My first book, FORTIFY YOUR SOUL, is here~! I have held it in my hands. It is gorgeous. This book will change lives. I am so excited to share it~!
Fortify Your Soul
40 Letters to Friends Seeking Purpose and Peace
FORTIFY YOUR SOUL consists of 40 engaging narratives, each followed by contemplation sections designed to strengthen lives and activate destinies. FORTIFY YOUR SOUL is a spiritual smorgasbord of a book. Bible stories are being told to my Bible illiterate friend “Dude” in the comfortable language one might use while eating chicken wings and pickles at a picnic pavilion. Originally written to an “unbeliever”, FORTIFY YOUR SOUL started as an entertaining and rich spiritual primer. While seeming light and upbeat, these tales have surprising depth and strong life application, enough to keep a mature Christian chewing. Interlaced with slang and humor, these stories introduce a wide range of encouraging themes for self-enrichment and personal fortification. The “contemplations” at the end of each story help readers to consider who they are created to be, and where they are planted to affect change. Well phrased questions encourage more profound introspection and life adaptation. The overall theme is an invitation to a fresh start, a new life. FORTIFY YOUR SOUL can be used individually for soul searching and personal growth, as a motivational self-help book, as a spiritual growth devotional, as a personal Bible study, or in a group study.
As a bonus, each chapter of FORTIFY YOUR SOUL is built around a biblical use of the number 40 (40 days, 40 years, chapter 40, etc.) Tweaking the word “forty”, each chapter is called a “fortification”. There are 40 chapters, of course. FORTIFY YOUR SOUL seems to be the first book to do such a wonderfully extensive examination of the number 40 in the Bible. Seriously, I can’t believe I couldn’t find another in depth study of the “40 theme”. It seems so obvious. This is the definitive book on the Biblical use of the number 40, but made FUN and practical!
In the life-restoring ministry of Betel (described in these pages), we’re always looking for modern story tellers, writers who can demystify ancient truths to make scripture accessible to the hardest heart or most unbelieving 21st-century mind. FORTIFY YOUR SOUL does that. It’s non-threatening, easy and relaxed, like a coffee-table book for the hungry soul, satisfying so many tastes at once. It’s a volume of personal letters, a thought-provoking journal, an inspiring devotional book, and a Bible-study guide all in one. Forty sacred stories, all but forgotten by this generation, are retold with the crisp wit and seeming intimacy of a close friend who understands the disbelief of a “Christophobic” world. Laurie asks as many honest, jargon-free questions of the Bible as she answers. She cleverly draws out the pithy essence of these timeless accounts, simultaneously provoking a curiosity to understand them deeper–and the God who stars in them. How quickly can I get copies of this book for the hundreds of broken, recovering Betel men and women who need it?
Kent & Mary Alice Martin
Directors, Betel UK
I have excitedly awaited the release of FORTIFY YOUR SOUL, by Laurie Hayden Bergey. Finally we have an excellent introductory book regarding the main characters of scripture, written in easy to read language and accessible to all readers. This book will be the kind that you need to buy a boxful and keep on hand for old friends and new believers. Laurie is a dear friend and someone I watched grow over the last decade, I wholeheartedly encourage you to check out this book.
— Jonathan Welton, Best Selling Author, Director of The Welton Academy
“I am so impressed with this book. I can’t wait to get it into the hands of patients, and onto the shelves of the Caron Book Store. Laurie, keep in touch, and God bless your work.”
— “Father Bill” Hultberg, OSFS , Spiritual Advisor , Caron Treatment Centers
“I am delighted to hear of Laurie Hayden Bergey’s fascinating book project and wish her every success.”
Reverend Nicky Gumbel, The Alpha Program, Holy Trinity Brompton, London, UK
Working directly with the prison and recovery community, I would love to be able to pass FORTIFY YOUR SOUL along just as we have the Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren. Fortify My Life looks very practical and easy to apply to the lives of those who wish to fulfill their purpose for the King of Kings and the Lord of lords, Jesus Christ. As we work with those who are continually struggling to find their real identity, this book will be another great tool to help them understand Scripture and the awesome plan that God has for their lives. Laurie Hayden Bergey has the full endorsement of CLPRM. We will also be looking forward to her visiting our ministry!
– Bob Sofronski
Executive Director of Christian Life Prison & Recovery Ministries (CLPRM.ORG)
FORTIFY YOUR SOUL contains a refreshing narrative that is genuine, heart-felt and lovingly poignant. Laurie Hayden Bergey takes the truths of the Bible and makes them accessible and relevant to a post-modern generation by wearing her heart on her sleeve as she gives practical and powerful insights through a text that will draw you into the heart of our creator.
