Looking for a new religious title to read? Here are some books that hit the shelves at our Eastern Branch in January, February, and March. If any of these titles interest you, you can use the links below to place a hold in our catalog, or you can always give us a call to put one on hold for you. The following descriptions were provided by the publisher.
Centered: Trading Your Plans for a Life that Matters by Jason Brown
This riveting story of a top-earning NFL center and his family who walked away from it all to follow God’s call to alleviate hunger as farmers–a life they knew absolutely nothing about–illustrates the sacrifice and ultimate reward of obedience to our heavenly Father even when it doesn’t make earthly sense.
NFL lineman Jason Brown had everything he could ever want. He was the highest-paid center in the game, lived a life of luxury, and was cheered on by millions of people every week. Then, in 2012, Jason heard a call from God that changed everything. Jason turned his back on an incredibly successful career in football to pursue a new dream: ending hunger. But through third-party mismanagement and bad luck, Jason lost most of his savings from the NFL–the same money he’d planned to use to start his new career. He desperately needed the miracle that soon came.
Today, Jason and his family run First Fruits Farms in Louisburg, North Carolina, a state where one in four children don’t know where their next meal will come from. Since 2014, the Browns have donated more than 1.6 million servings of fresh produce to their community. Their motto: Never stop giving. Never stop loving. Never stop growing.
With powerful and deeply personal insight, Centered is an inspiration to embrace the joy of following where God leads–no matter how crazy it sounds.
Crazy Happy: Nine Surprising Ways to Live the Truly Beautiful Life by Daniel Fusco
Is it crazy to want a happy life? The host of Jesus Is Real Radio and Hillsong Channel’s Real with Daniel Fusco unlocks the happiness we long for in the most famous teachings of Jesus and the apostle Paul.
Dissatisfied with your life? Yeah, most of us have been there. There’s no shame in wanting to be happy, but real satisfaction often eludes us. At best, what fleeting happiness we find tends to dribble away in never-ending debts, stressful deadlines, and mindless scrolling. At worst, it’s chased away by anxiety, depression, or fallout from our selfishness.
Here’s the truth: whether we hunt for happiness in parties, bars, the workplace hustle, or even in church pews, we’ll wind up shortchanged. Why? Because we don’t see our lives as beautiful.
But God wants something better for you—happiness so real this world might think it’s too good to be true.
In Crazy Happy, Daniel Fusco unpacks fresh connections in two of the Bible’s most familiar passages—secrets of happiness that can really, truly, honest-to-goodness change things. If you stick around for the ride, you’ll find the kind of God-given beauty that can change your life for good—even in our sometimes-crazy world.
Faith After Doubt: Why Your Beliefs Stopped Working and What to Do About It by Brian D. McLaren
From the author of A New Kind of Christianity comes a bold proposal: only doubt can save the world and your faith.
Sixty-five million adults in the U.S. have dropped out of active church attendance and about 2.7 million more are leaving every year. Faith After Doubt is for the millions of people around the world who feel that their faith is falling apart.
Using his own story and the stories of a diverse group of struggling believers, Brian D. McLaren, a former pastor and now an author, speaker, and activist shows how old assumptions are being challenged in nearly every area of human life, not just theology and spirituality. He proposes a four-stage model of faith development in which questions and doubt are not the enemy of faith, but rather a portal to a more mature and fruitful kind of faith. The four stages—Simplicity, Complexity, Perplexity, and Harmony—offer a path forward that can help sincere and thoughtful people leave behind unnecessary baggage and intensify their commitment to what matters most.
Folkloric American Witchcraft and the Multicultural Experience: A Crucible at the Crossroads by Via Hedera
Witchcraft and magic in America is an inherently multicultural experience and the folklore of our ancestors from every country converges here at a crossroads. It’s a complicated history; one of uncertainty and fear, displacement and enslavement, merging and migration. Our ancestors may not have agreed on how they saw the world or the magic that inhabits the world, but they shared a very real fear of Witches. Hags, Devils, charms and spells; witchery is rooted in our deepest superstitions and folklore. The traditions of people and their cultures stretch and intersect across the country and this is where the unique traditions of American witchcraft and magic are born.
