Find Your New Favorite Book

posted in: Woman to Woman Newsletter | 0

One of the great joys of this ministry is the opportunity to share the resources created by the women associated with by design. This fall, we have the honor of sharing some relevant and important books authored by these brilliant and godly women. We hope that you enjoy perusing the list and that you’ll choose one or two to pick up as your fall reading. Enjoy!

The Power of Story

By Dr. Phyllis R. Bennett

You are about to leave the land of the familiar and ordinary to set off on an adventure of a lifetime, discovering the power of your own story. It will be humbling, yet thrilling to discover that your story is just one puzzle piece in a much bigger story –– the story of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ. He is the hero, you the supporting actor. He is the one on center stage, you the one honored to serve at his side. From the womb to the tomb, you’ll come to appreciate his intimate involvement in each season of your life, from its ups and downs to its plot twists, from the Spirit’s initial call to adventure to his final call to finish well as you journey with him into the “beyond” to your heavenly home. Find The Power of Story on Amazon.

Phyllis Bennett is passionate about drawing out and training up the giftedness in women so they can live out their God-given potential as a kingdom-builders. She presently serves as the Director of the Women’s Center for Ministry and the Coordinator of the Women’s Transformational Leadership Academic Concentration at Western Seminary where she teaches two courses: Develop and Deliver Life-Changing Bible Messages and Develop Life-Changing Bible Study Curriculum. Her husband Dave is presently serving as Congress Director for the Lausanne Movement’s Fourth Congress in Seoul, Korea 2024. Dave and Phyllis have two married sons and eight grandchildren. Phyllis is a board member of by design ministries.

The Courage to Write

By Rachel Britton and Lucinda Secrest McDowell

These stories of courage from 62 writers will remind you, in your struggle to write and share your story with the world, that you can be encouraged and empowered. God reminds us in Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Rachel Britton and Lucinda Secrest McDowell, co-directors of “reNEW ~ spiritual retreat for writers & speakers,” have curated these devotions from their reNEW community, including many New England writers. As you read how others have overcome their fear, you too will be able to fight the fear of sharing your hard story. Open to any page in “The Courage to Write” and discover inspiration and encouragement to guide your writing journey. Find The Courage to Write on Amazon.

Rachel Britton is a British-born writer, author, and speaker whose passion is to help women become comfortable and confident in their conversation with God. Her blog “Praying Naturally” offers an extensive library of free prayer resources to help you deepen and develop your prayer life. Sign up to receive a fillable Monthly Family Prayer Calendar with scriptural prayer prompts. Rachel is a wife and mom to three young adults, and cannot live without a mug of English tea. Connect with Rachel on Facebook.

Lucinda Secrest McDowell is a storyteller, international speaker, and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping you Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Furman University, McDowell is the award-winning author of 15 books, including Soul Strong, Life-Giving Choices, and Dwelling Places. Lucinda, a member of Redbud Writers Guild and AWSA, is known for her ability to convey deep truth in practical and winsome ways as a spiritual mama. She co-directs reNEW writers and speakers retreat in New England, and blogs regularly at

Rachel and Lucinda are also featured speakers in the by design Speakers Directory. If you are looking for a Christian speaker for your special event, please visit our online directory or contact us to request a hard copy.

Malestrom—How Jesus Dismantles Patriarchy and Redefines Manhood

By Carolyn Custis James

Why write about manhood? The evangelical church is in trouble. Malestrom identifies the deep patriarchal currents that have shaped human history and that lie at the roots of the crisis now facing the American church. But Malestrom does not stop with simply identifying the source of the problem. Malestrom offers a biblically warranted way forward for Christian men. It argues that patriarchy is not the teaching of the Bible, but rather the cultural backdrop against which the Bible casts a radically different gospel vision of maleness. This vision is powerful in its grace and mercy and summons God’s sons back to their creation calling. Find Malestrom on Amazon.

