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Do You Love Me? Exploring our Relationships

Most people struggle with relationships from time to time. It’s not easy developing and maintaining healthy, life-giving relationships with others, let alone a love relationship with God. This biblically rich, 4-week study, designed for individual or group use, effectively explores the dynamics of a healthy love relationship with God and how that relationship spills over into our everyday lives.

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Does God Really Love Me? A 50-Day Experience

Developed for use in the local church, DGRLM includes 8 sermon outlines, a 50-day devotional, 7 small groups videos with discussion guides and a graphics and promotion package. The devotional was written by and the small group videos feature author Larry Warner. The whole package is available through the Vineyard Digital Membership.

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Faithful Presence: Seven Disciplines That Shape the Church for Mission

This book is an invitation to see the church through new eyes. [From the flyleaf] “In our quest to renew the church, Christians have walked through many movements to develop new expressions of the body of Christ. Now in the post-Christian world in North America we’re asking the question again: Is there a way to be the church that engages the world, not by judgment or accommodation but by becoming the good news in our culture? In Faithful Presence, noted pastor and scholar David Fitch offers a new vision for the witness of the church in the world through a thoughtful reexamination of seven disciplines that the church has practiced since its inception.”

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Field Guides for the Way: spiritual practice kits delivered to your home

A quarterly subscription service, Field Guides for the Way is for creative contemplatives and ANYONE who wants to encounter God in a fresh way in everyday life. Built around the truth that a life of faith is a beautiful adventure, each kit is an invitation into a deeper, more intimate journey with Jesus. The Field Guides themselves are beautifully written. The tools that accompany the guide make opening each box a bit like Christmas morning. If you’re ready to take a “step toward God, toward your soul, toward wholeness and renewal,” this thoughtfully designed resource is a wonderful companion along the way.

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Godspeed: An Eight-Week Video & Study Guide

This is an excellent resource for pastors and church planters. Begin by watching the 35-minute video story of American pastor, Matt Canlis, who moves to a small town in Scotland to discover what it means to live the Jesus life in a church or ‘parish’. The video includes interviews with Eugene Peterson and N.T. Wright who mentored Matt and encouraged him to live at Godspeed. Then, move on to the 7 videos that companion the chapters in the study guide which is formatted for small group participation. Chapters in the book include: Place, Presence, Pace, Identity, Stability, Names, and Mission. You will be drawn into the small village of Methlick and fall in love with the people who have lived there all their lives, moving at God’s pace — 3 MPH — and learn the value of ’slowing down to catch up with God.’ This resource can also be used for small groups within the church who are desiring spiritual transformation.

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Guerrillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle by Ted Loder

Described as a modern-day book of psalms, this collection of prayers by Ted Loder is written in poetic form, and will provide words for the most honest, intimate places of your heart.  The book is divided into thematic chapters, like Comfort & Reassurance, Restoration & Renewal, and even Prayers for Seasons & Holidays.  When you want to pray – but don’t know where to begin – this will be your ‘go to’ book.  Each word of every prayer is written with deliberate intention, inviting you into a time of contemplation and relationship with the Holy Spirit.

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Hope for the Flowers

The subtitle of this interesting book by Trina Paulus reads, “A tale — partly about life, partly about revolution and lots about hope for adults and others (including caterpillars who can read).” Though it’s not overtly Christian in content, the book does a wonderful job of exploring the futility of following the crowd and the process of transformation in our lives — the sacrifices that must be made, how we have to die to ourselves and our old way of life to make room for something new. Children will love and adults won’t miss the nuances of the evolving story.

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Imaginative Prayer: A Yearlong Guide for Your Child’s Spiritual Formation

Jared Patrick Boyd has discovered that children’s spiritual formation is rooted in the imagination. When we lead our children through guided times of imaginative prayer, they can have real spiritual experiences with God. This unique resource provides a year’s worth of weekly guided imaginative prayer, themed around core topics.

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Interior Freedom

What is the key to interior freedom? According to Paul, it is that which enables us able to say, “Now I rejoice greatly in the Lord …I am not saying this out of need, for I have learned to be content regardless of my circumstances. I know how to live humbly, and I know how to abound. I am accustomed to any and every situation—to being filled and being hungry, to having plenty and having need.” (Phillipians 4: 10-12)

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Invitation to Retreat: The Gift and Necessity of Time Away with God

This entire book gives the reader encouragement and permission to enter into a regular time of retreat and rest. The author, Ruth Haley Barton, notes the sources of our exhaustion and then goes on to give examples of what retreat might look like, as every person is different, and the ways we rest and restore ourselves are different, too.

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Invitation to Solitude and Silence

Henri Nouwen said, “Without solitude, it is virtually impossible to live a spiritual life….We do not take the spiritual life seriously if we do not set aside some time to be with God and listen to him.”  Whether you feel drawn to this statement, or sense a kind of resistance, that is all the reason you need to try this book by Ruth Haley Barton. Solitude and silence can offer something to all of us, and this Christianity Today Book Award-winner, offers practical suggestions on how to get started.

