Tag Archives: New Growth Press

Face Time by Kristen Hatton

Hatton, Kristen. Face Time [Your Identity in a Selfie World]. Greensboro: New Growth Press, 2017. 130 pp. $15.99. Purchase at Westminster Books for less.

Introduction

Kristen is a pastor’s wife and mother of three teenagers. She leads a small group Bible study for teens. She has also written Get Your Story Straight. You can find out more at KristenHatton.com.

Summary

Divided into two parts, Kristen first lays the foundation of what are true identity is in light of who Christ is. She spends five chapters detailing the problems every teenage girl faces and points them to Jesus Christ who took on all of our sinful problems and offers us the gift of salvation…or, more importantly, His identity in exchange for our own.

The second part looks at twelve common false identities every teen-aged girl faces. From issues of comparison to materialism to drinking and sex and self-harm, Kristen explains how Jesus offers a better identity.

Review

Kristen’s experience with teenaged ministry is obvious on every page. She offers sound advice and keen insight into how the Bible speaks to the teenaged girl today. Her stories offered in the second part of the book are real-to-life and will certainly resonate with the reader. Her counsel is clearly rooted in Scripture.

She offers excellent reflection questions and offers great journaling prompts to help the young women wrestle with the Biblical truths and compare those to the lies Satan would have us believe. What I love the most about this book is that the veneer is beginning to crumble on the social media world. Kristen is dealing with an epidemic in the church of identification crises that are plaguing just about everyone…perhaps no group more than teen-aged girls.

Recommendation

Written for teen-aged girls, I actually found that this book would be great for teen-aged boys as well. That being said, I highly commend this book to parents of young women entering, or already in, their teen years. Youth pastors would do well to pick up this book and assign it as a group study (probably with a woman leading) for teen-aged girls.

Between Us Girls by Trish Donohue

Donohue, Trish. Between Us Girls: Walks and Talks for Moms and Daughters. Greensboro:New Growth Press, 2016. 144 pp. $17.99. Purchase for less at Westminster Books or for Kindle.

Introduction

Trish is a wife and mother living in West Chester, Pennsylvania. She has two sons and two daughters and it was her desire to disciple her girls that lead to her writing this book. She and her husband, Jim, attend Covenant Fellowship Church where Jim is pastor.

Summary

Instead of chapters, Trish divided this book into 26 walks in which she offers guidelines for mother and daughter talks. Each walk has questions a mom can ask her daughter and also the daughter can ask her mother. The topics range from prayers to family and clothing and focus.

Review

As a husband and father, I read this book with my wife and two daughters in mind. I must confess that some of this was lost on me as I would never have considered some of these discussion in the way that Trish lays them out.

That, however, is one of the greatest strengths of this book. Many parents are at a loss on how to intentionally disciple their daughters (especially dads!). The conversation points are nothing super spiritual. Rather, they are the products of meditation on Scriptural principles and watching her own daughters grow and wrestle with the importance of walking in their faith.

Far from a legalistic manual, Trish has offered mothers a wonderful guide to help kick start many conversations in order that they might disciple their daughters with greater intentionality.

I mentioned fathers earlier because I am one. For those single dads with daughters, this resource may prove extremely insightful to you as well. Granted there are certain aspects of motherhood and womanhood that you will never be able to understand, but this resource will help you to engage your daughter with the timeless truths of Scripture in such a manner that you probably would never come to on your own.

Recommendation

I recommend this resource to all mothers looking to disciple their daughters. As mentioned above, single fathers would do well to peruse this resource as well.

Trapped by Andy Farmer

trappedFarmer, Andy: Trapped: Getting Free from People, Patterns, and Problems. Greensboro: New Growth Press, 2016. 208 pp. $17.99. Purchase at Westminster Books in print for less. Or for Kindle for $17.99.

Introduction

Andy has served as the pastor of Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, PA for 20+ years. He also serves on the Council Board of the Biblical Counseling Coalition and has written two other books: The Rich Single Life and Real Peace.

