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The Good and Beautiful Life

The Good and Beautiful Life Author James Bryan Smith
ISBN-10 9780830878765
Release 2010-01-14
Pages 262
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"I have never met a person whose goal was to ruin his or her life. We all want to be happy, and we want it all of the time." So begins James Bryan Smith in The Good and Beautiful Life. The problem is, he tells us, we have bought into false notions of happiness and success. These self-centered decisions lead us further into the vices that cause ruin: anger, lust, lying, worry and judging. Eventually we find ourselves living a beautifully packaged life of self-destruction. Following the Sermon on the Mount, this follow-up to The Good and Beautiful God guides us to look behind these character flaws and to replace our false beliefs with Jesus' narratives about life in the kingdom of God.



The Good and Beautiful Community

The Good and Beautiful Community Author James Bryan Smith
ISBN-10 9780830861255
Release 2010-08-21
Pages 237
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In this third book in the Apprentice Series, James Bryan Smith helps us know how to live in relationship with others as apprentices of Jesus. "Apprentices of Jesus are not part-time do-gooders," he writes. "They live in continuous contact with the kingdom of God, and are constantly men and women in whom Christ dwells. They do not sometimes tell the truth, sometimes live sacrificially or sometimes forgive. There are myriad opportunities for us to impact the world in which we live." Yet many times we've gotten it wrong, tending to emphasize personal faith over social justice or vice versa. In these pages Jim Smith shows us how to bring spiritual formation and community engagement together, and then once again offers spiritual practices that root new, true narratives about God and the world in our souls. His insight and humility as a fellow learner with us will lead us to live in authentic ways as a good and beautiful community of Christ-followers, shining the light of the Spirit into every relationship.



The Good and Beautiful God

The Good and Beautiful God Author James Bryan Smith
ISBN-10 0830878343
Release 2010-01-14
Pages 229
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"God wants me to try harder." "God blesses me when I'm good and punishes me when I'm bad." "God is angry with me." We all have ideas that we tell ourselves about God and how he works in our lives. Some are true—but many are false. James Bryan Smith believes those thoughts determine not only who we are, but how we live. In fact, Smith declares, the most important thing about a person is what they think about God. The path to spiritual transformation begins here. Turning to the Gospels, Smith invites you to put your ideas to the test to see if they match up with what Jesus himself reveals about God. Once you've discovered the truth in Scripture, Smith leads you through a process of spiritual formation that includes specific activities aimed at making these new narratives real in your body and soul as well as your mind. At the end of each chapter you'll find an opportunity for soul training, engaging in spiritual practices that reinforce the biblical messages on your mind and heart. Because the best way to make a complete and lasting change is to go through the material in community, small group discussion questions also accompany each chapter. Those who are leading apprentice groups will also find additional help and opportunities to interact with other leaders at the Apprentice website, www.apprenticeofjesus.com. This deep, loving and transformative book will help you discover the narratives that Jesus lived by—to know the Lord he knew and the kingdom he proclaimed—and to practice spiritual exercises that will help you grow in the knowledge of our good and beautiful God.



The Kingdom and the Cross

The Kingdom and the Cross Author James Bryan Smith
ISBN-10 9780830868339
Release 2010-12-08
Pages 55
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We believe a lot of false narratives about the nature of God, things like "God helps those who help themselves"; "God blesses the righteous"; "God might not be out for your good, and you might be missing something." But pastor and professor James Bryan Smith, author of the Apprentice Series, points us to the truth of who God is, revealed by Jesus: A God who loves to help the helpless. A God who doesn't play favorites, whether righteous or unrighteous. A God who is, in his essence, self-sacrificing—even to death—to save a people he loves. In six short chapters, The Kingdom and the Cross zooms in on Christ's work on the cross and what it all means about who God is and how we're to live as his people. A soul training exercise is included for each chapter to help the new true narrative take root in our hearts. And a discussion guide at the end makes this complement to The Apprentice Series perfect for groups to work through together, especially during the season of Lent. Understanding Christ's work on the cross is crucial for any apprentice of Jesus. Here is a resource to help you see—and believe—more fully, that you might live more faithfully in his kingdom.



