Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New Releases

Steven Furtick
Multnomah, September 2012
In Greater, Pastor Steven Furtick draws on the riveting biblical story of Elisha to empower readers to transform their God-given dreams into blessed realities. To do this, Furtick shows how to draw on resources and abilities you didn't believe you had in you and how to use them to overcome past mistakes all for the purpose of making significant advancement in your own life while contributing to others' lives. If you're tired of being ordinary, it's time to dream bigger. If you're feeling overwhelmed about where to begin, it's time start smaller. It's time to ignite God's Greater vision for your life.

The Seasons of God
Richard Blackaby
Multnomah, September 2012
What season of life are you in? You may be walking through a springtime of new beginnings--you've just gotten married, or become a grandparent. You could also be in a winter period when things are ending--you're graduating from a life-changing program, moving to a new town, or saying goodbye to dear friends. Whatever your circumstances, it's not about your age, it's about God's purposes for you during that particular time. In The Seasons of God, best-selling author and pastor Richard Blackaby takes a closer look at the rhythms in life, to discover the wisdom that can be gleaned by recognizing where you fall in the cycle of seasons. Your plans, your relationships, your career, your ministry--all have their unique God-intended moment. You'll begin to discover, as the writer of Ecclesiastes did, "To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven."

Breakfast with Bonhoeffer
Jon Walker
Leafwood Publishing, September 2012
Reading like a non-fiction novel with a story both heart-breaking and heart-warming, Walker reveals how God used the writings of Bonhoeffer to push him past the Christ-less beliefs and religious thinking that had come to represent his faith. While Jon Walker was encountering Bonhoeffer every day as he wrote the books Costly Grace and In Visible Fellowship, he found his world collapsing and his faith faltering. After almost twenty years in ministry, Walker was laid off twice, lost his home and savings, was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder, and then his wife filed for divorce just a few days before their twenty-fourth anniversary.
Bonhoeffer saw the storms of political upheaval and pressure on Christians coming at warp speed, and he called believers to meet it head on by following Jesus, who bids believers to come and die. In BREAKFAST WITH BONHOEFFER, Walker brings to a new generation the timeless teachings of Bonhoeffer, especially the teaching that calls Jesus' followers to break free from the tyranny of popular culture and religious thinking. It also offers hope for those who face loss or have been hurt by the economic downturn.

The Shack: Reflections for Every Day of the Year
Wm. Paul Young
FaithWords, September 2012Are you experiencing great sadness? Do you seek healing and wholeness? Spend a year at The Shack with Papa, Sarayu, and Jesus! Based on Young's best-selling novel, this 365-day devotional combines quotes from the story and personal prayers penned by Young to help you gain a fresh perspective on pain and rediscover hope and peace. 384 pages, hardcover from Faithwords.

Heaven Changes Everything
Todd & Sonja Burpo
Thomas Nelson, September 2012
Learn to live every day with the hope of heaven! Todd and Sonja offer a 50-day devotional full of inspiration and insight. Sharing their family's responses and reactions to Colton's experience, they reveal what God might be doing when things go wrong. Each reading includes Scripture and a reflection or action point. 196 pages, hardcover from Nelson.

Straight Talk with Your Kids About Sex
Josh & Dottie McDowell
Harvest House Publishers, September 2012
Building on the Why True Love Waits campaign and up-to-the-minute research from Josh's "Bare Facts" resources, the McDowells offer rock-solid advice for parents in a shifting-sands culture. Learn to gauge your child's emotional and spiritual readiness; stay alert to questions and opportunities; frame sex and sexuality in a biblical context; and more.

You Can't Make Me (But I Can be Persuaded)
Cynthia Ulrich Tobias
WaterBrook Press, September 2012
It's easy to recognize a strong-willed child. Difficult to discipline, at times impossible to motivate, strong-willed children present unique, frustrating, and often exhausting challenges to those who care for them. But now, the miracle parents long for can happen. Offering new hope, achievable goals, and a breath of fresh air to families and teachers, Cynthia Tobias explains how the mind of a strong-willed child works - and how to use that information to the child's best advantage.

