Author: Sara Miles
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: 2008-11-19
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
“Mine is a personal story of an unexpected and terribly inconvenient Christian conversion, told by a very unlikely convert.” –Sara Miles Raised as an atheist, Sara Miles lived an enthusiastically secular life as a restaurant cook and a writer. Then early one winter morning, for no earthly reason, she wandered into a church. “I was certainly not interested in becoming a Christian,” she writes, “or, as I thought of it rather less politely, a religious nut.” But she ate a piece of bread, took a sip of wine, and found herself radically transformed. The mysterious sacrament of communion has sustained Miles ever since, in a faith she’d scorned, in work she’d never imagined. In this astonishing story, she tells how the seeds of her conversion were sown, and what her life has been like since she took that bread. A lesbian left-wing journalist who covered revolutions around the world, Miles was not the woman her friends expected to see suddenly praising Jesus. She was certainly not the kind of person the government had in mind to run a “faith-based charity.” Religion for her was not about angels or good behavior or piety; it was about real hunger, real food, and real bodies. Before long, she turned the bread she ate at communion into tons of groceries, piled on the church’s altar to be given away. The first food pantry she established provided hundreds of poor, elderly, sick, deranged, and marginalized people with lifesaving food and a sense of belonging. Within a few years, the loaves had multiplied, and she and the people she served had started nearly a dozen more pantries. Take This Bread is rich with real-life Dickensian characters–church ladies, child abusers, millionaires, schizophrenics, bishops, and thieves–all blown into Miles’s life by the relentless force of her newfound calling. She recounts stories about trudging through the rain in housing projects, wiping the runny nose of a psychotic man, storing a battered woman’s .375 Magnum in a cookie tin. She writes about the economy of hunger and the ugly politics of food; the meaning of prayer and the physicality of faith. Here, in this achingly beautiful, passionate book, is the living communion of Christ. “The most amazing book.” – Anne Lamott From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Sara Miles
Publisher: Random House Digital, Inc.
Release Date: 2007
A provocative reflection on what it means to be Christian describes the author's offbeat journey of faith from cynical atheist to religious activist against hunger, recounting her establishment of food pantries that feed thousands of people and her dealings with battered women, child abusers, millionaires, day laborers, politicians, criminals, and religious leaders on her quest. 25,000 first printing.
Author: Sarah Miles
Publisher: Hymns Ancient and Modern Ltd
Release Date: 2012-06
Genre: Christian converts
The story of an unexpected and terribly inconvenient Christian conversion, told by a very unlikely convert, Take This Bread is not only a spiritual memoir but a call to action. Raised as an atheist, Sara Miles lived an enthusiastically secular life as a restaurant cook and writer. Then one morning, for no earthly reason, she wandered into a church. She ate a piece of bread, took a sip of wine, and found herself radically transformed, embracing a faith she’d scorned and which would lead to feeding others in a way that she’d never imagined. Sara started a food pantry giving away literally tons of food from around the same altar where she’d first received the body of Christ, and providing hundreds of hungry families with free groceries each week. Take This Bread is rich with real-life Dickensian characters–church ladies, millionaires, schizophrenics, bishops, and gangsters – all blown into Miles’ life by the relentless force of her new-found calling. Here, in this beautiful, passionate book, is Christ’s living communion.
Author: Sara Miles
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2009-12-30
"I came late to Christianity," writes Sara Miles, "knocked upside down by a mid-life conversion centered around eating a literal chunk of bread. I hadn't decided to profess an article of doctrine, but discovered a force blowing uncontrollably through the world." In this new book, Sara Miles tells what happened when she decided to follow the flesh and blood Jesus by doing something real. For everyone afraid to feed hungry strangers, love the unlovable, or go to dark places to bless and heal, she offers hope. She holds out the promise of a God who gave a bunch of housewives and fishermen authority to forgive sins and raise the dead, and who continues to call us to action. And she tells, in vivid, heartbreakingly honest stories, how the ordinary people around her are transformed by taking up God's work in the world. Sara Miles offers a fresh, fully embodied faith that sweeps away the anxious formulas of religion to reveal the scandalous power of eating with sinners, embracing the unclean, and loving the wrong people. Jesus Freak: Feeding Healing Raising the Dead is her inspiring book for undomesticated Christians who still believe, as she writes, "that Jesus has given us the power to be Jesus."