Hidden in Christ

Hidden in Christ Author James Bryan Smith
ISBN-10 9780830895458
Release 2013-06-01
Pages 218
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A Deeper Sort of Devotional Words are powerful. They contain ideas and shape the way we see God, ourselves and all of reality. We're transformed, in particular, by God's Word, and by "the Word," the Logos—Jesus himself—as described by John in the first chapter of his Gospel. Memorizing and studying a passage in depth can offer a deeper sense of the meaning of each word. In this unique introduction to the hidden life in Christ, James Bryan Smith walks readers through a thirty-day immersion in Colossians 3:1-17. Each of the thirty short chapters of this book bring out the main truth of just one word or phrase of this rich passage. You'll also find a very simple daily practice to take up, reflection questions and a guide for five weeks of group discussion. The chapters are short in length, making this book an ideal daily devotional. Since there are thirty chapters, it could be used for a one-month introduction to the hidden life in Christ. Though brief in terms of length, each chapter tries to unearth some very deep truths. For those who have read and practiced the exercises in the Apprentice series, this book will be a helpful refresher as you continue your sacred journey. Each chapter also contains an exercise or practice ("Living into the Truth"), as well as an affirmation that summarizes the main point of the chapter and a written prayer designed to move you deeper into the truths of the Word. In addition, each chapter concludes with a few reflection questions that can be used either by individuals or in a group discussion. The only way to tell a story is to use words. May the words of Colossians 3 become a companion to you as God continues to write your story.



Renovation of the Church

Renovation of the Church Author Kent Carlson
ISBN-10 9780830868582
Release 2013-12-21
Pages 186
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Copastors Kent Carlson and Mike Lueken tell the story of how God took their thriving, consumer-oriented church and transformed it into a modest congregation of unformed believers committed to the growth of the spirit--even when it meant a decline in numbers. As Kent and Mike found out, a decade of major change is not easy on a church. Oak Hills Church, from the pastoral staff to the congregation, had to confront addiction to personal ambition, resist consumerism and reorient their lives around the teachings of Jesus. Their renewed focus on spiritual formation over numerical growth triggered major changes in the content of their sermons, the tenor of their worship services, and the reason for their outreach. They lost members. But the health and spiritual depth of their church today is a testimony of God's transforming work and enduring faithfulness to the people he loves. Honest and humble, this is Kent and Mike's story of a church they love, written to inspire and challenge other churches to let God rewrite their stories as well. Read it for the church you love.



The Good and Beautiful Series

The Good and Beautiful Series Author James Bryan Smith
ISBN-10 0830835407
Release 2010-01-11
Pages
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James Bryan Smith believes the gospel is about change in our lives today, not just our eternal destiny. In The Good and Beautiful Series he aims to help Christians develop a robust discipleship by helping them understand who God is, what it means to be a Christian and what it means to live in community as a part of God's kingdom. Throughout the series, which includes The Good and Beautiful God, The Good and Beautful Life and The Good and Beautiful Community, Smith encourages you to read, journal, pray, discuss and participate in weekly spiritual exercises to help you engage with the text. As you work through the books individually (or more ideally in a group setting) you'll discover your heart being shaped by the truth of Christ—and your life being changed. Get to know the God Jesus knew and the Kingdom he proclaimed. The transformation you seek will come as a direct result of spending focused time with him and his people. A Renovaré Resource.



The Magnificent Story

The Magnificent Story Author James Bryan Smith
ISBN-10 0830846360
Release 2017-08-07
Pages 192
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We are story-making people. We love reading stories—and we love hearing the personal stories of others. We need stories, or narratives, to make sense of our world. And those stories shape our lives. What is the story you have been told about God? About the gospel? About the Christian life? About Jesus? About the cross? About yourself? About heaven? Your answers to these questions will form a story that will determine how your life will go. The answers reveal your ability to trust, to love, to hope—and even your capacity for joy. Any story worth giving the power to shape our lives must pass a simple test: is it beautiful, good, and true? If it is, then it is a Magnificent Story—and that is where transformation takes place. From James Bryan Smith, author of the bestselling book Good and Beautiful God, comes this spiritual formation resource meant to help both individuals and groups understand the Magnificent Story of Christ in their lives. Soon to be followed by The Magnificent Journey: Living Deep in the Kingdom (Fall 2018) and The Magnificent Mission: Called and Sent by the Storyteller (Fall 2019), the field-tested material within includes spiritual practices at the end of each chapter and a group discussion guide. Uncover the true story of beauty, goodness, and truth that will satisfy the ultimate longings of your heart.



