Wednesday, July 25, 2012

the purpose of this site

Practical Divinity is literature that facilitates spiritual development (personal or corporate). It is made for devotion, discipleship, and spiritual formation. It is about the making and moving of Christians, growth in grace, the formation of a Christian worldview, and the tempering of a Christian character. We might call its purpose application. It focuses worship, shapes the heart, cultivates values, and hones lifestyle. The aim is right understanding, right practice, and right passions. Practical divinity moves us from where we are on toward where we should be. It is the liturgy of the mystery of God's Presence and initiative. It is the equipping resource of the Body of Christ-the society of the Church.
This website is a list of resources (Practical Divinity) approved and encouraged for use in small groups and personal devotion. It is compiled by Dr. Karl Ganske, Pastor of Spiritual Development, Dodge City Church of the Nazarene.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Belief, Faith, and Worldview

book by William Greathouse
Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City
Leaders Guide Available
For many people discovering perfect love seems a frustrating and futile search. Even Christians who accept God as a loving Father have difficulty with defining the abstract concepts of holiness, sanctification and, in turn, perfect love. In the form of exposition and exercise, Dr. Greathouse has prepared a biblically sound Wesleyan approach to teaching the message of holiness.
good background:
book by William Greathouse
Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 1998
I would say that this is the best resource I have experienced in describing the purpose of Christianity. It is that significant.

Insight Series book and video study by Michael Lodahl
Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City

The Bible is filled with amazing stories, but even more amazing is its overarching account of God. It's a story that, despite its twists and turns, portrays God's mercy and love and His never-ending effort to connect with His people.
This celebrated text is an engaging and accessible introduction to Wesleyan narrative theology. Unlike other books, which use a topical or systematic approach for understanding Christian theology, this foundational text weaves together the events and themes of the Bible to tell God's remarkable story and present a complete picture of his enduring love for us.
This updated and expanded second edition will impact your study and appreciation of Scripture and challenge you to find yourself—or better yet, to be found—in the incredible story of God.

a book and video based study by Francis Chan
Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo? Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions? God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn't working harder at a list of do's and don'ts — it's falling in love with God. And once you encounter His love, as Francis describes it, you will never be the same.

Forgotten God: Reversing our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit
In this , Francis Chan contends that we’ve ignored the Spirit for far too long, and that without Him, we operate in our own strength, only accomplishing human-sized results. It’s time for the beloved church of Jesus Christ to reverse the trend of neglect. Let’s pursue the Spirit-filled life of effectiveness God desires and we desire.

It all begins with the story of God: who God is, what God is like, our relationship to God, and what God is doing in the world. From the story of God the foundations of our faith flow. Our faith and theology shape our identity and calling: who are you? Who we believe ourselves to be determines our way of life. From the rhythms of our way of life flow our behaviors, words, and the daily expression of our faith. This study looks at being both theological and practical in a new way. It also has corresponding youth and children's discussions.

This is a 40-day program that we have run as a full church campaign.Rendezvous explores ways we can encounter Christ throughout our day--alone, with family, with friends, at church, or in the world--and provides us with a new understanding of how spiritual practices such as prayer, submission, hospitality, simplicity, and compassion help guide us to sacred rendezvous with Him.

Biblical Studies

Insight Series book and video study by James Garlow
One of the most powerful rituals in the ancient Hebrew culture was that of the blood covenant. This agreement united two individuals for a lifetime and meant that the most intense forms of friendship, loyalty, and sacrifice had been exchanged. God chose to make this kind of covenant with Abraham in order to demonstrate His intense love for humanity and His deep desire to fellowship with His creation. By asking Abraham to perform the covenant ritual, God the Father and humanity were bonded for eternity.
This powerful Bible study will dramatically enrich your understanding of God's nature and love for His people and reveal a whole new appreciation for God's amazing story and the beautiful, incredible, breathtaking sacrifice that Christ made so God's covenant with us would not be broken.
In the video lessons, well-known author and speaker Jim Garlow explains, with passion and excitement, the importance and meaning of the Covenant ritual and shows how this ceremony provides the foundation for everything we believe. The powerful revelations he offers will impact and transform your life and forever change your understanding and appreciation of the Christian faith.

