We start with our offerings from our own effecters: books, music and graphics that we’ve produced out of our own spiritual journeys. Then we move on to the books that have fueled us. We’ll keep adding to this list, but here’s a few great book titles to get you started on your Way. Grouped by author and topic as much as possible, all these books have been read by someone in theeffect who found them helpful, inspiring, essential, all the above.

Click on the cover icons or links for more information, book previews, and online ordering.


The Fifth Way

The Fifth Way
A Western Journey to the Hebrew Heart of Jesus

Book + Kindle

Looking at the Way of Jesus from an ancient Hebrew point of view and coming to a fuller understanding of the true meaning of Jesus’ words as his first followers would have understood them is crucial to recreating the experience of the spiritual journey and breaking through limiting thought processes. Full of colorful stories, intimate journal entries, and the words of Jesus seen in light of the ancient Hebrew mindset, languages, worldview, culture, and historical setting, The Fifth Way is a window on a completely different way of approaching God and our spiritual journey–a Fifth Way. The Way of Jesus.

Daring to Think Again

Daring to Think Again
Restoring Jesus’ Original Challenge to the Faith We Think We Know

Book + Kindle

Did you know that Jesus said everything begins with the willingness to question absolutely everything? He did… And not only did he grant permission, he made it a prerequisite that we “sell everything” first, if we wanted to follow his Way.

When was the last time you really thought about your faith?  What keeps you believing? How can you know that your beliefs are more true than someone else’s?  Rather than discourage these questions, Daring to Think Again challenges you, as Jesus did, to wrestle with what you believe. Perhaps you have settled for a toothless faith that is too fragile to withstand honest, imploring, and earnest pursuit of truth.

What if Jesus were inviting you to join him on a journey of shedding what is unnecessary for the sake of embracing a fuller, deeper and healthier faith? Rather than view this life-giving message through the lens of our Western culture, come explore his teaching from the Eastern and Hebrew culture in which it was presented.

Daring to Think Again, a companion to David Brisbin’s first book, The Fifth Way, offers a fresh, perhaps deconstructive look at twelve foundational aspects of Christian tradition: Love,  Law,  Engagement, Interpretation,  Inspiration, Vulnerability, Fear, Trust, Presence,  Contentment,  Destiny,  Release…and dares you to relinquish what holds you back in order to embrace a life beyond measure.


The Twelve Steps and the Way of Jesus

CD Audio Series

While it’s obvious why someone recovering from alcohol or drug addiction would need the Twelve Steps of AA, it’s not as obvious why they would be relevant to anyone else. Truth is: we’re all recovering from something… Our unfinished business, unhealed hurts and trauma, create the compulsive behavior and dysfunctional thinking that, even if socially acceptible, cause us to make destructive choices, compromising relationships and ability to enjoy our moments. Very few of us are so healed that the Twelve Steps don’t have something vital to teach. Whether you are recovering from substance abuse, emotional abuse, or anything in between or beyond, the way to recovery is always the same: it’s the message of Jesus understood from an ancient Hebrew point of view–a Way of living life that brings us out of isolation and into our Father’s presence. This tour through the Twelve Steps, considers each step not from the viewpoint of alcohol and substance abuse recovery, but from its most open and spiritual application–one that Jesus articulated two millennial ago, yet applies to each of us today.

The Lord’s Prayer: Living the Aramaic Words

CD Audio Series

Right in the middle of the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, right in the middle of Matthew 6, Jesus encourages us to pray “like this,” and he gives us a model prayer that has become known as the Lord’s Prayer. Easily the most well-known prayer in Christianity, it has become a fixture in Western culture as well, but do we have any idea what it means?

Until we peek under the veneer of translation and see the Hebrew/Aramaic intent underneath, we’ll never understand that this model prayer was never intended to be read or recited, but to be lived. Jesus’ entire purpose, mission, and message was simply to show us our Father…who he is, how he lives and loves. To pray this prayer is to live as Jesus lived with his Father, and the first step for us as modern Westerners is to break the mental images of our English translations and see the Aramaic meaning underneath. When understood from a Hebrew/Aramaic point of view, the five lines of the prayer jump out as a reordering of the attitude, process, and priority of our daily moments: the basis of Jesus’ one and only Way to the Father and how he encourages us to pray.

