Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Best of Books on Theology and Counseling

Kellemen’s Christian The Best Of Guide
The Best of Books on
The Theology of Biblical Counseling and Spiritual Formation

Kellemen’s Christian The Best of Guide: Making your life easier by finding, summarizing, evaluating, and posting the best resources on a wide variety of topics from a Christian perspective.

The Twenty Most Influential Books on
The Theology of Biblical Counseling and Spiritual Formation

Note: The following books focus on a theology/theory of biblical counseling and spiritual formation. They do not highlight methodology/practice. They focus on a broad theory of people, problems, and solutions, they do not highlight specific “issues” in counseling (such as depression, anxiety, etc.).

Note: For the sake of space, I have not reviewed each of these books. However, I do have a 55-page document that reviews over 125 books on Biblical Counseling and Spiritual Formation:
http://bit.ly/sYx1U. That fuller document explains that I do not endorse everything in all the books below. The books below are the ones that you want to be aware because they have shaped the various perspectives on modern biblical/Christian counseling and spiritual formation.

Bibliography

Adams, Jay E. A Theology of Christian Counseling: More Than Redemption. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986.

Anderson, Neil T., Terry Zuehlke, and Julianne S. Zuehlke. Christ-Centered Therapy: The Practical Integration of Psychology and Theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000.

Bredfeldt, Gary J. and Harry Shields. Caring for Souls: Counseling Under the Authority of Scripture. Chicago: Moody, 2001.

Clinton, Tim and George Ohlschlager, eds. Competent Christian Counseling, Volume One: Foundations and Practice of Compassionate Soul Care. Colorado Springs: Waterbrook, 2002.

Collins, Gary. Christian Counseling: A Comprehensive Guide. Revised edition. Nashville: Nelson, 1988.

Crabb, Larry. Understanding People. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1987.

Eyrich, Howard A. and William L. Hines. Curing the Heart: A Model for Biblical Counseling. Ross-shire, UK: Christian Focus Publications, 2002.

Fitzpatrick, Elyse. Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone. Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 2001.

Johnson, Eric. Foundations for Soul Care: A Christian Psychology Proposal. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2007.

Jones, Ian. The Counsel of Heaven on Earth: Foundations for Biblical Christian Counseling. Nashville: B&H, 2006.

Jones, Stanton and Eric Johnson, eds. Psychology and Christianity. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2000.

Kellemen, Robert W. Soul Physicians: A Theology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction. Revised Edition. Winona Lake, IN: BMH Books, 2007.

Lake, Frank. Clinical Theology. Lexington, KY: Emeth Press, 2006.
Lane, Tim, and Paul Tripp. How People Change. Second Edition. Greensboro, NC: New Growth Press, 2008.

MacArthur, John F., Jr. and Wayne A. Mack. Introduction to Biblical Counseling. Nashville: W Publishing Group, 1994.

McMinn, Mark. Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality in Christian Counseling. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale, 1996.
Peterson, Eugene. Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005.
Powlison, David. Seeing with New Eyes: Counseling and the Human Condition through the Lens of Scripture. Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R, 2003.

Pugh, John. Christian Formational Counseling: The Work of the Spirit in the Human Race. Mustang, OK: Tate Publishing, 2008.

Tripp, Paul David. Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change. Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R, 2002.


Important Stuff

*Your Guide: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., LCPC, is the Founder and CEO of RPM Ministries (www.rpmministries.org) through which he writes, speaks, and consults to equip God’s people to change lives with Christ’s changeless truth. He blogs daily at http://rpmministries.blogspot.com.

*My Necessary Disclaimer: Of course, I don’t endorse everything in every article, book, or link that you’ll find in Kellemen’s Christian The Best of Guide. I report, you decide.

*Your Suggestions Are Welcomed: Feel free to post comments and/or send emails (rpm.ministries@gmail.com) about resources that you think deserve attention in various categories covered in Kellemen’s Christian The Best of Guide.

Life-Changing Stories for Changing Lives


Life-Changing Stories for Changing Lives

Do you care deeply about hurting and struggling people, but you don’t always know how to care like Christ?

Do you learn best from real-life examples?

Are you convinced that women have much to teach men and women about life and ministry?

Sacred Friendships

Then you want to read Sacred Friendships: Celebrating the Legacy of Women Heroes of the Faith.

Sacred Friendships will equip you to change lives with Christ’s changeless truth.

Its riveting, real-life, page-turning stories will captivate your imagination, encourage you in your personal relationship with Christ, and empower you in your ministry to your spiritual friends.

Co-authors Bob Kellemen and Susan Ellis share captivating narratives from the lives and ministries of over 50 remarkable women spanning 2,000 years. Their powerful lives empower men and women today—speaking with relevance through timeless truths and practical principles.

A Compelling Work

Julie Clinton, President of Extraordinary Women, shares why she is so excited about Sacred Friendships.

“Dr. Bob Kellemen and Susan Ellis, in their compelling work, Sacred Friendships, provide a voice for the voiceless. Like never before, they tell ‘her story,’—the story of our great female forbears in the faith. As they tell it, and as we listen, we do not simply learn historical facts; we are empowered and equipped to practice soul care and spiritual direction today.”

A Superb Presentation

Dr. Timothy George, Dean of Beesen Divinity School and Senior Editor for Christianity Today calls Sacred Friendships a “superb presentation!”

Dr. Robert Kellemen and Susan Ellis have done a masterful job bringing together here a wonderful anthology of the stories and voices of Christian women throughout the history of the church. A superb presentation!”

Sample Chapter

To read a free sample chapter, please visit:
http://bit.ly/1S1haj and be empowered by the ministries of Margaret Baxter and Susannah Wesley.

Endorsements

To hear why others are so excited about Sacred Friendships and what they are learning from it, please visit:
http://bit.ly/6frbF.

Order Your Copy

To order your copy of Sacred Friendships at 40% off for only $12.99 please visit:
http://bit.ly/MG1l5.

Church Leaders

Sacred Friendships, with its built-in discussion and application guide, is the ideal book for small groups, Adult Sunday School, Bible studies, and Women’s Groups. If your church or para-church group would like to order ten or more copies at 50% off, please email
rpm.ministries@gmail.com for details.

Professors/Educators/Equippers

Sacred Friendships is perfect for classes on Christian biblical counseling, spiritual formation, women’s ministry, women’s studies, multicultural studies, spiritual direction, and church history.

If you would like to use Sacred Friendships as a required book in one of your classes, email
rpm.ministries@gmail.com with the name of the class and your address so you can receive a complimentary professor’s copy.

Reviewers

If you write reviews for major publications or major blog sites and you would like to review Sacred Friendships please email
rpm.ministries@gmail.com to receive a Review Kit.

Bloggers

We will be launching a Sacred Friendships Blog Tour on blogs across the country to help celebrate the legacy of women heroes of the faith. If you have a blog and would like to join the excitement (and receive a free copy of the book), please email us at
rpm.ministries@gmail.com. To learn more about the blog tour, please visit: http://bit.ly/J7Tpt.

