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Sometimes human communication falls short in conveying spiritual truth. God speaks through whatever means He chooses and often he chooses animals. Dogs teach unconditional love. The purr of a kitten can bring peace. Horses show us how to harness our strength with grace. Paws to Reflect offers gentle daily reflections for those who seek to grow spiritually by observing the animal kingdom and all the lessons it teaches.
In a world of fast-paced schedules and priorities, conversations about what makes for a life well lived are a rarity and a luxury. But what if the daily pace of life held in itself the way to make choices more significant? What if the daily to-do lists gave a glimpse into how people might change their future? What if the daily grind, as arduous as it might seem, held the key to a life full of meaning and potential? What if everyday, simple steps, instead of some complex list of seemingly unattainable principles, showed how to make life matter? Making Life Matter answers these questions and shows that the steps for making life matter are found in rather ordinary decisions, attitudes, and patterns found in normal routines. This book is about our story and our journey, and what we do and feel along the way.
On April 15, 1912, Lydia Beaumont is on her way to a new life with a boundless hope in love and faith. Her new friendship with Caroline Chadwick is bonded even more as they plan Lydia's wedding on board the "grandest ship ever built." Then both women suffer tragic losses when the "unsinkable" Titanic goes down. Can each survive the scars the disaster left on their lives?Decades later, Alan Morris feels like a failure until he discovers he is the descendant of an acclaimed, successful, heroic novelist who went down with the Titanic. Will he find his identity with the past, or will he listen to Joanna Bettencourt, Caroline's granddaughter, who says inner peace and success come only with a personal relationship with the Lord?Will those who survived and their descendants be able to find a love more powerful than their pain?"In this sweeping epic of love, heartbreak, and secrets that will leave you wanting more, Lehman engages all your emotions in Hearts that Survive. The story covers three generations and touches on two major historical events that bring their significance to life. Yvonne Lehman has dug deep to bring us a story worthy of the Titanic's 100th anniversary." - Ane Mulligan, Sr. Editor of Novel Rocket"In spite of one of the greatest tragedies the world has ever known being the setting for Hearts that Survive, this is one novel you will not want to miss reading. Yvonne Lehman has made alive a story filled with adventure and romance, sin and redemption. Hearts that Survive drew me in immediately with believable dialogue and heart-breaking intrigue. In the end, Lehman shows how God moves through our mistakes and our silly beliefs that "even God cannot sink this ship.Bravo!" - Eva Marie Everson, Author, Chasing Sunsets
How did Israel become a people? Is the biblical story accurate? In what sense, if any, is the biblical story true? Are the origins of these ancient people lost in myth or is there hope to discovering who they were and how they lived? These questions divide students and scholars alike. While many believe the "Conquest" is only a fable, this book will present a different view. Using biblical materials and the new archaeological data, this title tells how the ancient Israelites settled in Canaan and became the people of Israel. The stakes for understanding the history of ancient Israel are high. The Old Testament tells us that Yahweh led the Hebrews into the land of Canaan and commanded them to drive its indigenous inhabitants out and settle in their place. This account has often served as justification for the possession of the land by the modern state of Israel. Archaeology is a "weapon" in the debate, used by both Israelis and Palestinians trying to write each other out of the historical narrative. This book provides needed background for the issues and will be of interest to those concerned with the complexity of Arab-Israeli relations.
The Guidelines booklets, one for each ministry area, are tools that enable you to help get new lay leaders off to a good start. Each booklet includes the basic "job description" for the leader as well as practical "how-to" information important to implementing ministry effectively. Brief and to the point for the busy, but spirit-led leader, these Guidelines take some of the unknown out of leading these ministry areas. One booklet for each title makes up this set of 26 Guidelines, perfect for making them available to all church members. The twenty-six Guidelines, one for each ministry area, cover church leadership areas including Church Council and Small Membership Church; the administrative areas of Finance and Trustees; and ministry areas focused on nurture, outreach, and witness including Worship, Evangelism, Stewardship, and Christian Education, age-level ministries, Communications, and more. To see a full list of Guidelines, search by typing keywords: "Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation 2013-2016," and click "search".