Slow Church

Slow Church Author C. Christopher Smith
ISBN-10 9780830841141
Release 2014-06-02
Pages 247
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Suggests that modern religion is too fast paced and that a slower approach should be used so that parishioners get a more fulfilling experience.



God and Evil

God and Evil Author Chad Meister
ISBN-10 0830866469
Release 2012-12-14
Pages 360
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The question of evil--its origins, its justification, its solution--has plagued humankind from the beginning. Every generation raises the question and struggles with the responses it is given. Questions about the nature of evil and how it is reconciled with the truth claims of Christianity are unavoidable; we need to be prepared to respond to such questions with great clarity and good faith. God and Evil compiles the best thinking on all angles on the question of evil, from some of the finest scholars in religion, philosophy and apologetics, including Gregory E. Ganssle and Yena Lee Bruce Little Garry DeWeese R. Douglas Geivett James Spiegel Jill Graper Hernandez Win Corduan David Beck With additional chapters addressing "issues in dialogue" such as hell and human origins, and a now-famous debate between evangelical philosopher William Lane Craig and atheist philosopher Michael Tooley, God and Evil provides critical engagement with recent arguments against faith and offers grounds for renewed confidence in the God who is "acquainted with grief."



The Relational Soul

The Relational Soul Author Richard Plass
ISBN-10 9780830896516
Release 2014-09-01
Pages 192
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What does loneliness tell us? "Be it chronic or acute, slight or significant, loneliness is proof of our relational design. At the core of our being is this truth—we are designed for and defined by our relationships," former pastors Plass and Cofield write. "We were born with a relentless longing to participate in the lives of others. Fundamentally, we are relational souls." Our ability to make deep and emotionally satisfying connections rests on the capacity to trust, and we all know trust can be difficult. Early-life relational "programming" and patterns of attachment can serve as blueprints for relationships later in life, whether good or bad. But no matter our conditioning, God is out to reclaim and restructure the deepest terrain of the human soul by helping us shed our reactive "False Self" and put on our receptive "True Self." Through spiritual disciplines and a conscious participation in the love of the Father, Son and Spirit, we transform our self-awareness and our connection with other people. Authored by counselor Dr. Richard Plass and spiritual director James Cofield, The Relational Soul brings together concepts from psychology and spiritual formation. Each chapter includes introductory stories and practical "If this is true, what about you?" questions to help readers engage in relationships in more life-giving ways. When the presence of Christ and community connects with a soul that is open, we witness the miracle of transformation.



Eternal Living

Eternal Living Author Gary W. Moon
ISBN-10 9780830897087
Release 2015-01-04
Pages 252
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Dallas Willard spent his life making eternal living concrete for his friends. With his unexpected passing in 2013, the world lost a brilliant mind. The wide breadth of his impact inspired friends, family, colleagues, students and leaders of the church to gather their reflections on this celebrated yet humble theologian and philosopher. Richard Foster, a friend for over forty years, writes of Dallas: "He possessed in his person a spiritual formation into Christlikeness that was simply astonishing to all who were around him. Profound character formation had transpired in his body and mind and spirit until love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control were at the very center of the deep habit-structures of his life. He exhibited a substantively transformed life. Dallas was simply soaked in the presence of the living Christ." Curated by Gary Moon, director of the Dallas Willard Center, this medley of Dallas's wise teaching and lived model of Christlikeness—as well as snapshots and "Dallas-isms"—will move and motivate readers. Whether influenced by him as a family member, close friend, advisor, professor, philosopher, minister or reformer, contributors bring refreshing insight into not only his ideas and what shaped him, but also to his contagious theology of grace and joy. Contributors include: Richard J. Foster Jane Willard J. P. Moreland John Ortberg James Bryan Smith Alan Fadling Ruth Haley Barton and dozens more