Radio and TV Hosts

If you are involved in Christian radio and/or TV, or know of those who are, and you would like to engage your audience about women in ministry, changing lives with Christ’s changeless truth, and spiritual friendship, please email
rpm.ministries@gmail.com to receive a detailed Media Kit.

Newspaper Reporters

If you are looking for a compelling story that gives voice to the voiceless, then please contact us at
rpm.ministries@gmail.com. We have a news release for you. Additionally, both Bob Kellemen and Susan Ellis are available for interviews.

Contact

Bob Kellemen
4920 E. 107th Court
Crown Point, IN 46307
219-662-8138
rpm.ministries@gmail.com

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Imparting Healing Hope


Voices of Healing: African American Women of Faith
Part V: Elizabeth Keckley: Imparting Healing Hope


Note: Taken from Sacred Friendships: Celebrating the Legacy of Women Heroes of the Faith. For more information on this book, please visit: http://bit.ly/YmaM1

Note: For Part I on Elizabeth Keckley, please visit my blog post at:
http://bit.ly/FSNIt. For Part II, please visit: bit.ly/ENWjJ. For Part III, please visit: http://bit.ly/gI1H6. For Part IV, please visit: http://bit.ly/x9Axx

Healing Hope

Elizabeth Keckley not only understood how to offer sustaining comfort. She also recognized how to impart healing hope.

“At the grave, at least, we should be permitted to lay our burden down, that a new world, a world of brightness, may open to us. The light that is denied us here should grow into a flood of effulgence beyond the dark, mysterious shadows of death.”

Hope-Giving Spiritual Friendship

The hope-giving spiritual friendship between “Lizzy” Keckley and Mary Lincoln continued for a lifetime. The widowed Mrs. Lincoln needed it desperately. Elizabeth describes Mrs. Lincoln in these post-White House years.

“A few words as regards the disposition and habits of Mrs. Lincoln. She is no longer the sprightly body she was when her very presence illumed the White House with gayety. Now she is sad and sedate, seeking seclusion, and maintaining communication merely with her most intimate personal friends.”

Lizzy, or Lizzie, as Mary affectionately called her in letter after letter, was her most intimate of friends—a friendship continued by letters until Mrs. Lincoln passed away. Unfortunately, history records only the letters written to Elizabeth from Lincoln. But even these provide more than a glimpse into the openness of this sacred friendship, and the trust and safety that that an otherwise mistrusting Mrs. Lincoln felt because of Elizabeth’s care for her soul.

A Broken Heart

Writing on a Sunday morning, October 6, 1867, the still-grieving Mrs. Lincoln opens her heart wide to Lizzy. “My Dear Lizzie: I am writing this morning with a broken heart after a sleepless night of great mental suffering. . . . Pray for me that this cup of affliction may pass from me, or be sanctified to me. I weep whilst I am writing. I pray for death this morning. Only my darling Taddie prevents my taking my life. . . . Your friend, M. L.”[1]

One week later, Mary cries out again for Elizabeth’s friendship. “Oh! That I could see you. Write me, dear Lizzie, if only a line. . . . I am always so anxious to hear from you, I am feeling so friendless in the world. I remain always your affectionate friend. M. L.”

It is obvious that Elizabeth provided sustaining and healing soul care from the preceding lines.

Helping Others to Be Better

It is equally clear that she was Mary Lincoln’s source of reconciling and guiding spiritual direction from the following words. “Write me my dear friend, your candid opinion about everything. I wish to be made better off.”

Lincoln offers a great purpose statement for spiritual direction—helping others to be better off—spiritually, socially, mentally, emotionally.

A Friend Like No Other

The next month, on November 9 and 15, 1867, Mary expresses further appreciation for the depth of connection that she shares with Lizzy. “How hard it is that I cannot see and talk with you in this time of great, great trouble. I feel as if I had not a friend in the world save yourself. I sometimes wish myself out of this world of sorrow and care. . . .”[1]

“Your last letter has been received, and believe me, I duly appreciate your great interest in my affairs. I hope the day may arrive when I can return your kindness in more than words.”

The widow’s sadness is unrelenting. Her need for her best friend’s enduring presence is equally indefatigable. “Chicago, November 24. Why, why was not I taken when my darling husband was called from my side? I have been allowed no rest by those who, in my desolation, should have protected me. How dearly I should love to see you this very sad day.”

The End of the Story: What Is a Soul-Care Giver?

What is a soul care-giver? She is someone like Elizabeth Keckley who can be trusted to provide unremitting rest, protection, and presence in the saddest days of life on fallen planet Earth.

Note: Readers can enjoy the empowering narratives of over two-dozen African American women (and scores of African American men) narrated in Kellemen and Edwards, Beyond the Suffering. For more information, please visit:
http://bit.ly/XvsTu

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Tornado of Sorrow


Voices of Healing: African American Women of Faith
Part IV: Elizabeth Keckley: A Tornado of Sorrow


Note: Taken from Sacred Friendships: Celebrating the Legacy of Women Heroes of the Faith. For more information on this book, please visit: http://bit.ly/YmaM1

Note: For Part I on Elizabeth Keckley, please visit my blog post at:
http://bit.ly/FSNIt. For Part II, please visit: bit.ly/ENWjJ. For Part III, please visit: http://bit.ly/gI1H6

A Tornado of Sorrow

Just a few years after the death of young Willie Lincoln, at 11 o’clock at night, Elizabeth awoke to the news that Mr. Lincoln had been shot. In the confusion of the night, she finally learned that the President was dead. Her first thought was of Mrs. Lincoln.

“I wanted to go to Mrs. Lincoln, as I pictured her wild with grief; but then I did not know where to find her. . .”[1]

Mrs. Lincoln was overcome. Mrs. Secretary Wells asked Mrs. Lincoln who could comfort her. “Is there no one, Mrs. Lincoln, that you desire to have with you in this terrible affliction?”

Mrs. Lincoln responded, “Yes, send for Elizabeth Keckley. I want her just as soon as she can be brought here.”[1]

It’s Normal to Hurt

Bringing her in, Mrs. Wells excused herself and Elizabeth was left alone with Mrs. Lincoln. “She was nearly exhausted with grief, and when she became a little quiet, I asked and received permission to go into the Guests’ Room, where the body of the President lay in state.”[1]

Returning to Mrs. Lincoln’s room, Elizabeth reports, “I found her in a paroxysm of grief. Robert was bending over his mother with tender affection, and little Tad was crouched at the foot of the bed with a world of agony in his young face. I shall never forget the scene—the wails of a broken heart, the unearthly shrieks, the terrible convulsions, the wild, tempestuous outbursts of grief from the soul.”

Shared Sorrow Is Endurable Sorrow

How did Elizabeth respond? “I bathed Mrs. Lincoln’s head with cold water, and soothed the terrible tornado as best I could. Tad’s grief at his father’s death was as great as the grief of his mother, but her terrible outbursts awed the boy into silence.”

In those days, of all people, a formerly enslaved black woman was the one human being on the face of the earth who could comfort the President’s widow. And how? With her empathy. With her silence. With her physical presence. With her loving companionship.

