Praying Circles Around Your Marriage | Book Review


Some books offer advice about marriage, others about prayer. Praying Circles Around Your Marriage offers advice about both, under the assumption that couples who pray together stay together.“The richness of your marriage will be determined by how frequently and how fervently God is invited into your relationship,” write Joel and Nina Schmidgall. “Prayer will draw you into unity with God and, as a result, with one another.” The concept of “praying circles around _____” comes from Mark Batterson’s excellent book, The Circle Maker. The Schmidgalls are in-laws of Batterson and work with him at National Community Church in Washington, D.C., Joel … Continue reading Praying Circles Around Your Marriage | Book Review

The Couple That Prays Together… | Influence Podcast


“What your marriage will become is determined by how you pray,” write Joel and Nina Schmidgall in their new book, Praying Circles Around Your Marriage. “Prayers for your marriage will allow you to claim God-given promises, fulfill God-given dreams for your family, and seize a God-ordained legacy for generations.” In Episode 164 of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to the Schmidgalls about their book, which offers great advice about prayer, marriage, and family life. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host. Joel and Nina Schmidgall are on staff at National Community Churchin Washington, DC. Joel … Continue reading The Couple That Prays Together… | Influence Podcast

The Storm-Tossed Family | Book Review


After a years-long journey from foster care to adoption, my wife, son and I welcomed our two girls into their forever family on Friday, December 9, 2016. Family and friends crowded into the courtroom to witness the formal adoption ceremony. Afterward, we trooped over to our house for cake and presents for our daughters. Their adoption was a joyous event, well worth celebrating. And yet, as is always the case with adoption, a tragedy lurked in the shadows. You cannot build an adoptive family unless a tragedy, neglect or abuse has broken the biological family first. And though our girls … Continue reading The Storm-Tossed Family | Book Review

Review of ‘Faith in the Voting Booth’ by Leith Anderson and Galen Carey


Leith Anderson and Galen Carey, Faith in the Voting Booth: Practical Wisdom for Voting Well (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2016). Today (March 15), voters from Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio cast ballots in the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries. Since I am a Missourian, I performed my civic duty and cast a ballot along with them. Voting is so routine in American life that we Americans often take it for granted. We shouldn’t, however. It is a great privilege and an awesome responsibility. It also can be hard work. Choosing a candidate or supporting a referendum requires informed … Continue reading Review of ‘Faith in the Voting Booth’ by Leith Anderson and Galen Carey

Review of ‘From This Day Forward’ by Craig and Amy Groeschel


 Craig and Amy Groeschel, From This Day Forward: Five Commitments to Fail-Proof Your Marriage (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014). Paperback / Kindle Marriage is delightful. It is also difficult, however. While the divorce rate may not be the oft-quoted 50 percent, it is still significant.[1] The relevant question, then, for Christians getting married or already wed is this: What can a couple do to make sure their marriage thrives? Craig and Amy Groeschel offer an answer to this question in their new book, From This Day Forward. Craig is the founding senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv, an innovative multisite church best … Continue reading Review of ‘From This Day Forward’ by Craig and Amy Groeschel

Review of ‘The Good News about Marriage’ by Shaunti Feldhahn with Tally Whitehead


 Shaunti Feldhahn with Tally Whitehead, The Good News about Marriage: Debunking Discouraging Myths about Marriage and Divorce (Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah Books, 2014). Hardcover / Kindle Marriage survives by hope. If a husband and wife believe that their relationship can get better, chances are that it will. They may have to tread a difficult path for a time, but eventually, the road becomes smoother and they arrive at their destination: a fulfilling life together. Unfortunately, many of the statistics about marriage and divorce that are prevalent in our culture destroy hope. Fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce, we’re … Continue reading Review of ‘The Good News about Marriage’ by Shaunti Feldhahn with Tally Whitehead