Author: Sara Miles
Publisher: Jericho Books
Release Date: 2014-02-04
Paradise is a garden...but heaven is a city. From the acclaimed author of Take This Bread and Jesus Freak comes a powerful new account of venturing beyond the borders of religion into the unpredictable territory of faith. On Ash Wednesday, 2012, Sara Miles and her friends left their church buildings and carried ashes to the buzzing city streets: the crowded dollar stores, beauty shops, hospital waiting rooms, street corners and fast-food joints of her neighborhood. They marked the foreheads of neighbors and strangers, sharing blessings with waitresses and drunks, believers and doubters alike. CITY OF GOD narrates the events of the day in vivid detail, exploring the profound implications of touching strangers with a reminder of common mortality. As the story unfolds, Sara Miles also reflects on life in her city over the last two decades, where the people of God suffer and rejoice, building community amid the grit and beauty of this urban landscape. CITY OF GOD is a beautifully written personal narrative, rich in complex, real-life characters, and full of the "wild, funny, joyful, raucous, reverent" moments of struggle and faith that have made Miles one of the most enthralling Christian writers of our time.
Food for Life draws on L. Shannon Jung's gifts as theologian, ethicist, pastor, and eater extraordinaire. In this deeply thoughtful but very lively book, he encourages us to see our humdrum habits of eating and drinking as a spiritual practice that can renew and transform us and our world. In a fascinating sequence that takes us from the personal to the global, Jung establishes the religious meaning of eating and shows how it dictates a healthy order of eating. He exposes Christians' complicity in the face of widespread eating disorders we experience personally, culturally, and globally, and he argues that these disorders can be reversed through faith, Christian practices, attention to habitual activities like cooking and gardening, the church's ministry, and transforming our cultural policies about food.
I decided to admit once and for all that I didn’t know what I was doing, what I thought, what I believed, even sometimes if I truly believed. I would tell the truth: I wasn’t like them; I didn’t fit in. I wasn’t a proper Christian. I didn’t have it all together like they did. Why not, I figured? What in the world did I have to lose? _____ After twenty years of unbelief, estranged from her childhood faith and ultimately from God, Michelle DeRusha unexpectedly found herself wrestling hard with questions of spirituality— and deeply frustrated by the lack of clear answers. Until she realized that the questions themselves paved a way for faith. “Declaring my unbelief,” writes DeRusha, “was the first step; declaring my unbelief allowed me to begin to seek authentically.” Spiritual Misfit chronicles one woman’s journey toward an understanding that belief and doubt can coexist. This poignant and startlingly candid memoir reveals how being honest about our questions, our fears, and our discomfort with black-and-white definitions of faith can move us toward an authentic and a deepening relationship with God.
Now a New York Times bestseller, Nadia Bolz-Weber takes no prisoners as she reclaims the term "pastrix"(pronounced "pas-triks," a term used by some Christians who refuse to recognize female pastors) in her messy, beautiful, prayer-and-profanity laden narrative about an unconventional life of faith. Heavily tattooed and loud-mouthed, Nadia, a former stand-up comic, sure as hell didn't consider herself to be religious leader material-until the day she ended up leading a friend's funeral in a smoky downtown comedy club. Surrounded by fellow alcoholics, depressives, and cynics, she realized: These were her people. Maybe she was meant to be their pastor. Using life stories-from living in a hopeful-but-haggard commune of slackers to surviving the wobbly chairs and war stories of a group for recovering alcoholics, from her unusual but undeniable spiritual calling to pastoring a notorious con artist-Nadia uses stunning narrative and poignant honesty to portray a woman who is both deeply faithful and deeply flawed, giving hope to the rest of us along the way. Wildly entertaining and deeply resonant, this is the book for people who hunger for a bit of hope that doesn't come from vapid consumerism or navel-gazing; for women who talk too loud, and guys who love chick flicks; for the gay man who loves Jesus, and won't allow himself to be shunned by the church. In short, this book is for every thinking misfit suspicious of institutionalized religion, but who is still seeking transcendence and mystery.
