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The Abingdon African American Preaching Library

by Kirk Byron Jones

God's people need to hear "a word from the Lord," to know their God is with them, and to transcend this world and be taken to the very feet of Jesus. The preacher is charged with assisting in this mission. While there may be different theological perspectives and different methods of sermon preparation and delivery, one thing remains constant--the need for quality preaching resources. Drawing upon the rich and powerful tradition of the black church, The Abingdon African American Preaching Library offers a wealth of thoughtful, biblically grounded preaching aids, including special days in the Black Church tradition. To read the Introduction to the book click here

Seeing Jesus

by Kim V. Engelmann

Seeing Jesus contains a series of short reflections that help the reader see God at work in our daily lives. Though Jesus is an ever-present reality in our lives, we often fail to recognize his presence in the midst of life's storms and difficulties. Through metaphor and story (both biblical and personal anecdotes), Engelmann reminds us that we are surrounded by, sustained by, and empowered by a God who is intimately present in and through all of life's experiences. Learning to "see Jesus," to recognize Jesus' presence in our lives, is a lifelong process. Contents:Seeing Jesus by Expanding Your ContextSeeing Jesus in Letting Go of What We Cling ToSeeing Jesus in the UnexpectedSeeing Jesus When He Seems Far AwaySeeing Jesus in the StormsSeeing Jesus in the Acorns and Mustard SeedsSeeing Jesus in When You Are Out on a LimbSeeing Jesus In the Master FiddlerSeeing Jesus in Suffering "The miracles of God are all around us but can we see them? People to help, opportunities to serve, and lessons to learn are all around us, but do we see them? The redemptive activities of Jesus Christ are happening all around us, but do we notice? Do we take them in? Can we really see them with our eyes, our minds, our hearts? Dr. Engelmann encourages us to 'open our eyes' and see the presence of Jesus." --from the Foreword by James W. Moore

Following at a Distance

by Kimberly Dunnam Reisman

This study will include 7 sessions, one for each Sunday in Lent, including Easter Sunday. Each session features a scripture reference, a personal reading and questions for personal reflection or group discussion; suggestions for ways to deepen the Lenten journey or a focus for the coming week may also be included.

Finding Jesus in His Prayers

by H. Stephen Shoemaker

In this brief but substantive examination of the prayers Jesus prayed, Stephen Shoemaker offers helpful applications of Jesus' prayers as both a way to better understand Jesus and as a way to use his prayers as a model for our own prayer lives. The book addresses our twin hungers for spirituality and for a deeper grasp of who Jesus was. The author takes seriously the way Jesus prayed and how his prayers open a window to our own experience of God. Included are discussions of: the Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13), the Prayer of Thanksgiving amid Life's Reversals (Matt.11:25-26), the Gethsemane Prayer (Mark 14:36), the Prayers from the Cross (Luke 23:34; Matt. 27:46; Luke 23:46), and prayers from John's Gospel (11:41-42, 12:27, 17:11). The author stays close to the text of the prayers (sometimes including his own translations) but explores their meaning in our lives. He uses Abba rather than the English translation "Father" in order to bring the reader closer to Jesus as he spoke the words of each prayer. A study guide is included to assist leaders in using the book with small groups. "Jesus' prayers are a challenge and a scandal to the ways our culture wants to pray. His spirituality, found in his prayers, is a profound guide to the soul and a remedy to a culture in search of a soul." --H. Stephen Shoemaker

Tending Body, Heart, Mind, and Soul

by Mary Jane Gorman

Includes Discussion Questions We hear a lot about what Jesus said. But what did he do? How did he live? During the days of his ministry, how did he care for his own body, heart, mind, and soul? In this compelling book, Mary Jane Gorman looks behind and between the words of Jesus to discover his humanity, painting a vivid portrait of the life he called us all to live. Chapter titles: Tending the Body includes sections on food, exercise, rest, healing touch Tending the Heart--anger, grief, compassion, passion, priorities, relationships Tending the Mind--exercise, rest, wit, reflection, openness Tending the Soul--nature, wilderness, forgiveness, prayer, obedience Tending Toward Wholeness: Interconnections "Gentle, practical, and wise, Mary Jane Gorman issues an invitation to look closely at Jesus' humanity and in particular the way he cared for his entire being: body, heart, mind, and soul." -Patricia D. Brown, Author of Spirit Gifts"If you're earnestly seeking guidance in development of a spirituality which touches every aspect of your life, you will want to let this skilled spiritual guide lead you to the Master himself." -E. Glenn Hinson, Author of Companions in Christ: Feeding on the Word Mary Jane Gorman is a writer, teacher, and retreat leader living in Greenville, South Carolina. Formerly professor of economics at Furman University, she has served on the board of United Ministries, a nonprofit community organization, and is a leader in First Baptist Church, Greenville.