Summary

Divided into 10 chapters, Pastor Andy shows his readers how to escape the various traps we encounter in life. His first chapter explains how being and feeling trapped is a real problem many Christians face every day. The second chapter explains that we are not as free as we would like to be even if we were not experiencing the many traps in life. The third and fourth chapters lay the foundation for the ultimate solution of escaping the true trap of sin through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Chapters five through nine look at common traps experienced at various levels throughout life. Though you may not experience all of them, you will undoubtedly experience some of them and know others who have experienced the traps you have not. These traps, in the order they are written in the book are; approval, laziness, secret escape, addictions, and troubled marriage. The final chapter brings the book to a close as he argues that we can indeed be free in a world of traps.

Review

I confess that at first I was reading this book simply for the purpose of review. Upon glancing through it, however, I realized that I needed to read it much deeper and seek to apply the biblical counsel and wisdom imparted by Pastor Andy Farmer.

Hardly a page exists in this book that does not have a reference to Scripture on it. In other words, the reader is not going to get what Andy thinks is the way out of the trap. Rather, you are going to see what the Bible says in regards to the various traps you are entangled. Furthermore, Andy, as all pastors must strive to do, offers biblical solutions and methods for dealing with what many believe to be the rigors of life.

Certainly, one of the greatest aspects of this book is the testimony of Pastor Farmer serving in the same church for over two decades. In other words, if his counsel was not worth reading, his congregation would have said so by now! The Biblical wisdom that flows from Andy’s pen is evident in both his ministry and his writing.

Recommendation

If you are living in this world as a Christian, I recommend this book to you. Though you may not be experiencing any of the traps listed as of right now, you will undoubtedly do so at some point. Also, you definitely know others who are experiencing these same traps. Allow Pastor Farmer to instruct you on how to help those for whom you love and care. This will be one of those resources that you pull off your shelf from time to time and are thankful you own it.

Like Father Like Son by Pete Alwinson

Like Father Like SonAlwinson, Pete. Like Father Like Son: How Knowing God as Father Changes Men. Greensboro: New Growth Press, 2015. 192 pp. Purchase at Westminster Books for less.

Introduction

Pete Alwinson serves as Key Life’s men’s ministry expert. He is the founding pastor of Willow Creek Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Winter Springs (Orlando), Florida, where he served for 26 years as Senior Pastor. He has served churches in California, Illinois, Connecticut and Florida. In addition to his pastoral ministries, he has served as an adjunct professor at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, FL.

Summary

Divided into ten chapters over 154 pages of text, Alwinson offers a clear understanding of Fatherhood as rooted in the truths of Scripture concerning God the Father. Each chapter builds on the previous though can stand alone if one is dealing with a particular problem.

These chapters look at the irreplaceable father who knows you and is known by you. This Father is welcoming, gives approval, builds His son’s identity and offers freedom. There are other chapters, but the concept to be found on every page is that our model is in heaven.

Review

I needed this book. As a father, I feel like I fail daily. Truth be told, I do fail daily as a father to my children. I am grateful that I can point my children to a Father who will never let them down and always has their best in mind. As a matter of fact, this book helped me to realize I need to do a better job of pointing my children to God the Father. They often hear about Jesus, who died for our sins, but not about God who loved the world enough to send His Son.

The end of each chapter offers a “take it to heart” section that helps the reader to engage the subject matter at a deeper level. This could be used in a small group setting or for personal edification. While this book could be read quickly, the application will take the rest of your life.

Alwinson’s passion to equip men to be better fathers is evident on every page. His passion to glorify God is even more obvious.

Recommendation

If you are a father or know a man who wants to be a better father, I highly recommend this resource to you. It can be read over a 10-day period almost as if it was a devotional.

God Made All of Me by Justin & Lindsey Holcomb

God Made All of MeHolcomb, Justin S. and Lindsey A. God Made All of Me: A Book to Help Children Protect Their Bodies. Greensboro: New Growth Press, 2015. 32 pp, $14.99. Purchase at Amazon for less.

Introduction

What began back in 2011 as a book to help those affected by sexual assault as well as leaders to provide biblically based counsel to those who have been abused is blossoming into a (sadly) needed ministry for the church today. You can read a couple reviews on the book Rid of my DisGrace and the recently released study guide here.

