Wednesday, December 11, 2013
What's New in the Resource Center
Now available for check out!
Race to Nowhere
A concerned mother-turned-filmmaker aims her camera at the high-stakes, high-pressure culture that has invaded our schools and our children's lives. Featuring the heartbreaking stories of young people across the country who have been pushed to the brink, educators who are burned out and worried that students aren't developing the skills they need, and parents who are trying to do what's best for their children, Race to Nowhere points to the silent epidemic in our schools: cheating has become commonplace; students have become disengaged, stress-related illness, depression and burnout are rampant; and young people arrive at college and the workplace unprepared and uninspired.
Race to Nowhere is a call to mobilize families, educators, and policy makers to challenge current assumptions on how to best prepare the youth of today to become healthy, bright, contributing and leading citizens. The film includes interviews with education and hcild development experts.
New from N.T. Wright:
Simply Jesus, The Gospels Revealed - Bible scholar, Anglican bishop, and bestselling author N. T. Wright summarizes a lifetime of study of Jesus and the New Testament in order to present for a general audience who Jesus was and is. In "Simply Jesus," we are invited to hear one of our leading scholars introduce the story of the carpenter's son from Nazareth as if we were hearing it for the first time.
How God Became King, the Forgotten Story of the Gospels - Wright offers an opportunity to confront these powerful texts afresh, as if we are encountering them for the first time. "How God Became King" reveals the surprising, unexpected, and shocking news of the gospels: this is the story of a new king, a new kind of king, a king who has changed everything, and a king who invites us to be part of his new world.
Small Faith, Great God - In the midst of life's challenges, so often our faith feels small and weak. In this book one of the world's premier Bible teachers, N. T. Wright, reminds us that what matters is not so much our faith itself as Who our faith is in. Faith, says Wright, is like a window. The point is not for part of the wall to be made of glass. The point of a window is to allow us to see through it--and let light into the room Faith allows us to see our situation and our own weakness in light of God who is powerful, holy and loving. Wright also looks at the character of the faith God calls us to. He unfolds how dependence, humility and mystery all have a role to play. God beckons us to lean on him as we seek to be constructive citizens of the world, to speak truth in love without hypocrisy and to risk submitting to one another in love. Wright doesn't ignore the messiness and difficulties of life, when hard times come and the unexpected knocks us down. He opens to us what faith means in times of trial and even in the face of death. Through it all he reminds us, it's not great faith we need: it is faith in a great God.
After You Believe, Why Christian Character Matters - What is our purpose? As Christians, what are we to do with that ambiguous time between baptism and the funeral? It's easy to become preoccupied with who gets into heaven; the real challenge is how we are going to live in the here and now. Wright dispels the common misconception that Christian living is nothing more than a checklist of dos and don'ts. Nor is it a prescription to "follow your heart" wherever it may lead. Instead, "After You Believe" reveals the Bible's call for a revolution--a transformation of character that takes us beyond our earthly pursuit of money, sex, and power into a virtuous state of living that allows us to reflect God and live more worshipful, fulfilling lives. We are all spiritual seekers, intuitively knowing there is more to life than we suspect. This is a book for anyone who is hoping there is something more while we're here on Earth. There is. We are being called to join the revolution, and Wright insightfully encourages readers to find new purpose and clarity by taking us on an eye-opening journey through key biblical passages that promise to radically alter the work of the church and the direction of our lives.
Revelation for Everyone, New Testament for Everyone Series - N. T. Wright has undertaken a tremendous task: to provide guides to all the books of the New Testament, and to include in them his own translation of the entire text. Each short passage is followed by a highly readable discussion, with background information, useful explanations and suggestions, and thoughts as to how the text can be relevant to our lives today. A glossary is included at the back of the book. The series is suitable for group study, personal study, or daily devotions.
