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In recent years, cultural commentators have sounded the alarm about the dire state of reading in America. Americans are not reading enough, they say, or reading the right books, in the right way. In this book, Alan Jacobs argues that, contrary to the doomsayers, reading is alive and well in America. There are millions of devoted readers supporting hundreds of enormous bookstores and online booksellers. Oprah's Book Club is hugely influential, and a recent NEA survey reveals an actual uptick in the reading of literary fiction. Jacobs's interactions with his students and the readers of his own books, however, suggest that many readers lack confidence; they wonder whether they are reading well, with proper focus and attentiveness, with due discretion and discernment. Many have absorbed the puritanical message that reading is, first and foremost, good for you--the intellectual equivalent of eating your Brussels sprouts. For such people, indeed for all readers, Jacobs offers some simple, powerful, and much needed advice: read at whim, read what gives you delight, and do so without shame, whether it be Stephen King or the King James Version of the Bible. In contrast to the more methodical approach of Mortimer Adler's classic How to Read a Book (1940), Jacobs offers an insightful, accessible, and playfully irreverent guide for aspiring readers. Each chapter focuses on one aspect of approaching literary fiction, poetry, or nonfiction, and the book explores everything from the invention of silent reading, reading responsively, rereading, and reading on electronic devices. Invitingly written, with equal measures of wit and erudition, The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction will appeal to all readers, whether they be novices looking for direction or old hands seeking to recapture the pleasures of reading they first experienced as children.
The White Witch, Aslan, fauns and talking beasts, centaurs and epic battles between good and evil -- all these have become a part of our collective imagination through the classic volumes of The Chronicles of Narnia. Over the past half century, children everywhere have escaped into this world and delighted in its wonders and enchantments. Yet what we do know of the man who created Narnia? This biography sheds new light on the making of the original Narnian, C. S. Lewis himself.

Lewis was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably the most influential religious writer of his day. An Oxford don and scholar of medieval literature, he loved to debate philosophy at his local pub, and his wartime broadcasts on the basics of Christian belief made him a celebrity in his native Britain. Yet one of the most intriguing aspects of Clive Staples Lewis remains a mystery. How did this middle-aged Irish bachelor turn to the writing of stories for children -- stories that would become among the most popular and beloved ever written?

Alan Jacobs masterfully tells the story of the original Narnian. From Lewis's childhood days in Ireland playing with his brother, Warnie, to his horrific experiences in the trenches during World War I, to his friendship with J. R. R. Tolkien (and other members of the "Inklings"), and his remarkable late-life marriage to Joy Davidman, Jacobs traces the events and people that shaped Lewis's philosophy, theology, and fiction. The result is much more than a conventional biography of Lewis: Jacobs tells the story of a profound and extraordinary imagination. For those who grew up with Narnia, or for those just discovering it, The Narnian tells a remarkable tale of a man who knew great loss and great delight, but who knew above all that the world holds far more richness and meaning than the average eye can see.

In recent years, cultural commentators have sounded the alarm about the dire state of reading in America. Americans are not reading enough, they say, or reading the right books, in the right way. In this book, Alan Jacobs argues that, contrary to the doomsayers, reading is alive and well in America. There are millions of devoted readers supporting hundreds of enormous bookstores and online booksellers. Oprah's Book Club is hugely influential, and a recent NEA survey reveals an actual uptick in the reading of literary fiction. Jacobs's interactions with his students and the readers of his own books, however, suggest that many readers lack confidence; they wonder whether they are reading well, with proper focus and attentiveness, with due discretion and discernment. Many have absorbed the puritanical message that reading is, first and foremost, good for you--the intellectual equivalent of eating your Brussels sprouts. For such people, indeed for all readers, Jacobs offers some simple, powerful, and much needed advice: read at whim, read what gives you delight, and do so without shame, whether it be Stephen King or the King James Version of the Bible. In contrast to the more methodical approach of Mortimer Adler's classic How to Read a Book (1940), Jacobs offers an insightful, accessible, and playfully irreverent guide for aspiring readers. Each chapter focuses on one aspect of approaching literary fiction, poetry, or nonfiction, and the book explores everything from the invention of silent reading, reading responsively, rereading, and reading on electronic devices. Invitingly written, with equal measures of wit and erudition, The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction will appeal to all readers, whether they be novices looking for direction or old hands seeking to recapture the pleasures of reading they first experienced as children.
Essayist and biographer Alan Jacobs introduces us to the world of original sin, which he describes as not only a profound idea but a necessary one. As G. K. Chesterton explains, "Only with original sin can we at once pity the beggar and distrust the king."

