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.
Author: Rachel Marie Stone
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Release Date: 2012-12-28
The 2014 Christianity Today Book Award Winner (Christian Living) Food is the source of endless angst and anxiety. We struggle with obesity and eating disorders. Reports of agricultural horror stories give us worries about whether our food is healthy, nutritious or justly produced. It's hard to know if our food is really good for us or for society. Our relationship with food is complicated to say the least. But God intended for us to delight in our food. Rachel Stone calls us to rediscover joyful eating by receiving food as God's good gift of provision and care for us. She shows us how God intends for us to relate to him and each other through food, and how our meals can become expressions of generosity, community and love of neighbor. Eating together can bring healing to those with eating disorders, and we can make wise choices for sustainable agriculture. Ultimately, redemptive eating is a sacramental act of culture making through which we gratefully herald the feast of the kingdom of God. Filled with practical insights and some tasty recipes, this book provides a Christian journey into the delight of eating. Come to the table, partake of the Bread of Life—and eat with joy.
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.
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.
A compelling view of two competing religious visions---one of "creation" and the other of "empire"---that run throughout the Bible. "A remarkable offering for those who care about the interface of power and faith with all the threats and seductions that go with it. . . As I read, I felt overwhelmed, both by the mass of data and by the cunning of interpretation. I could not put it down, and expect to continue to be instructed by it.---Walter Brueggemann "Howard-Brook undertakes what few dare anymore: an introductory primer for the whole Bible...This book invites disciples to `connect the dots', in order to recover our ancient, anti-imperial identity, and to embrace a radical faith and practice that are personal and politica."---Ched Myers "Howard-Brook illuminates how ancient empires exercised control and manipulation of people not simply by political and military means, but also through the religion of empire. Throughout he makes clear that the core message of the God of creation is to call people out of empire, to refuse to cooperate with the forces of destruction and domination today."---Richard Horsley "Will become a classic for communities that seek first to receive the gracious gift of God's alternative future to Empire."---Jarrod McKenna "If we who sojourn in America are to be a community that can both name and resist the lure of Empire, we need a story more powerful than the story called America. Wes Howard-Brook knows than the Bible tells such a story. May its story be ours as we're set free from our imperial imaginations to dream with our Creator of a new world here and now."---Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
Author: Rachel Held Evans
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: 2015-04-14
New York Times bestselling author Rachel Held Evans embarks on a quest to find out what it really means to be part of the Church. Like millions of her millennial peers, Rachel Held Evans didn’t want to go to church anymore. The hypocrisy, the politics, the gargantuan building budgets, the scandals—church culture seemed so far removed from Jesus. Yet, despite her cynicism and misgivings, something kept drawing her back to Church. And so she set out on a journey to understand Church and to find her place in it. Centered around seven sacraments, Evans’ quest takes readers through a liturgical year with stories about baptism, communion, confirmation, confession, marriage, vocation, and death that are funny, heartbreaking, and sharply honest. A memoir about making do and taking risks, about the messiness of community and the power of grace, Searching for Sunday is about overcoming cynicism to find hope and, somewhere in between, Church.
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
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: Michael Yankoski
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: 2014-09-23
"In his life and writing, Michael Yankoski walks a tightrope between action and contemplation, and, behold, in ways we can all learn from, he manages to find a sort of essential balance." —Philip Yancey, author of What's So Amazing About Grace "This book is a joy to the soul and a delight to the heart. It is destined to become a classic within the genre of contemporary spiritual and religious writing." —Phyllis Tickle, compiler of The Divine Hours Frustrated and disillusioned with his life as a Christian motivational speaker, Michael Yankoski was determined to stop merely talking about living a life of faith and start experiencing it. The result was a year of focused engagement with spiritual practices—both ancient and modern—that fundamentally reshaped and revived his life. By contemplating apples for an hour before tasting them (attentiveness), eating on just $2.00 a day (simplicity), or writing letters of thanks (gratitude), Michael discovered a whole new vitality and depth through the intentional life. Guided by the voice of Father Solomon—a local monk—Yankoski's Sacred Year slowly transforms his life. Both entertaining and profound, his story will resonate with those who wish to deepen their own committed faith as well as those who are searching—perhaps for the first time—for their own authentic encounter with the Divine.