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Can a Poem About Hell Teach Us About Love?

In The Purpose for Passion: Dante’s Epic Vision of Romantic Love, authors Kurt Bruner and Tim Ware examine the truth about love in The Divine Comedy, by Italian poet Dante. It might seem strange that this literary masterpiece about heaven, hell and the afterlife could teach us about passion, romance and spirituality. But the authors believe it actually offers us a great love story, which also reveals just how much God desires our hearts.

Featured is an excerpt from The Purpose for Passion. (Click here to purchase this book.)

Love’s Divergent Paths

Quick, name your favorite romantic movie.

Got it? Now describe the best scene—the one you anticipate each time you watch. Depending upon your age, likely choices include:

Pride and Prejudice when the antagonism between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy melts as he anxiously confesses that she has “bewitched me body and soul—I love, I love, I love you.”

Sleepless in Seattle when Tom Hanks takes Meg Ryan’s hand atop the Empire State Building as his matchmaker son flashes that satisfied grin.

Notting Hill when, during her farewell press conference, Julia Roberts eagerly smiles in response to Hugh Grant raising his hand to ask whether she would consider staying in England. read more

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Bruce Wilkinson: 'You Were Born for This'

In You Were Born for This, Bruce Wilkinson, author of the best-selling The Prayer of Jabez, reminds us that God regularly makes miracles happen. What Wilkinson also wants believers to understand is that God wants to use us to bring about these miracles in others’ lives. 

 “The truth is you were born to live a supernatural life doing God’s work by God’s power,” Wilkinson writes. “You were born to walk out your door each morning believing that God will use you to deliver a necessary miracle to someone in need. You were born for this.”

 Featured in The Buzz is an excerpt from Wilkinson's new book. (Click here to purchase You Were Born for This.)

A New Way to See the World

You were born to expect a miracle today

 What if I told you I’m certain you missed a miracle yesterday? And not just any miracle but one that heaven wanted to do through you to significantly change someone’s life for the better—maybe your own? read more

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Book of Days

James L. Rubart | B&H Books

Author James L. Rubart combines Scripture with legend to create an engaging tale of self-discovery in Book of Days. The title refers to a book, mentioned in Psalm 139:16, in which God recorded every life before time began.

When Seattle video producer Cameron Vaux begins to lose his memory, he fears he will die young like his father. He intermittently recalls conversations with both his late wife, Jessie, and his dad about a legendary book in Three Peaks, Ore., which tells the future. Once dismissed as fantasy, the book now promises hope. read more
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Courage to Stand

Tim Pawlenty | Tyndale House Publishers

The former governor of Minnesota, takes readers into his heart, history and rise to power as a Republican governor in a traditionally blue state.

The fifth child of Gene and Ginny Pawlenty, the governor was raised in meat-packing mecca South St. Paul, where he regularly attended church and learned the value of hard work. His mother died when he was 16, but Pawlenty forged ahead to attend college and law school, marrying along the way. read more

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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

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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

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