Radically Normal is Now Available as an Audiobook!

I’m very excited to announce the release of the Radically Normal audio book. It was a lot of fun narrating my own book and I’ve been told that the quality is comparable to best-selling books.

In Recording Studio

You can listen to a sample of the book on Audible. It includes my favorite story of the entire book (it’s about my bladder control issue).

Would you like a free copy?

If you have not yet joined Audible, you can sign up for a trial membership and get it free, which you’ll be able to keep even if you cancel. But PLEASE make my book your first freebie – this makes a significant impact on my end.

And please write an honest review after you listen – this also makes a big difference for me.

If you’re already a member of Audible and would be willing to write a review, I have a limited number of “reviewer’s copies” that I can give out. Please contact me at me@joshkelley.ink.

By the way, you don’t have to be a member of Audible to get my book – they have a free app for almost every platform.

If you use iTunes instead, I can’t offer you a free copy, but I’d love for you to pick up my book here.

Finally, I’d be very grateful if you shared this with any of your friends who like audio books.

To the glory of God and the joy of the saints!


Best TV Interview Yet (or so I’m told)

First, let me say that I realized it’s been too long between blog posts when I couldn’t remember which blogging site I use! My apologies for the infrequent posts.One of the things I’ve learned on this trip is how hard it is to write while on the road.

But we are almost home – one week from Friday!

Anyway, here is the TV interview I told you about. It starts at 17:20.

Our Upcoming “Great Adventure”

When I first talked to my publisher about Radically Normal, I asked him how it might do. He first warned me that most books don’t sell that many copies, but said, “With God’s help, this book has the potential to do really, really well.”

Of course everyone wants to be successful, but for Marilyn and I, this is far bigger than winning the book writer’s version of the lottery. We believe that millions of Christians live under the fear that they can’t please God in their regular, everyday life, and that God is going to use this message to set them free.

After a lot of prayer, we believe God is calling us to “bet the farm” – put our house up for sale and prepare for a year-long trip around the U.S., speaking at churches, schools, and bookstores. Our hope is to build a grassroots excitement that spreads into something much bigger. As crazy (dare I say “radical”?) as this plan sounds, it feels like God is leading us into a great adventure.

Can God use a fortune cookie for confirmation?


Now I want to ask you – do you want to be a part of this adventure? I can’t promise that all this will make Radically Normal into a bestseller, but it just might. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could say “I helped!”?

Our biggest need isn’t financial but places to speak, sell the book, and stay. Think through some of the connections you have – do you know of some organization that may really enjoy Radically Normal? If you can connect me with them I’ll take care of the rest. And if they invite me to speak, I’d love to send you an autographed copy, thanking you for your part in this adventure.

We hope to arrive at our first stop (Portland, OR) the first week of October, so time is of the essence. If you have any ideas, please contact me at me@joshkelley.ink. Thank you for your prayers and support!

To the glory of God and the joy of the saints!


Sometimes It’s Good to Use a Little Crack

I once read that Amazon’s Author Central is like crack for authors. In case you’re not familiar with it, Author Central tracks your book’s sales and ranking. It’s updated every hour, which means you can return for a fresh hit every 60 minutes.

Author Central

One hit will send you soaring higher than a kite (“I’m at #45,354 and heading up – #1, here I come!) and the next will drive you to the depths of despair (“Now I’m #230,211 I’m utterly worthless.”) You know you shouldn’t keep checking it, but you can’t help yourself.

I know better but keep returning for my hit, muttering “Time for my crack” as I click the well-worn link on my favorites bar. Last night’s hit had me sulking but this morning’s put me in a better mood. Tracking my sales becomes an obsession that affects me far too much.

But unlike real crack, Author Central can have a positive benefit: It regularly reminds me that I need to take an active role in marketing my book. Ignoring my sales can lead to apathy, which is death to promotion, as Amanda Luedeke points out in this great little post.

But understand, promotion isn’t about sales for me, but getting an important message out. I believe that millions of Christians feel guilty because they don’t think they’re radical enough and I hope my message can free them. But first they have to find my book. So somehow I have to find the balance between caring too much and too little. If I ever figure it out, I’ll let you know.

What about you – have you ever struggled to find the balance between apathy and obsession? How can we care deeply about anything (from politics to theology) without making it our identity?

The Book I’ve Waited Two Years to Read

I am a big fan of Dorothy Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey novels.  There are few better ways to spend a weekend than following His Lordship around 1920’s London as he solves some murder or another. Aside from the pleasure of the stories and characters, part of delight is knowing how limited the supply is; the last Wimsey story was published in 1939.

Over two years ago, I bought a story I hadn’t read yet, Unnatural Death, but between pastoring, Starbucks, and writing Radically Normal, I didn’t have any time for “fun” reading. I promised myself then that once Radically Normal was done, I would read Unnatural Death. Since then, I have found a little more time for reading, but I still have left that book untouched, saving it as a reward for my labors.


It is hard for me to believe that in three week, I will finally be able to read it. We are in the homestretch and it won’t be much longer at all. A little sooner than planned, in fact. In order to have more time to pursue endorsements, my editor and I decided to move my deadline forward to November 18th.