The adult ministry life span is the greatest and most diverse of any age level because it can encompass seven (or more) decades. An adult ministry that includes all adults encourages people to grow and mature in faith so they may be vital disciples for a lifetime. Your congregation will have decided what kind of structure is needed to plan for adult faith formation and discipleship. Your position title may be Coordinator of Adult Ministries, Team Leader for Adult Discipleship, Coordinator of Singles Ministries, or some other title indicating that you are a leader in adult ministries. Your role is to keep the big picture of adult faith formation and discipleship in view and to help develop a comprehensive strategy that is appropriate for your congregation's context. Regardless of your title, church size, or structure this Guideline is designed to help equip you in leading adult ministries in your congregation. This is one of the twenty-six Guidelines that cover church leadership areas including Church Council and Small Membership Church; the administrative areas of Finance and Trustees; and ministry areas focused on nurture, outreach, and witness including Worship, Evangelism, Stewardship, Christian Education, age-level ministries, Communications, and more. To see a full list of Guidelines, search by typing keywords: "Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation 2013-2016," and click "search".
God is love. Love one another. We teach these to children and new Christians, but what exactly do we mean (and do they hear) by love? Our culture offers a multitude of understandings and experiences through which the meaning of love can be filtered. We in the church can become sloppy in our proclamation and embodiment of love as a result of those filterings, unless we remain grounded in the Biblical moorings of love revealed in the narratives of both the Old and New Testaments.The Greatest of These offers an extended exploration of love 's qualities in scripture. Each of the six chapters will begin with a single page introduction to the chapter theme. The bulk of each chapter will then consist of six individual readings (2.5 to 3 pages each) that reflect on a Biblical passage related to the chapter 's theme on love. The book will be written for use by individuals or groups, and a leaders guide will be provided for six suggested sessions. TABLE OF CONTENTS Using this BookChapter One Love as Gift Chapter Two Love as Invitation Chapter Three Love as Loyalty Chapter Four Love as Ethic Chapter Five Love as Compassion Chapter Six Love as Wonder Appendix: Leader 's Guide The leader 's guide will provide a basic template that can be used for each session along with specific suggestions for six sessions to plug into the template in order to explore each of the book 's chapters.
In this four-session study guide to the film "Wesley: A Heart Transformed Can Change the World" written by expert Dr. Kenneth C. Kinghorn, see how John Wesley changed the world and became the spiritual leader for millions. With a screenplay adapted directly from the journals of John Wesley, the film faithfully portrays the formative years of Wesley's ministry, from the Epworth rectory fire in his childhood, to his disastrous mission and romance in colonial Georgia, and to his pivotal "heart-warming" experience in London. Perfect for small groups or individual study, each session includes prayers, study questions, and background information about Wesley's life and times.
Caring for the congregation is more than any one person can do, even the pastor. All persons eventually experience grief and loss, crisis and suffering; and many come to church for the first time as a result of needing help. Using this four-session study, modeled after The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, churches can form an effective team by addressing four key areas of congregational care: prayer ministry, support ministry, hospital visitation, and grief and death ministry. Karen Lampe says congregational care should be modeled after the ministry of Jesus, who offered compassion, understanding, healing, and wholeness as a way of offering God's redemptive gift of grace. Congregational care is one reason, according to pastors Adam Hamilton and Karen Lampe, that their church is successful in attracting and keeping new members. In each richly illustrated session, readers will find inspiration, Bible-connection, skill building, practical tips, and resources, including: information about anointing, helpful scriptures, application forms, suggested requirements and application for team member, a volunteer leader covenant, safety and self-care contract, and a counseling guide.
This volume offers a timely look at the important topic of integrity. What does integrity mean? What does it involve? How do we "do" integrity? Drawing on his experience as a Christian, a minister, and a pastoral counselor, Ronald J. Greer explores the two sides of integrity: personal integrity and moral integrity. Personal integrity involves an integrated life, where we are in harmony with ourselves, while moral integrity reflects the evolution of the word, as the idea of morality and ethics merged with the concept of wholeness Perfect for the graduate or as a gift for anyone at a key turning point in their lives, this small book provides the insight and guidelines that will become the touchstones for a good, well-lived life.
