serve. Like the rest of us, chaplains experience fear, joy, anger,
doubt, boredom – the gamut of
human emotion. War zones are
messy places to serve.
While names, places, and
dates are sometimes changed
to protect those still in the
arena of operations, Ristau
introduces readers to Canadian men and women who
courageously and sacrificially
lay their lives on the line daily
in the belief their work can
lead to a better life for the Afghan people.
Robert Bugbee, president of
the Lutheran Church–Canada,
In his memoir he takes you
on a guided tour of his life and
ministry, built around the title
phrase “the best is yet to be”
The first five chap-
ters provide the fun-
damental events and dynamics
of his early years, leading into to
his first pastoral posting. These
include family life, schooling,
and events that served to mould
(a quote from the 19th-cen-
tury poet Robert Browning).
Rather than a full-scale autobiography,
Heidebrecht carefully outlines those
intervals of his life
that coincide with
of his ministry.
him into both the man and the
minister he would become.
These chapters are essential
reading for the who, what,
where, how and why of Heidebrecht’s early life and, most of
all, the moving influence of God at each
tive episodes give
way to the remain-
ing chapters, which
Heidebrecht is open, honest,
and vulnerable in describing his
life and service as a minister of
the gospel. There is no impres-
sion of self-importance or pride,
no attempts to persuade you to
“look at me.” Humbly yet pas-
sionately he gives confirmation
of the orientation of his life as
one lived for God.
recently released resources
Sacred Pauses: Spiritual Practices for Personal Renewal by April Yama-saki (Herald Press, 2013). The author, a pastor in British Columbia, explores
refreshing spiritual practices from Scripture reading and prayer to making
music and having fun. Personal and practical, for personal or group use.
The Best is Yet To
Be: The Memoirs of
author: vern heidebrecht
100 pages. $15
This is a book that will warm the heart, en- courage the soul, and
introduce readers to someone
whose life has been and continues to be deeply lived in love
with his Lord.
Vern Heidebrecht may not
be a household name, but
his pastoring career included
helping Northview Community Church in Abbotsford, B.C.,
grow into one of the largest
churches in Canada.
Letters to a Future Church: Words of Encouragement and Prophetic Appeals edited by Chris Lewis (InterVarsity Press, 2012). “If you could write
a letter to the North American church today, what would it say?” Thinkers
including Andy Crouch, Ron Sider, Walter Brueggemann, Rachel Held Evans,
Shane Claiborne and Makoto Fujimura – as well as Canadians Tim Challies,
Wendy Gritter and Aileen Van Ginkel – offer passionate and thought-provoking
answers to this question from a fall 2010 conference in Toronto.
Biblical Hermeneutics: Five Views, edited by Stanley Porter and Beth Stovell
(InterVarsity Press, 2012). Scholars, some Canadian, explain five approaches
to interpreting Scripture: historical-critical/grammatical, literary/postmod-ern, philosophical/theological, redemptive-historical, and canonical.
Downstream from Eden: The Amazing Gift of Water for a Thirsty World by
David L. Knight (Westbow, 2012). The author, a pastor in Waterloo, Ont., and
former national leader with Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship Canada, offers a
comprehensive study of water and the Bible, touching on social justice, spirituality and the environment.
Work Matters: Lessons From Scripture by R. Paul Stevens (Eerdmans, 2012).
A survey of perspectives on work using characters from the Pentateuch
(Adam and Eve, Cain, Jacob, Joseph, Bezalel), through the historical, wisdom
and prophetic books, all the way to the New Testament (Martha, Paul, John,
Priscilla and Aquila). The author is professor emeritus of marketplace theology
and leadership at Regent College, Vancouver.