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Posted 1/29/15 at 12:32 PM | Phil Cooke

Five Steps to Overcoming the "Jolts" of Life

Photo: Public Domain

When disaster strikes our life, we’re often simply overwhelmed. As we saw during the 2011 tsunami in Japan, entire towns were wiped off the map, and all these years later, we’re still seeing news reports of problems with the clean up. When a country like that is in chaos, where do we begin when problems happen? Even more important, how do we deal with the “meltdowns” we face in our lives? In my book “Jolt! Get the Jump on a World That’s Constantly Changing” I show you how to weather the storms of change, and actually use it to your advantage. After being fired, going through a divorce, losing a loved one or experiencing other traumatic life events, how do you start over? Here’s 5 ways to move forward with purpose:

• Realize the time to change is now.  When you’ve hit the wall, or rock bottom, that could be the best thing that’s ever happened to you, because it “jolts” you into action. While we never welcome terrible things, they can often help us focus on what really matters and show us the way out. FULL POST

Posted 1/29/15 at 8:58 AM | Audra Jennings

Book Examines Courageous Love and Faith Strong Enough to Span the Centuries

Lynne Gentry, author of Return to Exile
Lynne Gentry

Set against the backdrop of the birth of the Christian faith, fear and loss are pitted against the strength of a fledgling faith in Return to Exile (Howard Books/ January 6, 2015/ISBN: 978-1476746364/$14.99) by Lynne Gentry. Readers who were left on the edge of their seats after closing the covers of Healer of Carthage will devour this second installment in The Carthage Chronicles and be challenged to examine their own courage in the face of adversity. FULL POST

Posted 1/27/15 at 11:12 AM | Audra Jennings

New Book Brings Relief For Weary Parents of a Special Needs Child

Get Your Joy Back by Laurie Wallin
Kregel Publications

Some studies report as many as one out of every four families in the U.S. has a child with a special need. Parenting is stressful even when a child doesn’t have a physical, mental or emotional difficulty. One can imagine the stress on special needs families. Laurie Wallin meets these parents right where they are in her new book, Get Your Joy Back: Banishing Resentment and Reclaiming Confidence in Your Special Needs Family (Kregel Publications/January 27, 2015/ISBN: 978-0825443398/$13.99) FULL POST

Posted 1/26/15 at 12:27 AM | Ramona Tucker

I Thought Someone Was at My Door

When I heard my doorbell ring, I wondered who on earth would be at my door at 8:00 on a Sunday morning. I had not dressed for church yet but had on sweat pants, a tee shirt, and tennis shoes. I had not planned for a work out that morning but much to my surprise I got one. I made my way to the front door but was confused when I found no one there. I scanned the front yard, walked to the corners of the porch, and looked around the ends of the house but still saw no one anywhere. At first I chuckled and thought I must have been hearing things or maybe what I heard was on television. Then all kinds of possibilities ran through my mind. I wondered if someone might be casing my house to see if anyone was home. Could someone be trying to divert my attention from something or someone else? Eventually I dismissed such thoughts and returned inside and sat down. FULL POST

Posted 1/16/15 at 10:25 AM | Tim Challies

Book Review: On Guard

book cover

If I could mandate that at least one leader from every church had to read a single book, I don’t think there are too many I would choose ahead of On Guard: Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church. It’s not that it is the best book I have ever read (though it is plenty good) or that it contains the deepest theology (though there is plenty of good doctrine within its pages). It’s that too many times the purpose and witness of the church has been tarnished by her failure to offer safety and protection to children. This book offers assistance where so many churches have failed.

Deepak Reju is a Pastor of Biblical Counseling and Family Ministry at (Mark Dever’s) Capitol Hill Baptist Church and father to five young children. From that vantage point he sees the danger and the devastation of abuse and its prevalence within the church. And from that vantage point he provides an excellent resource that is meant to help.

