Love’s Way: Living Peacefully with Your Family as Your Parents Age
By 2030, 1 in 5 residents will be retirement age while the median age is expected to increase to 43 in the next four decades. What do these impending trends mean? Former judge, Carolyn Miller Parr, and mediator, Sig Cohen say the biggest impacts are not just demographic or economic; they are practical and emotional too. Today’s seniors, they say, care more about maintaining the freedom to make their own decisions yet they face loneliness and isolation, even from their own adult children. “When we were growing up, Mom and Dad were the permission givers, advisers, financiers, shelter providers, big-picture framers, and decision-makers,” said Parr and Cohen. “Now children want to advise parents about their parents’ safety, finances, and care.” Some parents feel relief but others feel resentment. When an aging parent prefers autonomy to their own safety this can also create a sense of frustration or fear for adult children. They cover the big issues from communication, sibling rivalries, planning, finances, important documents, and death and dying. “Death is rarely on our conversational agenda,” say the authors. “We wish for our lives to end in a certain way, but we rarely plan for it. Our goal is to show families how to live in peace as parents’ age” (Washington DC).
Uncluttered: Free Your Space, Free Your Schedule, Free Your Soul
Seventy-five percent of garages are so full of stuff that people cannot park their cars inside. Refrigerators are cluttered with coupons, photos, or other objects. Closets burst with unnecessary clothes or shoes. Storage units have become big business. Ellis says research shows that owning more stuff inevitably means also having more stress. But it isn’t just material items. “We gradually but continually stuffed more and more into our lives. Responsibilities, activities, vocations. Children, classes, cross-country moves.” says Ellis. “In addition to all that, technology that barely existed when we’d first gotten married— we now used regularly. We were totally connected, constantly available, and rapidly approaching burnout.” The solution? To downsize, and Ellis explains how to do just that (Mission Viejo, CA).
The Shot Caller: My Life as a Latino Gangbanger
“I was not looking for God when I was in prison . . . `I barely knew who God was. My life is a miracle in many ways.”
Diaz grew up in gang-ridden Los Angeles where it was all about protecting your turf. “In a few short years, I had become accustomed to brutality, barbarity, and brutishness. When life and death are in your hands, you feel really important. He recounts the violence, the hatred, the reason young people go into gangs, and the consequences that led to his time in New Folsom Prison’s solitary confinement unit. “Nothing affected me. My conscience was gone. My soul had turned black.” It was in his place of isolation, desperation, despair that a Black woman reached out to him from behind the door, “I’m praying for you, and I believe God is going to use you.” The encounter changed Diaz’s life and proved the prayers of a faithful woman were heard (Burbank, CA).
Release Date: March 2019
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.
7 Books that Rocked the Church
Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Galileo Galilei, Sigmund Freud, Voltaire, and Joseph Campbell each challenged traditional Christian worldviews. Crane examines books by these men and offers hope for ideas that often oppose Christian values and thought. He encourages us to develop the ability to interact with new and possibly dangerous ideas that stand between faith and reason. How do we handle books or ideas that oppose a Christian worldview? How do we engage with a culture that has little or no faith? Crane tackles topics such as the Enlightenment, psychology, communism, science and politics, and evolution (Ann Arbor, MI).
Less than one-third of all Christians give their hearts to Christ after the age of 21. This means the role of parenting is vital during the formative years. “I can get so caught up in what is urgent that I give no attention to what is important,” says Rienow. “If we are not intentional with our parenting, we run the risk of ending up with a family filled with achievement, recreation, and niceness. God has a far grander plan for us and our children.” Rienow and his wife, Amy, say the job of parenting has become secondary to many other pursuits in modern life. We live with the tyranny of the urgent and forget to live intentionally, especially when it comes to taking advantage of spare moments we can invest in our children’s moral and spiritual development (Chicago, IL).
Generations: Following Jesus as a Family
The family is under enormous pressure as divorce and alternative configurations of “family” have supplanted the traditional family. Dr. Rienow acknowledges that parenting is a daily struggle and pressure to give up and move on prevails in a throw-away culture. But, he says, kids fare better and are more successful as adults when they are raised by a mother and father in an intact home. No other configuration is close to providing stability and nurturing. His 8-session journey explores marriage, forgiveness, trust, repentance, and the Creator’s plan for the family. Solid family, parenting and marriages don’t happen accidentally; they happen with purposeful planning (Wheaton, IL).
