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Mississippi, 1963. Essie Lee Lane is a small-town girl from a humble background--and proud of it. Dedicated to her loving family and her church, she doesn't take "stuff" from nobody. Not from the rowdy customers at her job at one of Mississippi's best rib joints, and certainly not from the visiting preachers who often behave as if they are God's gift to the world. Yet Essie Lee isn't ready for the Reverend Theophilus Simmons, the new and very eligible pastor of Memphis's Greater Hope Church. Down-to-earth, caring, romantic, and oh-so-fine, he is one of the most respected young preachers in the African-American church during this time of vast social change. He's everything Essie thought she'd never find: a man who loves God, respects her for her straight-talking ways--and who ignites her with a divine fire all his own. And Theophilus realizes that Essie has everything a pastor needs in a wife--a First Lady with compassion and brains who will share the joys and challenges of his ministry. Soon Essie and Theophilus discover that dealing with the Greater Hope congregation won't be any honeymoon even after they're married. For many church
What makes a good God-fearing woman go bad? And once she's gone, is there any way to get her back? Eva spends much of her life torn between the man she had and the man she has. On paper they both look like ideal husband material. But looks, as we all know, can be bought, faked, or photo-shopped. Everyone around Eva seems to keep shoveling lies to bury their secrets. As Eva starts to dig for the truth she realizes it's impossible to stay clean, especially while playing in someone else's dirt. When she finds herself framed for embezzling from her own clients, her future depends on whether this "church girl" can adapt and survive the gritty, dog eat dog reality of prison to set right the one who's wronged her.
One of the chief difficulties in studying the history of Christianity is the lack of prior exposure to the subject that students often bring with them. Struggling to keep up with the large numbers of names, dates, and places presented to them, it is easy for students to lose sight of the "big picture," the broad sweep of movement and change that instructors most wish to communicate. Justo Gonzalez has written this book to help students gain just such a quick and basic grasp of the main periods and issues in the history of Christianity. Drawing upon his own extensive experience and that of others, he contends that having been introduced to the essentials of church history in a brief and accessible form, students are far better able to understand and appreciate what they encounter in more detailed lectures and reading. Gonzalez provides a comprehensive opening chapter that summarizes major issues and concerns of each of the principal eras of church history. Subsequent chapters focus on the ancient church, the Christian empire, the Middle Ages, the Reformation, the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries, and the twentieth century and the end of modernity.
With more than 315,000 copies sold, this is the story of the church for today's readers. The fourth edition of Shelley's classic one-volume history of the church brings the story of Christianity into the twenty-first century. This latest edition of the book takes a close look at the rapid growth of evangelical and Pentecostal Christianity in the southern hemisphere, addresses the decline in traditional mainline denominations, examines the influence of technology on the spread of the gospel, and discusses how Christianity intersects with other religions in countries all over the world. This concise book provides an easy-to-read guide to church history with intellectual substance. The new edition of Church History in Plain Language promises to be the new standard for readable church history.Features include: Includes contemporary developments related to the spread of the gospelDiscusses how technology has an impact on how the church worships and growsCovers the explosion of Christianity in the southern hemisphere
The Church in God's Program is a biblical study covering the entire scope of the church - its beginning, government, ministries, and the new covenant.
Many books seek to predict the future of Christianity, but few help us grasp the opportunities of the current situation and equip us to navigate the present. Doug Pagitt, author, radio host, and pioneering leader, does just that, offering fresh, optimistic insights and practical suggestions. According to Pagitt, the last two centuries can be divided into four epochs: Idyllic, Industrial, Informational and now-Inventive. The Inventive Age - our currently reality - presents distinct opportunities for how faith communities think, what they value, and the tools they use. Pagitt offers leaders in Christian communities (and beyond) essential frameworks for participation in the Inventive Age.
Amid so much twenty-first-century talk of a "Christian-Muslim divide"--and the attendant controversy in some Western countries over policies toward minority Muslim communities--a historical fact has gone unnoticed: for more than four hundred years beginning in the mid-seventh century, some 50 percent of the world's Christians lived and worshipped under Muslim rule. Just who were the Christians in the Arabic-speaking milieu of Mohammed and the Qur'an? The Church in the Shadow of the Mosque is the first book-length discussion in English of the cultural and intellectual life of such Christians indigenous to the Islamic world. Sidney Griffith offers an engaging overview of their initial reactions to the religious challenges they faced, the development of a new mode of presenting Christian doctrine as liturgical texts in their own languages gave way to Arabic, the Christian role in the philosophical life of early Baghdad, and the maturing of distinctive Oriental Christian denominations in this context. Offering a fuller understanding of the rise of Islam in its early years from the perspective of contemporary non-Muslims, this book reminds us that there is much to learn from the works of people who seriously engaged Muslims in their own world so long ago.
