Around Christmas 2009, Sally Dyck, holed herself up in her small, but comfortable home office and with the cold and snow of a Midwest winter as her backdrop, she wrote the first draft of A Faithful Heart ... Daily Guide for Joyful Living.

But what brought her to her writing hideaway?

Prospective pastors often asked the Minnesota bishop what the church was looking for in clergy. She always responded by listing characteristics her cabinet and conference’s Board of Ordained Ministry developed such as passionate, called, holy, equipped, joyful, loving, learning and authentic. Then she realized these same attributes applied to everyday Christians who were looking for ways to grow their spiritual lives. Soon, with a nudge from Abingdon Press (, the idea for a book was born.

A Faithful Heart provides a day-by-day walk through eight weeks of study and reflection. Every week has a different theme and challenge. Each day has a Scripture reading and meditation. At week’s end, the reader may reflect by answering questions about his or her personal reading experiences. Although the book is formatted for individuals, a separate leader’s guide is available for small-group studies.

Using Mary, the mother of Jesus, as a theological thread throughout the book and an example of someone with a faithful heart, Dyck invites the reader to get to know this biblical character “beyond the Nativity set.”She hopes modern-day women can relate to her.

“She was a learning, growing follower of Jesus,” Dyck said. “I believe Mary was called to bear Christ into the world. But then we are all called to bear Christ in the world. We just do it in different ways. I think she’s an example of what we’re all called to be.”

"I think she’s an example of what we’re all called to be.”

-- Sally Dyck