Faith Across the Multiverse: Parables from Modern Science
Science can help us know God. While the church has often had a complicated and even hostile relationship with science Walsh says science reveals much about the God of the universe. A molecular biologist and immunologist he completed postdoctoral work in computational biology. What Walsh does is the help us see the relevance of the Bible, or nature. “Drawing inspiration from the parables and other passages, I am curious about what other attributes of God and our relationship to Him can be articulated in modern scientific terms.” Walsh adds, “I desire to introduce you to the God I have come to know, and the science that helps me think more clearly about Him” (Pittsburgh, PA).
Battles of the Sexes
In a world where the God-given distinction between the sexes is treated with suspicion, Dr. Malone looks at the specific differences and how they impact the way couples interrelate. “These gender-distinct young adult dilemmas are what we are naming the ‘Battles of the Sexes.” They argue that men and women have distinct biochemistries and experience life and marriage differently. Citing the horrendous statistics of 1 in 4 people with an STD and the 4.3 billion hours people watched on Pornhub last year, they argue that gender conflict leads to sexual conflict. Only by honoring God as He created us can we truly find deeply satisfying relationships (Nashville, TN).
We Believed: our ten year journey pursuing God’s promises to adopt four children
Only 2 percent of American families ever adopt and international adoptions are becoming more restrictive. Nevertheless, seven million Americans are adopted (1 in 50). Kids in foster care account for the majority of adoptions but foreign-born children are also part of the total. Jeff Moore and his wife took a leap of faith and adopted not one, but four siblings and brought them into their home. They chronicle the challenges, the call to be faithful, and the miracles that occurred along the way. Their step of faith is frightening and rewarding, frustrating and joyful, exciting and exhausting (Denver, CO).
The Mystery of 23 God Speaks
“God uses a variety of ways and methods to communicate with us,” says Kelly Williams, a pastor for more than two decades. A Southern Baptist graduate (Liberty University) who then went on to earn his ThM from Dallas Theological. He never saw himself as one to be asking questions like, “Does God speak to us personally?” He talks about how we have forgotten that God used dreams and visions in the Bible and that we have lost our ability to discern in today’s cynical world. Williams provides step-by-step clear questions about how we can know if God is speaking to us; 23 to be exact. “God still speaks to us today,” says Williams (Colorado Springs, CO).
Hymn Restoration: 101 Treasured Hymns with Devotions
In the past twenty years many churches have left behind hymnals and previous styles of worship. Even buildings that once created a sense of awe and wonder have been replaced by warehouses and informal settings. The term “worship wars” describes the vast differences between how Millennials see worship and how older and more traditional people see it. Composer, pianist and Grammy Award winner, Dino Kartsonakis, has been around hymns his entire life. He says few people understand just how powerfully they were inspired, citing Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley, and Fanny Crosby as examples. “This is about introducing a new generation to the musical treasures of Christian history” (Branson, MO).
Jericho Unmasked: An Entrapped Lesbian’s Journey to Freedom
Betrayal. Shame. Heartbreak. “These were key hallmarks of my emotion,” says Cari Gintz. Sexually abused as a young girl, caught in a legalistic cult, married to a man who came out as gay and left her for another man, Gintz was stressed, hurt, disappointed. Rather than embracing the faith of her childhood, she went the other direction. “It was a time of decadence, and I was free. No boundaries, no hindrances, and no relationship with God seemed the ideal ingredients of happiness,” says Gintz. She recounts her pain-filled journey looking for love. In spite of trying to rectify her gay lifestyle with Christianity she felt conviction. She prayed, “God, help me do what I don’t have the power to do for myself.” He answered her simple prayer. “Now there I stood, consecrated to the Lord and free from the untamable beast in my soul . . . I had been healed of homosexuality.” (Hudson, 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).