Mrs. Lincoln’s Spiritual Friend

“Every room in the White House was darkened, and every one spoke in subdued tones, and moved about with muffled tread. The very atmosphere breathed of the great sorrow which weighed heavily upon each heart. Mrs. Lincoln never left her room. . . She denied admittance to almost every one, and I was her only companion, except her children, in the days of her great sorrow.”

Mrs. Lincoln’s testimony says it all. “Lizabeth, you are my best and kindest friend, and I love you as my best friend.”

The Rest of the Story

For the rest of the story, please return to this blog for part five . . .

Note: Readers can enjoy the empowering narratives of over two-dozen African American women (and scores of African American men) narrated in Kellemen and Edwards, Beyond the Suffering. For more information, please visit:
http://bit.ly/XvsTu

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sacred Friendships Blog Tour



Sacred Friendships Blog Tour

My co-author (Susan Ellis) and I are organizing a “blog tour” on our new book, Sacred Friendships: Celebrating the Legacy of Women Heroes of the Faith.

The Book: Life-Changing Stories for Changing Lives

Do you care deeply about hurting and struggling people, but you don’t always know how to care like Christ? Do you learn best from real-life examples? Are you convinced that women have much to teach men and women about life and ministry?

Sacred Friendships will equip you to change lives with Christ’s changeless truth. Its riveting, real-life, page-turning stories will captivate your imagination, encourage you in your personal relationship with Christ, and empower you in your ministry to your spiritual friends.

Sacred Friendships is unique. It listens to the voice of the voiceless as it narrates the amazing lives and ministries of over 50 remarkable Christian women from the halls of history. Their powerful lives empower us today—speaking with relevance through timeless truths and practical principles.

Join the Journey: Win/Win/Win

We would like to invite you and your readers to be one of the “stops” on the Sacred Friendships Blog Tour.

We want this to be a win/win/win:

*More people hear about and visit your influential blog. (PLus, you get a copy of Sacred Friendships!)

*More people become aware of the empowering message of Sacred Friendships.

*Your readers are encouraged in their Christian walk.

We will work together to create a blog post that works best for you and your blog readership. There are five basic formats you can choose from, depending upon your time and preference.

1. Your Author Q/A: If you have a standard author Q/A, then we can respond to that and you can post it on your blog on a day we mutually decide upon.

2. Our Author Q/A: If you prefer that we send you our author Q/A about the book, we can do that. Which questions we discuss and which part of the book we address would depend on which day you will post. Or, as another option, you could select which of the Q/A you use. Or, yet another option, you could comment on our Q/A. What we want to avoid is 25 blogs all posting the same Q/A on twenty-five different days!

3. A Podcast: Many bloggers prefer doing a podcast phone interview that they post on their site. If that is your preference, then let’s do it.

4. Your Review of the Entire Book: If you prefer to do a book review of Sacred Friendships that works, too. And we would want you to state honestly what your thoughts are about the book. If you want to do a review and you’d like to start reading soon, then I can send you the galley proofs as an e-document in Word format. By September 14, we’ll have hard copies that we can begin shipping to those who do online reviews. If we agree that you will be doing a review, then we’ll need your mailing address to ship you a copy.

5. Your Review of a Chapter/Section from the Book: If you prefer to select a chapter or two of Sacred Friendships and do a “mini-review”/synopsis, that would be great. We’d just need to know what chapter/sections. Again, we can send galley proofs now, and then send a hard copy after September 14. We’d need your mailing address for this.

The Timing of Our Journey: Forty Days and Forty Nights!

Our blog tour will extend over six weeks (forty days to be exact). We will begin the Sacred Friendships Blog Tour on September 21, and we’ll conclude on October 30. We’re looking for 20 to 30 blogs that are a good “fit,” some doing reviews, some doing their own Q/A, and some posting various sections of our author Q/A.

Information for Our Journey

If you email us at rpm.ministries.org, we can attached a Review Kit to introduce you to the message of Sacred Friendships.

You also can learn much more about Sacred Friendships, including access to a free sample chapter by visiting:
http://bit.ly/YmaM1

Rewarding Your Readers

Out of the twenty-to-thirty blogs, we will randomly select five readers who commented and send them a complimentary, autographed copy of Sacred Friendships.

Thanks!

Bob

PS: If you know of other bloggers who would be a good fit to “join the journey,” please connect me with them.

Soul Physicians Chapter Four Book Review


Soul Physicians: Chapter Four Review
Our Worthy Groom’s History

Note: This is a guest blog by Pastor Mark Kelly who is working his way through Soul Physicians section by section and blogging along the journey. Thanks Pastor Mark! Visit Mark’s excellent, informative blog at: http://gracedependent.com/. Posted on August 26.

Part 4 of an ongoing study of Dr. Bob Kellemen’s counseling resource: Soul Physicians: A Theology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction.

Chapter four begins a journey in which Dr. Kellemen introduces the reader to “the Creator of the Soul”. The journey takes us to the core of our thinking when we counsel. It challenges our most foundational thought processes.

Too often the counselor (biblical counselors included…myself included) become “solution-focused” counselors rather than large story counselors.

What does Dr. K mean by that? “All secular models of counseling reduce life to a set of principles and procedures designed to help counselees manage life better without God. All truly Christian models of counseling expand life to God’s eternal perspective, assisting counselees to realize they cannot live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God“ (p.59).

Kellemen proposes, and I agree, that Trinitarian theology presents the solution to our disjointed and deteriorating relationships. It does this by modeling the proper relationships for us. In order for us to totally grasp this, we must move in our counseling, not just to creation and the created purpose, but to what existed before creation. The Trinitarian relationship is what existed before creation existed.

To quote Dr. Bob, “…If we are going to learn spiritual friendship, then let’s look to the ultimate Spiritual Friend and the eternal Spiritual Friendship: the Trinity. The relationship within the Trinity models how we ought to relate. Father, Son and Holy Spirit demonstrate how love lives.”

Before God created…He related.

It begins to make sense then that as we use His word, our “relational manual”, and understand His communication to us on how relationships should exist – that we will then experience: “…engagement, enjoyment, playfulness, faith, hope, and love”. It would naturally follow that we would become “radically other-centered, totally unselfish” – just as He is. We should begin to ask in the midst of every circumstance, relationship and situation: “Where is God in all this?”

Kellemen ends each chapter with “Ministry Implications”, which I thoroughly enjoy because it puts feet to thought. Here are his implications from chapter 4:

*Expand life – Don’t settle for solution-focused counseling; be relationship-focused and character-driven, emphasizing internal and eternal issues

*Enter People – Cast off detailed “professionalism” and wade into people’s lives

*Enjoy People – Lovingly approach your fellow “image bearers” and take delight in them

*Emphasize God – Where is God is all this? Where do you see His sovereign hand? How is He conforming you into the image of His Son through what you are experiencing?

