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Welcome to readingremy.com

Glad you stopped by. My blog has evolved over time. It has served as a place for me to discuss topics found in my books. But other times what I discuss turns into a book, as it did with “Out of Exile.”

Because I’m both pastor and an addiction spirituality consultant, I interact with people on how God can help them overcome their problems in practical ways. My writing isn’t super spiritual but down-to-earth, no-nonsense advice. 

My writing isn’t super spiritual but down-to-earth, no-nonsense advice.

A common theme with me is helping people make a comeback. I like to look “under the hood” to find what’s wrong with our thinking, help get things rewired, and then encourage people to trust God to make a way to a new life.

Much of my writing is to pastors; both to help them and to help them help others. But I think everyone can find things here that will help them.

I hope you’ll subscribe to my blog and like my Facebook page in the margin. And feel free to send me a note. I promise to read it and reply. – F. Remy Diederich

Listen to “Out of Exile” Interview

My publisher released a brief podcast interviewing me about my new book, “Out of Exile…a forty day journey from setback to comeback,” along with a special free offer when you buy the book in paperback. I also read the first few chapters of the book to give you a taste of the theme.Out.of.Exile.angle

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE.

The reviews are slowly getting posted. So far they are all five stars. He’s one of the latest:

Remy takes us on a journey we have all experienced, but often been unable to name and process – the journey of exile. This book is an excellent resource not only for pastors but anyone who is feeling stuck and having trouble identifying and healing from loss. This easy to read book will help you discover why you feel the way you feel, how to identify your primary and secondary losses and what steps you can begin to take to allow God to bring you out of exile into the land of promise. S. Sagle

If you think this book might help people you know, please take a second to share this post. Thanks!

Special Offer on New Book “Out of Exile”

My new book, “Out of Exilea forty day journey from setback to comeback,” is now on sale in both the Kindle and paperback versions.  CrossOut.of.Exile.angle Point Publishing has put together a nice offer for the paperback. Purchase the paperback version of Out of Exile and receive:

Read the full details here on the offer.

Out of Exile is written for pastors working their way out of a painful season of life. But the principles I share will help anyone trying to overcome a setback.

Here’s a recent review of the book:

…this collection of grace-balm words has brought me closer to my God and myself, with plenty of grace to offer to others along the way.

Every so often, a combination of words and phrases becomes more – more than thoughts, more than insight. Flowing from the broken cistern of one who understands, words become grace. As a pastor who has experienced exile on numerous occasions, I have felt incredibly alone, believing that no one understood; at least not those whom I could trust with my brokenness. But F. Remy Diederich has been there; his cistern, cracked and experienced in exile, flows forth words of grace in his new book, Out of Exile. This collection of daily words and questions carefully and respectfully encouraged me to look deeply into my brokenness, to honestly examine my exile, and, so importantly, led me toward a land I’d thought was gone, a land called hope. If healing is coming into right relationship with our God and ourselves, then this collection of grace-balm words has brought me closer to my God and myself, with plenty of grace to offer to others along the way. Out of Exile – a graceful companion to a journey pastors and others may walk again. Michael DeLong

Consider recommending Out of Exile for someone you know going through a hard time. Or maybe even buy them a copy as a gift.

Would you SHARE this post on your Facebook page and blog? I’m a small time author but you could help with the marketing. Thanks so much!

Don’t Buy “OUT OF EXILE”…just yet

Next Tuesday, my latest book, OUT OF EXILE, will go on sale on amazon.com. It’s listed on-line but not for sale yet. Out.of.Exile.angle

Good thing, because if you buy the paperback version next week you will get my other two books for free. Stuck on Kindle, and Healing the Hurts of Your Past, in the audiobook format. (Update: Since posting this, Amazon HAS released the paperback version of my book and it is now available for sale. The Kindle version is set for next Tuesday).

You can get all the details on my publisher’s website.

I got some early praise on Out of Exile from one pastor. He wrote me explaining how he was forced to resign from a large church in the Midwest. Then he said:

So there I was, more hurt and wounded than I had ever been in over 20 years of pastoral ministry. I was disillusioned, out of work, and a complete mess. But then, somehow, I stumbled on your “Out of Exile” writings, and wow… did God use it to restore my soul.
I worked through the first 24 days in about two days, then reviewed and reviewed and reviewed various sections for the next two or three months. God used your writings to significantly restore my soul, my faith in the church, and my internal perspective on God.
Even my wife, and our two sons, regularly said, “What in the world are you reading? You are a different man than you were six months ago.”
I don’t even know where to begin, but THANK YOU. Thank you for allowing God’s inspiration to flow through you. Your thoughts, your encouragements, your challenges were timely and necessary to rebuild in me what had been lost. 