Things are still on schedule. I have several readers finishing up my early version and I just finished the appendices last week. This week, I will begin the second to last round of edits. Don’t ask how many rounds there have been, because I have lost count. Of course, my work won’t be done once I send in my the manuscript. Then it will be time to take off my “author” hat and put on my “marketer” hat. But first, I’ll have a book to read.

Our Trip to Harvest House

Marilyn and I just returned from a whirlwind trip to visit my publisher, Harvest House. I was basically in meetings from 2:00 pm on Monday to 2:00 pm the following day, including meetings over dinner, breakfast, and lunch. They took very good care of us.

After one meeting, my editor, Terry was walking with us and we saw a room full of people. Marilyn asked, “What’s going on in there?”

“They’re waiting for Josh to speak,” Terry replied.

Yeah, that was a little surreal. In fact, surreal is the best word to describe the entire event – having a bunch of professionals talk about publishing my book as if they do it all the time.

Perhaps the best part was hearing how excited the editors and staff are about Radically Normal. Several of them talked about how they had been personally impacted by its message! They believe that this book has the potential to do really well and change many, many lives. I am extremely fortunate to be with such a great publishing house.

They also said lots of nice things about my writing, though I have several things to tweak. For instance, they want me to clarify a short, core “take away” message. I am hoping to get your help on that part – this is what I have so far:

What if being a radical Christian didn’t mean selling everything and becoming a missionary to India? What if it meant settling down and enjoying your ordinary God-given life in extraordinary ways? It’s time to reexamine the Bible, end the guilt, and get to really living.

What do you think? I would love your help your refining this.

Sneek Peak: “The Pursuit of Happiness”

My church’s council has invited me to preach from some of the chapters of my upcoming book, so take a listen if you want a sneak peek at on of the key chapters!

The short version: The world tells you to live for today and the church tells you to live for heaven. They are both wrong…and they’re both right.


This is the week…please pray!

Hey all,

Terry Glaspey, the Acquisitions Editor at Harvest House, is planning to present my proposal the publication committee this week, so I should know very soon if Harvest will offer to publish “Radically Normal.” He reiterated that if they pass, he will help me find another publisher.

Please pray that God guide them and his will be done!


Wishing you a merry Radically Normal Christmas!

I am convinced that one of the most important ways to have a Biblical, God-honoring Christmas is to have a lot of fun. [1]

Really. Stick with me for while I explain.

On one hand, it is normal (as in “the ‘normal’ tendency to undervalue God”) for Christmas to be all about celebrating: Food, drink, presents, more drinks, and a staggering credit card to show for it.

On the other hand, it is radical (as in the “‘radical” tendency to undervalue this life”) to make Christmas only about Jesus. Am I the only Christian who gets nervous every time I hear someone say “Let’s put Christ back in Christmas”? I worry that “they” won’t be happy until Christmas is nothing but Christ.

In contrast to that, it is radically normal for Christmas to so thoroughly intertwine celebration and Jesus that we don’t know where one ends and the other begins. Nor do we care.

Buried in all of the OT laws about what not to eat and how to deal with mildew in your house are instructions on how to have a great party. For instance:

And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:9-10 ESV)

“This is holy day,” God says, “so have a great time! Have some prime rib, break out the port!” This theme is repeated again and again: Festival after festival, holy day after holy day, are filled with celebration. We have 10 legal holiday and 4 non-legal ones; Israel had 28. It makes one wonder, why does God command so many parties?

First, who doesn’t want their kids to have fun? The best part of parenting is not making them do their chores or disciplining them. It is when those things are done and we get to play with them or watch them play with each other.

Second, the festivals were designed to associate joy with God. Because joy comes from God, happiness, in its own right, is God-honoring and has the power to draw us to God. This is how I see it: God knows that we cannot fathom the eternal joy of himself, so he gives us earthly joy not as a substitute, but as sample. A good Christmas celebration will be a good sample of joy in God.

Sadly, most people think that God is dull and Satan fun, but a good radically normal Christmas will dispel that notion.

It is a damnable heresy that removes tangible joy from our faith. In our day and age, Satan has led more people astray with this nonsense than better defended doctrines. If people don’t find it in God and his channels, they will go elsewhere.

There is a lot more to be said about this subject (in fact I will be preaching about it on Sunday), but I say all this wish you a truly merry Christmas!


[1] This is an abbreviated version of my Christmas sermon: http://bit.ly/tgmv181

Book update

Has it really been a month since my last post? My goal is bi-weekly, but life happens, doesn’t it?

In this case, life has included being a pastor, making a lot of lattes, enjoying being husband and father more than I ever have, AND working on Radically Normal (I have dropped “The” and “Christian” from the title, made it too long). I am just about done preaching through the main ideas of the book , which has forced me to keep the material more practical than theoretical.

You can read or listen to the sermons on my church’s website: www.tgcconline.com.

Along with that, I have been working on a book proposal and learning about the industry. Turns out, publishers and agents don’t really want to be sent completed manuscripts, they want a proposal, which provides them with the gist of the book as well as some sample chapters.

So here is the current plan: I am taking two weeks of vacation (from the church, not Starbucks) at the end of the year to complete the book proposal, then I will start looking for an agent. At the same time, I will also work on building my “platform,” getting my name out there in the internet world.

If you have any connections or suggestions in this process, I am all ears!