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Augustine

by Eugene Teselle

Abingdon Pillars of Theology is a series for the college and seminary classroom designed to help students grasp the basic and necessary facts, influence, and significance of major theologians. Written by major scholars, these books will outline the context, methodology, organizing principles, method, primary contributions, and major writings of people who have shaped theology as we know it today. For many, all theology subsequent to Augustine is a footnote. He is influential, even today, because of his doctrinal formulations, but even more important, Augustine is a stimulating thinker and constant inquirer. Starting with his philosophical interest in Platonism, which set the framework for his thinking, Eugene TeSelle examines the major themes of Augustine's thought following a more or less chronological order including human fulfillment, evil, creation, the human self, the church and its doctrines, the course of human history, and the relation of Christianity to political matters. Even those who think he was wrong in his conclusions can respect Augustine's willingness to confront problems and think through their implications. "This book on Augustine allows the reader to appreciate how easily one moves from the fourth or fifth century into modern times and back. Eugene TeSelle thus invites the reader to appreciate some of the most significant themes of Augustine's thought--opening a kind of dialogue between Augustine and other thinkers on topics such as evil and grace, politics and piety, and more." Allan Fitzgerald, O.S.A., Istituto Patristico "Augustinianum," Rome, Italy "This is an extraordinary book. Eugene TeSelle is one of the great masters of Augustine's thought, and here he draws upon his great erudition to present the father of Western theology cogently and comprehensively for the layperson. The book is at once short and accessible but also profound and thought-provoking; a sensitive treatment of Augustine in his own context, which also makes him wholly relevant for today. TeSelle raises the big questions and provides ample material to begin to answer them." Carol Harrison, Lecturer in the History and Theology of the Latin West, University of Durham, Durham, Great Britain Eugene TeSelle is emeritus Oberlin Alumni/ae Professor of Church History and Theology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Letters to Karen

by Charles Shedd

Every bride wants her father's blessing and to have the wisdom that comes from more than forty years of happy marriage. In this classic book, a father writes letters of love, encouragement, and advice to his newly engaged daughter. In his letters are the hopes and dreams that all parents share for their children as they begin a new chapter of their lives. Beloved for its thoughtfulness and insight, the advice found in Letters to Karen is a sound and relevant today as when it was originally written in 1965.

Undead

by Clay Morgan

The New Testament records seven separate incidents of dead people returning to life through the power of God. In the midst of the current cultural fascination with undead creatures, many believers in the church are more familiar with zombies in entertainment than with the amazing stories of new life recorded in the Bible. Undead: Revived, Resuscitated, and Reborn retells these stories in a unique style that will reach a new generation of readers and challenge them to come back from the spiritual dead. Few believers realize that many people - including six specific individuals - are raised from the dead between the Gospels and book of Acts. Undead applies those stories to revitalize the faith of believers while leading seekers to discover the spiritual resuscitation that only comes from God through His Son. By examining each story of resuscitation, readers discover gospel truths that they can apply to their own lies in ways that will elevate hope and challenge faith. Relating to the characters in these accounts helps bring to light areas in our lives that may need revitalization and challenge us to decide whether we will allow God to transform us. Click here to download the FREE Study Guide.

Higher Power

by Douglas D. Himes

Recalling the Christian roots of Alcoholics Anonymous, Higher Power connects classic biblical teaching with contemporary 12-step practice. Each chapter draws inspiration from the Old and New Testaments and the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Higher Powered is an excellent resource for anyone in recover trying to work through each step, from admitting our brokenness to surrendering to God - and through God's help becoming higher powered.

Holy Nomad

by Matt Litton

We drown ourselves with monotony, possessions, and obligations. However, from Abraham to Jesus, the essence of faith is found in the idea that we are moving, changing, progressing as a people, and if we are faithful to this process, then we will be moving the world toward the Kingdom of God--living a dynamic faith. Holy Nomad is a deeply motivational call for readers to live a radical, relentless, and raw life of faith. Author Matt Litton explains how and why God wants to liberate so we can live a life of absolute freedom and fulfillment. Holy Nomad calls for readers to divest themselves from all the things that hold us back in order to go on this nomadic adventure, that will challenge us and reward us on this rugged road to joy.