Viral, How Social Networking is Poised to Ignite Revival, by Leonard Sweet - The gospel is nothing without relationship. And no one gets it like the Google Generation. God came to earth to invite us, personally, into a relationship. And while Christians at times downplay relationships, the social-media generation is completely sold on the idea. In "Viral, " Leonard Sweet says Christians need to learn about connecting with others from the experts--those who can't seem to stop texting, IM-ing, tweeting, and updating their Facebook statuses. What would happen, he asks, if Christians devoted less attention to strategies and statistics and paid more attention to pursuing relationships?
The current generation is driven by a God-given desire to know others and to be known by others. Most of them, in seeking to connect in meaningful ways, have found a place of belonging that is outside the organized church. Why not bring the two together?
Those who are sold out to relationships can teach Christians how to be better friends to people who need God. At the same time, members of the social-media generation can learn how to follow their desire for belonging, straight into the arms of God. It's time for relationship to be restored to the heart of the gospel. And when that happens, can revival be far behind?
Follow You Follow Me, Why Social Networking is Essential to Ministry, by John Voelz - We don't often associate social networking with good things. The conventional wisdom, as it were, is that Twitter, Facebook and the like are engaging and fun, maybe dangerous, and definitely a big, shallow waste of time. When it comes to faith, is there any value? Some point to horror stories of illicit behavior simplified by the connections it creates. Others point to its effectiveness as a tool for networking Christians with prayer chains and referrals. But what is really going on here? By now we can acknowledge that social networking is not going away. Maybe you have resisted all social networking, you consider tweeting a frivolous fad and your Facebook account is dusty. Maybe you post several times a day. In either case, do you understand the power and depth of this new medium - in community building, spiritual formation, and yes, even evangelism?
Making Life Matter, Embracing the Joy in the Everyday, by Shane Stanford - 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?
New from Ellsworth Kalas:
The Best of J. Ellsworth Kalas, Telling the Greatest Story Ever Told Like It's Never Been Told Before - Take the best preacher you’ve ever heard, add in the teacher who first opened your eyes to the excitement and meaning of your favorite subject in school, combine these with that member of the family to whom you could always turn for the best advice, stir them all together, and you’ll get a flavor of the writing of Ellsworth Kalas. And now the very best thoughts and reflections of this wise teacher and guide are available together in one volume.
Across his career Ellsworth Kalas has worn many hats: pastor, professor, seminary president. Through all of them, however, he has remained first and foremost an interpreter of God’s word. His most potent skill is to open up new insights and meanings in even the most familiar biblical stories. Gathered here are some of Kalas’s most humorous, touching, and enlightening writings, drawn from his own experience of finding God in Scripture.
God's Promises That Keep Us - Popular author J. Ellsworth Kalas shares time-honored and treasured Bible verses filled with God's promises to us, promises to give us encouragement and hope in times of both pain and joy.
Where Two or Three are Gathered, Spiritual Direction for Small Groups, by Daniel L. Prechtel - Much has been written about the practice of one-ti-one spiritual directions, but much less about small group communities that offer in-depth mutual spiritual support and guidance to its members. But small groups are most likely the more usual setting for spiritual companionship and have strong biblical, theological and historical foundation in the Christian tradition.
This book offers a detailed presentation of ten small group models, plus guidance in group leadership dynamics. It also presents material related to group retreat work, spiritual guidance with organizations and peer supervision/consultation model for supporting leaders of spiritual companionship groups and retreats.
Church leaders, spiritual directors and educators are looking for the kinds of resources this book provides to assist them in understanding and leading groups and retreats.
Hijacked, Responding to the Partisan Church Divide, by Mike Slaughter and Charles E. Gutenson - Rescue your church from the infiltration of partisan politics. The last thirty years have seen the political discourse within our country grow increasingly rancourous and uncivil. Partisan politics has infiltrated our churches, and political commitments are creating unnecessary divisions, often obscuring the properly holistic nature of the gospel of Christ and turning people off to Christianity altogether. Increasingly, it seems politics trumps theology. Hijacked explores this phenomenon, offers analysis, and proposes a way forward.