Michael E. Dunstan
Youth Pastor – PNEUMA – New Covenant Christian Community Church
Secondary English/Language Arts Teacher
FORTIFY YOUR SOUL is a refreshing look at 40 events in the Bible. The narrative is straightforward and true to the Scriptures. Laurie Hayden draws you in however, by painting the scenery around the story. Her observations introduce us to a Holy God with a sense of humor. I recommend this book for those who would like a fresh look at God’s Word not just for the novelty but to help us think through how God wants to strengthen us. More than entertainment, Laurie’s glimpses of God encourage you to love him in return.
Leadership Director, Grace Presbytery
FORTIFY YOUR SOUL provides a wonderful opportunity for some to begin a spiritual journey and for others to explore their faith and enrich their ability to manage life challenges. I highly recommend this book to members of the Recovery Community who want to increase their knowledge of the role God can play in changing lives.
Beverly J. Haberle
Executive Director – The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, Inc.
& Project Director – PRO-ACT – Pennsylvania Recovery Organization – Achieving Community Together
FORTIFY YOUR SOUL is a creative and refreshing book. It brings three important strands together. Firstly ‘stories’. In today’s world stories are what people love to hear and what better stories than Bible stories. Secondly ‘Interaction’. This book opens doors for discussion and personal evaluation. And thirdly ‘purpose’. The interesting thread of “40” takes the reader on a journey that I believe really will ‘strengthen lives and activate destinies! Recommended reading!
— Stuart Bell. Senior Pastor, New Life Lincoln, England and leader of the Ground Level Network of churches.
Without question, what comes to mind when I think of Laurie is patience, wisdom, and a discerning spirit.
In her book FORTIFY YOUR SOUL, you can for sure expect a reflection of these qualities in her narratives and helpful stories that will keep you pondering about Jesus, life, and purpose. Because she walks out these qualities in her daily life, these qualities in her are the best examples of a Christian character that encourage and help many people through her writing.
Laurie lives out what she expresses by “faith” on paper, helping those in most need and keeping many thinking about their life with Jesus. She not only lives out God’s Dream for her own life, but she echos through empathy, and helps through genuine concern, the life expressions of many who ordinarily would give up, but instead move forward to a better future of hope and grace through Christ Jesus.
–David Michael Donnangelo – Author of: Dreaming God’s Dreams & Director of: Kingdom’s Keys Ministries
One of the things we love most about Laurie is her ability to reach people no matter where they are. This book is a necessity in everyone’s collection because it will intrigue the unbeliever to a level of desire that they never knew God put in their hearts, and it will spark hunger in any believer no matter what level their walk is to seek God’s Word even deeper. Laurie’s compassion and love for all people truly exemplifies her walk with Christ, and we cannot wait for the book to come to print so that we can share with others!
—Jerry & Teri Klinger, Redeeming Love Transformations Ministries
“FORTIFY YOUR SOUL is not like the Bible stories you might have heard at church. With her witty sense of humor and fresh, conversational style, Laurie Hayden Bergey will show you how God has changed the lives of people in the past and how He can change your life today.”
— Jamie Janosz, Moody Bible Institute professor and author of When Others Shuddered: Eight Women Who Refused to Give Up
Motivated by her strong faith and a deep love, Laurie began to write a series of letters to dear “Dude” to entertain and encourage him as he was living through a very changing life experience. “Dude” told me that a group of his friends would gather around to hear him read the letters he received from Laurie. These thought-provoking letters were touching the lives of an unlikely group of people.
I was honored to be there at the beginning to hear the first letters and am so excited to see these turned into a book that will touch many lives. FORTIFY YOUR SOUL is a must read!!!
— Patricia L. Chapman, Breeder/Owner of Smarty Jones, Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner in 2004
Thank you to Laurie Hayden Bergey for writing an empowering, challenging, life-changing book that is so necessary. From my experience as a counseling psychologist, I can tell you that Christians and non-Christians, alike, are crying out to know their place in the world, wondering why life can be so hard, and what all this heartache is for. They want to change but need help to do so. FORTIFY YOUR SOUL provides the structure to work through these challenges and will leave the reader with a stronger sense of their own identity, potential and greatness.
— Jennifer Crall, Ph.D., Counseling Psychologist
When a book excites you about reading the Bible, I say you have a winner! In her book Laurie has thrown a lifeline to the seeker and believer.
— Pat Huber, President WBPH TV60