This Too Shall Last: Finding Grace When Suffering Lingers by K.J. Ramsey
This Too Shall Last, by therapist and writer K.J. Ramsey, combines personal stories and insightful research to reveal the surprising joy available in suffering.
This book is not a before-and-after story.
Our culture treats suffering like a problem to fix, a blight to hide, or the sad start of a transformation story. We silently, secretly wither under the pressure of living as though suffering is a predicament we can avoid or annihilate by working hard enough or having enough faith. When your prayers for healing haven't been answered, the fog of depression isn't lifting, your marriage is ending in divorce, or grief won't go away, it's easy to feel you've failed God and, worse, he's failed you. If God loves us, why does he allow us to hurt?
Over a decade ago chronic illness plunged therapist and writer K.J. Ramsey straight into this paradox. Before her illness, faith made sense. But when pain came and never left, K.J. had to find a way across the widening canyon that seemed to separate God's goodness from her excruciating circumstances.
She wanted to conquer suffering. Instead, she encountered the God who chose it. She wanted to make pain past-tense. Instead, God invited her into a bigger story.
This Too Shall Last offers an antidote to our cultural idolatry of effort and ease. Through personal story and insights from neuroscience and theology, Ramsey invites us to let our tears become lenses of the wonder that before God ever rescues us, he stands in solidarity with us. We are all mid-story in circumstances we did not choose, wondering when our hard things will end and where grace will come if they don’t. We don't need to make suffering a before-and-after story. Together we can encounter the grace that enters the middle of our stories, where living with suffering that lingers means receiving God's presence that lasts.
Read a SAMPLE.
Paperback: 224 pages
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 7.0 ounces
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
K.J. Ramsey (MA, Denver Seminary) is a therapist, writer, and recovering idealist who believes sorrow and joy are necessary friends. Her writings have appeared in Christianity Today, RELEVANT, The Huffington Post, Health Central, Fathom Magazine, The Mighty, and Introvert, Dear. She and her husband live in Denver, Colorado. Follow K.J.'s writing at kjramsey.com and across social media at @kjramseywrites.
"Christians dealing with pain will appreciate Ramsey's comforting, candid memoir."
— Publishers Weekly
"Highly recommended for readers grappling with whether God allows pain to happen in our lives."
— Library Journal
Handle with Care: How Jesus Redeems the Power of Touch in Life and Ministry by Lore Ferguson Wilbert
Handle with Care reclaims the God-given ministry of pure and healthy touch. Whether it’s fearful side hugs on one side or sexual abuse on the other, both the culture and the church aren’t doing very well with touch. Singles are staying single longer, dating is wrought with angst over purity, and marriages struggle to not interpret all forms of touch as sexual. Even the Bible seems to have endless rules about not touching things. There is simply no place where touch doesn’t seem threatened or threatening.
But a curious thing happens when Jesus comes into His ministry: He touches. Jesus touches the sick and the outcast, the bleeding and the unclean.
What could it mean for families, singles, marriages, churches, communities, and the world to have healthy, pure, faithful, ministering touch? Somewhere in the mess of our assumptions and fears about touch, there is something beautiful and good and God-given. As Jesus can show us, there is ministry in touching.
Read a SAMPLE.
Hardcover: 264 pages
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.7 inches
Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lore Ferguson Wilbert has lived all over the United States but will always be most at home in the Northeast. She holds a degree in English from Lee University. She has been published by Christianity Today, Fathom Magazine, LifeWay Leaders, LifeWay Voices, The Gospel Coalition, Revive Our Hearts, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and more, on spiritual formation, faith, culture, and theology in life. She also teaches writing and edits on the side. She and her husband live with their Wheaten, their books, their gardens, and a stocked tea box at all times. You can read more of her work at sayable.net, on Twitter @lorewilbert or Instagram @lorewilbert.
"A fresh, singular voice that is as muscular and grounded as it is exquisite. A rare, authentic wonder in a world of words. What Lore writes, I need to read."
— Ann Voskamp
"Here is a brave, redemptive, fierce, God-honoring book... A helpful book on a crucial subject for an isolated generation."
— Russ Ramsey
"This is Lore at her finest—asking taboo questions without flinching, yet somehow also answering with grace, clarity, depth, and honesty. She sees us at our most vulnerable—needy for contact—and refuses to shame us for our need."
— Steve Bezner
"As biblical and practical, as warm and wise as I’ve come to expect all her words to be... the church will love better by reading this timely book."
— Jen Pollock Michel
Broken by Ryan Casey Waller
Before Jesus broke the bread, he blessed it. In the age of social media, where our lives are curated to show only our best and most beautiful selves, it is easy to believe we are the only ones who are broken. But we are not alone. We are all broken and in need of God's blessing. No one has it all together; no person is perfect.
In essays both humorous and achingly vulnerable, author Ryan Casey Waller urges us to join him in pouring out our brokenness, not just to God but to each other. Waller takes us through the trials of following Jesus during seasons of doubt and disbelief, anger, shame, and even hate, but always brings us back to the amazing news that Jesus blessed the bread before he broke it. Through Jesus, our brokenness is blessed, our wounds healed, and our hearts made whole.
Paperback: 256 pages
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
Order 5 or more and the discount below will automatically be applied in your cart!
