"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start ffrom now and make a brand new beginning." George Elliot
I am a big fan of author Gary Thomas. Over the years, I have read and enjoyed his books with a few becoming my favorite must reads like: "Sacred Marriage", "Authentic Faith", "Sacred Pathways" and now, "Every Body Matters: Strengthening Your Body to Strengthen Your Soul."
In "Every Body Matters," Gary addresses the powerful impact physical fitness can have on our spiritual lives. Physical fitness can give us more energy to serve and love others, grow our sensitivity to hear God's voice, and experience more joy in our lives.
I found this book free from condemnation, as the author sensitively addresses the need to change unhealthy lifestyles. He also speaks to those with physical limitations and/or past traumas that may add to the challenge of becoming physically fit.
Thomas gently encourages moving down a path of greater spiritual and physical health, while challenging us to fight the battle of temptation to give up and give in to our old poor habits.He has an inspiring way of pointing out the scriptural truth of our bodies being a temple for the Holy Spirit, pointing out that our bodies are to be instruments, not ornaments.
Gary writes, "[B]ecoming spiritually and physically fit are two ways that we can grow in our inner and outer strength, as well as in our ability and willingness to endure hardship."
We are called to "present [ourselves] to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and [our] members (i.e. our bodies!) to God as instruments of righteousness." (Romans 6:13)
Our lives matter, our ministries matter, and our bodies matter.
Find out more about "Every Body Matters" by clicking here.
By Betty McDowell, LSW, LAS, Director of Ministry Services
Book by Colleen D.C. Marquez
This delightful story tells of an apple tree who is unable to bear fruit of her own—she is saddened as she watches the other trees in the apple orchard bear fruit of their own.
The wise farmer finds a way to help Little Tree not only bear fruit, but eventually become a very beautiful tree in the orchard.
Adoptive parents, as well as those considering adoption for the first time will find the story of Little Tree very inspiring. The book is a parable about adoption and illustrates so beautifully the heart of God for adoption.
The main character in the true story was a man named Honi, who lived during the first century B.C., and boldly prayed a prayer that brought an end to a long-standing drought, renewing hope for the Jewish people.
This well-told story encourages readers to dream big and pray persistently.
Here’s a line from the book to whet your appetite:
Drawing prayer circles around our dreams isn’t just a mechanism whereby we accomplish great things for God. It’s a mechanism whereby God accomplishes great things in us.
I found this book both delightful and inspirational, and I’m confident you will too!
Book review by Betty McDowell, Director of Ministry Services
by Todd Burpo, Sonja Burpo, Lynn Vincent, and Colton Burpo
Do we not all have a deep yearning to know the realities that lie beyond death’s door and to experience Heaven where we anticipate spending Eternity? I just finished reading Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back, at the recommendation of a good friend. She was correct in saying, “You will not put down this until you have finished it!”
This is the true story of little Colton Burpo, not quite four years old, as narrated by his father. Colton recounts to his parents his experiences in Heaven during his close encounter with death. Colton tells, in his own words, of angels who sang to him, of biblically accurate descriptions of the throne room, of meeting and talking with relatives in heaven who died before he was born, of meeting his sister who had been lost through a miscarriage of which he had no knowledge. Colton’s accounts are extremely compelling.
This son of a small-town Nebraska pastor describes looking down during surgery, seeing the doctor operating, and watching his dad praying in the waiting room. He tells of being in Heaven and Jesus teaching him, describes the horse Jesus rides, exclaims how really big God is, and how much He loves children. Colton shares information that accurately lines up with scripture about which he had no way of knowing at his young age. In simple, childlike terms he describes angelic warfare, tells of the Holy Spirit who "shoots down power" to help in times of need, and of the coming last-days battle.
This book will encourage those who may have lost a child; it will impart faith to those who may be unbelievers or who question the reality of God and Heaven; and it will strengthen the faith of those who yearn to know Him more. I highly recommend taking a few hours to read this book. It may change your life forever!
Book review by Susan Dammann, R.N., Heartbeat International Medical Specialist
A book by Michaelene Fredenburg
The book Changed, by Michaelene Fredenburg, strikes your heart in a way that’s similar to Jesus asking the woman at the well for water. It opens things up. It provides a pathway for conversing about abortion trauma with those not ready to discuss it from the Christian worldview. Like a head-on car crash, abortion changes you. Some are ready to discuss this life-changer from a biblical perspective. Many need to start with their own hurt. Changed helps you discuss this truth in therapeutic rather than theological terms.
Alcoholics Anonymous developed a similar approach. Many ministries teach abstinence from the perspectives of Changed and AA, depending on the situation and opportunities available to them. Scott Klusendorff, a pro-life apologist, and others have taught us how to make the case for life with those for whom the Scriptures are not the starting point. Changed does the very same thing.
Michaelene’s Changed is unique among abortion recovery books. Other books go straight to the living water of Scripture. Changed allows more room for you to start with H2O and the common ground of thirst for healing to open a new pathway.
In that sense, Changed could be seen as incomplete where other books on abortion recovery are self limiting. Changed is incomplete in that it does not directly reference the Bible or Christ. Most other abortion-recovery books are self limiting to Christian-only audiences because they explicitly introduce the spiritual, Christ-centered nature of healing. But for the secularist, nominal Christian, and those of other faiths, Changed will be a good place, even a safe place, to begin.