Do we arrive in this world predisposed to evil? St. Augustine passionately argued that we do; his opponents thought the notion was an insult to a good God. Ever since Augustine, the church has taught the doctrine of original sin, which is the idea that we are not born innocent, but as babes we are corrupt, guilty, and worthy of condemnation. Thus started a debate that has raged for centuries and done much to shape Western civilization.

Perhaps no Christian doctrine is more controversial; perhaps none is more consequential. Blaise Pascal claimed that "but for this mystery, the most incomprehensible of all, we remain incomprehensible to ourselves." Chesterton affirmed it as the only provable Christian doctrine. Modern scholars assail the idea as baleful and pernicious. But whether or not we believe in original sin, the idea has shaped our most fundamental institutions—our political structures, how we teach and raise our young, and, perhaps most pervasively of all, how we understand ourselves. In Original Sin, Alan Jacobs takes readers on a sweeping tour of the idea of original sin, its origins, its history, and its proponents and opponents. And he leaves us better prepared to answer one of the most important questions of all: Are we really, all of us, bad to the bone?

"Absolutely splendid . . . essential for understanding why there is so much bad thinking in political life right now." —David Brooks, New York Times

How to Think is a contrarian treatise on why we’re not as good at thinking as we assume—but how recovering this lost art can rescue our inner lives from the chaos of modern life.
 
As a celebrated cultural critic and a writer for national publications like The Atlantic and Harper’s, Alan Jacobs has spent his adult life belonging to communities that often clash in America’s culture wars. And in his years of confronting the big issues that divide us—political, social, religious—Jacobs has learned that many of our fiercest disputes occur not because we’re doomed to be divided, but because the people involved simply aren’t thinking.
 
Most of us don’t want to think. Thinking is trouble. Thinking can force us out of familiar, comforting habits, and it can complicate our relationships with like-minded friends. Finally, thinking is slow, and that’s a problem when our habits of consuming information (mostly online) leave us lost in the spin cycle of social media, partisan bickering, and confirmation bias.
 
In this smart, endlessly entertaining book, Jacobs diagnoses the many forces that act on us to prevent thinking—forces that have only worsened in the age of Twitter, “alternative facts,” and information overload—and he also dispels the many myths we hold about what it means to think well. (For example: It’s impossible to “think for yourself.”)
 
Drawing on sources as far-flung as novelist Marilynne Robinson, basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain, British philosopher John Stuart Mill, and Christian theologian C.S. Lewis, Jacobs digs into the nuts and bolts of the cognitive process, offering hope that each of us can reclaim our mental lives from the impediments that plague us all. Because if we can learn to think together, maybe we can learn to live together, too.
The Catholic Prayer Book is ideal for a Catholic individual who wishes to look up a prayer quickly. This book features over fifty of the most popular Catholic prayers and an introduction to Catholic prayer.Enjoy an electronic database of traditional Catholic prayers for multiple occasions including Morning Prayer, Evening Prayers, Prayers at Mass, Prayers for Holy Communion, The Stations of the Cross, and more.

Saint Augustine of Hippo (354–430) wrote:

In the Catholic Church, there are many other things which most justly keep me in her bosom. The consent of peoples and nations keeps me in the Church; so does her authority, inaugurated by miracles, nourished by hope, enlarged by love, established by age. The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to feed His sheep (Jn 21:15–19), down to the present episcopate.

And so, lastly, does the very name of Catholic, which, not without reason, amid so many heresies, the Church has thus retained; so that, though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets, no heretic will venture to point to his own chapel or house.

