no thought for tomorrow. I will proclaim and defend the doctrine of the “now-ness” of God for as long as I live and will aggressively wage war on every religious idea that tries to relegate God to the past or attempts to project Him into the future. God is always now and my prayer is that, as you read John In The Now, you will walk in a fuller revelation of that. Now is all that matters!

Available @ www.churchinthenow.org

 

 

Dr. Kelley Varner

kelley-varner1I began my writing ministry in 1970.  But since my wife Joann read A YEAR IN THE NOW  by Bishop Jim Swilley, I am no longer her favorite author.  I have lost count of the number of copies of this classic that she has purchased as gifts for her special friends.  When I told her that I had been asked to write something about the new revision of this dynamic devotional, she immediately replied, “I don’t know how he could make it any better than it already is.”

 

Some men and women instruct staff members to edit their preaching into a book and then unashamedly claim its authorship.  Many others have ghostwriters (I have written several volumes for nationally known ministries).  But my friend and colleague Bishop Swilley is a commissioned scribe with a God-given grace to translate the profound mysteries of the Kingdom of God into a language that this generation, young and old, can readily grasp.

 

The volume before you breathes with the living Word.  It is an inspiration for the heart, an incentive to effective prayer, and a gold mine of truth for every preacher and teacher.  I heartily recommend the new and (if possible) revised version of A YEAR IN THE NOW as a must read for every Christian, especially us leaders.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                               Dr. Kelley Varner

Kelley Varner Ministries

www.kelleyvarner.org

Available @ www.churchinthenow.org

On-line @ www.ayearinthenow.wordpress.com

 

chosen1Chosen for Greatness by Dr. Kelley Varner (foreword by Bishop Jim Swilley)

Mario Orsini

mario-orsini120/20 VISION is a book that should be in everyone’s home. With passion, humor, wisdom and common sense,  Bishop Swilley not only identifies the challenge of a myopic perception that detrimentally affects the way we live,  he also provides us with practical and down-to-earth solutions that can help us change the way that we see things, and the way we react to our environment. Thus, we are provided with a transitional bridge that enables us to cross from hope to accomplishment…from dreams to reality…from our present to a more successful future.

Mario Orsini Jr. J.D., President, DMT International, Inc.

Available @ www.churchinthenow.org

On-line @ www.twentytwentyvision.wordpress.com

A YEAR IN THE NOW

ayitn2Would you like to…discover your destiny?…perceive your purpose?…validate your vision?…reinforce your relationships?…strengthen your self-esteem?…overcome your obstacles?…feed your faith? You can…this year! You can…by living in the now! You can…one day at a time! God is on your side! He is available to assist you in the pursuit of your potential as you develop the diligence to seriously search out your personal path for growth into greatness!  Through seeking first His Kingdom and righteousness, you can become the person that he created you to be!

You can only find God’s Kingdom in the eternal “NOW” as you endeavor to experience Him in your everyday existence. Kingdom-seeking consists of a constant effort to embrace the now and a commitment to the continual conforming of your consciousness to it. This empowers and enables you to escape the mental distractions produced by living in the past or in the future, so that you can comprehend a real Christ for your current real circumstances!

A YEAR IN THE NOW is a devotional designed to deliver a doable format for the daily development of your eternal life – to help you think creatively, beyond your familiar, time-bound comfort zones. These positive and powerful affirmations will provide the help you need to progressively put your life on the right track in realistic increments. You don’t have to become overwhelmed by the tremendous task of trying to lead a “now life” in a “yesterday/tomorrow world”.  You can do it day by day!  This is your year to change your world! You can change your world by changing your mind! You can change your mind one day at a time! It’s time for a fresh start, and you can start right now!

Reviews by Dr. Kelley Varner, Dr. Mark Chironna, Kirk Talley, Congressman David Scott, Doug Fortune, Germaine Copeland.  Available @ www.churchinthenow.org . On-line @ www.ayearinthenow.wordpress.com

Dr. Brad McNulty

mcnultyThe roots of what we truly believe, think, and perceive about ourselves and our environment have manifested as the current reality in which we find ourselves at the moment. Bishop Swilley takes “positive thinking” to a unique and deeper dimension;  thinking positive is no longer a conscious decision and action, but a subconscious reaction to a changed way of thinking. Positive thinking changes what you say; updating your perception changes your being at the core of what you think. This book will help you create a healthy root system by updating your underlying perceptions in all areas of your life. Through having a clear perception of knowing who you are in Jesus Christ, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, you have the ultimate power to create your new reality and life. This book is destined to be a classic in improving the human experience.

Brad J. McNulty, D.C., President TRU-HEALTH Wellness Centers of America

Available @ www.churchinthenow.org

On-line @ www.twentytwentyvision.wordpress.com

Bishop David Huskins

huskinsI wholeheartedly endorse both this book (Twenty-Three: New Reflections on the 23rd Psalm and You) and the author. You will be encouraged, edified and uplifted with nothing but the good news. Bishop Swilley is a breath of fresh air in the religious climate of pretentiousness and egotism.

Bishop David Huskins, Th.D., D.D. Pastor, Cedar Lake Christian Center www.clccnet.org , Presiding Bishop of the International Communion of Charismatic Churches www.theiccc.com

 

Available @ www.churchinthenow.org