After traveling the globe and speaking to thousands of churches worldwide, Paul David Tripp discovered a serious problem within pastoral culture. Now he is not only concerned about the spiritual life of the pastor, but also the community of people that trains, calls, relates to, and restores pastors if necessary. (more…)
Here are this week’s top deals, brought to you by Faithlife Ebooks. For more deals, visit our sale page or get our Free Book of the Month. Some of these deals are only good for a few days, so act fast to get these books at the sale price!
The Emotionally Healthy Church
In this new edition of his Gold Medallion Award-winning book, Peter Scazzero shares powerful insights on how contemplative spirituality can help pastors and individual church members slow down—an integral key to spiritual and emotional health.
God Has a Name
God Has a Name is shaped around one incredibly important paragraph in Exodus. In the well-known story of Moses interacting with God on Mount Sinai, Moses asks to see God’s glory. But what God does—and says—is surprising and relevant for anyone who wants to understand God today. For everyone who is trying to understand this God that the Bible talks about, this is the place to begin.
While living and working in one of the world’s most impoverished countries, teacher, doula, and young mother Rachel Marie Stone unexpectedly caught a baby without wearing gloves, drenching her bare hands with HIV-positive blood. Already worried about her health and family and whether her service was of any use, Stone grappled anew with realities of human suffering, global justice, and maternal health.
10,000 Reasons reveals the stories beyond the well-known church anthem, fusing global worship leader Matt Redman’s own encounters of God with those from believers throughout the ages.
You’re ready to start a Bible study for yourself or for a group. You have the desire and motivation. You want to dive in, study God’s Word, and grow as a Christian.
But where do you start? [Read more…]
When pastor and author Kyle Idleman tried to finish the simple sentence, “Jesus became real when . . .” it began a journey of discovery resulting in his new book The End of Me.
Kyle realized that Jesus Christ becomes real for each of us when we come to the end of ourselves. And for that to happen, we need to embrace the counter-intuitive teachings of Jesus Christ: brokenness is the way to wholeness, mourning is the path to blessing, and emptiness is required to know true fullness. [Read more…]
Born without arms, Daniel Ritchie faces a unique kind of adversity. But that doesn’t keep him from living a full life.
After Ritchie surrendered his life to Christ he learned that true worth and purpose are only found in God. Freed from comparisons and restrictions, Ritchie has lived a life that previously seemed impossible, becoming a pastor, father, and speaker.
“There was a man who had two sons . . .”
“There once was a king who . . .”
“In a certain town there was a judge . . .”
When Jesus wanted to reveal what the kingdom of God was like, he often told stories—stories about widows and tax collectors, farmers and kings, robbers and strangers, fathers and sons.
A master storyteller, Jesus harnessed the gift of imagination to invite his listeners to consider, for example, how a patient and extravagantly forgiving father reflects the heart of God. Or how a generous, unconventional employer reveals the Lord’s grace. He also invited his listeners to find themselves within the stories. He challenged them to consider how they were like a wayward son or a resentful older brother, or how the quality of soil (shallow, rocky, thorny, or fruitful) could be a picture of their receptivity—or resistance—to the Word of God.
Jesus invites us into the same process of reflection, to prayerfully enter his stories and, through the power of the Spirit, learn about both God and ourselves.
Just like people’s response to Jesus’ stories in the Bible, something happens the moment a preacher or teacher says, “Once upon a time . . .” or “Let me tell you a story.” If our minds happen to wander during a sermon or lecture, we tend to tune in and listen with renewed interest the moment a narrative begins.
Stories are invitational. They encourage our participation. Stories are also stealthy. They can stir, confront, comfort, inspire, and penetrate our hearts when we’re least expecting it.
We tend to let our defenses down when we hear or read stories. We open ourselves to being drawn into characters’ lives, to inhabit their worlds, to journey with them. Good characters can become mirrors for seeing ourselves more clearly. Good stories can enlarge our worldview, help us understand a stranger, deepen our compassion, and remind us we’re not alone. Good stories can pursue us long after we’ve heard—or read—the last word.
This was my desire when I began writing the Sensible Shoes series. Through the characters’ journeys with God, I wanted readers to see themselves mirrored in the longings, fears, struggles, and hopes of these four imperfect women who are seeking to draw closer to God and to one another. I hoped the stories would facilitate a reader’s encounter with God, that someone might glimpse God’s love, presence, and grace in unexpected and life-transforming ways.
I could have written a nonfiction book about how to practice ways of prayer and other spiritual disciplines—which is what the characters are invited to do—but I wanted to provide an opportunity for readers to connect with God through narrative and imagination. As a writer, I wanted to take my own journey of “What if?” and “There once was a woman who . . .” and see what emerged. The process of discovery is part of the joy of both writing and reading fiction.
What might you discover about yourself and God while reading novels or short stories? A simple exercise to practice as you read is to pay attention to the things that stir you, both positively and negatively. Contemplate the ways you’re challenged, comforted, provoked, agitated, or inspired by the story.
Then, prayerfully consider the reasons behind your responses to characters or plotlines. What might the Spirit be revealing, inviting, or healing? And then, welcome others into conversation about what you notice. That’s the gift of story, too—that we can read the same words on the page and be impacted in such unique ways.
“A reader went off to read and . . .”
May the Lord inspire you and reveal his heart to you in the journey.
This is a guest post by Sharon Garlough Brown, the author of the Sensible Shoes series, which began with the bestselling book Sensible Shoes. For a limited time, get the four-book series plus a study guide for just $30.95, 60% off the regular price. Buy it here.
Also, if you are a fan of faith-inspired fiction, make sure to join the Faithlife fiction readers group where we post regular fiction deals, author interviews, and more.
It’s been decades since Pastor Richard Wurmbrand stunned the world with stories of persecution behind the Iron Curtain. With over 10 million copies in 60 languages, Tortured for Christ offers an inspiring true account of faith under fire that every Christian should read.