The Life We Claim

by James C. Howell

Using the Apostles' Creed as the "primary text" this book explores what we believe as Christians and how those beliefs are relevant today. The author's goal is to help pastors educate and transform members of their congregations. He examines the Creed phrase by phrase in brief sections suitable for congregational study or for emailing to the congregation. For each phrase in the Creed, a "deeper reflection" provides material for preaching a 13-sermon series or for further congregatonal study. A detailed appendix includes recommendations of hymns and songs related to each phrase in the Creed; the suggestions are keyed to several hymnals and songbooks.

Triangular Teaching

by Barbara Bruce

Barbara Bruce wrote Triangular Teaching "to help teachers and leaders to engage their adult students with scripture so that it becomes life-changing." This practical, hands-on book trains Christian education leaders and teachers in the methods of "triangular teaching," an integrated approach involving multiple intelligence theory, brain research, and creative and critical thinking. It includes a section explaining triangular teaching methods and Bible lessons that illustrate the methods. The book includes helpful triangular teaching tips for the activities described in the Bible lessons. An appendix includes worksheets that a leader or teacher can photocopy for use in a group. "Barbara Bruce has created a delightful resource for those who want to teach the Bible effectively and engagingly to contemporary adults. Not only does the book give you pre-planned lessons, but it explains the theories behind each teaching decision. This combination of theory and practice will quickly teach teachers to teach more effectively."-Dr. Margaret Ann Crain, Associate Professor of Christian Education, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary "Triangular Teaching is an excellent tool for teaching church educators how to be more proficient in facilitating learning. It is a trailblazing resource that weaves three concepts with great clarity and sharing the 'whys' is quite helpful in enabling teachers to develop the skills as second nature." - Dr. Mary A. Love - Editor Church School Literature, AME Zion Church, Adjunct Professor, Christian Education - Hood Theological Seminary "Barbara Bruce has done it again. Not only does she model for us how to teach using multiple intelligences, but this book is a wonderful set of experiences. Go ahead and begin to teach!!" -Dr. Jack Seymour, Professor of Religious Education, Editor, Religious Education, Garrett-Evangelical Theological SeminaryBarbara Bruce is a respected leader in Christian Education. She offers workshops around the country in the areas of creativity, multiple intelligences, and brain research and how to use these areas of research in Christian Education and faith formation. She has published several books including Seven Ways of Teaching the Bible to Adults, Teaching and Learning With Adults, Mental Aerobics, and Our Spiritual Brain.

Digital Disciple

by Adam Thomas

This time in our society is unlike any other. People communicate daily without ever having to speak face to face, news breaks around the world in a matter of seconds, and favorite TV shows can be viewed at our convenience. We are, simultaneously, a people of connection and isolation. As Christians, how do we view our faith and personal ministry in this culture?Adam Thomas invites you to explore this question using his unique, personal, and often humorous insight. Thomas notes, "" The Internet] has added a new dimension to our lives; we are physical, emotional, spiritual, and now virtual people. But I believe that God continues to move through every facet of our existence, and that makes us new kinds of followers. We are digital disciples.""""I gain renewed hope for the future by looking at a new generation of emerging Christian leaders like Adam Thomas.""Brian McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christianity""Digital Disciple is a new kind of pastor's sermon to a new kind of flock. Go ahead and tweet your friends: GOT 2 READ THIS."" Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author, speaker and new monastic""Bright, innovative, perceptive, eloquent, and imaginative -- Adam Thomas is all that and more, as you will see in the pages of his dynamic book."" James W. Moore, author of How God Takes Our Little & Makes it Much

