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The Insanity of God is the personal and lifelong journey of an ordinary couple from rural Kentucky who thought they were going on just your ordinary missionary pilgrimage, but discovered it would be anything but. After spending over six hard years doing relief work in Somalia, and experiencing life where it looked like God had turned away completely and He was clueless about the tragedies of life, the couple had a crisis of faith and left Africa asking God, "Does the gospel work anywhere when it is really a hard place?  It sure didn't work in Somalia.

Nik recalls that, “God had always been so real to me, to Ruth, and to our boys. But was He enough, for the utter weariness of soul I experienced at that time, in that place, under those circumstances?” It is a question that many have asked and one that, if answered, can lead us to a whole new world of faith.

How does faith survive, let alone flourish in a place like the Middle East? How can Good truly overcome such evil? How do you maintain hope when all is darkness around you? How can we say “greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world” when it may not be visibly true in that place at that time? How does anyone live an abundant, victorious Christian life in our world’s toughest places? Can Christianity even work outside of Western, dressed-up, ordered nations? If so, how?

The Insanity of God tells a story—a remarkable and unique story to be sure, yet at heart a very human story—of the Ripkens’ own spiritual and emotional odyssey. The gripping, narrative account of a personal pilgrimage into some of the toughest places on earth, combined with sobering and insightful stories of the remarkable people of faith Nik and Ruth encountered on their journeys, will serve as a powerful course of revelation, growth, and challenge for anyone who wants to know whether God truly is enough.
Read the critically acclaimed #1 New York Times best-seller with more than one million copies in print. Same Kind of Different as Me was a major motion picture release by Paramount in fall 2017.

Gritty with pain and betrayal and brutality, this true story also shines with an unexpected, life-changing love.

Meet Denver, raised under plantation-style slavery in Louisiana until he escaped the “Man” – in the 1960’s – by hopping a train. Non-trusting, uneducated, and violent, he spent another 18 years on the streets of Dallas and Fort Worth.

Meet Ron Hall, a self-made millionaire in the world of high priced art deals -- concerned with fast cars, beautiful women, and fancy clothes.

And the woman who changed their lives -- Miss Debbie: “The skinniest, nosiest, pushiest, woman I ever met, black or white.” She helped the homeless and gave of herself to all of “God’s People,” and had a way of knowing how to listen and helping others talk and be found – until cancer strikes.

Same Kind of Different as Me is a tale told in two unique voices – Ron Hall & Denver Moore – weaving two completely different life experiences into one common journey where both men learn “whether we is rich or poor or something in between this earth ain’t no final restin’ place. So in a way, we is all homeless-just workin’ our way toward home.”

The story takes a devastating twist when Deborah discovers she has cancer. Will Deborah live or die? Will Denver learn to trust a white man? Will Ron embrace his dying wife's vision to rescue Denver? Or will Denver be the one rescuing Ron? There's pain and laughter, doubt and tears, and in the end a triumphal story that readers will never forget.

Continue this story of friendship in What Difference Do It Make?: Stories of Hope and Healing, available now. Same Kind of Different as Me also is available in Spanish.

Wise Sheep Among the Wolves

All Christian disciples have one thing in common: as they carry the gospel across the ocean and across the street, persecution will become the norm for those who choose to follow Jesus. How believers respond in the face of persecution reveals everything about their level of faith and obedience.

The Insanity of Obedience is a bold challenge to global discipleship. Nik Ripken exposes the danger of safe Christianity and calls readers to something greater. The Insanity of Obedience challenges Christians in the same, provocative way that Jesus did. This book dares you—and prepares you—to cross the street and the oceans with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Some of Jesus’ instructions sound uncomfortable and are potentially dangerous. We may be initially encouraged by His declaration, “I am sending you out.” But how are we to respond when He then tells us that He is sending us out “like sheep among wolves"?

In light of the words of Jesus, how can modern day believers rest comfortably in the status quo? How can we embrace casual faith in light of the radical commands of Jesus which are anything but casual? Ripken brings decades of ministry experience in some of the most persecuted areas of the world to bear on our understanding of faith in Jesus. The Insanity of Obedience is a call to roll up your sleeves . . . and to follow and partner with Jesus in the toughest places on this planet.

"We have the high privilege of answering Jesus’ call to go," Ripken says. "But let us be clear about this: we go on His terms, not ours. If we go at all, we go as sheep among wolves."
 
