The basic needs of the human heart are reflected in the stories we tell.
As women and men made in the image of God, all storytellers reflect his timeless truths—whether they realize it or not.
In The Cross in the Culture, Ruth Buchanan explores how Christians engage with stories of every kind. Together, we will discover the image of God and the eternal truths of Scripture reflected in our shared narratives. In one way or another, every story connects back to the greatest Person who ever lived and the greatest story ever told.
Released October 20, 2020, from Build a Better Us. More information on the book and workbook here.
Rachel Cooper has life under control: good job, good friends, and good plans for the future. All of that collapses one early morning when she falls and breaks her ankle. Now she must face the horrors of preparing for an upcoming move and handling her tenth year of teaching while clomping around on crutches. Worse, somewhere in the shadows, the Memento Killer lurks—a serial murderer who stalks women with four anonymous gifts before moving in for the kill. When unexpected presents begin arriving on Rachel’s doorstep, she fears that she’ll soon be crutching for her life.Collapsible. A novel of friendship, broken bones, coffee, shenanigans, and the occasional murder. (Pelican Book Group, 2017)
Summer’s over, and Rachel Cooper is back! Limping staunchly into the fray, she’s determined to develop flexibility in more than just her stiff ankle. With Lynn and Ann at her side, she tackles the challenges of the new school year with her own unique blend of panicked bravado. With new students, new classes, and–could it be?–the possibility of new love in her life, she’s already got plenty to keep her flailing. But there’s more. While fulfilling her role as director of the school’s fall play, she begins to suspect that not all the drama is playing out onstage. Uncovering a series of unsettling clues, she works to solve the backstage mystery before the final curtain falls. (Pelican Book Group, 2018)
Unbreakable: A Novel of Relationships, Getaways, Teep Kicks, Bacon, Nuptials, and the Occasional Stabbing
With her leg finally back at full strength and her emotional life taking on a whole new shape, Rachel Cooper feels fit to handle the confluence of four major events: the end of another school year, the beginning of a new relationship, the stress of helping to plan a wedding, and Coach’s insistence that Rachel overcome a mental block and master the flying teep kick.
Don’t miss the heartwarming and hilarious conclusion to Rachel’s saga! (Pelican Book Group, 2018)
Ann Cooper does not panic. From her demanding job training horses to her family role of keeping tabs on her high-maintenance sister, Ann remains cool, calm, and collected. At. All. Times.
This holiday season, however, Ann’s fortitude will be tested like never before. Not only is she pondering a potential shift in an important relationship, but she’s also facing the prospect of riding out an unseasonable hurricane with the doubtful help of her sister Rachel.
This December, Ann’s patience and faith will both be stretched. Will the risks involved in taking a leap of faith outweigh the possible rewards? (Pelican Book Group, 2019)
Depressed at the prospect of spending another Christmas alone, successful crime podcaster Morgan Scott travels to the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania to research a historic murder.
But in the tiny village of Birchardville, past crimes and present dangers collide, placing both Morgan and the local residents in very real peril.
This Christmas, there’ll be no silent night. (Pelican Book Group, 2017)
The Proper Care and Feeding of Singles: How Pastors, Marrieds, and Church Leaders Effectively Support Solo Members
Every week across America, single members filter into their local congregations to worship, minister, and serve alongside their brothers and sisters in Christ. Although a minority in most congregations, singles nevertheless compose a significant cross section of the church body. Each blessed and challenged with individual circumstances, Christian singles not only bear a unique burden but also offer diverse perspectives on the Christian life. Unfortunately, many Christian singles attest to feeling overlooked. Pastors and church leaders, many long married, often find themselves ill-equipped to understand the particular relational, emotional, and spiritual needs of long-term Christian singles. Worse, they’re unaware that they’re underequipped. Married church members, though sympathetic to the needs of their single friends, nevertheless struggle to bridge the divide. Written by a dedicated Christ-follower and long-term Christian single, The Proper Care and Feeding of Singles addresses the issues with humor and grace, offering practical solutions to strengthen the bonds of love and fellowship within local congregations. (Write Integrity Press, 2017)
Bard in a Box: The Taming of the Shrew (2011) – What do you get when you strand a class of intrepid teens in an an abandoned hunting cabin during a raging thunderstorm with only “The Bard in a Box: The Taming of the Shrew” to keep them occupied? A recipe for hilarity! In their attempts to embody the directions to BYOD (Bring Your Own Drama!), the students ransack the house for props in an attempt to stage their own rollicking version of one of Shakespeare’s classic comedies. With no prior experience in Elizabethan drama, these kids present Shakespeare quite literally as you have never seen him before, with many questions, confusions, anachronisms, mispronunciations — and, of course, laughs! — along the way.