Preview Soul Physicians here:
http://bit.ly/7vaE

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Guest Blog: Mark Kelly on Soul Physicians, Part 3


Note: This is a guest blog by Pastor Mark Kelly who is working his way through Soul Physicians section by section and blogging along the journey. Thanks Pastor Mark! Visit Mark’s excellent, informative blog at: http://gracedependent.com/

Posted on August 25, 2009 by gracedependent

This is part three of an ongoing reading / studying of Dr. Robert Kellemen’s counseling resource: Soul Physicians
: A Theology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction

I’ve heard it stated this way before and was interested to see what Dr. Kellemen’s take on it would be: “God’s Word…is His love letter to you.” It is in Scripture that we find, not only that we are part of a Heroic Grand Adventure but, we are smack in the middle of a passionate romance novel. God is love – we know that; but how does that impact me on the morning that I get a pink slip at work, the doctor reveals that the dark spot on the lung indeed is cancerous, or I find myself choosing again to sin in a destructive manner? What are the things that pull at my mind and heart during these times? How can I make sense of it all? Does Scripture speak to any of that…and is God really loving if He allows all this?

Dr. K makes an incredible statement in this chapter: “For the Bible to make a difference in our lives, we need to understand the difference the Bible intends to make. The Bible is God’s love letter designed to melt our adulterous hearts.” When we truly live a life that is impacted by God’s love, we live dying to self and living for God and others. (All part of those “love” commandments that Jesus referred to). And the only way we can do that is through the grace found in Jesus Christ. We constantly make choices of “lovers” in our life: will I love Christ or will I be seduced by Satan?

As we journey through struggles and sins, Satan bombards us with fallacies, such as: “Doubt God/Trust Yourself” which leads to “Doubt God/Hate Yourself” and finally “Doubt God/Beautify Yourself”. These are expounded in this chapter – a must read.

Christ battles these fallacies and provides the ultimate “antidote” to these wrong ways of thinking through faith and hope. Faith destroys mistrust and Hope vanquishes condemnation.

It is through the pages of Scripture that we see the hope for ourselves and others as we “…understand that justification is [our] current standing before the Father, that sanctification is [our] ongoing promise by the Spirit, and that glorification is [our] future guarantee in Christ.

In the upcoming chapters (4-7) we’ll see how Dr. K describes “Knowing the Creator of the Soul: The Great Physician – the Trinity”. If you have not yet picked up a copy of Soul Physicians, please visit RPM Ministries today.

Preview here:
http://bit.ly/7vaE

Great Hearts Sorrowing



Voices of Healing:
African American Women of Faith
Part III: Elizabeth Keckley:
Great Hearts Sorrowing

Note: Taken from Sacred Friendships: Celebrating the Legacy of Women Heroes of the Faith. For more information on this book, please visit: http://bit.ly/YmaM1

Note: For Part I on Elizabeth Keckley, please visit my blog post at:
http://bit.ly/FSNIt. For Part II, please visit: bit.ly/ENWjJ.

Great Hearts Sorrowing: Permission to Grieve

Through a series of sovereign appointments, Elizabeth finds herself in the role of dressmaker for the President’s wife. More than that, she finds herself in the relationship of sacred friend to the President’s wife—Mary Todd Lincoln.

Over time, the emotional, turbulent Mary Lincoln came to love and even need “Lizabeth,” as she called her. The need exploded when Mrs. Lincoln’s son, Willie, became ill. “He was very sick,” Elizabeth reports, “and I was summoned to his bedside. It was sad to see the poor boy suffer. Always of a delicate constitution, he could not resist the strong inroads of disease.”

According to Elizabeth, “He was his mother’s favorite child, and she doted on him. It grieved her heart sorely to see him suffer.”

Willie worsened, lingering a few days, and then died. “God called the beautiful spirit home, and the house of joy was turned into the house of mourning.”

Elizabeth was there when President Lincoln arrived. “I never saw a man so bowed down with grief. He came to the bed, lifted the cover from the face of his child, gazed at it long and earnestly, murmuring, ‘My poor boy, he was too good for this earth. God has called him home. I know that he is much better off in heaven, but then we loved him so. It is hard, hard to have him die!’”

The scene continues.

“Great sobs choked his utterance. He buried his head in his hands, and his tall frame was convulsed with emotion. I stood at the foot of the bed, my eyes full of tears, looking at the man in silent, awe-stricken wonder. His grief unnerved him, and made him a weak, passive child. I did not dream that his rugged nature could be so moved. I shall never forget those solemn moments—genius and greatness weeping over love’s idol lost. There is a grandeur as well as a simplicity about the picture that will never fade.”

Mrs. Lincoln’s grief was inconsolable.

“The pale face of her dead boy threw her into convulsions. Around him love’s tendrils had been twined, and now that he was dressed for the tomb, it was like tearing the tendrils out of the heart by their roots. Willie, she often said, if spared by Providence, would be the hope and stay of her old age. But Providence had not spared him. The light faded from his eyes, and the death-dew had gathered on his brow.”
Mrs. Lincoln was so completely overwhelmed with sorrow that she did not attend her son’s funeral.

Elizabeth could empathize with a grieving mother’s broken heart.

“Previous to this I had lost my son. Leaving Wilberforce, he went to the battle-field with the three months troops, and was killed in Missouri—found his grave on the battlefield where the gallant General Lyon fell. It was a sad blow to me, and the kind womanly letter that Mrs. Lincoln wrote to me when she heard of my bereavement was full of golden words of comfort.”

Clearly, all were given permission to grieve. Speaking of President Lincoln and all the President’s men, Elizabeth describes the funeral scene.

“And there sat the man, with a burden on his brain at which the world marvels—bent now with the load at both heart and brain—staggering under a blow like the taking from him of his child! His men of power sat around him—McClellan, with a moist eye when he bowed to the prayer, as I could see from where I stood; and Chase and Seward, with their austere features at work; and senators, and ambassadors, and soldiers, all struggling with their tears—great hearts sorrowing with the President as a stricken man and a brother.”

The permission to grieve extended over time, as it should. “For two years after Willie’s death the White House was the scene of no fashionable display. The memory of the dead boy was duly respected. In some things Mrs. Lincoln was an altered woman.”

From Elizabeth’s perspective, President Lincoln grieved as one who had found Christian hope.

“Mr. Lincoln was reading that divine comforter, Job. He read with Christian eagerness, and the courage and hope that he derived from the inspired pages made him a new man.”

Here Elizabeth records a profound Presidential example of scriptural exploration bringing hope to the hurting. In her words, “What a sublime picture was this! A ruler of a mighty nation going to the pages of the Bible with simple Christian earnestness for comfort and courage, and finding both in the darkest hours of a nation’s calamity. Ponder it, O ye scoffers at God’s Holy Word, and then hang your heads for very shame!”

The Rest of the Story

For the rest of the story, please return to this blog for part four . . .

Note: Readers can enjoy the empowering narratives of over two-dozen African American women (and scores of African American men) narrated in Kellemen and Edwards, Beyond the Suffering. For more information, please visit:
http://bit.ly/XvsTu

Monday, August 24, 2009

Elizabeth Keckley: Part II




Voices of Healing:
African American Women of Faith

Part II: Elizabeth Keckley:
All Silver in Heaven

Note:
Taken from Sacred Friendships: Celebrating the Legacy of Women Heroes of the Faith. For more information on this stirring book, please visit:
http://bit.ly/YmaM1

Note: For Part I on Elizabeth Keckley, please visit my blog post at:
http://bit.ly/FSNIt

All Silver in Heaven: Acquainted with Grief

Like her Savior, Elizabeth Keckley was a person of sorrow acquainted with grief, and thus able to bring sustaining and healing spiritual care to Mrs. Lincoln. Though enslaved, her first few years were at least spent in the love of her intact family. However, soon her father was sold to another slaver and the golden dream faded all too soon.

