Hammer & fire: Lessons on spiritual passion from the writings and life of george whitefield

“A glorious church is raising in America. The Lord mightily reveals his arm. It would please you to see his outgoings, his stately steps in the great congregation. I only want fellow laborers. I look to Jesus for this, and for everything.” — George Whitefield, letter

“I think I never was myself filled with greater power. Oh what thoughts and words did God put into my heart! And after I had finished my last discourse, I was so pierced, as it were, and overpowered with God’s love, that some thought (I believe) that I was about to give up the ghost. Oh how sweetly did I lie at the feet of my Jesus! With what power did a sense of his all-consuming, free, and everlasting love flow in upon my soul! It almost took away my life.” — George Whitefield, journal

Unique among eighteenth-century Christians, internationally-celebrated revivalist George Whitefield stands alone for both his extraordinary life of passion for God and the striking power and emotion of his writing. Preaching an estimated 18,000 sermons during numerous tours of America, Scotland, Ireland, England, and Wales, Whitefield also published wildly popular personal writings and sermons. Bringing to the reader modernized excerpts from Whitefield’s most impactful journals, letters, autobiographical texts, and sermons, Lisa uses her academic expertise to enable the popular preacher to reach across the centuries to both instruct and inspire us to pursue Jesus Christ with ever-increasing fervency and love. Discussion questions included.

Forthcoming from Square Halo Books in 2023

Godly Character(s): Insights for Spiritual Passion from the Lives of 8 Women in the Bible

“This book is a terrific resource for anyone who wants more from their relationship with God than lackluster routines and complacent rituals. Lisa is both an engaging guide and an experienced practitioner, using Scriptures and stories, to lead us through eight characteristics needed to fuel a dynamic and passionate life with God.” — Carolyn Taketa, host of the Small Group Network podcast Group Talk

“This book is a slim treasure, packed with practical inspiration for the passionate Christian life. Utilizing the stories of some of the unsung heroines of Scripture, Godly Character(s) will be a trustworthy companion on the quest of devotion.” — Lanier Ivester, writer and speaker at lanierivester.com

Spiritual passion is the powerful affection and desire we feel for God that drives our spiritual lives, helps us overcome obstacles, carries us through difficult times, and draws us closer to Jesus.  But too often our actual Christian experience feels just the opposite—boring, lackluster, anything but passionate.  How can we increase our passion for a God who is so passionate for us? By exploring some surprising women of the Bible—a dissatisfied princess, an emerging prophetess, a suffering mother, a wartime advisor, a marginalized widow—Lisa uncovers ways to fuel our spiritual lives by strengthening important personal attributes such as courage, vision, initiative, nonconformity, tenacity, and generosity. Group discussion questions, application ideas, and steps for deeper growth are included.

Available at Amazon and Square Halo Books

The first great awakening in colonial american newspapers: a shifting story

“The Great Awakening of the eighteenth century was both religiously inspired and media driven. No book makes this point more effectively than Lisa Smith’s The First Great Awakening in Colonial American Newspapers. Her remarkable research makes this book a must-read for scholars and students of the Great Awakening.” — Thomas S. Kidd, Professor of History, Baylor University

“A very nuanced study of the press coverage of the revival. Scholars have long thought the Great Awakening was an important event in the development of the colonial newspapers, but Lisa Smith provides the detailed information to clearly back up that generalization.” — Carol Sue Humphrey, Professor of History, Oklahoma Baptist University

The First Great Awakening, the sensational and controversial religious revival of the 1740s, provided American newspaper printers with their first story of transcolonial significance. In the first scholarly work to examine in detail the printed colonial newspaper record of the Awakening, this book studies ten years of press coverage to offer insights on the changing presentation of the movement over time, regional “paper wars” and controversies, and dramatic transformations in the newspaper personae of popular revivalists such as George Whitefield and Gilbert Tennent. Using original newspaper excerpts and figures revealing reporting trends, this book presents an engaging, detailed picture of how colonial newspaper printers covered the experience of the First Great Awakening.

Available at Amazon and Lexington Books