Written for a Thanksgiving service, this program in readers' theater format is set in a restaurant where a pastor has taken four young people out to dinner as a reward for packing Thanksgiving baskets for the needy. Although there are only five in the party, the pastor asks for a table for six. The story unfolds as the pastor explains why he has requested an extra place setting and chair.
The practical format of "The Empty Chair" allows participants to use scripts instead of memorizing long passages. If desired, the characters may conceal their scripts within their menus. The Christian message is blended into the words of each reader as a means to get the gospel message to the audience.
Raymond I. Keffer currently serves as the Director of the Lawrence County Learning Center, a college and university consortium in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. In addition to 30 years as a public school teacher, Keffer has been an adjunct professor of education at Slippery Rock University and an adjunct professor of economics at branch campuses of Penn State University in Sharon and Monaca, Pennsylvania. Keffer earned a B.S. degree in education from Slippery Rock University and an Ed.D. from Penn State University. Keffer is the author of the CSS titles "Disciples Redeemed" and "Were You There?"
Using historical information, archaeological data, and stories of the faith, Hamilton follows in the footsteps of Jesus from his baptism to the temptations to the heart of his ministry, including the people he loved, the parables he taught, the enemies he made, and the healing he brought.
This 40-day focus will help you and your group grow deeper in their faith, learn more about the life of Christ, spend time daily reading and reflecting upon the Scriptures, and invite families, through the children’s and youth studies, to grow together in their faith. Additional resources include a DVD, devotional, youth and children editions, and a worship download to help with sermon planning.
Lent, Lenten, Lenten Resource, Lenten Resources, Lent Study, Lent Studies, Easter, Easter Study, Easter Studies
Drawing on insights from history, archaeology, geography, and the Bible, Hamilton takes us to the Holy Land and provides a deeper understanding of the most amazing day in history. We visit the sites where those earth-shaking events took place, and we walk where Jesus walked along the road that led to the pain and triumph of the cross.
Filmed on location, this 25-minute edited tour of the Holy Land video will entertain and inspire the entire family. This Special Edition Book and DVD package is an alternative to the six-session full length study and is the perfect resource for churchwide viewing nights.
In this book for Lent, Easter, and beyond, Hamilton considers important questions of life, reality, and truth. He explores not only what Christians believe, but also why they believe it and why it matters.
Chapters include:God Jesus Christ The Holy Spirit The Church at the Communion of Saints The Forgiveness of Sins The Resurrection of the Body
Creed: What Christians Believe and Why is also part of a six-week church-wide program that includes a Leader Guide, DVD, and youth and children resources.
The resurrection. As far as doctrines go, it's a game changer. Many accept the resurrection without giving it much thought. But isn't something so important worthy of our wrestling with it? What if we approached the issue of the resurrection in an unbiased manner and assessed it as a cold case detective would evaluate a crime scene? Author J. Warner Wallace is a cold-case detective. He also used to be an atheist. Follow along in this brief presentation of his approach in applying his detective's expertise to the accounts of the resurrection. Wallace believes the case is nothing but compelling: Jesus is alive!
Sacred Space for Lent invites readers to develop a closer relationship with God during this season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. What we know and trust about the Sacred Space online prayer experience is now available in a compact print format to heighten our Lent prayer practice in a way that is accessible, engaging, and meaningful to daily life.
Throughout the Lenten season, each day includes a Scripture reading and points of reflection, as well as a weekly topic enhanced by six steps of prayer and meditation. With its small size and meaningful message, Sacred Space for Lent is a simple way to build a richer relationship with God and embrace the Lenten season as a sacred space.
Suitable for both personal and group reflection, Wright's guide through Lent will make the Bible--and the season--come alive in inspiring new ways.
The meditations in this book are presented from the perspective of the greatest disciple of our Lord: His own dear Mother. Mother Mary was one who faced the Cross of her Son with perfect openness, faith, love and devotion. Her fidelity to her Son throughout His life was unwavering. As she stood before the Cross during those long three hours, that fidelity never ceased.