Like the free-flowing, inexhaustible, living water that Christ offered to the woman at the well, those who don’t know this common grace of God may be helped through the teachings of Changed. The grace-filled cure offered in Changed could set them on a journey towards Christ the Healer.
Changed is part and parcel of the integrated outreach of “Abortion Changes You,” a program of Life Perspectives. They combine an interactive website (AbortionChangesYou.com), the book Changed and a new leader’s guide for Changed called Grief & Abortion: Creating a Safe Place to Heal. For more information visit AbortionChangesYouResources.com.
Book review by Rev. John Ensor, Heartbeat International Executive Director of Global Initiatives
The Supernatural Ways of Royalty – by Kris Vallotton and Bill Johnson
Review by Debra Neybert, Training Specialist
The authors of The Supernatural Ways of Royalty share their experience and revelation about leaving behind the mentality of walking as a pauper and learning to embrace their identity as a prince in God’s Kingdom.
Throughout the book, Kris Valloton and Bill Johnson teach how God has taught them both to walk as royalty and promote a culture of royalty. They want the Body of Christ to know we are called to royalty, to influence, to rule and reign, and to experience all the benefits of living in the King’s Palace.
Click here for ordering information.
Book by Eric and Leslie Ludy
Looking to transform your prayer life and unleash God’s power in every area of your life? This is the book for you!
The Ludy’s, friends of pregnancy help work for many years, have written another timely book. They plumb the power of prayer through the framework of this historical quote from John Chrysostom (347-407), Archbishop of Constantinople:
The potencies of prayer hath subdued the strength of fire; it hath bridled the rage of lions, hushed the anarchy to rest, extinguished wars, appeased the elements, expelled demons, burst the chains of death, expanded the gates of heaven, assuaged diseases, repelled frauds, rescued cities from destruction, stayed the sun in its course, and arrested the progress of the thunderbolt. Prayer is an all-sufficient panoply, a treasure undiminished, a mine which is never exhausted, a sky unobscured by clouds, a heaven unruffled by the storm. It is the root, the foundation, the mother of a thousand blessings.
This is an encouraging book on the incredible power of prayer. Not only does Wrestling Prayer give us a history lesson on the legendary heroes of faith but it also offers some practical “how to” exercises on wielding the weapon of prayer.
Book by Bill JohnsonReview by Debra Neybert
This book is a must-read for the summer! Bill Johnson delivers to believers this much-needed manual on how to stand in victory and enter into our “hour of promotion.” Easy reading, this book encourages believers of all levels "to count it all Joy" when facing turmoil at home, work, or within the family.
You’ll relate personally to the valuable “Keys on how to strengthen yourself” and how to put them to work for you in whatever season God has planted you. Johnson encourages the reader to look beyond failure toward a successful future. Some topics include: Overcome seriously bad days and stay connected to your destiny, Access Heaven's open door, Disarm hell with thanksgiving!
All who read this will be blessed!
T.J. Addington, a seasoned global missionary and executive, describes High Impact teams as “a group of missionally-aligned and healthy individuals working strategically together under good leadership toward common objectives with accountability for results.”
The four sides of the Sandbox are Mission, Guiding Principles, Central Ministry Focus, and Culture of Health. “The Mission of your organization represents ‘true north’ and the reason for your existence.”
This is excellent reading for leadership teams, boards, and ministry executives. Leading From the Sandbox will challenge us as leaders and as teams, equipping us to serve more effectively.
Book by Janet MoranaReview by Jay Hobbs, Communications Assistant
From forward—written by the brilliant Fr. Frank Pavone—to conclusion, Janet Morana’s Recall Abortion makes a compelling case that now is the time to take the “failed product” of abortion off the proverbial shelves of American life.
Janet, who serves as Executive Director of Priests for Life and is the Co-Founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, leads off chapter two with an especially gripping statement:
Abortion is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated against women, and those who profit from abortion are the snake oil salesman of our time. This statement may strike some as sensationalism, but I assure you it is not. The evidence in this book will show that it is no exaggeration. (pg. 15)
Indeed, the evidence Recall Abortion presents supports Janet’s claim, and then some. After summarizing several cases of women who have endured (in some cases permanent and chronic) physical complications stemming from abortion, Janet wraps up chapter two with a compelling comparison of recalled American products, ranging from 1978 Ford Pintos to 2000 Firestone tires.
What is expertly implied throughout is made explicit to end this foundational chapter:
Think back to the heartbreaking stories of the women who have testified on Silent No More. Think back to the testimonies of former abortion doctors. Abortion kills babies. And it harms women, physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Isn’t it time to rethink our abortion policy? Isn’t it time to recall abortion?
Another excellent feature of this book—which makes it a good “loaner” or gift to your friends, family, and church leadership—is its weaving in and out of the firsthand accounts of women (and men!) who have been deeply damaged by past abortion.
If one and four women will submit to an abortion by age 45, as Planned Parenthood research arm Guttmacher Institute estimates, then those on the fringes of the prolife movement—your pastor, minister, priest, or friendly theology student—somehow need to be brought into contact with these real women and men. Recall Abortion l is a great place for these friends to start.
Recall Abortion does an excellent job of replacing numbers with faces, pie charts with stories. But its reach doesn’t end there. It also tackles the so-called “hard cases,” including abortion in the cases of rape and incest, fetal deformalities, and the life of a mother.
Pick up a copy or five—or 10—and spread the word that now is the time to recall abortion.
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