"What qualities does Katniss possess that I wish I could attain?" "What personal characteristics does Bilbo rely on to defeat Smaug that I have within me?" "What do Thor's challenges with his brother Loki teach me about my own relationships?"
For anyone who has found themselves mulling over or emulating particular character traits of film, comic and book protagonists, Kristen Parrish's new devotional book, No Cape Required, offers readers an opportunity to reflect on the lives and decisions of 52 heroes, drawing out a particularly noteworthy quality in each.
For Parrish, her veneration and love for heroes emerged out of growing up in an itinerant military family. more >>
The Vatican Library and Bodleian Libraries at Oxford University have collaborated on a major digitization project to bring some of the world's oldest and rarest biblical texts online for people around the world to see.
"It's too dangerous to have unique exemplars of anything in one place," explained Dr. Leonard Polonsky of the Polonsky Foundation, who funded the $3.3 million project. "Digitizing enables us to secure all of this material and of course make it broadly available. It's an opportunity you can't resist."
The aim is to bring 1.5 million pages of ancient texts, including Greek and Hebrew manuscripts, to the online platform within the next three years. For now, a select few works are available for online viewers, including a copy of the Gutenberg Bible, the first major book printed with moveable metal type in the Western world, CNN reported. more >>
In 2007, Barry Corey became the eighth president of Biola University, officially launching the celebration of the university's centennial year. During his time at Biola he's led the development of Biola's Center for Christian Thought; the Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts; the annual Imagination Summit; and Open Biola - an online database for free educational content created and curated by the university.
Under his leadership, Biola has seen the highest enrollment in the university's 105-year history, with the construction of new facilities to serve the needs of the campus. But while his career is about education, his passion is how the Christian community engages today's culture. He's committed to raising up a generation of students who can make a difference in today's secular world.
I sat down with Dr. Corey and asked him about how Christians should re-think how we share our witness with the world. more >>
Rick Warren, founding pastor of Saddleback Church and best-selling author of The Purpose Driven Life, and renowned Drs. Daniel Amen and Mark Hyman are making their way around the TV talk show circuit this week. The trio is being interviewed about "The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life," the book they co-authored that was released Monday from Zondervan.
Warren and the two doctors are scheduled to appear on "Piers Morgan Live" Wednesday evening. Earlier on Wednesday, the Southern California megachurch pastor was interviewed on the "CBS This Morning" show.
The Daniel Plan details a healthy lifestyle program based on five essential principles of faith, food, fitness, focus and friends. The program was developed and originated at Saddleback Church in 2011 and within the first year more than 15,000 church members lost a collective of more than 250,000 pounds while experiencing decreases in health issues and stress and increases in spiritual growth and energy. more >>
Inside the introduction written by theologian John Piper to Good News of Great Joy: Daily Readings for Advent, a book of devotionals designed especially for Advent 2013 by Desiring God, a ministry he founded, the pastor answers the question, "What does Jesus want for Christmas?"
With readings beginning Sunday, Dec. 1, and going through Christmas Day, this book of Advent devotionals "aims to put Jesus at the center of your holiday season," states Desiring God. The short meditations are excerpted from the ministry of Piper and correspond to the daily readings in Desiring God's free devotional app, Solid Joys (available in iTunes and Google Play), as well as online.
Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minn., before retiring from that position earlier this year. He is the author of more than 50 books including Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist. John and his wife, Noël, have five children and twelve grandchildren. more >>
Antoinette Tuff has been showered with praise from everyone from the U.S. president to her Georgia congressman for her compassion and bravery in helping to prevent a 20-year-old gunman from harming elementary school students, their teachers and himself in a riveting confrontation partly captured on tape. Now, the Christian mother is sharing her story of hope and resilience, and her conviction that God had prepared her for a "moment of divine purpose."
Prepared for a Purpose: An Inspiring True Story of Faith, Courage, and Compassion in Crisis, available for purchase beginning Jan. 21, 2014, recounts how Tuff convinced gunman Michael Brandon Hill to stay with her in the front office at McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Ga., where she worked as the school's bookkeeper. Hill, who revealed during the exchange that he was suicidal, had entered the grade school on Aug. 20 armed with an AK-47 and about 500 rounds of ammunition. He barricaded himself in Tuff's office for nearly an hour, at one point shooting on police outside the school and discharging a single bullet inside the office. Tuff eventually convinced Hill to surrender, and no one was hurt in the ordeal.
"As the nation faced yet another Sandy Hook story of tragedy, one woman rewrote the ending," reads a description of Prepared for a Purpose from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group. "Yet the story doesn't start with those first steps Michael Hill took into that Atlanta elementary school. It starts with Antoinette Tuff, a woman who faced her own pain, hurt, and rejection, yet held onto grace, faith, and hope. A hope that anchored her in the most high-stakes moments, a grace that allowed her to empathize with a hurting young man, and a faith that gave her the courage to love him back from the brink." more >>