As Elizabeth poignantly recalls it:

“The announcement fell upon the little circle in that rude log cabin like a thunderbolt. I can remember the scene as if it were but yesterday;—how my father cried out against the cruel separation; his last kiss; his wild straining of my mother to his bosom; the solemn prayer to Heaven; the tears and sobs—the fearful anguish of broken hearts. The last kiss, the last goodbye; and he, my father, was gone, gone forever."

Elizabeth’s earthly despair was all-encompasing; her longing for heaven all-embracing.

“The shadow eclipsed the sunshine, and love brought despair. The parting was eternal. The cloud had no silver lining, but I trust that it will be all silver in heaven.”

As was typically the case in slavery, Elizabeth’s family was not given permission to grieve or the opportunity to hope.

“Deep as was the distress of my mother in parting with my father, her sorrow did not screen her from insult. My old mistress said to her: ‘Stop your nonsense; there is no necessity for you putting on airs. Your husband is not the only slave that has been sold from his family, and you are not the only one that has had to part.”

To these unfeeling words, Elizabeth’s mother made no reply. “She turned away in stoical silence, with a curl of that loathing scorn upon her lips which swelled in her heart. My father and my mother never met again in this world.”

When she was fourteen, Elizabeth went to live with her master’s oldest son, a Presbyterian minister, married to “a helpless wife, a girl that he had married in the humble walks of life. She was morbidly sensitive. . .” At eighteen, a Mr. Bingham, a village schoolmaster and member of her master’s church, said he would whip her naked. She refused. He subdued her. Tied her. Stripped her dress. Whipped her.

“I could not sleep, for I was suffering mental as well as bodily torture. My spirit rebelled against the unjustness that had been inflicted upon me, and though I tried to smother my anger and to forgive those who had been so cruel to me, it was impossible.”

He again tried to conquer her, striking her with savage blows. “As I stood bleeding before him, nearly exhausted with his efforts, he burst into tears, and declared that it would be a sin to beat me any more. My suffering at last subdued his hard heart; he asked my forgiveness, and afterwards was an altered man.”

In her future ministry in the White House, Elizabeth would need her indomitable spirit in the face of unspeakable suffering.

The Rest of the Story

For the rest of the story, please return to this blog for part three . . .

Note: Readers can enjoy the empowering narratives of over two-dozen African American women (and scores of African American men) narrated in Kellemen and Edwards, Beyond the Suffering. For more information, please visit:
http://bit.ly/XvsTu

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Best of Books on Women in Church History



Kellemen’s Christian The Best Of Guide
The Best of Books on Women in Church History


*Kellemen’s Christian The Best of Guide
: Making your life easier by finding, summarizing, evaluating, and posting the best resources on a wide variety of topics from a Christian perspective.

Giving Voice to the Voiceless!


When we think of church history, unfortunately, it is often “the history of a bunch of dead white guys!” We talk about the “church fathers,” but we omit the “church mothers”—many of whom discipled the church fathers! It is well past time to give “voice to the voiceless.”

Having studied the legacy of women heroes of the faith in my book, Sacred Friendships (
http://bit.ly/YmaM1), I’ve collated a lengthy bibliography of relevant books. But what I’m posting below is just the tip of the iceberg—the best of the best. If you want to hear the voices of godly Christian women, the following books give the big picture. They survey either all of church history, or large segments of church history. Enjoy!

The Best of Books on Women in Church History


Bainton, Roland. Women of the Reformation in France and England. Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1973.

Bainton, Roland. Women of the Reformation in Germany and Italy. Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1971.

Bainton, Roland. Women of the Reformation from Spain to Scandinavia. Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1977.

Chittister, Joan. The Friendship of Women: A Spiritual Tradition. Franklin, WI: Sheed and Ward, 2000.

Clark, Elizabeth. Women in the Early Church. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1990.

Clark, Elizabeth, and Herbert Richardson, eds. Women and Religion: The Original Sourcebook of Women in Christian Thought. Revised and expanded edition. San Francisco: Harper, 1996.

Forbes, Cheryl. Women of Devotion through the Centuries. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2001.

Grant, Myrna. Sacred Legacy: Ancient Writings from Nine Women of Strength and Honor. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003.

Gryson, Roger. The Ministry of Women in the Early Church. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1976.

Kellemen, Robert, and Karole Edwards. Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2007.

Kellemen, Robert, and Susan Ellis. Sacred Friendships: Celebrating the Legacy of Women Heroes of the Faith. Winona Lake, IN: BMH Books, 2009.

Kraemer, Ross, ed. Maenads, Martyrs, Matrons, Monastics: A Sourcebook on Women’s Religions in the Greco-Roman World. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988.

MacHaffie, Barbara. Her Story: Women in Christian Tradition. Second edition. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 2006.

Oden, Amy, ed. In Her Words: Women’s Writings in the History of Christian Thought. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994.

Peterson, William. 25 Surprising Marriages: Faith-Building Stories from the Lives of Famous Christians. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1997.

Ranft, Patricia. A Woman’s Way: The Forgotten History of Women Spiritual Directors. New York: Palgrave, 2000.

Sawyer, Deborah. Women and Religion in the First Christian Centuries. London: Routledge, 1996.

Stewart, Dorothy, ed. Women of Prayer: An Anthology of Everyday Prayers from Women around the World. Chicago: Loyola Press, 1999.


Swan, Laura. The Forgotten Desert Mothers: Sayings, Lives, and Stories of Early Christian Women. New York: Paulist Press, 2001.

Thiebauz, Marcelle. The Writings of Medieval Women: An Anthology. Second edition. New York: Garland Publishing, 1994.

Tucker, Ruth. Private Lives of Pastor’s Wives. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988.

Tucker, Ruth, and Walter Liefeld. Daughters of the Church: Women and Ministry from New Testament Times to the Present. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1987.

Wilson, Katherine, ed. Medieval Women Writers. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1984.

Wilson, Katherine, ed. Women Writers of the Renaissance and Reformation. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1987.

Wilson-Kastner, Patricia, Ronald Kastner, Ann Millin, Rosemary Rader, and Jeremiah Reedy, eds. A Lost Tradition: Women Writers of the Early Church. Washington, DC: University Press of America, 1981.



Important Stuff

*Your Guide: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., LCPC, is the Founder and CEO of RPM Ministries (http://www.rpmministries.org/) through which he writes, speaks, and consults to equip God’s people to change lives with Christ’s changeless truth. He blogs daily at http://rpmministries.blogspot.com/.

*My Necessary Disclaimer: Of course, I don’t endorse everything in every article, book, or link that you’ll find in Kellemen’s Christian The Best of Guide. I report, you decide.

*Your Suggestions Are Welcomed: Feel free to post comments and/or send emails (rpm.ministries@gmail.com) about resources that you think deserve attention in various categories covered in Kellemen’s Christian The Best of Guide.



