Bearing God: Living A Christ-Formed Life in Uncharted Waters
By Marlena Graves
When the priest read this Gospel story in Mark 4, Marlena Graves didn’t see herself as the terrified disciples, lacking faith. She wasn’t Jesus, peacefully sleeping through the danger. She wasn’t the wind or the waves. According to Graves, “I was the boat! And then it occurred to me that, like Jesus’ mother, Mary, I, too, am a God bearer.” Journey with Graves and discover these things: We are all vessels that carry Jesus as we journey throughout our lives. Boats are made for the water―they have a mission―and that mission always involves others. Jesus is not disturbed by any storms (or our reactions to them). Our lives, which carry Christ and the gospel, are to bring salvation to others, especially those who have been thrown overboard in life. There is a destination―life with God―at the heart of spiritual formation. As we bear God and go out to sea, God is also bearing us into oneness with him. Bearing God is a short and enthralling read that will awaken you as a disciple of Jesus to a sense of adventure in your calling. Using the metaphor of Christians as vessels for Christ, Bearing God is packed with inspirational lessons and principles to help readers grow in their spirituality. An ideal discipleship resource for churches, small groups, and personal devotion.ORDER HERE
Enneagram 9 Daily Readings
By Marlena Graves
"Why do you hold back?" Enneagram Nines are often asked questions like this by others who want to invite them to share their gifts. Marlena Graves describes her own experience with deciding whether to speak up: "I know what it's like to be run over and rendered invisible. I don't want to do the same to others." Nines are easy to be around because they seem to instinctively put others before themselves. In these readings Marlena reflects on what it's like to be a Nine with a spirit of honest self-assessment and a desire for personal and spiritual growth. She draws wisdom from the deep wells of both counseling and spirituality, using illustrations from Scripture and life. She writes out of her personal context, drawing on the lessons learned from her Puerto Rican Abuelita and from growing up in poverty. But she also writes for all of us. Each reading concludes with an opportunity for further engagement such as a journaling prompt, reflection questions, a written prayer, or a spiritual practice. Any of us can find aspects of ourselves in any of the numbers. The Enneagram is a profound tool for empathy, so whether or not you are a Nine, you will grow from your reading about Nines and enhance your relationships across the Enneagram spectrum.ORDER HERE
THE WAY UP IS DOWN
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.ORDER HERE!
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.BUY NOW!
A Rhythm of Prayer by Sarah Bessey
Marlena Graves - CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR
It’s no secret that we are overworked, overpressured, and edging burnout. Unsurprisingly, this fact is as old as time—and that’s why we see so many prayer circles within a multitude of church traditions. These gatherings are a trusted space where people seek help, hope, and peace, energized by God and one another. This book, curated by acclaimed author Sarah Bessey, celebrates and honors that prayerful tradition in a literary form. A companion for all who feel the immense joys and challenges of the journey of faith, this collection of prayers says it all aloud, giving readers permission to recognize the weight of all they carry. These writings also offer a broadened imagination of hope—of what can be restored and made new. Each prayer is an original piece of writing, with new essays by Sarah Bessey throughout. Encompassing the full breadth of the emotional landscape, these deeply tender yet subversive prayers give readers an intimate look at the diverse language and shapes of prayer.ORDER NOW
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.Download Here