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Journey with Grief: Navigating the First Year

Grief is a black hole. Whether you’ve lost a spouse, a child, a parent or your way in life, grief can swallow you whole. It changes you forever.  Larry Warner’s Journey with Grief: Navigating the First Year is a caring friend that will help you process your grief in the first twelve months.

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Living in Christ’s Presence: Final Words on Heaven and the Kingdom of God

Adapted from talks given by Dallas Willard and John Ortberg at the Knowing Christ Today conference in California, Living in Christ’s Presence is rich with spiritual insight and wisdom. The DVD or audiobook version features a lightly edited live recording of the conference that is so engaging you’ll listen to it over and over again. John Ortberg’s talk on The Importance of Spiritual Disciplines and the ensuing conversation with Dallas Willard on the topic is certainly worth your attention. And Dallas Willard’s closing remarks on blessing others and God is a thoughtful way to bring the discussion on life in the kingdom of God to a close.

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Mansions of the Heart

“Mansions of the Heart begins with the author’s personal story of frustration and confusion and the discovery that there is more to the Christian life than building a successful church. While strengthening his relationship with God, R. Thomas Ashbrook — an engineer-turned-pastor — went on a wondrous and often challenging adventure of discovery. By revealing his story of transformation, Dr. Ashbrook offers seekers a way to move forward on their own spiritual paths.”

A must-read primer for anyone drawn to the formissional life, Mansions of the Heart draws the reader ever deeper into a love relationship with Jesus while leaving behind the performance-based, success-driven culture of modern religious life. If you want to discover the path to a life with God — not under God or in the name of God or for God — read this book! The insets throughout tracing the spiritual maturation process in the lives of mythical Michael and Abigail make it even more practical.

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Most Important Work: Blog

C.S. Lewis said, “Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” MIW is a spiritual formation-based blog aimed at helping moms nurture an intimate love relationship with Jesus in their children through curiosity, creativity and consistency. The articles are practical, accessible and helpful for parents who desire to live at Godspeed and sow the Jesus life into their kids. Check it out for FREE at mostimportantwork.com

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My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes. A Journey Through Loss with Art and Color

This simple, little book by author and artist Roger Hutchison uses art and color to help folks of any age who have suffered loss process their pain. Giving words to those who have no words in a time of grief is a great gift, helping them remember and celebrate the life of a loved one is greater still. Thoughtfully written and beautifully illustrated, the book is dedicated first to God, the creator of all color.

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Praying in Color: Kid’s Edition

How do you teach a child to pray, to begin a lifetime of loving dialogue with the ever-present, accessible God? Praying in Color: Kid’s Edition is “prayer that makes sense to kids” and a wonderful guide for parents, grandparents and teachers who want to encourage a life of prayer in a child using the medium of artistic expression.

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Psalms for Young Children

The title page of this visually stunning book says, “The biblical Psalms describe a whole range of emotions, from joy and wonder to sadness and regret. This collection of Psalms, paraphrased for young readers, uses simple yet powerful imagery to help children express their feelings.” And it’s true. Psalms for Young Children does help kids express their feelings but that’s only part of the story. Working through its pages with a young reader, you will quickly discover its value as a prayer book, teaching them to pray, and a songbook, teaching them to worship.

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Reimagining the Ignatian Examen: Fresh Ways to Pray from Your Day

Many Christians report that the single most-important thing that they did that brought lasting spiritual transformation to their lives was adopting the rhythm of doing a daily examen. The examen is a simple exercise, taking as little as 10 minutes, but with a little honesty and commitment, can yield transformative results.

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Run.Jump.Fly! An Elementary School Curriculum

Take kids on a heroic journey more epic than any adventure, real or imagined. As heroes for God, they’ll learn to fight evil in surprising ways: by experiencing God’s love, surrendering to his will, listening to the Holy Spirit, partnering with other heroes, discovering when to stop and when to advance, following Jesus each day, sharing their God stories, and being transformed by his love!

What kid isn’t fascinated by superheroes? Edgy, colorful, and complex, they make big contributions to kids’ ministry. Their stories are retellings of God’s redemptive plan! With themes of transformation, identity, and life-changing mission, superhero stories illustrate truth—Jesus’ love and forgiveness restore kids’ true identities. They can be transformed by the Holy Spirit to join God’s mission!

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Shhh…God Is In the Silence: A Story for All Ages

This wonderful children’s book by Fiona Basile, with delightful illustrations by Alice Mount, invites the reader to listen carefully to the still small voice of God as he assures them of his constant love and reminds them of how precious they are to him. The repetition in the book builds on itself to effectively plant the message deep into the heart. Why? Children, of all ages, regularly need to be reminded that they are not alone, that God sees them, loves them and
they belong to him.

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Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You

As Dallas Willard wrote, “The most important thing about you is not the things you achieve; it is the person that you become.” [From the flyleaf] “In Soul Keeping, bestselling author John Ortberg sheds light on the most overlooked…and least-understood part of your being. With a workable and relevant approach, he shows how living the “with God” life isn’t just a good idea — it’s the only way to find lasting peace and satisfaction.”