Peter Haas
Influence, August 2012
With an entertaining blend of social scientist meets sage, Peter Haas provides a penetrating look at our faith that just might reveal our own "hidden Pharisees." Through a series of autopsies, Haas bypasses the cheap "church-make-over solutions" and cuts straight to our deepest need: a Pharisectomy.

Wow Hits 2013 CD
Various Artists
EMI CMG Distribution, September 2012
The annual "absolute must-have" for CCM fans everywhere! This year's best-of-the-best features "Courageous" (Casting Crowns), "The Hurt & the Healer" (MercyMe), "Do Everything" (Steven Curtis Chapman), "God's Not Dead (Like a Lion)" (Newsboys), "Me Without You" (tobyMac), "Strong Enough to Save" (Tenth Avenue North), "One Day Too Late" (Skillet), "Make a Move" (Royal Tailor), and more. Two CDs.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New Releases

Nowhere But Up
Pattie Mallette
Revell, September 2012
Most people only know her as Justin Bieber's mom, but Pattie Mallette has had an incredible journey of her own. Many people have heard of her son's rags to riches triumph. A few know she was a teen mom who had to overcome a drug and alcohol addiction. Even fewer know the rest of her story. Now, for the first time in detail, Pattie shares with the world the story of a girl who felt abandoned and unloved. Of a teenager who made poor choices. Of a young woman who attempted suicide and could hardly believe that God would ever care for her. One who messed up, got pregnant, and got a second chance. Every reader will find themselves somewhere in Patti's painful journey of redemption. They will be encouraged by her example that what was once broken can become whole. Patti's story will inspire readers to believe that even in the darkest of places, there's always hope. For those who feel unlovable, there's always love. And for those who believe they're a lost cause, there's always room for another chance.

Resuscitate CD
Remedy Drive
Centricity Music, September 2012
Originating in Lincoln, Nebraska and now located in Nashville, Tennessee, Remedy Drive offers their second major label release, Resuscitate. Re-invigorated by a new line-up and fresh set of songs, the quartet combines group vocals and edgy guitar-work with lyrics of the hope found in salvation.

Hot Chocolate with God vol. 2
Camryn Kelly
FaithWords, September 2012
In this follow-up to her highly praised Hot Chocolate with God, tween author Camryn Kelly, with a little assistance from mom Jill and older sister Erin, makes it fun for girls to think about the important stuff. How do they treat their friends-and how do they want their friends to treat them? What do their parents, siblings, and other family members mean to them? And, most important of all, how can they deepen their relationship with God? Through activities that include journaling, Q&As, word-search puzzles, design projects, interviews, and in-text links to the "Cam Clips" videos posted on the book series' companion website, HOT CHOCOLATE WITH GOD #2 offers young readers endless interactive enjoyment as they discover God's presence and purpose in their lives. 

The Sparkle Box
Jill Hardie
Ideals Children's Books, September 2012
Inspire a new family tradition this holiday with this heartwarming story. Beautifully hardbound with a jacketed cover, this book comes with your own fold-out glitter box to use this Christmas season! It's almost Christmas and Sam is so excited for the parties and presents---but there's one mysterious gift, a sparkly box sitting on the mantel--- that leaves him puzzled. In the midst of the festivities, Sam and his family participate in various acts of kindness for others. On Christmas morning when Sam opens the Sparkle Box, he finds slips of paper that record the family's good deeds. Sam's parents explain that these kind acts are a gift for Jesus---for Jesus said that whatever we do for the least of these, we do for Him. Recommended for ages 4+.