The Beatitudes: An Aramaic Portrait of Jesus

CD Audio Series

Haven’t you often wondered what Jesus looked like? As a people and culture focused on physical form, we long to know what Jesus looked like, imagine him in our own way, and are sometimes frustrated that there is no description of him in the Gospels. But this is not so; there is a detailed description of Jesus in the book of Matthew. We miss it because the Gospels, as Hebrew literature, describe Jesus as Jews would: focused not on form, but function–not on what he looked like but what he did and how he lived.

The first lines of the Sermon on the Mount have been called the Beatitudes for centuries. They paint a beautiful picture of the finished product–what someone who is living in Kingdom “looks” like, feels like, acts like, loves like. If we want to know what Jesus was like, what it was like to walk with him, we just need to understand these sayings, because if Jesus was not the picture of the finished product of Kingdom, who is? Rendering each of these Kingdom snapshots back into its original Aramaic thoughtform brings surprising results and brand new vistas and realizations of just what Jesus meant by Kingdom.

The James Book: The Wisdom of Jesus’ Brother

CD Audio Series

Did you know that Jesus had a brother? New Testament tells us so, but as there is no word for cousin in Aramaic, the common language of first century Jews, brother could also mean cousin, half or step brother, or a really good friend. Still, from context, it appears that James, who wrote the book that bears his name, was intimately related to Jesus most likely by blood.

The book of James is one of the most Jewish books of the New Testament, and so gives us a uniquely clear view into the teachings of Jesus as his first hearers would have understood them. Quite possibly a catechism for early Jewish followers and converts, James is beautiful in its clarity, brevity, and focus on the big questions as well as the essential details of life. Moving nearly verse by verse, we’ll take a look at James through Hebrew eyes to see how he taught and led his brother’s followers through those first difficult decades, trying to follow Jesus’ Way through the misunderstanding and persecution from both Jewish and Roman worlds.


You Never Run Dry

You Never Run Dry


A studio album by theeffect band features 10 original songs written by band members and arranged, produced, and performed by theeffectband. Warm and retro, heavy with acoustic guitar and Hammond organ, the songs are sometimes smooth and sometimes bluesy and biting, but always with meaningful lyrics to accompany your journey.

Available at theeffect or by contacting us to request.

Alive Worship

Alive Worship


A live worship album by theeffect band was recorded live at Capo Beach Calvary Church a major church venue in Southern CA. The disc features both original songs and contemporary worship favorites and really captures the essence of the worship experience that night.

Available at theeffect or by contacting us to request.


For inspiration and beautiful graphics to fill your desktop or laptop background, check out these graphic images by our own Tony Salas.

Alive Worship



theeffect has compiled a series of images as computer desktop wallpapers to install on your Mac, Windows, iPad, or Chromebook computers. The wallpapers are a visual expression of images and words that capture and inspire us to seek THE PRACTICE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD.

All free of charge and available here.


For readable and accessible titles on the unconditional love of God and the relationship we have with him, especially through centering prayer or prayer of the heart, check these out.

Life of the Beloved
The Return of the Prodigal Son
The Way of the Heart
Out of Solitude
The Ragamuffin Gospel
Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin's Path to God
Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging
Invitation to Love: The Way of Christian Contemplation
Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel
What's So Amazing About Grace?
Crazy Love
Falling Upward
The Naked Now
Everything Belongs
Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening
Divine Therapy and Addiction


Here’s some titles on a variety of topics from contemplative prayer to the spiritual journey to approaching the scriptures.
A little more scholarly in approach, but worth the read.