Author: Edmund Gosse
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2012-11-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Edmund Gosse wrote of his account of his life, "This book is the record of a struggle between two temperaments, two consciences and almost two epochs." Father and Son remains one of English literature's seminal autobiographies. In it, Edmund Gosse recounts, with humor and pathos, his childhood as a member of a Victorian Protestant sect and his struggles to forge his own identity despite the loving control of his father. His work is a key document of the crisis of faith and doubt and a penetrating exploration of the impact of evolutionary science. An astute, well-observed, and moving portrait of the tensions of family life, Father and Son remains a classic of twentieth-century literature.
What if that person you've been trying to avoid is your best shot at grace today? ...And what if that's the point? In Accidental Saints, New York Times best-selling author Nadia Bolz-Weber invites readers into a surprising encounter with what she calls “a religious but not-so-spiritual life.” Tattooed, angry and profane, this former standup comic turned pastor stubbornly, sometimes hilariously, resists the God she feels called to serve. But God keeps showing up in the least likely of people—a church-loving agnostic, a drag queen, a felonious Bishop and a gun-toting member of the NRA. As she lives and worships alongside these “accidental saints,” Nadia is swept into first-hand encounters with grace—a gift that feels to her less like being wrapped in a warm blanket and more like being hit with a blunt instrument. But by this grace, people are transformed in ways they couldn’t have been on their own. In a time when many have rightly become disillusioned with Christianity, Accidental Saints demonstrates what happens when ordinary people share bread and wine, struggle with scripture together, and tell each other the truth about their real lives. This unforgettable account of their faltering steps toward wholeness will ring true for believer and skeptic alike. Told in Nadia’s trademark confessional style, Accidental Saints is the stunning next work from one of today’s most important religious voices.
Author: Stephanie Spellers
Publisher: Church Publishing, Inc.
Release Date: 2006
Drawing on interviews with more than 200 church leaders and in-depth studies of eight congregations, this accessible and inspiring book presents a fresh vision for the mainline church – and the practical tools communities need to release fear, plan for ch
Finalist in the "Best Books 2010" Awards "This is one of those books that you read and then have to sit back or curl up in a ball and 'be still and know.' In these honest, tear-stained pages are clear signs that there is a 'Hound of Heaven' hunting us down—this Spirit that is stalking us with love, winking at us with miracles, tickling us with grace, subverting everything that could destroy us, and whispering in our ears that we are truly beloved." —Shane Claiborne Author, activist, recovering sinner Love God, but not so sure about church? If you've ever had doubts or felt the gnawing need to examine your interior life, you'll find a trustworthy companion in Enuma Okoro, a purse-shopping, tea-sipping, shaky follower of Jesus who wouldn't mind meeting a guy who loves God and has decent hair. But after her father's unexpected death, her grief seems to morph into the panicky feeling that God wants something more from her, like maybe becoming a nun. As she seeks to unravel those feelings, Okoro takes us back to the places that formed her, from her first years in church at a parish in Queens, New York, to her years in West Africa where she collected crucifixes along with Richie Rich comic books, to her studies in Europe and the United States. Part Augustine, part Jane Austen with a side of Anne Lamott, Okoro attempts to reconcile her theological understanding of God's call to community with her painful and disappointing experiences of community in churches where she often felt invisible, pigeonholed, or out of place. At turns snarky and luminous, laugh-out-loud funny and vulnerably poignant, Reluctant Pilgrim is the no-holds-barred account of a woman who prays to savor God's goodness and never be satisfied. It is a daring, insightful, and deeply moving field guide for the curious, the confused, and the convicted.
Agriculturalist Fred Bahnson and theologian Norman Wirzba develop a vision for community renewal based on reconciliation with the land. With a balance of theological and practical insight, the authors lead communities into practices of local food production, eucharistic eating and delight in God s provision.