Doing Good

by Christopher P. Momany

Christianity in its purest form involves putting God's love into action. Wesleyans have traditionally understood this embodiment and expression of God's love as holiness. * Four-session guide helps individuals and small groups understand and embrace the Wesleyan understanding of holiness * Explores the Wesleyan approach to both law and grace * Guides individuals to match faith with action * Provides Christian educators with a tool for teaching an important Wesleyan doctrine * Shows individuals and churches how to express Christianity in ways that attract others to the faith and the life of the church

Immersion Bible Studies | John

by Carol J. Miller

Journey inside the pages of Scripture to meet a personal God who enters individual lives and begins a creative work from the inside out. Shaped with the individual in mind, Immersion encourages simultaneous engagement both with the Word of God and with the God of the Word to become a new creation in Christ. Immersion, inspired by a fresh translation--the Common English Bible--stands firmly on Scripture and helps readers explore the emotional, spiritual, and intellectual needs of their personal faith. More importantly, they'll be able to discover God's revelation through readings and reflections.

Immersion Bible Studies | Mark

by Jack A. Keller Emerson B. Powery

Journey inside the pages of Scripture to meet a personal God who enters individual lives and begins a creative work from the inside out. Shaped with the individual in mind, Immersion encourages simultaneous engagement both with the Word of God and with the God of the Word to become a new creation in Christ. Immersion, inspired by a fresh translation--the Common English Bible--stands firmly on Scripture and helps readers explore the emotional, spiritual, and intellectual needs of their personal faith. More importantly, they'll be able to discover God's revelation through readings and reflections.

A Hopeful Earth

by Sally Bishop Dyck

The environment is God's creation and Christians should be at the front of the crowd when it comes to taking care of it. Yet we find ourselves in a creation crisis. A Hopeful Earth , a unique study, draws together the Christian faith of Bishop Sally Dyck and the scientific world of her niece, Sally Ehrman, to address this crisis. As these two dialogue, readers will find that these sometimes differing worldviews are both crucial to making lasting changes. They'll also discover how the church can reach out to the younger generation by joining them in the race to save the planet. A Hopeful Earth will bridge the gap between Jesus and the environment and guide readers in understanding that living as good stewards of God's creation is a significant component of what it means to follow Jesus.

A Faithful Heart

by Sally Dyck

Passionate Called Holy Equipped Joyful Loving Learning Authentic These eight words, so simple on a page, yet when they are lived out daily they will change your heart and the hearts of those around you. A Faithful Heart is an eight-week journey into these words. Follow along and find yourself strengthening your heart and experiencing God in a powerful way. In the pages of this book, Sally Dyck combines Scripture, engaging stories, and the faith of Mary to encourage women to grow and share their heart. Experience A Faithful Heart on your own or as part of a community of women who want to open themselves up to the richness of God's daily presence. A separate Leader Guide is available order item #9781426710834

Hard To Dance With the Devil On Your Back

by Ray Buckley

In every culture and time, persons of faith, of all ages, have summoned trials and tribulations to find the endurance and strength to "dance." They have danced with the weight of the world upon their shoulders, sustained by God and others dancing near them. Hard to Dance With the Devil On Your Back is a seven-session Lenten study that looks at the transcendent struggle in the lives of believers, while helping us to enter the continually crumbling world surrounding Jesus and the disciples in the days preceding Jesus. Appropriate for both group and individual use, the study provides one lesson for each week in Lent. Each lesson includes a Scripture reference, a brief reading, questions for reflection or discussion, a brief prayer, and a focus for the coming week.

Immersion Bible Studies | Matthew

by J. Ellsworth Kalas Mark D. Price Jack A. Keller

Journey inside the pages of Scripture to meet a personal God who enters individual lives and begins a creative work from the inside out. Shaped with the individual in mind, Immersion encourages simultaneous engagement both with the Word of God and with the God of the Word to become a new creation in Christ. Immersion, inspired by a fresh translation--the Common English Bible--stands firmly on Scripture and helps readers explore the emotional, spiritual, and intellectual needs of their personal faith. More importantly, they'll be able to discover God's revelation through readings and reflections.

