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It's summer in Harmony, but not everything is as sunny as the weather. The good citizens of Harmony are back and stirring up trouble as usual, sometimes with disastrous results. Pastor Sam Gardner must take a leave of absence from his post at Harmony Friends Meeting to take care of his ailing father. But when spunky pastor Krista Riley comes to fill his position, the quirky Quakers seem to fall in love with her, and it begins to look like Sam's sabbatical may be permanent. Krista's resilience is put to the test when Dale Hinshaw and Fern Hampton begin to question whether a woman can faithfully lead their flock, and it looks like the resulting tiff might just be the undoing of Harmony Friends Meeting. Will Sam come to the rescue? Finding the answer to this question makes the trip back to Harmony worth turning every page.
Sam Gardner never dreamed he would be thanking God for Harmony's self-appointed general of the religious Right, Dale Hinshaw. God does indeed work in mysterious ways. Amanda Hodge, who has been living with her Uncle Ellis and Aunt Miriam since her parents abandoned her years ago, now faces their return and their desire to be a part of her life again. Dale Hinshaw hovers on the brink of death, in dire need of a heart transplant The whole town is abuzz as the beautiful Deena Morrison marries the town's most eligible bachelor, Dr. Pierce. And in the midst of these triumphs and tragedies, Pastor Sam Gardner helps the people of Harmony negotiate the sometimes rocky road of family life, faith, and forgiveness. Although Harmony's characters develop and grow with each novel, one thing remains constant -- Philip Gulley's ability to capture both the flavor of small-town America and the paradoxical beauty of our own humanity.
Philip Gulley takes us to Harmony, Indiana, at Christmastime as inspiration strikes the inimitable Dale Hinshaw. Always looking for a way to increase the church's profit margins, Hinshaw brainstorms a progressive nativity scene that will involve the whole town, complete with a map like those for the Hollywood stars. Neither Pastor Sam Gardner nor the other members of the Harmony Friends meeting express any enthusiasm for this idea, but Dale is unstoppable. Meanwhile, Pastor Sam has his own concerns: he's having his annual argument with his wife, and he's worried that the four-slotted toaster he bought for her may be too lavish a gift. Amidst the bustle of the season, the citizens of Harmony experience the simple joys and sometime loneliness that often go unseen. Sam comes to the realization that Dale, in his own misguided way, is only trying to draw meaning from the eternal story of Christmas. "In this unsettled world, it is good to have this steadiness -- the Christmas Eve service, the peal of the bell. . . .There is a holiness to memory, a sense of God's presence in these mangers of the mind. Which might explain why it is that the occasions that change the least are often the very occasions that change us the most."
It's autumn in Harmony, and Pastor Sam Gardner has vowed to be ready for Christmas. Determined to redeem a dreadful history of gift giving, Sam enrolls in a scrapbooking class to make a Christmas gift his wife will never forget. However, Sam's absence from their home every Wednesday night, coupled with his fishy alibi of attending a men's group, raises her suspicions. Meanwhile, Sam struggles in the class and must attempt to complete his project with only the help of his faithful secretary, Frank. As Christmas fast approaches and rumors of Sam's Wednesday night absences swirl along with the snow, a series of mishaps leads to a Christmas no one will soon forget.
From the book jacket: IT'S AUTUMN IN HARMONY, AND Pastor Sam Gardner has vowed to be ready for Christmas. Determined to redeem a dreadful history of gift giving, Sam enrolls in a scrapbooking class to make a Christmas gift his wife will never forget. However, Sam's absence from their home every Wednesday night, coupled with his fishy alibi of attending a men's group, raises her suspicions. Meanwhile, Sam struggles in the class and must attempt to complete his project with only the help of his faithful secretary, Frank. As Christmas fast approaches and rumors of Sam's Wednesday night absences swirl along with the snow, a series of mishaps leads to a Christmas no one will soon forget.
