by Marlena Graves

"Now, with God's help, I shall become myself." These words from Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard resonate deeply with Marlena Graves, a Puerto Rican writer, pastor, and activist. In these pages she describes the process of emptying herself that allows her to move upward toward God and become the true self that God calls her to. Drawing on the rich traditions of Eastern and Western Christian saints, she shares stories and insights that have enlivened her transformation. For Marlena, formation and justice always intertwine on the path to a balanced life of both action and contemplation. If you long for more of God, this book offers a time-honored path to deeper life.

A Beautiful Disaster

by Marlena Graves

Interweaving biblical insights and personal narratives, this eloquently written book shows how God often uses suffering and desert experiences to form us into Christ's image. Marlena Graves shares her experiences of growing up poor in a house plagued by mental illness as a means to explore the forces God uses to shape us into beautiful people in the midst of brokenness. This book offers a window into suffering through the motif of desert spirituality, revealing how God can use our painful experiences to show himself faithful. While no one welcomes suffering, God often uses desert experiences--those we initially despise and wouldn't wish on anyone--to transform us into beautiful souls who better resemble Jesus. Graves shows how God can bring life out of circumstances reeking of death and destruction, whether those circumstances are crises or daily doses of quiet desperation. Readers who have experienced suffering and question God's purpose for it will benefit from this book, as will counselors, pastors, professors, and mentors. It includes a foreword by John Ortberg and Laura Ortberg Turner.

Who’s My Neighbor? Loving Our Neighbors as God Loves Us.

by Marlena Graves

Who is my neighbor? The answer to this may vary widely depending on the culture (and location) in which you live. For some, a neighbor is relegated to those with whom a property border is shared. For others, it may be anyone you come into contact with throughout any given day. Maybe you have 100 neighbors in your apartment complex, or maybe your closest one is 25 miles away. Whatever the case, the question remains relevant: Who is my neighbor? In response to this question, Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan. In that we are given not only a picture of who qualifies as a neighbor, but also how to connect with them. The needs of our neighbors may not always be as clear as those of the man in the story, but make no mistake, our neighbors have needs. In the following pages, Marlena Graves helps us think about our neighbors and how we can love them as we love ourselves.
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Releasing Winter 2021: Enneagram 9 Daily Readings

By Marlena Graves