Secrets Of A Faith Well Lived


As you admire from afar the Christian leaders of our time, do you ever wonder what it would be like to live their lives, to think their thoughts, to believe their faith?

This fascinating book by Christ Coppernoll brings their opened hearts to the printed page. Through the close up lens of personal interviews with best-selling authors Max Lucado, Frank Peretti, Sheila Walsh, Scotty Smith, Tony Campolo, Patsy Clairmont, and more, you will glimpse the intimate secrets of faith that...

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As you admire from afar the Christian leaders of our time, do you ever wonder what it would be like to live their lives, to think their thoughts, to believe their faith?

This fascinating book by Christ Coppernoll brings their opened hearts to the printed page. Through the close up lens of personal interviews with best-selling authors Max Lucado, Frank Peretti, Sheila Walsh, Scotty Smith, Tony Campolo, Patsy Clairmont, and more, you will glimpse the intimate secrets of faith that have shaped these influential men and women. In the pages of this book, you are invited to share in candid conversations with modern-day disciples and learn firsthand about their struggles, their families, their mission, their dreams, and their hearts.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582291918
  • Publisher: Howard Books
  • Publication date: 6/1/2001
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 0.62 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Coppernoll is the host of the internationally syndicated weekly radio show Soul2Soul and the author of Soul2Soul: Christian Music Artists Share an Intimate Look at Their Lives, Their Music, & Their Faith. He has conducted over 300 interviews with Christian recording artists and authors on living faith in contemporary times. He lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with his wife and daughter.

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Read an Excerpt

Introduction: What's the Secret?

It has been said that our world is shaped by the stories we tell; and likewise, we as individuals become sculpted by the stories we hear. That's why I believe Christians have a great obligation—a calling, if you will—to open ourselves up in those private zones where each of us live and disclose to others the secrets of our faith. We must be brave enough to engage others with our own faith stories. After all, there's nothing quite as compelling as a personal testimony. The mere act of confiding how God makes Himself real in our lives has power to transform and elevate both the story's teller and its hearer.

I believe in the power and significance of personal testimony. By trade I interview Christian personalities (yes, there is such a job!), and in that role I'm allowed to pose probing questions to those I interview and ask about their personal faith. As host of the internationally syndicated Soul2Soul radio program—a show that collects and disseminates faith stories shared primarily by Christian music artists—I've found myself sitting across from Christian artists such Michael W. Smith, Jars of Clay, Randy Travis, Jennifer Knapp, Rebecca St. James, Newsboys, and Point of Grace, listening to them describe how God has impacted their lives. Some of these interviews became the basis for my first book, Soul2Soul.

In Secrets of a Faith Well Lived, I was able to carry out an inspiration I had more than twenty years ago when I imagined taking all of my questions about what it means to be a Christian to an expert who could help me make sense of it all. How great it would be, I reasoned, to sit with someone I trusted and respected—someone who understood by study and personal life experience what it means to be faithful to the call of Christ's discipleship—and ask my questions. I finally got that opportunity—and what an experience it turned out to be! Only I didn't just sit and talk with one expert but fourteen, their names known around the world as some of the most influential Christian authors of our time.

Henry Blackaby is director of the Office of Prayer and Spiritual Awakening at the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and is best known for his modern classic, Experiencing God. Henry's other books include Created to Be God's Friend, The Man God Uses, When God Speaks, The Power of the Call, and Fresh Encounter: God's Pattern for Revival and Spiritual Awakening. Henry also serves as special assistant to the president of the International Mission Board and LifeWay Christian Resources, consulting in the area of prayer and spiritual awakening for global revival.

Steve Brown served as a pastor for twenty-five years and now works full-time with his radio ministry, Key Life. In addition to being a radio broadcaster, he is a popular speaker, a seminary professor, and the author of such books as Follow the Wind, Approaching God, How to Talk So People Will Listen, and When Your Rope Breaks. Steve serves as professor of preaching at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida, and is on the board of the National Religious Broadcasters. He co-hosted his own television series with Tony Campolo on the Odyssey Network called Hashing It Out.

