GARY DENNIS, Former Pastor

Spiritual Autobiography: Discovering and Sharing Your Spiritual Story by Richard Peace

Excerpt: I first learned about the power of sharing our stories while an undergraduate at Yale. During my final year I became a member of what was called a Senior Society. THey consisted of small groups of men (Yale was not yet coed) who met together regularly. The activities of each group were kept private. In our group one of the things we did was tell our life stories to one another. This was a powerful experience for me. It was a time of self-discovery and a time when I began to discover the humanity of others outside my own circle.

About the Author
As an M.Div. student at Fuller in the 1960s, Richard Peace and his wife, together with four other Fuller students, founded African Enterprise, an evangelistic ministry that resulted in an eight-year ministry in South Africa. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, Dr. Peace is a consultant in church growth and small-group training. As a former free-lance documentary filmmaker, he serves as a consultant in media productions and educational design for groups ranging from the Navigators in Colorado Springs to the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. He is also the author of numerous publications including Small Group Evangelism published by InterVarsity, and the Learning to Love and Spiritual Disciplines series published by NavPress. His most recent book is Conversion in the New Testament: Paul and the Twelve.

Christian Doctrine by Shirley Guthrie

ExcerptSex, politics, and theology — these are the only things worth talking about. This old saying is an exaggeration, perhaps, but it is an atempt to express a deep truth. Sex forces the question, Who am I? Politics asks, How can we learn to live together? Theology, which means literally “a word about God,” asks questions like these: What is your only comfort in life and in death? What is the chief end of human life? What are we by nature? In whom do you believe? To risk carrying the exaggeration even further, of the three topics mentioned, theology is the most important and most interesting because it includes the question raised by sex and politics! No theology is interested only in God. The study of theology is by definition the quest for the ultimate truth about God, about ourselves, and about the world we live in. What else is there to talk about?

About the Author
The Rev. Shirley C. Guthrie, who taught theology at Columbia Theological Seminary for nearly 40 years passed away from cancer on October 23, 2004, at his Avondale Estates in Georgia. “The teaching of his fatih matched the living of his faith,” said Walter Brueggemann of Decatur, an internationally known Old Testament scholar. Guthrie’s 1968 book Christian Doctrine has become a seminary standard. Guthrie earned his doctorate from the University of Basel in Switzerland, where he wrote his dissertation under the direction of Karl Barth, one of the 20th century’s top theologians.

A Peace to End All Peace by David Fromkin

About the Author
Professor Fromkin is the Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future. He has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations since 1976.

Professor Fromkin has spent most of his professional life as a practitioner attorney and a private investor. After a varied career in law, business, and politics, he turned to writing works of history and studies of world politics. He is the author of several books, including: The Question of Government: An Inquiry into the Breakdown of Modern Political Systems (1975), The Independence of Nations (1981), In the Time of the Americans: FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Marshall, MacArthur, The Generation That Changed America’s Role in the World (1995). His 1989 book, A Peace to End All Peace: Creating the Modern Middle East 1914-1922 (1989), was a national bestseller, was chosen by the editors of the New York Times Book Review as one of the dozen best books of the year, and was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize. His most recent book, published in March 2004, is Europe’s Last Summer: Who Started the Great War in 1914?

Editorial Reviews:

“Wonderful…No book published in recent years has more lasting relevance to our understanding of the Middle East.”-Jack Miles, Los Angeles Book Review

“Extraordinarily ambitious, provocative and vividly written…Fromkin unfolds a gripping tale of diplomatic double-dealing, military incompetence and political upheaval.”-Reid Beddow, Washington Post Book World

“Ambitious and splendid…An epic tale of ruin and disillusion…of great men, their large deeds and even larger follies.”-Fouad Ajami, The Wall Street Journal

Acts of Faith by Philip Caputo

About the Author
Philip Caputo worked nine years for the Chicago Tribune and shared a Pulitzer Prize in 1972 for his reporting on election fraud in Chicago. He is the author of six other works of fiction and two memoirs, including A Rumor of War, about his service in Vietnam. He divides his time between Connecticut and Arizona.

