Sacred Dissonance: The Blessing of Difference in Jewish-Christian Dialogue
Christians owe a debt of gratitude to Jews for the legacy of their faith. Most Christians understand they were “grafted in” through faith in Christ. Clearly, Jesus was a Jew as were His disciplines. Christianity was given birth through Judaism. For Jews, Christianity presents a dilemma. Martin Luther is seen as a perpetrator of anti-Semitism that eventually gave rise to the Shoah (remembering) or Holocaust. Christian professor, Anthony Le Donne, and Jewish attorney, Larry Behrendt enter into dialogue on five core issues. “There is a sense among many Christians that Jews occupy a unique spiritual real estate,” says Le Donne. Looking for commonalities may be easier for Christians. Yet one thing is clear; finding a way to dialogue and understand the differences may be even more important in today’s world where division supplants discussion and anger precedes dialogue (Dayton, OH).
365 + Ways to Love Your Family: Practical Tips for Dad of Tweens and Teens
Fathers play a vital role in the lives of their children. Those who grow up without a father have twice the risk of dropping out of school, are more than twice as likely to get pregnant out of wedlock, and run higher risk of illegal activity, incarceration, substance abuse, and broken relationships. “A dad’s involvement with his children increases confidence, cognitive ability and emotional security” says Hitchcock. With so much research showing the importance of a father’s role in the lives of his children why are men still the butt of media jokes and dismissed as if they were unimportant? Hitchcock writes a practical guide designed to help fathers engage with their teenage children in ways that build greater connectedness (Cincinnati, OH).
To the Moon and Back
More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. It is the sixth leading cause of death and the numbers are growing rapidly. Within the next thirty years the numbers of people suffering from this disease are expected to triple. Two-thirds of the newly diagnosed cases are women. These symptoms include less energy and drive, less interest in work and social activities, loss of recent memories, language problems, coordination problems, and difficulty with everyday tasks, such as following a recipe or balancing a checkbook, and mood swings or depression. Award-winning writer, Kathi Macias delves into the vagaries of dementia and how it impacts marriage, simple functioning, and socialization (Riverside, California).
Eyewitness to Miracles: Watching the Gospel Come to Life
“Hundreds of millions of lives have been lost due to the philosophies of demons that have become politicized,” says Dr. Randy Clark. That evil is present in the world should not surprise those well-versed in world affairs. Broken families and broken philosophies lead to a broken world; a world that God sent His Son to heal – morally, spiritually, physically, and psychologically. Clark does what no one else has done before; he catalogues, quantifies, identifies, and details hundreds of present-day miracles from all over the world. He systematically outlines what he calls “The Problem with Miracles in the Western Mind-set.” The Age of Reason gave way to the Enlightenment which saw mankind as the ultimate solution to humankind’s problems. By eliminating God from the equation, the world was supposed to be a better place as humanism supplanted faith and belief (Mechanicsburg, PA).
Stories I Love to Tell
Jesus was a masterful storyteller. He told stories to illustrate important points about life and faith. Stories are the heart and soul of His teaching. And a parable is nothing more than a short story that teaches a spiritual lesson. Jesus used everyday examples about people, about money, and about farming to impact His listeners. The hearers didn’t always understand His stories and neither did His followers; unless He explained the meaning to them. Masterful storytelling is a lost art. Most cultures have used stories to pass down history or values to the next generations. Even today, communicators who want a message to stick often use stories like the prophet Nathan did with King David; to help hearers relate and understand. Gene Edwards is such a storyteller. In his latest book, Edwards recounts decades of stories that clearly show that God often uses the extraordinary to get our attention (Jacksonville, FL).
The Journey of a Kingsman
A multi-millionaire before the age of 30, Diogo Esteves became depressed, addicted, and began planning a way to end his life. “I was having a mental and emotional breakdown. I was so far in the pit I couldn’t see the light anymore,” says Esteves. He thought the road to happiness, success, and a better life was found in making money. He shares his story and gives a clear roadmap for finding your way home. “I trembled, faltered, compelled to vent my frustration to the only God I knew, and yet uncertain of that God’s existence.” In desperation he prayed to God, “Either give me a purpose of take my life.” While men have always measured themselves through their net worth or accomplishments, those who do often find it doesn’t satisfy. “I craved a life of true meaning. Unless we can actually live our lives the way they are meant to be lived, and not simply exist, everything else is a waste of time” (Orlando, FL).
