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Texas, 1874. Long ago, Scout Proffitt gave up on ever being a man of honor like his Civil War hero brother Clayton. But when Scout steps foot on the rundown remnants of the Circle C ranch, he wonders if maybe--just maybe--the Lord has something different intended for him. Rosemarie has lived most of her life doubting her worth and shouldering the blame for her brother's death. But when a stranger rides onto her ranch, claiming he owns it, she suddenly is given a choice: either keep looking at the dark side of life . . . or dare to dream.
Jesus was a great teacher. He always used examples of activities the people knew about in order to teach them what He wanted them to know. When Jesus talked about the "Kingdom of God," he used stories of people doing ordinary things to show His listeners what it meant to live in God's kingdom. Included in "Stories of the Kingdom" are four stories that will help children know how to live in God's kingdom: The Sower (hearing God's word and putting it into action), The Good Samaritan (loving your neighbor), The Lost Sheep (our importance to God), and The Forgiving Father (God's unconditional love for us).
Slice of life dramas are a tool to capture the imagination of viewers and communicate good news by telling stories that mirror real life. Slice of Life Worship Dramas (Volume 2) contains fifteen short, ready-to-use drama scripts that focus on moments in time and emotions to which people can relate. Themes in volume 2 include God's power, sin, transformation, temptation, integrity, outreach, patience, missions, trust, grief, and more. The DVD included in this book contains live performances of twelve of the dramas, as recorded by the Wooddale Church media staff. Slice of Life Worship Dramas also contains helpful hints to assist in launching a drama ministry, working with church leaders, building a team, choosing scripts, and running effective rehearsals. "Read these scripts, and you will be impressed. Hear these stories, and your heart will be touched. Experience these dramas on the stage, and you will be changed."Leith Anderson, PastorWooddale Church, Eden Prairie, MN "These dramas contain a rare combination of humor, reflection, insight, and development of theological thought that fit in almost any worship context."Dan Collison, Worship Arts PastorWooddale Church, Eden Prairie, MN"Great dramas for worship services are like appetizers before a special meal. Slice of Life Worship Dramas is filled with humorous, powerful, keen dramas that set the table for the main course. I have used many of these stories for my sermons."Joel K. Johnson, Senior PastorWestwood Community Church, Excelsior, MN"Touching our emotions in a short drama is difficult, but Shelly has mastered the art. Slice of life dramas help people feel the truths they long to understand. These short dramas are authentic and create beautiful pictures for the pastor to develop with the sermon."Mark Hostetler, Director of Crosswalk MinistriesCross of Glory Lutheran Church, Brooklyn Center, MN
Slice of life dramas are a tool to capture the imagination of viewers and communicate good news by telling stories that mirror real life. Slice of Life Worship Dramas (Volume 1) contains fifteen short, ready-to-use drama scripts that focus on moments in time and emotions to which people can relate. Themes in volume 1 include second chances, courage, doing good, forgiveness, love, spiritual growth, anxiety, kindness, God's provision, truth, and more. The DVD included in this book contains live performances of twelve of the dramas, as recorded by the Wooddale Church media staff. Slice of Life Worship Dramas also contains helpful hints to assist in launching a drama ministry, working with church leaders, building a team, choosing scripts, and running effective rehearsals. "Read these scripts, and you will be impressed. Hear these stories, and your heart will be touched. Experience these dramas on the stage, and you will be changed."Leith Anderson, PastorWooddale Church, Eden Prairie, MN "These dramas contain a rare combination of humor, reflection, insight, and development of theological thought that fit in almost any worship context."Dan Collison, Worship Arts PastorWooddale Church, Eden Prairie, MN"Great dramas for worship services are like appetizers before a special meal. Slice of Life Worship Dramas is filled with humorous, powerful, keen dramas that set the table for the main course. I have used many of these stories for my sermons."Joel K. Johnson, Senior PastorWestwood Community Church, Excelsior, MN"Touching our emotions in a short drama is difficult, but Shelly has mastered the art. Slice of life dramas help people feel the truths they long to understand. These short dramas are authentic and create beautiful pictures for the pastor to develop with the sermon."Mark Hostetler, Director of Crosswalk MinistriesCross of Glory Lutheran Church, Brooklyn Center, MN
In See, Know and Serve, Tom Bandy shows how the transition between Christendom and Post-Christendom is unfolding at different speeds and with different twists in diverse regions and places, and that this development makes standardizing ministry practices, or using collections of "best practices," unsuccessful in growing God's mission. Bandy presents startlingly new ways to view congregations and communities, enabling leaders to understand the people within their reach on a granular level. The author demonstrates with real-world examples how organizations can translate this information into practical strategies and tactics. The book includes helpful charts and diagrams, making the material surprisingly easy to digest and share. This important, groundbreaking and convicting book lays out with depth and clarity a pioneering new way forward for every church and every mission-focused organization. Bandy shows how we can see the people in our communities with unparalleled clarity, so that we can serve them--fulfilling our mission--effectively.