Editorial Reviews:

Critics gave kudos to the author for writing a big, sprawling, old-fashioned novel with diverse characters and serious moral themes. Caputo has painted a portrait of Africa that avoids stereotype or cliché. His eye for detail is unmatched (he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1972 for his reporting work at the Chicago Tribune). Acts of Faith is a timely book about attempted heroism in the face of war, and a warning, noted in the epigraph from the 17th-century philosopher Blaise Pascal, that “Whoever tries to turn angel turns beast.”  From Bookmarks Magazine, Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

“Caputo, a Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter turned novelist, writes with astonishing authority, launching several complex plot lines and an enormous, vibrant cast of characters — aid workers, soldiers, militants, mercenaries, missionaries and corrupt officials. The plot threads join in a propulsive, satisfying finish, inevitably inching demon and deity ever closer together.” –Michael Ollove, The Baltimore Sun

“There is plenty to admire about Philip Caputo’s new novel but its grandest attraction may be the author’s unbridled ambition. This is a huge book . . . And it tells a big, complicated story. He resembles Graham Greene. . . Acts of Faith should be required reading at the service academies, not to mention our various war colleges and other military schools, because Caputo tells us a secret that seems to have escaped even the military’s attention. . . He knows something that the geniuses running the Pentagon and CIA haven’t learned . . .
Acts of Faith is Caputo’s best novel yet.” –Lucian K. Truscott IV, The New York Times Book Review, June 19th

 


KRISTIN LEUCHT, Executive Pastor

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp
Release date: January 24, 2011

Book Description:  Just like you, Ann Voskamp hungers to live her one life well. Forget the bucket lists that have us escaping our everyday lives for exotic experiences. ‘How,’ Ann wondered, ‘do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties? What does the Christ-life really look like when your days are gritty, long–and sometimes even dark? How is God even here?’ In One Thousand Gifts, Ann invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God’s gifts. It’s only in this expressing of gratitude for the life we already have, we discover the life we’ve always wanted…a life we can take, give thanks for, and break for others. We come to feel and know the impossible right down in our bones: we are wildly loved–by God. Let Ann’s beautiful, heart-aching stories of the everyday give you a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace, a way of being present to God that makes you deeply happy, and a way of living that is finally fully alive. Come live the best dare of all!

About the Author (Biography): Ann Voskamp is a bit of a mess. She won a full-tuition scholarship to university and never finished. She married a Farmer and came home to gravel road and cornfields and had babies. A lot of them. Half a dozen. Her laundry basket is never empty. She loses library books. She homeschools their six beautifully exuberant kids and most days feel just a tad bit overwhelmed and very crazy.She’s the author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are (Zondervan). And everyday, she’s just wild enough to take the dare. Right in the midst of her own messy, gritty, grace-filled life.When the kids and the washing machine sleep, she washes her real dirt down with words and The Word. Some of her words find themselves in an award-winning series for curious kids, A Child’s Geography, of which all profits are donated to Compassion. Other words can be found at Laity Lodge’s High Calling where she serves as a contributing editor, and other words advocate for the poor as she is a blogger traveling with Compassion. The only words that really matter are the ones she lives. This convicts her. She clings to grace. Everyday she writes about the mess and the grace and the everyday wonder at www.aholyexperience.com.

Parenting Beyond Your Capacity: Connect Your Family to a Wider Community (The Orange Series) by Reggie Joiner & Carey Nieuwhof
Publication Date: May 1, 2010 | Series: The Orange Series

Book Description: When parents work in tandem with the faith community to raise their children, they increase their parenting capacity exponentially.

Most parents have so many demands on their time that they can’t be the kind of parent they desire to be. They need to know the Orange Factor: Two combined influences will make a greater impact on kids than just two influences. And it’s true. Parents who partner with the faith community are the best way to bring the next generation into the family of God-and keep them there.

About the Authors:
Reggie Joiner
is the founder and DEO of the reThink Group. He is the author of Think Orange, The Orange Leader Handbook, and coauthor of 7 Practices of Effecitve Ministry.
Carey Nieuwhof is the lead pastor of Connexus Community Church with campuses in Barrie and Orillia, Ontario. Before moving into full-time ministry, he worked in law and broadcasting.