We don't stop being parents when our kids are grown...but some things do change. Life is filled with change. As our sons and daughters move into young adulthood, our role of what it means to be loving parents changes dramatically. This book aims to help readers miss as many potholes as possible in making the transition from parenting children to being parents of young adults. Here are ways to nurture our adult children while encouraging their independence and maturity. Learn to have balance. Here is how to respond to them in times of struggle. Readers will see how to be supportive, yet not intrusive, caring without enabling dependency. The questions are important. The answers are not obvious. It is a new day in our relationships with our children. The page has been turned, and we are now writing the new chapter in the life of our family. It is important that we get it right.
Many women not only struggle to understand who they are, they struggle to believe Whose they are. As daughters of the King we are not just precious but deeply loved. Babbie Mason shares her personal journey to understanding how very much God loved her, not as a singer or teacher but as His child. Here she equips readers to accept that love, and grow their confidence because of it. The book features three sections: * Understanding God's embrace * A Twenty-One Day Journey to Receive God's Embrace * Stepping Out in Faith Knowing You Are Embraced by God. Babbie's warm, creative and friendly approach will engage readers and encourage them on this blessed journey. Mason lives near Atlanta, Georgia. Her most recent releases include "Embrace."
@stickyjesus is a fusion of discipleship, faith sharing, marketing, and a Get Started 101 on Twitter, Facebook and blogging. @stickyjesus lays out the current day reality--the good, the bad, and the ugly--and challenges Christ followers to regain our God-given dominion on earth, which includes the Internet. With knowledge, skills, and Holy Spirit guidance, we encourage believers to dig in and learn how to navigate this online world together--and give Christ a voice in the online world. The book also includes personal testimonies. Most are from everyday people impacting others' lives and culture online for Christ. These are real people and ministries (about a dozen) making a difference because they walk, talk and connect differently online. They are living out their faith before others unashamed. The authors' desire is that this project will equip and empower Christ followers and get them excited about sharing their faith online.
Eddie and Tamara George are living the American dream--together. From humble backgrounds, Eddie and Tamara have each risen to national prominence--for Eddie, an award-winning football and broadcasting career, and for Tamara, a rewarding singing and television career--and they believe that their marriage deserves much of the credit. In Married For Real: Building a Loving, Powerful Life Together, Eddie and Tamara draw on their personal stories to guide you to a more successful marriage. Throughout the book, they speak honestly and openly about issues that all couples face--money, sex, power, quality time, faithfulness, and emotional baggage from former relationships. For each situation discussed, Eddie and Tamara give their individual perspective and then, together, address how to deepen your relationship through those obstacles to help you grow as a couple. These are the principles that helped them build a strong, fulfilling relationship--and they can help you, too. "Jerome and I thoroughly enjoyed Married for Real. The more we read, the more we appreciated it--and them. In the book, Taj and Eddie allow themselves to be transparent by openly revealing their pasts and showing us what it took to have the happy, healthy marriage they have now. Married For Real is a must read for any individual or couple who wants a fresh relatable perspective on having a meaningful relationship with a strong foundation."--Jerome and Trameka Bettis "Eddie and Taj George are living the American Dream. They are talented and have worked hard. But their staying power comes from the strength of their marriage. Married for Real will help you create a successful partnership as well."--Jeff Fisher, Former Tennessee Titans Head Coach
