The Book Your Pastor Wishes You Would Read by Christopher Ash
What do you think about your pastor? Do you chew over his sermons and wonder if they are clear and helpful? Do you feel he spends enough time with you? In fact, do you ever catch yourself wondering what he does all day?
The truth is, often we think, "What can my pastor do for me?" Far less often do we think, "What can I do for my pastor?"
Former seasoned pastor, Christopher Ash, urges church members to think about pastors not just in terms of what they do – how they lead and pray and preach and teach and so on – but what about who they are. He encourages us to remember that pastors are people and to pray for them as they serve us.
Paradoxically, caring for our pastor will be a blessing to us as well as to them, and create a culture of true fellowship in our church family.
From Jerusalem to Timbuktu by Brian C. Stiller
Christianity started in Jerusalem. For many centuries it was concentrated in the West, in Europe and North America. But in the past century the church expanded rapidly across Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Thus Christianity's geographic center of density is now in the West African country of Mali—in Timbuktu.
What led to the church's vibrant growth throughout the Global South? Brian Stiller identifies five key factors that have shaped the church, from a renewed openness to the move of the Holy Spirit to the empowerment of indigenous leadership. While in some areas Christianity is embattled and threatened, in many places it is flourishing as never before.
Discover the surprising story of the global advance of the gospel. And be encouraged that Jesus' witness continues to the ends of the earth.
When God Becomes Real by Brian Johnson
After experiencing debilitating anxiety attacks from the age of 7 into his early adult years, Brian learned to use praise and worship to usher in the presence of God and push the panic away. Now in his mid-thirties and believing himself free of that suffering, Brian had brought a new vision of worship to the church, built a successful music label with his wife, and written award-winning songs and albums. He was at the height of his success, the pinnacle of his career, and from all appearances, things were better than ever. But there, in the midst of all that success, the ghost of his childhood anxiety returned, stronger than ever, and it pulled Brian into a downward spiral of chaos and darkness.
In the year that would follow, Brian came to experience the ultimate good news: Christ, our living hope, is well-acquainted with darkness; what's more, he wants to enter into it with us.
Whether or not you've struggled with panic and anxiety, you've experienced some dark season of the soul. Like Brian, we've all found ourselves trapped in our own pain, and in our desperation, we've begged God for relief.
But how do we find that relief? How do we find God?
In When God Becomes Real, Brian shares his vulnerable story of overcoming panic and anxiety through the power of living hope. Through it, discover how you might find God, even in the darkest hour.
Restoring the Balance by Anne Le Tissier
For Christian women of any age who long to experience greater fullness of God's Spirit in their daily walk through this world, and in turn, Christ's promise of 'life to the full'.
Whether we need permission to 'be still', fresh inspiration to engage with the Word and prayer, encouragement to let God further reshape us into His image, or whether we need to build our confidence in God, allow Him to heal our low self-esteem, take our authority over the demonic realm, 'see' others as Jesus sees them, and renew our passion to share His love with the unsaved, 'Restore the Balance' will inspire and encourage proactive engagement with God working His Spirit life into us, and a willingness to let His work flow out to impact our world.
Plugged In by Daniel Strange
Whether it's TV boxsets, Instagram stories or historical novels, we all consume culture. So it's important that we are neither bewitched by it—buying into everything it tells us—or bewildered by it—lashing out in judgment or retreating into a Christian bubble.
Dan Strange encourages Christians to engage with everything they watch, read and play in a positive and discerning way. He also teaches Christians how to think and speak about culture in a way that plugs in to a bigger and better reality—the story of King Jesus, and his cosmic plan for the world.
It's possible to watch TV and read novels and play video games in a way that actually feeds our faith, rather than withers it. It's even possible for you—yes, you—to be that person who starts off talking to a mate about last night's football and ends up talking about Jesus.
So be equipped to engage with culture and use it for God.
Shattered by Rachel and Tim Wright
For everyone, at some point, life events can arrive accompanied by grief, heartache or simply a sense of disappointment. When Tim and Rachel's son was born with severe and complex brain damage their hearts and dreams lay shattered.
This 40-window devotional explores how brokenness doesn't necessarily need fixing but rather growth, transformation and abundance happen at the broken edges of life.
Jesus shows us the heart and character of God. His life was hard, messy and littered with suffering from beginning to end. Those at the time were baffled by this humble, broken demonstration of God. They got it wrong then, are we still getting it wrong now?
Are we still searching for the Messiah-in-shining-armour? Maybe, God always gives the greatest view through life's broken windows.
The Peg and the Pumice Stone by Glyn Jones
Do you long to share what Jesus is really like, but struggle to know how? Do you feel like a weak link when it comes to evangelism? And do you wonder what a peg and a pumice stone could have to do with it all? Then this is a book for you!
