September 28, 2018

Free Download of Chapter 8: Developing a Spiritual Life

We are excited to announce that a free sample chapter of Going Spiritual: Discovering, Developing and Healing a Spiritual Life is now available for download as an EPUB3. This is the format required by Ingram Spark for distribution through Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook and most other formats. Please let us know if you have trouble downloading and we will send you another format. I am working hard to get the whole book out through Ingram in the next few weeks.

"Developing a Spiritual Life" is Chapter 8 and explains the four pillars or characteristics of thriving churches that help people develop a healthy and balanced spiritual life:

  • Community
  • Orthodoxy
  • Relevance and
  • Outreach
These four characteristics of thriving churches are based on the Canadian research of Don Posterski and Irwin Barker, published in Where's a Good Church (Winfield BC: Wood Lake Books 1993). I attended a workshop by Posterski in Toronto at the beginning of my ordained ministry that year and share what I learned about how achieving the right balance and emphasis is critical to spiritual growth and church growth:
To read or download the sample chapter copy and paste the link below into your address bar, click on address bar then open the file in an ebook reader. Leave a comment if you have trouble or contact the publisher - Gishler Group @goingspiritual.

September 19, 2018

Exciting Book Review of Going Spiritual: Discovering, Developing and Healing a Spiritual Life

Neil Campbell, the Canadian Co-ordinator of Family Foundations International, has just written an exciting review of my Going Spiritual: Discovering, Developing and Healing a Spiritual Life. It is so much better than I could have written myself that I am sharing it exactly as submitted. Neil is the Family Foundations International workshop leader mentioned in the book, has an international reputation as a leading teacher of inner healing and deliverance ministry and has been my teacher.

Book Review by Neil Campbell: 
Going Spiritual is written in layman’s language and is designed to help the reader in their journey to spiritual growth and inner healing.   Rev. Gishler is an ordained Anglican priest who has managed to balance the rich tradition of Anglican liturgy with a sound biblical view of inner healing and authentic Christian community.  Rev. Gishler breaks the myth of extreme liberalism and mental strongholds that have deeply weakened the mainline churches as they have abandoned   orthodox Christian teaching and beliefs.   John’s transparent revelation of his own spiritual journey from self deception to wholeness and healing puts a personal touch on what is often a difficult subject to explain.   He does a masterful job of  explaining the weakness of focusing on the gospel of Salvation without incorporating the life long work of sanctification which includes  nurturing the wounded soul (inner healing) and nurturing a deep spiritual life lived in the context  of authentic community.

September 14, 2018

Cross Reminds Believers of the Cost of Our Forgiveness (Holy Cross)

Cross Reminds Believers of the Cost of Our Forgiveness
(Holy Cross 2015, revised 2018 by Fr. John Gishler)
We are living in a post-Christendom time of “Cross-less Christianity”. Over the years since the Third Century Christian leaders in many places have compromised with political and military leaders to avoid persecution and conflict with popular culture. We have developed a mushy, inoffensive and vague liberal theology of love that denies the whole point of the Gospel. False prophets have convinced us that as long as we don’t offend anyone and are a ‘good person’ we are a Christian and assured of eternal spiritual life. The Readings for Holy Cross Sunday remind us that in spite of our good intentions we are all guilty of rebellion against God in some way – and need a Saviour.

1. Hebrew story reminds us of the consequences of rebellion
 Their grumbling was a rebellion against God and God’s servant Moses. Rebellion separates people from their covenant relationship with God. The Ten Commandments define and are ways of testing personal love of God. In the story God allows snakes to bite and kill those who rebelled. The consequence of rebellion in both a death of the relationship and physical death of the rebels.
  • The lesson is not that God is harsh and judgemental
  • Lesson is that God still loves those who rebel and will create a way for them to come back into Covenant relationship and live
  • Jesus used this story to explain who He was and His mission
  • Snakes that took away life were transformed into a new way back to right-relationship through repentance and obedience
  • Rebels had to repent and believe in God that He would heal them if they obeyed and gazed at the snake on a pole
  • Jesus used this to explain His mission on the Cross
  • Thing that kills is transformed by God into the thing that saves
  • Human disobedience is forgiven because of Jesus obedience
  • Forgiveness is conditional on repentance and human obedience in the form of “belief in” what Jesus accomplished
 2. How could Jesus die for the sins of the whole world?
Death on a cross was a ‘stumbling block for the Jews’ who remembered their teaching that people hanged on a tree were “cursed” – and could not even begin to understand the Cross. The idea that one man could die for the sins of the whole world was – and still is completely illogical – to everyone, including believers.
  • Key is that Jesus is not just a man – God is His biological father – people do not understand Jesus was divine as well
  • Just as in the snake story, God added to His Covenant a new provision, a new way for rebels to be restored to Covenant
  • Penalty for rebellion against God was death – a life had to be sacrificed to God
  • God Himself provided a perfect sacrifice – He came to Earth Himself and fathered Jesus through a human mother
  • He gave up His only son by asking Jesus to give up His Human and divine life on the Cross for the sins of the world
  • Jesus perfect obedience could pay for all human disobedience
  • God made a New Covenant that all “those who believe in Him (Jesus) shall not perish but have eternal spiritual life"
  • Just as the Hebrews had to obey God and gaze on the snake on the pole to live physically; Christians have to obey God and believe in what Jesus accomplished on the Cross to have eternal life

3. We need to understand what “believe in Him” means
There is a huge difference between ‘cultural Christians’ and believers. Cultural Christians may know a lot about Jesus, go to church and try to lead a good life loving God and neighbour – but often they have not quite ‘got it’. Close only counts in horse shoes.
  • People know about - but may not really BELIEVE IN Jesus.
  • “Believe” in the Bible is more like “trust in” or “depend on
  • Story of monk who held boys head underwater – desperate
  • “In” – Dative case in Greek = physically inside, connected
  • Believe in = depend on Jesus for physical and spiritual life
  • Believe in = motivates us to self-sacrificial / agape love
  • Example of people at St. Edmunds who are old and tired but still drive to the Food Bank and Clothing Bank to serve others

 4. Cross reminds us of the cost of our salvation
  • ·         God the Father asked His only son to give up His life to pay for all human sin guilt
  • ·         Jesus loved His Father and us enough to do this

·         Believers understand the cost of the Cross to both the Father and Son, and are overwhelmed by God’s love for us personally