African American Women of Faith




Voices of Healing:
African American Women of Faith

Part I: Elizabeth Keckley:
A Voice of Hope

Note:
Taken from Sacred Friendships: Celebrating the Legacy of Women Heroes of the Faith. For more information on this stirring book, please visit:
http://bit.ly/YmaM1

African American Sisters of the Spirit

African American sisters of the spirit like Elizabeth Keckley, who ministered to the grieving Mrs. Lincoln, and Octavia Albert, who ministered to the soul-wounds of ex-enslaved African Americans, vividly demonstrate how to move beyond suffering to healing hope. Their courageous, hope-based spiritual care is a small sampler, an appetizer, if you will, of a great breadth of wisdom for soul care and spiritual direction contained in the history of women in the African American Church.

While space allows just this sampler, history is filled with powerful and empowering examples of African American feminine sustaining, healing, reconciling, and guiding.
[i] Though some have tried to silence their voices, their speaking of God’s truth in love with hope can still be heard by those with ears to hear and hearts to learn.

Elizabeth Keckley: A Voice of Hope

Picture the scene. It’s Civil War America. Women have no right to vote. Across the South, blacks have no rights whatsoever. President Lincoln is assassinated. His widow, Mary Lincoln, is devastated. To whom does she turn?

To a black woman. To Elizabeth Keckley.

In the story of her life Behind the Scenes, or Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House, Elizabeth (1818-1907) explains, “. . . I have been intimately associated with that lady [Mrs. Lincoln] in the most eventful periods of her life. I have been her confidante . . . I have written with the utmost frankness in regard to her—have exposed her faults as well as given her credit for honest motives.”
[ii]

Given the inauspicious beginnings of Elizabeth’s life story, her spiritual friendship with Mary Lincoln is staggering. “My life has been an eventful one. I was born a slave—was the child of slave parents—therefore I came upon the earth free in God-like thought, but fettered in action.”
[iii]

How did a black woman of that cultural era become confidante to the slain President’s wife? Elizabeth expresses her understanding with Christian humility. “God rules the universe. I was a feeble instrument in His hands. . .”
[iv]

The Rest of the Story

For the rest of the story, please return to this blog for part two . . .

[i]Readers can enjoy the empowering narratives of over two-dozen African American women (and scores of African American men) narrated in Kellemen and Edwards, Beyond the Suffering. For more information, please visit: http://bit.ly/XvsTu

[ii]Keckley, Behind the Scenes, xiv, xv.

[iii]Ibid., 17.

[iv]Ibid., xii.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mark Kelly Reviews Soul Physicians


Mark Kelly Reviews Soul Physicians: Chapter One

Mark Kelly blogs at Grace Dependent at: http://gracedependent.com/

He has started a series of post going through each chapter of Soul Physicians.

You can find his first post here: http://bit.ly/rqA3a which I have copied below.

Soul Physicians: A Theology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction (pt.1)
Posted on August 20, 2009 by gracedependent


I received recently a wonderful package that I would encourage any pastor, counselor or lay leader to invest in.

Dr. Robert Kellemen has four books that I think will be key in anyone’s counseling ministry: Soul Physicians, Spiritual Friends, Beyond the Suffering and Sacred Friendships.

I am just now reading Soul Physicians and would like to blog my notes or items of interest from each chapter. Below you will find points of interest from chapter 1. (they may appear quite random apart from the context in which they are found)

Chapter One: The Soul Physician’s Desk Reference Manual:

*God’s Word is the “Soul Physician’s Desk Reference Manual”. We use it to “nourish hungry souls”. In it God tells His story, describing life as a war and a wedding:

*Life is a war in that God has called us to die daily.

*Life is a wedding in that Christ has called us to love intimately.

*As “soul physicians”, we must master 3 “core counselor competencies” in using the Bible:

*Trialogues – the counselor, counselee and the Holy Spirit interact via God’s Word

*Spiritual Conversations – the counselor and counselee explore how biblical principles relate to daily life

*Scriptural Explorations – the counselor and counselee explore the relevance and application of specific passages

*The quote below impacted me in a great way:

“At times we mistakenly counsel Christians as if they were non-Christians. We view our clients or parishoners only through the lens of depravity. This is like a heart surgeon transplanting a perfectly healthy heart into her patient, but then treating the patient as if he still has the old heart in his chest. We are new creations with a new nature: regeneration and redemption. God has implanted a new heart into the core of our being with new power to live godly lives. We have a new nuture: reconciliation and justification. Christ provides a new relationship of complete acceptance with God and freedom from condemnation. We are cleansed and forgiven.” (p.21)

*Every non-biological problem is a grace-deficiency problem.

Interesting thought there!

*Soul Care: The evils we have suffered

Sustaining: “It’s normal to hurt”
Healing: “It’s possible to hope”

*Spiritual Direction: The sins we have committed

Reconciling: “It’s horrible to sin, but wonderful to be forgiven”
Guiding: “It’s supernatural to Mature”

*Load the conscience with guilt and lighten the conscience with grace.

Something to remember when counseling – especially self-counsel.

There were a great number of things to take note of while reading just this first chapter. I urge Biblical Counselors everywhere to invest in these resources.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Enjoy Life Changing Seminars

Enjoy Life Changing Seminars

I know you are committed to being fully equipped to minister to God’s people for God’s glory.

I also realize that sometimes it is difficult to find a seminar that doesn’t feel like a waste of time, impractical, unbiblical, too academic, boring, or irrelevant.

That’s why I want to introduce you to five seminars that all share the same passion: to provide Christ-centered, comprehensive, compassionate, and culturally-informed ministry equipping so you can change lives with Christ’s changeless truth.

Each of these seminars has been field-tested in churches, para-church organizations, and college and graduate school campuses. They are biblical, practical, user-friendly, and interesting.

You will enjoy engaging biblical teaching, creative PowerPoint presentations, stirring vignettes, life-changing interaction, moving personal applications, and relevant ministry implications.

After reading the following summaries, please contact us to discuss attending or hosting an RPM Ministries Equipping Seminar: rpm.ministries@gmail.com or 219-662-8138.

Changing Lives Seminar:
How to Care Like Christ


Do you minister to people's personal needs and care deeply, but desire further equipping? Do you want to be empowered to use the Bible and Christian living principles more wisely, effectively, powerfully, and lovingly? Then attend a Changing Lives Seminar: How to Care Like Christ.

Attend If You Want to Be Empowered and Equipped to:

*Understand people biblically: Discover how God designed us to live, love, and relate.
*Diagnose problems scripturally: Uncover what went wrong--why do we do the things we do?
*Prescribe God's solutions (soul-u-tions) effectively--apply Christ's answers for our daily life issues.
*Weep with those who weep: Offer sustaining care for discouraged people--empathize with people.
*Give hope to the hurting: Offer healing comfort for suffering people--encourage people as you relate God's truth to their daily lives.
*Be a dispenser of grace: Offer reconciling care-fronting for sinning people--enlighten people as you speak the truth in love.
*Disciple, coach, and mentor: Offer guiding counsel for growing people--empower people to tap into Christ's resurrection power.