Such then in number and importance are the precious ties belonging to the Christian name which keep a believer in the Catholic Church, as it is right they should ... With you, where there is none of these things to attract or keep me... No one shall move me from the faith which binds my mind with ties so many and so strong to the Christian religion... For my part, I should not believe the gospel except as moved by the authority of the Catholic Church. 

Each prayer is only one click or touch away!
A fascinating, accessible introduction to Islam from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Zealot and host of Believer

FINALIST FOR THE GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARD 

In No god but God, internationally acclaimed scholar Reza Aslan explains Islam—the origins and evolution of the faith—in all its beauty and complexity. This updated edition addresses the events of the past decade, analyzing how they have influenced Islam’s position in modern culture. Aslan explores what the popular demonstrations pushing for democracy in the Middle East mean for the future of Islam in the region, how the Internet and social media have affected Islam’s evolution, and how the war on terror has altered the geopolitical balance of power in the Middle East. He also provides an update on the contemporary Muslim women’s movement, a discussion of the controversy over veiling in Europe, an in-depth history of Jihadism, and a look at how Muslims living in North America and Europe are changing the face of Islam. Timely and persuasive, No god but God is an elegantly written account that explains this magnificent yet misunderstood faith.

Praise for No god but God
 
“Grippingly narrated and thoughtfully examined . . . a literate, accessible introduction to Islam.”—The New York Times
 
“[Reza] Aslan offers an invaluable introduction to the forces that have shaped Islam [in this] eloquent, erudite paean to Islam in all of its complicated glory.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review
 
“Wise and passionate . . . an incisive, scholarly primer in Muslim history and an engaging personal exploration.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Acutely perceptive . . . For many troubled Muslims, this book will feel like a revelation, an opening up of knowledge too long buried.”—The Independent (U.K.)
 
“Thoroughly engaging and excellently written . . . While [Aslan] might claim to be a mere scholar of the Islamic Reformation, he is also one of its most articulate advocates.”—The Oregonian
National Book Award Finalist


A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on more than two hundred personal interviews with current and former Scientologists—both famous and less well known—and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology.

At the book’s center, two men whom Wright brings vividly to life, showing how they have made Scientology what it is today: The darkly brilliant science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, whose restless, expansive mind invented a new religion. And his successor, David Miscavige—tough and driven, with the unenviable task of preserving the church after the death of Hubbard.

We learn about Scientology’s complicated cosmology and special language. We see the ways in which the church pursues celebrities, such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, and how such stars are used to advance the church’s goals. And we meet the young idealists who have joined the Sea Org, the church’s clergy, signing up with a billion-year contract.

In Going Clear, Wright examines what fundamentally makes a religion a religion, and whether Scientology is, in fact, deserving of this constitutional protection. Employing all his exceptional journalistic skills of observation, understanding, and shaping a story into a compelling narrative, Lawrence Wright has given us an evenhanded yet keenly incisive book that reveals the very essence of what makes Scientology the institution it is.
Click
href="http://www.thepresbyterianleader.com/Forms/Hymnal-Order.aspx">here

to order quantities for congregational

use.

The new Presbyterian

hymnal, Glory to God, will be

published in September of 2013 but is

now available for pre-order for

individuals and congregations. This new

book of congregational song will

include: Over 800 hymns, psalms,

and spiritual

songs.Approximately 50% of

included hymns will be from the 1990

Presbyterian hymnal. The remaining

pieces will come from former

Presbyterian hymnals, other

denominational songbooks, and individual

authors and composers.A musical

setting of almost every Sunday

lectionary psalm.Music from six

different continents.Music

covering all major historical and

contemporary sacred genres, including

approximately thirty-five African

American/Gospel

hymns.Comprehensive

indexes.

Glory to

God will also contain worship aids

and printed liturgies for Sunday

services (including baptism and the

Lord's Supper) and services for daily

prayer. Complete orders of service will

include congregational responses,

prayers, and creeds. These will be

perfect resources for "green"

congregations, camps and conference

centers, daily prayer services, and

time-pressed pastors.

The pew

edition of Glory to God is

available in either of two colors, red

and purple, in either of two versions: a

Presbyterian edition and an ecumenical

edition. The Presbyterian version is

Glory to God: The Presbyterian

Hymnal and will be stamped with the

PC(USA) seal on the spine. The

ecumenical version is Glory to God:

Hymns, Songs, and Spiritual Songs

and will not have the seal. The contents

of both editions are identical.