Mary Katherine is caught between the traditions of her faith and the pull of a different life. When Daniel, an Amish man living in Florida, arrives and shares her restlessness, Mary Katherine feels drawn to him and curious about the life he leads away from Lancaster County. But her longtime friend Jacob has been in love with her for years. He's discouraged that she's never viewed him as anything but a friend and despairs that he is about to lose Mary Katherine to this outsider. Will the conflicted Mary Katherine be lost to the English world, or to Daniel, who might take her away to Florida? Or will she embrace her Amish faith and recognize Jacob as the man she should marry and build a life with?"You'll laugh and cry right alongside the characters in this story that tests a young woman's faith in God's plan for her life." - Loree Lough, best-selling author of more than 80 award-winning books, including From Ashes to Honor, #1 in the First Responders series"Master storyteller Barbara Cameron instantly draws readers in with vivid description and powerful dialogue, as she offers a glimpse of Amish life while showing the universal human need for loving and being loved. Her Restless Heart will satisfy even the most discriminating romance fans." - Debby Mayne, author of Sweet Baklava and the upcoming Class Reunion series
After her mother dies from a heart attack, Sloane Templeton goes from Cyber Crimes Unit to bookstore owner before she can blink. She also "inherits" a half-batty store manager; a strange bunch of little old people from the neighborhood who meet at the store once a week, but never read books, called the Granny Oakleys Book Club; and Aunt Verline, who fancies herself an Iron Chef when in reality you need a cast iron stomach to partake of her culinary disasters. And with a group like this you should never ask, "What else can go wrong?" A lot! Sloane begins to receive cyber threats. While Sloane uses her computer forensic skills to uncover the source of the threats, it is discovered someone is out to kill her. Can her life get more crazy? "Bonnie Calhoun's first Sloane Templeton mystery, Cooking the Books, is one of the most delightful new fiction voices I've read in years. My only complaint--waiting for the sequel. If this book doesn't have you ROFLOL, you'd better check your pulse!"--Jeanette Windle "Bonnie Calhoun's debut novel, Cooking the Books, is as fun and quirky as the author herself. The cast of characters brims with unexpected humor and heart, and Sloane's take on the world around her keeps the reader eagerly turning pages to see what she'll say or do next. I look forward to more Sloane Templeton adventures." Sandra D. Bricker, award-winning author of the Emma Rae Creation series that began with Always the Baker, Never the Bride "What do a gangsta ex-boyfriend, gunslinging grannies, computer hacking, two very unusual books, and the world's worst chef all have in common? You'll find them in Bonnie Calhoun's debut novel, Cooking the Books. It's a one-of-a-kind a potboiler filled to the brim with plot twists, romance, and humor. A tasty treat for romantic suspense fans." --Rick Acker, author of When the Devil Whistles and Dead Man's Rule "Bonnie S. Calhoun is a master weaver of snarky humor and suspense. Cooking the Books is fast paced, laugh out loud funny with enough suspense to make you shiver. Sloane is an oxymoron: tough as nails on crime and injustice, yet her Aunt Verline and Fifi, her nutty store manager, manipulate her. Novel Rocket and I give it a high recommendation. It's a must read." - Ane Mulligan, Sr. Editor Novel Rocket "Bonnie S. Calhoun pens a heroine with snap and pizzazz. Sloane Templeton wonders why an old book is cause for bullets, and whether her refusal to sell her business justifies harrassment. A fast-paced mystery full of colorful characters and a last minute twist--what's not to love?" ~ S. Dionne Moore, Author of Promise Brides, 2010 and 2011 Carol Award Finalist
Within the course of a week, Natalie is dumped by her husband, receives an urgent call home from her father, and discovers her estranged sister is pregnant. A road trip on Route 66 may not help, but it sure couldn't hurt. Or so Natalie thinks, until Lindsay's boyfriend starts stalking them. Will their trip down the Mother Road bring the two sisters closer together or turn out to be the biggest wrong turn yet? "Relationships are the backbone of The Mother Road, and AlLee gives us real ones, conflicted and complicated. I alternated between cheering Natalie and wanting to smack her upside the head. Not that her younger sister is perfect. Not by a long shot. But I fell in love with these characters and wished the road trip hadn't ended so soon. Novel Rocket and I give it a very high recommendation. It's a must read." Ane Mulligan, Sr. Editor Novel Rocket "With a compelling, fresh voice, Jennifer AlLee blends Americana with the trials of a modern-day family. The Mother Road's a simply smashing story. Not to be missed!" - Patti Lacy Author, Reclaiming Lily "I felt like I was right there in the car with estranged sisters, Natalie and Lindsay, as they motored down The Mother Road toward a future free from heartache, loneliness, and fear. You don't want to miss this fun story that will tweak your every emotion (and a few you might have forgotten about)! I'm making space on my "keepers shelf" for this one!" - Loree Lough, best-selling author of more than 80 award-winning books, including reader favorite From Ashes to Honor