- 5 or more = 10% off
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Casey Waller is a preacher and teacher, a father, and a (recovering) lawyer. Waller is passionate about expressing the Christian faith in accessible ways, both recalling the richness of tradition and history and celebrating authenticity and connection in a post-modern age. He lives in Dallas with his wife and their two children.
"Father Ryan Waller’s writing touched my heart from the beginning. I cocked my head to listen as I read this astonishingly honest book about being broken. At no time did I feel preached to; rather I felt I was getting an intimate look into the life of a man relating honestly to the rest of us. I laughed out loud at his self-deprecating revelations that were embarrassing and relatable. I wept at the stories told with his achingly heartfelt tenderness. All through the book I thought of all the ways Broken spoke to me - from the body broken, to the Bread - broken for me. It especially touched a very deep place within me where lie the broken relationships in my own life. This book will speak to the seekers and those hurt or alienated by the church. Fr. Ryan is a gentle man whose faith is real and his words are full of healing. This book is a gift of grace and mercy."
— MZC, Amazon Reviewer
"In his book, Broken, Waller has engaged me like no other Christian book ever has. His work reads like a conversation with a trusted mentor: there is vulnerability, questions asked, hard truth, and sage advice. We all go through seasons of darkness and Waller, with great empathy, reminds us that to be Christian is to admit and even embrace our brokenness and turn to a Lord that loves us anyways. I read this slowly and I suggest you do too. Each chapter is a different message and though it’s easy to read, it is far from easy to process… this is the type of book that affirms and challenges your faith in the best way possible. It is the type of book that you read through, highlight, dog ear, re-read, lend to friends (….or maybe just buy them a copy because you’re going to want this on your bookshelf always). But seriously, this book probably has what you need to hear right now, I know it was what I needed to hear... I am broken and I’m willing to bet that you are too. Waller – I hope you never stop teaching, preaching, and writing."
— Shannon Tabor, Amazon Reviewer
"The author has woven a colorful tapestry of Scripture, reflection, perspective, personal experience, humor, encouragement and comfort in facing life's challenges and the human condition. Bible stories and parables I've heard my entire life took on new meaning and relevance. Reading this book felt like snuggling under a warm comforter of love. Ryan Casey Waller is a gifted writer and his enthusiasm for the Bible is palpable."
— Janice L. Vickers, Amazon Reviewer
"Thoughtful, brave, funny, and genuine. I laughed loudly. I ached quietly. I mulled. As I read this book, I couldn't stop wishing this book was around when I was a teenager. Knee-deep in discovering independent thought, I was deeply suspicious of anything that sounded trite--and so much of what I heard about faith sounded trite and too perfect. The honesty in Broken would have rung so true and made me feel understood."
— Stacey, Amazon Reviewer
"Broken has been such a refreshing read for me. For one, it is honest, which is always good coming from a priest. He's honest about our personal brokenness, and our collective brokenness. As a parishioner, you want to feel that your priest understands and gets it that life is just sometimes hard. Father Ryan gets it. He also offers so much hope. Real hope to real problems. He doesn't shy away from the hard topics: homelessness, poverty, racism, family strife, mass shootings (at the time it was the Orlando nightclub). He goes to all the hard, dark places and shines light. Despite the topic, I found myself laughing out loud many times. Father Ryan is a really entertaining writer and story teller. I even caught my sixth grade son reading it (who gave it a thumb's up as well). I highly recommend this book!"
— Amazon Reviewer
30 Children's Sermons Series by Phyllis Vos Wezeman, Anna Liechty, and Kenneth Wezeman
Each children's sermon in the 30 Children's Sermons Series follows a consistent format based on five basic components: passage, purpose, preparation, presentation, and prayer. For use by clergy and lay leaders in preaching to children from kindergarten to fifth grade. The sermons are also adaptable for younger children as well as middle school-aged children.
All books include cross-references to valuable teaching tools — hymn stories, Scripture, and theological themes — that make for a user-friendly resource that will appeal to a multi-age audience.
Taste the Bread contains 30 sermons focusing on biblical stories and theological themes regarding Holy Communion.
Touch the Water contains 30 sermons on Holy Baptism on topics which include Cherished by God: Abraham’s Covenant, Covered by Grace: Water’s Message, Empowered for Ministry: Jesus’ Baptism, and Gifted for Life: Baptism’s Remembrance.
Wipe the Tears confronts the difficult yet important subject of death. The authors skillfully and compassionately use the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures to approach to subject of death in each sermon: demonstrating God's desire to save humankind; showing how the psalms challenge and comfort us; and sharing the victory over death through Christ's resurrection.
Tell Me a Story links ordinary Sundays and special days of the church year to best-loved children's books, such as I'll Always Love You; The Selfish Giant; Miss Fannie's Hat; and The Very Hungry Caterpillar, to name a few.
Paperback: 96 pages
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 4.2-6.1 ounces
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Phyllis Vos Wezeman is president of Active Learning Associates, Inc. and Director of Christian Nurture at First Presbyterian Church in South Bend, Indiana. She lives in Mishawaka, Indiana.
Anna Liechty is vice president of Active Learning Associates, Inc. She has worked as a religious education volunteer and has written a wide variety of religious education materials. Liechty lives in Plymouth, Indiana.
Kenneth Wezeman is the business manager/editor of Active Learning Associates, Inc. He holds an M.Div. from Calvin Theological Seminary and lives in Mishawaka, Indiana.