Is self-care selfish? Yamasaki shares how to “take care of yourself” and follow Jesus

Is self-care selfish?
April Yamasaki shares how to “take care of yourself” and follow Jesus

HARRISONBURG, Va. — We often hear the phrase “take care of yourself,” but how to find time to do that in today’s world? For many Christians, the idea of self-care sounds contrary to the command of Jesus to deny yourself and follow him. How exactly do believers balance these two seemingly opposite pursuits?

Author April Yamasaki explores this contradiction in Four Gifts: Seeking Self-Care for Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength (Herald Press, September 2018). Yamasaki is a Mennonite pastor in British Columbia.

Drawing on the ancient scriptural command to love God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength, Yamasaki helps readers think about the spiritual dimensions of attending to your own needs and finding true rest in a fast-paced world. She weaves together personal stories, biblical and theological insights, questions for reflection, and practical ideas for self-care. Four Gifts helps readers sustain their spirits and balance competing demands without adding more items to their to-do lists.

“I know I need self-care, yet can’t always get there,” writes Yamasaki. “I need a bigger vision of caring for myself that also embraces caring for others and surrendering myself to God’s call and care.”

Yamasaki addresses specific challenges like setting priorities, living in a digital world, dealing with worry, and getting a good night’s sleep. “Our minds find renewal as we learn, serve, and rest,” Yamasaki says. “At its best, self-care is a way of life, a gift that sustains each of us as we serve God and serve other people.”

“In Four Gifts, April’s powerful insights are on brilliant display,” says Christena Cleveland, author of Disunity in Christ. “With an integrative mind-body-spirit approach, Yamasaki leads us on a journey that is worth following.”

Dorcas Cheng-Tozun, author of Start, Love, Repeat, writes that Four Gifts is “the most thorough and thoughtful exploration of self-care I have ever come across.”

Yamasaki focuses her writing on spiritual growth and Christian living. A member of Redbud Writers Guild, she is the author of, or contributor to, 15 books including Sacred Pauses, Upside-Down Living: Sharing Faith Stories, Spark: Igniting Your God-Given Creativity, and Ordinary Time with Jesus, among others. Her work has also appeared in the Christian Century and Canadian Mennonite. Yamasaki has more than 20 years of experience as a congregational pastor and leads workshops and Bible studies in denominational and other settings. She and her husband, Gary, live near Abbotsford, British Columbia.

Four Gifts is available from Herald Press for $16.99 (paperback) and $13.99 (ebook) at 800-245-7894 or at www.HeraldPress.com, Amazon, and other online sources. Canadian customers can order from CommonWord (877-846-1593), Parasource (800-263-2664), and elsewhere.

To schedule an interview with April Yamasaki, contact LeAnn Hamby at 540-908-3941 or LeAnnH@mennomedia.org.

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond romance novels: Amish and Mennonite women tell their own stories in Homespun

July 31, 2018

Beyond romance novels:
Amish and Mennonite women tell their own stories in Homespun

HARRISONBURG, Va.— Ever wish you could visit with a group of Amish or Mennonite women over a cup of coffee? In the pages of Homespun: Amish and Mennonite Women In Their Own Words (August 2018), edited by Lorilee Craker. Amish and Plain Mennonite women swap stories and spin yarns. Craker, bestselling author of Money Secrets of the Amish, collected these personal writings about hospitality, home, grief, joy, and walks with God.

“These essays enthused my soul, and I came away feeling as if I had just been to church,” writes Craker. “There is something wonderfully elemental and childlike about the devotion expressed here, devotion even amid doubt. These pieces drew me closer to the One who calls all his daughters ‘beloved.’”

Chapters include stories such as a woman who struggles with feeling inferior to her sister; a woman longing for a baby; and a hilarious tale of a woman who accidentally bought stretchy material to sew her husband’s pants. Each woman’s story unveils a hidden side of a community many are curious about. Writers include Linda Byler, Sherry Gore, Lovina Eicher, Lucinda Miller and dozens more.

Behind Amish romance novels and tourist spots and television shows stand real people, with longings and loves just like the rest of us. In Homespun, readers no longer have to wonder what life is like for Amish and Mennonite women. They can read real stories from real lives.

Editor Lorilee Craker is the author of thirteen books, including Money Secrets of the Amish; Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter, and Me; My Journey to Heaven with Marv Besteman; and the New York Times bestseller Through the Story with Lynne Spears. Connect with her at LorileeCraker.com.

Homespun is available from Herald Press for $15.99 (paperback) and $12.99 (ebook) at 800-245-7894 or at www.HeraldPress.com, Amazon, and other online sources. Canadian customers can order from CommonWord (877-846-1593), Parasource (800-263-2664), and elsewhere.

To schedule an interview with Lorilee Craker, contact LeAnn Hamby at 540-908-3941 or LeAnnH@mennomedia.org.

Who are the Amish? Donald B. Kraybill answers common questions in Simply Amish

June 14, 2018
News release 

Foremost expert on Amish life answers common questions in Simply Amish

HARRISONBURG, Va.— Where did the Amish come from? Why do they drive horses and buggies? How are they different from the Mennonites? People have many questions about the Amish. Well-known expert Donald B. Kraybill addresses many of these questions in Simply Amish: An Essential Guide from the Foremost Expert on Amish Life (Herald Press, June 2018). The hardcover gift book provides insights on Amish life, culture, and faith and includes rare photography of the Amish, their homes, and families.

Donald B. Kraybill has lived among, studied, written about, and befriended the Amish for many years, and Amish people read his books to learn more about themselves. Kraybill takes readers on a journey among a people known for their simplicity, rootedness in church and family, and commitment to peaceful living.

Kraybill explores why this 325-year-old group is growing rather than declining and separates facts from fiction perpetuated by television shows, novels, and movies. Simply Amish includes maps of where the Amish in North America live and sections on Amish clothing, work, family life, church services, technology, and spirituality.

“If quizzed about Amish life, most people might know that the Amish travel by horse and buggy and wear peculiar dress. But beyond the beards, bonnets, and buggies, many people know little,” writes Kraybill. “I have researched and written about the Amish for more than forty years, and my Amish friends have graciously helped me to both understand their way of life and ask questions about my own.”

Donald B. Kraybill is internationally recognized for his scholarship on Anabaptist groups. His books, research, and commentary have been featured in national and worldwide media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, NPR, CNN, and NBC. He is distinguished college professor and senior fellow emeritus at the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College. Kraybill is the author, coauthor, or editor of many books, including Amish Grace, The Amish Way, Renegade Amish, and The Riddle of Amish Culture. He is also the author of the bestselling Herald Press book, Upside Down Kingdom.

Simply Amish is available from Herald Press for $10.99 (hardcover) via 800‑245‑7894 and at the Herald Press webstore, www.HeraldPress.com, Amazon, and other online sources. Canadian customers can order from CommonWord (877‑846‑1593), Parasource (800‑263‑2664), and elsewhere.

Higher resolution photos available.

To schedule an interview with Donald Kraybill, contact LeAnn Hamby at 540‑908‑3941 or LeAnnH@mennomedia.org.