We live in a culture of experts. Everywhere one turns, there are professionals touting advice on everything from how to repair your car to how to fix your marriage. And, in Christian circles, some have even started to believe that there are “God experts”—people who can pray in just the right way that God hears them or who worship in such a way as to make God listen. We begin to rely on these people as our sole source of information about God, rather than make the effort to encounter Him directly ourselves.
In his new book, Secondhand Jesus: Trading Rumors of God for a Firsthand Faith (David C Cook, June 2009), author and worship pastor of New Life Church Glenn Packiam summons readers upon a passionate quest—a holy pursuit—to truly experience Christ’s power and love for themselves. “God wants us to know Him deeply and personally,” Packiam says. “But there are no shortcuts to God. The Bible tells us that ‘The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.’” (Matthew 7:14, The Message)
God has offered us firsthand knowledge of His love, His grace, and His power. Yet so often, we too easily settle for someone else’s descriptions, the Cliff notes from another’s spiritual journey. We are content for others to do the heavy lifting and then give us the bottom line. And, like any secondhand information, after enough times through the grapevine, the truth about God deteriorates and crumbs of rumor are all that remain.
But when life derails, and things don’t go as we had planned, our thin view of God is challenged. In those critical moments, we can choose to walk away from God, or to let our questions lead us home. When we choose to wrestle with God, to engage Him individually, we—like Jacob and Job and David—will see rumors die and revelation come alive.
Crushing rumors of God that many Christians mistakenly hold, Secondhand Jesus isn’t a five-step formula, but rather a challenge to Christians to own their faith by questioning their preconceived ideas about God. “It’s time to hear the magnificent, Divine Invitation,” says Packiam. “It’s time to take God up on His offer and embrace the mystery and majesty of knowing Him for ourselves.”
Beginning May 15 and continuing throughout the month of July, the “Hear It First, Read It First” contest and promotion for Secondhand Jesus will be sponsored by David C Cook, Integrity Music, HearItFirst.com, and Gibson/Epiphone Guitars. By visiting HearItFirst.com, fans and readers will be able to win prizes, as well as download a free music video performance of Glenn Packiam (i.e., “Burning in Me”).
Glenn Packiam is an associate worship pastor at New Life Church and the director of New Life School of Worship in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was one of the founding worship leaders and songwriters for the Desperation Band. Glenn’s worship songs, like “Your Name,” “Everyone (Praises),” “My Savior Lives,” and “We Lift You Up,” are being sung in churches all over the world. Glenn is also the author of Butterfly in Brazil. He and his wife, Holly, and their two adorable daughters, Sophia and Norah, live in Colorado Springs.
Secondhand Jesus by Glenn Packiam
David C Cook/June 2009/ISBN 978-1-434766-39-7/224 pages/softcover/$14.99
http://www.davidccook.com/ ~ http://www.glennpackiam.com/
When the Good News Gets Even Better by Neb Hayden
How is it possible to make the Good News of the Gospel better? How can truth be enhanced? Can Jesus Christ be improved upon? In his new Bible study, author Neb Hayden emphatically answers, “Impossible! The Gospel gets even better only when it’s more clearly understood. The Good News gets even better only when we read the Gospels as they were communicated and in the way they were meant to be seen.”
That’s why in his new study, When the Good News Gets Even Better (David C Cook, June 2009), Hayden gives students of the New Testament the opportunity to walk through the Gospel narratives in Hebrew sandals. This unique Bible study allows readers to see these letters just as their original audience did and provides vital insights into the Jewish culture, customs, and perspectives, giving a fresh and thoroughly relevant context to the life of Christ.
“The Gospels are the foundation of our faith because our faith is built on a Person,” explains Hayden. “He was a Jew, living in a Jewish world, and communicating with Jewish people. This study offers readers the chance to walk the dusty roads with Him, to be there as a participant rather than simply as an observer.”
Using a three-month format, When the Good News Gets Even Better combines all four Gospels into one comprehensive and chronological narrative, allowing readers to focus on the overall themes and truths as they occurred. Among many other subjects, Hayden examines the births and childhoods of Jesus and John the Baptist, Jesus’ public ministry, the training of the twelve disciples, and Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension. Features also include days sectioned into key points of Jesus’ ministry, suggestions for when to skim or thoroughly read a selection, and interactive questions for individual study and group discussion.
