You know what I love? That the Bible stories I’ve grown up with stand up to the test of time and yield more than just the story itself.


Take the story of David and Goliath, for example. In fact, that’s just what the new book Five Stones: Conquering Your Giants, by Shane Stanford and Brad Martin, does.

It seems like such a simple story. Small boy takes on big bully. David saves the day. Future king proves why he’s chosen. And on…

But what this book does is take the story beyond the facts. It applies it to everyday life.

It borders on gimmacky, but I forgive it because, by gum, it’s useful. The premise is that David grabbed five stones to conquer his giant, so here are the five stones any of us can use to conquer any of the giants in our lives, from addiction to the jerk at work.

It’s written anecdotally, which makes it approachable and non-preachy. And there’s a bonus: a five-week “training manual” with daily scripture readings, centered around each of the five stones.

I’ll admit it: my eyes did roll a bit at first. But as I continued reading, I found myself really considering and diving into how God’s speaking to me through this story of David and Goliath.

In fact, I think maybe this book was a way of putting the lectio divina practices I’ve struggled with lately into practice. I tend to read the Bible quickly, and to skim over what I already “know.” This book, though, took what seems to be a pretty straightforward Bible story and unpacks it in a way that I appreciated.

Thanks to the Patheos Book Club for pointing it out to me.