You can learn more at the website, God Mad All of Me.

Summary

God Made All of Me is a simply-told, beautifully-illustrated story to help families talk about these sensitive issues with two- to eight-year-old children. Because the private parts of our bodies are private, the home is the ideal environment where a child should learn about his or her body and how it should be treated by others. God Made All of Me starts from the fundamental truth that God created everything and applies that truth—the doctrine of creation—to kids and their bodies. It equips parents to talk with both boys and girls about their bodies and to help them understand the difference between the appropriate and inappropriate touch of others.

God Made All of Me allows families to build a first line of defense against sexual abuse in the safety of their own homes.

Review

In today’s sex-saturated, porno-everything, these conversations are more relevant and needed than ever before. They are often difficult conversations to have as well because, as a parent, you don’t want to introduce a problem that is not a problem. Yet, at the same time, you need to have these conversations out of necessity.

Thankfully, the Holcomb’s have written their first children’s book that addresses appropriate and inappropriate touches and the sort. They do this through a conversation between Kayla and David and their mom and dad.

The beauty is that it begins with the first two questions in most catechisms: “Who made you?” “God made me.” “What else did God make?” “God made all things.” Then, they segue into the conversation.  This then roots the entire conversation in the Word of God.

Recommendation

Sadly, this book is needed in every home. It is needed in every church. If you are a Christian doctor or other profession dealing with children, you need this book in your office. It is a simple little book that deals with a most difficult and important conversation. I cannot recommend this children’s book enough.

 

Rid of My Disgrace Small Group Discussion Guide

Rid of My Disgrace SGRid of My Disgrace Small Group Discussion Guide. Justin S. Holcomb, Lindsey A. Holcomb, and Stephanie R. Hurter. Greensboro: New Growth Press, 2015. 96 pp. $14.99. Get if for less at Westminster Books.

Introduction

Back in 2011, Crossway released a book entitled Rid of My Disgrace which dealt with victims of sexual assault. I reviewed that book and would highly recommend you read that review before continuing reading this review.

Summary/Review

This study guide is designed to be an 8-week course in a group setting. The aforementioned book will be needed as the weekly readings will come directly from there.

The first week looks at Disgrace followed by weeks focused on grace, denial, self-image, shame, guilt, anger and fear, and hope. By the end of the study, the participant will be brought face to face with the necessity of the gospel over and over.

Sexual assault is becoming more and more a reality in our porn-saturated culture today. Many churches are not equipped to deal with these situations. Thankfully, Crossway and New Growth Press as well as the Holcomb’s and Stephanie Hurter have written this study guide that is pointed and full of love and compassion for the hurting.

The participant will answer a number of questions from the reading and will be assigned a journaling topic along with a suggested Scripture to memorize. Then, during the support group or group study time, there are guidelines to follow and Scripture to discuss in addition to the times of meditation to cultivate in a group setting in order to bring it home for personal meditations.

This study is designed to encourage genuine gospel healing for victims of sexual assault. It is centered squarely on the participant’s need of Christ and grace. It is not, however, centered on the participant. Rather, the author’s recognize the problem that the participant has dealt with and helps them to focus outward on Christ and others, as commanded in Scripture, rather than internally and spiraling down into depression or worse.

Recommendation

If you are looking for a resource to minister to victims of sexual assault or are in need of ministering as a victim of sexual assault (first, contact your pastor or another trusted Christian!) then  you have found your resource. I recommend this resource to all pastors to have on hand and ready to use. This may be a ministry that is desperately needed in your congregation or community and you are not aware of it. Read the book and equip yourself to become more aware.

 

Grief Undone by Elizabeth W. D. Groves

Grief UndoneGroves, Elizabeth W.D., Grief Undone: A Journey with God and Cancer. Greensboro: New Growth Press, 2015. 224 pp. $17.99. Purchase at Westminster Books for less or for Kindle.

Introduction

Elizabeth Groves teaches Hebrew at Westminster Theological Seminary. She has written Becoming a Widow. She also has four children and four grandchildren.