The Christian message needs a new interpreter: one that is particular enough to know and interpret the tradition but broad enough to evoke thought and feeling from broader groups of people, including evangelicals, liberals, and those who are disenchanted with churched religion and who describe themselves as spiritual but not religious, yet are fond of the Jesus tradition. This book helps readers to understand the new landscape and its key figure, Rob Bell, by bringing a reasoned voice to the conversation and shedding light on the story, directions, and emotional power of the figure who Andy Crouch claims will be the main influence on Christians in this generation. While his theology is seen as a theo-political stage by church leaders, when Rob Bell tours and speaks, it is the unchurched, the people in the pew, the people who want to be in the pew, who are listening--by the thousands. His recent placement on the cover of Time magazine sealed his import on the American landscape for anyone interested in religion. Jonathan Nathan, a bookbuyer for the Harvard COOP, the largest booksellers in New England with a significant religion section says that no book has ever sold like Rob Bell's to an audience that is young, thoughtful, and college-educated. Bell's church has 10k members, and his influence has affected every sector of the American protestant church. Why? Because Rob Bell has caused the whole evangelical world to rethink the scope of SALVATION with one single question: who gets to be saved? With that short sentence Bell has initiated a whole new movement in rethinking what it means to be an evangelical. A movement that has only begun. Not only are heaven and hell at stake, but salvation itself. Is it meant for all or for only a small elect group--and if so, who gets to decide the parameters of that small group? If heaven and hell are not ultimate identifiers for a life of faith, can the passion to evangelize be maintained? If salvation is not either/or, but both/and, does the whole idea of world evangelism simply disappear? Rob Bell has created another question for Evangelicals: Will you decide to live in a closed world of your own making or an open world? Those most influenced by Rob Bell are younger Evangelicals who are dying to open up their worlds. Rob Bell just gave them permission. According to Andy Crouch, his is the voice that will most influence this current generation. For Liberals, Rob Bell gives them reason to be passionate about their faith and to think in big terms about it without giving up their minds and their questions. For the conservatives, he's the voice that young Christians are looking to and admiring, and even if they disagree, they are trying to observe and imitate his approach and appeal. Rob Bell doesn't have the personality to sink into some religious subculture: He is a new super religious brand, the Apple or Pixar of his generation. Evangelicals will buy it because they want to damn him, imitate him, or do both. Liberal religionists will buy it because they know that he is a Schleiermachian figure, making a case for faith to its cultured despisers with passion and a new aesthetic. Spiritual but not religious folks will buy it because Rob Bell has an invitation and appeal that is rare, and appeals well beyond holy huddles. As an authorized biography, that will allow for extensive interviews with Bell and his some of his congregants. This will include interviews with outside informed supporters and those that reject him and his theology. The book will reveal what makes him "tick," how his Wheaton College background affected his work, and how he is dealing with accusations of being on the border of evangelical heresy. This book will be researched and written over the next two month, with a finish date of December 1. Half or more will be available by the fall AAR/SBL annual meeting, with the plan to have Rob Bell and the author presenting. The book will show how is he challenging orthodoxy and why theologians are upset. It will outline the key players in the debat...
This book is one of two volumes on Preaching in the African Context. For both seasoned preachers and beginners, including students in seminaries, Bible colleges, and universities, this first volume explores Why We Preach and the principles of contextual preaching in Africa. Nhiwatiwa draws on his experience as a pastor and bishop, as well as his research as a lecturer, in demonstrating that contextual preaching serves as the most appropriate way of communicating the gospel in Africa. By tapping into African cultural modes of communication, preachers can engage the minds and touch the hearts of the people in effective ways. Read these volumes to see why contextual preaching is so urgent for meeting the ministry challenge in Africa today and how it can open new horizons for the proclamation of the gospel.
This book is the second of two volumes on Preaching in the African Context. For both seasoned preachers and beginners, including students in seminaries, Bible colleges, and universities, this second volume explores How We Preach and the practice of contextual preaching in Africa. Nhiwatiwa draws on his experience as a pastor and bishop, as well as his research as a lecturer, to offer preachers (and teachers of preachers) step-by-step guidance. The two volumes go hand in hand; preachers need both principles and practice to proclaim the gospel faithfully and effectively in context. Read these volumes to see why contextual preaching is so urgent for meeting the ministry challenge in Africa today and how it can open new horizons for the proclamation of the gospel.
