Category Archives: Books

8 Daily Devotional Books That Will Strengthen Your Faith in 2017

Focus your heart on God’s faithfulness with a 365-day devotional that will renew your strength every morning.

With a New Year comes a new opportunity to set and stick to your resolutions. If spending more time with God is your goal this year, committing to a daily devotional will help you stay on track. Whether you’re diving into your faith for the first time or you’ve been connecting with God for years, these devotionals will keep you encouraged. Focus your heart on God’s faithfulness with a 365-day devotional that will renew your strength each and every morning.

The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge
Strengthen the core of your life and faith with this yearlong journey with beloved Super Bowl-winning former head coach Tony Dungy. The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge contains 365 reflections from the New York Times best selling author on living an “uncommon life” of integrity, honoring your family and friends, creating a life of real significance and impact and walking with the Lord.

Wisdom from Above: Daily Encouragement from the Proverbs
Inspired by a lifetime of learning God’s wisdom, New York Times bestselling author Dr. Charles Stanley has created a 365-day devotional, full of timeless teachings from the book of Proverbs and inspirational guidance for every day of the year. Wisdom from Above is filled with spiritual insights that offer courage for difficult times, inspiration to be the best person you can be and confidence that God is always with you.

Daily Guideposts 2017: A Spirit-Lifting Devotional
Are you looking for a compass to orient you on your spiritual journey? This devotional is sure to point you in the right direction! Offering 365 daily reflections based on Isaiah 41:10, it is packed with all new stories from 60 contemporary writers as well as inspiring scriptures and practical prayers. It is a wonderful way to start or end your day!

Jesus Calling
After many years of writing in her prayer journal, missionary Sarah Young decided to “listen” to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever she believed He was saying to her. It was awkward at first, but gradually her journaling changed from monologue to dialogue. She knew her writings were not inspired as Scripture is, but they were helping her grow closer to God. They are written from Jesus’ point of view, thus the title of this 365-day devotional Jesus Calling.

Jesus Always
Jesus Always is Sarah Young’s second full 365-day devotional since Jesus Calling, focusing on the topic of joy. Through Jesus Always, Sarah shares with her readers how to experience true joy now and always. With scripture and personal reflections, she brings Jesus’ message of joy for today and every day. These devotions will intimately and gently connect you with Jesus – the One who meets you where you are – reaching out with joy-filled reminders from the Word of God.

Our Daily Bread Devotional Collection
When you’re in the midst of life’s challenges, be reminded of the encouragement, hope, promises and down-to-earth advice that God offers! A great gift for any occasion, this beloved collection features 365 meditations from the perennial best-selling devotional as well as Scripture readings and reflective thoughts.

Simple Pursuit: A Heart After Jesus
Simple Pursuit contains 365 daily devotionals written by a collective of 18–25-year-olds from the Passion Movement for their peers. Each day of this yearlong journey will inspire you to perfect the pause, allowing God to break through the noise of this world with the truth of His Word. The overflow of your daily pursuit will lead you on to be winsome – living an irresistible life focused on the central purpose and mission of Jesus.

Starting Your Day Right: Devotions for Each Morning of the Year
Seek the Lord in the morning and you’ll stay closer to him all day long! In this morning devotional, are 365 brief inspirational devotions to help you put God first before you face the world. Joyce Meyer shows you how to enjoy every new opportunity, balance out extremes, act with self-control, live without fear and much more.

We hope these devotionals encourage you to spend time in fellowship with the Father all year long.

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Top 5 Christmas Books for Christians 2016

Take a break from the holiday hustle and snuggle up with these Christian Christmas books.

With December 25th quickly approaching, the stress of the season is setting in. Between the presents and the parties, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the rush and forget about the true meaning of Christmas. Take a break from the holiday hustle with Christian Christmas books that will keep your heart focused on Christ.

Because of Bethlehem by Max Lucado
Max Lucado loves Christmas. He loves it because somewhere someone will ask the Christmas questions: What’s the big deal about the baby in the manger? Who was he? What does his birth have to do with me? And the answers he’s found give us all hope. God knows what it’s like to be a human. When we talk to him about deadlines or long lines or tough times, he understands. He’s been there. He’s been here. Because of Bethlehem, we have a friend in heaven. Let’s turn on the lamp, curl up in a comfortable spot, and look into the odd, wonderful story of Bethlehem.