Tony Campolo is the author of twenty-eight books, including such bestsellers as Following Jesus without Embarrassing God and Is Jesus a Republican or a Democrat? He is a professor of sociology and the chairman of the sociology department at Eastern College in St. Davids, Pennsylvania, and holds a Ph.D. from Temple University. He is also an ordained minister and the associate pastor of Mount Carmel Baptist Church in West Philadelphia. Known for his involvement in social issues, Tony is a frequent guest on such wide-ranging television programs as Nightline and Politically Incorrect.

Patsy Clairmont is a well-known humorist and best-selling author of such books as God Uses Cracked Pots, Normal Is Just a Setting on Your Dryer, and Stardust on My Pillow, her first fiction work. Patsy is also a popular speaker at the nationally renowned Women of Faith conferences and has addressed more than one million women around the country. She has written five books cooperatively with the other Women of Faith speakers, including Joybreaks, We Break for Joy, Joyful Journey, and Outrageous Joy. Her latest book, Mending Your Heart in a Broken World, focuses on lessons of healing and grace.

Larry Crabb, who holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Illinois, is the author of fifteen books, including Connecting, Inside Out, The Silence of Adam, The Marriage Builder, and The Safest Place on Earth. He is a professor and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Colorado Christian University, where he was chairman of the Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling Program from 1989 to 1996. Larry is much in demand as a conference and seminar speaker and as a Bible teacher.

Karyn Henley is an award-winning author and children's communicator. She is best known as the author of The Beginners Bible, which has sold more than three million copies and been translated into seventeen languages. She also authored God's Story, a chronological Bible for young readers. A graduate of Abilene Christian University, Karyn has created numerous resources to equip parents to nurture the faith of their children. She was recently named one of the “Top 10 People Who Have Changed the Face of Children's Ministry during the 1990s” by Children's Ministry Magazine.

Grant Jeffrey is the founder of Frontier Research, a popular conference speaker, and the best-selling author of numerous books dealing with Jesus, prophecy, and the trustworthiness of Scripture. His books include Jesus: The Great Debate, Journey into Eternity, The Handwriting of God, and The Signature of God, the latter two dealing with the mysterious and controversial “Bible codes.” With Angela Hunt, he also has written two fiction thrillers, Flee the Darkness and By Dawn's Early Light.

Barbara Johnson is a humorist and the best-selling author of such books as Living Somewhere between Estrogen and Death, He's Gonna Toot and I'm Gonna Scoot, Leaking Laffs: Between Pampers and Depends, Stick a Geranium in Your Hat and Be Happy, Splashes of Joy in the Cesspools of Life, and Where Does a Mother Go to Resign. She is the founder of Spatula Ministries, an organization that ministers to hurting parents. Barbara is also one of the most popular speakers in the country, speaking to more than 350,000 women each year at Women of Faith conferences and in other settings.

Max Lucado, pulpit minister of Oak Hills Church of Christ in San Antonio, Texas, has more than sixteen million books in print. He is the author of such favorites as He Chose the Nails, Just Like Jesus, Six Hours One Friday, No Wonder They Call Him the Savior, In the Grip of Grace, When God Whispers Your Name, He Still Moves Stones, and The Applause of Heaven. In 1997 Max set a new publishing industry record by placing seven different titles concurrently on the hardcover bestsellers list of the Christian Booksellers Association.

Brennan Manning is a former Franciscan priest and the author of such works as The Ragamuffin Gospel, Abba's Child, and Ruthless Trust: The Way of the Ragamuffin. As a member of the Little Brothers of Jesus of Charles de Foucauld, he embraced a stoic lifestyle that included manual labor, silence, and prayer. He also accepted assignments as a mason's assistant, shoveling mud and straw in Spain; and as a voluntary prisoner in a Swiss jail, where his identity as a priest was known only to the warden. Brennan eventually left the Franciscan order and married. He works today as an author and speaker.

Frank Peretti, with more than nine million books in print, has been called America's most popular Christian novelist. His best-selling books include This Present Darkness, Piercing the Darkness, The Visitation, and Prophet. His novel The Oath sold more than half a million copies within the first six months after its release and was awarded the 1996 Gold Medallion Award for best fiction. Frank also wrote The Cooper Kids Adventure Series, which has become the best-selling children's series of all time.