Jesus gives us Himself.  And He gives us the tools necessary for those who dare to journey with Him.
"It can be fashionable to talk about the poor but not as fashionable to talk to the poor. It may be popular to talk about justice and still not know any victims of injustice. But we will never make poverty history until we make poverty personal. Eugene Cho shatters all our hipster coffee-shop talk of justice and dares you to dive into the trenches and do something real with your life."
Shane Claiborne, author, activist, and friend of Eugene Cho

"A gutsy and gritty exposé on the motives of a generation in love with the idea of saving the world, Overrated by Eugene Cho is a necessary exercise for all who desire to truly be a part of the change God wants to bring to humanity. This book is real, personal, necessary, and a must-read, so we can all continue on the path toward justice for all."
Louie Giglio, Passion City Church/Passion Conferences

"When you're done talking about the gospel and are ready for your walking to be the gospel: Start here. I needed this book."
Ann Voskamp, author of the New York Times bestseller One Thousand Gifts Many people today talk about justice, but are they living justly? They want to change the world, but are they being changed themselves?

Eugene Cho has a confession: "I like to talk about changing the world but I don't really like to do what it takes." If this is true of the man who founded the One Day's Wages global antipoverty movement, then what must it take to act on one's ideals? Cho does not doubt the sincerity of those who want to change the world. But he fears that today's wealth of resources and opportunities could be creating "the most overrated generation in history. We have access to so much but end up doing so little." He came to see that he, too, was overrated.

As Christians, Cho writes, "our calling is not simply to change the world but to be changed ourselves." In Overrated, Cho shows that it is possible to move from talk to action.
Twenty-first-century society is diverse, and Christians must be able to understand other cultures and communicate effectively between and among them. Following up on the bestselling Hurt: Inside the World of Today's Teenagers, this new addition to the Youth, Family, and Culture series explores the much-needed skill of Cultural Intelligence (CQ), the ability to work effectively across national, ethnic, and even organizational cultures. While rooted in sound, scholarly research, Cultural Intelligence is highly practical and accessible to general readers. It will benefit students as well as guide ministry leaders interested in increasing their cultural awareness and sensitivity. Packed with assessment tools, simulations, case studies, and exercises, Cultural Intelligence will help transform individuals and organizations into effective intercultural communicators of the gospel.

EXCERPT
What do you do when you encounter someone who isn't like you? How do you feel? What goes on inside you? How do you relate to him or her? These are the kinds of questions we want to explore in this book. Few things are more basic to life than expressing love and respect for people who look, think, believe, act, and see differently than we do. We want to adapt to the barrage of cultures around us while still remaining true to ourselves. We want to let the world change us so that we can be part of changing the world. And we want to move from the desire to love across the chasm of cultural difference to the ability to express our love for people of difference. Relating lovingly to our fellow human beings is central to what it means to be human. And when it comes down to it, Christian ministry at its core is interacting with all kinds of people in ways that give them glimpses of Jesus in us.

The billions of us sharing planet Earth together have so much in common. We're all born. We all die. We're all created in the image of God. We eat, sleep, persevere, and care for our young. We long for meaning and purpose, and we develop societies with those around us. But the way we go about the many things we have in common is deeply rooted in our unique personalities and cultures. So although we have so much in common, we have as much or more about us that's different.
The winners of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting tell the astonishing story of Mary Clarke. At the age of fifty, Clarke left her comfortable life in suburban Los Angeles to follow a spiritual calling to care for the prisoners in one of Mexico's most notorious jails. She actually moved into a cell to live among drug king pins and petty thieves. She has led many of them through profound spiritual transformations in which they turned away from their lives of crime, and has deeply touched the lives of all who have witnessed the depth of her compassion. Donning a nun's habit, she became Mother Antonia, renowned as "the prison angel," and has now organized a new community of sisters-the Servants of the Eleventh Hour—widows and divorced women seeking new meaning in their lives. "We had never heard a story like hers," Jordan and Sullivan write, "a story of such powerful goodness."

Born in Beverly Hills, Clarke was raised around the glamour of Hollywood and looked like a star herself, a beautiful blonde reminiscent of Grace Kelly. The choreographer Busby Berkeley spotted her at a restaurant and offered her a job, but Mary's dream was to be a happy wife and mother. She raised seven children, but her two unfulfilling marriages ended in divorce. Then in the late 1960s, in midlife, she began devoting herself to charity work, realizing she had an extraordinary talent for drumming up donations for the sick and poor.

On one charity mission across the Mexican border to the drug-trafficking capitol of Tijuana, she visited La Mesa prison and experienced an intense feeling that she had found her true life's work. As she recalls, "I felt like I had come home." Receiving the blessings of the Catholic Church for her mission, on March 19, 1977, at the age of fifty, she moved into a cell in La Mesa, sleeping on a bunk with female prisoners above and below her. Nearly twenty-eight years later she is still living in that cell, and the remarkable power of her spiritual counseling to the prisoners has become legendary.

The story of both one woman's profound journey of discovery and growth and of the deep spiritual awakenings she has called forth in so many lost souls, The Prison Angel is an astonishing testament to the powers of personal transformation.

Among Southern Baptists no name commands more respect than Charlotte Digges "Lottie" Moon. Her self-sacrificing spirit, gritty determination, and commitment to bring Christianity to China have been legendary within denominational ranks for well over a century. Indeed, many know of her work, but few know of her life.