For a fuller summary of this seminar, please visit: http://bit.ly/o7TxX

God’s Healing for Life’s Losses Seminar:
How to Find Hope When You’re Hurting


Have you experienced a loss and do you long to find God’s hope in your grief? Do you desire to minister God’s healing to your grieving friends? Then discover God’s healing for life’s losses.

God’s Healing for Life’s Losses equips you to apply eight scriptural stages in your response to life’s losses—helping you to find hope when you’re hurting. It also empowers you to minister healing hope to others so that they can face suffering face-to-face with God.

Attend If You Want to Be Empowered and Equipped to:

*Experience personal healing and biblical hope.
*Encounter God in the midst of your suffering.
*Empathize with hurting people more compassionately.
*Encourage suffering people more competently.
*Empower your congregation to become a “hospital for the hurting.”

For a fuller summary of this seminar, please visit: http://bit.ly/uvRog

Sacred Friendships Seminar:
Celebrating the Legacy of Women Heroes of the Faith

*Co-Presented by Bob Kellemen and Susan Ellis

Do you long to learn from godly women of the faith how to be a powerful spiritual friend? Far too often we build our models of ministry by ignoring half of the Christian world—women. Sacred Friendships gives voice to the voiceless by celebrating the legacy of Christian women, and by helping all Christians—men and women—to learn from their examples how to be powerful spiritual friends.

At the Seminar, Men and Women Will:

*Be empowered by the heroic sisters of the Spirit to be powerful spiritual friends.
*Be enriched by past wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters concerning how to nurture and enjoy godly living in the home.
*Be enlightened to apply proven ways to help people find healing hope in the midst of deep pain.
*Be enabled to minister more effectively in cross-cultural settings by uncovering the buried treasure of wisdom contained in the legacy of women soul care-givers and spiritual directors.
*Be encouraged to skillfully practice the historic soul care and spiritual direction arts of sustaining, healing, reconciling, and guiding.
*Be equipped to build healing communities where Christians find courage and comfort in God and each other.

For a fuller summary of this seminar, please visit: http://bit.ly/XSAKB

Heroes of the Black Church Seminar:
Celebrating the Legacy of African American Christianity


Do you long to learn from African American heroes of the faith how God uses suffering to move His people to a place of healing hope? Dr. Kellemen equips Christians of all races to be empowered by the Heroes of the Black Church to minister God’s healing hope to one another.

At the Seminar, Christians of All Races Will:

*Be empowered by the founding fathers of the African American church about how to be a godly male leader.
*Be equipped by the heroic sisters of the spirit of the African American church to be a powerful female spiritual friend.
*Be enriched by past African American husbands, wives, fathers, and mothers concerning how to nurture and enjoy godly living in the home.
*Be enlightened to apply proven ways to help people find healing hope in the midst of deep pain by identifying with past African American believers.
*Be enabled to minister more effectively in cross-cultural settings by uncovering the buried treasure of wisdom contained in the legacy of African American soul care and spiritual direction.
*Be encouraged to skillfully practice the historic soul care arts of sustaining, healing, reconciling, and guiding.
*Be enthused to build healing communities where Christians find courage and comfort in God and each other.

For a fuller summary of this seminar, please visit: http://bit.ly/10a08K

Cultivating Christlike Intercultural Relational Competency Seminar:
A Christ-Centered TEAM Approach

Do you long to relate and minister effectively in our culturally diverse society? Cultivating Christlike Intercultural Relational Competency will equip you to develop four core biblical intercultural relational skills. Be empowered to relate like Christ.

Attend If You Want to Be Empowered and Equipped to Implement the TEAM Intercultural Relational Competencies of:

*T: Taking another person’s earthly perspective through empathy and culturally-informed listening.
*E: Engaging in bridge-building spiritual conversations through focusing on God’s eternal perspective.
*A: Abolishing barriers through forgiveness and reconciliation.
*M: Making intercultural peace through spiritual renewal.

For a fuller summary of this seminar, please visit: http://bit.ly/ZETIN

All Seminars Are Presented or Co-Presented
by Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., LCPC

Bob is a nationally-known speaker, author, consultant, educator, pastor, and counselor. He’s the author of Beyond the Suffering, Soul Physicians, Spiritual Friends, Sacred Friendships, and God’s Healing for Life’s Losses. He has equipped thousands of lay people, pastors, and counselors as Chairman of the Master of Arts in Christian Counseling and Discipleship Department (Capital Bible Seminary), as Director of the Biblical Counseling and Spiritual Formation Network, and as Founder/CEO of RPM Ministries.

Be Equipped to Change Lives


Be Equipped to Change Lives: How to Care Like Christ

I know you are committed to changing lives. I know you care deeply for people and want to care like Christ.

I also realize that sometimes it is difficult to find relevant resources that equip you to change lives with Christ’s changeless truth.

That’s why I want to introduce you to five books that all share the same passion: to provide Christ-centered, comprehensive, compassionate, and culturally-informed ministry equipping to empower you to care like Christ.

Soul Physicians: A Theology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction


Soul Physicians equips you to understand people, diagnose problems, and prescribe solutions—biblically! It empowers you to apply God’s Word to your own life so you grow in grace. It’s a comprehensive training manual for one another ministry and for growth in Christlikeness.

Its two built-in discussion guides—one for personal application and one for ministry implications—make Soul Physicians perfect for individual and group work.

Join the growing number of lay people, pastors, professional Christian counselors, and students who are using Soul Physicians as their twenty-first century manual for understanding people and ministering to them God’s way. Change lives with Christ’s changeless truth.

*To read a boatload of testimonies about the power of Soul Physicians, please visit:
http://bit.ly/1SszRo

*To read a sample chapter of Soul Physicians, please visit:
http://bit.ly/3yNUGf

*To order your copy of Soul Physicians at 40% off, please visit:
http://bit.ly/3WsKoX

Spiritual Friends: A Methodology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction


Spiritual Friends equips you to relate Christ’s truth to human relationships—yours and others. It’s a biblically-relevant training manual and a relational practical workbook with thousands of illustrative interactions and hundreds of skill-building exercises.

Its built-in discussion guide—with role-plays, vignettes, life applications, and ministry implications—makes Spiritual Friends perfect for individual and group work.

Join the growing number of church small groups, church lay counseling training ministries, pastors, professional Christian counselors, and students who are using Spiritual Friends as their twenty-first century manual for people helping. Care like Christ.

*To read a boatload of testimonies about the power of Spiritual Friends, please visit:
http://bit.ly/LvKul

*To read a sample chapter of Spiritual Friends, please visit:
http://bit.ly/17vtyd

*To order your copy of Spiritual Friends at 40% off, please visit:
http://bit.ly/JiOR5

Beyond the Suffering:
Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction


Do you long to learn from African American heroes of the faith how God uses suffering to move His people to a place of healing hope? Beyond the Suffering equips Christians of all races to be empowered by the heroes of Black Church to minister God’s healing hope to one another.

Its built-in discussion guide makes Beyond the Suffering ideal for celebrating the legacy of African American Christianity. Its amazing narratives are a gift to African Americans—validating their tremendous contribution to Christianity. Its powerful vignettes are a gift from African Americans—teaching all of us how to be powerful spiritual friends.