The Disconnected Man: breaking down walls and restoring intimacy
Men are struggling in our culture. They are either aloof or overly aggressive. Many don’t know what’s expected of them and so they make bad decisions at work, in the home or in their relationships. Turner explains how men can get back on track; learn to be what God designed them to be, and overcome the obstacles that lead to breakdown. He describes how men tend to shut down and withdraw; often without the knowledge anything is wrong. Turner says, “Disconnected men hide in plain view” but gives clear direction for women who live with these men and men who want to learn how to connect with those they love (Portland, OR).
8 Things Every Woman Should Know About Depression
8 Things Every Man Should Know About Depression
Two out of three people who seek help from depression are women. In the United States alone, nearly 20 million people suffer from symptoms related to depression. The rate of depression in children is skyrocketing and half of those who are depressed see it as a personal weakness. For those within the church, depression is often seen as a sin, lack of faith, or sign of God’s punishment. Gary Lovejoy, PhD says “Depression is a constructive, growth-directing alarm signal that has been triggered by something inside that urgently needs attention. It is an alarm system of the whole person—body, mind, and spirit. (Portland, OR).
Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, A Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon
“The world has never been a more dangerous place,” say the authors. They claim one of the most significant aspects of the Trump campaign is that he challenged the failing Establishment – left and right – with ideas based on our nation’s founding. McGuire and Anderson believe America may be temporarily spared divine judgment. They see the victory as unprecedented – bucking political dynasties, powerful globalists, multinational corporations, media and Hollywood celebrities. The election has revealed rather than defined the left. They argue that Trump shined light into the dark of American politics (Santa Clarita, CA).
6 Ways for Men to Thrive in Midlife
There are four key questions a man begins to ask himself around the age of forty: Who am I? Where am I going? What am I doing? And What is the meaning of life? Arterburn suggests that every man’s journey through midlife is unique to him but all respond to it in life affirming or life altering ways. The six ways men thrive are by recognizing their roles as sons, husbands, fathers, providers, and embracing healthy masculinity and a willingness to walk in integrity (the spiritual component). “The key at this stage,” says Arturburn, “is to identify wrong beliefs and messages and be healed from them” (Indianapolis, Indiana).
Freedom Realized: Finding Freedom from Homosexuality & Living a Life Free From Labels
Black, ex-gay himself but happily married for more than 30 years now, says more than 70% of those seeking help with same-sex attraction through First Stone Ministry and Counseling have been set free. His ground-breaking book is based on years of research and meticulously compiling the results of those who sought freedom. “Humanity is fallen,” says Black. “Heterosexuality is an innate created biological fact and therefore cannot change.” He says any other “orientations” are not part of God’s design. “The grace of God is transformational,” even if one feels an inclination to the opposite sex. Truth, not feelings, should be the guide for our sexuality (Oklahoma City, OK).
Redeeming the Feminine Soul
Gender bending. Gender fluidity. Multiple genders. Our culture seems to have run amuck with the idea that you can be anything you want to be. Not so, says Julie Roys. God has a clear design for men and women; His design. When women, or men, go outside their God-given design, they find less satisfaction. In spite of the promises, feminist ideals did not produce happiness or contentment. “If feminism is the answer to women’s problems, why hasn’t it made us happier?” asks Roys. “For the past thirty years, I have been searching for that abundant life, for a better vision of womanhood.”
Torn by the demands of motherhood, career, and ministry – and by a church that gives them conflicting ideas about womanhood – Christian women struggle to answer that question. “There is something better for women—something much better,” explains Roys (Chicago, IL).