 

Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids by Kara E. Powell & Chap Clark
Release date: September 25, 2011

Book Description:  Nearly every Christian parent in America would give anything to find a viable resource for developing within their kids a deep, dynamic faith that ‘sticks’ long term. Sticky Faith delivers. Research shows that almost half of graduating high school seniors struggle deeply with their faith. Recognizing the ramifications of that statistic, the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) conducted the ‘College Transition Project’ in an effort to identify the relationships and best practices that can set young people on a trajectory of lifelong faith and service. Based on FYI findings, this easy-to-read guide presents both a compelling rationale and a powerful strategy to show parents how to actively encourage their children’s spiritual growth so that it will stick to them into adulthood and empower them to develop a living, lasting faith. Written by authors known for the integrity of their research and the intensity of their passion for young people, Sticky Faith is geared to spark a movement that empowers adults to develop robust and long-term faith in kids of all ages.

About the Authors:
Kara Powell, PhD, is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI)  and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. Named by Christianity Today as one of ’50 Women to Watch,’ Kara serves as an Advisor to Youth Specialties
and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or co-author of a number of books including Sticky Faith, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Deep Justice Journeys, Essential Leadership, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum.Chap Clark, PhD (Univ. of Denver), has more than 25 years of experience in youth and family ministry. He is Associate Provost for Regional Campuses and Special Projects and Professor of Youth, Family, and Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary. Chap’s extensive books, articles, and videos focus primarily on relationships. Among his many books are Hurt and Hurt 2.0; Disconnected: Parenting Teens in a MySpace World (coauthored with his wife, Dee); and Deep Justice in a Broken World. Chap and Dee live in Gig Harbor, Washington.

Spiritual Parenting: An Awakening for Today’s Families by Michelle Anthony

Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd-Jones & Jago
Release date: October 9, 2012 | Age Range: 6 – 9 years

Book Description:  From Jago and Sally Lloyd-Jones, the creators of the bestselling Jesus Storybook Bible, comes this gorgeous and innovative collection of 101 simple-yet- profound thoughts on faith. Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing shares profound spiritual truths from the Bible told in a conversational tone—drawing insights from creation, history, science, the writings of great thinkers and preachers and writers, and more—to turn the reader’s eyes toward the God who loves them with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love. Perfect for family devotions, bedtime, story time, or even as a companion to The Jesus Storybook Bible, this accessible yet theologically rich book reveals biblical truth in word and image-all working together and designed to do one thing: to make the reader’s heart sing.

About the Authors:
Sally Lloyd-Jones is a leading writer of inspirational books for children, with an expertise in conveying biblical truth to young children. She is the author of three bestselling children’s Bibles, including the Gold Book Award-winning Baby’s First Bible and, most recently, the Moonbeam Award Winner—The Jesus Storybook Bible. She has written many picture books for children, including Handbag Friends, Time to Say Goodnight and the critically acclaimed, How to Be a Baby: By Me, the Big Sister. A native of England, Sally lives in New York City and can be found at www.sallylloyd-jones.com.
Jago is an accomplished illustrator with several prestigious awards to his credit, including a Macmillian ‘Highly Commended’ Award for Children’s Illustration in 2003, an AOI Silver Award in 2004, and the National Literacy Association Wow! Award. Jago lives in Cornwall, England, with his wife and daughter.

Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young
Publication Date: October 12, 2004

Book Description:  Uniquely inspired treasures from heaven for every day of the year by missionary Sarah Young.

Jesus Calling is a devotional filled with uniquely inspired treasures from heaven for every day of the year.  After many years of writing in her prayer journal, missionary Sarah Young decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever she believed He was saying to her.  It was awkward at first, but gradually her journaling changed from monologue to dialogue.  She knew her writings were not inspired as Scripture is, but journaling helped her grow closer to God.  Others were blessed as she shared her writings, until people all over the world were using her messages.  They are written from Jesus’ point of view, thus the title Jesus Calling.  It is Sarah’s fervent prayer that our Savior may bless readers with His presence and His peace in ever deeper measure.

About the Author: Sarah Young is quietly leading millions worldwide on a journey of intimacy with Christ. Her devotional books include the #1 bestseller Jesus Calling, the 2013 ECPA Christian Book of the Year Jesus Today, top sellers Jesus Calling for Kids, Jesus Calling Bible Storybook, and Jesus Lives. Sarah and her husband are currently ministering to a Japanese-speaking community in Perth, Australia.