Send the Light: Letters from Lottie Moon is a collection of letters written by the most beloved of all Southern Baptist missionaries. These letters offer a rare glimpse into the daily routine of a woman who challenged nearly every missionary preconception that Baptists cherished at the turn of the century. She faced wars, anti-American animosity, and cultural alienation with a quiet dignity and faith that inspired her fellow missionaries and eventually won the hearts of her Chinese neighbors. She urged her denomination to support their missionary enterprises with the same type of zeal that motivated her. Moreover, Lottie Moon was never bashful about chiding, even scolding them when she thought they were not doing enough to support missions.

Beyond her numerous admonitions to Southern Baptists in general and the Foreign Mission Board in particular, Moon's personal correspondence captures a sensitive, caring woman who loved children and valued education. Always one who maintained deep family roots, these letters offer an intimate look into her desire for her family members to live happy, productive lives. They also reveal a woman whose sober, common sense approach to life was tempered by a subtle, often unexpected, sense of humor. All told, Send the Light reintroduces the world to a devoted missionary who forever changed the way Southern Baptists viewed missionaries.

Who you think you are is not as important as who God says you are...
 
Many of us wrestle with the gap between our weaknesses and our dreams, between who we are and who God says we are meant to be. We feel unqualified to do God’s work or to live out the calling we imagine. But God has a way of using our weaknesses for good. In fact, God loves unqualified people.
 
In (Un)Qualified, Pastor Steven Furtick helps you peel back the assumptions you’ve made about yourself and see yourself as God sees you. Because true peace and confidence come not from worldly perfection but from acceptance: God’s acceptance of you, your acceptance of yourself, and your acceptance of God’s process of change.
 
This is a book about understanding your identity in light of who God is. It’s a book about coming to terms with the good, the bad, and the unmentionable in your life and learning to let God use you. It’s about charging into the gap between your present and your hopes and meeting God there. After all, God can’t bless who you pretend to be. But he longs to bless who you really are; a flawed and broken person. Good thing for us that God is in the business of using broken people to do big things. 
 
 
 Being unqualified is God's favorite qualification...
 
Our culture tells us that the answer to our failures is to fix them. The solution to our weaknesses is to hide them. The secret to our success is to appear as flawless as possible. But God’s qualifying system is different than the world’s. So is his view of our weaknesses, our purpose, and our true selves.
 
In (Un)Qualified, Steven Furtick explores who God is as the great “I AM,” and then helps us discover our own identity. Delving into the story of Jacob, Furtick invites us to acknowledge our weaknesses and ask God to work through them.
 
The truth is, God has created us to be more, to accomplish more, and to love life more than we ever thought possible. But to become who he has called us to be, we must embrace who we are right now. (Un)Qualified equips us to face obstacles and failures without losing a sense of purpose. We can have a thriving sense of hope that God is working in us and through us, not in spite of our weaknesses but often as a direct result of them.
No. 3 in the 2002 Academy of Parish Clergy Top Ten Books of the Year Cities--the anvil of civilization, the center of power, the metaphor for society itself--have been with us for thousands of years. Here converge piety and trade, security and politics. Yet just two hundred years ago only 3 percent of the world's population lived in cities. Today half does. Despite this tremendous explosion of urban growth, the work of the church has generally lagged behind. The city presents serious challenges that cry out for answers: poverty, racism, human exploitation and government corruption. How can the church move ahead in the midst of these demands with the gospel of hope? Here, in one comprehensive volume, Harvie Conn and Manuel Ortiz, two noted scholars and proven practitioners of urban ministry, address the vital work of the church in the city. Their dual goal: to understand the city and God's work in it. Through four great waves of development, Conn and Ortiz trace the history of the city around the world. Then they tackle the critical issue of a biblical basis for urban mission. How does the Bible view the city? Are we closer to God in the country than the city? Does the Bible have an anti-urban bias? These questions are given a thorough analysis that unveils God's urban mandate as reflected in both Old and New Testaments. From this foundation the authors unpack the multifaceted nature of the city as place, as process, as center, as power, and as a place of change and stability. They move us beyond fragmented stereotypes to a new way of seeing that is holistic enough for a fully biblical ministry to develop. In addition, Conn and Ortiz lay out what the social sciences have to offer urban mission, including ethnographic and demographic studies. While showing how such studies have identified unreached cities and unreached groups within cities, they do not become captive to research but demonstrate how to keep kingdom priorities in view. Finally, Urban Ministry focuses on the essential element of leadership. While there are many books on the topic, little has been said about the particular issues and needs of urban leadership. Therefore, the authors give significant attention to developing and mentoring leaders while equipping the laity for ministry in the city. This is the essential text for bringing God's kingdom to the city through the people of God.
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