This devotional attempts to ponder that which our Blessed Mother would have pondered during those three hours. What was she thinking as she stood there gazing at her own Child dying? What memories went through her mind? What filled her heart, emotions and feelings as she watched this final act of love?
The Scriptures do not reveal much about the interior ponderings of our Blessed Mother during those three hours, but the Scriptures do reveal to us many encounters between this Mother and Son. Since the Cross was the culmination of the life of both Mother and Son, it’s beautiful to bring to this moment of the Cross all the many experiences that these two shared throughout their earthly lives. It’s inspiring to unite all that they did and said to this moment, since all was a preparation for this moment.
This book is helpful any time of year, especially if you find yourself facing a difficult cross in your own life. It is also perfect for Lent in that it offers 40 reflections as well as prayers that can be used throughout Lent and for Holy Week.
Father Rohr begins each meditation with a single title or phrase that sums up the point. Then he offers the meditation followed by key passages from the readings. He ends each meditation with a Starter Prayer that invites you to self-disclosure and to enter the wondrous divine dialogue with clarity, insight—and holy desire!
"There are two moments that matter. One is when you know that your one and only life is absolutely valuable and alive. The other is when you know your life, as presently lived, is entirely pointless and empty. You need both of them to keep you going in the right direction. Lent is about both. The first such moment gives you energy and joy by connecting you with your ultimate Source and Ground. The second gives you limits and boundaries, and a proper humility, so you keep seeking the Source and Ground and not just your small self."—From the Introduction
Don't let her habit of constantly wearing bunny ears fool you. Charlee hates Easter. And she has good reason to. So, on the day before her 18th birthday, she wasn't expecting to meet the Easter Bunny, a person-sized gummi egg, and a large toad. But that's what happens when she and two other teenagers are transported to Easter Land. Charlee ponders the teenage girl made out of gummi with huge boobs, and the teenage boy in a wheelchair with an overdeveloped upper body.
A black-clad princess informs them that they must compete to decide which of the three creatures will be the future egg deliverer. But a mysterious man tied to a dark holiday known as SinEaster is also aware of the teens' arrival.
Some say that in the days of prophesy, SinEaster will destroy Easter. Will Easter go on as usual, or will it be cancelled this year?
By the author of Malice in Wonderland and Merry XXXmas, Charlee Frown.
It’s true, Lent can often seem like an empty ritual. But what Aaron Damiani came to find, and what he describes inside, is something else entirely. Something exceedingly good.
In The Good of Giving Up, Anglican pastor Aaron Damiani (who comes from a low-church background) explains the season of Lent, defends it theologically, and guides you in its practice. You’ll learn:The history and purpose of Lent How to practice it with proper motivationWays it can reform your habits and convictions How to lead others through it, whether in the home or church
Lent has been described as a “springtime for the soul,” a season of clearing to make room for growth. The Good of Giving Up will show you why, encouraging you to participate in what many know as a rich spiritual journey.
“When I was finally ready to take the plunge, I learned that observing Lent is not a forced march of works-righteousness. But it was good medicine for [my soul], for the painful split between what I knew about God and what I experienced of Him.”
Here are some questions to think about...
Does Christmas really honor Jesus and His birth?
Where did the Christmas holiday come from? How did it begin, and why? Did you realize that historians (and the Bible) agree that Jesus Christ wasn't born anywhere near December 25? Or that this particular date was well known for its pagan religious celebrations long before Jesus Christ was born?
Would Jesus Keep Easter?
Can we find any historical or biblical record of Jesus or His disciples keeping Easter or teaching parents and children to dye eggs and display bunnies on this holiday?
Did Jesus or His apostles instruct any of His followers to worship His resurrection at sunrise on Easter Sunday—or at any other time, for that matter? If Easter were not sanctioned by Jesus or instituted by His apostles, then where did Easter come from?
In other words, if Jesus were living among us today, would He keep Easter or encourage others to do so? Should you, as a Christian, celebrate Easter?
Few people know why they believe or do the things they do—especially when it comes to their religious beliefs and practices.