Minute by Minute
She had thirteen surgeries in fourteen years and was dependent on opiates to manage pain she couldn’t control. Moody seemed to be losing a grip on her life which was spinning out of control. Suicidal thoughts enveloped her as the pain become unmanageable. More than a dozen years of enduring excruciating tests and surgeries yet Moody was no better. She felt hopeless. She explains how important it is to have hope, to have friends or family who stand beside us in times of great distress. Then, when all hope seemed gone, Moody took a step into the unknown. She decided to have someone pray for her healing. Much to her surprise, it worked. “Immediately I felt the pain that I had lived with lift off of me. I was in shock. I could not process the fact that I had no pain.” Now she says, “This is the victorious life I didn’t know was possible until I experienced my healing transformation” (Sacramento, CA).
Waking Up Dead
A touring musician & vocalist, he has performed with artists including EmmyLou Harris, Dolly Parton, Phil Keaggy, Percy Sledge, Steven Curtis Chapman, Johnny Rivers, Amy Grant, Lenny LeBlanc, and others. His story is one of suicide, divine intervention and a life transformed. Anders recalls his dark night of the soul when life seemed too hard to continue. It looked as if he had it all. At age 50, after more than thirty years of ministry, he checked into a Minneapolis hotel, consumed a massive amount of Ambien, Dramamine and Phenergan with the full intention of taking his own life. Rescued, healed and reinvented . . . Eddie has discovered all the fullness of a brand new life. He recounts what led to a decade of self-destruction and the process of overcoming depression (Nashville, TN).
How to Liberate the World in 30 Days
A former Colorado State Representative, Navy Chaplain, and graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Klingenschmitt also earned a doctorate in Theology. He came to national prominence for refusing not to pray in Jesus name, sacrificing a million dollar pension in the process. He says, “We [Christians] face competing kingdoms every day. The opposition wants to take political dominion, not just for their own expression but to forbid ours. They say discrimination, but what they actually legislate is forced participation in sin.” A common-sense look at practical ways you can make a difference in your community. “Liberating the world,” he says, “begins with liberating yourself” (Denver, Colorado).
Full Circle: Coming Home to the Faithfulness of God
Athena Dean Holtz chased affirmation and attention from all the wrong sources, leaving her empty and alone. A victim of physical abuse and spiritual deception, she was deceived by Scientology, forays into mysticism and 12 years in a restrictive and legalistic cult. She lost everything—her marriage, relationships, home, business, money and reputation.
Holtz candidly tells her story of self-discovery, redemption and freedom. “When the enormity of the mess I had made hit me, I fell into depression. I didn’t know how to deal with the fallout or what would be next . . . I spent over a decade trying in my own strength to be ‘good enough.’ This is the story of how God brought me full circle,” writes Holtz. “How he brought me home . . . to a place I had always longed for, but never knew how to find” (Seattle, WA).
It Matters: Looking for the Good Things in Life
The author of Behind the Mask (about her abortion), Lynne writes to help readers look at the positive side of life, refocus on the things in life that are important, get rid of negative baggage and negative emotions, and in turn, experience the freedom of forgiveness. Lynne helps readers develop a trusting relationship with God and recognize God’s faithfulness in the journey of overcoming past hurts (Birmingham, AL).
Moving from Broken to Beautiful® through Grief
Grief is an unwelcome stranger that can take us by surprise. It comes for each of us, often at the most inopportune time. But grief is part of the human experience as a licensed counselor, Yvonne Ortega discovered in the most unpleasant way. “I suffered the loss of two aunts, my mother, my only child all within a span of seven months.” But that’s just part of the story. She is also a breast cancer survivor and endured a bitter divorce. In spite of the setbacks, Ortega managed to move forward and accept a “new normal.” “You may think your life is over,” says Ortega, “or that you can’t possibly go on without your loved one. Maybe you suffered from the side effects of a life-threatening illness, domestic violence relationship, or sexual assault. Perhaps you’re being crushed from divorce. Maybe you’ve lost a job, a car, a home. The difference is what you do with that loss.” “No one can rush you through the grief so don’t be so hard on yourself,” cautions Ortega (Yorktown, VA).
How He Loves Us: Revealing the Affections of God
Women have different fears than men. Their fears fall into three key categories: social fears (not being liked), family fears (sacrificing family time for work), and relationship fears (worry about whether a relationship will last). Gano is a wife, mom, and speaker who runs her own successful construction company. It would seem she is living the feminist dream. “I walked a long and very broken road for many years,” she explains. She shares how putting her own fears aside and embracing the love of God transformed her life. She offers keen insights into the lives of eight famous women in the Bible – what they did right and where they erred. The good news is that no matter where they went wrong (Rahab the harlot, or Sarah), “their sin did not change the course of their destiny” (Knoxville, TN).