Lectio Divina Bible Studies
Lectio divina, or divine reading, is the ancient Christian practice of communicating with God through the reading and study of Scripture. The Lectio Divina Bible Studies build on this time-honored tradition, inviting readers to listen to God as they read his word. The approach is built around eight steps, lectio (reading), meditation, oratio (prayer), contemplation, silence, incarnation, epitome(summary), and praeparation--all designed to help the reader slow down, read Scripture, meditate upon it, and prayerfully respond to God's Word.

Faith Connections
This is the standard Nazarene Sunday School material. It presents biblical insights and explanation from strong scholars within the Wesleyan theological tradition. There is material for group members to take home and study as well as a short commentary and leader's guide with additional online material.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul
A 6 Session Video-Driven Bible Study on Erwin McManus's book, Uprising
It seems like anyone you talk to these days desires change. They wish they were stronger, had a different job, made better decisions, or were better at this thing or that thing. But they are bound by their fears, doubts and insecurities to make changes. How do we have the strength of character to rise above the challenges that we face? ...This study teaches how God calls us to be involved in building our character as he is the agent that brings change into our lives. This series is a journey and exploration of the human spirit that will allow you to become the person God intended for you to be. In each of the six video sessions, Erwin provides Biblical and practical teaching that will challenge your small group to step out courageously and dynamically and activate the promises God has for them.
Session Topics: Life Without Limit, Transformation, Humble Courage, A Generous Heart, Perseverance, Path of Servanthood

The Hole in Our Gospel
by Richard Stearns, President of World Vision U.S.
This radical, eye opening, series challenges churches to involve their members in action oriented awareness and one soul searching question on poverty and injustice, "What does God expect of us?" This is a story of how a CEO faced his own struggle to obey God, whatever the cost, and his passionate call for Christians to change the world by actively living out their faith. Believing that the "good news" is more than a private transaction between God and us. The study probes and ponders the 2,000 verses in the Bible that address poverty and injustice.
Recommended additional resources and contacts can be found at Nazarene Compassionate Ministries for giving to support Child Sponsorship, South Asia Child Development Centers,Global Clean WaterUSA/Canada Youth Development,Caribbean Child Development Grants,and many other ministries. There are also thoughts on living a compassionate lifestyle.

Living Your Strengths
This study, using the Gallup Strengths Finder, by Albert L. Winseman, D. Min., Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D., and Curt Liesveld, M.Div. is about "discovering your God-given talents and inspiring your community." It addresses "a power shortage" in the church. "People aren't harnessing the power of their innate gifts." Living Your Strengths shows all members how to use their innate gifts to enrich their congregations. It teaches you to identify and affirm your talents, and how to use them for growth and service.

Chasing Cool
Insight Series book and video study by Brett Rickey
Our culture is obsessed with being "cool." We strive for the next big thing, the newest look, the most impressive accomplishment; and as a result our lives are overscheduled, overworked, and filled with debt. What is the driving force underneath much of the busyness seen in our lives today? Why have we so easily bought into the importance of being "cool"?
Chasing Cool is a thoughtful, funny, and challenging exploration into the damaging web of self-centeredness and image control. Brett Rickey exposes the attitudes and misconceptions that often cause good people to get caught up in cool by relating the timeless Bible lessons learned by the Israelites to our lives today. He helps readers identify the pursuits of their hearts so they can start chasing what really matters.

Relationships, Family, and Parenting

A Parenting Study by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott
When it comes to parenting, who you are is more important than what you do. The Parent You Want to Be shows you how to select your top four or five “intentional traits” and pass them along to your children.

Laughing Your Way to a Better Marriage
This is a twelve week video based study by Mark Gungor. It is humerus advice. Laugh and learn as you explore the underlying dynamics of male/female relationships and Mark's practical solutions to common relationship woes. Look at ways of interaction and some how to for real, positive changes in group members marriages.

A Relationship Study by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott
The first steps to improving this single most important factor in any marriage or love relationship are to identify your fear factors and determine your personal communication styles, and then learn how the two of you can best interact. In this no-nonsense book, "psychobabble" is translated into easy-to-understand language that clearly teaches you what you need to do - and not do - for speaking each other's language like you never have before.

A Relationship Study by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott
The moments you miss together are irreplaceable, gone forever. Now, just in time, relationship experts Drs. Les and Leslie help you better manage this priceless resource. They show you how to reclaim the time you've been missing and how to maximize the moments you have together. This is not a book about being more productive, but a book about being more connected.