On Guard has three broad purposes: to protect children from the horrors of child abuse, to fill a gap in Christian publishing and resourcing, and to provide a comprehensive approach to preventing and responding to child abuse at church. In all three areas Reju succeeds well. FULL POST

Posted 1/9/15 at 10:39 AM | Tim Challies

The Legacy Journey

Let me tell you: It’s not easy being filthy rich. You would know, wouldn’t you? Most of us feel like we live in poverty, but that’s only because we restrict our comparisons to the people closest to us. When we elevate our gaze a little, we see that most of us qualify as being among the richest people in the world. Compared to the mass of humanity, we have fantastic wealth.

For many years Dave Ramsey has taught people how to manage their money well, and countless thousands of people can testify to his impact on their lives. While much of his effort has gone into helping people climb out of debt and live financially sustainable lives, he is now turning his attention to the matter of leaving a legacy.

In his new book The Legacy Journey he deals head-on with first-world wealth and a host of related issues. He builds this legacy journey around a 4-part framework: Now, Then, Us, Them. In the Now stage he wants you to focus on the most immediate issues like getting out of debt, living on a budget, and preparing for emergencies. The Then stage begins to look down the road a little, preparing for retirement, saving for college funds, and setting a future vision. When it comes to Us, it is time to begin to accumulate a generational legacy which will build wealth to leave to children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren. And then, with those other pieces in place, comes Them, where you can look around the world and use your wealth to make a major impact on other people’s lives and well-being. FULL POST

Posted 1/8/15 at 3:43 PM | Audra Jennings

Author’s Adventures Add Special Authenticity to Her Suspense Writing

NLB Horton

NLB Horton, author of The Brothers’ Keepers, has found herself in situations that would make great material for any writer’s next novel. She has surveyed Israeli and Jordanian archaeological digs, tossed a tarantula from her skiff into the Amazon after training with an Incan shaman, driven uneventfully through Rome and consumed gallons of afternoon tea while traveling across five continents.

The inspiration for Horton’s protagonist, Grace Madison (a mother who would do anything to protect her family) was born from an experience the author had while on an archaeological dig she embarked upon as a part of her master’s degree program with Dallas Theological Seminary in 2007. As she stood at the edge of a dig pit in the tel Dan of northern Israel with her husband and their teenage children nearby, heavy artillery fire began booming from Syria as staccato machine-gun reports peppered near the Lebanese border. An Israeli Defense Force camouflage-painted plane broke through an unseasonal cloud cover, circling the site. It was a harrowing experience sure to stick with anyone! FULL POST

Posted 1/7/15 at 9:29 AM | Audra Jennings

Lynne Gentry Captivates Readers with Time Travel and Christian History

Return to Exile by Lynne Gentry
Howard Books

Set against the backdrop of the birth of the Christian faith, fear and loss are pitted against the strength of a fledgling faith in Return to Exile (Howard Books/ January 6, 2015/ISBN: 978-1476746364/$14.99). Readers who were left on the edge of their seats after closing the covers of Healer of Carthage will devour this second installment in The Carthage Chronicles and be challenged to examine their own courage in the face of adversity. FULL POST

Posted 12/25/14 at 10:39 PM | Daniella Whyte

The Greatest Giver: Embracing the 12 Gifts of Jesus

The gift of Jesus Christ is certainly the greatest gift ever given to humankind, but it is not the only gift. When Jesus came into the world, He made it possible for us to obtain so many other gifts – ones we often take for granted, but that we could not get on our own. This book is about those other gifts. FULL POST

Posted 12/16/14 at 12:00 PM | Justin Buzzard

Best Books of 2014

Here is my Best Books of 2014 list, in no particular order. This isn’t a list of books published in 2014. This list is of the books I read in 2014 that I enjoyed/benefited from the most. Click here for last year’s list: Best Books of 2013 (and links to past year’s lists).

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare To Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp. Of all the books I read this year, this is the one that has impacted me the most. I’ve grown in gratitude and living more fully in the moment as a result of stewing my way through this book.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. Originally I decided not to read this biography because I’d read a few reviews of it and concluded I already knew the gist of the book: Steve Jobs was an uncommon genius and jerk. But then a pastor friend told me he couldn’t put this book down and learned a lot from it. I picked up the book and experienced the same: I couldn’t put it down. This book is packed with leadership lessons (what to do and what not to do) and it provides a fascinating mini-history of Silicon Valley. FULL POST

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