In 1775, Hayward Morgan, a young gentleman destined to inherit his father's estate in Derbyshire, England, captures the heart of the local vicar's daughter, Eliza Bloome. Her dark beauty and spirited ways are not enough to win him, due to her station in life. Circumstances throw Eliza in Hayward's path, and they flee to America to escape the family conflicts. But as war looms, it's a temporary reprieve. Hayward joins the revolutionary forces and what follows is a struggle for survival, a test of faith, and the quest to find lasting love in an unforgiving wilderness. "Filled with true-to-life characters whose struggles will linger with readers long after the last page is turned, Before the Scarlet Dawn is a memorable story of Revolutionary War-era England and America." - Amanda Cabot, author of Summer of Promise "Rita Gerlach has written a colorful historical with a feisty heroine on a search for survival, romance, and a place to belong." Cynthia Hickey, author of the Summer Meadows mysteries "Ms. Gerlach's unique literary prose has once again captured my heart with a stirring tale of love and loss, desperation and hope during one of the most uncertain times in American History--the Revolutionary War. I cannot wait for the next book in the series!" - MaryLu Tyndall, author of Surrender the Dawn "A stirring story of love and its consequences, Before the Scarlet Dawn will draw you in from the start and not let you go again." ~ Roseanna M. White, author of Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland and Jewel of Persia "While reading Before the Scarlet Dawn, you'll travel back in time--and from England to Maryland--without ever leaving your easy chair! This is a big, beautiful, well-told story of love, faith, and the struggles of war that changed lives...and hearts. I can't wait to read the next book in this series!" Loree Lough, best-selling author of more than 80 award-winning books, including reader favorite From Ashes to Honor
When the short bypass around Green opens with much fanfare, downtown dries up faster than cement on the roadway. Businesses close and the hospital becomes a clinic. Mayor Eva must decide whether to sell her historic store or close it. The Holey Moley Antique Mall seems less like a dream and more like a nightmare. While the road is progress to some, it seems to be leading Green toward a national trend--a town that is merely a shadow of itself.With the town going backwards, Lois leans on her faith but is both intrigued and jealous when a fellow business owner comes up with a strategy to save Green. But can her plan rescue the town from the path it's on?
When a teenager goes missing from the Beacon of Hope School, Texas Ranger Wyatt Sheridan and school director Kate Winslow are forced into a dangerous struggle against a human trafficking organization. But the battle brings dire consequences as Wyatt's daughter is terrorized and Kate is kidnapped. Now it's personal, and Wyatt finds both his faith and investigative skills challenged as he fights to discover the mastermind behind the ring before evil destroys everyone he loves. "Through crisp writing, Daley paints life-like characters engaged in a believable struggle that kept me turning pages to the satisfying ending." -- Richard L. Mabry, MD, Author of Lethal Remedy and the Prescription For Trouble series "Fan favorite Margaret Daley wows readers with Saving Hope, her new release in the Men of the Texas Rangers series. Intense, gritty, exciting, and with a compelling love story...this book has everything a romantic suspense reader could want!" Marta Perry, Vanish in Plain Sight, HQN Books "Saving Hope is a story straight from the headlines. Missing teens, a Texas Ranger Dad, and a woman who just wants to make a difference in the lives of the girls she loves, all come together in an explosive story that will make you turn the pages as fast as possible to get to the end--which has a nice twist that you won't see coming. Just make sure you have plenty of time to read because you WON'T want to put this one down. A fabulous romantic suspense." -- Lynette Eason, best-selling, award-winning author of the Women of Justice Series. "Margaret Daley's Saving Hope is a beautifully told story of second chances with very real characters who stayed with me long after I finished the book. I'll be looking for more Texas Rangers stories from her!"~Robin Caroll, author of the Evil series and the Justice Seekers series