A Baxter Family Christmas by Karen Kingsbury
From New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury comes a life-changing story of love and hope featuring the Baxter family. Whether you’re meeting the Baxter family for the first time or finding them all over again, A Baxter Family Christmas will leave fingerprints on your heart forever. Heartwarming and touching, filled with love and redemption, A Baxter Family Christmas brings together two families in the aftermath of loss and in the midst of an unfolding love story, all with the help of one very special child.

Hidden Christmas by Timothy Keller
In his new book, Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ, pastor and New York Times bestselling author, Tim Keller, guides readers through an illuminating journey into the surprising background of the Nativity story, a story that is a celebration of the advent of Jesus Christ, who came to save mankind and restore our humanity to how it was meant to be. This profoundly moving and intellectually provocative book unpacks the message of hope, redemption, and salvation hidden in the biblical account of Jesus’ birth so that readers may experience the redeeming power of God’s grace in a meaningful and deeper way.

The Mistletoe Inn by Richard Paul Evans
At thirty-two Kimberly Rossi, a finance officer at a Lexus car dealership, has had her heart broken more times than she wants to remember. With two failed engagements, a divorce and again alone with no prospects, she hardly seems the type to dream of being a published romance author. Dreading another holiday alone, she signs up for The Mistletoe Retreat, a nine-day writing retreat in Burlington, VT. Deep inside Kimberly knows she’s at a junction in her life and it’s time to either fulfill her dream or let it go.

The Angel of Forest Hill by Cindy Woodsmall
When Rose Kurtz first arrived in tiny Forest Hill four years ago, Joel Dienner had just lost his wife to childbirth. They agreed to marry because his children, especially newborn Grace, needed a mother to care for them. But Rose has grown to love Joel deeply. Can she find the courage to tell him her true feelings? You’ll fall in love with this Amish Christmas romance.

Place your online order by December 16 to get these books in time for Christmas or visit your local Family Christian store.

What books are on your Christmas reading list? Share your 2016 must-reads and all-time favorites with us in the comments below.

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What to Do When You Don’t Feel Very Thankful

What to Do When You Don’t Feel Very Thankful by Lysa TerKeurst

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

It was one of those days. I drove to the airport in the pouring rain. The skies were gray. The day was gloomy. And honestly, so was I.

Many of the things entrusted to me in life were beginning to feel more like burdens than blessings.

There were just a lot of little things swarming my thoughts. Feelings of inadequacy. There are so many things I’m responsible for and never enough hours in the day. I do enough to keep things from sinking. But I just wonder if I’m doing anything well. I don’t think I am … doing anything well.

The more I focused on these thoughts, the more overpowered I became. The more overpowered I became, the more withdrawn I felt.

I pulled into the parking space and started the fight with my luggage. My suitcase has two wheels missing, and of course I keep intending to do something about this. But I don’t have time. So I make do with a crazy suitcase and a crazy life and a crazy sense I should just pack my family up and move out west somewhere. Live on a ranch where we grow our own food and I cook beans in a black pot over an open flame.

Surely that would fix everything.

Except that I know it wouldn’t.

Because the chaos isn’t from my circumstances.

It’s inside me.

I boarded the plane. I stared out the window. I watched the gray clouds envelop us. And then the gray broke.

Suddenly, we rose above the clouds and the sun was shining brightly. The sky was fabulously clear.

The clouds were just a temporary covering. They didn’t stop the sun from shining. They merely prevented my eyes from seeing the sun. And it wasn’t just the sky that appeared a little brighter. My mood did as well.

I started to shift from feeling overpowered to empowered as I realized three things:

Just because I feel it doesn’t make it real.

Just like the clouds prevented my eyes from seeing sun, my gloomy mood had prevented me from seeing the truth. I might feel like I’m not doing anything well, but it doesn’t make it true. The fact that I have weaknesses doesn’t make everything about me weak. I have plenty of strengths.

All I have to do is ask a couple of my friends or family members to help me see what I do well. I can celebrate those, and then get a plan for bettering things that need improvement. I can start by identifying one thing to improve on this month, and do a little toward making that one thing better.

There are a lot of people who would trade their best day for my worst day.

Yes, I have a lot to manage. And yes, sometimes things get a little foggy. But that doesn’t mean I have to stay swallowed up in the gray. That means I need to get my head above the clouds and see all the many places where the sun is shining brightly in my life.

I can start by making a list of things for which I need to be thankful.

My mind needs some space to think.

If I always run at a breakneck pace, I’m eventually going to break. My mind is a powerful tool, capable of seeing things that can be done more efficiently and effectively if I give myself time to think. When is the last time I just sat quietly with a pen and paper and asked the Lord to help me think?

