About the book

Our most important battles are not always with the 'giants out there'—those external challenges which we all face.


The greatest battles are often within ourselves.


Too often, we diminish our own potential in ministry, business, and life. Shane Stanford and Brad Martin frame their powerful book on one of the most well-known and well-loved stories in history: David and Goliath.


We all feel like the seemingly powerless, scrawny boy David sometimes. And we all must face “giants”—those challenges that threaten to overwhelm us in ministry, work-life, and in our personal lives.


Five Stones is a series of clear and compelling lessons. Each lesson arms the reader with practical and powerful tools of self-discovery, so that the reader’s own liabilities, opportunities, convictions, and capabilities are revealed. Like modern-day Davids, readers will leave this book empowered to conquer challenges, in ministry and in life, with clear-eyed confidence and well-grounded hope.

Meet the authors

Shane Stanford is the Senior Pastor of Christ United Methodist Church, a 6,000-member congregation in Memphis, TN.  He is also the co-host (with Dr. Maxie Dunnam) of “We Believe in Memphis” and the teacher/host of “You Matter”, both television programs airing in the Memphis metro area.

Shane is the author of numerous books including The Seven Next Words of Christ, The Eight Blessings, Mosaic, You Can’t Do Everything… So Do Something, The CURE for the Chronic Life, and Making Life Matter—all published by Abingdon Press.  He also wrote A Positive Life (Zondervan 2010) and When God Disappears (Regal 2008), both detailing his journey as an HIV and HEP-C+ minister, father and husband.

Shane travels extensively sharing his story of hope and courage through his faith in Jesus Christ.  He has spoken at several national venues including the 2006 Saddleback Global AIDS Summit where he shared the agenda with such notables as, then, Sen. Barack Obama, Franklin Graham, and John Ortberg.  Shane will also speak at the 2013 Church of the Resurrection Leadership Institute in September.

Shane hosted “The United Methodist Hour”, a radio and television ministry aired in over 30 million homes, for four years.  And, Shane is currently the co-host of the national DVD/media bible study series, “Covenant”.
Shane is an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church and is a member of the Global AIDS Fund Steering Committee.

Shane is married to his highschool sweetheart, Dr. Pokey Stanford, and they are the parents of three daughters, Sarai Grace (23), Juli Anna (20), and Emma Leigh (16).

   R. Brad Martin is Chairman of RBM Venture Company, a private investment company, and Retired Chairman and CEO of Saks Incorporated.

   Martin retired in 2007 from Saks after serving nearly 20 years as an executive with that firm. Martin serves on the Board of Directors of four public companies—FedEx Corporation; First Horizon National Corporation; Dillard’s; and Chesapeake Energy Corporation.


   In addition, he serves on the Board of Managers of Pilot/Flying J Travel Centers and as a member of the U.S. Advisory Board of CVC—a global private equity firm.


   Martin also has previously served on the Board of Directors of Harrah’s Entertainment (Caesar’s), Gaylord Entertainment, lululemon athletica, and Ruby Tuesday, Inc.

Brad Martin is a graduate of The University of Memphis where he served as President of the student body, and earned an MBA from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University.


Martin also served five terms as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives.  He was the youngest person ever elected to the Tennessee General Assembly.


He is involved in a number of civic and philanthropic activities through the R. Brad Martin Family Foundation.  Martin is the author of the children’s book, MYLES’ PESKY FRIENDS.Martin lives in Memphis, Tennessee.  He is married to the former Dina Miller and is the father of five sons.


Gary Shorb, President and CEO, Methodist Healthcare

There is no better way to learn and grow than from storytelling and life experiences. Five Stones provides both and is a unique blend of biblical and personal stories about giants we all have or will probably confront and how to handle them successfully. A must-read written by two outstanding leaders.

Bill Rhodes, Chairman & CEO, AutoZone

The collaboration of two exceptional leaders, Shane Stanford and Brad Martin, to develop Five Stones shows their deep commitment to their faith and their desire to help others navigate their lives. The story of David and Goliath plays out daily for each of us and Shane and Brad's work provides a framework for embracing those encounters.  

Bishop Larry Goodpaster, Charlotte Area UMC & Former President—UMC Council of Bishops

Having personally known and been inspired by Shane Stanford for twenty years, I am familiar with some of the giants he has faced in his life and ministry. With keen insights, personal experiences, and spiritual depth, he and Brad Martin have crafted a helpful resource for all of us. Building on basic principles through devotional time and discipline, this book will be a valuable guide for facing and defeating the “giants” of our lives



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