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Finding the Story, James Ayers examines the art of narrative preaching and shows how storytelling can help people in the pews hear God speaking to their hearts through scripture. Ayers analyzes ways to illuminate texts that are difficult to preach, and provides a wealth of creative approaches for making them accessible -- such as looking at Psalm 137 through the eyes of a slave who watched his child dashed against the rocks, or seeing Matthew and Luke's Christmas narratives through the eyes of a bitter man whose only son was killed in Vietnam. Finding the Story offers a dynamic avenue into some of the very thorniest texts and topics of the bible -- enabling readers to find and share unique opportunities for encounters with God! Finding the Story is a must-have tool for all ministers who: long to connect with their congregations on a deeper level; struggle with how to preach doctrinally heavy passages without putting listeners to sleep; wonder how to relate the imprecatory psalms to modern-day situations; and want their people to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit rather than the droning of a shepherd i 1/2 one who feels the same things they feel, but who sometimes finds it difficult to share those feelings.
When we carry deep hurts by others, when we harbor resentment, revenge, jealousy, anger, and hateful attitudes, when we are unwilling to give or to receive forgiveness, we are positioning ourselves for agonizing problems and a host of potential personal illnesses. Whereas forgiveness is a key that opens the door to avenues of good health and a more satisfying life, unforgiveness keeps the door locked on a self-imposed, critical, unbending, legalistic, I-know-I'm-right outlook on life. The truth is that forgiveness blesses the giver more than it benefits the receiver. (from the Introduction) James Wagner maintains that the most crippling illness we face today is a resentful, unforgiving heart and the intentional withholding of forgiveness. In fact, he notes that in his experience people request healing prayer to relieve their spiritual, emotional, and mental anguish over damaged and fractured relationships as often as they do to seek comfort for their physical pains and limitations. Though forgiveness it is at the very heart of the gospel, it can be difficult to forgive and forget -- so how can Christians become more merciful in their daily lives? Wagner suggests that the answer to that question can be found by examining the paradigm of forgiveness modeled by Jesus -- and Forgiveness: The Jesus Way provides readers with a unique understanding of forgiveness as taught and lived by Jesus. More than just an academic study, this book offers practical guidelines for developing healthier relationships and improving personal wellness by learning to give and receive true forgiveness. Structured in twelve sessions, Forgiveness: The Jesus Way is an excellent personal and group study resource. Each biblically rooted session explores several facets of forgiveness, and includes questions for stimulating discussion and reinforcing key concepts. Recommended resources and notes for the reader to ponder are also provided. James K. Wagner is a retired United Methodist pastor now residing in Galloway, Ohio. In addition to serving several Ohio congregations during four decades of active ministry, Wagner spent nine years as the director of The Upper Room Prayer and Healing Ministries and the executive director of the Disciplined Order of Christ. He is the author of numerous articles and books on healing ministry, including The Spiritual Heart of Your Health (Upper Room Books).
Buy Forgiveness: The Jesus Way by James K. Wagner from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780788024375 & 078802437X
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