Fidelem Expectationum: Poetic Reflections for Advent and other Special Occasions

Victor Dirks with Wesley Thiessen

Victor Dirks, born in the newly founded Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was spirited away to Canada along with his younger brother, Neil, and parents, Alexander P. and Agnes Dirks, in the migration of Mennonites from the region of the modern Ukraine in 1926. Growing up in a large Mennonite family on the Canadian Prairies, he learned much about hardship, perseverance and faith. Following in the legacy of his father’s value for education, Victor went on to post-secondary, eventually completing a PhD in agronomy. But poetry was another, more personal love. Recording the rhythms of life’s joys and sorrows through pen and paper, Victor expressed ardent thoughts and ideas often left unspoken.

Life rarely goes the way we expect, and Victor faced his own hardships. Born out of the crucible of human experience, Victor’s faith in God is woven into his poetic verse. In his later years, family and friends looked forward to his annual advent poem. This collection of Victor’s poetry makes his artistry accessible once again, and hopefully will allow others to reflect on the ideas he left behind, most notably his faith in God.

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Growing Slowly Wise: Building a Faith that Works

David Roper

Holiness is a dull word these days, conjuring up men and women with sullen, morose faces, full of rectitude and rigid duty. True holiness, however, is anything but dull. It is startling and arresting. It’s more than being decent, good, ethical and upright. It has that quality that the Bible calls “the beauty of holiness.”

This is the picture of holiness that the New Testament writer James draws for us. It is a portrayal that fascinates us and awakens us to the hope that we can be more than we ever hoped to be; that we too can live lives of uncommon beauty and grace.

Through the New Testament book of James, David Roper masterfully utilizes his decades of pastoral experience to speaking as a pastor to his flock about the insight the apostle James has to share with those desiring to follow Christ with a living faith.

David Roper shows us the extraordinary quality of life of which James speaks, which can only be described as “beautiful.” He takes the message of the book of James and shows us how to build a faith that works in our twenty-first century lives.

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Mission Possible: Defining and Empowering Your Ministry Among the Unreached

Daniel Sinclair

Millions of people in major religious traditions such as Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism are coming to Christ in unprecedented numbers. At the same time, those laboring on the frontlines—and their partners back home—face a daunting array of complexities and challenges. Mission: Possible combines more than 40 years of lived practice and research among many unreached people groups. Daniel Sinclair, who lives in the Middle East, pulls together major threads which inform and guide practice in pioneering movements ministry, beginning with a foundational understanding of apostleship. Set forth in Mission: Possible are demonstrated practices with tangible results including understanding church planting movements, what to do about baptism, and even how wise stewarding of your own time as a practitioner impacts everything you do. Rather than simply talking about these subjects, Sinclair shows how to do these things. With a strong biblical basis, and years of experience in oversight, coaching and direct ministry, Sinclair’s book is a must-read for anyone serious about reaching the unreached.

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Green in the Desert: Get Hope to Survive and Faith to Thrive in Hardships

C J Reynes

Green in the Desert propels you into the world of C.J. Reynes through real life stories of challenge, disappointment, joy and danger as she shares her experiences from living in two very different cultures while putting God’s promises into action in her life. Following God’s call on her life and then facing death, false accusations, grief, fear and misunderstanding, C.J. describes the situations she found herself in and the keys from scripture she used to thrive in her circumstances. These keys are clearly outlined and can be applied to your own life as you hear what C.J. has done to face the hardest challenges of life. C.J. is emphatic that God can do extraordinary things through ordinary people—like her AND YOU—who trust him. Accessible to readers of almost all ages, C.J. will delight you with her own tales in the walk of life but leave you with gold in the keys that have brought her so much joy.

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Consider the visual

Ellen Janzen and others

“Dancing on the Verge of Dawn” is a collection of stories, essays, and poems by women who’ve experienced uncertainty, upheaval and loss in the inevitable challenges of life. Many of them have lived cross-culturally in vastly different cultural settings where they faced isolation and restriction long before COVID-19 came along. Using these memories they invited reflection and insight from their own journey.They asked themselves the questions—when was God’s presence near to me through a hard time? What did I gain from the challenge—or how did I learn to connect to God more deeply in that time? Although the book is about serious themes, there is joy and gratitude woven into these stories. Above all, it gives the reader a sense of companionship as we have all faced a challenge at some time. And hope—there is hope for each one of us to gain something of value from the hard season we are in just now.

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Essence of the book

Ellen Janzen

Ellen Janzen writes about creating friendships that cross the cultural conventions that we all take for granted—cross cultural friendship. The message is timely and relevant in the current tradewinds of population transition. As more people from Eastern continents make their way to Western nations, we can either welcome and learn from them or ignore their culture and expect they will embrace “ours”—a culture that is naturally evolving as the world changes. We all gain from making the effort to understand other cultures and build community together.

Janzen makes use of personal stories with deep insights into the ways culture shapes our view of things. She offers advice on understanding the differences between cultures and moving beyond those differences into relationship. Her ideas on building friendships by connecting meaningfully with people from other backgrounds are unique and give the reader the sense that this can be a wonderful, though not necessarily easy, journey.

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The Day the Mountains Crashed into the Sea

Ellen Janzen

When children experience the death of a loved one, people assume they will recover—and it often looks as though they are doing fine. But what would they tell you if they had the words? Now you can know.
When Ellen, age 11, loses her mom to cancer, her father is unable to help her mourn. She feels alone, neglected and forgotten—by people, but also by God. For her, the mountains have crashed into the sea and the world is giving way under her feet.
Many years later, Ellen finds a pathway through her repressed sorrow and grief. This brings her to a crossroad—accept God’s healing and restoration, or continue to live in despair and loneliness.
Read and enter Ellen’s journey to healing as an adult, but not until after reading the thoughts of young Ellen, Elenita, as she recounts how the loss of a parent impacts a young child. The compelling story will hold you captive as you gain new insights into childhood loss.

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Growing Slowly Wise: Building a Faith that Works

David Roper

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