Amazing Bible Race - For Adult Teams (Romans-Revelation)

by Matt Kelley

Take off on a scavenger hunt through the New Testament with your small group. The Amazing Bible Race series for adult small groups blends interest-building activities with Bible discovery for participants who read short segments of Scripture and commentary then play games, answer quizzes, and earn points for their team in a competitive race format. The race runs various legs through different sections of the New Testament and promises excitement and new discoveries as participants dive into the sacred stories. Each leg includes a daily reader for every runner and leader helps including team registration. Runners will earn points for daily reading and completing the WeeklyChallenge, Fast Forwards, and Hurdles. Check out the race at www.amazingbiblerace.com.

Amazing Bible Race - For Adult Teams (Matthew-Acts)

by Michael Baughman

Take off on a scavenger hunt through the New Testament with your small group. The Amazing Bible Race series for adult small groups blends interest-building activities with Bible discovery for participants who read short segments of Scripture and commentary then play games, answer quizzes, and earn points for their team in a competitive race format. The race runs various legs through different sections of the New Testament and promises excitement and new discoveries as participants dive into the sacred stories. Each leg includes a daily reader for every runner and leader helps including team registration. Runners will earn points for daily reading and completing the WeeklyChallenge, Fast Forwards, and Hurdles. Weeks 1-3 Matthew Weeks 4-5 Mark Weeks 6-7 Luke Weeks 8-9 John Weeks 10-12 Acts Check out the race at www.amazingbiblerace.com.

Makin' Room in the Inn

by S. Dianna Masters Henry Masters

Makin' Room in the Inn is a four-lesson Advent study that celebrates Christmas traditions and practice through the perspective of an African American family. Session titles, scriptures 1. Makin' Room (Luke 2:4-7) cultivating and living out hospitality in a diverse world 2. Makin' Do (Luke 2:21-24) trusting God as compared to trusting in wealth 3. Makin' Up (Matthew 2:19-21) learning the importance of forgiveness and reconnection 4. Makin' Time (Luke 2:15-19) understanding that the most precious gift is presence This Advent study celebrates the Christmas traditions and spirituality of black people in America, showing how African ethics and theology have a continuing influence. The study, however, relates to any group who has experienced rural to urban displacement, homecoming, and who strive to practice extended hospitality, especially during the Christmas season. This book includes a leader guide with: 1. An author's introduction that sets the targeted issue in context. 2. Questions for the group that help stimulate discussion and their memories of family traditions and experiences of Christmas seasons. 3. A bibliography of helpful books on African American History, family and Christmas traditions. 4. More biblical and historical background information on African American Christmas celebrations, nativity art, etc. 5. Suggested format and time segments for group discussions. 6. Helpful teaching and learning techniques.

Walking Bible Study: The Path of Love

by Becca Stevens

It's easy to get lost in the busyness of every day. But taking a walk and discovering God's presence along the way will bring you back to where you need to be. The Walking Bible Study, a series of short readings and meditations, is your field guide to learning more about Scripture as you travel through nature and life. Wherever you walk, take it along with you and follow the paths of God. "Walking changes us; it can transport our spirits from being weighed down by life into the joy of God's presence." - Becca Stevens Each study consists of four sessions. Sessions include prayer, Scripture, Becca's thoughts and stories, questions to think about or discuss, and activities. The Path of Love The world was created when God took the two chaotic elements of the universe that do not allow life---the deep and the darkness---and encompassed them into a loving creation that is called Good. The story of Love is rooted in creation and is so powerful that in its culminating act, it rolls the stone away at the break of Easter morning.

Walking Bible Study: The Path of Peace

by Becca Stevens

It's easy to get lost in the busyness of every day. But taking a walk and discovering God's presence along the way will bring you back to where you need to be. The Walking Bible Study, a series of short readings and meditations, is your field guide to learning more about Scripture as you travel through nature and life. Wherever you walk, take it along with you and follow the paths of God. "Walking changes us; it can transport our spirits from being weighed down by life into the joy of God's presence." - Becca Stevens Each study consists of four sessions. Sessions include prayer, Scripture, Becca's thoughts and stories, questions to think about or discuss, and activities. The Path of Peace In this study Becca looks at various nature images used in Scripture from Isaiah to Paul that describe God's paths. Being in nature allows us to glimpse the peaceable kingdom and to experience the gift of creation. We are reminded that God is on every path, and that in looking at God's handiwork we discover again the specific and unique ways that we are loved by God.

