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By Nadia Bolz-Weber. 2013
Now a New York Times bestseller, Nadia Bolz-Weber takes no prisoners as she reclaims the term "pastrix"(pronounced "pas-triks," a term…used by some Christians who refuse to recognize female pastors) in her messy, beautiful, prayer-and-profanity laden narrative about an unconventional life of faith. Heavily tattooed and loud-mouthed, Nadia, a former stand-up comic, sure as hell didn't consider herself to be religious leader material-until the day she ended up leading a friend's funeral in a smoky downtown comedy club. Surrounded by fellow alcoholics, depressives, and cynics, she realized: These were her people. Maybe she was meant to be their pastor. Using life stories-from living in a hopeful-but-haggard commune of slackers to surviving the wobbly chairs and war stories of a group for recovering alcoholics, from her unusual but undeniable spiritual calling to pastoring a notorious con artist-Nadia uses stunning narrative and poignant honesty to portray a woman who is both deeply faithful and deeply flawed, giving hope to the rest of us along the way. Wildly entertaining and deeply resonant, this is the book for people who hunger for a bit of hope that doesn't come from vapid consumerism or navel-gazing; for women who talk too loud, and guys who love chick flicks; for the gay man who loves Jesus, and won't allow himself to be shunned by the church. In short, this book is for every thinking misfit suspicious of institutionalized religion, but who is still seeking transcendence and mystery.
By Sabeeha Rehman, Walter Ruby. 2021
For readers of The Faith Club, Sons of Abraham, and The Anatomy of Peace, a call for mutual understanding and…lessons for getting thereWe Refuse to Be Enemies is a manifesto by two American citizens, a Muslim woman and Jewish man, concerned with the rise of intolerance and bigotry in our country along with resurgent white nationalism. Neither author is an imam, rabbi, scholar, or community leader, but together they have spent decades doing interfaith work and nurturing cooperation among communities. They have learned that, through face-to-face encounters, people of all backgrounds can come to know the Other as a fellow human being and turn her or him into a trusted friend. In this book, they share their experience and guidance. Growing up in Pakistan before she immigrated to the United States, Sabeeha never met a Jew, and her view was colored by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In his youth, Walter never met a Muslim, and his opinion was shaped by Leon Uris's Exodus. Yet together they have formed a friendship and collaboration. Tapping their own life stories and entering into dialogue within the book, they explain how they have found commonalities between their respective faiths and discuss shared principles and lessons, how their perceptions of the Other have evolved, and the pushback they faced. They wrestle with the two elephants in the room: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and polarizing material in their holy texts and history. And they share their vision for reconciliation, offering concrete principles for building an alliance in support of religious freedom and human rights. "As members of the two largest minority faith communities in America, we must stand together at a portentous moment in American history. Neither of our communities will be able to prosper in an America characterized by xenophobia and bigotry.&”—Sabeeha Rehman and Walter Ruby
By Pam Bates, Paula Patty. 2021
The heartwarming true story of a farmer’s unwavering faith in the face of a tragic prognosis—and how a community came…together to help a neighbor in need.In the summer of 2015, Carl Bates and his wife Pam received the devastating news that he had metastatic cancer. The doctors have him just three months to live. As farmers in Galva, Illinois, they were dealing not only with the profound grief of Carl’s illness, but a serious practical concern: who would harvest the crops?Despite the crisis he faced, Carl never lost his faith in God. When word of his situation got out, a group of fellow farmers gathered organized to harvest Carl’s crops themselves. Someone observed that “a farmer can ask for no better crop than a bountiful harvest of friends.”The event was covered by the news and became a viral phenomenon. Now, in The Most Amazing Harvest, Pam Bates and Paula Patty tell the full story of the remarkable farmer who kept his faith, and the small town community whose selfless act of kindness was nothing short of a miracle.
