Books by Steve Estes


A Better december: proverbs to brighten Christmas

Know someone FRAZZLED this December?

Know someone SAD this holiday?

Know anyone IN THE DARK about the point of Christmas?

. . . Want to light up their tree a bit?

A Better December casts ancient King Solomon as a farsighted author who penned his famous Proverbs to coach modern people through the stress and melancholy of the Christmas holidays. With a zippy style and playful mood, Steve Estes’s little volume moves from the sage’s clever holiday tips to a gentle but compelling introduction to the One behind Christmas. It is spread with poignant, but not sappy, true stories. Pint-sized and pen-and-ink-illustrated, A Better December is intended as a book to give at Christmas.

“Here’s a book like you’ve never read before. It meets us at the intersection of ancient biblical wisdom and the dreams, struggles, and disappointments that are part of our Christmas season. With humor, poignancy, and clarity Estes demonstrates that Solomon knew things about our holidays that we all need to know. With the help of Solomon, Estes shows you how you can have a Christmas that actually matches the message of the season you are celebrating.”

– Paul Tripp
Paul Tripp Ministries
Best-selling author of books on Christian living

“In listening and in reading I respond to brevity, clarity, conviction, common sense and love.  That describes both the Proverbs of Solomon and my friend Steve Estes’s A Better December.  In this little book Steve applies his heart to blending Proverbs with Christmas and delivers a strong dose of longing and joy.”

– Max McLean
President and Artistic Director, Fellowship for the Performing Arts

“It was way past my bedtime and I opened the book a crack for an idea of tomorrow’s reading. I was hooked. Estes threaded the loose beads of Proverbs on a string, and strung me along till the last word of the last page. I cried like a baby starting at the chapter called `Longings.’ I love this book, and consider it one of God’s little kisses to me that I ever came across it.”

– Andrée Seu Peterson
Senior Columnist, World Magazine


When God Weeps (with joni eareckson tada)

If God is loving, why is there suffering?
What’s the difference between permitting something and ordaining it?
When bad things happen, who’s behind them — God or the devil?

When suffering touches our lives, questions like these suddenly demand an answer.  From our perspective, suffering doesn’t make sense, especially when we believe in a loving and just God.

After more than thirty years in a wheelchair, Joni Eareckson Tada’s intimate experience with suffering gives her a special understanding of God’s intentions for us in our pain.  In When God Weeps, she and lifelong friend Steven Estes probe beyond glib answers that fail us in our time of deepest need.  Instead, with firmness and compassion, they reveal a God big enough to understand our suffering, wise enough to allow it — and powerful enough to use it for a greater good than we can ever imagine.


Called to Die: The Story of American Linguist Chet Bitterman, Slain by Terrorists

In the early morning darkness of January 19, 1981, seven armed terrorists burst into the SIL guest house in Bogota, Colombia.  Herding the sleepy occupants together, they demanded the SIL director.  He wasn’t there.  The terrorists pointed to Chet Bitterman.  “We’ll take you.”  The young father walked over to the couch and for a moment held baby Esther, who was crying.  He kissed three-year-old Anna, turned to Brenda, and asked her to be calm for the girls’ sake.  A gunman urged him into the rear office and he was gone.

In this, the authorized biography, the whole story of Chet’s kidnapping, his seven weeks in the hands of Colombian terrorists, and the final — and futile — negotiations for his life are set down in dramatic sequence.

It is the story of what happens when terrorism confronts Christianity.  It is also the story of how God can use an ordinary person in an extraordinary way.

Yet another drama parallels the telling of the kidnapping by terrorist extremists: that drama is the narrative of Chet Bitterman’s life, the story of the winsome character who was an inspiration in life as well as in death.  This is the story of Chet the adventurer, with the Tom-Sawyer knack for living; Chet the prankster, with his bag full of tricks in college; Chet the idealist, who struggled to feel adequate as a linguistics trainee; and Chet the man’s man, who joked with his abductors, even during his final days.  Called to Die transcends the tragic end of Chet’s life story, however, as it focuses on the inspiring events that followed his death.


A Step Further (with Joni Eareckson Tada)

Out of her struggle to accept her disability, after a diving accident left her quadriplegic, Joni Eareckson Tada’s classic autobiography, Joni, was born.

But the story doesn’t end there.  With the aid of her mentor, Steve Estes, Joni continues the candid account of her struggles and victories through her second book, A Step Further.  This remarkable story not only catalogs her bouts with depression and discouragement but highlights how God used her circumstances, individuals, and events to shape her and reveal himself to her.

Joni and Steve have written more than one book about this topic.  But while When God Weeps is a theology of suffering, A Step Further is a more personal view of Joni’s own journey into suffering and what she discovered along the way, conveyed in stories, anecdotes, and narrative.

This Gold Medallion Award-winning book is more than an autobiography.  It is Joni’s deeply personal attempt “to answer in part many of the questions people have raised regarding suffering by sharing from my own life.”  With remarkable candor and insight, Joni searches out the mysterious relationship between pain, faith, and the goodness of God that, sooner or later, each one of us must contend with.