So often, pastors are defined by external forces, rather than by the essential nature of the pastoral leader as modeled in scripture. Taking positive steps to put "pastors on track," author Emmanuel Cleaver III draws on his own experiences, and from dynamic and effective pastors and churches across the country. He presents biblical models to distill his message and to recalibrate the definition of what makes the best church leaders. Pastor on Track helps clergy re-frame their congregation's expectations and to empower them to do the work of the people, so the pastor can do the work of the pastor.
In this concise, accessible book, Warren Carter and A.J. Levine introduce three aspects of New Testament study: the world of the text (plots, characters, setting, and themes), the world behind the text (the concerns, circumstances, and experiences of the early Christian communities), and the world in front of the text (the meaning for contemporary readers). As students engage the New Testament, they face a central issue that has confronted all students before them, namely, that these texts have been and are read in diverse and often quite conflicting ways. These multiple readings involve different methods: historical-critical, traditional (history of interpretation), colonial, multicultural, and sociological, with feminist and liberationist implications for the first-century readers as well as the ongoing implications for today's reader. For example, Carter and Levine show how a text can be used by both colonizer and colonized, feminist and anti-feminist, or pro- and anti-Jewish. The authors also show how scholarly work can be both constructive and threatening to the contemporary Church and how polemical texts can be used, whether for religious study, theological reflection, or homiletical practice.
In order to fully appreciate the good of the UMC polity, the people called United Methodists need to work together, moving in harmony, and using the same church processes. In this book, Rev. Bondo provides the most relevant and up-to-date information from The Book of Discipline 2008 to the African Methodist Church, so that it can join and move in harmony with the polity of The United Methodist Church worldwide.
Cindy's church is getting ready to celebrate Easter, and Jeremiah's Temple is preparing for Passover when Cindy literally stumbles over the body of an unknown man lying dead in the sanctuary. The church was locked, and a bloody cross necklace on the floor seems to be the only clue. The killer is likely a member of the congregation, but there are hints that similar deaths have happened in the past. Are Cindy and Jeremiah dealing with a serial killer? They have to unravel the clues before Easter Sunday arrives and more people die. Cindy and Jeremiah come from two different worlds, even though they work right next door to each other. Cindy is a strong Christian who lives a normal but somewhat dull life, working as a church secretary. Jeremiah is a Reformed rabbi with a mysterious past full of danger and excitement. But one eventful Easter/Passover week, the two find themselves working together to solve a murder and stop a serial killer from striking again. Solving the mystery should put an end to their alliance, but the church secretary and the rabbi quickly find themselves enmeshed in another mystery. Soon the two form a friendly alliance and friendship, exploring personal history and faith and growing closer with each passing adventure. Despite their differences Cindy and Jeremiah find a lot of common ground.
Pastor and cowboy Don Underwood's weekly columns for the last thirty years have touched hearts and changed lives. This collection of some of his best reminds readers how God is ever present, in the heat of the summer and the prayed for rain, in the lives of the least likely acquaintance and the best loved parent. It is his celebration of the everyday and Underwood's own recognition of the greatest beauty in the smallest of things that makes this a book readers will return to again and again. Topics include: The Journey, Nature, All God's Creatures, Priorities, The Circle of Life, and The Seasons. Either photographs or line drawings will illustrate selected essays or chapter openers.
This book engages in a critical recovery and reconstruction of the Wesleyan theological legacy in relation to current theological concepts and Christian practices with the intent to present opportunities for future directions. The contributors address urgent questions from the contexts in which people now live, particularly questions regarding social holiness and Christian practices. To that end, the authors focus on historical figures (John Wesley, Susanna Wesley, Harry Hoosier and Richard Allen); historical developments (such as the ways in which African Americans appropriated Methodism); and theological themes (such as holistic healing, work and vocation, and prophetic grace). The purpose is not to provide a comprehensive historical and theological coverage of the tradition, but to exemplify approaches to historical recovery and reconstruction that follow appropriately the mentorship of John Wesley and the living tradition that has emerged from his witness. Contributors: W. Stephen Gunter, Richard P. Heitzenrater, Diane Leclerc, William B. McClain, Randy L. Maddox, Rebekah L. Miles, Mary Elizabeth Mullino Moore, Amy G. Oden, and Elaine A. Robinson.