Becoming Dallas Willard The Formation of a Philosopher Teacher and Christ Follower

Becoming Dallas Willard  The Formation of a Philosopher  Teacher  and Christ Follower Author Gary W. Moon
ISBN-10 9780830899210
Release 2018-02-02
Pages
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Dallas Willard was a personal mentor and inspiration to hundreds of pastors, philosophers, and average churchgoers. In Gary W. Moon’s candid and inspiring biography, we read about the development of Willard's personal character, philosophical writing, and spiritual teaching, and how he has inspired some of the most influential books on spirituality of the last generation.



Keeping Place

Keeping Place Author Jen Pollock Michel
ISBN-10 9780830892242
Release 2017-01-01
Pages 237
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To be human is to long for home.Home is our most fundamental human longing. And for many of us homesickness is a nagging place of grief. This book connects that desire and disappointment with the story of the Bible, helping us to see that there is a homemaking God with wide arms of welcome--and a church commissioned with this same work. "Many of us seem to be recovering the sacred, if ordinary, beauty of place," writes author Jen Pollock Michel. "Perhaps we're reading along with Wendell Berry, falling in love with Berry's small-town barber and Jayber Crow's small-town life. . . . Or maybe we're simply reading our Bibles better, discovering that while we might wish to flatten Scripture to serve our didactic purposes, it rises up in flesh and sinew, muscle and bone: God's holy story is written in the lives of people and their places." Including a five-session discussion guide and paired with a companion DVD, Keeping Place offers hope to the wanderer, help to the stranded, and a new vision of what it means to live today with our longings for eternal home.



Renovation of the Heart

Renovation of the Heart Author Dallas Willard
ISBN-10 9781615214556
Release 2014-02-27
Pages 272
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As Christians, we know that we are new creations in Jesus. So we try to act differently, hoping this will make us more like Him. But changing our outward behavior doesn’t change our hearts. Only by God’s grace can we be transformed internally. Renovation of the Heart lays a biblical foundation for understanding what best-selling author Dallas Willard calls the “transformation of the spirit”—a divine process that “brings every element in our being, working from inside out, into harmony with the will of God.” This fresh approach to spiritual growth explains the biblical reasons why Christians need to undergo change in six aspects of life: thought, feeling, will, body, social context, and soul. Willard also outlines a general pattern of transformation in each area, not as a sterile formula but as a practical process that you can follow without the guilt or perfectionism so many Christians wrestle with. Don’t settle for complacency. Accept the challenge Renovation of the Heart offers to become an intentional apprentice of Jesus Christ, changing daily as you walk with Him.



Making Disciples Across Cultures

Making Disciples Across Cultures Author Charles A. Davis
ISBN-10 083083690X
Release 2015-05-15
Pages 236
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Culture affects how we make disciples. We often unconsciously bring our own cultural assumptions into ministry and mission, not realizing that how we think and operate is not necessarily the best or only way to do things. In today's global environment, disciplemaking requires the cultural humility and flexibility to adapt between different cultural approaches. Charles Davis, former director of TEAM, provides a framework for missional disciplemaking across diverse cultural contexts. He shows how we can recalibrate our ministry efforts, like adjusting sound levels on a mixer board, to accommodate different cultural assumptions. With on-the-ground stories from a lifetime of mission experience, Davis navigates such tensions as knowledge and behavior, individualism and collectivism, and truth and works to help Christian workers minister more effectively. Ministry teams, church planters, pastors and missionaries working interculturally at home or overseas can be part of God's movement of making disciples. Discover how the body of Christ grows in the unity and diversity of the global church.



Silence and Beauty

Silence and Beauty Author Makoto Fujimura
ISBN-10 9780830844593
Release 2016-05-01
Pages 263
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Internationally renowned artist Makoto Fujimura reflects on Shusaku Endo's novel Silence and grapples with the nature of art, pain and culture. Showing that light is yet present in darkness, he uncovers deep layers of meaning in Japanese history and finds connections to how faith is lived in contexts of trauma.