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Bookbeat August 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Leslie Santamaria   
Monday, 07 July 2014 03:17 pm UTC

ImperfectMarriageBaseball legend Darryl Strawberry and his wife, ordained minister Tracy Strawberry, offer hope for troubled marriages in The Imperfect Marriage: Help for Those Who Think It’s Over ($24.99). The authors are forthcoming about their own mistakes, including addiction, adultery and financial woes, and shed light on how to make marriage work through impossible situations. Howard Books releases this hardcover Aug. 5.

SimplifyIn Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul (Tyndale Momentum), best-selling author and Willow Creek Community Church Bill Hybels identifies the core issues that propel believers into frenetic living. Hybels admits his own battle with overcommitment and explains practical steps to eliminate the things that drain one’s spirit so that readers can enter into God’s plan for purpose, fulfillment and joyful productivity. Releasing Aug. 19, Simplify retails for $22.99 in hardcover.

CultureShockChip Ingram, best-selling author, pastor and radio personality, addresses controversial issues in Culture Shock: A Biblical Response to Today’s Most Divisive Issues ($19.99, hardcover). Topics include right and wrong, homosexuality and the environment. Ingram seeks to help readers understand the issues based on research, reason and biblical truth, and to equip believers to communicate biblical convictions with love and respect. Culture Shock releases from Baker Books this month.

WorthyofHerTrustWorthy of Her Trust: What You Need To Do to Rebuild Sexual Integrity and Win Her Back by Stephen Arterburn and Jason B. Martinkus is for men who want to restore their marriage following destruction caused by pornography or sex addiction. Available Aug. 19 ($17.99, softcover), this WaterBrook Press title shows men how to establish transparency and accountability, demonstrate honesty and integrity, and seek forgiveness. Arterburn is known for the “Every Man” series, and Martinkus leads Redemptive Living, a ministry helping men with sexual integrity.

RenaissanceOs Guinness makes an appeal for cultural transformation in Renaissance: The Power of the Gospel However Dark the Times. The author, speaker and social critic is founder of the Trinity Forum, a nonprofit organization cultivating networks of leaders to help renew culture and promote human freedom and flourishing. In Renaissance, he shows how Christian faith remade cultures and civilizations in the past and argues that today’s church can be a renewing power in society when believers take up the opportunities before them. IVP Books, an imprint of InterVarsity Press, releases this softcover ($16) this month.

FindingFaithThrough her own story and stories of others, Laurie Polich Short shows in Finding Faith in the Dark: When the Story of Your Life Takes a Turn You Didn’t Plan ($15.99, softcover) how God can transform the dark chapters of life into opportunities for grace. The author explores doubt and disappointment and highlights how God is present and working even if He seems absent. Short is a speaker, an author and associate pastor at Ocean Hills Covenant Church in Santa Barbara, California. Her new book is available to stores Aug. 5 from Zondervan.

LoveWellJamie George draws from his own experience as a once-reluctant pastor in a downward-spiraling marriage to offer biblically based encouragement. David C Cook releases George’s Love Well: Living Life Unrehearsed and Unstuck ($14.99, softcover) this month. The author shares how God helped him break the cycle of shame and regret to embrace a life of purpose, faith and meaningful relationships.

TriumphThe faith stories of more than 125 athletes fill the pages of a new book by Pat Williams with Ken Hussar, Triumph! Powerful Stories of Athletes of Faith. Releasing from Barbour Publishing this month, Triumph! ($18.99, hardcover) features athletes from a variety of sports and the stories of stars such as Tony Dungy, Mickey Mantle and Kurt Warner. Williams is a motivational speaker, author of 70 books and senior vice president of the NBA’s Orlando Magic.

Author encourages ‘total surrender’ to God PDF Print E-mail
Written by Leslie Santamaria   
Monday, 09 June 2014 04:04 pm UTC

ABeautifulDefeatTo New York Times best-selling author and former psychotherapist Kevin Malarkey, total surrender to God is a “beautiful defeat,” and he wants others to find purpose and hope through the surrendered life.

Releasing this month, A Beautiful Defeat: Find True Freedom and Purpose in Total Surrender to God (9781400206391, $16.99, Thomas Nelson), explains that what Malarkey calls a “messy” journey starts with bold honesty about oneself.

It is not true that “good” Christians do not wrestle with sin, asserts Malarkey, and so he adds that the important question is: Will we struggle well?

To model the honesty that’s needed in this process, Malarkey confesses some of his own not-so-tidy sins. He humbles himself, hoping to encourage others to do the same.