As 2 Corinthians 12:9 teaches, God’s power “is made perfect in weakness.” When I’m sinking in thoughts of inadequacy, I remember that my ability is not based on what I can do. My ability and strength come from the One who can do all things.

With the Lord working in me and through my weaknesses, I can feel the transformation from being overpowered to empowered taking place.

If the clouds have been looming close lately, maybe it’s time to stop. Pause. Lift your eyes to an altitude that can rearrange your attitude.

Dear Lord, thank You for all You’ve given me. I want to cultivate a thankful heart that relies on You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 Thessalonians 5:18a, “Give thanks in all circumstances.” (NIV)

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Keep a notebook or a piece of paper with you all day today. Write down things you are thankful for throughout the day and then look back over your list before you go to bed — thanking God for each and every one.

© 2016 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org

Soak Up the Sun: 5 Beach Reads for Summer 2016

Who doesn’t love getting lost in a good book at the beach? Your toes in the sand, salt in the air and the sun on your skin – few things are more relaxing. Whether you’re planning a summer getaway or aiming your sprinkler at the patio, kick back and relax with these popular beach reads.

All books are Buy One Get One 50% Off at Family Christian now through August 25 making it the perfect time to stock your beach bag with these Christian fiction favorites.

The Things We Knew by Catherine J. West
After her mother’s death, Lynette Carlisle watched her family unravel. All her siblings eventually left Nantucket, silently blaming their father. Nobody will tell Lynette about that day that she can’t remember. But when Dad’s failing health and financial concerns bring everybody home, secrets begin to surface that will either restore lost relationships—or separate the Carlisles forever.

The Promise of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry
In the summer of 1972, Matt Plumley forms a friendship with Jesse Woods, a tough-as-nails girl. But one night the wrath of the prominent Blackwoods and the secrets of Jesse’s family will collide and destroy the promise she and Matt make to each other. Will he ever learn the truth behind the only pledge Jesse ever broke?

The Second Half by Lauraine Snelling
Ken and Mona are looking forward to their retirement, but then they receive a call from their son, a Special Forces officer. Announcing that he’s been deployed overseas, he asks them to care for his kids. They find parenting a challenge, but it’s even harder when Steig stops contacting them. Can they trust God to bring him home?

Close to You by Kara Isaac
Allison Shire is done with love and travels to New Zealand to work as a tour guide for Lord of the Rings movie sites. But she doesn’t expect to meet Jackson Gregory, a would-be entrepreneur who’s pretending to be a Tolkien aficionado. Will the know-it-all guide and fake fan take a chance on romance?

Fading Starlight by Kathryn Cushman
A high-profile fashion internship should have launched Lauren Summers’s career—but instead, a red carpet accident left her blackballed. Working for a former Hollywood star in return for free lodging in a seaside cottage, she sets out to salvage her reputation. But will the old woman’s secrets raise new questions—and knock her off balance again?

What great beach read would you add to the list?

Preparing for Marriage: 4 Must-Read Books for Newly Engaged Couples

Love

You’re engaged! Excitement sets in and your head spins just thinking about all of the details to work out – the dress, the venue, the invites. But what about your marriage? Planning for your life together after your big day is an important and often overlooked step. Set yourselves up for a relationship rooted in Christ with these must-read engagement and marriage preparation books.

All books are Buy One Get One 50% Off at Family Christian now through August 25. Buy one for yourself and one for your soon-to-be spouse! Then discuss what you learned together.

Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married
Bestselling author and marriage counselor, Gary Chapman, put together this practical book to help couples prepare for marriage and learn the skills of working together as intimate teammates. This book is packed with wisdom and tips that will help you develop the loving, supportive and mutually beneficial marriage both men and women long for.

Preparing for Marriage
Begin the lifelong task of building a strong Christian marriage with eight sessions of fun, romantic study that will help you target areas for growth in your relationship. You can work through the book as a couple, with a pastor, with a premarital counselor or with a small group. Don’t just plan your wedding, prepare for your marriage!

Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts
Relationship experts Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott offer time-tested marriage principles to help couples debunk myths, establish lines of communication, fight a good fight, master money management, and become true soul mates with seven questions to ask before and after you marry.

Before You Say “I Do”
This popular and helpful interactive workbook is designed to strengthen your love relationship and deepen your bond. You’ll find all you need for fun and thoughtful discussions as you explore what the Bible teaches about marriage, what makes you feel loved and how to handle conflict.

What’s the best marital advice you received before tying the knot?