For too long, American Christianity has been poisoned by a narrowness of mind and spirit, demanding we believe the implausible, affirm the absurd, and despise the different. For many, the concepts of original sin, a God who sends people to hell, and Jesus as the only path to God can no longer be stomached. Thus thoughtful people leave the church in droves, no longer willing to diminish their lives or the lives of others for the sake of faith. But what if there were another way? What if God wanted us to grow and change, both in our theology and our beliefs? In The Evolution of Faith, Philip Gulley invites us to put aside slavish obedience to antiquated faith claims and worldviews that no longer ring true, and discover what we really believe, rather than what we've always been taught. Instead of looking for answers outside ourselves, Gulley encourages us to develop our own apologetics, a belief system open to change. In this paradigm, faith should always be seen as a work in progress. Only when we break free from the tenets of Christianity that no longer further the faith can we create a vital and believable Christianity-a Christianity that brings out the best in us, not the worst; a Christianity at home with people of other faiths; a Christianity grateful for scientific knowledge. This is a Christianity many of us have longed for, but haven't yet found. This book is Gulley's effort to discover a Christianity we, and all the world, can live with.
Filled with a cast of lovable, quirky characters, punctuated with simple wonders, the everyday truths found in this book offer much needed clarity to our own befuddled world. No matter where you live, no matter what your season, come along for the journey. When Philip Gulley began writing newsletter essays for the twelve members of his Quaker meeting in Indiana, he had no idea one of them would find its way to radio commentator Paul Harvey Jr. and be read on the air to 24 million people. Fourteen books later, with more than a million books in print, Gulley still entertains as well as inspires from his small-town front porch.
Wisdom and Humor from the Front Porch Master storyteller Philip Gulley shares tender and hilarious real-life moments that capture the important truths of everyday life. When Philip Gulley began writing newsletter essays for the twelve members of his Quaker meeting in Indiana, he had no idea one of them would find its way to radio commentator Paul Harvey Jr. and be read on the air to 24 million people. Fourteen books later, with more than a million books in print, Gulley still entertains as well as inspires from his small-town front porch.
Welcome to Harmony ... In this acclaimed inaugural volume in the Harmony series, master American storyteller Philip Gulley draws us into the charming world of minister Sam Gardner in his first year back in his hometown, capturing the essence of small-town life with humor and wisdom.
Stories from a Place That Feels Like Home Master storyteller Philip Gulley envelops readers in an almost forgotten world of plainspoken and honest small-town values, evoking a simpler time when people knew each other by name, folks looked out for their neighbors, and people were willing to do what was right--no matter the cost. When Philip Gulley began writing newsletter essays for the twelve members of his Quaker meeting in Indiana, he had no idea one of them would find its way to radio commentator Paul Harvey Jr. and be read on the air to 24 million people. Fourteen books later, with more than a million books in print, Gulley still entertains as well as inspires from his small-town front porch.
With his ear for the small town and his knack for finding the needle of humor in life's haystack, Philip Gulley might well be Indiana's answer to Missouri's Mark Twain. In I Love You, Miss Huddleston we are transported to 1970's Danville, Indiana, the everyone-knows-your-business town where Gulley still lives today, to witness the uproarious story of Gulley's young life, including his infatuation with his comely sixth-grade teacher, his dalliance with sin--eating meat on Friday and inappropriate activities with a mannequin named Ginger--and his checkered start with organized religion. Sister Mary John had shown us a flannelgraph of the apostles receiving the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. They looked quite happy, except that their hair was on fire. . . . I was suspicious of a religion whose highpoint was the igniting of one's head, and my enthusiasm for church, which had never been great, began to fade. Even as Kennedy was facing down Khrushchev, Danny Millardo and his band of youthful thugs conducted a reign of terror still unmatched in the annals of Indiana history. With Gulley's sharp wit and keen observation, I Love You, Miss Huddleston captures these dramas and more, revisiting a childhood of unrelieved and happy chaos. From beginning to end, Gulley recalls the hilarity (and heightened dangers) of those wonder years and the easy charm of midwestern life.