As practitioners seek to revive and reconstruct the paths of our ancestors, we’ve begun to trace the interconnected roots of witchcraft folklore as it emerged in the Americas, from the blending of people and their faiths. For multiracial practitioners, this is part of our identity as Americans and as witches of this country. Folkloric American Witchcraft and the Multicultural Experience is an exploration of the folklore, magic and witchcraft that was forged in the New World.
The Gravity of Joy: A Story of Being Lost and Found by Angela Williams Gorrell
“My vocation was supposed to be joy, and I was speaking at funerals.”
Shortly after being hired by Yale University to study joy, Angela Gorrell got word that a close family member had died by suicide. Less than a month later, she lost her father to a fatal opioid addiction and her nephew, only twenty-two years old, to sudden cardiac arrest. The theoretical joy she was researching at Yale suddenly felt shallow and distant—completely unattainable in the fog of grief she now found herself in.
But joy was closer at hand than it seemed. As she began volunteering at a women’s maximum-security prison, she met people who suffered extensively yet still showed a tremendous capacity for joy. Talking with these women, many of whom had struggled with addiction and suicidal thoughts themselves, she realized: “Joy doesn’t obliterate grief. . . . Instead, joy has a mysterious capacity to be felt alongside sorrow and even—sometimes most especially—in the midst of suffering.”
This is the story of Angela’s discovery of an authentic, grounded Christian joy. But even more, it is an invitation for others to seize upon this more resilient joy as a counteragent to the twenty-first-century epidemics of despair, addiction, and suicide—a call to action for communities that yearn to find joy and are willing to “walk together through the shadows” to find it.
The In-Between Place: Where Jesus Changes Your Story by Kat Armstrong
Jesus’ journey to the woman at the well in Samaria offers insights and hope for women today to make peace with the past, find hope in the present, and step into the future.
God wants us to move toward the goodness He has planned for us. But what do we do when challenges stop our forward momentum? What’s the next step when we fall into a pit of despair with the determination knocked right out of us?
On his way from Judea to Galilee, Jesus traveled through Samaria, a broken place everyone knew to avoid. In Samaria he stopped in Shechem, where evil had gained such a foothold of power that it eventually reigned. Yet the place once condemned as somewhere no one wanted to visit—let alone hang out in for a while—was the location of one Samaritan woman’s most hope-filled encounter with the Savior.
The In-Between Place offers deeply important insights to anyone who feels stuck and can’t see a way forward. It is for the person who feels that if she looks left, her face will be scraped by an immovable boulder, and if she looks right, she’ll see nothing but hard to handle. It’s for the person who feels lost and is not sure she is worth the effort to be found, for the person who feels overlooked and unfulfilled. Because sometimes Jesus saves our greatest spiritual breakthroughs for our in-between places.
Win the Day: 7 Daily Habits to Help You Stress Less & Accomplish More by Mark Batterson
The New York Times bestselling author of Chase the Lion reveals seven powerful habits that can help you tackle God-sized goals by turning yesterday’s regrets and tomorrow’s anxieties into fuel for a better today.
Too many people delay, downsize, or shrug off their dreams just because they don’t know where to start, but playing it safe doesn’t account for the massive cost of a life not fully lived. Win the Day is the jump-start you need to go after your goals, one day at a time. You’ll discover how to:
1. Flip the Script: If you want to change your life, start by changing your story.
2. Kiss the Wave: The obstacle is not the enemy; the obstacle is the way.
3. Eat the Frog: If you want God to do the super, you’ve got to do the natural.
4. Fly the Kite: How you do anything is how you’ll do everything.
5. Cut the Rope: Playing it safe is risky.
6. Wind the Clock: Time is measured in minutes; life is measured in moments.
7. Seed the Clouds: Sow today what you want to see tomorrow.
As Batterson unpacks each of these daily habits, you’ll see how simple it is to pursue them with focus and dedication—not someday down the road, but now. Transform your perspective of a single day and you’ll discover the potential waiting to be grasped at the beginning of each new sunrise.