“Secular devotional book” invites readers to consider life truths

Pastor Jinha Kim holding a copy of this year's sharing book, Truths to Live By.

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“Many wonderful books about Christianity and Adventism already exist for those who are interested in learning what the Bible claims,” explained Pastor Jinha Kim, author of Truths to Live By. “I wanted to write a book for those who are not yet willing to examine what the Bible offers, but who might be open to some self-reflection leading to spiritual discovery.”

So Pastor Kim developed the idea of writing a “secular devotional book,” which includes 30 short reflections, as well as questions for reflection and suggestions for next steps. “These are primarily stories of inspiring individuals who have embodied values that not only resonate with secular readers but also challenge us to ponder where those values came from, and who they ultimately point us towards,” she said.

Pastor Kim leads the Melbourne City Adventist Church, which she planted in 2014 with her husband Roy and a small team. The church has now grown to about 50 members. She says that her experiences of building relationships in their inner-city community has informed her approach to writing Truths to Live By.

“What we have discovered is that many Australians—even if they are not religious—want to live meaningful lives that contribute to the world around them, and they resonate with many of the values that we also advocate, including kindness, a healthy lifestyle, work-life balance and time in nature,” she said. “What they lack are opportunities to consider how those values actually point us towards a caring Creator.”

The cover of Truths to Live By.

Truths to Live By also draws on Pastor Kim’s own life experiences as a young Korean immigrant to the United States, a literature student at Princeton University and a pastor in New York City, then moving to Australia and her life as a pastor and parent amid Melbourne’s COVID lockdowns.

“Sharing my personal stories has always been a part of my ministry philosophy, both in public speaking as well inpersonal conversations,” said Pastor Kim. “I cannot expect people to consider my ideas and worldview if I am not willingto share who I am. During my 19 years in local church ministry, I have observed across multiple communities and cultures that when people relate with and trust who we are, we can have more productive conversations about what we believe.”

And this is her hope for how Truths to Live By will be read and shared by church members. “I would encourage you to ask your friend or family member to read the book with you, so that you can foster a deeper connection with them while exploring the questions at the end of each chapter and even acting out the suggested next steps together.”

Published by Signs Publishing, Truths to Live By has been adopted by the Adventist Church in Australia and New Zealand as the sharing book for 2024. It is available now from Adventist bookshops in Australia and New Zealand or online

Bulk pricing is available for sharing Truths to Live By with friends or family, or in your church, school or community.

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