Competition for church members in Mount Oak has reached a furious peak. When tragedy strikes one of their hometown sons, the church women are drawn together through compassion. The Church Ladies is a contemporary tale illustrating how women can have a major impact on the church. Through friendships that reach beneath surface level -- and trials more severe than simple -- they unite with common purpose: to pray, share, and comfort. Slowly, the community of believers learns that the church grows when it is rooted in love. Characters you'll laugh and cry with, in situations every woman will instantly relate to, light up this page-turner about a miracle that could happen anywhere.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Much has changed since the first edition of Lovett Weems's seminal work Church Leadership appeared in 1993. In that time a substantial literature about leading the congregation has appeared, written from a broad variety of perspectives. But in some ways, little has changed in that time. The need for leadership in the church--defined as discovering the faithful future into which God is calling the congregation, and walking with the congregation into that future--is just as pressing as it ever was. And for that reason, the need for clear, insightful thinking about leadership is just as great as it ever was. In this revised edition, Weems draws on the best new ideas and research in organizational leadership, yet always with his trademark theological grounding foremost in mind. Anyone who guides the life of a congregation, be they clergy or laity, will find Church Leadership the indispensable tool with which to follow their calling to be a church leader.
The Church of 80% Sincerity shares the inspiring, poignant, wickedly funny, and sometimes heartbreaking story of motivational speaker David Roche's journey from shame to self-acceptance. Born with a severe facial deformity, David's life has been anything but easy. Still, over time, he's learned to accept his gifts as well as his flaws, and to see that, sometimes, they are one and the same. In this compelling book, he shares his hard-earned lessons, providing an irresistible and unforgettable glimpse of his (and everyone's) inner beauty and offering profound encouragement in dealing with whatever life brings.
A rural upstate New York village has remain dormant for decades until it is stirred to life when, one by one, three young girls vanish.
Scientology is one of the wealthiest and most powerful new religions to emerge in the past century. To its detractors, L. Ron Hubbard's space-age mysticism is a moneymaking scam and sinister brainwashing cult. But to its adherents, it is humanity's brightest hope. Few religious movements have been subject to public scrutiny like Scientology, yet much of what is written about the church is sensationalist and inaccurate. Here for the first time is the story of Scientology's protracted and turbulent journey to recognition as a religion in the postwar American landscape. Hugh Urban tells the real story of Scientology from its cold war-era beginnings in the 1950s to its prominence today as the religion of Hollywood's celebrity elite. Urban paints a vivid portrait of Hubbard, the enigmatic founder who once commanded his own private fleet and an intelligence apparatus rivaling that of the U.S. government. One FBI agent described him as "a mental case," but to his followers he is the man who "solved the riddle of the human mind." Urban details Scientology's decades-long war with the IRS, which ended with the church winning tax-exempt status as a religion; the rancorous cult wars of the 1970s and 1980s; as well as the latest challenges confronting Scientology, from attacks by the Internet group Anonymous to the church's efforts to suppress the online dissemination of its esoteric teachings. This book demonstrates how Scientology has reflected the broader anxieties and obsessions of postwar America, and raises profound questions about how religion is defined and who gets to define it.
Maria Concezione, a young lady is living with breast cancer. She decides that no one should know about it, but the heavy burden of this secrecy changes her life and causes the destruction of several people in her life.
An unforgettable debut novel about finding a home, a safe haven, and family Deep in Oregon farm country, Edith and Earl McRae are looking down the barrel of their fiftieth anniversary with none of the joy such a milestone should hold. Instead, they are stuck in a past that holds them to heartbreak and tragedy. Enter the mysterious and ever-so-slightly magical Mara O'Shaunessey who appears on their ranch with the power to mend long broken fences and show them how to recognize the enchantment of their everyday lives. Gracefully capturing the strange alchemy of people and places, Kaya McLaren's story of redemption and rediscovery will inspire readers to find the magic and power in every day shared with the people they love. .
This book is a condensation of two books, but primarily a work published in 1928 called Nestorian Missionary Enterprise: The Story of a Church on Fire. The Reverend John Stewart, a thirty-five year veteran missionary working with the United Free Church of Scotland Mission in Madras, India, wrote Nestorian Missionary Enterprise. His interest in the history of the people among whom he worked is obvious.