Inside the Bible study aid ebook, Holidays or Holy Days: Does It Matter Which Days We Observe?, discover the shocking truths about several of the world's most popular holidays. Perhaps even more surprising is how they came to be connected with Jesus Christ and the Christian religion.
Chapters in this ebook:
-- Crucial Questions
-- Christmas: The Untold Story
-- How Christmas Grew
-- Christmas vs. the Bible
-- Biblical Evidence Shows Jesus Wasn't Born on December 25
-- Easter: Masking a Biblical Truth
-- The Resurrection Connection
-- Fertility Symbols: Beneath the Dignity of God
-- The Chronology of Christ's Crucifixion and Resurrection
-- Halloween: A Celebration of Evil
-- What About Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Purim?
-- God's Days of Worship
-- God's Festivals in the New Testament
-- Does It Matter to God?
-- An Ancient Cultural Clash
-- The Delights of Obedience
Inside this Bible Study Aid ebook:
"Did the writers of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) consider Jesus' birth to be one of the most significant events for Christians to acknowledge or celebrate?... Did Jesus Christ tell us to celebrate His birth? No."
"A careful analysis of Scripture, however, clearly indicates that December 25 is an unlikely date for Christ’s birth. Here are two primary reasons..."
"The word Easter appears once in the King James Version of the Bible, in Acts 12:4, where it is a mistranslation."
"The New Testament does not mention an Easter celebration. Early Christians had nothing to do with Easter. Instead, they kept the Passover, instituted by God centuries earlier at the time of the Exodus (Exodus 12:13-14; Leviticus 23:5)."
"The popular belief is that Christ was crucified on a Friday and rose on a Sunday. But neither of these suppositions is supported by the biblical record."
There are no "self-made" success stories in the spiritual life. No do-it-yourself kits for aspiring saints. That's why Living the Mysteries is ideal for a family member, friend, or fellow parishioner who was recently in the RCIA program and received the sacraments of initiation - baptism, confirmation, and the Eucharist - at the Easter Vigil. That's why it's perfect for a lifelong Catholic, too.
The early Church had a process in which a teacher guided seekers through stages of inquiry and purification, culminating in a final phase called "mystagogy" - MIST-a go-gee- "the revelation of the mysteries."
The instruction the early Christians needed is what we all need, no matter when we were baptized, no matter how much theology we've studied. That's because God's mysteries are inexhaustible and, until we get to heaven, we're all unfinished Christians.
Now eight of the early Church's greatest teachers can be your guides as Living the Mysteries presents the wisdom and insights of:St. AmbroseSt. AugustineSt. BasilSt. Clement of AlexandriaSt. Cyril of JerusalemSt. Gregory of NyssaSt. John ChrysostomSt. Leo the Great
Designed as a devotional - and more - for the fifty days between Easter and Pentecost, Living the Mysteries is a rich spiritual resource valuable any time of the year. Each day features:A passage from the Church's great teachers that focuses on a relevant point of the mystical or moral life.A plan with practical applications for letting that reading inspire your prayer and actions throughout the day.
You will treasure these timeless lessons on gaining eternal life.
Go day-by-day through the week leading up to Jesus' resurrection and hour-by-hour leading up to his death on the cross.
• From Palm Sunday and his Triumphal entry into Jerusalem to the Last Supper.
• From the arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane to the Crucifixion.
• From the burial of Jesus to his glorious Resurrection on the third day.
Palm Sunday to Easter Features Incredible Visuals and Bible Study Tools:
• Map and Diagram of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus that walks you day by day through the week leading up to Jesus' death and Resurrection Easily see where each of the key events leading up to Jesus' death occurred with this labeled, detailed, and drawn-to-scale diagram of Jerusalem during the time of Jesus.
• Timeline Showing 22 Key Events as They Occurred Hour-by-Hour before Jesus' CrucifixionThis clock diagram/timeline shows 22 key events as they happened hour-by hour leading up to Jesus' death. It starts with Jesus being taken before Pilate and ends with his death on the cross. Explains Jesus' last words on the Cross, the words of the thieves crucified next to Jesus, and centurion's confession, from the 3rd Hour (about 9 am) to the 9th Hour (6 pm) when Jesus died. It uses Roman (modern) expression of time as well as Jewish.