Does your leadershipstyle fit new ways of doing church--leadership that is organic and elasticand that finds ways to seize God-given opportunities? Looking back anddrawing on the ancient Christian tradition, Bob Whitesel describes seven traitsfor successful leadership, which he characterizes by seven symbols: O (the Greek symbol theta) - the firstletter of the Greek word theosstresses that God is the source of the burden for others and provides the powerto help them. Rx (the medical prescription symbol) - an emphasis on addressing the spiritual and physical health of leaders. G (a stylized "G" for "graffiti")- the edgy, colorful, and artful collages that help define contemporaryorganizations. A (inspired by the recyclesymbol) - the idea of recycling places, experiences and people rather thandiscarding them. N - emerging networks thatc9onnect people more quickly, efficiently, precisely and continuously. I - an emphasis on "incarnation",a going "in the flesh" to serve others rather than sending surrogates. X (the Jerusalem crosswith a number in each quadrant) - four types of measurement observed inJerusalem (Acts 2:42-47), which at their core point to Christ's work on thecross. Taken together, these symbols spell out the word "organix" and represent a fundamentally new way to think about your church and how you can best lead.
Highly skilled Search and Rescue (SAR) team leader, Honor Mackenzie, works almost as hard at guarding the dark secrets of her past as she does when training SAR dogs. As for widowed Sun reporter Matt Phillips, not even his former SAR work is as important as protecting his ten-year-old twin boys. When a jumbo jet crashes outside Baltimore one cold night, their respective jobs put them face-to-face at the grisly scene--and force Matt and Honor to reconsider the difficult decisions that resulted in their long-standing "single forever" status. As Matt tries to come to terms with his feelings for Honor, he gets word that she hasn't reported in since starting the search for a missing child. Reverting to his SAR training, Matt leads the search team as a vicious winter storm bears down on the area. Will he find her in time? And if he does, will they find their way back to each other or go back to living life alone? "Honor Redeemed takes readers into the challenging--and often heartbreaking--world of emergency responders who enter disaster and find their lives and choices irrevocably changed by it. A timely novel about the power of love in all its aspects." --Susannah Charleson, author of Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search and Rescue Dog
India: 1946. Blessing Ashish murmured. Such a name for a man cursed by a million gods For forty-eight years, his family toiled as slaves in the fields of the high-caste Lal family, and all because of one small debt. Ashish and his family knew nothing of the hatred for the British seething around them, nor of the struggle for independence that simmered throughout India. At fifty-four, Ashish was old and worn out. His wife had died long before how many years, he had no idea. Even though he had four sons to work beside him in the fields, every day was a struggle to survive. Sometimes his only daughter worked, too, but she also cooked and cleaned and kept the clothes in repair. His wife had named the girl Shridula Blessings. Perhaps the name will bring you more fortune than it brought me, Ashish told his daughter. His words proved to be prophetic in ways he could never have imagined. And when the flames of revolt brought independence to India, they seared change into the families of Ashish and Lal.
A working pastor is always looking for fresh preaching perspectives. This hands-on resource from the author of a long-standing column in the journal Lectionary Homiletics covers the entire three-year lectionary cycle with brief reflections designed to generate fresh and timely sermon ideas. Each reflection is limited to two pages and provides an interpretation of one or more lections for every month of the year. While some focus on a single lection, others draw forth a theological/pastoral theme that stretches across several lections, suggesting how to approach an entire month homiletically.
Every pastor knows that each community of faith consists of individuals who may be in crisis at any given moment, for a multitude of reasons. However, it's essential that church leaders also view their congregations as a single organism in need of looking after as a whole. This book explores the core competencies, skills, and knowledge available to and needed by pastors so that they can provide suitable care for the most common needs of their members. Crisis Counseling in the Congregation provides a basic tool kit including in-depth listening skill, helping questions, various frameworks, and when to refer. Pastors will also benefit from the suggested reading list.
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