Used in recent Small Groups, this version of the New Testament reclaims the original understanding of the Bible being God’s Story, not fragmented and divisible parts. There are no footnotes or distracting numbers everywhere, just “The Story”. It will refresh your understanding and appreciation for the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and the joys and challenges of the earliest followers of Jesus. There is an 8 week or 16 week reading plan to finish the whole New Testament.
Don’t know how to pray? That’s fine, John Baillie’s words will do it for you, and shape your prayer life immeasurably along the way. Each day (30 days) has a blank page opposite where you can write your own words of the heart. Can easily be used in that way as a Prayer Journal, looking back month by month as you restart to see what you’ve prayed for, and if/how it has been answered. Pastor Gruenwald loves this resource!
Every Moment Holy
Every moment of your life is within God’s embrace, and thereby every moment is indeed, holy. If you open yourself to it, this book will change your language, and thereby change your life of faith. Christians have peculiar language- suffering, redemption, resurrection… and this book of individual and corporate prayers will infuse your everyday moments with that language. Sometimes, other people’s prayers give us words when we can’t find them ourselves. Both pastors agree, NO HOME should be without this powerfully written resource of prayer.
From Genesis to Malachi, the Old Testament Scriptures are packed with images of God’s love and mercy for His people. In Unveiling Mercy, author Chad Bird uses the original Biblical Hebrew to help readers see these images with a sharper focus. Not at all a textbook, Unveiling Mercy is a 365-day devotional that walks through the books Old Testament while unpacking one Hebrew word a day. Bird’s writing is engaging, humorous, thoughtful, and dripping with the Gospel. Grab a copy of Unveiling Mercy today, and see how all Scriptures point to Jesus.
The Mockingbird Devotional
A Diary of Private Prayer
Hope when your Heart Breaks
A fantastic “use where you need it” resource for grief; not just grief in the strictest sense of death, though certainly that, but grief in every aspect- the death of hope, the death of a dream, the death of normalcy, etc… 52 chapters that can be read straight through, or picked for their relevancy to whatever you are going through.
Of Womb and Tomb
This compilation of resources for those experiencing infertility, miscarriage, and stillbirth, is filled with stories, prayers, Scripture, poems, and rituals to guide individuals, couples, and communities through this unique grief. Pastor David and Lindsey found this profoundly helpful during their recent loss.
One of Pastor Nick’s favorites, and recently used in a summer small group, this book highlights how EVERYONE is religious… but the object of their religion may be very “earthy”. The subtitle says it all- “How career, parenting, technology, food, politics, and romance became our new religion, and what to do about it”
The Spirituality of the Cross
If you are looking for a deeper introduction to what we as Christians, and particularly as Lutheran Christians, believe, this is absolutely the place to start. Exceptionally
readable (not unnecessarily academic!), saturated with salvation, pointing to the cross, it’s fantastic. Grab a copy today!
Your God is Too Glorious
Peace in the Last Third of Life
An incredibly penetrating Christian look into the last third of life, by a pastor who is living through it now. An exceptional resource for those wrestling with aging. Also, valuable to children who are caring for aging parents. ALSO, valuable to EVERYONE as it can spiritual insight in advance of our “twilight years”. You can prepare ahead of time!
VOCATION & CHRISTIAN LIVING
The “world” has a frenetic pace that both overwhelms and promises instant gratification. Rev. Peterson invites us to explore God’s way- a way that is not always fast or glamorous or easy, but a “long obedience” that ultimately leads us HOME. One of Pastor Gruenwald’s favorite authors in all things pastoral, and a must read for anyone who feels “weary and heavy laden”, longing for rest.
The Character of Virtue
Originating as yearly letters to his Godson, this collection of essays is an excellent primer and overview of the Christian virtues that can and should characterize a life of discipleship. Examples being: kindness, friendship, hope, humility, justice, courage, and the like. A great read for all, including parents seeking to raise virtuous children on the path of following Jesus.