•Diagram of a Tomb from Jesus' TimeThis detailed diagram shows the layout of a typical tomb from Jesus' day. Includes measurements and layout of key portions of the tomb, including the rollaway stone at the entrance. (Optional: This Jesus Tomb diagram is an excellent floor plan for creating a rolling stone model for your Sunday school or homeschool.)
•Easy-to-follow chart covering 22 Old Testament Prophecies and their New Testament Fulfillment by Jesus' Death and Resurrection.
Covers Key Events and Facts on Jesus' Life, Death, and Resurrection, including—
• Simple Summaries of Key Events Leading Up To Easter (Corresponds with Jerusalem Map)Enjoy having easy-to-understand explanations of key events leading up to Easter. It starts with Jesus' arrival in Bethany 6 days before Passover and ends with his resurrection on Easter Sunday. Includes Scripture verses from all 4 gospels for key events, such as—
• Palm Sunday and Jesus' Triumphal entry into Jerusalem
• Moneychangers in the Temple and Jesus' cleansing of the temple
• Jesus' celebration of Passover with his disciples—The Last Supper
• His Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection
• Brief Overview of the Physical Trauma Endured by JesusExplains the medical effects of Jesus' mistreatments. He was flogged, beaten, pierced with a spear, crucified, and ultimately died—all of that for our transgressions. The 5-6 inch spikes that were driven into his wrist and feet more than likely severed major nerves, making breathing difficult and possibly leading to heart failure. This is an excellent meditation on how much Jesus loved the world, and how he voluntarily laid down his life in such a dramatic way to save us.
• 5 key archaeological finds, such as the Pontius Pilate Inscription and Caiaphas tomb, which support the Bible's reliability of story of the Resurrection. Also, discusses the 2 possible locations of Jesus' tomb
"Impressive! Rose Publishing's Palm Sunday to Easter Pamphlet is visually stunning and informative in a way that grabs your attention and draws you in. Following Jesus from Palm Sunday to Easter is a refreshing journey through the events of this critical part of Jesus mission 'To seek and save that which was lost,' Luke 19:10 NASB. The quantity of details is wonderfully informative and could be used by an individual, family, small group Sunday School class or the entire church. It would even be a great gift for someone unfamiliar with the good news."
Wayne Newcomb, retired pastor, church leader, and Team Rose Representative (supplied with an advanced copy for a non-bias review)
"Palm Sunday to Easter contains a fantastic timeline with key Scriptures detailing Jesus' time on the cross. This visual tool forms a great picture of what this window of time was really like. It gives a detailed medical description of His sufferings, which humbled me, made me grateful, and put me in awe of Christ's strength. This pamphlet is a wonderful guide for those wanting to submerge themselves deeper into Passion Week."
Chris Ledezma, Bible teacher from Columbus, Ohio (Supplied with an advanced reader copy for an unbiased review)
“I love the overview that is shown of Jesus' last week before the crucifixion, including before Palm Sunday. Included is a map that shows where these events took place...There is a pictorial description of the tomb as well as several archaeological discoveries. This pamphlet lists the prophesies of Jesus' death and resurrection as supported by Scripture in the Old and New Testament... This pamphlet will be a welcome addition to the Rose pamphlet library and it should be a bestseller. This pamphlet can be a great handout for churches on Palm Sunday.”
Larry Bennison, Small Group Bible Study Leader, Connection Point Church, Team Rose Representative
These 40 devotions will allow you to gain a more complete perspective on your personal relationship with Jesus and the power of his work in your life today. Written by Dr. Kenneth Boa, president of Reflections Ministries, each devotion provides thoughts for meditation along with a prayer for each day, making this the perfect devotional for personal, family or small-group use.