In these twelve true and original stories, Glyn creatively considers different aspects of what it means to be 'good news' amidst all the busyness, tragedy and comedy of our daily lives. With grace, honesty and humour, he shows how God can speak through us in the most extraordinary ways as we learn to listen to Him, ourselves and others.
Arthur’s Garden by Pam Rhodes
As I stand at my kitchen sink and look across at what we optimistically call our herb garden, to one side I see an old wooden sign on which are carved the words 'Arthur's Garden'. Arthur doesn't live here. My wonderful great-uncle died nearly thirty years ago having spent most of his long life in the Victorian terraced house in which his mother had brought up eleven children. The sign had stood in the garden there for decades, a gift to the man who'd always cherished that small patch of Kent, creating a riot of glorious colour which lit up the row of long, narrow strips that tumbled down to a line of back gates from which you could look across the lane to the local coal yard below."
In 'Arthur's Garden', Pam Rhodes collates a heart-warming collection of songs and poems, advice and tit bits about the glorious, very ordinary, English garden - told through the life of her Uncle Arthur.
This is a gardening book, with a story.
Emotional healing is often a process. God, in His infinite love and wisdom, addresses issues in our hearts in His own timing and not necessarily in the order we might choose. The freedom He brings us is not usually and instantaneous event, but a result of our growth and maturing as we allow Him to gentle touch every area of our lives.
Helen Pollard survived a traumatic childhood through Jesus’ miraculous healing, alongside help from secular therapies and varied prayer ministries. In this book she uses her own story to guide us into principles that we can apply to our own lives – to outgrow the shackles. Helen’s blunt realism is disarming, whilst her profound wisdom and insight into healing and forgiveness are a challenge to every believer.
Introducing: one young mum, one vicar, two small boys and a call - maybe! - to pioneer a church for young people who don't do church in Devon. Following this daunting call, Liz and James uproot their two young sons from Birmingham and move to rural Devon. But with no building, no team and no money, their task seems impossible.
Based on her journal entries, this is the story of Liz, a running, cake-baking and harp-playing mother of two, as she struggles with faith, friendships, motherhood and work-life balance, all the while embarking on the formidable challenge of pioneering a fresh expression of church. This ten-year story of planting Unlimited Church is vulnerable, frank and wry, rejoicing and weeping over the highs and lows of following God's call. Join Liz in discovering that with God there are no limits!
God’s Biker by Sean Stillman
Zac's Place is a church in Swansea. It is a small chaotic community of Jesus followers where the most fragile of life's walking wounded try to work out their faith, because they quite simply wouldn't fit anywhere else. It's also the spiritual home for the local chapter of the motorcycle club God's Squad. Zac's Place was founded in 1998 and for nearly twenty years has been led by Sean Stillman – a "painfully shy, nervous preacher's kid" – whose front-line ministry, at Zac's Place and on the road, has cost him dearly, including physical beating. In Zac's Place, chaos and disorder sit alongside community and grace in an environment that sometimes resembles an AA meeting mixed with a casualty department.
This is Sean's personal story of a transformed faith alongside the broken, the story of the church he started and the European-wide growth of an unlikely bunch of biker missionaries. The thread that will run through it is the 'greater righteousness' that Christ was looking for - what can happen when our concern for the perfect performance is stripped bare and replaced with poverty of spirit.
They Called Us Love by April Holdren and Deborah Meroff
Going to Africa would cost April everything. She went anyway.
From a young age, April Holden was diagnosed with chronic health problems that restricted what she could and could not do. Growing up in St. Helens, Merseyside, April was a frail child who knew pain and resistance her whole life. But, at just seven years old, she came to faith and was convinced that God had called her to leave her home behind and move to Africa. When in university, she was finally old enough to apply to work with street children in Africa, but was turned down.
That didn’t stop her. Nothing would.
After training to become a teacher, April applied again to leave the UK behind, and serve God in Africa. This time she got a step closer to her calling; she was sent to Egypt for training. Soon after, her chance came. She transferred to one of the most tumultuous, war-torn regions of North Africa. There she set up homes for boys scarred by war, fleeing violence, seeking safety. There she God do the impossible and offer a beacon of hope in an area of conflict and fear. She also saw her own life thrust into danger as political shifts had turned many of the population against anyone who looked like her, like the American forces that were now invading.
After escapes that were too close for comfort, April returned to the UK. But her work wasn’t finished yet.
Enjoying God by Tim Chester
We believe in God, we serve God, we trust God, but would we say that we experience God on a day to day basis? Do we really know him personally? What exactly does a relationship with God look like, and how is it even possible?
In this seminal work by Tim Chester, we'll see how the three persons of the Trinity relate to us in our day-to-day lives and how to respond. We'll discover that as we interact more with God, and understand how awesome he is, we will experience the joy of being known by the creator of the universe.