From the author of the acclaimed biography Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet, new perspectives on how Luther and others crafted…his larger-than-life imageMartin Luther was a controversial figure during his lifetime, eliciting strong emotions in friends and enemies alike, and his outsized persona has left an indelible mark on the world today. Living I Was Your Plague explores how Luther carefully crafted his own image and how he has been portrayed in his own times and ours, painting a unique portrait of the man who set in motion a revolution that sundered Western Christendom.Renowned Luther biographer Lyndal Roper examines how the painter Lucas Cranach produced images that made the reformer an instantly recognizable character whose biography became part of Lutheran devotional culture. She reveals what Luther's dreams have to say about his relationships and discusses how his masculinity was on the line in his devastatingly crude and often funny polemical attacks. Roper shows how Luther's hostility to the papacy was unshaken to the day he died, how his deep-rooted anti-Semitism infused his theology, and how his memorialization has given rise to a remarkable flood of kitsch, from "Here I Stand" socks to Playmobil Luther.Lavishly illustrated, Living I Was Your Plague is a splendid work of cultural history that sheds new light on the complex and enduring legacy of Luther and his image.
By Lilly Dancyger. 2021
Despite her parents' struggles with addiction, Lilly Dancyger always thought of her childhood as a happy one. But what happens…when a journalist interrogates her own rosy memories to reveal the instability around the edges? Dancyger's father, Joe Schactman, was part of the iconic 1980s East Village art scene. He created provocative sculptures out of found materials like animal bones, human hair, and broken glass, and brought his young daughter into his gritty, iconoclastic world. She idolized him—despite the escalating heroin addiction that sometimes overshadowed his creative passion. When Schactman died suddenly, just as Dancyger was entering adolescence, she went into her own self-destructive spiral, raging against a world that had taken her father away. As an adult, Dancyger began to question the mythology she'd created about her father—the brilliant artist, struck down in his prime. Using his sculptures, paintings, and prints as a guide, Dancyger sought out the characters from his world who could help her decode the language of her father's work to find the truth of who he really was.
Francis of Assisi is Catholicism's most popular saint. Tens of millions of spiritual seekers summon his name and example. But…the real Francis-both his complicated personality and his complex theology-have been misunderstood for centuries. In 1228, Pope Gregory IX rushed to canonize St. Francis only two years after his death. Soon thereafter, the Church eliminated significant aspects of his biography from the public record. For Francis's early life was defined by his profligacy; shortly before dying, Francis himself warned his brothers: "Don't be too quick to canonize me. I am perfectly capable of fathering a child. " In A Mended and Broken Heart, journalist Wendy Murray slices through the bowdlerized version of Francis's life promoted within the Catholic tradition and reveals instead a saint who was in every way also a real man. Murray stresses in particular the crucial but completely neglected role that Clare of Assisi played in Francis's life, both pre- and postconversion, and his theology. A profoundly humane portrait of a misunderstood saint, A Mended and Broken Heart makes a powerful case that St. Francis's life and thought make him a role model for religious seekers of every faith.
By Alfred Regnery. 2019
Two middle-aged men, fast friends, make eleven foreign trips—pilgrimages you might call them —to parts of the world rich in…the history of Christianity. The trips combine adventure, strenuous physical activity, exhilaration, discovery, and friendship. Three of the journeys were to Western Europe; six were to Eastern Europe and the Balkans and two to the Middle East. The trips were spontaneous and unplanned, often requiring improvisation along the way. Told in a lighthearted and often amusing style, An Unlikely Pilgrim provides a vivid and colorful picture of parts of the world often out of the range of American tourists, but deep in both ancient and current geopolitical, historical, and cultural wealth.
By Eric Metaxas. 2014
In this four-session video-based small group Bible study, New York Times best-selling author Eric Metaxas will help you discover the…major themes of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's writing and speaking and how he not only helped transform an entire faith community in Germany during World War II, but how his beliefs continue to impact the Christian faith of people throughout the world today.Filmed on location in Germany, Metaxas will take you on a religious journey of Bonhoeffer's faith and why it has captured so many people's imaginations and how it has inspired the Christian faith of so many today. Pulling themes from all of his major books, Metaxas helps us understand why these spiritual truths meant so much to Bonhoeffer and how they can be an inspiration and challenge to our faith.This companion study guide will lead you and your group deeper into the video content (sold separately) with session-by-session discussion topics, personal reflection, and between-session studies to enhance the group experience.Sessions include:What is the Church?Life TogetherGod Says Yes / Cheap GraceReligionless ChristianityDesigned for use with Bonhoeffer: A DVD Study.