Firebird: He Lived for the Sunshine
Brent McCorkle and Amy Parker
B&H Publishing, September 2012
Firebird is a children's book that parallels the life of Samantha Crawford, a storybook artist in the inspiring new film Unconditional who has lost sight of God's love. Firebird is a bright orange baby oriole who just loves the sunshine, but whenever a storm blows in, he frets and asks Mama why God allows the rain to take the sun away. Only when Firebird is old enough, does he venture up through the thunder and lightning to see what's on the other side. With a rough flight that makes him want to give up, Firebird rises above the storm to discover the sun shining where it has always been---and learns that God never lets the storm take the sun away. With this truth, Firebird basks in the sunshine, but also learns to rejoice in the rain.

The Berenstain Bears God Made the Seasons
Stan & Jan Berenstain
Zondervan, August 2012
Young readers follow Brother and Sister Bear through the seasons of the year Bear Country style, doing everything from swimming and biking to sledding and studying.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New Releases

Center Church
Timothy Keller
Zondervan, Sept. 2012
Do you struggle to translate your theological beliefs into fruitful ministry? Helping you find a balance between faith and methodology, Keller offers an innovative model for ministry that's centered on the transforming gospel of Christ; affirms that cities are strategic and underserved places for outreach; and promotes prosperity and peace in urbanized communities. 352 pages, hardcover from Zondervan.

Grace Happens Here
Max Lucado
Thomas Nelson, Sept. 2012
Examining grace from all directions, Lucado concludes that no matter how you look at it, it's always beautiful, perennially present, and ever ready to cause wonders in your life! Filled with quotations, Scripture, and heartwarming stories, his gift book will encourage you to embrace and enjoy God's mercy---and freely extend it to others. 192 pages, hardcover from Nelson.

The River
Michael Neale
Thomas Nelson, Sept. 2012
The River was calling him...Growing up in rural Kansas, Gabriel Clarke was mysteriously drawn to The River, a ribbon off rothy white water carving its way through steep canyons high in the Colorado Rockies. From deep within, Gabriel's passion for The River was undeniable. The fast waters beckoned him to experience freedom and adventure-and leave his past behind. But something was holding him back.
As Gabriel came of age in Kansas, chains of fear and resentment imprisoned him, keeping him from discovering all the treasures of The River-its powerful rapids, relentless gradients, and boulder-strewn sections of majestic splendor. He couldn't let go of the horrible event he witnessed on The River when he was four years old-something no child should ever see. In this compelling story, Gabriel learns that letting go of the past means giving himself totally to The River-heart, soul, and mind.

The Judge
Randy Singer
Tyndale, August 2012
Staging the ultimate reality show, an eccentric billionaire invites representatives from the world's religions to argue their beliefs. Feisty judge Oliver Finney accepts the challenge---and realizes he's trapped in a deadly game. Will his law clerk, Nikki, be able to decipher his cryptic e-mails before he dies defending Christ? (Previously titled The Cross-Examination of Olive Finney.) 400 pages, softcover from Tyndale.

The 13: Fall (Book One)
Robbie Cheuvront and Erik Reed
Barbour Publishing, August 2012
Former Black Ops specialist-turned-CIA-operative Jonathan Keene joins a battle against an enemy nobody saw coming---yet waits on America's doorstep. Teaming with FBI agent Megan Taylor, he fights against illegal immigration, even as our nation's borders are pushed back to the original 13 colonies. Can he stem the tide---and face demons from his past?

October Baby
Eric Wilson
B&H Publishing, August 2012
October Baby is a thought-provoking film that follows the dramatic, humorous, romantic story of 19-year-old Hannah, who goes on a road trip to find answers after learning she is adopted and the survivor of an attempted abortion. This novel by Eric Wilson is based on the award-winning movie.

October Baby DVD
Provident Films, Sept. 2012
When Hannah collapses during a college play, she's rushed to the hospital, where medical tests reveal the underlying cause---trauma suffered at birth. Soon afterward, she discovers another shocking fact: she was adopted after a failed abortion attempt. Bewildered and angry, Hannah goes in search of her birth mother. Will the truth set her free? Rated PG-13. Dove approved (12+). Widescreen. Approx. 109 minutes.