Carolyn Custis James is an activist, blogger, and award-winning author. She is a consulting editor for Zondervan’s Exegetical Commentary Series on the New Testament and an adjunct professor in Biblical Studies at Missio Seminary in Philadelphia. Her work focuses on the intersection between Christianity and twenty-first-century cultural issues facing women and men globally and has earned her recognition by Christianity Today as one of “50 Evangelical Women to Watch.” Her books include: When Life and Beliefs Collide, The Gospel of Ruth, and Malestrom. As a cancer survivor, she is grateful to be alive and determined to address the issues that matter most.

Colorful Connections

By Saundra Dalton-Smith and Lori Stanley Roeleveld

You care about racial healing, but you need support.

Saundra Dalton-Smith and Lori Stanley Roeleveld — one black, one white — believe there’s a clear path to meaningful discussion about racism with someone of a different skin color. They write a transparent and open dialogue about color, privilege, bias, and discrimination, demonstrating how to give voice to pain without blame, express anger without ridicule, and ask questions without guilt. Colorful Connections equips readers with vulnerable personal stories, biblical teaching, conversation starters, and practical next steps.

Colorful Connections provides hope to heal the racial divide and bring together the body of Christ.

Lori Stanley Roeleveld is a life coach, blogger, speaker, and freelance writer. She’s authored five encouraging, unsettling books including Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus). Her latest release is Colorful Connections: 12 Questions about Race that Open Healthy Conversations. She speaks her mind at

Lori is also one of our featured speakers in the by design Speakers Directory. If you are looking for a Christian speaker for your special event, please visit our online directory or contact us to request a hard copy.

Life is Sweet, Y’all!

By Maggie Wallem Rowe

Maggie Wallem Rowe is a firm believer that it’s never too late to get published! NavPress released Maggie’s first book, This Life We Share, 52 Reflections on Journeying Well with God and Others, in 2020 when she was 67. Tyndale House has just released Maggie’s newest book: Life is Sweet, Y’all: Wit and Wisdom with a Side of Sass – a hardcover gift book including 52 short and sassy devotionals along with quips, household tips, and southern recipes just like your mama or granny used to make.

Maggie Wallem Rowe, M.A.B.S., is a national speaker, dramatist, and author from western North Carolina. Married for over 45 years to her pastor-husband Mike, mother of three, and grandmother to six, Maggie’s work includes decades in public relations, adult education, and ministry to women. She has served as an adjunct communications professor at Daniel Webster University (NH) and Wheaton College (IL).  Maggie’s first book, This Life We Share, was a finalist for the 2021 ECPA Christian Book Award in the New Author category. Her second book, Life is Sweet, Y’all, has just released from Tyndale House Publishers. Maggie invites you to join her as she shares weekly “Views from the Ridge” ( 

Maggie is also one of our featured speakers in the by design Speakers Directory. If you are looking for a Christian speaker for your special event, please visit our online directory or contact us to request a hard copy.

Global Christianity: A Guide to the World’s Largest Religion from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe 

By Gina A. Zurlo, PhD 

Christianity Around the World provides at-a-glance summaries of the Christian church in every continent and nation. Useful for outreach, prayer, and study, it features the most current information available on Christianity in its social context. This book contains the most up-to-date facts and figures available for every country in the world from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. This book is useful for prayer and mission trips, as well as for research papers and presentations with its hundreds of maps, charts, and illustrations with at-a-glance summaries. This book is concise and easy to use – the new standard reference tool on global Christianity. The book can be purchased anywhere online, including, and Zondervan.

Gina Zurlo is Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (South Hamilton, MA). She received her Ph.D. from Boston University School of Theology in 2017. Her research focuses on the intersection between the demography of religion, world Christianity, and the sociology of religion. She is the co-author of the new World Christian Encyclopedia, 3rd edition and co-editor of the World Christian Database (Brill). She is currently running a new research project on women in World Christianity, which investigates gender roles in churches around the world. As a Visiting Research Fellow at Boston University’s Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs, she is co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Religion and Demography and works on the World Religion Database (Brill). Though always a New Yorker at heart, she currently lives in Hamilton, MA with her husband (a hospice chaplain) and two daughters, ages 12 and 5. Dr. Zurlo begins almost every day (5am or earlier!) with some kind of fitness activity, ranging from running to weightlifting to barre and more!