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Recognize God at work in life’s ordinary days and difficult situations

Discover the grit, wit, and wisdom of Ruth, Esther, and Jonah as you read these beloved Bible stories with fresh eyes.  Recognize God’s goodness even when you feel powerless, forgotten, or hopeless. Learn to spot Him working behind the scenes in all seasons of life.

Ruth, Esther, and Jonah are some of our most loved Bible stories – the tales of many childhoods, the content of Sunday School felt boards.

But there is more to these famous Bible stories than meets the eye. When read through a grown-up lens, we discover they’re far grittier, wittier, and wiser than expected.

Come Alive: Ruth, Esther, and Jonah will help you uncover what is really happening in these stories – the real, the raw, and the at times shocking details – and their significance in the larger narrative of Scripture. You will see that:

  • Ruth is not an ancient romance novel.
  • Esther isn’t a sweet story about kings and queens.
  • Jonah is a lot more than a big fish story.

And because of this, they have much to say about the subtle, redemptive ways God intersects with our lives today.

Beloved by the people of Israel long before they were beloved by us, these cultural stories hold deep theological truths about God at work behind the scenes in the lives of ordinary people and less-than-ideal circumstances – revealing His all-encompassing love for humanity and His goodness, even when we feel powerless, forgotten, or hopeless.

The entertaining and expert storytelling in these books is an invitation to set aside the temptation to read the Bible as a “how to” book and start reading it literarily, with all its drama, humor, and brilliance. When you do, you will find universal truths and timeless nuggets of wisdom that help you perceive God in the hidden places and live with more hope in the face of tragedy, injustice, and failure.

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Talbot Davis

Talbot Davis was born and raised in Dallas, Texas.  As a teenager, he was the two-time Texas state champion in tennis for boys’ 18-and-under.  After graduating from high school in 1980, he attended Princeton University in Princeton, NJ, where he played varsity tennis for four years, served as team captain, and graduated with honors in English in 1984.

Talbot is a 1990 graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY.  In 32 years of full-time United Methodist ministry in the Western North Carolina Annual Conference, he has served two appointments: Mt. Carmel-Midway (1990-1999) and Good Shepherd (1999-present). Since 1999, Good Shepherd’s average worship attendance has increased from 500 per Sunday to 2,000 per Sunday.  The church is known for its modern style of worship, ethnic and racial diversity, and radical impact projects. Prior to the Come Alive series, Talbot published six works, all with Abingdon Press: Head Scratchers, The Storm Before The Calm, The Shadow Of A Doubt, SolveCrash Test Dummies, and Simplify The Message; Multiply The Impact.

Talbot has been married to Julie since 1984 and they have two adult children.



What people are saying...

In a “go through the motions” world, Talbot Davis dares to suggest that the Bible is a life-giving source of divine inspiration.

Shane L. Bishop
Shane L. Bishop
Senior Pastor, Christ Church, Fairview Heights, IL

Talbot writes with a winsome clarity that makes me want to dive deeper into God’s Word.

Matthew Hartsfield
Matthew Hartsfield
Senior Pastor of Bay Hope Church in Tampa, FL, author of Shouting at Jesus, and a Spiritual Leadership Specialist and Coach with SLI

Davis pioneers a new genre to help others read Scripture well.

Carmen Joy Imes
Carmen Joy Imes
Associate Professor of Old Testament at Biola University

Truly transformative.

Will Mancini
Will Mancini
author of Future Church, founder of the Future Church Company

You love Jesus and you want to know more about God, but when you go to read the Bible, it’s a struggle. The world you encounter there is a world with a very different culture and very different values. It can be confusing, frustrating, and – let’s be honest – sometimes weird. Many Christians end up feeling like they’re not “getting anything out of it” or that what they were promised doesn’t line up with their lived experience.

But when we learn to approach the Bible in different way, we discover it’s far more interesting and richer than we ever imagined. Come Alive will help you:

Recognize God at work in life’s ordinary days and difficult situations

Discover a new way to approach the Bible

It’s not about the takeaway, but trust and transformation. It’s not about “how to” but “Who” to which it points.

Recognize God at work in life’s ordinary days and difficult situations

Learn to read the Bible “literarily”

Not as a how-to manual, a science textbook, or a self-help book (actually, it’s not a book at all), but as a library of books that capture a divinely-inspired conversation between God and His people.

Recognize God at work in life’s ordinary days and difficult situations

Watch God change your life

When you start your day in the Word, you’ll find you’re less focused on the times and more on the timeless, less on the urgent and more on the ultimate.

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Ruth, Esther, and Jonah like you’ve never read them before

Get cultural context, insights, and reading prompts that help you de-weird the Bible and understand how God is speaking into your life through Ruth, Esther, and Jonah today.

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