“The Gospels are just the beginning of God’s continuing pursuit of intimacy with mankind,” says Hayden. “These biographies of Jesus are our stories too. Every move Jesus made and every word He spoke has direct implications for our lives in the twenty-first century. I pray that readers will be permanently transformed as they become first-hand witnesses to the Gospels’ miraculous events and times explored in this guide.”
Neb Hayden is director of International Student Development at The King’s College in New York City. A former quarterback for “Bear Bryant” at Alabama, Neb has been involved his adult life with the fellowship in Washington, D.C., which works behind the scenes to nurture and encourage the leadership in over 180 nations. The group also works behind the scenes of the National Prayer Breakfast. Neb speaks and teaches extensively at seminars, conferences, and retreats. He and his wife, Susan, live in New York City and are the parents of three grown sons and two daughters-in-law.
When the Good News Gets Even Better: Rediscovering the Gospels Through First-Century Jewish Eyes by Neb Hayden
David C Cook/June 2009/ISBN: 978-1-434767-00-4/240 pages/softcover/$16.99
Parents long to help their children reach their full potential. They schedule regular medical exams, get them involved in planned activities, help them with their homework, and invest for their college education. Yet while they may plan for their success, they can overlook a vital part of their personal development: Nurturing and encouraging a solid, lasting foundation of faith. Though we often assume that children are growing spiritually through church youth groups and programs, it’s essential that parents take an active, encouraging, and purposeful role in developing their values and morals.
Linda Massey Weddle, the U.S. program senior designer for Awana and established author of children’s books and curriculums, has created How to Raise a Modern-Day Joseph (David C Cook, June 2009) as a resource for parents who are longing to help their children find spiritual success. Based on Raising a Modern-Day Joseph, this unique guidebook encourages parents to develop a practical, personalized plan for instilling faith-based values and beliefs in their children that will last a lifetime.
How to Raise a Modern-Day Joseph is modeled after Joseph of the Old Testament, who maintained his faith in spite of challenging circumstances. It features insights for growing kids spiritually and plotting out critical milestones from the toddler years through adolescence, while also allowing for the uniqueness of each child.
An ideal target for how parents want their kids to develop spiritually and morally, Joseph of Genesis offers parents a Biblical standard for building children of character. Using his story, How to Raise a Modern-Day Joseph will help them do just that. They’ll discover how to instill five Master Life Threads for each stage of life, from preschool through high school. The practical guide helps children:
• Acquire wisdom from the Bible
• Understand God’s grace
• Gain a sense of destiny and purpose
• Develop a life-perspective based on God’s perfect plan
The result: Children and teenagers who know, love, and serve the Lord. How to Raise a Modern-Day Joseph is a sure investment in the spiritual development of our youngest generation.
Linda Massey Weddle is a gifted teacher, speaker, and prolific writer. A children’s author and regular contributor to publications including Women’s Day and Christian Parenting Today, she has published twelve books and more than 2,500 articles, stories, devotionals, and radio scripts. Linda also develops Bible-based curriculum for young people and has been involved in children’s and youth ministry for the past forty years. She has two grown children and six grandchildren and resides in suburban Chicago.
How to Raise a Modern-Day Joseph by Linda Massey Weddle
David C Cook/June 2009/ISBN: 978-1-434765-31-4/240 pages/softcover/$16.99
http://www.davidccook.com/ ~ http://www.awana.org/
Voracious Bible study readers, women purchase Bible studies more than do men by a ratio of five-to-one—and Gallup reports that 14 percent of Americans belong to a Bible-study group. This summer, David C Cook will release two new books in the Fresh Life series, their easy-to-use series of Bible studies for women and about women.
