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rabbi

A Rabbi Looks at Jesus of Nazareth

Jonathan Bernis | Chosen

Throughout his traditional Jewish upbringing, Jonathan Bernis was taught that being Jewish was not compatible with believing in Jesus as Messiah. Yet, through Bible study and a variety of divinely appointed encounters, Bernis was eventually faced with a startling realization: Jesus of Nazareth’s claim of messianic status is supported with overwhelming evidence from the Jewish Scriptures. read more

zahnd

Brian Zahnd: 'Unconditional?'

In his book Unconditional?, Brian Zahnd challenges believers with a “radical call of Jesus to forgiveness.” Using stories, historical and theological insights, Zahnd, pastor of Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, Mo., reminds us of the foundation of Christianity. Although forgiveness is not an easy command to obey, as Christians, we have the grace to do so—no matter what.

 Featured in The Buzz is an excerpt from Zahnd’s new insightful book. (Click here to purchase Unconditional?)

What does it mean to be a disciple? If someone were a disciple of the sitar master Ravi Shankar, it would be assumed that they hoped to learn to play the sitar with great skill. If someone were a disciple of a kung fu master, it would be assumed that they hope to eventually master the art of kung fu. So, if we call ourselves disciples of Jesus, what is it we are trying to learn? What is it that Jesus offers to teach us when we heed the call to follow Him?  What is Jesus the master of, which we seek to learn? The answer is “Life.” Jesus is the master of living well, living rightly, living truly. Jesus is the master of living a human life as God intended.  And at the center of Jesus’ teaching on how we should live is the recurring theme of love and forgiveness. 

For those who are serious about being a disciple of Jesus, serious about learning to live the way He taught, the Sermon on the Mount is of supreme importance. This is where Jesus sets forth His radical vision of how we should live. And make no mistake about it; it is radical—so radical that for much of Christian history, the church has occupied theologians in finding ways to get around it. Some theologians have suggested that Jesus never actually expected us to live the Sermon on the Mount; rather it was a disingenuous teaching to “drive us to grace.” As the argument goes, in attempting to live the Sermon on the Mount we would find it simply can’t be done, and then we would look to grace as an alternative to obeying Christ. Not grace to live the Sermon on the Mount, but grace not to live it.  This interpretation is pretty far-fetched, to say the least, but surprisingly common. read more

An Amish Love

Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller and Kelly Long | Thomas Nelson

An Amish Love is a collection of three romance novellas on matters of the heart.

Kelly Long’s Marriage of the Heart sees Abigail Kauffman wanting to escape the Amish way by deceiving Joseph Lambert into marrying her. Her patience helps Joseph in his return from English life, including facing his struggles of drug addiction.

Kathleen Fuller’s What the Heart Sees is the story of Ellie Chupp, blinded in a car accident that killed her best friend, Caroline. Five years later, Ellie’s courage to overcome her disability impacts Caroline’s former fiancé, Christopher Miller, when he returns to the community that once banned him.

Finally, Beth Wiseman’s Healing Hearts deals with the struggles in marriage as Naaman Lapp returns to his wife of 31 years, Levina, after spending a year in Ohio. Levina fears she may never trust the man she still loves and hopes that one day they can return to the love they once knew.

Entertaining and heartwarming, the three novellas in this collection weave together true characters of faith. A glossary of Amish terms, a group study and recipes are added bonus materials in the reading experience.

Click here to purchase this book. read more

A Garden of Love

by Thomas B. Clarke

A delightful and compelling book – written with love using beautiful prose, flower photographs, Scriptures, and symbolism – that allows our senses to experience softness, gentleness, peace, and intimacy of Christian love. Expresses our deeper feelings by allowing the love of our Lord to flow over us – reveals God’s love and elicits a heartfelt response. Authored by the caretaker of a prayer garden.

www.agardenoflove.com • $19.95

“What is important is faith expressing itself in love.” (Galatians 5:6) read more

A Christian Hero’s Memoir

by Drew Brees

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees reveals how faith helped him return from a severe shoulder injury to become a Super Bowl champion. Drew’s faith inspired both a city and a team that people had almost written off.

$26.99 • www.ComingBackStronger.com read more

stovall weems

Awakening

Stovall Weems | WaterBrook Multnomah

Stovall Weems, pastor of Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Fla., issues a wake-up call for believers and shares how to end a season of dryness and walk afresh in relationship with God.

Weems encourages readers to fully surrender and learn a new way to pray and fast. The author doesn’t offer a life of rules and religion. He challenges us to strive for a deep, satisfying and motivating relationship with God.

“It’s time to wake up and put an end to spiritual sluggishness!” Weems declares. “I promise this year will be the best of your life if it is your best year spiritually.”

The 21-Day Plan included will help readers apply the principles discussed in Awakening.

Click here to purchase this book. read more

Beating Cancer

Dr. Francisco Contreras and Daniel Kennedy have dedicated their lives to fighting the emotional and physical effects of cancer. In Beating Cancer, they offer practical and empowering scientific information that will give you hope as they explain twenty specific things you can do to improve your chance of slowing, and even reversing, cancer’s progression in your body. 

www.strangbookgroup.com read more

A Garden of Love

by Thomas B. Clarke

A delightful and compelling book – written with love using beautiful prose, flower photographs, Scriptures, and symbolism – that allows our senses to experience softness, gentleness, peace, and intimacy of Christian love. Expresses our deeper feelings by allowing the love of our Lord to flow over us – reveals God’s love and elicits a heartfelt response. Authored by the caretaker of a prayer garden.

www.agardenoflove.com • $19.95

“What is important is faith expressing itself in love.” (Galatians 5:6) read more

A Man's Heart

Lori Copeland | Zondervan

Life is throwing Jules Matias a lot of curveballs and they're coming at her all at once. Jules has had to break off her engagement to Cruz Delgado not once, but twice. She loves him, but she had good reason, or a good person—Pop—to make such a sacrifice. Now she must cope with Pop’s death and shoulder the tension with her sister, who wasn’t included in their father’s will. Jules’ chief concerns are caring for her father’s potato farm and restoring a relationship with her sister. But when her best friend dies from cancer, Jules is also left to keep her promise to care for her friend's two small children. With all these burdens to carry, Jules must rely on God for answers and strength.

Click here to purchase this book. read more

common

Common Prayer

Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and Enuma Okoko | Zondervan

Not to be read alone, Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals was not written alone either. Shane Claiborne, an activist who lives in a “new monastic” community in inner-city Philadelphia; Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, a Baptist minister also in a monastic community; and Enuma Okoko, a woman who was formerly director for Duke Divinity School’s Center for Theological Writing, came together as a team to create this volume.

Seeing liturgy as a tool to bring unity across church divisions, the authors encourage every Christian, from the fiery Pentecostal to the disciplined Benedictine, to use this volume of songs, prayers, ideas and memories meant to be spoken aloud and shared in some kind of community.

The elements of the liturgy are organized so as to minimize page-turning, and the elements of the church calendar are explained for those unfamiliar. The guide also includes prayers for special occasions and a selection of songs ranging from the Doxology to Taize chants and African-American spirituals.

Appealing to the liturgy veteran as well as the novice, Common Prayer encourages active prayer and worship as believers join around the globe to regularly refocus their lives on God.

Click here to purchase this book. read more

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