“I’m going to stake everything on the belief that our path to God is through and with our struggles, not by sidestepping or hiding them,” he writes.

His appeal for authenticity is the first of two calls in A Beautiful Defeat. Understanding the three sources of sin is imperative, says Malarkey. The Bible refers to these as the flesh, the world and Satan. Malarkey describes them as: “you, where you live, and who runs the place.”

The second call is for surrender. The author tells readers that the life God intends can only be realized after relinquishing control. Using many anecdotes, he offers 10 steps to the surrendered life, which “makes sense of the mess and is filled with richness and purpose for today … and hope for tomorrow.”

These steps include defining one’s mission, wearing spiritual armor and being part of a team. The crux of surrender is dying to self daily, says Malarkey, citing Luke 9:23. He refers to it as both “the most challenging teaching in the entire Bible” and “the central teaching of the Christian life.”

Above all, he stresses that the surrendered life is about letting go and trusting God with our circumstances and the results.

To order, call 800-251-4000, or visit

Learn how to rest and relax with your Creator PDF Print E-mail
Written by Leslie Santamaria   
Monday, 09 June 2014 03:56 pm UTC

RelaxingWithGodEcclesia pastor Andrew Farley dissects theological ‘double-talk’ to reveal ‘new way of living’ out one’s faith

Andrew Farley says he became addicted to evangelism in college. He taught Bible studies on campus, witnessed at a halfway house and preached on the train. He used every assignment in speech class to lecture about salvation. He even burst into a seminar and pushed aside the speaker to share the gospel. If he went to bed feeling as though he hadn’t evangelized enough that day, he would leave his dorm at night and preach some more. But Farley was miserable.

In Relaxing With God: The Neglected Spiritual Discipline, which Baker Books (Baker Publishing Group) releases this month, Farley says in hindsight, he sees all of that feverish activity as focused wrongly—on himself. It perpetuated a cycle he describes as “commit, try hard, fail, feel horrible, then confess and recommit to try even harder, only to have your hopes of renewal shattered all over again.”

But that was 23 years ago. Since then, he writes: “God taught me some truths that literally saved my life. And what God taught me is in this book.”

Farley is now lead pastor of Ecclesia: Church Without Religion and best-selling author of several books, including  The Naked Gospel.

Farley asserts in his new book that many slip into performing for God, which only causes unrest, while Jesus, on the other hand, promised that His followers would find rest.

He aims to sort out what he calls “double-talk” and shows believers a new way to live—to “live from rest on a daily basis.”

Farley emphasizes new-covenant theology and the freedom that comes from enjoying Christ’s completed work.
“Christ is the end of the law for us,” he writes, reminding readers that no one can add to what the Savior has done.

Topics include God’s forgiveness, a believer’s new identity and the type of good works that issue from resting in God.

“It’s all about fixing your eyes on the finished work of Jesus Christ,” Farley writes. “In so doing, Jesus promises ‘rest for your soul’ (Matt. 11:29).”

Relaxing With God concludes with a five-week Bible study.

To order, call 800-877-2665 or email

Bookbeat July 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Leslie Santamaria   
Tuesday, 03 June 2014 02:51 pm UTC

AtlasGirlAward-winning journalist and blogger Emily T. Wierenga tells her story of restoration in Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look (softcover, $14.99). The author, who battled anorexia, left her parents’ home at age 18 to escape their rigidity and to search the globe for God. When her mother was diagnosed with brain cancer, Wierenga returned home, where her heart and body were finally able to heal. Baker Books (Baker Publishing Group) releases this memoir July 3.



Leslie Ludy—best-selling author of 10 books, including the best-seller When God Writes Your Love Story—gives moms permission to abandon the pursuit of perfection and encourages them to rest in God, in Set-Apart Motherhood: Reflecting Joy and Beauty in Family Life. Ludy comes alongside readers as a mother with several young children and helps them keep Christ at the center of their parenting. The book includes questions for personal study and group discussion. NavPress releases the softcover book, which retails for $13.99, July 14, with Tyndale House Publishers distributing.



The Greek word for “grace” is the title of a David C Cook release July 1. Charis: God’s Scandalous Grace for Us (softcover, $14.99) is written by Preston Sprinkle, professor at Eternity Bible College, author of Fight: A Christian Case for Non-Violence and co-author with Francis Chan of the New York Times best-seller Erasing Hell. In Charis, Sprinkle shows how the Old Testament repeatedly reveals a gracious God who delights in redeeming the unredeemable.