Forgiveness

by Adam Hamilton

"If your enemies are starving, feed them some bread; if they are thirsty, give them water to drink." Proverbs 24:17 (CEB) There is nothing more crippling than holding on to anger. Anger, more than any other emotion, has the power to consume all aspects of our lives, distort our sense of purpose, and destroy our relationship with God. In the passionate and life-changing book "Forgiveness: Finding Peace Though Letting Go, bestselling author Adam Hamilton brings the same insight that he applied in the bestseller "Why?" to the challenge of forgiveness. Hamilton argues that revelation comes when we realize that forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves rather than to someone else. He also contends that only when we learn to forgive others and ourselves can we truly receive forgiveness from God.

Immersion Bible Studies | Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah

by Bruce Epperly

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. Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah has eight sessions.

Immersion Bible Studies | Ezekiel, Daniel

by Carlyle Fielding Stewart

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 | Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations

by Janice Catron

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 | Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther

by Stan Purdum

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 | 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles

by Timothy B Cargal

It's never been easier to grasp the depth and importance of the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles than when reading them side-by-side in this Immersion Bible study. Timothy Cargal's clear and straightforward explanations of these Scriptures along with his insightful connections to our lives today make this volume an outstanding guide in applying the lessons of these ancient books to our 21st-century faith and discipleship. 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 | Joshua, Judges, Ruth

by Isabel N Docampo

Isabel Docampo provides fresh insight into the books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth by enabling readers to see these ancient texts through new eyes and discover new applications for their lives. Docampo's passion for her subject is never far beneath the surface of these pages and often bursts forth with telling insights. After using this study guide, readers will never again view these three books of the Bible as mere biblical history. 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 | Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon

by Martha Bettis Gee

How does someone obtain wisdom, knowledge, and understanding? How do they apply them to their lives? This volume of Immersion Bible Studies focuses on touchstone Scriptures that reveal the essence of wisdom as found in Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. Written in a conversational tone, this study engages readers in the virtues shared while deepening their love of the Bible. Easy-to-follow, step-by-step suggestions for leading a group are provided, as well as questions to facilitate class discussion. 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.

Beyond the Broken Heart: Leader Guide

by Julie Yarbrough Gregg Medlyn

How does the heart understand grief when it is broken by the death of a loved one? To survive and live forward, those who grieve must find answers. Beyond the Broken Heart is an eight-week support and ministry program for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one. Author Julie Yarbrough chronicles her personal experience combined with a deep love of Scripture and years of leading grief support groups to create an authentic and deeply personal exploration of the grief journey. The Leader Guide includes session plan outlines for eight group sessions to assist leaders in forming and sustaining grief ministry groups. In addition, leaders will find step-by-step instructions to guide them through the group session process and tips for launching, planning, and facilitating a successful group experience. There are also suggestions for creating a group to serve several churches or community programs. "Julie Yarbrough has walked through the valley of the shadow of death and experienced the pain and anguish of great grief, and she knows firsthand the comfort and strength that only God can provide. I commend this remarkable grief ministry program to you highly." James W. Moore, Pastor in Residence, Highland Park United Methodist Church, Dallas, Texas "With wisdom informed by her own experience and a warm regard for those who grieve, Julie Yarbrough guides the brokenhearted on an honest journey toward acceptance and hope. A refreshingly excellent resource for grief support." Stephan Bauman, Senior Minister, Christ Church New York City "Julie Yarbrough weaves understanding, care, and comfort together in such a way that the seemingly intolerable becomes tolerable, one breath at a time. This resource provides everything you need to promote, establish, and conduct grief groups throughout the year." Judith Bone, Director of Adult Discipleship, Brentwood United Methodist Church, Nashville, Tennessee "A gift to those who face the difficult journey through the grieving process. I highly recommend this program, not only for those who have lost, but also for those in the helping professions who offer guidance and counsel to the grieving." Ann Reese, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Beyond the Broken Heart: Daily Devotions for Your Grief Journey