Bard in a Box: The Ballad of Júlio César (2012)- FRIENDS! ROMANS! COUNTRYMEN! Have you ever wondered what would have happened had Julius Caesar NOT been killed when he was stabbed in the Senate house in 44 BC, but instead had fled to Mexico, hiding out for millennia before returning to exact his revenge? Who hasn’t! Making use of violence and deception worthy only of a tyrannical dictator, Julio Caesar gains control of an unsuspecting high school English class. About to perform their own version of the the Bard’s classic tragedy, the students suddenly find themselves confronted with a substitute teacher the likes of which they’ve never seen before. With that, the shenanigans have begun.
Enter Macbeth (2013) – For hundreds of years, the cast members of Hamlet have toiled through each nightly performance – delivering their lines, sneaking about behind tapestries, clutching at skulls, betraying one another, falling in love, losing their minds, drowning, stabbing, being stabbed, and dying – over and over and over again. Night after night, the cycle has never changed. Until now. With a principal character missing and half the cast on the verge of revolt, they must take drastic measures to keep the script from being shelved and the set from going dark. With the cast grasping at straws to keep their numbers even, they soon resort to recruiting from other scripts in Shakespeare’s First Folio, hoping that doing so will bring an end to all their problems. Little do they suspect what further doom awaits.
Happily Ever After Hours (2015) – Every night, your favorite fairy tale characters clock out of their stories to enjoy some well-earned rest. But they won’t be resting tonight, because tonight, due to an anonymous tip to the Better Business Bureau, all employees of the Happily Ever After Group must begin court-mandated therapy. Despite the professionalism of their psychologist, the first group session goes badly awry. Plunged into an unexpected quest that requires venturing back into the story after hours, members of the Happily Ever After Group find themselves sneaking through The Wood, battling a rhyming curse, and trying to keep from being blown up—all while facing their fears and learning each other’s secrets. In this sideways retelling of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, you’ll find more comedy, more pop psychology, and way more cheese (both literal and figurative) than you ever bargained for.
One Moment: An Advent Meditation (2016) – Four readers give depth and breadth to the event that Advent anticipates: the birth of Jesus. In that one moment, God’s plan for redemption was finally revealed. This program adds a special touch for ushering in the Advent season. Scripture, music, and reflections lush and lyrical shape our understanding of the Messiah’s role—why he had to be born and what it means in our redemption. The congregation is led on a path from the cradle to the cross, which encourages them to meditate on enduring themes such as worship, holiness, glory, Christ, and evangelism. The readers’ “vocal instruments” swell and whisper, overlap and enunciate to lift these words from the script, sending them into the hearts of your congregants. No memorization needed—a plus in this busy season.
I Was There: An Easter Meditation (2018) – Through a series of heartfelt monologues, we view the events of Holy Week through the eyes of Mary (the Mother of Jesus), Salome, and Mary Magdalene. Along the way, we are brought to recognize that the testimonies of these three women could very well be our own. We, too, have sinned. We, too, have suffered disappointment, loss, and pain. Most importantly, we must all question what Jesus’ redemptive act means for us personally.
Glory Rising (2018) – This reader’s script for the Easter season sparkles with all the brilliance of word pictures, stories, and future hope associated with the glory of the Lord. It highlights the broad sweep of biblical history, citing fire on Mount Sinai, Ezekiel’s vision of a sapphire throne, John the Baptist heralding Jesus’ coming, the Roman soldier proclaiming the crucified Christ as the Son of God, the risen Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene, and now interceding for us in heaven. Musical interludes alternate with the spoken word. Very easy to present though not simplistic in tone or approach as a quartet of speakers blend, overlap, crescendo, or whisper to communicate the power of the Lord’s glory.
Very Unexpected Party (2018) – When two companies merge, there’s a lavish celebration—but the original guests don’t show so the planners recruit “replacement guests.” All is well until one blatantly ignores the dress code and gets banished. This 10-minute retelling of the Parable of the Wedding Feast comes with suggested Scripture readings and discussion questions.