God used your writings to significantly restore my soul, my faith in the church, and my internal perspective on God.

I had an amazingly charmed ministry experience up to this point — I was loved, appreciated, sought after, and though I had certainly faced challenges from time to time in our various churches/ministry experiences, was woefully unprepared for the evil, vile hatred expressed toward us in this overwhelmingly difficult season of ministry. I wanted to quit, not just on the church, but on God as well.
God used you to keep me in ministry. I owe you a huge debt, and I don’t even know you. Thank you so much for restoring my hope in God and my faith in the local church. Name Withheld
I wrote Out of Exile to help restore pastors to a full and vital ministry after going through a dark
time. To hear back from this pastor was so encouraging to me. It made me feel like I hit my
target.
I hope you’ll get the book and share it with other pastors. Be sure to buy it next week (now) and take advantage of the free offers!

Listen to me on WWIB Thursday Morning

I’ll be on a live call-in radio program this morning from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. CST on WWIB radio.

Thanks to the internet, you can tune in from any computer at wwib.com and listen to the Front Page show with Mark Halverson.wwib

Mark will be talking to me about a variety of things:

  • My speaking at the Leading With Power Men’s lunch next week in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
  • My new book, Out of Exile
  • The new church we are helping to start in Eau Claire (Renew Covenant Church)
  • My summer sabbatical in Chile.

I hope you will listen in and maybe even call in with a question!

Updating Healing the Hurts of Your Past

Did you read my first book, Healing the Hurts of Your Past?Healing the Hurts of Your Past

If so, was there something missing? Did you need something clarified: some questions answered?

If so, LET ME KNOW. I’m giving it a rewrite, cleaning things up and adding new thoughts.  The book has gotten very good reviews so I’m not messing with the essence of the material. But it was my first book and had some literary weaknesses (i.e. bad writing). Thankfully God has used it in spite of my novice writing skills.

My publisher is working on a new cover too. That tree just looks weird to me! We are thinking of a picture of a broken heart being stitched up. But we are open to suggestions!

Thanks for any input you send my way. I’m looking forward to offering a “new and improved” book for people.

The Toxic World of the Insecure Pastor

I exchanged emails with one of my pastor readers yesterday. She too has a ministry to pastors and realized that we share a common mission: to help pastors get emotionally healthy so they can have emotionally healthy churches.  blog_insecurity

But the truth is, with so many things to think about in pastoring a church, emotional health often falls to the bottom of the priority list. And that’s easy to understand for at least two reasons: one, it’s always easier to do most ANYTHING rather than focus on your weaknesses. And two, leadership training typically focuses on leadership tactics and strategy. In other words, there aren’t many people out there emphasizing emotional health in pastors.

That’s unfortunate because failing to look at your dark side – and deal with it – will undermine the greatest strategy. Worse, it will create a culture that nurtures unhealthy attitudes, which will remain long after you are gone.

What is the dark side? In my opinion, insecurity is at the heart of the dark side. Insecurity feeds all kinds of dysfunction. I’ve seen too many leaders use their leadership to find healing for their insecurity. In their mind, if people will follow them, it will prove to themselves and others that they are valuable. Most leaders would never admit this is their motivation to lead. And honestly, they probably don’t see it. But it’s there. And it’s destructive. 

The odd thing is, insecurity, in a backwards way, often creates leaders.

Years ago I was listening to a pastor talk about how his father never gave him any credit. I suddenly got this uneasy feeling that his pastoral “calling” may have been his way of dealing with his “father wound.” This is a danger in any helping field, wounded people seek to help others as a way to help themselves. It’s so important that pastors and counselors find their wholeness in Christ before they seek to help others or they will actually cause harm.