For many, understanding the difference between Zephaniah and Zechariah or Micah and Malachi is difficult. This book uses humor and simple poetry in the familiar form of limericks to help students grasp and remember basic facts and concepts of the Hebrew Bible. Relevant biblical passages are noted in the book margins. Here's a sample: If a text is an answer of sorts, Common sense to a query exhorts With a homely suggestion: What on earth was the question? For the text with that question comports. In the Bible, the history's systemic, And the literature there is polemic. If you grasp those two truths, It the way truly smoothes For all else, be it etic or emic.
The ministry of evangelism is at its best when it occurs in and through the local church, experienced by members at the local church level. Through the local church, Christians learn to discern the voice of the Good Shepherd, and when they they know the voice of the Good Shepherd, they easily run away from following the false prophets, false spiritual healers, and other strange voices. African local churches are the best arenas for converts to make their commitment to Jesus Christ and to be nurtured and guided toward Christian maturity when the pastor labours side by side with the members of the congregation--enabling the laity to learn what their clergy know about evangelism.
Journey 101 Serving God is one component of Journey 101: Knowing, Loving, Serving God. Each of the three separate, interactive six-week courses utilizes a group teaching format with a leader and a video presenter combined with small group table breakouts. This Leader Guide contains six session guides on Serving God, plus leader helps for conducting a successful study.
Journey 101 Loving God is one component of Journey 101: Knowing, Loving, Serving God. Each of the three separate, interactive six-week courses utilizes a group teaching format with a leader and a video presenter combined with small group table breakouts. This Leader Guide contains six session guides on Loving God, plus leader helps for conducting a successful study.
Journey 101 Knowing God is one component of Journey 101: Knowing, Loving, Serving God. Each of the three separate, interactive six-week courses utilizes a group teaching format with a leader and a video presenter combined with small group table breakouts. This Leader Guide contains six session guides on Knowing God, plus leader helps for conducting a successful study.
Daily Readings adds dimension to Journey 101 , a three-part basic faith study designed to teach what it means to know, love, and serve God. Daily Readings is the perfect companion resource for the program that provides short devotional readings, Scripture, prayer, and stories.
Crunching more data maybe helpful but will not revolutionize, let alone save, a declining church. We need creative thinking done by people who are not afraid to face the institutional church. Indeed, the change we long for is already happening. It is happening on the margins in ministries to the least, the last, and the lost. Written by two creative pastors with different but successful ministries, this breathtaking book will show you how the church can live out its mission and ignite a movement. If we pay attention, we can let this Jesus Insurgency create new life.
The leader guide provides guidance and the suggested schedule for weekly group sessions to enable discussion in small groups of what persons have discovered in their individual reading and study. Two pages of guidance per session include directions for using the related two-part video segment, procedures for group activity and study related to daily assignments, guidance for use of Gospel Comparisons in group study of Scripture, and questions for discussion. The portion of the weekly meeting when the group studies Scripture as a community recognizes the importance of and opens the way to reading Scripture aloud and hearing Scripture read aloud in the group.
Eliseo Pérez con gran creatividad va tejiendo su libro a partir del campo semántico de la última cena; y así como el menú es tan minucioso, así también el libro de Pérez está lleno de datos y estadísticas de todo tipo, interesantísimos. En torno a la comida, el autor hila el presente y el pasado geopolítico, económico, cultural y ecológico. Todo el menú está cargado de historias sagradas y profanas con sus respectivos datos socioculturales. With great creativity, Eliseo Pérez weaves through the semantic field of the Last Supper. The Last Supper is filled with details, full of fascinating data and statistics - this book is meticulous in covering all of them. Closely examining this meal, the author parallels the present with the ecological, cultural, economic, and geopolitical past, and offers a look at the meal's histories, both sacred and worldly with its respective sociocultural data.
Introducción a la historia de la iglesia es una obra formidable en la que de manera amena, entretenida y sin dejar de ser académica, el Dr. Justo González repasa los acontecimientos fundamentales que sucedieron en la historia de la iglesia y que le han dado cuerpo. Este libro es fundamental como introducción para entender el porqué la iglesia tiene la forma que tiene en la actualidad, y servirá de base para cualquiera que desee adentrarse en los detalles de tan extensa y a veces complicada historia. Written in Spanish by the renown Hispanic author Justo L. González, this easy-to-understand and entertaining, yet academic introduction to the history of the church reviews the major events that happened in the history of the church and how they shape today's church. This book is ideal for helping readers understand today's church structure, and serves as guide for those interested in the extensive, and at times, complicated history of the church.
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.
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