by Julie Yarbrough

Daily Devotions for Your Grief Journey provides comforting and encouraging devotions for the first year of the grief journey. Each month begins with a short personal reflection by the author related to the month's theme, followed by a Preparation Scripture and meditation that set the stage for the next four weeks. Each brief daily meditation includes Scripture, a thought to consider, a prayer, and words of assurance. Space is provided at the end of each month for recording the inmost thoughts and feelings along the journey of grief. Daily Devotions for Your Grief Journey can be used as a stand-alone devotional or part of the eight-week support and ministry program, Beyond the Broken Heart. In this program, author Julie Yarbrough chronicles her personal experience combined with a deep love of Scripture and years of leading grief support groups to create an authentic and deeply personal exploration of the grief journey. "Julie Yarbrough has walked through the valley of the shadow of death and experienced the pain and anguish of great grief, and she knows firsthand the comfort and strength that only God can provide. I commend this remarkable grief ministry program to you highly." James W. Moore, Pastor in Residence, Highland Park United Methodist Church, Dallas, Texas "With wisdom informed by her own experience and a warm regard for those who grieve, Julie Yarbrough guides the brokenhearted on an honest journey toward acceptance and hope. A refreshingly excellent resource for grief support." Stephan Bauman, Senior Minister, Christ Church New York City "Julie Yarbrough weaves understanding, care, and comfort together in such a way that the seemingly intolerable becomes tolerable, one breath at a time. This resource provides everything you need to promote, establish, and conduct grief groups throughout the year." Judith Bone, Director of Adult Discipleship, Brentwood United Methodist Church, Nashville, Tennessee

Beyond the Broken Heart: Participant Book

by Julie Yarbrough

How does the heart understand grief when it is broken by the death of a loved one? To survive and live forward, those who grieve must find answers. Beyond the Broken Heart is an eight-week support and ministry program for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one. Author Julie Yarbrough chronicles her personal experience combined with a deep love of Scripture and years of leading grief support groups to create an authentic and deeply personal exploration of the grief journey. The Participant Book provides eight chapters plus two supplemental chapters that include: · Personal stories/reflections from the author's own journey through grief · Spiritual and practical help for navigating the emotions, experiences, and questions of grief · Scriptures and biblical material appropriate to the themes and topics of each chapter? · Questions for personal reflection with space for recording responses · Readers will transform their experience of grief into a life lived in gratitude for the steadfast love and faithfulness of God and a life that honors the memory of their loved one. "Julie Yarbrough has walked through the valley of the shadow of death and experienced the pain and anguish of great grief, and she knows firsthand the comfort and strength that only God can provide. I commend this remarkable grief ministry program to you highly." James W. Moore, Pastor in Residence, Highland Park United Methodist Church, Dallas, Texas "With wisdom informed by her own experience and a warm regard for those who grieve, Julie Yarbrough guides the brokenhearted on an honest journey toward acceptance and hope. A refreshingly excellent resource for grief support." Stephan Bauman, Senior Minister, Christ Church New York City "Julie Yarbrough weaves understanding, care, and comfort together in such a way that the seemingly intolerable becomes tolerable, one breath at a time. This resource provides everything you need to promote, establish, and conduct grief groups throughout the year." Judith Bone, Director of Adult Discipleship, Brentwood United Methodist Church, Nashville, Tennessee "A gift to those who face the difficult journey through the grieving process. I highly recommend this program, not only for those who have lost, but also for those in the helping professions who offer guidance and counsel to the grieving." Ann Reese, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Six Steps to a Generous Life

by Bob Crossman

So how do we even begin to live a more generous life? First, it comes by acknowledging where our resources come from. This affordable and pocket-sized book presents giving as a lifelong journey in Christian discipleship with emphasis on six specific areas: Bible Reading Prayer Worship Service Financial Giving Witness Using excerpts from Committed to Christ, a six-week stewardship program, readers will cultivate a thankful heart that leads to giving more than they could ever imagine.

