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Tell Me the Dream Again

By Tasha Jun

A beautifully written memoir-in-essays by a biracial Korean American shows readers how God can redeem the broken parts of all our stories.

As the mother of a Korean daughter, I gleaned valuable truths about my daughter’s homeland, culture and what it is like to try to belong in a white world. Because, as Jun points out, there is a big difference between fitting in and belonging. To fit in or assimilate, you must hide pieces of yourself in order to be acceptable. But belonging means you are fully accepted for all your unique colors and cultures, enfolded just the way God intended for you to be when he made you.

Jun shows how Jesus faithfully enters our messiest family dynamics; he always shows up to redeem, restore and heal. Grief might swim through oceans, cross borders, and even stretch across centuries, but it doesn’t have the last word. (Tyndale)

Transforming Love: How Friendship With Jesus Changes Us

By Amy Boucher Pye

What can we learn from three stories about Jesus’ friendship with three siblings?

Amy Boucher Pye focuses on the friendships of Jesus with Mary, Martha and Lazarus, and the three stories in the Bible that reveal the depth of their connection to one another. As we examine those friendships – unshakeable even in death, intimate, and deeply secure – we also learn to sit at his feet as Mary did, proclaim our faith as Martha did, and find resurrection like Lazarus.

By going deep into these three well-known Bible stories, Boucher Pye gleans many fresh insights and new applications that can comfort, encourage, and embolden readers, who will never again view Mary, Martha and Lazarus in the same way. (Our Daily Bread)

All My Knotted Up Life: A Memoir

By Beth Moore

In this searing, moving memoir, Bible teacher Beth Moore details her life from her childhood in the South to her parting of the ways with her lifelong denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention. Normally a memoir would not make my list of top Christian living reads, but this is one extraordinary memoir. It made me laugh out loud and cry pretty loudly as well.

That Beth Moore, once the veritable poster child for the Southern Baptist Convention, is now described as being an “American Anglican” on her Wikipedia page hints at the surprising arc of her story.

As she unearths the broken pieces of her narrative, bringing them to the light, Moore models how to lament and grieve well while pressing into God’s healing. Don’t miss this poignant, hilarious, wise and gorgeously written book. (Tyndale)

Nourishing Narratives: The Power of Story to Shape Our Faith

By Jennifer L. Holberg

What could have been an academic treatise reflecting on the importance of stories is elevated here by Holberg’s own life stories as well as those told in great literature, poetry and, of course, the Bible. Scripture flows through this book as Holberg connects the stories that shape our lives with the greatest story ever told.

As readers close the book, they will begin to spot stories everywhere and be equipped to discern which ones are beneficial and nurturing and which ones are unhealthy. They will embrace the underlying idea of Holberg’s book, that a nourishing narrative is one that tells “all the desolation of the broken world but also the deep assurance of the God who redeems it all.” (IVP Academic)

The Evangelical Imagination: How Stories, Images, and Metaphors Created a Culture in Crisis

By Karen Swallow Prior

As the daughter of a Christian bookstore owner, I sometimes joke that I grew up in an “Evangelical Ziploc bag,” listening to Amy Grant, reading novels with pioneer wagons on the covers, and – for a brief time as a preteen – collecting Precious Moments figurines.

In her potent new book, former English professor and conservative thinker and writer Karen Swallow Prior helps readers like me and others dump the Ziploc bags inside our souls and examine the contents with new eyes. Always a sharp analyst with a winsome way of relating her conclusions, Swallow Prior organizes the book around ten themes, a decathlon of powerful ideas stubbornly entangled in our current day. She explores the concepts of awakening, conversion, testimony, improvement, sentimentality, materiality, domesticity, empire, reformation, and rapture, the emphasis of which all date back to the beginnings of evangelicalism and still grip us now.

Swallow Prior offers a keen critique of the ideas that have shaped my faith background, but she also imagines a new path going forward, a path paved by Scripture and faith, not cultural influences. (Brazos Press)

Strong like Water: Finding the Freedom, Safety, and Compassion to Move Through Hard Things—and Experience True Flourishing

By Aundi Kolber

When I read Aundi Kolber’s first book, Try Softer, I learned to tend to myself and my wounds with a new compassion, to “try softer” instead of “try harder.”

Trying softer is a fluid concept, one that flows beautifully into the notion at the heart of Kolber’s new book, Strong Like Water.

Here, the author and trauma therapist proposes a different kind of strength, a flexible, expansive and adaptive strength that takes on different forms – softness, boldness, gentleness and fierceness – as different situations call for it, like water can. “Just as water can change from a gas, to a solid, to a rushing river or a gently flowing stream,” Kolber writes, “so too has God imbued our bodies with this ability, this strength.”

In a world that pushes us to “get over it” – whatever it is – to bear burdens alone, to climb every mountain even on broken feet, this book gently offers a counter message. We can become emotionally flexible, expansively resilient and strong like water. (Tyndale)


By Lisa Sharon Harper

When I learned that Fortune was not just a book title but the first name of the author’s 7th great grandmother, I was intrigued. That fascination continued through Lisa Sharon Harper’s entire book, both a richly detailed and passionate memoir and a careful uncovering of what “race broke in the world” and how we can “repair the breach.”

Those interested in genealogy and DNA research will be enthralled with Harper’s meticulous research, the work of decades. She traces her family’s saga from Fortune Game Magee’s birth in 1687 in Maryland, only 23 years after the colony's first race law, to her parents and her own generation. It is an epic sweep through tons of history and it is sometimes very hard to read. Yet those who challenge themselves with this book will be inspired by Harper’s vision for enacting God’s justice and mercy in the present day. The brokenness that race has wrought is real, but so is the spiritual healing. Willie James Jenning, in his review of the book, lauded Harper for her intimate writing style, reminiscent of Maya Angelou. In my mind, there could be no greater compliment to a writer. (Brazos Press)

Experiencing Friendship with God: How the Wilderness Draws Us to His Presence

By Faith Eury Cho

Jesus was alone in the Garden of Gethsemane, his closest friends having abandoned him in his greatest hour of need. But because he lives inside of his children and we carry his presence with us wherever we go, we are never, ever alone.

That’s the driving narrative of this small but powerful book: that even in the wilderness, where we experience more pain than progress, God is with us, and his presence itself is the reward. Faith Eury Cho, a pastor and speaker, takes us to the wilderness with the Isrealites in all their brittle, faithless humanity. The journey to the promised land was, she writes, “an eleven-day trip that took forty years.” And it was hot, and dry, and endless. But it was there the Israelites experienced God’s presence like never before, and it is in our own personal barren spaces and seasons that we meet God who is “constantly speaking, helping, comforting, defending and providing.”

I loved hearing some of Faith’s own journey and what she has learned about friendship with God. This is her debut book, and I can’t wait to listen and learn more from this writer and her riches of insight and wisdom. (WaterBrook)

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