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Helping couples find an uncommon marriage PDF Print E-mail
Written by Leslie Santamaria   
Thursday, 16 January 2014 09:18 AM EST

Former pro football coach Tony Dungy and wife Lauren share their secrets to marital bliss in new book

UncommonMarriageThrough more than 30 years of marriage, former Super Bowl-winning NFL coach Tony Dungy and his wife, Lauren, have experienced great joys and successes as well as tremendous setbacks and personal tragedy. 

In Uncommon Marriage: Learning About Lasting Love and Overcoming Life’s Obstacles Together, they tell their love story and share the secrets that continue to keep their marriage strong. Tyndale Momentum, an imprint of Tyndale House Publishers, releases the Dungys’ book Feb. 4.

In Uncommon Marriage (hardcover, $24.99), the Dungys partnered once again with Nathan Whitaker, who has co-authored several New York Times best-sellers, and reveal what they have learned about building and nurturing a strong, faith-filled marriage even through pain and difficulty. 

The Dungys’ life together has been filled with job changes, moves between major U.S. cities and extended times apart. They attribute their relationship’s success to the regular practice of communication and prayer. This foundation held them together in the toughest times, especially when they faced the loss of their oldest son, Jamie. 

“The pain and sorrow were indescribable,” they write, “but because of our faith in God, we were able to hold on to our foundation—communication and prayer—through a very dark time.”

They add that “an uncommon marriage isn’t a perfect one; it’s simply the union of a man and a woman who commit to staying together and to following God’s leading as He shows them how to love and serve one another a little better every day.”

Uncommon Marriage is the first in a series of marriage products, which will be followed by a devotional and a DVD curriculum. The audio edition will release simultaneously wtih the trade book.

Officials at Tyndale indicate that Dungy’s products with Tyndale Momentum have sold more than 2.5 million units. His 2007 memoir, Quiet Strength—also written with Whitaker—became one of the best-selling sports titles in history with sales topping 1.2 million copies.

Retailers also will know Tony’s New York Times best-sellers Quiet Strength, Uncommon and Mentor Leader. Lauren, who is also a New York Times best-selling author, has written several children’s books. 

While Tony is seen on NBC’s Football Night in America, Lauren is a frequent speaker, serving as vice president of the Dungy Family Foundation and as an early childhood educational specialist. The Dungys are the parents of nine children.

To order, call Tyndale at 800-323-9400 or visit

Fiction File January 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Leslie Santamaria   
Monday, 23 December 2013 01:12 PM EST

ASK THE AUTHOR TheDancingMaster

JulieKlassen-GingerMurrayPhotographyJulie Klassen

LATEST PROJECT: The Dancing Master (9780764210709, $14.99, January).

Publisher: Bethany House (Baker Publishing Group)

What draws you to the Regency era?

I have loved all-things-British ever since I read The Secret Garden and Jane Eyre as a young girl. But later, Jane Austen’s novels—and the miniseries based on them— cemented my love of the Regency era in particular. ... As a Christian author, I’m also drawn to the era because it was a time when church attendance and family prayers were commonplace.

Is the village of Beaworthy real?  It is a fictional village based on a composite of three real villages in Southwest England.

What type of character is Julia Midwinter? Is she a typical character for you?  Julia is a different character for me in that she is not the typical sweet, self-sacrificing heroine. Early on, she is a bit reckless, flirtatious and difficult. But like many people in real life, there is more going on beneath the surface—and in her past—that has made her who she is. As the story unfolds and secrets are revealed, I hope readers, like the hero, will come to understand her, and perhaps even become fond of her, especially as she begins to grow and change.

How did you research the dances and dancing instructors of this era?  I read the diary of the dancing master to Queen Victoria’s children as well as dance instructions from the 18th and 19th centuries. My husband and I went English country dancing several times, and this fall I attended dance classes at the annual meeting of the Jane Austen Society of North America. Research has never been so enjoyable! 

What themes are explored in this work?  The main themes are love and grace—contrasted with the foolish things we sometimes do to try to fill the void in our hearts that only our heavenly Father’s love can fill. I enjoyed weaving in grace in its many forms—social graces, grace in dancing and, most importantly of course, God’s grace. 

Why did you include the Byranites?  I came across the name in an old Cornish newspaper that described the Bryanites worshipping in a large loft over a stable with great fervor in imitation of David’s dancing before the ark. The beams suddenly gave way, and “the minister and his dancing congregation” fell to the stable beneath. How could I resist mentioning them in a book about a dancing teacher? Further research revealed the Bryanites (or Bible Christians) were an offshoot of Wesleyan Methodists, founded by a man named O’Bryan (originally Bryant).