With strong endorsements from well-known Christian leaders like Kay Arthur and Ruth Graham Bell, two up-and-coming female authors, Lenya Heitzig and Penny Pierce Rose, have created the Fresh Life Bible study series published by David C Cook. Perfect for every age, appropriate for groups or individual study, and intended for today’s on-the-go woman, the Fresh Life series requires just 20 minutes a day for a meaningful contemplation of God’s Word. The next two books in the series are Live Relationally and Live Deeply (David C Cook, June 2009). (The first two books, Live Intimately and Live Fearlessly, were released in the summer of 2008.)
Live Relationally offers a fresh look at the important women of Genesis. Though women in the Bible are sometimes overlooked or downplayed, this fascinating Bible study curriculum reminds readers that women are central to God’s story—and His plan. Genesis alone is peopled with women who experience death, marriage, divorce, rape, and family tragedy. And if that sounds like something out of Desperate Housewives, it just goes to show that the Bible has a message for women—today.
With probing questions, insightful sidebars, and meaningful life-application exercises, Live Relationally offers the vivid lessons and rich wisdom of Israel’s founding mothers. From the complicated Tamar to the often oversimplified Eve, they are wives and mothers, slaves and owners, sinners and saints … and each woman’s story will touch hearts for God.
Live Deeply is for anyone who has ever read one of Jesus’ parables and asked, “What is He talking about?” Now women—alone or with a small group—can dig deeper into the meaning of these parables to uncover their important meaning for their walks with Christ. Designed with today’s busy woman in mind, each lesson can be completed in as little as 20 minutes per day, but will leave her with a lifetime of valuable insights.
Based on the inductive Bible study method, each lesson conjures vivid imagery of the sights and sounds of Ancient Israel alongside poignant application questions for today. The Fresh Life Bible study series offers something for Christian women of all shapes and sizes; everyone will leave with a more profound understanding of the important women of Genesis and Christ’s amazing parables.
Lenya Heitzig is an award-winning author and popular Bible teacher. After beginning her ministry as a single women’s counselor with Youth with a Mission, Lenya married Skip and together they started Calvary of Albuquerque, one of the fast growing churches in the country. The author of Holy Moments and co-author of the Gold Medallion-winning Pathways to God’s Treasures, Lenya currently serves as director of women at Calvary, overseeing weekly Bible studies and yearly retreats. Lenya and Skip live in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Penny Pierce Rose is the award-winning author/co-author of several books and Bible studies, including the ECPA Gold Medallion winner Pathways to God’s Treasures. She has served on the board of directors for the Southwest Women’s Festival and develops Bible study curriculum for the women’s programs at Calvary of Albuquerque. Penny, her husband, Kerry, and their three children, Erin, Kristian, and Ryan, live in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Live Relationally: Lessons from the Women of Genesis
and Live Deeply: A Study of the Parables of Jesus
by Lenya Heitzig and Penny Pierce Rose
David C Cook June 2009
ISBN: 978-1-434767-48-6/288 pages/softcover/$14.99
ISBN: 978-1-434799-86-9/304 pages/softcover/$14.99
Be Hopeful by Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe
A man who has given his life to a deep examination of the Word of God, Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe is an internationally known Bible teacher, former pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago, and the author of more than 150 books. For ten years he was associated with the Back to the Bible radio broadcast, first as Bible teacher and then as general director. Dubbed by many as the “pastor’s pastor,” Dr. Wiersbe skillfully weaves Scripture with historical explanations and thought-provoking questions, communicating the Word in such a way that the masses grasp its relevance for today.
Easily accessible for both pastors and lay people alike, Wiersbe’s profound study guides can be used in personal Bible study or with a group. David C Cook’s third installment of eight revised “BE” series volumes each feature updated content for today’s readers, a new introduction by Ken Baugh, and new study questions for each chapter. The 2009 expanded Bible commentaries will include the following studies:
Be Comforted (a study of Isaiah) reminds believers that their hope is in Christ, God’s plan of salvation for the whole world. (ISBN: 978-1-434766-15-1/192 pages/softcover/$12.99)
Acclaimed worldwide as a pastoral resource for international leaders, the “BE” series will soon include companion study guides—the Wiersbe Bible Study Series—with each study guide correlating with the appropriate “BE” book. David C Cook plans to release additional editions of the series over the next few years.
The “BE” Series by Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe
David C Cook/June 2009