Wild Grace
Max Lucado
Thomas Nelson, Sept. 2012
"Unpopular." "Ugly." "Failure." Teens are often shaped by the world's labels. But God's grace can change everything! Inviting kids on an exciting adventure of self-discovery, Lucado shows them that even though their lives may be messed up or off track, God can transform them from the inside out---and inspire them to share his amazing love with others. 192 pages, softcover from Nelson.

Eye On It CD (also available in deluxe edition)
Toby Mac
Forefront Records, August 2012
TobyMac returns! Successfully combining elements of rock, pop, and hip-hop, he focuses his music on real-life struggles, his faith, and the glory of God in this crazy world. Includes "Me Without You," "Steal My Show," "Forgiveness," "Speak Life," "Unstoppable," "Lose Myself," "Family," "Thankful for You," "Made for Me," "Mac Daddy," "Favorite Song," and the title track.

Grace for the Moment: 365 Devotions for Kids
Max Lucado
Thomas Nelson, Sept. 2012
The master storyteller fuels your 6- to 10-year-olds' spirit with powerful stories that offer inspiration and hope all year long. Featuring excerpts from Lucado's best-selling writings in kid-friendly language, this 365-day devotional includes Scripture verses and life applications. Introduce your child to how God transforms even "ordinary" moments---while forming strong Bible study habits! 400 pages, hardcover from Nelson.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

New Releases

Change Your Words, Change Your Life
Joyce Meyer
FaithWords, September 2012
"Words are a big deal. They are containers for power, and we have to decide what kind of power we want our words to carry," says Joyce Meyer in CHANGE YOUR WORDS, CHANGE YOUR LIFE. "I believe that our words can increase or decrease our level of joy. They can affect the answers to our prayers and have a positive or negative effect on our future. ... One might say that our words are a movie screen that reveals what we have been thinking and the attitudes we have." Building on the premises of Power Thoughts and Living Beyond Your Emotions, she examines the tremendous power of words - which are the vehicles that convey our thoughts and emotions - and provides a series of guidelines for making sure that our talk is constructive, healthy, healing and used to good results. Topics include: *The Impact of Words *How to Tame Your Tongue *How to be Happy *When to talk and when not to talk *Speaking Faith and Not Fear *The Corrosion of Complaints *Do you really have to give your opinion? *The importance of keeping your word *The power of speaking God's word *How to have a smart mouth In a 'Dictionary of God's Word' at the end of the book, Joyce provides dozens of scripture verses, arranged by topic, that she recommends reading and saying out loud as one way of using and claiming healing words.

Max Lucado
Thomas Nelson, September 2012
Grace. We talk as though we understand the term. The bank gives us a grace period. The seedy politician falls from grace. Musicians speak of a grace note. We describe an actress as gracious, a dancer as graceful. We use the word for hospitals, baby girls, kings, and premeal prayers. We talk as though we know what grace means. But do we really understand it? Have we settled for wimpy grace? It politely occupies a phrase in a hymn, fits nicely on a church sign. Never causes trouble or demands a response. When asked, "Do you believe in grace?" who could say no? Max Lucado asks a deeper question: Have you been changed by grace? Shaped by grace? Strengthened by grace? Emboldened by grace? Softened by grace? Snatched by the nape of your neck and shaken to your senses by grace? God's grace has a drenching about it. A wildness about it. A white-water, riptide, turn-you-upside-downness about it. Grace comes after you. It rewires you. From insecure to God secure. From regret riddled to better-because-of-it. From afraid to die to ready to fly. Grace is the voice that calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off. Let's make certain grace gets you.

Everything the Bible Says About Parenting
Aaron Sharp
Bethany House, August 2012
As parents, we often scour bookstores and libraries in search of the best information on how to better raise our children. The greatest answers, however, can be found in a Book you probably already own. The Bible is filled with passages on how to be the most effective parents and raise amazing kids, you just have to know where to look. A collection of scriptural references related to parenting have been gathered and clearly organized in this book. When necessary, brief but clear explanations are provided, using insights gathered from trustworthy commentaries. Scripture offers plenty to discover about parenting; after all, it's hard to find better role models than God, the perfect Father, and Jesus, the perfect Son.

