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A disruptive and surprising journey through the Beatitudes.
Most of the time, life doesn’t work out like we expect it will. We spend time and energy trying to climb some sort of spiritual ladder, oblivious to the fact that it is God who is moving toward us.

We want answers to our problems, yet what is offered is presence.

What if we were to become united with our brokenness rather than our victories? What if God moves closest to us in the absence, the ache, and the longing?

Words from the Hill turns each beatitude on its head to see the unexpected beneath the understood—diving into the story of a woman on death row to speak about mercy, personal stories from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to talk about peace, and much more. Stu Garrard has walked with these people in their stories, and he vulnerably offers his own as he unpacks the Good News of the Beatitudes.

God is on your side, and He is closer than you think.

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Someone once introduced President Jimmy Carter as a man who used the White House as a stepping-stone to do great things with his life. Stu G has done the same, using his career as an award-winning rock star as a stepping-stone to do great things with his life. There’s no message more important for the contemporary world than the words of Jesus, the “red letters” in the Bible. Stu dives into the heart of those red letters in this book on the Beatitudes. I know that his words will move the world just as his music has. I’m honored to call him a friend.

One Sunday night this fall, Stu sat in our kitchen, and instead of playing his own songs, he played songs from men and women he had befriended in his travels. Instead of telling his own stories, he told the stories of people who’d been abused, forgotten, marginalized. Stu is a man who is using his voice to lift people up, who is using his talent to draw out the talent of others, who is using his influence to tell a story of hope. This book is story after story of hope, and I can’t think of a more timely message or a more generous and wise messenger.

In Words from the Hill we have Stu G’s unique exploration and application of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. It’s a reflective, disruptive memoir, beautiful and quietly incendiary—a book well written by a life well lived.

I’ve loved watching Stu explore the Beatitudes in the writing of this book, making friends and discovering their stories along the way. Stu’s honesty and compassion have helped me hear these well-known words of Jesus in a whole new light—as announcements of kindness, mercy, peace, and his presence for us all. You will love it!

Stu G has successfully penned a book on the Beatitudes that is teeming with wisdom, heart, and practical insights. Never has the world felt more riven and ready for this fresh take on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Blessed are those who read this divinely timed book.

Think you know all you need to know about the Beatitudes? Think again. Enter this book with holy curiosity, and you’ll discover stories that will change your life—stories of ordinary people who chose to “collude with the power of love” and experienced the blessed presence of God in ways they never imagined. I love this book!

Stu’s honest and poetic voice gives new life to some of the oldest truths in the world. I am grateful that he has used his gifts to promote love’s healing power through the lenses of the Beatitudes. His book teaches us how to walk more gracefully in this harsh world.

When Jesus spoke the eight simple lines that we call the Beatitudes, he offered his listeners an alternate way to look at life, a different way to experience God. Stu Garrard invites us into a beautifully written, unfolding story to explore this unexpected way of living with God. He introduces us to people from the bright lights of the rich and famous to the shadows of death row who have each encountered this surprising transformation. I highly recommend Words from the Hill for those ready to join this journey.

Stu G writes like he plays. He weaves the new with the old, the passionate with the vulnerable. Words from the Hill is an honest, beautiful book from a man who paints with his fingers the stories that his heart perceives.