What else should retailers know about this novel?  The Dancing Master is a stand-alone novel. [Also] the English country dancing described in the novel is akin to, say, square dancing or the old-time waltz here in America. In 19th-century England, dancing at a ball under the watchful eyes of chaperones was the primary way young people met and courted. It was considered so vital that parents hired dancing masters to teach their sons and daughters this important social skill. I sincerely appreciate everything retailers do to bring good books—and The Good Book—to readers!

CLOSE UP: R.T. Kendall PDF Print E-mail
Written by Leslie Santamaria   
Monday, 23 December 2013 11:55 AM EST

HolyFireLatest project: Holy Fire: A Balanced, Biblical Look at the Holy Spirit’s Work in our Lives ($15.99, 9781621366041 Charisma House, Jan. 7).

Why did you write Holy Fire at this time? My publisher, Charisma House, got word that a leading noncharismatic evangelical was writing a book that would almost certainly be a broadside attack against Pentecostals and charismatics generally. They knew this man would particularly try to discredit the view that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are available to the church today. They asked me to respond, although there would be no opportunity to read his book. I did my best to write Holy Fire in a manner that would anticipate what I thought he would say. I was pretty sure he would defend the cessationist perspective, that is, the view that the miraculous ceased after the first century of the Christian church. I devote two chapters to expose the folly of cessationism and to demonstrate the contemporary relevance of holy Scripture regarding this issue.

Who is this book for? Because it addresses the heart as well as the mind, I would honestly say it is written for every single believer on the planet—the conservative, non-charismatic evangelical, the anti-charismatic, the Roman Catholic, any Protestant, the preacher, the layman, the teacher, the Pentecostal and the charismatic. I also kept the young student and new Christian in mind, and someone preparing for ministry. And yet, as I say in the preface, I wanted to make people “hungry for the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, it is not merely a cerebral book.

What do you mean in the book by  “a silent divorce in the Church”? It is my view that there has been a silent divorce in the church, speaking generally, between the Word and the Spirit. When there is a divorce, sometimes the children stay with the mother, sometimes with the father. In this divorce, you have those on the Word side (calling for sound doctrine, earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints, Reformation teaching [justification by faith, sovereignty of God], expository preaching and the need for people to be saved) and those on the Spirit side (urging people to get the same power demonstrated in the book of Acts and to experience signs, wonders, miracles, healings, prayer meetings where the place is shaken and even seeing people being struck dead for lying to the Spirit). Both emphases are exactly right. But they talk past each other, and neither side seems to deeply respect the other. We need both. The simultaneous combination will result in spontaneous combustion and bring the Great Awakening so desperately needed.

What exactly is “strange fire”? Taken from Lev. 10:1 (KJV) and also translated “unauthorized fire” (NIV, ESV), it is what Nadab and Abihu produced on their own. [Both] were consequently destroyed by God. The author of the book Strange Fire applies this to all Pentecostals and charismatics today, claiming that their manifestations, including speaking in tongues, are demonic. I include a chapter called “Strange Fire” in my book.

What motivates you to be frank about the various types of strange fire? I was compelled to point out that too much that has taken place in the modern Pentecostal and charismatic movement is strange fire. False. Counterfeit. I warn against false healings, false teaching, sheer showmanship, hyper-grace teaching, open theism, universalism, so many songs that are shallow theologically and the notion that gifts are more important than character. I also lament the fact that prosperity teaching has taken a front seat where the traditional emphasis had been on signs, wonders and gifts of the Holy Spirit. 

You speak of a time when “the Word and Spirit come together.” To what are you referring? My final chapter in Holy Fire forecasts the next (and in my opinion, final) great move of the Holy Spirit before the Second Coming. It is the cry in the middle of the night (Matt.25:6), when the church is awakened from its slumber. I call it “Isaac,” the true coming together of the Word and Spirit. I liken it to the ancient promise to Abraham. For 13 years, Abraham sincerely believed that Ishmael, son of Hagar, was the promised child; likewise, so have many Pentecostals and charismatics assumed that their movement of the past 100 years was the ultimate “last days ministries” before the Second Coming. It was Ishmael (in my opinion), although Ishmael was a major part of the sovereign purpose of God. But the best is yet to come, as prophesied, too, by Smith Wigglesworth in 1947, when the Word and Spirit would at last come together—which I call “Isaac.” This awakening is coming soon.

How can retailers promote Holy Fire? I would like to think that every person who reads Strange Fire will also read Holy Fire. ... Who am I to give advice to these retailers? I realize they cannot take sides. I suppose I would like them to challenge the buyer to read both books and let the reader decide. I would also hope they could somehow make available an open letter I have written to the author of Strange Fire, which I wrote after I read his book and heard all his talks at his Strange Fire Conference. I have asked him to pray about having a civil debate—presidential style—on the issue of cessationism. Everybody tells me he won’t do it, but let us hope he will.

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