The Common Rule
Are you looking for more simplicity, order, and peace? This is probably a good place to start. Used in a recent small group, this book gives grace-filled ideas for implementing simple, keystone habits to recenter our lives in the love, joy, and peace
of Jesus. It corrects without unnecessary judgment, and encourages by painting our imaginations with a picture of God’s better way. Pastor Gruenwald recommends!
Callings for Life
A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
7 Principles for Making Marriage Work
The foremost marriage and relationship expert has written a data driven, scientifically grounded, and very hands on book for the healing and strengthening of any marriage. Pastor David and Lindsey have seen incredible benefits from working through this book together.
The Tech-wise Family
The “world”, for good and evil, is in the palm of our CHILDREN’S hands. What is a parent to do?! Andy Crouch has written a wise and winsome book detailing for Christian families (and really any family) ‘everyday steps for putting technology in its proper place’. An encouraging book for Pastor Gruenwald as his family experiences and explores raising children in a “techy” world.
Habits of the Household
Every family wrestles with the question: “how”? How can we continually shape our home to be a place of love, grace, and faith? How can we most effectively raise our children to follow Jesus forever? Justin Earley’s book, from a foundation of “habits” being the way for formation, has given every parent a hope-filled, practical, and encouraging set of ideals from morning to bedtime. Grab the book, pick one new habit (not all of them at the same time!) and then add as you go. Pastor Gruenwald’s
family has benefitted immensely from this resource. Also used previously in a fantastic parent’s small group.
Jesus Storybook Bible
The BEST children’s Bible out there, but not only for children! Both pastors agree every Christian of any age should read this beautifully illustrated Bible at least once. Better than any other we’ve seen, this clearly and artistically shows that every story in the Bible is woven together into the greatest “Story”, Jesus the Son of God who was promised in the Old Testament to come, die, and rise, and so rescue us and all creation. On the resource cart and also in each pew in the Sanctuary, take one from anywhere and give them away to other friends and family!
The Action Bible
The Bible in comic book/graphic novel format, this is a fantastic and gripping way for later elementary through High School students to engage God’s eternal story of adventure, drama, intrigue, and most importantly, the death and resurrection of Jesus. I have heard from some of our students that it absolutely changed the way they view the Bible.
Pastor Gruenwald's Recommendations
The Grey Havens
Pastor Schram's Recommendations
For KING & COUNTRY
Concordia Publishing House’s “Hymns for...” series
All three of these are by two of my FAVORITE producers of print and digital Christian media and resources.
The Hutchmoot Podcast - The Rabbit Room
The Habit Podcast - The Rabbit Room
The Mockingcast - Mockingbird Ministries
1517 is a collaboration of Christian pastors and thought leaders, and their content is rich with Biblical integrity and GRACE!!
40 Minutes in the Old Testament
30 Minutes in the New Testament
A Field Guide to the Bible- more approachable perhaps than the two above
Virtue in the Wasteland
www.mbird.com – a website, and just generally a ministry, that speaks the Good News of the Gospel, God’s unconditional love, in culturally relevant, emotionally connective ways. Next to MAYBE Luther, very few people put the Gospel in more powerful terms. Their online articles are fantastic, and their quarterly-ish print magazine is worth its weight in gold.
www.rabbitroom.com – The Rabbit Room “cultivates and curates stories, music, and art to nourish Christ-centered communities for the life of the world”. This group of Christian thinkers, writers,
poets, and musicians has impacted me and filled my “spiritual cup” more than any other over the last six to nine months.
www.thevcs.org – The Visual Commentary on Scripture is an online resource connecting art and faith.
www.theworkofthepeople.com – MOST everything here is faithful video media combined with the scriptures and Christian truth, that makes for a compelling and affective resource. Explore it a little bit!
www.1517.org – Articles, podcasts, music, book recommendations, online courses–1517 is a treasure-trove of online resources!
www.bibleproject.com – A “crowdfunded project that produces media to help people everywhere experience the Bible as a unified story that leads to Jesus.” You may be familiar with the videos, but the Bible Project has so many other great tools to help God’s people engage in His Word.
www.concordiatheology.com – A “space where theology happens, where theological thinking intersects current events, contemporary cultures, and global society.” At the same time academic and approachable, concordiatheology.com is not just for church workers!