Every Christian will benefit from discovering the key to enjoying God in every moment of everyday.
Catching Contentment by Liz Carter
If anyone has a right to feel angry with life, then the author is a strong candidate. Having battled with lung disease from a young age, suffered at the hands of bullies, and, reluctantly, given up her much-loved teaching job, she has plenty to complain about.
But she has made a point of exploring contentment. She has drawn particularly on Paul's letter to the Philippians. 'Contentment is something we can all catch hold of,' she believes, 'whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.'
This is a message which we need to hear, whether we are lifelong sufferers, like the author, or facing deprivation or injustice of another sort. Or we may simply have fallen into bad habits. We cannot fail to be uplifted, and hopefully transformed, by the author's discoveries as we learn to buck trends within society and the church.
Long Story Short by Andy Frost
The universe is made of stories not of atoms,' said American poet Muriel Rukeyser. Whether you agree with this sentiment or not, the fact is: your life tells a story. From beginning to end, your life will create a unique narrative, shaped by the widder stories you find yourself living in.
So what story are you living in?
Exploring the importance of such stories and how these shape our identity, Share Jesus International's Andy Frost humbly presents the ultimate narrative of life, the universe and everything: the God Story.
Can science explain everything? by John Lennox
Can science explain everything?
Many people think so. Science, and the technologies it has spawned, has delivered so much to the world: clean water; more food; better healthcare; longer life. And we live in a time of rapid scientific progress that holds enormous promise for many of the problems we face as humankind. So much so, in fact, that many see no need or use for religion and belief systems that offer us answers to the mysteries of our universe. Science has explained it, they assume. Religion is redundant.
Oxford Maths Professor and Christian believer John Lennox offers a fresh way of thinking about science and Christianity that dispels the common misconceptions about both. He reveals that not only are they not opposed, but they can and must mix to give us a fuller understanding of the universe and the meaning of our existence.
The Father’s Kiss by Tracy Williamson
There is a growing epidemic of fatherlessness in society today, with more and more people experiencing crippling wounds through their childhood experiences. The Father heart of God longs to heal these wounds and bring joy and freedom in their place. But how do we learn to trust and love a heavenly Father when we have been hurt by our earthly fathers?
Tracy Williamson honestly shares the insights and lessons she has learnt on her journey as she has allowed God to free her from deep childhood hurts, into the revelation that she is a beloved daughter of Father God. With a unique mix of practical teaching, personal stories, poems, prophecies and questions for reflection this is a life-changing resource for all who carry the wounds of rejection.
Tracy helps readers understand God's love for them, and how they can grow in their relationship with him and be a channel of his love to others. Reflection points throughout each chapter allow the reader to take time to pray through and apply lessons learned, gently allowing their hearts to be opened to the Father's deep affection for them.
Before The Days Draw In by Mary Kissell
When Mary Kissell committed to getting up early every morning to spend time in prayer, she began a practice that would revolutionise her life.
This rich and moving memoir tells the incredible story of how simply following the Holy Spirit's leading saw countless people impacted around the world and the most heart-rending situations transformed.
21 Servants of Sovereign Joy by John Piper
Throughout history, the lives of spiritual giants—though full of struggle, sin, and weakness—magnify the glory and majesty of God. Their lives and teachings are full of messages that are still profoundly relevant. Their voices live on. And their stories should be told and read today.
In this book, John Piper explores the lives of twenty-one leaders from church history, offering a close look at their perseverance amidst opposition, weakness, and suffering. Let the endurance of these faithful but flawed saints inspire you toward a life of Christ-exalting courage, passion, and joy.
Is This Is? by Rachel Jones
Sooner or later, most of us find that adult life is not all it's cracked up to be. At some point we take a look at where we've got to and wonder: "Is this it? Why did no one warn me that adult life was going to be this… difficult?"
Rachel Jones is 20-something, trying to keep it together, and ready to say what we're all thinking. Whether you're just feeling a bit lost or having a full "quarter life crisis", this funny, honest, hopeful book reveals the difference Jesus makes to the angst of adulting.
Freed From Shame by Dawn Holmes with Karen Todd
One in every four people in your church will be affected by mental illness each year. 'Freed From Shame' sheds light on the reality of mental illness in the Church, not to condemn people, leaders or churches, but instead to offer insight, education and practical advice on how to tackle this challenging subject. The book looks at what mental health issues are and how they affect those who live with them, with real life stories and suggestions on how the church can create a supportive environment.
"I have people in my church struggling with mental health. You do too. This book is an invaluable tool in learning how to understand, how to help and how to love." Mark Landreth-Smith - Pastor, Bridge Church - Newbury, UK
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