Insecurity will make you:

  • Competitive: you need to show others that you are better than they are.
  • Jealous: you constantly compare your ministry to others you consider more successful.
  • Ungrateful: focusing on what others have causes you to hold what you have in contempt.
  • Defensive: when people try to correct you, you are quick to offer excuses in fear of being exposed in your weakness.
  • Argumentative: defending yourself isn’t enough. You feel the need to go on the offensive.
  • Risk Averse: afraid that a challenge will expose your weakness, you play it safe.
  • Over Confident: in need of affirmation, you take unnecessary risks.
  • Unforgiving: easily hurt, you find it hard to “turn the other cheek” to your critics and brood.
  • Legalistic: because you never measure up in your mind, you make it hard for others to measure up to your standards.
  • Think Scarcity: not abundance. The insecure person lives in a small world where there is never enough to go around. It feels like the sky is falling.
  • No fun: when you are trying to justify your existence every day, life gets pretty serious. People around you walk on eggshells because they realize how fragile you are.
  • Toxic: add up everything I just listed out and, man…who wants to be around that? You will make people miserable and they’ll either stay and be miserable with you, or leave.

The odd thing is, insecurity, in a backwards way, often creates leaders. People become leaders to find the affirmation they lack. And since they are so driven to succeed, they often attract followers. It’s usually not until the organization is well on its way before followers notice the “cracks” in the leader. Churches that got off to a great start can slide into a slow fade or quick dive leaving people wondering, “What happened? I used to think he/she was great.” Church planters beware!

What happened is the leader was deeply insecure and sought to salve it by gaining followers…usually unknown to them. Left untreated, it created a negative culture that slowly began to erode. The vacuum of insecurity sucked the life out of the congregation.

On the other hand, when insecure pastors find wholeness in Christ it breeds a culture of grace. No topic is out of bounds. Mistakes are forgiven, not punished. Freedom is in the air, along with a “can do” attitude. And it’s just a lot of fun to “do church” together!

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in ministry for two years or twenty, your insecurity will hurt the church. Before you go to another leadership seminar, take an honest look in the mirror and ask yourself how much insecurity drives what you do.

I didn’t try to answer the problem of insecurity here because I’ve written about it many times on this blog. I added a few links below that you might explore, drop “shame” in the search box in the margin to pull up more posts, or check out my book, Healing the Hurts of Your Past.

Free Book in Exchange for Your Review

PLEASE NOTE: This offer is no longer available. We have already exceeded the number of reviews Out.of.Exile.angleAmazon allows to post on a new book. My apologies. I got a greater response on this offer than I imagined. – Remy

I’m about to launch my third book, called, “Out of Exilea forty day journey from setback to comeback.”  It will eventually be released in two versions; one for pastors and one for the public. But the pastors edition will come first.

It’s always nice to have reviews on Amazon.com for people to read so they can decide if they want to buy the book or not. If you would agree to read and review the book I will do two things:

  1. Give you a free book. Your choice of PDF or Kindle formats.
  2. Put your name in my acknowledgements page and possibly quote your review in the book.

Your review doesn’t have to be favorable, just honest. And you don’t have to be a pastor. Actually, the book will help anyone who has experienced a setback in life. But most of my examples are of pastors or people in ministry. It’s a fairly quick read, about 150 pages. I’m hoping to get the reviews published by December 1, 2014.

To help YOU decide if you want to read this book, here is what is on the back cover:

When pastors respond to God’s call, most think they will save the world, but too often they end up on the backside of a desert, what the Bible refers to as “exile.”  That’s not the worst thing. In many ways, exile is a rite of passage: a preparation for ministry to come. But too often pastors get stuck in exile. Rather than exile being a time of spiritual growth and intimacy with God, it becomes a time of disillusionment and despair, with no clue how to reclaim their lives or ministry. 

It doesn’t have to be that way.

In Out of Exile, F. Remy Diederich looks at the losses all pastors face in ministry, how the losses create a feeling of “exile,” and then shows how to return from that exile. It is set up as a 40-day devotional journey: short essays followed by questions to help you move through your time of loss to a place of restoration and renewal. 

If you have suffered a significant life or ministry setback this book might be what God uses to help you make a comeback. If you’ve given up hope, let God use this book to breathe life back into you.

As a pastor for over twenty-five years, F. Remy Diederich knows the pain of exile himself. He shares openly about his journey from setback to comeback, showing pastors how they can do the same.

Thanks for your partnership. I’m hoping God uses this book to encourage many broken pastors and helps them to get their lives AND MINISTRY back on track.