Abraham Lincoln, the soul of America, is still speaking to us
Our series begins with Thirty Days With Abraham Lincoln: Quiet Fire by Duncan Newcomer because Lincoln is a unique, unifying figure in American life whose wisdom is welcomed by men and women of all political and spiritual points of view.
Abraham Lincoln is the soul of America, calling us to our best as Americans. Lincoln scholar Duncan Newcomer has hosted more than 200 episodes of the public radio series Quiet Fire: The Spiritual Life of Abraham Lincoln. Now, 30 of his best stories provide a month of inspirational reading in a unique volume that invites us to read the stories—or to follow a simple code in the book to hear the original broadcast each day.
“Since its beginning, radio has offered a warm medium for connecting the heart, the head, and the imagination. This delightful collection of Lincoln’s wisdom was seeded in a creative radio show, Quiet Fire,” writes Sally Kane, CEO of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, where this series was born on WERU, a station in mid-coastal Maine. “Now, Quiet Fire has morphed into a daily companion for readers who connect the dots between time and space to map a new understanding of the chaotic times in which we live. Lincoln’s words resonate more urgently than ever, and Duncan has played alchemist in Quiet Fire to one of our country’s greatest souls and distilled an essence that can guide and comfort us.”
“Duncan Newcomer captures Lincoln’s spirit in every one of these thirty meditations, and I love the fact that these began life on radio since I am a radio guy as well,” Day1 radio host Peter Wallace writes in the book’s Foreword.
- Tell friends about this online resource page: ThirtyDaysWith.com.
- The Christian Science Monitor‘s Editor Mark Sappenfield recommends this book as
chicken soup for the soulfor Americans deeply troubled by the divisions we see all around us.
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Invite friends to discuss the new book.
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King David teaches us about ‘Leading with Spirit’
In turbulent times, King David united a nation—and his hard-earned wisdom can bring us together today. This new 30 Days With book offers a month of readings plus ideas for small-group discussion. David ranks among the world’s greatest heroes for defeating Goliath and best-selling authors for writing Psalms. He is honored by Jews, Christians and Muslims. In this book, pastor, educator and leadership coach Larry Buxton shows us how David embodies 14 crucial values shared by effective leaders to this day.
Just as the first volume in this series invites readers to spend 30 Days With Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest unifying figures in American history, Buxton’s book is a call for all of us to remember values that unite us. Buxton dedicates “this book to everyone who believes that the character of any leader is of critical importance to our nation, our institutions, our congregations and our homes; and to all those who seek to let God shape their character as more virtuous human beings, that their influence may spread to heal our world.”
Answering that call in the opening pages are two nationally known political leaders—one a Democrat and one a Republican, who came together in these pages to urge all of us to read these 30 short stories drawn from David’s often tragically learned lessons about life.
In his Foreword, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine writes: “From the blockbuster arc of David’s life, Larry Buxton assembles 30 short chapters on key leadership traits—patience, vision, humility, integrity, openness, tenderness, forgiveness, courage, gratitude, self-control, surrender, perseverance, calmness, justice. Buxton helps us see how David either exhibited these values or catastrophically failed to achieve them. The chapters are probing and conversational—with references from the worlds of literature, sports, politics and entertainment to illustrate how to apply these lessons to our everyday challenges.”
In his Preface, Andrew H. Card, who served in Washington D.C. during two Bush administrations, writes: “No matter what your faith or tradition of worship—and, no matter your role in business, management, philanthropy, sports, politics, government or family—you will find the adventures in these 30 daily readings extremely relevant and highly motivating. We need to meet David again through Larry Buxton’s wise retelling of these stories—so that we all can lift up the best values in leadership in our institutions, our nation and our world.”
America’s High School Coaches are shaping millions of lives
High school coaches shape millions of lives. These 30 short and inspiring stories show the diversity of approaches by coaches nationwide in building athletes’ hearts, minds and bodies to form successful teams, strong individuals and future leaders. The coaches profiled in this book come from every corner of the nation and every socio-economic setting, highlighting how they combine imagination, a selfless commitment to their athletes and a strong internal compass. In this book, you will find true stories of coaches who lead male and female athletes in a wide variety of sports.
“From these interviews and vignettes come narratives that will keep coaches going-even on days when players are ready to quit. They will quench the thirsts of professionals eager to drink from a well of peers’ stories. They pack practical insights for how to build the trust and confidence that teenagers deeply crave and need,” writes veteran journalist G. Jeffrey MacDonald in this book’s Foreword. “Although the book is explicitly about coaching high school sports, it delivers many a transferable insight for parents, teachers, pastors and others who’d like to engage the teens in their lives more effectively. Who couldn’t use more of that?”