• 40 daily devotions with multiple Scripture readings
• A meditation that amplifies the Scripture passages
• Each daily reading ends with a prayer
• Scripture text from the clear, accessible New International Version (NIV) Bible
Jesus didn’t come to start a religion. The rebel Jesus came with a renegade gospel to start a revolution. You and I are invited to be a part. In Renegade Gospel, pastor and author Mike Slaughter presents Jesus and his challenging message to inspire us during Lent, Easter, and through the year. Read the red letters and discover Jesus all over again.
Renegade Gospel is a multi-component, all-church series and group study with six sessions. Topics include:
Discovering the Rebel Jesus
The Most Important Question You Will Ever Have to Answer
Seeing Jesus Today
The Way of the Cross
Who better than Mike, renegade pastor that he is, to present Jesus in all of his unmanageable, demanding, troublemaking glory?
Will Willimon, United Methodist Bishop, retired; Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry, Duke Divinity School
Renegade Gospel is Mike’s life and message distilled into one pure, powerful, delicious, nourishing jolt.
Brian D. McLaren, Author/speaker
This isn’t your grandma’s Sunday school curriculum... this is a call to a holy uprising.
Shane Claiborne, Author/activist
- Inside this booklet:
- "He has risen!"
- The resurrection of Jesus Christ: Miracle of the Ages
- Christ's Resurrection: Bigger Than Easter
- A defining teaching
- Sign of the Messiah
- Christ our Passover
- "We shall be saved by His life"
Deepen Your Faith in God
Who So Loved the World
that He Gave Us His Son.
You’re about to meet three women named Mary, each of whom has a life-changing encounter with Jesus. Mary of Bethany prepares the way for the Lord’s burial when she anoints His feet and fills the air with her perfume. His mother, Mary of Nazareth, remains by His side from His first breath to His last, her loyalty unwavering. Mary Magdalene, delivered of seven demons, bravely supports her Teacher through His darkest hours, then proclaims the glorious news of His resurrection.
What a trio. What a Savior!
Your mind and emotions will be engaged and your faith strengthened as each scene unfolds, preparing your heart for a richer, deeper Easter experience. Liz Curtis Higgs, a seasoned Bible teacher and award-winning novelist, combines her storytelling skills with a thorough verse-by-verse study of Scripture as together you explore the remarkable lives of The Women of Easter.
"The perfect companion for Easter and beyond!"
—Jennie Allen, visionary of IF:Gathering
“Liz Curtis Higgs is one of the most amazing teachers of God’s Word that I have ever experienced. Her in-depth knowledge of the Scriptures, gifting as a communicator, and personal relationship with the Lord make her unmatched in the ability to take biblical truth and make it applicable to anybody.”
—Priscilla Shirer, New York Times best-selling author of Fervent
"The Lord's resurrection is the most glorious, victorious moment in history. You and I will watch these ancient scenes unfold through the eyes of the three women who were witnesses, who were there. Just the thought gives me goose bumps. All three Marys will show us what happens when we encounter a loving Savior and are transformed. That's what Lent is all about. A time of renewal. A season of grace."
—Liz Curtis Higgs
Journey to the Cross is excellent for individual devotion and reflection and can also be used in a small group experience.
A reminder of the call for renewal and conversion during each Lenten season, Roman Pilgrimage reflects on the deepest truths of Christianity and the exquisite beauty of the station churches of Rome.
Lent is a time of preparation for Easter when we reflect on Jesus’s life and sacrifice. This year, renew your heart for the resurrection with Daily Guideposts: 40 Days of Lent. In just five minutes each day, you’ll enjoy a Scripture verse, a personal story, and a prayer to help you apply the day’s message. Join Karen Barber as she learns about the days leading up to his crucifixion and resurrection. Instead of giving something up, learn a new spiritual practice with Erin MacPherson who observes Lent by giving something away. With Eric Fellman, meet biblical men and women, believers, and seekers who were touched and changed by Jesus. Travel with Roberta Rogers as she follows Jesus through the streets of first-century Jerusalem in search of faith and hope for our lives today.
Join the community of over a million Daily Guideposts readers on this remarkable and deeply personal spiritual journey.