For the first time, you can pray with a woman who has transformed the lives of millions around the world.

This precious collection gives readers a chance to experience the personal, daily, spiritual practice of Mother Angelica. Seen by millions each day on the television network she founded, Mother Angelica is one of the most trusted and beloved religious figures of our time. Her words of wisdom about the spiritual life have been broadcast throughout the world on EWTN and have become New York Times bestselling books. For Mother the act of prayer is an unceasing daily conversation with the Divine—one that has been a source of inspiration and solace for nearly seven decades. Now Mother Angelica shares a lifetime of her private prayers and devotions so that you can experience and utter the very words that have shaped her incredible life.
This treasury of material, much of it never before published, includes:

* A complete prayer journal composed during Mother’s personal dark night of the soul
* Handwritten meditations offered to her sisters
* Two moving versions of the Stations of the Cross composed for her community
* Devotions and petitions from her early religious life

Throughout, Mother Angelica’s humor, warmth, and wisdom shine through. More than a collection of prayers, this special volume is an intimate portrait of one of the world’s great women of faith. For devoted fans of Mother Angelica as well as for those just coming to know her, this inspiring guide will be a cherished companion along each step of the path to holiness.
 There are three primary purposes of a religious prayer.

1. To refresh your remembrance and awareness of God. 

2. To bring your wandering mind into the present moment.

3. To understand the meaning of the prayer and imbibe its teachings into your life in order to further your spiritual progress.

By God's grace, presented to you here is the translation of the JAPJI SAHIB(composed in Gurumukhi script by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the First Guru and founder of the Sikh Religion) into English.

At the end of the translation, I have also offered to you the Transliteration of JAPJI SAHIB, for those who may wish to recite as a prayer in the original Gurumukhi language.

JAPJI SAHIB is a universal sacred hymn(prayer) about God and creation,  composed by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of the Sikh faith. The Japji Sahib consists of the Mool Mantra(Root Mantra) as the beginning followed by 38 hymns and a final Salok at the end of this composition.

The Japji appears at the very beginning of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Holy Scriptures of the Sikhs. It is regarded as the most important Bani or 'set of verses' by the Sikhs and is recited every morning by all practicing this faith.

The word ‘Jap’ means to ‘recite’ or ‘to ‘chant’. ‘Ji’ is a word that is used to show respect as is the word ‘Sahib’.

You are encouraged to read the translation several times, and the beauty of this glorious script will manifest in your mind. Harmony will come to your life as you begin to understand God and his attributes(as can be comprehended by a human),  as revealed to us by God through Guru Nanak Dev Ji. 

We know all too well the cruelties, hurts, and hatreds that poison life on our planet. But my daughter and I have come together to write this book because we know that the catalogue of injuries that we can and do inflict on one another is not the whole story of humanity, not by a long measure. We are indeed made for something more. We are made for goodness.
—from Made for Goodness

Over the years the same questions get asked of Desmond Tutu, the archbishop, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and veteran of the moral movement that ended apartheid in South Africa: "How can you be so hopeful after witnessing so much evil?" "Why are you so sure goodness will triumph in the end?" This book is his answer.

Now, more than any other time in history, our world needs this message: that we are made for goodness and it is up to us to live up to our destiny.

We recognize Archbishop Tutu from the headlines as an inspirational figure who has witnessed some of the world's most sinister moments and chosen to be an ambassador of reconciliation amid political, diplomatic, and natural disasters. Now, we get a glimpse into his personal spirituality—and a better understanding of the man behind a lifetime of good works. In this intimate and personal sharing of his heart, written with his daughter, Episcopal priest Mpho Tutu, Tutu engages his reader with touching stories from his own life, as well as grisly memories from his work in the darkest corners of the world. There, amid the darkness, he calls us to hope, to joy, and to claim the goodness that we were made for. Tutu invites us to take on the disciplines of goodness, the practices that are key to finding fulfillment, meaning, and happiness for our lives.

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