Summary

With eighty-nine chapters in only 224 pages, one quickly realizes this is more like a diary of the author’s journey that emphasizes her husband’s battle with cancer. The book is divided into a number of subsections such as life before (the cancer), winter ’06, spring ’06 until his death in winter ’06-’07.

The largest portion of the book is Elizabeth’s immediate life following the home going of her soul mate and husband (chapters 61-83) and then a final section looking back on this most difficult period in her life (chapter 84-89).

Review

Grief Undone is a diary chronicling all the human emotional, mental, physical and spiritual struggles every human faces in life. In this case, it was the all too common battle against cancer. To that end, it must be noted how difficult it is to critique one’s raw emotions and their own personal experiences since it is so personal and private.

Perhaps that is what makes this work so valuable. On every page, you see the struggles of the flesh. You witness first hand the life of a believer in the midst of terrible strife. And on every page you see God-given faith and perseverance. You see humility. You see courage to face the world with a satisfaction of knowing that the God you worship is sovereign over cancer and other illnesses. Further, you see that there is a comfort in knowing that though this cancer may take your life in this world and, as is the instance for Elizabeth, leave you “by yourself” to await your own home going, it is not the end by a long shot.

The faith and hope poured into these words on the pages in this book are a comfort to the believer today. Why? Because we all must struggle with sin and the effects of sin in this world. Elizabeth Groves has written a wonderful and transparent book that will be an aid to all pilgrims striving to get to the Celestial City.

Recommendation

If you have cancer or know someone who does, I highly recommend this resource to you. If you struggle with the trials and tribulations of life, I highly recommend this resource to you. While Elizabeth is certainly someone we can all learn from in dealing with cancer and death, she ultimately points us to the One who helped her and will help you.

What’s Up? by Deborah Harrell & Jack Klumpenhower

What up SGHarrell, Deborah and Jack Klumpenhower. What’s Up? Discovering the Gospel, Jesus, and Who You Really Are. Greensboro: New Growth Press, 2015. 152 pp. Student Guide – $15.99. Teacher’s Guide – $19.99.

Introduction

Jack Klumpenhower is the author of Show Them Jesus – Teaching the Gospel to Kids also by New Growth Press. Deborah Harrell is the Overseas Educational Advisor for Serge. She has also written a children’s novel, Pinto’s Hope.

Summary

This is a study designed for middle school students (5th-8th grade) to encourage them to believe the good news of Jesus and to also live it out in their lives. There is an accompanying teacher’s guide.

The workbook is divided into three parts with fifteen different lessons. The curriculum guides middle-school age students in discovering Jesus through fifteen 90-minute lessons that can be expanded to cover twenty-seven weeks.

Review

This is a practical, down to earth, Bible study designed to “hit the children where they are.” Deborah and Jack masterfully teach doctrinal truths of Christian character in a way that most every child can understand. What sets this curriculum apart, however, is that it is not moralistic as most. Rather, this study on Christian character traits is gospel-centered and points to the necessity of Jesus Christ every day in the life of a child and an adult.

Perhaps the best aspect of this particular study is that it shows the middle-school child that faith in Christ is not a church only deal. It must, of necessity encompass one’s entire life. Unit one lays this foundation with an intensive look at the gospel while unit two shows how the gospel alone changes your heart. The third unit shows how the gospel changes your life.

Each week, the youth will be challenged by the gospel. They will see that there is no gray. You are either a Christian or you are not.

While there is quite a bit of prep time for the teacher as well as quite a bit of “homework” for the student, this is a comprehensive approach to student ministry that, Lord willing, will have lasting impact on the child, the teacher, and the local church.

Recommendation

I am always looking for solid study materials for children…especially as a father of 5! What’s Up?  is gospel saturated, Christocentric and will prove to be a wake-up call to both the youth and the instructor. I highly recommend this resource to anyone with children or looking to instruct children.

On Guard by Deepak Reju

On GurdReju, Deepak. On Guard: Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church. Greensboro: New Growth Press, 2014. 208 pp. $19.99. Purchase at Westminster in print for less or on Kindle.

Introduction

Deepak Reju serves as Pastor of Biblical Counseling and Family Ministry at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. He has contributed to Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling and Scripture and Counseling.