By Judith St. George, Sasha Meret. 1997
In the spring of 1776, George Washington stopped at Betsy Ross's little upholstery shop and asked her to sew a…flag-- a flag that would unite the thirteen colonies in their fight for independence from Great Britain. In Judith St. George's detailed account, Betsy Ross emerges as a strong and spirited woman. Her independent streak led her to marry outside her Quaker faith and served her well throughout her life: widowed three times and the mother of seven daughters, she maintained her own business for more than fifty years. Here is the inspiring story of one of the courageous and self-reliant women who shaped American history: the "patriot of Philadelphia" who created the banner that helped unite the nation.
By Shannon Bream. 2021
The women of the Bible lived timeless stories—by examining them, we can understand what it means to be a woman…of faith. People unfamiliar with Scripture often assume that women play a small, secondary role in the Bible. But in fact, they were central figures in numerous Biblical tales. It was Queen Esther's bravery at a vital point in history which saved her entire people. The Bible contains warriors like Jael, judges like Deborah, and prophets like Miriam. The first person to witness Jesus' resurrection was Mary Magdalene, who promptly became the first Christian evangelist, eager to share the news which would change the world forever. In The Women of the Bible Speak, Fox News Channel's Shannon Bream opens up the lives of sixteen of these Biblical women, arranging them into pairs and contrasting their journeys. In pairing their stories, Shannon helps us reflect not only on the meaning of each individual's life, but on how they relate to each other and to us. From the shepherdesses of ancient Israel who helped raise the future leaders of the people of God, to the courageous early Christians, the narrative of the Bible offers us many vivid and fascinating female characters. In their lives we can see common struggles to resist bitterness, despair, and pride, and to instead find their true selves in faith, hope, and love. In studying these heroes of the faith, we can find wisdom and warnings for how to better navigate our own faith journeys. The Women of the Bible Speak outlines the lessons we can take from the valor of Esther, the hope of Hannah, the audacity of Rahab, and the faith of Mary. In broadening each woman's individual story, Shannon offers us a deeper understanding of each, and wisdom and insights that can transform our own lives today
By Steve Rabey, Claire Culwell, Lois Mowday Rabey. 2021
An abortion survivor and leading pro-life spokeswoman tells her inspiring and sometimes surprising story of redemption, healing, and forgiveness, offering…grace and support—not shame—to women facing the most difficult decision of their lives. &“Claire&’s heart-wrenching and inspiring story is exactly what our world needs today.&”—Lila Rose, president and founder of Live Action, author of Fighting for LifeForeword by Abby Johnson, bestselling author of Unplanned, and afterword by Josh McDowell, founder of Josh McDowell Ministry Raised in a loving adoptive home, Claire Culwell, at the age of twenty-one, decided to meet her birth mother—and got the shock of her life. Claire&’s birth mother, Tonya, confessed that when she was pregnant with Claire, she&’d gone to a clinic for an abortion. Yet, after the abortion, the pregnancy continued to progress. What Tonya&’s doctor had overlooked was that she&’d been pregnant with twins. The abortion that terminated the life of Claire&’s twin had miraculously spared Claire. Claire embraced the unique circumstances, soon sharing her story with the world and urging her listeners to understand how abortion takes the life of a child. When Claire faced her own unplanned pregnancy as a single woman, she embraced the added opportunity to step into the shoes of those she advocates for. Her heart grew bigger on the issue of life, which increased her extension of empathy and grace to women in pregnancy crisis. At the same time, she began to challenge churches to truly value not just the unborn but also the women who face unexpected pregnancy. Survivor is Claire&’s incredible story of surviving abortion and advocating for life—the lives of unborn babies as well as the lives of their mothers. Her powerful message of grace speaks louder than politics or controversy or shame as she inspires each of us to choose life wherever we are.
