Quiet Faith: An Introvert’s Guide to Spiritual Survival by Judson Edwards (Smyth & Helwys)
You won’t hear readers shouting about Judson Edwards’ latest book. People who love Quiet Faith: An Introvert’s Guide to Spiritual Survival aren’t the shouting type. But rest assured, this book will give shy Christians the courage to stand up and do what needs to be done—especially when it comes to living out their faith.
This book is for you if you’re the kind of Christian who’s ever pulled into the church parking lot and tried to figure out how to walk from the car to your pew while encountering as few people as possible. It’s for you if you’ve ever felt embarrassed (for multiple reasons) in the presence of fellow Christians who can buttonhole-for-Jesus cab drivers, waitresses and airplane-seat companions. And, as much as you’d like to deny it, it’s for you if you’re the opposite of all that, too.
Quiet Faith provides helpful insight and guidance on multiple levels, but here are some of my favorites:
• Edwards describes the strengths and gifts introverts bring to the church.
• To counter Christian amnesia and spiritual vertigo, he stakes out four signposts that define the “heart of our life in Christ”—grace, faith, gratitude and humility. Those signposts are beautiful, profound, uplifting.
• He’s bold enough to discuss the sometimes-apparent silence of God, the reasons some people have left the church, the challenge (and opportunity) of doubt, and how to live quietly yet faithfully in a loud world. His candor inspires introverts.
This is Edwards’ 11th book and my favorite. Before I finished, I knew I’d read it again and again—and follow Jesus a bit more faithfully each time.
Marv Knox, editor
Baptist Standard & CommonCall
The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate (Tyndale)
Lisa Wingate sets The Prayer Box in Fairhope on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, where 91-year-old Iola Anne Poole lives alone in Benoit House, a stately but aging mansion. When Tandi Reese flees her abusive husband in Texas, she heads to Fairhope, home of her late grandparents and the only place she ever felt loved.
Destitute, Tandi and her two children rent Mrs. Poole’s guest cottage. A few days later, she finds her landlady napping, only to realize she is dead. The reclusive woman leaves her home to the church, and the pastor asks Tandi to clean Benoit House in exchange for rent. The young woman discovers a closet full of boxes. Curious, she opens one and begins reading the letters inside. Only they aren’t letter,s but 80-plus years of prayers. As Tandi pours over the papers, she learns the secrets of a soul who generously gave her resources and prayers. Seeing herself, she gradually opens to the healing of friendship, grace and love.
Although not a quick read, Wingate has penned a delicate yet powerful story in The Prayer Box. The author’s end-note encourages writing prayers, placing them in a box, closing the lid, and letting them go with trust in the Father, just as Iola Anne did for a lifetime.
Kathy Hillman, first vice president
Baptist General Convention of Texas