Grace to Lead, Practicing Leadership in the Wesleyan Tradition, by Kenneth L. Carder and Laceye C. Warner - Designed specifically for Christian leaders and teachers, Grace to Lead: Practicing Leadership in the Wesleyan Tradition delves deep into Wesleyan scholarship to guide readers into effective contemporary leadership, from a solidly Wesleyan perspective. Bishop Hope Morgan Ward (Mississippi Annual Conference), calls this book "an essential resource for all who lead and teach in the Wesleyan tradition."
Calling upon peerless insights from the 1700’s Wesleyan revival in England, authors Carder and Warner will help motivate, form, and guide church leaders in the twenty-first century and beyond.
The Serenity Prayer, A Simple Prayer to Enrich Your Life, by Trevor Hudson - Countless people around the world have prayed this prayer, and it has helped them fi nd peace in the midst of their harried lives. They may not realize that the above words are just the beginning of a longer prayer.
In this book, beloved pastor and teacher Trevor Hudson explores the entire Serenity Prayer, giving insights into each
phrase and making the prayer accessible to everyday people. He looks at the prayer from a Christian perspective, sharing his own experiences with addiction but broadening the book to address the struggles that come to everyone, regardless of whether they are in recovery.
Each brief chapter contains a single-paragraph summary called “In a Nutshell.” Hudson then poses a thought-provoking question or suggestion for refl ection. The chapters end with a full-page display of a scripture related to the chapter topic.
Readers will learn how this simple prayer can transform their lives, bringing peace into even the messiest situations.
10 Principles for Spiritual Parenting, by Mimi Doe - In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, how do we, as parents, honor the spirituality of our children? As we shuttle between school, soccer practice, piano lessons, ballet lessons, birthday parties, and doctors' appointments, how do we find the time to encourage our children, through the ups and downs of growing up, to turn to God for guidance? In 10 Principles for Spiritual Parenting, Mimi Doe and Marsha Walch open our eyes to the spontaneous, creative, freethinking joy that characterizes a child's innate spirituality. In ten easy-to-follow chapters containing exercises and practical suggestions, the authors point out that opportunities to express spirituality are abundant in our routine life. Talking at dinner, lighting candles, performing daily chores--all of these events have the potential to be sacred moments.
The Ten Commandments, Laws of the Heart, by Joan Chittister - Are the Ten Commandments a set of rules, or a way of life? How does each one call us to reflect and to act? What does it mean to love God and neighbor in a world of violence and fear that threatens our lives and our souls? Joan Chittister addresses these questions and more in this honest inquiry into what it means to be born in the image and likeness of God. She goes beyond the Ten Commandments to shed light on the two Great commandments, "Love God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself."
Keeping the Sabbath Wholly - Ceasing, Resting, Embracing, Feasting, by Marva Dawn - Combining sound biblical theology and research into Jewish traditions with many practical suggestions, "Keeping the Sabbath Wholly" offers a healthy balance between head and heart: the book shows how theological insights can undergird daily life and practice, and it gives the reader both motivation and methods for "enjoying" a special holy day. Dawn's work-- unpretentiously eloquent, refreshingly personal in tone, and rich with inspiring example--promotes the discipline of Sabbath-keeping not as a legalistic duty but as the way to freedom, delight, and joy. Christians and Jews, pastors and laypeople, individuals and small groups--all will benefit greatly from reading and discussing the book and putting its ideas into practice.
On the Road with Jesus, Birth and Ministry, by Ben Witherington - Travel to the Holy Land with New Testament scholar Ben Witherington and experience the birth and ministry of Jesus in this four-session study. With the help of Dr. Witherington's knowledge and perspective, you will visit the places Jesus walked and ministered. Learn about places such as Bethlehem, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River, and more. Your faith will grow deeper as you follow Jesus.
On the Road with Jesus, Teaching and Healing, by Ben Witherington - Travel to the Holy Land with New Testament scholar Ben Witherington and experience the teaching and healing of Jesus in this four-session study. Relax as Dr. Witherington takes you to the places where Jesus walked and ministered. Learn about places such as Jerusalem, Capernaum, Bethsaida, and Caesarea Philippi. Your faith will grou deeper as you follow Jesus.