Laying a biblical foundation for motherhood, Stephanie Shott, founder of The M.O.M. Initiative, has written to encourage moms in their journey and equip congregations to mentor mothers in the local church and in the community, including crisis pregnancy centers and homeless shelters. The Making of a Mom: Practical Help for Purposeful Parenting ($12.99, Revell/Baker Publishing Group) will be available in softcover July 14. Study questions in each chapter are suitable for individuals or small groups.



In Teach Us to Want: Longing, Ambition and the Life of Faith (softcover, $16), Jen Pollock Michel shares her story of fear and loss to guide readers into understanding human desire in light of the gospel. IVP Crescendo (InterVarsity Press) releases the book this month. Michel is a regular contributor to Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics webpage and Moody Bible Institute’s daily devotional Today in the Word.



Love. Period. When All Else Fails by Rudy Rasmus will be available in stores July 8. Rasmus leads the 9,000-member St. John’s United Methodist Church in Houston and co-founded Bread of Life, which distributes nine tons of food to the hungry each week. In this Worthy Publishing release, Rasmus calls believers to reject hate and apathy and to love one another as Jesus intended, regardless of class, race, gender, orientation—or past deeds. Love. Period. retails for $14.99 in softcover.



Erin Davis, author of several books, including The Bare Facts with Josh McDowell, addresses a disconnect in Connected: Curing the Pandemic of Everyone Feeling Alone Together ($14.99, B&H Books). Davis points out that even though technology allows people to be increasingly connected, people are struggling with loneliness, and she outlines the remedy for this hidden ailment. Connected is available this month in softcover.



At the end of the month, Let’s All Be Brave: Living Life With Everything You Have by Annie F. Downs will be in stores. In this Zondervan title (softcover, $15.99), Downs, an author, blogger and speaker, encourages readers to grasp the courage they possess deep inside and live with boldness the life they long to live. This collection of essays includes questions, advice and scripture to help readers resist fear and step forward.

Book Beat April 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Leslie Santamaria   
Tuesday, 11 March 2014 09:59 am UTC

TheWomenOfDuckCommanderHoward Books introduces another Duck Commander title this month. The Women of Duck Commander by the stars of Duck Dynasty releases in hardcover ($25.99), e-book ($13.99) and unabridged audio ($29.99) April 1. The division of Simon & Schuster has sold more than 5 million units by the Robertson family with four titles landing on the New York Times best-seller list.


TheGoodDadJim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the Family, does not assume men who are good Christians are automatically good fathers. Rather, Daly seeks to equip fathers in developing thriving families through love, grace, patience and fun in The Good Dad: Becoming the Father You Were Meant To Be ($15.99, softcover), written with Paul Asay. This Zondervan resource for fathers-to-be and fathers with children of all ages is available in stores April 22.


TheresACrackInYourArmorTo help believers understand how to protect themselves from ongoing sins and spiritual attacks, Perry Stone analyzes and explains all the pieces of the Ephesians 6 spiritual gear in his Charisma House book releasing this month. In There’s a Crack in Your Armor: Key Strategies to Stay Protected and Win Your Spiritual Battles ($16.99, softcover), Stone teaches the seven most common factors that wear down one’s spiritual strength, four strategies to overcome spiritual battles and more.


IfIHadLunchHaving researched all of the writings of C.S. Lewis writings for a 2013 biography, Alister McGrath, professor at King’s College London and head of its Center for Theology, Religion and Culture, has now written a series of imagined lunches with Lewis. In If I Had Lunch With C.S. Lewis: Exploring the Ideas of C.S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life (Tyndale House Publishers, April), McGrath propounds Lewis’ thoughts on big questions, including “Does God exist?” and “Why does God allow suffering?” This hardcover book retails for $17.99.


DruckerAndMeBest-selling author and entrepreneur Bob Buford provides an up-close perspective on the life and legacy of Peter Drucker, notable management expert and prolific author whose writings helped shape modern business, in Drucker and Me: How Peter Drucker and a Texas Entrepreneur Conspired to Save the World ($19.99, hardcover). Buford tells the story of meeting and learning from Drucker, then working with him to revolutionize modern nonprofits and churches. Worthy Publishing releases this title April 15.


HopeRunsIn Hope Runs: An American Tourist, a Kenyan Boy, a Journey of Redemption (April 18), the leader of social innovation at Twitter, Claire Díaz-Ortiz, and Samuel Ikua Gachagua, once an orphan in a Kenyan children’s home, share how God dramatically changed their lives for the better after they met in Kenya. Gachagua is now a fellow with Global Citizen Year, a post-high school bridge program that equips emerging leaders. Hope Runs will be available from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, for $21.99 in softcover. 


