Real: The Surprising Secret to Deeper Relationships

by Catherine Parks

Coming October 1, 2018 from The Good Book Co.

Every woman longs for authentic friendships with others, but in a world of carefully-curated social media, most of us are merely keeping up appearances. Both online and offline, we're all prone to only presenting the best side of ourselves. 

This book shows us that the secret to growing the relationships we crave is in developing a biblical habit of repentance. By being honest about our sin before God and receiving his forgiveness, we're freed to be honest about our sin with others. When we drop the act and allow ourselves to be vulnerable by sharing our struggles, not only are we strengthened in our fight against sin, but we experience authentic fellowship and real friendship.


A Christ-Centered Wedding: Rejoicing in the Gospel on Your Big Day

by Catherine Strode Parks and Linda Strode

May 1, 2014 from B&H Publishing

Wedding planning has spawned a major industry. The average cost of the occasion now exceeds $25,000, and societal pressure to create the “perfect day” is so strong that even Christian couples forget what God originally intended for the sacred marriage ceremony.

While paying attention to the good fun that follows that special proposal (the dress, the flowers, the cake, the gatherings, etc.), A Christ-Centered Wedding first serves as a guide to believers who want their wedding to portray the relationship of Christ with the church and to reflect the gospel to all in attendance.


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Endorsements for A Christ-Centered Wedding

It’s your big day, at last! This is the day you’ve waited for, the moment you’ve dreamed about. But what if you’re not meant to be the star of the show? This book will prove to you that Jesus Christ is meant to be the center of your wedding, and, best of all, it will help you put him there. Tim Challies, Blogger and Author of The Next Story and The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment

In America, weddings have become a combination of a circus, a spectacle, and a spending frenzy. Into this confusion step Linda Strode and Catherine Parks, a mother-and-daughter team bringing genuine biblical insight and Christian clarity that will help us all think more rightly, more biblically, and more faithfully about weddings. This is a timely and important book. Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Grounded in the gospel and chock-full of practical advice, Strode and Parks give brides-to-be much to consider for planning a wedding in light of eternity. In a season where it is easy to feel overwhelmed by centerpieces and changing relationships, this book centers a bride's thoughts and affections on the God who never changes. Gloria Furman, author of Glimpses of Grace and Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full

We know the wedding day is all about the bride, right? Catherine Parks and her mother, Linda Strode, collaborate in A Christ-Centered Wedding to help you find the answer; and that answer is no. The duo share compelling reasons why engaged couples should center their pre-wedding days on the gospel. Suggestions such as receiving mentoring and pre-marital counseling, to considering a budget in light of God’s word, will assist the blushing bride and starry-eyed groom well past their wedding date. Practical, honest, and grounded in truth, A Christ-Centered Wedding is the perfect book for anyone thinking about saying those five important words: Till death do us part. Trillia Newbell, author of United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity

Catherine Parks and her mother, Linda, have created an unexpectedly necessary tool for pastors and counselors or anyone entering into the planning of a wedding. The beautiful truth that the gospel informs and changes everything from how to plan a wedding to your standing before God is brilliantly displayed in A Christ-Centered Wedding. We hope you pick up this book and are as pleasantly surprised as we were by the holistic view that the gospel is for all of life.  Jessica Thompson and Elyse Fitzpatrick, co-authors of Give Them Grace

The Church has been waiting way too long for this book. How many of us have sat through, or officiated at, train-wreck weddings, wondering how the glory of Christ came to be eclipsed in all this circus? This book, by a wise mother and daughter team, offers guidance and counsel about how to plan a wedding where Jesus is the focus, not an afterthought. I commend this beautiful book to couples pondering marriage, to families planning weddings, and to pastors seeking to navigate through the morass of the modern wedding-industrial complex. This book liberates us to see the wedding as the means to the marriage, and not the other way around. Russell D. Moore, Ph.D., President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission | Southern Baptist Convention

Many other wedding books we read seemed to add to our stress by telling us how to make our wedding "perfect." A Christ-Centered Wedding replaced that feeling with the constant reminder that our wedding will be about bringing glory to God, not about making us look good. Every time we opened this book we felt more excited for our wedding--not just to start our lives together in the way that God intended, but for the opportunity to glorify Christ and make Him known.  Jacob and Rachel Dellinger, newlyweds

This inspiring but practical stage by stage book will keep believers' minds on Christ. Attractive and practical ideas concerning every aspect of the wedding process are in this book, but its main design is to make your wedding turn eyes to Christ. Jim Elliff, Christian Communicators Worldwide

Wedding planning too often centers on issues like flowers and the color of the bridesmaids' dresses, with little thought given to how God will be exalted and how the gospel will be proclaimed on the wedding day. Here is a resource that puts the most important part of every wedding ceremony back where it belongs, front and center. Bob Lepine, cohost, Family Life Today