Our appetites dictate the direction of our lives—whether it be the cravings of our stomachs, the passionate desire for possessions or power, or the longings of our spirits for God. But for the Christian, the hunger for anything besides God can be an archenemy, while our hunger for God—and him alone—is the only thing that will bring victory.
Do you have that hunger for Him? As John Piper puts it: “If we don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because we have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Our soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.” If we are full of what the world offers, then perhaps a fast might express, or even increase, our soul’s appetite for God.
Between the dangers of self-denial and self-indulgence is this path of pleasant pain called fasting. It is the path John Piper invites you to travel in this book. For when God is the supreme hunger of your heart, He will be supreme in everything. And when you are most satisfied in Him, He will be most glorified in you.
“True happiness comes from within.” At least that’s what our culture tells us while beating the drum of self-esteem as the route to real joy.
But what if this is wrong? What if true joy comes not from within, but from without? What if it comes from God himself?
Embedded in the Bible is a little-known guidebook to the lasting joy we long for: the Psalms of Ascent—a set of 15 Psalms that share honestly about the heights and the depths of life while celebrating the faithfulness of God.
Helping us to engage and explore Psalms 120–134, pastor Josh Moody offers practical counsel, perceptive insights, and personal experience as a fellow pilgrim on the joy-filled journey to the father heart of God.
Captive in Iran A Remarkable True Story of Hope and Triumph amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison
Embark on a chilling journey inside one of the world’s darkest and most dangerous places: Evin, the notorious Tehran prison. Here, prisoners are routinely tortured, abused, and violated. Executions are frequent and sudden. But for two women imprisoned for their Christian faith—Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh—this hell on earth was a place of unlikely grace as they reflected God’s love and compassion to their fellow prisoners and guards. Against all odds, Evin would become the only church many of them had ever known.
In Captive in Iran, Maryam and Marziyeh recount their 259 days in Evin. It’s an amazing story of unyielding faith—when denying God would have meant freedom. Of incredible support from strangers around the world who fought for the women’s release. And of bringing God’s light into one of the world’s darkest places—giving hope to those who had lost everything, and showing love to those in despair.
Reclaiming Love Radical Relationships in a Complex World
In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul places love at the very center of what it means to embrace life in Christ. All other spiritual gifts are worth nothing in comparison. But the love explained in those verses is nothing short of radical. Fernando's pastoral work---in the midst of the cultural and ethnic tensions of Sri Lanka---often brought up a very real and honest question: 'Can the biblical teaching about love actually be practiced?' The answer he discovered is a resounding 'yes.' The radical love of God is not only real, but it is the key to experiencing joy in the pain and suffering of this world. Believers must look to the Scriptures for God's teaching on the true nature of love, its divine origins, and its power for those who trust in Christ. This book offers reflections on the Bible's consistent teaching on love and shares real-life experiences of learning to love in difficult situations.
The Kindness of God Christian Witness in Our Troubled World
David Smith surveys the modern missionary movement, examines critical issues concerning the gospel and culture, reflects on mission in the context of violence and suffering, and explores the ‘translation’ of the gospel for today’s globalized world.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul makes striking use of the phrase 'the kindness of God' (11:22). The apostle to the Gentiles warns non-Jewish believers in the imperial city of Rome to beware of arrogance, counselling them to 'be afraid' that the kind of spiritual pride which led to the downfall of biblical Israel will also be their undoing. In the deeply troubled times in which we live, this text speaks powerfully to Christians throughout the world, summoning a global church to prioritize what really matters and to discover its unity in the service of the Christ whose life and death revealed in human form precisely the 'kindness of God'.
Taking his starting point from Lesslie Newbigin's analysis of the contemporary historical and cultural context, David Smith explores issues in, and challenges to, the practice of Christian mission and witness today. He surveys the modern movement, starting with the World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh in 1910; examines critical issues concerning the gospel and culture; reflects on mission in the context of violence and suffering; and explores the 'translation' of the gospel for a globalized world. He also examines how Scripture was used to justify the political and economic expansion of European power at the dawn of the modern world, and argues that mission today demands both a new hermeneutic and a revised theology of mission, within which Paul's letter to the Romans will play a significant role.