By Ben Carson, Gregg Lewis. 2003
In his grade school days, Ben Carson would hardly have been voted “most likely to become a famous surgeon.” His…classmates had already given him another label: class dummy. Then a light clicked on for Ben—and a consuming passion for learning that catapulted him from “zero” test grades to a Yale scholarship, a pioneering role in modern medicine, and an influence that has extended from inner-city schools to corporate boardrooms and Washington corridors of power. What made the difference? Belief in his own potential, a commitment to education and making the most of his opportunities to learn, determination to make the world a better place, and faith in a God who knows no limits. Seeing the Big Picture. In The Big Picture, Ben Carson reveals the spiritual and philosophical foundations that undergird not just his dramatic career, but his approach to all of life. As in his best-selling Gifted Hands Dr. Carson shares colorful behind-the-scenes anecdotes. As in Think Big, he describes his practical principles for success. But The Big Picture is more than an autobiography or a personal-effectiveness manual. Rather, it’s a multifaceted look at the faith and vision that can see us all through hardship and failure, and stir us to bold exploits on behalf of something greater than ourselves. Dr. Carson begins by describing how he cultivated a Big-Picture perspective in his own life. Then he discusses ways to which all of us can approach parenting, family, business and friendships with the Big Picture in mind. Finally he looks at some pressing social issues—in particular, racial diversity, health care, and education—and considers how we ought to view them and what we should do about them in light of the Big Picture. Drawing on a vast array of experiences in roles ranging from trailblazing surgeon to public speaker, to husband and family man, Ben Carson shows how we can turn the course of our lives, out communities, our country, and our world by keeping the Big Picture always in mind.
By Gregg Lewis, Christine Burke, Tim Burke. 1994
By Elisabeth Elliot. 2005
By John Houston. 2021
After many years of searching, John Houston found his way home—his true home. Now, he wants to help you do…the same.John Houston has spent the past sixteen years building for others what he didn&’t always have for himself growing up: a family home. Today, John is one of the premier custom home builders in Texas. Throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area, you see signs proudly presenting &“John Houston Custom Homes&” that paint a picture of the kind of home life John would have done anything to have as a child. From a young age, home was not a place where John wanted to be. After his parents divorced and his mother moved out, his father remarried and moved in with his new family. John and his older brother struggled to adjust and began living by themselves with little to no adult supervision at the ages of 11 and 15. They helped support themselves financially by working long hours running a lawncare business before and after school. The years that followed were challenging but also marked by God&’s protection, even when John didn&’t realize it, as he overcame hardships that could have permanently derailed his life. He met and married the woman of his dreams, completed his education and became a respected and successful business owner. And he isn&’t confused for one second about who&’s ultimately responsible for his success: God. In Finding My Way Home, John Houston reflects on a life of trials, hardships, and painful mistakes through the lens of gratitude for God&’s enduring faithfulness. He explains, &“God created a story with my life that puts a spotlight on His mercy and grace—a story of my anger and His forgiveness; of the broken family I grew up in and His restoration; of my demanding &‘leadership&’ as a husband and father and His model for me to lead with love.&”
By Greg Laurie. 2021
Billy Graham Was the World&’s Best-Known Evangelist—Loved and Admired by Millions. But Very Few Knew Him Personally. Pastor and…bestselling author Greg Laurie was one of those fortunate few, blessed with an insider&’s view of Billy Graham&’s world for more than two decades. With the same painstaking research and eye for detail that distinguishes his previous biographies, Steve McQueen: Salvation of an American Icon and Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon, Laurie now turns to the life of his beloved mentor, offering the intimate perspective of a disciple and friend. As a strapping North Carolina farm boy, Graham surrendered his life to Jesus at a camp meeting led by a blustery itinerant preacher, but he never lost the mischievous twinkle in his eye or his fun-loving air. Laurie sheds light on Graham&’s lesser-known struggles—such as a broken heart before he met the love of his life and a crisis of faith from which he emerged stronger than ever. From the evangelist&’s private challenges and public successes to his disappointments and joys, Billy Graham: The Man I Knew provides a vivid portrait of one of history&’s most remarkable Christian lives.