Finally Free
Michael Vick
Worthy Publishing, August 2012
One of the most talented and polarizing athletes of our generation, Michael Vick’s stunning story has captured news headlines across the nation. From his poverty-stricken youth, to his success on the field in high school and college, to his rise to NFL stardom and his fall from grace, Finally Free shows how a gifted athlete's life spiraled out of control under the glare of money and fame, aided by his own poor choices. In his own words, Vick details his regrets, his search for forgiveness, the moments of unlikely grace—and the brokenness that brought his redemption on the way to a surprising, fairy-tale season with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2010.

Courageous Teens
Michael Catt
B&H Publishing, September 2012
Courageous Teens is a student-focused presentation of Courageous Living by Michael Catt, executive producer of the hit film Courageous. Teen readers will be inspired to resolve to live for God as they learn more about Abraham, Moses, Nehemiah, Ruth, Daniel, and many more. Arranged into four categories: Courageous Faith, Courageous Leadership, Courageous Priorities, and Courageous Influence, this book is excellent for individual or small group use with discussion questions included at the end of each chapter.

Gravity CD
Infinity Music Distribution, September 2012
Lecrae has his finger on the pulse and beat of the American church! Using hip-hop styles, wit, and irony, he moves believers and pop culture closer to Christ. Includes "The Drop," "Walk with Me," "Free from It All," "Fallin' Down," "Fakin'," "Violence," "Mayday," "Confe$$ions," "Buttons," "Power Trip," "I Know," "Tell the World," "Lucky Ones," and the title track.

The Midsummer Station CD
Owl City
EMI, August 2012
Influenced by his hopes, dreams, and nightmares, Adam Young pushes his own creative boundaries like never before! Emphasizing how important it is to see good in everything, his electronic music inspires, encourages, and comforts! Includes "Dreams and Disasters," "Shooting Star," "Gold," "Dementia," "Embers," "Silhouette," "Metropolis," "Speed of Love," "I'm Coming After You," and "Take It All Away."

My Only Rescue CD
The Museum
Bec Records, August 2012
Georgia-based pop-rock quartet The Museum offer their second full-length release for BEC Recordings, an eleven-song set of clean guitars, catchy hooks, and plainspoken lyrics of faith in a modern age. My Only Rescue includes "All Over the World," "Love Will Find You," "More Than Words," and more.

All Things Possible CD
Mark Schultz
Fairtrade, August 2012
With a new energy and fresh perspective, this platinum-selling, award-winning artist gives voice to hard-to-express emotions in these personal songs! Includes "One Day," "It Is Well," "I Gave Up," "Love Walked In," "What Do You Give a King?" "Haven't Met You Yet," "I Will Love You Still," "More to You," "Be Still," "Song of Freedom," and the title track.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Book Review

--> Coming Home
By Karen Kingsbury
Zondervan 2012

Reviewed by Diane Busch

Coming Home seems to be the wrap-up book for the many series about the Baxter Family that Karen Kingsbury has written.  The initial chapters fill you in on many details of each member of the family, in case you haven’t read all the books or in case it has been so long that you forgot a few things.

The title “Coming Home” has several special meanings, as this story unfolds.  The entire extended Baxter family plans to get together in Bloomington, Illinois for their father’s 70th birthday.  A joyful family reunion & celebration is what they have planned.

But, as in real life, not all things go as planned.  The family has to endure tragedy and heartache.  They pray as never before.  They cling together as family and they hold onto their faith in God, even during these most difficult circumstances.  Christians are not exempt from bad things happening to them.  But the Baxter family shows by example how to walk through difficulty, tragedy, and loss without losing faith.

The book ends about a year after John Baxter’s 70th birthday and gives one last update on all the family members.  If this is the last book, I for one, find it hard to say goodbye to so many wonderful characters.