Duncan Newcomer, the Lincoln scholar who wrote the first volume in this series, Thirty Days with Abraham Lincoln, also emphasizes this book’s broad and timely appeal. “There is an audience of good people doing deep work with young people, their bodies and their spirits, that is character building, virtue raising and soul-making. They will find in this book and its stories the truths they live and would want told, and they will tell others. “
That’s because Martin Davis so thoroughly understands the challenges high school coaches, players and their families face every day, writes University of Denver professor Brian Gearity in his Preface to this new book. “I’m a hardcore professor of sport coaching. I write a lot of long research papers with big words, which most people don’t read. For over a dozen years now, I’ve taught college students what, why and how to coach. Now, I’ll be using the stories in this book to show what sport coaching is all about. We will discuss the culture, time period, and psychology of the coaches and the storytellers in this book.”
Thirty Days with America’s High School Coaches also comes with a complete Discussion Guide, which breaks down the book into themes and sections readers can discuss with friends, colleagues in sports, and people across the community.
E. Stanley Jones shows us how a humble faith can transform the world
Does a preacher from the previous century have anything to say to this generation? Yes! His clarion call to justice and loving community was shaped by his friendship with Mahatma Gandhi and influenced the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In one of his famous appeals, Jones wrote: “Let us go out to stimulate everybody and throw open the doors of equal opportunity to every single person. We must galvanize beaten down people with a faith in God, in themselves and in the future. … And this faith in humanity would apply to people outside our own borders.”
In his day, E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973) was described as the “greatest missionary since Saint Paul.” More than an evangelist, he was the author of 27 books that sold millions of copies. He also was a statesman, the founder of Christian ashrams, an interfaith leader as well as a spokesman for peace, racial inclusion and social justice. He was a confidant of presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, his ministry in India brought him into close contact with that country’s leaders including Jawaharlal Nehru, Rabindranath Tagore, and Mahatma Gandhi. His writings from India influenced Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s own nonviolent approach to injustice.
The crystal clarity and the warm hospitality of Jones’ Christian message formed working relationships with leaders of other world religions and often startled his own American evangelical colleagues, especially when he prophetically condemned racism as “spiritual treason against God.”
As challenging as his preaching sometimes was in confronting injustice, Jones was best known for inspirational Christian messages of hope and refreshment for the millions of people from every walk of life who he addressed either in person or through his writings.
Now, a widespread movement is reviving Jones’ spiritual wisdom in the midst of global tensions over faith, ethnicity and race. The Rev. Dr. John E. Harnish, himself a noted Christian educator, writer and pastor, has written 30 short, inspiring true stories from Jones’ life and the people that he touched, that illustrate the timeless, loving wisdom that he believed lay at the core of Christianity.
The stories can be read as daily devotionals or could be discussed with friends or within small groups, Sunday schools and congregations. The book includes a complete discussion guide as well as links to introductory videos by Harnish that can be used to spark discussion in your group.
In his introduction to these 30 stories, Harnish writes, “From Jones’ life and work, we can hear a word which is as relevant today as it was 75 years ago. In a day when tensions between races and religions are on the rise globally and the message of the Christian faith seems to be either weak or aligned with a political agenda, the voice of a true World Christian needs to be heard once again.”
A Timeless Spiritual Gift:
The Wisdom of Daily Readings
The idea of daily readings as a spiritual practice dates back thousands of years to Jewish cycles of readings and prayers. Christians and Muslims both adopted the idea of fixed-hour prayers, then various daily disciplines arose from that tradition.
In the early 20th century, Frances Craig, a Methodist laywoman in Texas, responded to the devastation of the Great Depression by organizing the distribution of daily inspirational readings through her church. By 1935, she was collaborating with a Methodist evangelist, the Rev. Grover Emmons, in the nationwide debut of The Upper Room magazine, offering a nonsectarian collection of daily readings for Christian families. The idea was so successful that other collections of daily readings followed.
In 1956, a radio evangelist in Michigan launched a more evangelical series of daily texts, called Our Daily Bread. By the 1990s, the idea seemed passé. A long list of major publishers turned down the idea of a new, broad based series of uplifting books, called Chicken Soup for the Soul. Jack Canfield and Mark Hansen eventually partnered with a tiny Florida publishing house that was willing to take a risk on their idea that these short stories would find an audience. A quarter of a century later, the 250 Chicken Soup titles have sold more than 100 million copies.