Thomas Merton: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters Series)
New Seeds of Contemplation
The Wisdom of the Desert: Sayings from the Desert Fathers of the Fourth Century (Shambhala Library)
Thomas Merton: Opening the Bible
Thoughts In Solitude
Thomas Merton: Spiritual Master, The Essential Writings
Thomas Merton: The Inner Experience, Notes on Contemplation
The Practice of the Presence of God
The Cloud of Unknowing (Harper Collins Spiritual Classics)
The Holy Trinity
Merton's Palace of Nowhere
The Interior Castle
The Ascent of Mount Carmel


Now for some titles dealing with the church and the struggle to find new expressions of worship and communication in the 21st century and the “postmodern” era.

Love Winds
Out of the Question...Into the Mystery: Getting Lost in the GodLife Relationship
Emerging Worship: Creating Worship Gatherings for New Generations
The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations
A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey
The Story We Find Ourselves In: Further Adventures of a New Kind of Christian
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, Post/Protestant, Liberal/Conservative, Mystical/Poetic, Biblical, Charismatic/Contemplative, Fundamentalist/Calvinist, Anabaptist/Anglican, Methodist, Catholic, Green, Incarnational, Depressed-yet-Hopeful, Emergent, Unfinished CHRISTIAN


For a greater understanding of the Hebrew/Aramaic Jesus, Yeshua, through a better understanding of the language, customs, and worldview of the Ancient, near-Eastern Jews…

Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith
The Hidden Gospel: Decoding the Spiritual Message of the Aramaic Jesus
Prayers of the Cosmos: Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus
Jesus the Jewish Theologian
Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus: New Insights From a Hebrew Perspective
Yeshua: A Guide to the Real Jesus and the Original Church
They Loved the Torah: What Yeshua's First Followers Really Thought about the Law
Hebrew Thought Compared with Greek
The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet (ArtScroll (Mesorah))
Holy Bible: From the Ancient Eastern Text: George M. Lamsa's Translation From the Aramaic of the Peshitta
His Name is One
Jewish New Testament Commentary: A Companion Volume to the Jewish New Testament
Restoring the Jewishness of the Gospel
The Words of Jesus in the Original Aramaic


And for some good studies on the origin of the scriptures and general study guides.

The Journey from Texts to Translations: The Origin and Development of the Bible
Hard Sayings of Jesus (Jesus Library)
A Harmony of the Four Gospels: The New International Version
Who Wrote the Bible
IVP Bible Background Commentary
The Message

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Everyone is recovering from something… Admitting this is the first step in spiritual life, because any unfinished business in our lives–trauma, unforgiveness, fear-based perceptions–fosters compulsive behavior and keeps us from connecting spiritually and emotionally.

Since we’re all recovering, we accept everyone right as they are—no expiration dates or deadlines. We don’t tell anyone what to believe or do. We present points of view that we hope will engage seekers in their own journey; help them unlearn limiting perceptions, beliefs, and compulsions; give opportunities to get involved in community, building the trust we all need to find real identity, meaning, and purpose. In other words, to engage the transforming Way of living life that Jesus called Kingdom…non-religiously understood from a first century Hebrew point of view.



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Embedded in the fun and laughter of each of our gatherings and events is the connection and accountability as well as the structure, discipline, and opportunity for service that authentic community is all about. We help create programs for physical support, emotional recovery, and spiritual formation that can meet any person’s needs. Such programs work at two levels: first to address a person’s physical and emotional stability—clinical, financial, relational, professional—anything that distracts from working on the second level: true spiritual formation centered around the contemplative way of life defined by an original Hebrew understanding of the message of Jesus.

Rather than telling people what to believe or think, we model and encourage engagement in a personal and communal spiritual journey that allows people to experience their own worthiness of connection and acceptance, to find the freedom from underlying fears that brings real meaning and purpose into focus.


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Seeing ourselves as a learning and recovery community that worships together, the focus isn’t on Sunday morning alone, but on every day of the week as we gather for worship, healing and support workshops, studies, 12 step meetings, counseling and mentoring sessions, referral services, and social events.

Our Sunday gathering starts at 10AM and includes worship with one of the best worship bands in the area. We also have online discussion and study groups on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 6:30P PST. See our interactive calendar and our Facebook page to stay in touch with what is happening each week. You can also sign up on our elist for email enews updates.


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