TotalTurnaroundDanette Joy Crawford, host of the television program Joy in the Morning, offers a blueprint for change for those experiencing trials in her April 15 Destiny Image release, Total Turnaround: 12 Keys to Breakthrough in Every Area of Your Life ($11.99, softcover). With humor and candor, Crawford leads readers through Scripture-based help for victories such as overcoming doubt, finding freedom from depression and experiencing a renewed prayer life. 


BrokeBroke: What Financial Desperation Revealed About God’s Abundance ($16) is an honest portrayal of how author Caryn Rivadeneira discovered God’s presence in the midst of financial struggle and dealt with questions about His goodness. Rivadeneira is an author, blogger and former editor at Christianity Today’s magazines. Broke, an IVP Crescendo book from InterVarsity Press, includes questions for group discussion and an appendix of spiritual disciplines.

Bible Beat March 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Leslie Santamaria   
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 12:00 am UTC

AwakeningWith the 2014 election cycle underway, Ralph Reed argues the importance of reinforcing America’s spiritual foundation and reforming the nation’s legal, cultural and moral base with the fundamental principles of America’s founding fathers in Awakening: How America Can Turn From Moral and Economic Destruction Back to God’s Blessing (hardcover, $22.99). Reed advised presidential candidates for the last six elections; he is chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and a regular commentator on CNN, NBC, CBS and FOX News. Worthy Publishing releases Awakening on March 18.


IAmRemnantPat Schatzline urges believers to fulfill the particular assignments God has ordained for them for the sake of His kingdom in I Am Remnant: Called by Grace to Rise Up and Change the World. Schatzline emphasizes that God can use anyone who is willing, no matter how insignificant they may feel. He is president of Mercy Seat Ministries and one of the founders of The Summit Church in Birmingham, Ala. Passio, an imprint of Charisma House, releases the book, retailing for $14.99, March 4.


IncognitoIncognito: Lost and Found at Harvard Divinity School (Howard Books, March 4) is Andrea Raynor’s memoir of overcoming the challenges and stereotypes at Harvard Divinity School and becoming an ordained minister. With humor and candor, Raynor shows how God made clear the call for her life, often working in unexpected ways. She went on to serve as a chaplain at Ground Zero after 9/11 and continues ministering through hospice work. Available in hardcover, the book retails for $24.


TheGiftOfLoveZondervan releases a memoir by Amy Clipston of the love that led her to donate a kidney as part of a organ-matching program to save her husband’s life. The Gift of Love: One Woman’s Journey to Save a Life ($14.99, March 4) is Clipston’s true story of almost losing her husband to kidney disease and the sacrifice she made—against all odds—to keep their family together. Readers of Clipston’s Amish-themed novels likely will be drawn to learning more about her real life.


HeartWideOpenShellie Rushing Tomlinson, award-winning author of humorous nonfiction and host of the radio program “All Things Southern LIVE,” shares her journey to intimate friendship with God in a WaterBrook Press title available March 18. In Heart Wide Open: Trading Mundane Faith for an Exuberant Life With Jesus ($14.99), Tomlinson’s honesty and transparency provide practical inspiration for those willing to draw closer to God.


ABlessingOnTheWayEncouragement for expectant mothers is available March 4 in A Blessing on the Way: Counting Each Day While You’re Expecting, which presents short inspirational readings for each of the 280 days of pregnancy. Also included are notes about a baby’s development. This Abingdon Press title ($14.99) is co-authored by Sue Christian, a pastor’s wife and author of her own books, and her daughter, Meg Christian, a novelist. 


TapestryOfFaithWife of megachurch pastor and TV host Rod Parsley, Joni Parsley draws from her popular blog, “Joni’s Journal,” to walk readers through the ups and downs of her daily life in Tapestry of Faith: Discovering God’s Beautiful Design in the Laughter, Tears, and Struggles of Life. Parsley writes with transparency about many of the same issues everyone faces day to day and the God who can be trusted in every circumstance. Parsley’s book (Charisma House, $13.99) is on sale in stores March 4.


NotWhoIImaginedMargot Starbuck explores God’s unbounded love in Not Who I Imagined: Surprised by a Loving God, which releases this month from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, for $14.99. A regular contributor to several magazines, including Today’s Christian Woman, Starbuck shows believers who are forgetting the gospel of grace and feeling as though they don’t measure up that God loves and accepts His children just as they are in the here and now.

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