Caregiving: A Privilege, Not a Prison
In the United States alone, nearly 10 million adults over the age of 50 care for aging parents . . . almost a third of adult caregivers suffer from stress, anxiety or depression. Hunt shares her own very personal story about caring for her mother, explains how we can practically step into the role, and what it means to care for one who cannot do so for themselves. She describes what it means to be a healthy caregiver but also provides encouragement to those who feel that life will never return to normal (Dallas, TX).
There Is a Reason They Call It GRAND Parenting
There are more than 2.7 million U.S. households with grandparents raising their grandchildren. These numbers continue to grow as adult children are either unable or unwilling to take on the task. From opioid addictions, to abandonment and abuse, parents are giving up their rights to their own children at rates never seen before. According to Michele Howe, sometimes grandparents can get in the way but at other times, they can take up the slack when parents are either deficient of struggling. In cases where a child’s health or safety are at risk, Howe is an advocate for grandparents stepping in, even if it means placing their own long-term retirement or travel plans on hold.
Preparing, Adjusting, and Loving the Empty Nest
There are more adult children living at home than are married. Nearly one in three (32.1%) of 18-34 year olds are at home, the highest number in 130 years. Though the numbers are indisputable, the reason for the numbers is open to theory. The failure to launch may be tied to economics, relationships, or simply parents who are not raising mature adult children. According to Howe we have raised a generation of young adults who are more comfortable not growing up than in taking responsibility for their lives. She is an advocate for starting the process early, long before a child graduates from high school. “Wise parents will teach their kids to be responsible members of society,” explains Howe. This may be easier said than done but that’s what training up a child in the way he should go actually means – going (Monroe, Michigan)
The Accidental Executive
Integrity and business are less synonymous than they once were. But people need to know what their values are before finding themselves in compromising situations. Erisman spent 32 years working for Boeing before teaching ethics and business technology at Seattle Pacific University. He served as director for the Center for Integrity in the School of Business, Government, and Economics. He says modern leaders must learn from the past, become students of failure as well as success. Integrity is the key and nowhere is this best learned than through stories like that of Joseph under the Pharaoh. “He had great strengths, but he also had weaknesses,” says Erisman. We must the latter before we can use the former (Seattle, Washington).
Shaping Your Family Story: How Imperfect Parents Create Hope and Promise for their Children
We have all heard the comment, “There are no perfect parents.” Every parent at times feels overwhelmed and convinced they are wrecking their kids. Some feel that way all the time. And some kids want to blame their parents for every bad turn as they get older and this just heaps more guilt on parents. Parents need help, not judgment and a list of more things to do. We watch the stories of our children unfold so quickly. We wonder if we are doing enough. Are we making a difference in their lives? Welday provides encouragement and help that will give your kids hope and promise – without stressing yourself crazy (Orlando, FL).
Wackos Thugs & Perverts: Clintonian Decadence in Academia
“One can only imagine the vastness and corruption poisoning higher education countrywide . . . they are mad, dangerous, and beyond self-correction,” says Lopez. A whopping 99.5% of campaign donations from professors at the fifty highest ranked liberal arts colleges went to Democrats. The impact is a disturbing “breakdown of free speech and honest pursuit of the truth.” Lopez knows firsthand what happens when a Christian professor speaks up for truth in an academic setting; they get ostracized and then fired. “It is about fixing the entirety of the corruption and restructuring higher education so nobody can repeat the takeover and racketeering the left pulled off in the last 35 years.” His book is a warning sign that the Clinton and Obama era policies further entrench left-leaning academicians but also a blueprint for undoing the damage. “Sunlight is always the best disinfectant,” says Lopez (Dallas, Texas).