Join the growing number of individuals of all races, of churches of all races, of church small groups and Sunday School classes, of college and graduate school campuses, and of para-church groups using Beyond the Suffering as their twenty-first century manual for culturally-informed people helping. Build bridges of spiritual reconciliation.

*To read a boatload of testimonies, to read the Foreword by Dr. Tony Evans, to view the PowerPoint overview, and much more about Beyond the Suffering, please visit:
http://bit.ly/XvsTu

*To read a sample chapter of Beyond the Suffering, please visit:
http://bit.ly/MgQrB

*To order your copy of Beyond the Suffering at 40% off for just $9.99, please visit:
http://bit.ly/WarAa

Sacred Friendships:
Celebrating the Legacy of Women Heroes of the Faith


Do you long to learn from godly women of the faith how to be a powerful spiritual friend? Sacred Friendships equips men and women to be Christlike mentors, coaches, ministers, and people helpers.

Its built-in discussion guide makes Sacred Friendships ideal for celebrating the legacy of women heroes of the faith. Its amazing narratives are a gift to women—giving voice to the voiceless. Its powerful vignettes are a gift from women—teaching men and women how to sustain, heal, reconcile, and guide one another for Christ’s glory.

Join the growing number of men and women, churches, Sunday School classes, church small groups, college and graduate school campuses, and para-church groups using Sacred Friendships as their twenty-first century manual for compassionate people helping. Learn from the great cloud of female Christian witnesses.

*To read a boatload of testimonies about the power of Sacred Friendships, please visit:
http://bit.ly/6frbF

*To read a sample chapter of Sacred Friendships, please visit:
http://bit.ly/1S1haj

*To order your copy of Sacred Friendships at 40% off, please visit:
http://bit.ly/MG1l5

God’s Healing for Life’s Losses:
How to Find Hope When You’re Hurting


Have you experienced a loss and do you long to find God’s hope in your grief? Do you desire to minister God’s healing to your grieving friends? Then discover God’s healing for life’s losses.

God’s Healing for Life’s Losses equips you to apply eight scriptural stages in your response to life’s losses—helping you to find hope when you’re hurting. It also empowers you to minister healing hope to others so that they can face suffering face-to-face with God.

Its two built-in grief guides—one for your grief journal and one for your grief journey—make God’s Healing for Life’s Losses perfect for individual and group grief work.

Join the growing number of lay people, pastors, professional Christian counselors, recovery groups, grief groups, church small groups, Sunday School classes, and college and graduate school students using God’s Healing for Life’s Losses as their twenty-first century manual for Christian grief recovery. Find hope when you’re hurting.

*To read Pastor Steve Viars’ Foreword to God’s Healing for Life’s Losses, please visit:
http://bit.ly/155J4r

*God’s Healing for Life’s Losses will be released in 2010. A sample chapter will be posted at that time at
www.rpmministries.org

*When God’s Healing for Life’s Losses is released, you will be able to order it online at sale pricing at:
www.rpmministries.org

Stimulate Your Soul with the RPM Stimulus Package


We have “bundled” our first four books in three combinations to offer you additional savings and additional resources.

The Biblical Counselor’s Library


Together, Soul Physicians and Spiritual Friends offer a unique Christ-centered, comprehensive, compassionate, and culturally-informed approach to biblical counseling and spiritual formation.

Purchase Soul Physicians and Spiritual Friends together, and save more—45% off. To order them together, please visit:
http://bit.ly/3WsKoX

The Voice for the Voiceless Library


Together, Beyond the Suffering and Sacred Friendships offer a rarely heard multi-cultural and feminine perspective on one another ministry.

Purchase Beyond the Suffering and Sacred Friendships together, and save more—45% off. To order them together, please visit:
http://bit.ly/MG1l5

The Soul Care and Spiritual Direction Library


Together, Soul Physicians, Spiritual Friends, Beyond the Suffering, and Sacred Friendships provide a Christ-centered, comprehensive, compassionate, and culturally-informed theology, methodology, and history of soul care and spiritual direction.

Purchase Soul Physicians, Spiritual Friends, Beyond the Suffering, and Sacred Friendships together, and save more—45% off. To order all four books together, please visit:
http://bit.ly/JiOR5


God's Healing for Life's Losses


God’s Healing for Life’s Losses: How to Find Hope When You’re Hurting
By Robert W. Kellemen, Ph.D., LCPC

Foreword by
Pastor Steve Viars, D.Min.


*Note: God's Healing for Life's Losses will be released by BMH Books in 2010. The following is Dr. Steve Viars' Foreword to the book.

Can anyone avoid suffering?

I have had the privilege of serving as a pastor of the same congregation for over twenty years. On the one hand God has graciously given numerous opportunities to share in the joys and blessings of my parishioners and friends. There have been many births, weddings, spiritual victories, and occasions for laughter and love. Countless days have been filled with far more sweetness than I would have ever imagined.

But the parallel truth is that I have seen first-hand how often men and women suffer. Job losses. Shocking diagnoses. Children gone astray. Abuse. And the caskets…oh too many caskets. I knew the Bible predicted this would occur, but it is different when it happens to members of your church family, your own family, your friends, and to you.

Of course, you know that as well. I have never met a person who has not suffered in some way. That explains why Jesus’ family is instructed to “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). Life this side of heaven is anything but trouble-free.

That is why I am so glad Dr. Bob Kellemen wrote God’s Healing for Life’s Losses. You cannot choose whether you will face suffering or not, but you can decide where you will turn for help. Here are three reasons why I heartily and joyfully encourage you to carefully read what Bob has written.

It courageously faces the hard questions. You are probably fed up with pat answers and pious platitudes. Plastic smiles do not work, not when you are suffering. Bob writes with the seasoned wisdom of a winsome counselor who has spent many hours compassionately listening to people whose hearts are breaking.

It skillfully takes you to God’s Word. Listening is wonderful and powerful, but it is seldom enough. Bob is a careful student of the Bible. He believes that the living God has direction and answers for every hurting person who will humbly come to Him (Matthew 11:29). I went to college and seminary with Bob—I know that he is a diligent and accomplished student and scholar. Yet this book does not read like a distant theological treatise. It is more like a wise conversation with a mature spiritual friend.

It passionately points you to the Savior. The Bible is less like an encyclopedia and more like a novel. Bob’s goal is not to give us a few verses that we simply memorize and recite when times get rough. He is inviting us to use suffering as an opportunity to grow more in love with the One who suffered supremely for us. That is why there is hope for life’s losses.

I look forward to the day this project goes from the manuscript I currently have in my hand to a book I can read and give to others. My church family needs it. My counselees need it. I need it. And, if you’re suffering a loss or helping someone who is grieving, then you need it.

One more thing. Bob and I grew up a few miles from one another in Gary, IN. I have known him since we were boys running around the neighborhood. I can say this without reservation—Bob is the real thing. He cares deeply about people who are suffering. That is one of his God-given passions. Let this book be a gift to you, from a dear and trusted friend.

Dr. Steve Viars,
Sr. Pastor, Faith Baptist Church, Lafayette, Indiana