Summary

Divided into three sections with a number of appendices, Dr. Reju tackles a timely though difficult subject. Section one lays the foundation and the necessity of getting familiar with the problem of child abuse. The second section offers eight strategies for protecting against child abuse while section three offers three strategies to properly respond to abuse if it should occur in your church (or anywhere for that matter).

The appendices offer suggestions ranging from writing policies to talking with children to training scenarios for workers and volunteers.

Review

As much as I hate to say it, this book is much needed today. Stories abound, as do court cases and arrest records, of the pervasive nature of child abuse both in the home and the church. Obviously, we cannot be everywhere at once, but we can look for signs in the lives of those children and families who are under our care as a church.

Deepak’s work is rooted firmly in Scripture. From that solid foundation, he offers much practical insight in how to deal with this often hidden problem. On Guard is not lengthy though one ought to read it slowly and thoughtfully as we are all going to give an account one way or another.

Depending on where you stand in your knowledge of the pervasiveness of this problem, this work could be extremely eye-opening. Wading through section one for the one who is ignorant of the problem may be earth-shattering. Section two will prove to be a most valuable platform from which to build one’s ministry to protect against child abuse. Section three will serve as an exhortation to respond properly both biblically and legally when it comes to reporting these crimes.

Dr. Reju’s work is extremely accessible to all in the church. His desire to offer “a more comprehensive approach” to preventing and responding to child abuse has been met. This resource is not meant to be the end of the discussion but the beginning of a lengthy discussion designed to equip the bride of Christ to minister more effectively to a hurting world.

Recommendation

If you are a Christian, you need to read this book. If you are on a church staff or a member of a church, you must read this book. It is sad that it needs to be written, but the fact that it does indicates the importance of the subject at hand. We must no longer bury our heads in the sand. Rather, we must equip ourselves to bear one another’s burdens. Dr. Deepak Reju aids us in this endeavor and for that we are indebted to him.

Hide or Seek by John Freeman

Hide or SeekFreeman, John. Hide or Seek: When Men Get Real with God About Sex. Greensboro: New Growth Press, 2014. 144 pp. $17.99. Purchase at Westminster books for less or on Kindle.

Introduction

John Freeman is president of Harvest USA whose stated purpose is to bring the truth and mercy of Jesus Christ to help men, women and families affected by sexual struggles and sin.

Summary

Divided into ten chapters over 140+ pages, John cuts through the stained glass masquerade and gets down to business. In the first chapter he lays the foundation of how pervasive pornography and sexuality have become in our culture. The next three chapters articulate what life looks like for one who plays the game and ultimately hates God while creating idols to worship.

Chapter five begins the process of rebuilding our identity and theological foundation on the gospel. Here, he looks at the importance of living with integrity. Chapter six is the atomic bomb that the gospel will disrupt your life and give you hope that you have the power to overcome your sinful addictions. Next, he continues building and explaining that the gospel is indeed for you and how to live according to this truth.

The final three chapters offer explicit applications on living in light of the gospel and how to deal with one’s dark desires.

Review

Finally, some straight talk that is not meant to shock you! I have read a number of books about battling pornography. They have ranged from advice like “just stop it” to a new creation would never have this struggle. Their methods have been everywhere from understood coddling to shock-jock conversation meant to help you deal with it in the real world.  Hide or Seek does none of this.

Rather, John Freeman has authored a resource that is both frank and genuine while also being biblical and extremely understanding in its practical application. He does not shy away from the reality that pornography is everywhere and because it is everywhere it is pervasive in all of life.

His perspective is based on years of speaking to men (and women) about the problem of porn. He is saturated with Scripture and seeks to apply the biblical solutions to everyday life in order to offer a strategy to win the battle (because for the Christian, the war has already been won!).

In the end, there is no easy step solution to winning. This is a daily battle in which you will need to be fully engaged in at all times.

Recommendation

There are a number of books on the problem of sexuality and pornography. I have recommended many of them and highly recommend Hide or Seek as well. His perspective is fresh and genuine. His advice is sound and time-tested.