While we are in the midst of Advent, looking forward to 2021, and reading the news about potential vaccines for the coronavirus, it seems like a good time to ponder hope. We recommend the following books and DVDs to add to your lists for 2021.
Books for Your 2021 Reading List
Ladder to the Light: An Indigenous Elder’s Meditations on Hope and Courage by Steven Charleston. Choctaw elder and Episcopal priest Steven Charleston offers words of hard-won hope, rooted in daily conversations with the Spirit and steeped in indigenous wisdom. Native America knows something about cultivating resilience and resisting darkness. For all who yearn for hope, Ladder to the Light is a book of comfort, truth, and challenge in a time of anguish and fear.
Hope for Hard Times: Lessons on Faith from Elijah and Elisha by Magrey R. deVega. Your story of hurt, heartache, and hopelessness has been heard, and God has a message for you: don’t give up, don’t lose hope. God is with you and will give you everything you need. It’s the same message God gave to Elijah when he was so alone he hid in a cave. And it’s the same message he gave to Elisha when he was surrounded by his enemies. Discover how these two great, biblical prophets trusted God to find a way for them. This book has a companion leader’s guide for a 4-week study and short videos for each session on YouTube. Watch the promo video.
Hope Sings: Risk More, Dream Bigger, Fear Less by Susanna Foth Aughtmon. Aughtmon reminds us that, even when we are fearful and anxious about the circumstances that surround us, we have real hope when we have faith in God’s mercy, peace, grace, worthiness, and authentic goodness…when we hear God’s voice singing out, bringing light into the dark, inviting us to join in an everlasting song of hope, and helping us to reach for dreams that seem out of our grasp.
Morning Will Come: Living with Hope in Uncertain Times by Sid Huggins. Morning Will Come addresses our deepest struggles and inspires hope. For individuals and group study, this experienced pastor gives wonderful contemporary examples of the Risen Christ’s transforming presence and promises.
DVDs for Your 2021 Studies
You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times by Max Lucado. Max reminds participants God doesn’t promise that getting through trials will be quick or painless. It wasn’t for Joseph tossed in a pit by his brothers, sold into slavery, wrongfully imprisoned, forgotten and dismissed. Lucado lifts up the Genesis story of Joseph to offer hope to anyone going through difficult times. Watch the promo video for this 6-session study.
Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World by Melissa Spoelstra. This award-winning women’s study brings a message of hope in times of uncertainty based on the biblical prophet Jeremiah. Spoelstra provides women six guidelines for intentional living to overcome fear, worry, and doubt as they surrender their will to God’s and put their hope in Him alone. Watch a promo video.
Ed’s Story: A Film Series about Hope by Ed Dobson. Ed Dobson lived with ALS for 15 years. In this 7-session video series, he reminds us that life isn’t over yet and that we don’t have to feel overwhelmed by the struggles we’re facing today. Difficult news can sometimes make us feel like our lives are over. Ed shows us that we don’t know the future, and that things may turn out quite differently from what we expect.
Hope: When Life Hurts Most by Louie Giglio. In these two presentations, Louie Giglio focuses on why we can have hope. God offers Himself and His cross as an anchor of hope no matter what we face in life. And more than simply enduring suffering, the hope we find in Him allows us to leverage our darkest moments for His fame. When life hurts most, the world listens most intently to our message, allowing us to broadcast through our pain the goodness of the One who loves us the most.
For more resources that will help you reflect on and respond to the difficulties of 2020, view our pathfinder on Weathering Life’s Storms. It includes books and DVDs on disaster recovery, hope and fear, self-care, and grief and loss.
Request These Resources
These resources can be borrowed for free by anyone involved with a United Methodist Church in the North Carolina Conference. We will mail them to your home! All you need to do is fill out the Resource Request Form.