ENVY & JEALOUSY: Taming the Terrible Twins
Every human craves Love, Significance and Security. What happens when these are missing? In a broken family, in a broken world, jealousy and envy can wreak havoc. Depression and anger are often present when jealousy rears its ugly head. Hunt explains “worldly jealousy is not based on love, but on wrong desires.” With envy comes ingratitude and sense of entitlement. She helps us see that life is not always fair, that gratitude is an antidote for complaining and discontentment, and that God’s desire for us is wholeness. She includes checklists that help us see where we stand on envy and jealousy (Dallas, TX).
12 Truths to Change Your Marriage
The gender wars are not helping relationships. Feminism is not helping relationships. The attempt to eradicate gender differences is neither helpful to women or men. “The Bible teaches that women are equal to men. Neither gender is better or less than the other. There are differences between the genders, differences between people, and differences between marriages,” says Roesner. But she also says both men and women need one another. “Men are tasked with providing, leading, protecting. Women are tasked with nurturing, caring, and submitting to their husband’s leadership.” While not exactly a message many want to hear, Roesner believes it is a complementary system that works best for women as well as children (Cincinnati, OH).
My Path to Heaven on Earth: How I Lost my Life and Found Hope
The vice president of a large grocery chain with a big salary, three kids in college and two homes, Clarke had a sudden awakening when he had a severe stroke at 55. His world changed forever as did that of his family. “The stroke robbed me of my executive brain function but left me with an amazing gift; a love for God like I had never experienced.” Why do bad things happen and what can we do about them? “We can either be dragged along on our life journey kicking and screaming, or we can accept God’s will, trust in Him and enjoy the ride,” says Clarke (Myrtle Beach, SC).
Planned from the Start
Unplanned, the movie, tells the story of Abby Johnson who ran a Planned Parenthood facility. Her view of abortion was dramatically altered when she witnessed an ultrasound-guided abortion and watched a thirteen-week-old infant fight for its life. Varela’s book picks up when Unplanned ends. She says one in four women will have an abortion by the time they turn 45. She offers healing and hope to those who have chosen abortion in the past. The real story behind abortion is the grief, guilt, shame, regret, and depression that women face. This is something abortion providers fail to explain and try to hide. “Many who have aborted their children feel pressure to hide their emotions of grief, and act as if everything is okay,” says Varela. “Grief has a purpose. You wouldn’t grieve if you didn’t love” (Valencia, CA)
First Aid for Emotional Hurts: Helping People Through Difficult Times
School shootings. Bullying. Broken families and hearts. What happens to hurting people? As the old adage goes, “they hurt others.” Moody helps leaders, parents, teachers by giving them the tools they need to help those dealing with emotional hurts, addiction, crisis, mental health challenges or rejection. In a world bent on looking in all the wrong places for answers to complex problems, Moody gives help for meeting emotional needs, not just physical ones. He gives solid answers and hope designed to lead to restoration (Raleigh, NC).
More than Surviving: Courageous Meditations for Men Hurting from Childhood Abuse
Male sexual abuse is on the rise. The percentage of sexual-harassment charges filed by men with the EEOC has doubled from 8 percent to 16 percent. At school, in the home, in church, and even in the workplace sexual abuse of boys and young men is a crime that leaves indelible scars on those who survive. Yet, just 1 in 3 cases are reported. Award-winning author, Cec Murphey, knows the impact first hand. “As a child, I was beaten by my father, sexually assaulted by a female relative, and verbally abused by both parents. When I was six; an elderly man rented a room in our house. He sexually molested me and my sister.” But he doesn’t dwell on the past he dwells on the healing (Atlanta, GA).
The Reason for Life
“To live in a relationship with God is why we are here and why we exist,” says Richard Simmons III. The overriding question most people ask at some point in their lives is “Why am I here?” He explains that culture gives us the impression that happiness is the goal of life and that pursing happiness leads to a meaningful life. The opposite is true, “Happiness is the by-product of a meaningful life” not the other way around. “Living with a sense of purpose and meaning increases a person’s overall well-being that includes life satisfaction, mental health, and self-esteem. More significantly, it decreases the chances of suffering from depression.” If purpose and meaning imply design, then we function best when we do what we are designed to do. When we live apart from our design, we malfunction.” Simmons goes on to explain how we can find our purpose, embrace it and live a life of great fulfillment based on God’s design instead of our own (Birmingham, AL).