 



CHUCK OSBURN, ASSOCIATE PASTOR, CONGREGATIONAL CARE & SMALL GROUPS

Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places by Eugene Peterson

About the Author

Eugene was born in E. Stanwood, Washington. He soon moved to Kalispell, Montana, where he grew up. He is married to Janice Stubbs, and has three adult children: Karen, Eric, and Leif. Eugene has written and contributed to more than thirty books, including The Contemplative Pastor and Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity. Although Eugene is best known in theological pastoral circles, several of his books, such as A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, have extended his influence to a much broader audience. He has been a regular contributor to magazines read by pastors and scholars as well as popular religious publications. Eugene Peterson earned degrees at New York Theological Seminary and Johns Hopkins University. In 1962, he founded Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland. He left there recently to teach at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He is the author of over a dozen books, including Run With the Horses, Psalms: Prayers of the Heart and Answering God.

Editorial Review
One of Peterson’s early books, long before his blockbuster Bible paraphrase The Message, was titled A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. This pastor, professor and writer has lived up to the promise of that title, consistently producing books of uncommon eloquence that explore the Christian life through the lens of scripture. In this volume, the first of a projected five, Peterson lays the foundation for “spiritual theology.” Following the biblical languages, he asks readers to consider “how our perceptions would change if we eliminated the word ‘spirit’ from our language and used only ‘wind’ and ‘breath.’ Spirit was not ‘spiritual’ for our ancestors; it was sensual.” Beginning with an account of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s vivid poem “As Kingfishers Catch Fire,” Peterson goes on to employ his own considerable gifts as a writer to uncover the sensual, concrete realities behind biblical texts from Genesis to Revelation. These nuanced and convincing readings help frame the three areas where Peterson sees Christ at “play”: the beauty of creation, the tragedy of history and the beloved, bewildering community of the church. “The single most important thing to understand in spiritual theology is that it is not about theology… it is a cultivated disposition to live theology.” Rich, generous and wise, Peterson’s “conversation” will help readers at every stage of faith to live their faith more deeply. (Mar.) Publishers Weekly, Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Other Recommendations

Mere Christianty by C. S. Lewis

Excerpt: This is a book that begs to be seen in its historical context, as a bold act of storytelling and healing in a world gone mad. In 1942, just twenty-four years after the end of a brutal war that had destroyed an entire generation of its young men, Great Britain was at war again. Now it was ordinary citizens who suffered, as their small island nation was bombarded by four hundred planes a night, in the infamous “blitz” that changed the face of war, turning civilians and their cities into the front lines.

About the Author

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentiety century and arguably the most influential Christian writer of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English literature at Oxford University in 1954 when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. His major contributions in literary criticism, childrne’s literature, fantasy literature, and popular theology brought him international renown and acclaim. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include The Chronicles of Narnia, Out of the Silent Planet, The Four Loves, The Screwtape Letters, and Mere Christianitywww.cslewis.com.

Who Is This Jesus? by Michael Green

Excerpt: Jesus Christ! Today these words are most frequently used as swear words. We utter them in order to vent our anger or frustration. Fifty years ago it would have been seen as blasphemy to use His name that way. But now it is commonplace. Isn’t it remarkable that the name of the Man who founded the world’s largest religion should be most familiar as a term of abuse? That does not happen to Muhammad or Buddha, or, for that matter, to Lenin or Mao.

About the Author

The Revd. Canon Dr Michael Green is a British theologian, Anglican priest, Christian apologist and author of more than fifty Christian books. He is serving as the Canon Missioner of Holy Trinity Church in Raleigh, NC through 2007. Michael Green has been a prolific writer, with much of his work written for a popular reading audience, although he has also contributed to academic studies. Many of his best known books discuss the twin topics of evangelism and apologetics. One of Green’s objectives has been to equip lay Christian believers in their grasp of the gospel message, and to then have confidence to converse with others about faith matters. His apologetic work has generally focussed on popular misconceptions and objections held by non-Christians. In books such as You Must Be Joking, World on the Run and Why Bother With Jesus, Green deals with attitudes of religious indifference and scepticism. He also addresses a variety of objections concerning religious hypocrisy, religious pluralism, and popular questions of doubt and unbelief.

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