Christianity and World Religions - Participant's Book

by Adam Hamilton

Adam Hamilton, named by PBS's Religion and Ethics Newsweekly as one of the top "Ten People to Watch," has created an inviting new series of video-and-book studies on love and marriage, life issues, world religions, and Christian denominations. Hamilton calls these small-group studies "fishing expeditions," because they include tools for congregation wide and communitywide programs to draw in new members. Components include DVD, participant's book, leader's guide, and pastor's guide with CD-ROM. 6-8 sessions / 60-90 minutes Christianity and World Religions: Wrestling With Questions People Ask is a video-based small-group study and outreach program that explores four major world religions- Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism - and compares the beliefs of each with those of Christianity. This six-week study deals openly and honestly with questions people ask about other religions, including why we should believe the claims of Christianity over those of other faiths. As part of the study, author and presenter Adam Hamilton interviews a religious leader from each tradition. He treats the world religions with great respect, recognizing the unique contributions of each. In examining these major world religions and the beliefs of their followers, the Reverend Hamilton urges us as Christians to build bridges with others so that we might grow in our faith, seek peace in our world, love our neighbor, and find positive ways to share the gospel.For group or individual study, the book can be used by class participants during the study group meeting or at home for additional reflection. Includes detailed content for the six sessions.For more information about Adam Hamilton's studies, go to www.adamhamilton.cokesbury.com.

Worship Feast | Outdoors

by Jennifer Youngman

This latest addition to the popular Worship Feast series takes youth outdoors to worship amid God's wonderful (and often unpredictable) creation. This resource includes devotions, meditations, and outdoor worship services for all seasons and times of day. Youth will become mindful of how God is at work in the natural world through experiencing sights, sounds, scents, and textures. These worship experiences will encourage youth to appreciate and acknowledge God's providence, creativity, and greatness.

Christmas Gifts That Won't Break

by James W. Moore

This study explores how the gifts of the Advent season have a permanence that speaks to generations of youth past, present, and future. What are the Christmas gifts that won't break? They are those gifts that cannot be lost, that never go out of style, and that are independent of the chances and changes of life. They are the gifts that have been graciously given by God. Designed to be used in conjunction with the Adult and Children's versions in an all-church Advent study, this study will focus on four of those gifts that also coincide with the four outer candles of the traditional Advent wreath: Hope Love Joy Peace Order one book for each youth in your class, plus a book for each leader. You may also want to order an extra book so youth visiting your class during the Advent season can participate. During this 4-week study, youth will receive from God and pass on to others "Christmas Gifts That Won't Break!"

Is This All There Is?

by Andy Langford Mark Ralls

Introduces the most basic themes of Christianity and explores the most fundamental questions of religion With this book, readers can learn the primary tenets of Christianity as they move into a deeper life of faith. * An easy-to-follow discussion of basic questions about the Christian faith and life * Helps readers discover that by understanding faith, they can experience it more fully. * A source not only for those new to the Christian faith but also those wanting to explore their faith more deeply. The authors explore such questions as: How do we deal with emptiness in our lives? Who is Jesus and how can he help? What is salvation? Can we trust in God?

Growth by Accident, Death by Planning

by Bob Whitesel

It is a familiar experience. A congregation that had been growing in numbers and spiritual vitality reaches a plateau and then begins to decline. Most of the time, the plateau occurs long before the church arrives at the optimum number of members it hoped to attract. What has happened here? Why does growth slow down, stop, and then decline? The real question to ask, says Bob Whitesel, is why the church grew in the first place. Most of the time young, growing churches make a series of decisions based not upon careful planning and analysis, but rather upon necessity and intuition. Thus these decisions are not planned strategies, but strategies that often occur by accident, owing their genesis to circumstance. These unplanned strategic decisions are driven not by knowledge, but often simply by the church's environment. When that growth slows, these same churches begin to engage in more careful planning. The problem is that this planning so often ignores the considerations and decisions that led to the church's growth to begin with. The result is stagnation and eventual decline. In the plain, direct style that is his hallmark, Whitesel lays out where churches go wrong in their planning for growth and how they can correct themselves. He does so by looking at three related phenomena: first, the factors that cause initial growth; second, the erroneous decisions that lead to getting stuck on the plateau; and finally, corrective steps that churches can take to regain growth and vitality.

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