Preparing for Easter is a concise, handy companion for the faithful of all Christian traditions and the curious to help them deepen their knowledge and consideration of this holy season—a time of reflection as we consider Jesus’s sacrifice and his joyous rise from the dead.
Carefully curated, each selection in Preparing for Easter draws on a major theme in Lewis’s writings on the Christian life, as well as others that consider why we can have confident faith in what happened on the cross.
In her acclaimed trilogy, The Divine Hours, Phyllis Tickle introduced modern Christians to the time-honored practice of "praying the hours." In this exquisite new volume, she provides a vibrant program of prayer dedicated to the anticipation of Christ’s resurrection.
Beginning with Ash Wednesday and moving through Lent and on to Easter Sunday, Eastertide provides the daily prayers that bring practitioners into the full spirit of this season. Each day is filled with psalms, readings from the Bible, and hymns of praise and worship, just as they appear in the larger volume, The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime. Newcomers to this beloved tradition will find that Eastertide is the perfect introduction to joining the ancients in the tradition of fixed-hour prayer.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
A story related by children for children.
The introduction presents and explains a three-step method commonly used by specialists in cross-cultural communication. Pilch offers suggestions for homilists and reflection questions from historical, liturgical, and cultural perspectives to encourage the reader to explore and master this cross-cultural method for breaking open the Scriptures. This process helps to make the challenge of the Scriptures clearer than ever for the modern reader.
John J. Pilch, PhD, teaches Scripture at Georgetown University. He is the author ofChoosing a Bible Translation; The Cultural Dictionary of the Bible; the three-volume series The Cultural World of Jesus Sunday by Sunday: Cycles A, B, C; Galatians and Romans in the Collegeville Bible Commentary series; and articles in The Modern Catholic Encyclopedia, The Collegeville Pastoral Dictionary of Biblical Theology, and The Bible Today, all published by The Liturgical Press.
Based on the liturgies of The Book of Common Prayer and the latest edition of The Book of Occasional Services, this ceremonial guide also draws on the paschal liturgies of other Anglican traditions, including those in Canada's Book of Alternative Services.
Carolyn Brown writes clearly and helpfully, with conviction and passion for what to share and how to share one's faith with children. It should be required reading for every parent, educator, and pastor who wants to communicate and celebrate the Easter faith with children.
Brown packs a lot of practical suggestions, insights, and activities into this very readable resource. I am confident children will mature in their understanding and affirmation of the Easter faith when they have been nurtured in families and congregations that take seriously what Brown offers. --Donald Griggs, author of Teaching Today’s Teachers to Teach
It is easy to share the Christmas story and faith with children. The story is beautiful and lends itself well to pageants and other celebratory events for children. It is not so easy to share the Easter story and faith with children because the message and images are complex. Many parents have trouble articulating what Easter means to them personally much less answering their children’s questions. In many congregations children are featured in palm parades on Palm Sunday, but they are not specifically planned for at other Holy Week services. When schools schedule an Easter break, many families go away and thus unintentionally bypass the whole Easter message for years.
This book explores what the Easter message can mean to children as they grow up. The author helps congregations and families share the Easter message with their children and include the children meaningfully in Lent, Holy Week and Easter observances.
Included are materials for children from birth (in the church nursery) to age 12, and reproducible pages to create a booklet for parents.
The first section of the book describes the particular parts of the Easter faith that are important to children at different ages and comments on the biblical Easter texts from a child’s point of view. The second part of the book works through the Lenten season, describing ways congregations can include children and providing program and worship plans, including:
Lenten disciplines for children and their families Ash Wednesday Celebrating Palm Sunday or looking ahead on Passion Sunday Maundy Thursday: Recalling the Last Supper Keeping Good Friday The church-sponsored Easter Egg Hunt Easter Sunday Morning Another part of the book offers help to leaders who want to share the content with teachers, parents, or committees. Also included is a comprehensive list of related resources.
This carefully researched and well-grounded, practical resource from a highly regarded Christian educator will strengthen your educational ministry with children and support parents as they shape the faith of their children.