Technology has changed the world in ways that benefit us but it can also be time-wasting, mind-numbing, and dangerous. Computers, cell phones, and other devices for getting online are easily accessible or already in the hands of young people (88 percent of teenagers in the U.S. have access to a computer).The average teenager sends 3,339 texts each month. According to Housman, parents are often naive. It’s not that they don’t care, it is that in many instances they are either ignorant of technology, the sites their children visit, or the actual content on the sites. Housman educates and encourages parents to become aware of what their kids are doing with the technology they have available to them. (Memphis, TN).
40 Answers for Teen’s Top Questions
“An upset, worried teenager is not a happy camper. [Many] frustrated, distraught teens are often trying to figure out who they want to be,” says Dr. Gregg Jantz. In spite of the negative stereotypes of teen laziness, addiction to technology, and lack of respect for authority, Jantz sees reason to be optimistic about this generation. Jantz and his son collaborate to help parents (and teens) enter one another’s world and understand it. “Teens may vehemently deny it but they do care about what their parents think,” says Jantz. And, according to his son (Gregg Jr.), “Teens want their parents to respect them.” (Seattle, WA).
Healing the Scars of Childhood Abuse
How can parents protect children from abusive predators? And what about broken and dysfunctional parents or stepparents who mistreat or abuse children? Abuse is on the rise. The number of children killed in their own homes is on the rise. In the last ten years, 20,000 children have died in their homes as a result of physical violence. The children who manage to survive the abuse become nine times more likely to be involved in criminal activity. And sadly, the U.S. has some of the highest rates of child abuse among industrialized nations. Dr. Jantz says part of the problem is a culture that sexualizes children and glorifies violence. He offers help and healing for those who have been abused.
101 Ways to Respect Your Husband
Men are wired to compete and protect. Women are wired to connect. Men and women’s brains are significantly different from each other, resulting in differences in behavior, communication and information processing. Roesner, a former corporate executive, explains how trying to “fight for her rights” nearly destroyed her marriage. She’s not advocating complete passivity but rather a way of communicating that takes into account the differences between the sexes. “I am a product of second-wave feminism,” says Roesner. The idea of “Applied Respect” saved her marriage. “At the risk of sounding anachronistic, subservient, and a trader to my feminine gender, I actually suggest to wives that they respect their husbands to improve their marriages.” (Cincinnati, OH).
Transgender Confusion: A Biblical Based Q & A For Families
The transgender rush for acceptance is just another step in the process of desensitizing Americans. The restroom controversy may be a step too far, creating new problems (voyeurism or pedophilia) and leaves parents with few options. “No studies have proven anyone to have been born transgender,” says Shick. “The ‘born that way’ theories are nothing more than propaganda to gain public sympathy and approval.” She knows firsthand the damage done having grown up with a father who declared himself a female. In trying to connect with a member of the opposite sex, some opt for surgery. “The person may resemble the opposite gender, due to cosmetic surgeries, but it is ‘reality’ only within that person’s confused thoughts” She has given expert testimony as to the causes of Gender Identity Disorder, shared the damage done within families, and offered help for those who feel confused (Ashland, KY).
Hearts of the Fathers: Leaving a Legacy that Lasts
Today, over 40 percent of all babies in the U.S. are born to unwed mothers. Approximately twenty-five percent of children under the age of 18 are being raised without a father and 50 percent (85 percent in some communities).
Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, many pastors, congregations and denominations have changed their historic positions, becoming more tolerant of divorce, remarriage and cohabitation. “The consequences, regardless of the cause, are clear and progressively catastrophic,” says Charles Crismier. He calls fatherlessness “a curse” that is plaguing a culture that has succumbed to radical individualism. He encourages fathers to “step up and be the men they are called to be.” He suggests fathers must respond by reclaiming their faith and sense of male responsibility, disciple their children and set an example of faithfulness (Richmond, VA).
Restored Hope Network
Anne Paulk is the director for the newly established Restored Hope Network, a coalition of agencies and counseling centers aimed at helping educate, counsel and encourage those struggling with same-sex attractions. Anne has been interviewed on Oprah Winfrey, Good Morning America, CBS Evening News, 700 Club, D. James Kennedy’s Coral Ridge Ministry, and appeared in People magazine. She is the author of Restoring Sexual Identity: Hope for Women Who Struggle with Same-Sex Attraction (Portland, OR).