If God is love, why are so many Christians fearful, and why do so many church leaders sound hateful? Two controversial pastors address issues the church won't face, calling us to restore grace as the center of the Christian life. o In If Grace Is True, Pastors Philip Gulley and James Mulholland revealed their belief that God will save every person. They now explore the implications of this belief, and its power to change every area of our lives. They attempt to answer one question: If we took God's love seriously, what would our world look like? Gulley and Mulholland argue that what we believe is crucial and dramatically affects the way we live and interact in the world. Beliefs have power. The belief in a literal hell where people suffer eternally has often been used by the Church to justify hate and violence, which contradicts what Jesus taught about love and grace. The authors present a new vision for our personal, religious, and corporate lives, exploring what our world would be like if we based our existence on the foundational truth that God loves every person. Gulley and Mulholland boldly address many controversial issues people in the pews have wondered about but churches have been unwilling to tackle. For too long, the Christian tradition has been steeped in negativity, exclusion, and judgment. Gulley and Mulholland usher us into a new age--an age where grace and love are allowed to reign.
Why Everyone Will Be in Heaven Two pastors present their controversial belief in eternal salvation for all through God's perfect grace. Long disturbed by the church's struggle between offering both love and rejection, they discover what God wants from us and for us: grace for everyone.
(from the back cover) WHY EVERYONE WILL BE IN HEAVEN Two pastors present their controversial belief in eternal salvation for all through God' perfect grace. Long disturbed by the Church's struggle between offering both love and rejection, they discover what God wants from us and for us: grace for everyone. "Gulley and Mulholland's stirring manifesto on the central role of universalism in Christianity will provoke traditionalists and encourage new ways of thinking about the nature and purpose of the Christian faith."-Publishers Weekly "Gulley and Mulholland stick to their guns as they tell their stories and the stories of people they have met with compassion, hope, kindness, and grace-and the lovely conviction of universal salvation."-Booklist "In this powerful book . . . these authors suggest [we] look to Jesus, who told us that God loves us as a parent loves a child, with a love that never turns away."-Presbyterians Today "Gulley and Mulholland have extended and deepened the meaning of God's grace in decidedly thoughtful and lovely ways." -Arkansas Democrat-Gazette "An easy read full of interesting stories and attractive assertions. . . . Their proposal remains a bold and controversial idea."-Dallas News
Come Home to Harmony ... Thousands of readers have fallen in love with Harmony, the small town with the kindly spirit whose endearing and eccentric residents are like old friends. Join them for Sam Gardner's second year as pastor of his quirky flock.
Squarely in the crosshairs of the Church's heresy hunters, can Pastor Sam survive? It's a madcap year in Harmony, Indiana, as Sam Gardner struggles through his fourth year as pastor of the Harmony Friends Meeting. Join the thousands of readers who have fallen in love with the charming small town that hosts what BookPage calls "the biggest collection of crusty, lovable characters since James Herriot settled in Yorkshire."
A Publishers Weekly "Top 10 in Religion" selection."This is nothing less than the gospel itself...a much-needed book."--FR. RICHARD ROHR, OFM,Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, New Mexico"Living the Quaker Way is a treasure trove of practical wisdom about what it means to bear witness to our hope for a better world." --Parker J. Palmer, author of Let Your Life Speak Philip Gulley invites us into a bracing encounter with the rich truths of Quakerism--a centuries-old spiritual tradition that provides not only a foundation of faith but also vision for making the world more just, loving, and peaceable by our presence. In Living the Quaker Way, Gulley shows how Quaker values provide real solutions to many of our most pressing contemporary challenges. We not only come to a deeper appreciation of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, and equality, we see how embracing these virtues will radically transform us and our world. Living the Quaker Way includes a 30-day spiritual practice that applies the Quaker tradition of Queries.From the Hardcover edition.
A Year of Laughter and Grace in harmony Master storyteller Philip Gulley returns to the winsome ways of Harmony, Indiana, in the third installment of the beloved Harmony series.
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