The best-seller 90 Minutes in Heaven chronicles Don Piper's experience of death, heaven and recovery. According to the book, Piper was driving home when he was involved in a traffic accident with a tractor-trailer. His car was crushed, and he died instantly, medical professionals said. As he lay lifeless, Piper was in heaven experiencing its glory, beauty and music.
Sometimes, following the biblical admonition to "love your neighbor as you love yourself" is hard to do—especially when your neighbor might be a bit different. Children will learn this important lesson on the latest episode of Max Lucado's Hermie & Friends.
By Chris Seay | Thomas Nelson | softcover | 224 pages | $14.99
Fans of ABC's Lost now have a chance to ponder the mysteries of the island with a fellow fanatic. Bouncing around "smoke monster" theories and speculations about who Jacob is has created a sense of camaraderie among faithful Lost viewers. An admitted fan, Chris Seay readily joins in these conversations and takes them a step further revealing spiritual lessons gleaned from the hit show.
Excerpt taken from Love and War: Finding the Marriage You've Dreamed Of by John and Stasi Eldredge, Copyright (c) 2009 by John Eldredge and Stasi Eldredge Published by Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc.
Where do you pick up the story of a marriage? With the first kiss? (It was intoxicating.) The late-night phone calls? (They went on for hours.) With an evening picnic on the beach? (It was romantic.) Getting caught by a college roommate making out? (Now that was embarrassing.) When is that moment you decide, I want to be with this person for the rest of my life?
Maybe the best place to pick up this story is two years after "I Do," when we are talking divorce.
It was a Sunday. John and I were sitting at our hand-me-down card table having breakfast, in a tiny little matchbox of a house we rented. It was a pretty spring morning in southern California. The hydrangeas were blooming pink and blue on our front porch. I remember the sun filtering through the windows; a beam of light falling across the table between us. But it felt like a wall of glass. I was on my side, John was way over there. It was only a foot or so, but he felt miles away to me. Again.
The day was fresh but I was tired. Tired of trying. Tired of feeling like an utter disappointment to my husband who not that many months ago had pledged his heart to me for life. In front of everybody, I might add. Did he even mean it? It wasn't working. Our marriage wasn't anywhere near what I had imagined it would be.
I broke the familiar silence. "Maybe we should just get a divorce."
We had been married less than three years; our marriage had been full of promise, hope, and possibility. Heavens, I had known the man for five years before we even started dating, and we dated for three years before getting married. We were bright and rising stars. John worked on the staff of a church; I was working for a Christian ministry reaching out to troubled teens. Everyone thought we were the ideal couple.
How did we wind up here? What had gone so terribly wrong?
At the time, I would have said that I was utterly lonely-and to be lonely in your marriage is the loneliest feeling on earth. John was busy with his life and getting busier every day. It was a good life; he was involved in good things. The problem was, I didn't feel a part of it. I felt unnecessary to him. I, too, was working full- time, putting him through college. I came home to a man who was too tired to hear about my day, my world, all the dramas of the workplace. And I was too tired to care much about his. Sure, I would type his papers-but what happened to the shared vision? The desire to live life together? Two being better than one and all that?
Starring Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon | Directed by Clint Eastwood | Warner Bros. Pictures | Rated PG-13
Before being invited to attend a media screening of Invictus last week, I didn't think I would see this new picture from Clint Eastwood. I've liked many of Eastwood's movies over the years, but this one wasn't calling to me for three reasons.
By Kyle Rote Jr. and Dr. Joe Pettigrew | Thomas Nelson | softcover | 368 pages | $14.99
Sports fans know there is a "zone" in which athletes perform their best. But what does living "in the zone" mean for Christians?
"We want you to be equipped to have maximum impact—not only for your sake but more importantly for the kingdom's sake. Living life to the fullest with a clear purpose is living life in the zone—God's zone," Kyle Rote Jr. and Joe Pettigrew write.
Kent Annan is the co-director of Haiti Partners, a nonprofit education ministry in Haiti. He has worked there since 2003, living in Haiti for several years and now traveling there from Florida where he lives with his wife and two children. They left their comfortable life in the United States to live where poverty is the norm and survival is not a guarantee. They knew God wanted them in Haiti, but that doesn't mean it was easy. In his new book, Following Jesus Through the Eye of the Needle, Annan shares his story of working and living in Haiti.
He recently answered questions and shared more about his book and experiences in Haiti. (Click hereto purchase his book.)
Q: What made you decide to move to a volatile developing-world country, of all places?
Kent Annan: Before attending seminary at Princeton, I'd worked in Europe with a refugee ministry. And in the middle of the six years in Princeton, I spent six months in Albania and Kosovo. These experiences of helping people who had lost everything, some of whom I became friends with—it stuck with me, kept me uncomfortable and wanting to get back to that kind of work.