A Disciple's Path: Companion Reader

by James A. Harnish Justin Larosa

A Disciple's Path is an engaging approach to discipleship from a distinctly Wesleyan perspective. Whether used as an introduction for new members or a renewal course for existing members, the program guides individuals to take the next step in discipleship and become dynamic, engaged followers of Jesus Christ. The study combines a Wesleyan understanding of our growth in God's love and grace with the time-tested practices of spiritual discipline expressed in the membership vows to uphold the church with our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. Participants will develop spiritual practices, discover their unique gifts, and become engaged in ministry that brings transformation in their own lives, the lives of others, and the world. This Companion Reader provides invaluable insights that enable both participants and leaders to dig deeper into the spiritual practices essential to the life of discipleship. Each chapter corresponds to a week in the Daily Workbook, providing biblical and theological background on the week's theme from a distinctively Wesleyan perspective. Perfect for enhancing personal or group study and reflection, answering questions, and providing material for worship planning during a congregation-wide emphasis. "A very useful explanation of the traditional Wesleyan view of Christian discipleship, strengthened in particular by its stress on the balanced approach of the Methodist way." --Dr. Richard P. Heitzenrater, Duke University Divnity School "A Disciple's Path resonates with the spirit of John Wesley, whose guidance applies to fledgling twenty-first century disciples." --David Brownlee, Lead Pastor, Christ United Methodist Church, Jackson, Mississippi

A Disciple's Path: Daily Workbook

by James A. Harnish Justin Larosa

A Disciple's Path is an engaging approach to discipleship from a distinctly Wesleyan perspective. Whether used as an introduction for new members or a renewal course for existing members, the program guides individuals to take the next step in discipleship and become dynamic, engaged followers of Jesus Christ. The study combines a Wesleyan understanding of our growth in God's love and grace with the time-tested practices of spiritual discipline expressed in the membership vows to uphold the church with our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. Participants will develop spiritual practices, discover their unique gifts, and become engaged in ministry that brings transformation in their own lives, the lives of others, and the world. This Daily Workbook contains six weeks of daily readings (five per week) that guide participants in learning and practicing seven essential spiritual disciplines: Prayer Scripture Meditation Corporate Worship Small-group Community Financial Generosity Gifts-based Service Invitational Evangelism Each day's reading includes a Scripture, a message for the day, questions and prompts for personal reflection (with space provided for recording responses), and prayer. A special introductory section includes material on the history, beliefs, and structure of the church and answers to frequently asked questions. "Whether you're just setting out or are further along the path of discipleship, this excellent resource will help you to take the next step." --Roger Scholtz, Senior Pastor, Manning Road Methodist Church, Durban, South Africa "A Disciple's Path has the potential to revolutionize the way we view our participation in the church. Following this 'path' can transform us from wanderers into pilgrims." --Dr. Steve Harper, Professor of Spiritual Formation, Asbury Theological Seminary

The Abingdon Preaching Annual 2013

by David N. Mosser

Pastors and other preachers have long turned to The Abingdon Preaching Annual for help with one of the central tasks of their ministry: sermon preparation. The 2013 edition of the Annual continues and, in response to our faithful readers, improves this fine tradition. Sermon helps include: lectionary-based sermons for each Sunday and special liturgical event of the year; lectionary commentary; and 15 topical sermon series on diverse themes like missions, modern families, life in the Holy Spirit, stewardship, and more. Worship planning aids include a four-year liturgical event calendar Guide to liturgical colors; 2013 lectionary readings in one, easy-to-read table; and related worship aids following each lectionary sermon, and each sermon series. The Abingdon Preaching Annual, always a trusted resource, is the most comprehensive and useful aid for sermon preparation you will find.

Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries | Ruth

by Judy Fentress-Williams

From the Introduction: Described by Goethe as "the most charming little whole" of antiquity, Ruth has long been recognized for its literary quality. This beautifully composed narrative continues to attract readers across generations and boundaries of gender, class and ethnicity. In fact, the beauty of the book often distracts from the practical nature of the narrative. For all of its appeal, Ruth is, after all a story about family and survival. The marriage between Ruth and Boaz is a levirate marriage. The goal of this practice is to ensure the continuation and stability of the family line. Thus this "charming little whole" has as its subject preservation of life in the face of death and upholding memory to ward off the loss of identity. This story of survival is short; it consists of four chapters with elements of loss and recovery; famine and harvest, barrenness and fruitfulness, life and death. These elements afford the book a broad appeal as it speaks to various stages and seasons of life, all the while upholding the power of faithfulness against an ever-changing backdrop. Named after one of the major characters, the book of Ruth tells the story of Naomi of Bethlehem and her family "in the days when the judges ruled." So much of what happens in Ruth happens where no one can see. Ruth binds herself to Naomi in the "in between place" of Moab and Judah. No one is there to witness it. Similarly, Ruth asks Boaz for redemption in the middle of the night when we presume everyone else is asleep. These events allow for the inclusion of Ruth as Boaz's people, first as a gleaner and then as a wife. The pattern of what happens away from our observation and then bursts forth where we can see it draws on the images of planting and harvest, conception and birth. On a theological level, it suggests that even in the famine times, God is planting seed, preparing for the next harvest, even when we cannot see it. We must assume then, that whatever we know or recognize about the work of God is only a small piece of the larger whole. We cannot know it all. Chapters: Introduction A Dialogue of Determination Terms of Endearment A Cloaked Covenant A Dialogue of Identity Conclusion

Immersion Bible Studies | Job

by Lee A. Schott

There is more to the story of Job than the first and last chapters, for it is the chapters in between that mirror man's own life struggles. Immersion: Job enables readers to enter the story and experience the trials of life through the eyes of Job. Easy-to-follow, step-by-step suggestions for leading a group are provided, as well as questions to facilitate class discussion. 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 | Deuteronomy

by Jack A Keller

How can something written so long ago really speak to life today and today's faith journey? In Immersion: Deuteronomy author Jack Keller answers that question by discussing how different interpretations have emerged in different times and through the use of different translations. During this six-week study, as a contemporary reader, individuals are freed to explore the interpretation appropriate for our time, while appreciating the various meanings that can be assigned to a verse. Easy to follow, step-by-step suggestions for leading a group are provided as well as questions to facilitate class discussion. This volume is part of the Immersion Bible Studies series. Inspired by a fresh translation, the Common English Bible (CEB), Immersion stands firmly on Scripture and helps readers explore the emotional, spiritual, and intellectual needs of their personal faith. Whether they are using the CEB or another translation, Immersion will offer new insights into God's Word, their own lives, and their life with God.

Immersion Bible Studies | 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon

by Jack A. Keller

Pastor, teacher, and mentor James Earl Massey helps us see the encouragement, wisdom, and practical direction the Epistles offer to our generation. Easy-to-follow, step-by-step suggestions for leading a group are provided, as well as questions to facilitate group discussion. Easy-to-follow, step-by-step suggestions for leading a group are provided, as well as questions to facilitate group discussion. 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 Pastor's Practical Guide to Funerals

by Lee Franklin

Practical guide to provide caring and healing before, during, and after the funeral. Death happens, often at the most inopportune times--for the deceased, the family, and to be honest--for the pastor. The gathered and grieving friends and family have high expectations of the pastor. They expect the pastor to bring comfort in the midst of crisis, peace in the midst of pain. They want a sign of God's presence when God seems absent or powerless. Confused, they want clarity regarding next steps. All eyes are on the pastor. No pressure.... This straight-forward book underscores the premise that ministering through the funeral process, though challenging, is one of the great privileges of ministry. The book integrates the pragmatic "how-to" of the funeral process, especially in dealing with "difficult" funerals. It equips the pastor to provide a caring and healing ministry of presence before, during, and after the funeral. The book moves through the "story" of the funeral process from Preparing for Death (ch 1), The Death Event (ch 2), Meeting with Family and Friends (ch 3), Planning the Service (ch 4), The Service (ch 5), and Following Up (ch 6). Using examples, it provides templates and checklists (for download) for the specific ministry functions appropriate at each stage.

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