By Kodo Sawaki. 2020
These profound Zen Buddhism teachings explained in ordinary language from one of the most respected Zen masters of the 20th…century are "an essential resource for those interested in Zen meditation" (Publishers Weekly).“You can’t see your true Self. [But] you can become it. Becoming your true Self is zazen.”Having come of age as an orphan in the slums of Tsu City, Japan, Kodo Sawaki had to fight his way to adulthood, and became one of the most respected Zen masters of the 20th century. He had a great understanding of Dogen Zenji’s teaching and he knew how to express Dogen’s philosophy in clear, easily–understood language. Sawaki’s primary mission was to bring all people to an awareness of the Self, which he believed came through Zen meditation.His humor and straightforward talk garnered Sawaki followers from all walks of life. Though he remained poor by choice, he was rich in spirit. Two of his students who became known in America as well as in Japan were Kosho Uchiyama, abbot of Antaiji Temple and author of Opening The Hand of Thought, and Gudo Nishijima, Zen teacher and translator of Dogen’s Shobogenzo.A student of Kosho Uchiyama, Arthur Braverman has compiled an anthology of Sawaki’s writings and a garland of sayings gathered from throughout his lifetime. One of a few collections of Sawaki’s teachings published in English, his life and work bracket the most intriguing and influential period of modern Zen practice in Japan and America.
By Noa Tishby. 2021
&“This is not your Bubbie&’s history book.&” —Bill Maher, host of Real Time with Bill Maher &“A fascinating—and very moving—book…that should be read by anyone for whom Israel is a mystery.&” —Aaron Sorkin, award-winning screenwriter of The West Wing and The Social Network A personal, spirited, and concise chronological timeline spanning from Biblical times to today that explores one of the most fascinating countries in the world—Israel.Israel. The small strip of arid land is 5,700 miles away but remains a hot button issue and a thorny topic of debate. But while everyone seems to have a strong opinion about Israel, how many people actually know the facts? Here to fill in the information gap is Israeli American Noa Tishby. Offering a fresh, 360-degree view, Tishby brings her straight-shooting, engaging, and slightly irreverent voice to the subject, creating an accessible and dynamic portrait of a tiny country of outsized relevance. Through bite-sized chunks of history and deeply personal stories, Tishby chronicles her homeland&’s evolution, beginning in Biblical times and moving forward to cover everything from WWI to Israel&’s creation to the real disputes dividing the country today. Tackling popular misconceptions with an abundance facts, Tishby provides critical context around headline-generating controversies and offers a clear, intimate account of the richly cultured country of Israel.
By Blake Bailey. 2021
<P><P> The renowned biographer’s definitive portrait of a literary titan. <P><P>Appointed by Philip Roth and granted independence and complete access,…Blake Bailey spent years poring over Roth’s personal archive, interviewing his friends, lovers, and colleagues, and engaging Roth himself in breathtakingly candid conversations. The result is an indelible portrait of an American master and of the postwar literary scene. <P><P>Bailey shows how Roth emerged from a lower-middle-class Jewish milieu to achieve the heights of literary fame, how his career was nearly derailed by his catastrophic first marriage, and how he championed the work of dissident novelists behind the Iron Curtain. <P><P>Bailey examines Roth’s rivalrous friendships with Saul Bellow, John Updike, and William Styron, and reveals the truths of his florid love life, culminating in his almost-twenty-year relationship with actress Claire Bloom, who pilloried Roth in her 1996 memoir, Leaving a Doll’s House. <P><P>Tracing Roth’s path from realism to farce to metafiction to the tragic masterpieces of the American Trilogy, Bailey explores Roth’s engagement with nearly every aspect of postwar American culture.
By T. J. Menn, Jenn Menn. 2011
Faith to Foster is a candid look into the life of ordinary foster parents TJ and Jenn Menn. It is…a journey chronicling their decision making process, how the children arrived, the birth parents struggle to rehabilitate, help from friends and family, emotional goodbyes, and how faith in Jesus empowered them through it all. This is a story they wished they’d read before starting their foster parenting adventure. TJ and Jenn share their experiences and feelings in a way that encourages any reader to serve their neighbors, not just foster parents. Faith to Foster reminds Christians how God can use them to make a difference in their community.