By Kay Marshall Strom and Michele Rickett | IVP Books | softcover | 175 pages | $16
Author and speaker Kay Marshall Strom and Sisters in Service founder Michele Rickett are on a campaign to give voice to the voiceless victims of crime and depravity around the world: young women.A follow-up to Daughters of Hope, which told the stories of persecuted Christian women from around the globe, Forgotten Girls: Stories of Hope and Courage puts faces to the statistics of millions of persecuted girls throughout the world.
By Charles F. Stanley | Thomas Nelson | hardcover | 256 pages | $21.99
Charles F. Stanley continues his writing on practical theology and the Christian life in How to Reach Your Full Potential for God: Never Settle for Less Than His Best. Deeply rooted in the Scriptures, the book enumerates the essentials of a rich, meaningful existence. A clean heart, a clean mind and a balanced schedule can do wonders to revive an arid soul, according to the author.
Those who enjoyed the best-selling book Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore can explore the deeper story and themes with the Faith Lessons From Same Kind of Different As Me DVD curriculum.
"Where Is God?" How many of us have asked this when going through trying situations. John Townsend, psychologist, author and speaker, offers answers in his new book, Where Is God? Finding His Presence, Purpose, and Power in Difficult Times.
"God has not left you twisting in the wind, nor is He playing hide-and-seek," Townsend says. "He wants to be present with you and powerful for you in your circumstances. He may bring a miracle. He may create a new path. And He may walk with you through a loss. But however your hard time plays out, He is here. He is for you and with you, no matter your struggle."
Townsend offers stories, real-life examples and practical applications to help readers renew their courage, faith and hope. Following is an excerpt from Where Is God? (Click here to purchase this book.)
A Hope More Than Wishing
You and I need hope in God. Hope is one of the most powerful agents we have available to us in times like these. It can be simply defined as the anticipation of a future good that we do not now experience. Hope helps us hold on and not give in to despair, even if we don't see the positive evidence we desire to see.
Sex, Drugs and Self-Control is John Reuben's sixth studio album, and he isn't afraid to tell it like it is. He says: "My goals artistically are so intertwined with what I'm experiencing spiritually that it's impossible to separate the two. I'm most creative when I feel close to the heart of God. It's only in that place that spiritual disciplines feel like an authentic expression instead of rigid censorship. In a lot of ways this record is a confession of faith and lack thereof."
By Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Barbara Cameron | Thomas Nelson | softcover | 400 pages | $14.99
With the Amish countryside in Pennsylvania as the backdrop for this story, An Amish Gathering: Life in Lancaster County will surely draw fans of romance fiction who will enjoy sharing in the lives of Leah Petersheim, Rebecca Miller and Amanda Graber in this three-novella collection.
John and Stasi Eldredge, known individually for their previous books addressing men's and women's issues, unite as co-authors for their new book, Love & War: Finding the Marriage You Dreamed Of.
As the couple entered what seems to be a new chapter in their ministry, John initially expressed reluctance to the idea of a book about marriage.
"This is the last thing we wanted to do," he said. "Can you imagine writing a marriage book with your spouse? But it was a conversational prayer, where we were praying about the next thing that was on our heart and where we felt God was moving us to. Much to our surprise, it was marriage."
2008 was quite a year for Seabird with the release of their national debut ‘Til We See the Shore. Several songs were featured on TV programs such as Grey's Anatomy, Numb3rs and Pushing Daisies, and they also won several awards, including Cincinnati Entertainment Award for Artist of the Year. Instead of resting on their early success, the piano-rocking band is releasing its sophomore album, Rocks Into Rivers.
São Paula, Brazil, has the largest police force in the world, employing more than 100,000 personnel. It is also considered the best-equipped—comprising aerial support, mounted calvary, a counterterrorism unit, riot-control troops and other units and divisions. Beneath the surface, however, everything is not as glorious as it seems.
Dani Johnson has for years been coaching and teaching her clients how to become successful. Along the way, she has discovered that their biggest roadblock to achievement is that they never were taught how to succeed. In her new book, Grooming the Next Generation for Success, Johnson shares from her own experience and perspective to help adults learn how to succeed and help their children to become successful.
Johnson defines "success" as: "A close intimate relationship with God, and having a passionate and harmonious marriage, kids that are a blessing to you as well as to others and kids that are impacting the world versus taking from the world, financially free from bondage of debt, and healthy physically, healthy emotionally, and a career that helps others to succeed and bringing the money to those that are in need."
Lifetime Movie Network | Starring Madeleine Stowe, James Remar, Ian Ziering
On Sunday, Dec. 13, families can enjoy three TV Christmas specials based on author Donna VanLiere's best-selling novels by the same titles: The Christmas Shoes, The Christmas Blessing and The Christmas Hope (check local listings).
By Calvin Nowell with Gayla Zoz | Tyndale House Publishers | softcover | 224 pages | $14.99
Christian recording artist Calvin Nowell has written Start Somewhere: Losing What's Weighing You Down From the Inside Out as an encouragement to anyone who has ever felt the burden of sin and the need for a Savior.