Boundaries for Leaders Results, Relationships, and Being Ridiculously in Charge
In Boundaries for Leaders, clinical psychologist and bestselling author Dr. Henry Cloud leverages his expertise of human behavior, neuroscience, and business leadership to explain how the best leaders set boundaries within their organizations--with their teams and with themselves--to improve performance and increase employee and customer satisfaction.
In a voice that is motivating and inspiring, Dr. Cloud offers practical advice on how to manage teams, coach direct reports, and instill an organization with strong values and culture.
Boundaries for Leaders: Take Charge of Your Business, Your Team, and Your Life is essential reading for executives and aspiring leaders who want to create successful companies with satisfied employees and customers, while becoming more resilient leaders themselves.
Letters from Apartheid Street A Christian Peacemaker in Occupied Palestine
In 1984, Ron Sider challenged that until Christians are ready to risk everything in pursuit of peace, "we dare never whisper another word about pacifism . . . Unless we are ready to die developing new nonviolent attempts to reduce conflict, we should confess that we never really meant that the cross was an alternative to the sword" From this challenge, Christian Peacemaker Teams was born. Nearly thirty years later, Michael McRay too explored Sider's challenge, interning with CPT in the West Bank city of Hebron. Alongside local and international peacemakers, McRay learned how to resist the violence of occupation, sharing in the stories of a suffering people as he struggled to embody the peaceable spirit of the rabbi from Nazareth. This book tells those stories. Drawing on his personal experience with the land and its history, McRay's raw letters home tackle critical issues relevant to peacemakers everywhere: What is really happening in Palestine that mainstream media fails to report? How are Palestinians' lives being affected? How can one be peaceable amidst such violence and oppression? How should Christian discipleship influence one's pursuits of peacemaking and reconciliation? McRay's letters illustrate both the challenge and promise of the cross in today's world.
Shopping for Meaningful Lives The Religious Motive of Consumerism
Consumerism is a problem. It deforms individual character, our sense of obligation to one another, and our concern for future generations and the environment. Even in the aftermath of the worst economic downturn in seventy years, it remains a defining feature of Western cultures. But, beyond this assessment, neither Christian theologians and ethicists nor secular economists and sociologists have understood what drives consumerism or what can be done to counteract it. This is the problem that Bruce P. Rittenhouse solves in Shopping for Meaningful Lives. Dr. Rittenhouse analyzes economic, sociological, and psychological evidence to prove that consumers behave differently than the current theories predict. Dr. Rittenhouse shows that consumerism functions as a religion. It provides a means of assurance that an individual life is meaningful. Because we need this assurance to live out our everyday lives, consumerism takes precedence over whatever other values a person professes-unless a person can adopt a different way to secure the meaning of his or her life. This interpretation explains how consumers actually behave. From the perspective of Christian theology, consumerism is a wrong answer to a problem of human existence that should be answered by faith in Christ.
The Spiritual Lives of Dying People Testimonies of Hope and Courage
How do people think about God as they look death squarely in the face? This is the central question in The Spiritual Lives of Dying People. Here are the stories of fifteen people who confront death in their own ways and who find spiritual strength in their faith. This is also the story of a remarkable and gifted priest, one who has made ministry with the chronically ill a special focus of his pastoral life and has guided people not only through their dying but also to God. In this book, readers will find the inspiring stories of people who found hope and courage in life so that they could meet death. Readers will also glean insights into how they might approach their own deaths or care for others who are in the midst of making the last journey of life. This is a book that illuminates how to answer one of life's most important questions: How shall I die?
"The trait that best typifies the students who break down in my office is their great unhappiness. They are believers. Of this I am sure. Certainly they are more diligent believers than I am, to judge from all the good things they are constantly doing. But they are miserable, every one of them. And, though they usually manage to get back on track . . . I know that, in their spiritual work lives, they have not changed much either. And it breaks my heart." Patty Kirk knows what it's like to try to impress God. It's like beating the air and bruising your soul. In The Easy Burden of Pleasing God she reminds us, through stories and reflections and careful meditation on the Scriptures, that despite what we may have heard or told ourselves, the yoke we take on as we follow Jesus is easy, and the burden of a loving God is light. To all of us who pursue perfection in vain and ache with the defeat that follows, The Easy Burden of Pleasing God will be truly good news.