The church is heading into a "perfect storm" of cultural forces. Will you sink beneath the waves, or ride the winds of the Spirit? An array of cultural forces is coming together to present the church with unprecedented challenge and unequaled opportunity. Such "category 5" realities as postmodernism, postChristendom attacks on belief in God, and the threat of global warming have coalesced to make a "perfect storm" that will leave people uncertain of their place in the world, and all they have previously believed in. Like the disciples when Jesus calmed the storm, the church can cower and cry out for relief. Or, when everything is spinning and whirling in the wind, the church can go out to meet the storm, embrace the gale, . . . and pass out kites. From the Circuit Rider review: "Like other books Sweet has written and compiled, The Church of the Perfect Storm is thought-provoking and compelling. The material flows in such a way that allows readers to grasp the gravity of the situation. However, as with most futuristic material, there is also a sense in which readers may want to know: 'Okay, now what? Where do we need to steer this ship? Are mainline and evangelical churches so off-course as to fail to weather the rising tides that are here and soon coming?' Readers of this volume may enjoy the description of a post-Christendom world, but they may also want to know more about the prescription for the days ahead. (Click here to read the entire review.)
History of Christianity in various minority groups
The eternal Father, by a free and hidden plan of His own wisdom and goodness, created the whole world. His plan was to raise men to a participation of the divine life.
This provocative book shows how the United States Supreme Court has used constitutional history in church-state cases. Donald L. Drakeman describes the ways in which the justices have portrayed the Framers' actions in a light favoring their own views about how church and state should be separated. He then marshals the historical evidence, leading to a surprising conclusion about the original meaning of the First Amendment's establishment clause: the framers originally intended the establishment clause only as a prohibition against a single national church. In showing how conventional interpretations have gone astray, he casts light on the close relationship between religion and government in America and brings to life a fascinating parade of church-state constitutional controversies from the Founding Era to the present.
It began when a small group of believers stepped out in faith-against all odds-and claimed the Queen of Angels Hospital in downtown Los Angeles for the cause of Christ. Now 200 different ministries in the Los Angeles International Church reach out to thousands of residents. Innovative programs minister to AIDS victims, the homeless, battered women, drug and alcohol addicts, and abused children-offering hope and a chance for a better life. The Church That Never Sleeps shows how God can use this incredible ministry as a model to make dreams come true in neighborhoods across the nation.
Elmer L. Towns and Daniel Henderson tell the real-life stories of 10 churches that have been transformed by a pervasive culture of prayer. From an explosion of prayer in a rural farming community in Jefferson, Oregon to a total prayer program at a megachurch in Houston, Texas, these dynamic praying churches will inspire you as they share the principles they learned along the way.
In this book you will see how the Church shone like a light in the dark ages. You will see how she has survived all social systems and political systems and has weathered persecutions. You will be encouraged to think in newer, more profound ways about Catholic truths. You will become more aware of the Holy Spirit, the four gifts that mark the Church, and Mary's role. You will learn how the commandments are a sign of loyalty to Christ, who said, "You are my friends, if you do what I command you." You will see how God's law is a guide for doing today what Jesus did twenty centuries ago. You will meet Church members who bring joy and hope to the world.
In every chapter of this book you will find a description of an image used to describe the Church. No doubt you already have some experiences of the Church in your life. Before learning about the Church's story, take time to think about your own experience of the Church.
A design-thinking book for planting or redesigning churches and incubating a new generation of leaders. Written by Linda Bergquist and Allan Karr, two experienced church planters and mentors, the book is full of wisdom, practical advice, and creative counsel. Instead of a business-model-as-usual approach, the authors challenge readers to begin with the raw materials of beliefs, values, individuals, teams, and culture, and to then move outwards to draw from a rich palette of real and potential church paradigms. This book is meant to provoke church leaders to think outside of the box and to imagine how their churches might better reflect the image and the mission of God in the world. Contains a wealth of illustrative examples, charts, and other visual aides Offers a creative practical perspective and a multi-disciplinary approach to establishing a new church or leading an existing one Shows how to honor a church's purpose while embracing its unique culture Includes important lessons for nurturing church leadership skills
What kind of church are American women looking forward to in the twenty-first century? Ten notable Catholic women, representing a wide variety of viewpoints, offer a no-holds-barred and lively discussion of key issues.
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