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The Best News Ever

Wess Stafford wrote, “The Best News Ever is a great resource for anyone working with kids, or a parent wanting to share Jesus with their child in a fresh, simple way.” With a beautifully illustrated storyline rooted in God’s extravagant love, this book is designed to help kids discover the truth that they were created with a purpose and a plan, to dream big dreams, see impossible things, and change the world with the power and love of God that lives inside them. You won’t find a more helpful, not to mention colorful, way to invite a child into a lifelong love relationship with Jesus.

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The Boy and the Ocean

“Just how wide, how deep, and how big is the love of God really?” This is the question on the flyleaf of this beautiful children’s book by author Max Lucado. The answer? “God love is like the ocean…It’s always here. It’s always deep. It never ends. God’s love is special.” It’s a powerful message and a timeless truth that comes alive alongside illustrations by T. Lively Fluharty that could stand alone as a wordless book. The positive portrayal of parents who include God in the flow of everyday life is refreshing.

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The Deeper Journey: The Spirituality of Discovering Your True Self

Have you reached a place in your spiritual journey where everything seems kind of stale and meaningless? Does it feel like there’s nothing more for you in your relationship with Jesus? The Deeper Journey invites you to consider the possibility that ‘it’s not what you are seeking’ that is the issue, but rather ‘who you are in your relationship with Jesus’ that is causing the roadblock.

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The Gift of Being Yourself

In the words of the Trappist monk, Thomas Merton, “There is only one problem on which all my existence, my peace, and my happiness depend: to discover myself in discovering God. If I find Him I will find myself and if I find my true self I will find Him.”

Rather than choosing to discover ourselves or encounter God, this short, but insightful book by David Benner, guides us along a new path which permits us to uncover our identity in Christ and learn who God is at the same time.

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The Jesus Storybook Bible

If you’re one of the more than 2 million people who has purchased this beautifully written and illustrated Bible storybook for kids, you know why it’s so popular. Yes, the text is age appropriate, the illustrations are enthralling and the person of Jesus is front and center but it’s more than that. It’s a storybook for story-tellers underlining the unshakeable, nothing-can-separate-you from the always and forever love of God for his children.

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The Reservoir

The introduction of this thoughtfully developed 15-month devotional guide from Renovaré says, “As followers of Jesus, we want to pour out our lives for others. This is a good and beautiful thing. However, if we are not continually replenished by ‘living water,’ we will end up drained, dry, and exhausted.” We’ve all been there, struggling with our tendency to be a human doing instead of a human being, keeping company with Jesus Christ. Bernard of Clairvaux captured it well when he wrote, “If then you are wise, you will show yourself rather as a reservoir than as a canal. A canal spreads abroad water as it receives it, and a reservoir waits until it is filled before overflowing, and thus without loss to itself communicates its superabundant water. In the Church at the present day we have many canals and few reservoirs.”

The Reservoir, presenting 5 brief weekly readings, a suggested Scripture text for meditation and wonderfully probing questions will help you drink the living water Jesus promised so you can become a person who lives out of the overflow.

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Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing

From the author and illustrator of The Jesus Storybook Bible, this collection of 101 “simple yet profound thoughts on faith” delivers spiritual truth in a conversational tone for kids. The “thoughts” are brief, anchored in scripture and designed to reveal the character of God while inviting the reader to experience God’s love in everyday life. Perfect for family devotions, story time with kids or as part of a bedtime routine.

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Trusting God for Everything Psalm 23: A Personal Retreat Guide

From thoughtful author and teacher, Jan Johnson, this wonderful devotional guide to Psalm 23 can be used as the framework for a personal prayer retreat or in small groups. Built around seven meditations, the book explores the kind of life that’s available to anyone who will allow the Lord to be their Shepherd.

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When Daddy Prays

Beautifully illustrated by Tim Ladwig with so many wonderful images, this moving little book for young readers, written by Nikki Grimes from the perspective of a small child, reveals the lasting power of lessons learned at the feet of a godly, praying father and the ever-presence of his Father in heaven. 

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When the Soul Listens: Finding Rest and Direction in Contemplative Prayer

Writing about this book by Jan Johnson, author Brennan Manning called it “a well-written and finely constructed introduction to the prayer of simple regard.” Author James Bryan Smith wrote, “The best recommendation anyone can give to any how-to book is this: It makes you long to do it yourself. That was certainly the case for me when I finished When the Soul Listens. It made me yearn for a deeper, wider and more consistent practice of contemplative prayer in my own life.” I (Mark Warner) couldn’t agree more. I listened to this wonderfully practical book while traveling on sabbatical and was moved by how accessible it is. The practice of Contemplative or Abiding Prayer is a central practice of Christian Spiritual Formation and Jan Johnson does a wonderful job of inviting the reader into a different kind of life with God.

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