Chonda Pierce, best known as a comedian, has also authored several books, including It's Always Darkest before the Fun Comes Up Second Row, Piano Side! Her videos, Having a Girls' Nite Out, On Her Soapbox, and Four-Eyed Blonde, are among the best-selling Christian comedy videos ever. Chonda is a frequent speaker with the Women of Faith conferences and has performed at Billy Graham crusades. She's also had a part in Bill Gaither's Homecoming video series. Recently Chonda added “vocalist” to her list of accomplishments when she recorded her first musical album, Yes & Amen.

Scotty Smith is the senior pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee, and the author of three books: Unveiled Hope with recording artist Michael Card, Speechless with Steven Curtis Chapman, and Objects of His Affection about the relentless love of God. A graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Scotty has been influential within the Christian music community in Nashville as both mentor and friend to many Christian recording artists. He contributes a weekly audio message, “Sixty Seconds with Pastor Scotty Smith,” to the internationally syndicated radio program Soul2Soul.

Sheila Walsh, former co-host of the 700 Club, is well-known as a Women of Faith conference speaker. She is the best-selling author of such books as Honestly, Living Fearlessly, Life Is Tough but God Is Faithful, and Stories from the River of Mercy. Sheila is also a talented singer/songwriter whose albums include Love Falls Down—Songs of Worship, Hope, Future Eyes, Blue Waters, and War of Love, which earned her both Grammy and Dove award nominations and the International Artist of the Year Award from the Gospel Music Association.

Collectively, the writings of these authors over the years have inspired and helped deepen the faith of millions of readers around the globe. However, my intention in this book is not to explore their words and works but rather the writers themselves. Obviously, the fourteen authors I interviewed differ in background, age, gender, and denomination. Their stories distinguish them as individuals with varied life experiences. But they all have this in common: their faithfulness to Christ.

The interviews were conducted during an eighteen-month period between 1998 and 2000. I wanted to know if these successful and respected authors have personal stories yet untold, perhaps written in the margins of their lives. I wanted to hear their own testimonies in their own words. I asked some questions boldly and eagerly, as a student who waves his hand in the air to get the teacher's attention. Others I asked quietly and privately, as one who discreetly approaches a teacher after class. Do they ever have doubts? Have they experienced failure? Do they face challenges common to us all? And has their experience of living in Christ shown them something about Jesus that could be—should be—shared in the telling of their personal stories?

As I asked questions and listened carefully to the answers, I realized that I was observing the faith of spiritual giants. I heard a maturity that comes only from years of following Christ. I witnessed their confidence in God even in the midst of their own unanswered questions. I learned that the books that have inspired us so much were written by real people.

I also learned something about my own expectations for perfection this side of heaven. Wise mentors all, the authors shared with me not only their triumphs as Christians but, even more revealing, their disappointments in themselves. Yes, their professional prestige and distinction as people of character spark us to become more like Christ; but it is their admission of failures and shortcomings that is a comfort to those of us who strain for perfection yet continue to fall woefully short.

Some of the interviews stand out for their humor, others for their insight, all for their inspiration. Of course, you may find yourself reading a statement or two you disagree with. That's OK. You will still find much to move you in each author's candid witness of what living the Christian faith really means to him or her.

I think it's significant that these fourteen authors agreed to come together to take part in this book. All of them knew at the time of their interviews that their words would coexist with the words of the others, to be stirred and mixed together into a cohesive whole. The interviews weren't lifted from existing books or magazines, so they carry the pulse and tempo of a synergetic community. And isn't that what the church is—people coming together as a team? In these pages some of our top teacher-players join their voices and share their stories of faith for our spiritual enrichment, comfort, and good. My prayer is that you will discover the faith so dear to these Christian authors. Their own personal journey with God is perhaps the greatest story each will ever tell.

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Table of Contents




What's the Secret?

Secret #1

Purpose Means Building Our Lives around God's Plans

Secret #2

We Have to Start Out like We Want to End Up

Secret #3

God Has Placed Family and Friends in Our Lives to Love

Secret #4

A Calling from God Is a Labor of Love

Secret #5

Perfect Love Can't Give Us Second Best

Secret #6

Into Every Life a Little Rain Will Pour

Secret #7

Prayer Is like Bread — We Can Go without It Just So Long

Secret #8

Jesus Is the Treasure We're Asked to Give Away

Secret #9

We All Need the Savior, Jesus

Secret #10

Love Is the Very Nature of God

Secret #11

History Is Going Somewhere

Secret #12

Church Is a Home for Every Heart



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