Walk By Faith
“Waking up that lazy, carefree morning, I had no idea my life was about to change forever.” A high school honors student, decorated athlete and elected member of the student council, David Kline was about to see his life come crashing down. “I ran into the water and dove in right next to my brother. Instantly, my head slammed into the sandy bottom, and just as instantly, my neck was broken and I was paralyzed” says Kline. I was fortunate to be alive.”
He is quick to point out that he doesn’t blame God for what happened. He believes that even through all the hard times, God was right there with him. “God doesn’t change. He is always good. Sometimes it is just difficult to see that while in the midst of a trial” (Grass Valley, CA).
A Mentor’s Wisdom
In a society where we are taught to “pull ourselves up by our bootstraps,” most of us believe success is earned by our own effort without any outside help. We refer to others as “self-made” but this is rarely true by itself. In a culture lacking solid mentors and even fewer followers, the need for help and guidance is as needed as ever. Dr. R. Larry Moyer chronicles how he developed as a leader through the close partnership with a professor who became a friend. Dr. Haddon Robinson dispensed words of wisdom and anecdotes about life that Moyer quickly picked up on and was eager to adopt into his own life and work. The problem with many people who go it alone is, “They never learn from those experiences,” says Moyer. They repeat the same mistakes or bad choices without anyone telling them to slow down and stop making emotional or impulsive decisions. In fact, Moyer says making any major decision with one’s emotions is one of the worst things we do (Dallas, TX).
Making God Part of Your Family
Less than 20 percent of churchgoers read the Bible and far fewer teens do. Bible reading, even for people of faith, is on the decline. Ironically, while people say it is important, they simply do not do it. Still, the Bible remains the most read and most purchased book in the entire world. According to Michael Grady, a 30-year veteran Bible teacher, the Bible holds less sway over people’s everyday lives. He helps parents and families see the relevance of the Bible to daily life. Instead of rewriting key stories found in the Bible, Grady explains what each means and why, helping readers – Develop, Understand, Learn, and Apply it to their daily lives. He believes the reason young people don’t read it is that they can’t link these stories with the relevance to their own lives (Florence, SC).
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).
Healing the Scars of Addiction
“I have watched people today be addicted in ways past generations couldn’t have imagined when I started counseling thirty years ago” says Dr. Gregg Jantz. Today, billions of dollars are spent on various life-altering addictions from opioids to technology, food, alcohol, sex and myriad other dependencies. “Addiction doesn’t go away on its own. It doesn’t get better; it gets worse. Pretending addiction doesn’t exist ensures it does,” says Jantz. He offers real-life solutions to reaching out for help, finding freedom, and moving past the prison of shame. The first step to recovery is hard because it means accepting the truth that you have a problem. He helps us see why the first step isn’t enough, how to put your life back together, and embrace lasting freedom (Seattle, WA).
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).
The New Normal
“Despite repeated efforts by LGBT activists to equate ‘love’ with toleration of sodomy, the New Testament provides clear definitions of love, which preclude sin,” says Lopez. There is a growing move to normalize homosexuality and transgenderism even within denominations, seminaries, and churches. Raised by two lesbians, he adopted a gay lifestyle and then came to faith in Christ and left the gay lifestyle before embracing God’s design for marriage. He went on to earn his doctoral degree and now teaches at Southwestern Baptist Theological He says unless churches are defending the biblical design for sexuality and marriage in the public square, then they are failing to defend the flock against LGBT activism (Dallas, TX).
Navigating the Friendship Maze
There are three key ingredients that add to a happy life; friendships, family, and a lasting marriage. We know that loneliness is bad for one’s health but the opposite, friendship, is good for one’s health. Yet more people feel disconnected from close friendships today than in previous generations. People with the fewest friendship connections suffer from higher rates of depression, heart disease, and anxiety. Howe doesn’t just talk about the health benefits of friendship; she explains the dynamics of good friends or toxic friends. She offers clear and precise definitions of friendship, noting that not everyone knows what it means to be a good friend. A solid friendship “consistently adds to the goodness” of the other person (Monroe, MI).