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Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world - often described as a kind of heaven on earth. But for the majority of its inhabitants it is hell.
Ghettoes are everywhere, and for those living in Manenberg - a coloured township on the Cape Flats, purpose-built by the apartheid government as part of its forced removal plan - life is just as marginal today as it was during apartheid. The main differences now are the rampant drug use and widespread gang presence. No Neutral Ground is the gripping account of Pete Portal's move from London in the U.K. to Manenberg, of addicts and gangsters meeting Jesus and being transformed, and how he went from living with a heroin addict to helping establish a church community - and all the heartbreak and failure along the way.
This is a story of mighty works of God, as well as relapse, hopelessness and despair; the miraculous and the mundane, heaven and hell, all balanced on a knife edge. Offering searing insight and an inspiring vision of faith, Pete asks why anyone would choose this way of life, if giving up our lives for others is worth it - and what the church could become if we were willing to risk it all to reach the forgotten and the lost.
In our increasingly secular world, holy texts are at best seen as irrelevant, and at worst as an excuse to incite violence, hatred and division. So what value, if any, can scripture hold for us today? And if our world no longer seems compatible with scripture, is it perhaps because its original purpose has become lost? Today we see the Quran being used by some to justify war and terrorism, the Torah to deny Palestinians the right to live in the Land of Israel, and the Bible to condemn homosexuality and contraception. The holy texts at the centre of all religious traditions are often employed selectively to underwrite arbitrary and subjective views. They are believed to be divinely ordained; they are claimed to contain eternal truths. But as Karen Armstrong, a world authority on religious affairs, shows in this fascinating journey through millennia of history, this narrow reading of scripture is a relatively recent phenomenon. For hundreds of years these texts were instead viewed as spiritual tools: scripture was a means for the individual to connect with the divine, to transcend their physical existence, and to experience a higher level of consciousness. Holy texts were seen as fluid and adaptable, rather than a set of binding archaic rules or a `truth' that has to be `believed'. Armstrong argues that only by rediscovering an open engagement with their holy texts will the world's religions be able to curtail arrogance, intolerance and violence. And if scripture is used to engage with the world in more meaningful and compassionate ways, we will find that it still has a great deal to teach us.
We live in a world that seems to be on the verge of coming apart. Shootings. Killer viruses. The threat of nuclear war. All of it is just too real.
Why does the apocalypse craze in movies and video games appeal to so many people so strongly? One answer is it shows us the primal foundations of our existence. In the same way, what’s happening in our world today is moving Christians to return to the foundations of our spiritual existence. Believers everywhere must get back to what matters most. We must always remember that our battle, at its most basic level, is spiritual.
So, what are the spiritual tools―the essentials―that Scripture tells us we must remember and use as the end draws near?
In The End Times Survival Guide, you will discover ten spiritual tools the Bible relates directly to our preparation for the Lord’s coming―ten biblical survival strategies to live out in these last days so you and your family can prosper in an increasingly decaying, darkening world. These strategies won’t guarantee your physical or financial well-being, but they are guaranteed to bring life and vitality to your spiritual health and welfare as you cling to the immovable rock of God’s Word.
When life is whittled down to its essence, the real issue is our spiritual condition before God. Discover how you can protect yourself and your family spiritually in these dark days.
“I want to believe, I want to have hope, but…” Pastor and bestselling author Craig Groeschel hears these words often and has asked them himself. We want to know God, feel his presence, and trust that he hears our prayers, but in the midst of great pain, we may wonder if he really cares about us. Even when we have both hope and hurt, sometimes it's the hurt that shouts the loudest. Can God be good when life is not
In Hope in the Dark, Groeschel explores the story of the father who brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus, saying, “I believe! Help my unbelief!” In the man's sincere plea, Jesus heard the tension in the man's battle-scarred heart. He healed not only the boy but the father too, driving out the hopelessness that had overtaken him. He can do the same for us today.
As Groeschel shares his pain surrounding the current health challenges of his daughter, he acknowledges the questions we may ask in our own deepest pain: “Where was God when I was being abused” “Why was my child born with a disability” “Why did the cancer come back” “Why are all my friends married and I'm alone” He invites us to wrestle with such questions as we ask God to honor our faith and heal our unbelief.
In the middle of your profound pain, you long for authentic words of understanding and hope. You long to know that even in overwhelming reality, you can still believe that God is good. Rediscover a faith in the character, power, and presence of God. Even in the questions. Even now.
From one of America's most brilliant writers, a New York Times bestselling journey through psychology, philosophy, and lots of meditation to show how Buddhism holds the key to moral clarity and enduring happiness. At the heart of Buddhism is a simple claim: The reason we suffer-and the reason we make other people suffer-is that we don't see the world clearly. At the heart of Buddhist meditative practice is a radical promise: We can learn to see the world, including ourselves, more clearly and so gain a deep and morally valid happiness. In this "sublime" (The New Yorker), pathbreaking book, Robert Wright shows how taking this promise seriously can change your life-how it can loosen the grip of anxiety, regret, and hatred, and how it can deepen your appreciation of beauty and of other people. He also shows why this transformation works, drawing on the latest in neuroscience and psychology, and armed with an acute understanding of human evolution. This book is the culmination of a personal journey that began with Wright's landmark book on evolutionary psychology, The Moral Animal, and deepened as he immersed himself in meditative practice and conversed with some of the world's most skilled meditators. The result is a story that is "provocative, informative and...deeply rewarding" (The New York Times Book Review), and as entertaining as it is illuminating. Written with the wit, clarity, and grace for which Wright is famous, Why Buddhism Is True lays the foundation for a spiritual life in a secular age and shows how, in a time of technological distraction and social division, we can save ourselves from ourselves, both as individuals and as a species.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama describes how to bring wisdom and compassion into our busy, stressful everyday lives.A beautiful selection of words from His Holiness that will help you to face difficult emotions such as anger in yourself and in others with genuine acceptance and understanding.The only little gift book based on the words of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, this book should have tremendous appeal especially during the holiday season.
Born in Balkh (present-day Afghanistan), Jelaluddin Rumi (1207-1273) is one of the greatest Persian mystics and poets the world has known. His message of love speaks directly to the heart and transcends the limitations of language and the boundaries of time.
In the vast depths of Rumi's work the short quatrains, the Rubaiyat, are like crystals. They sparkle with the many hues of the rainbow and contain worlds inside. As we hold them iin our hands they capture us with their mystery. Transparent and clear they open doors into the wonder of inner spaces and longing. Whispers of two lovers in a crowd.
Ralph Martin, drawing upon the teaching of seven acknowledged ?Spiritual Doctors? of the Church, presents an in-depth study of the journey to God. This book provides encouragement and direction for the pilgrim who desires to know, love, and serve our Lord. Whether the reader is beginning the spiritual journey or has been traveling the road for many years, he will find a treasure of wisdom in The Fulfillment of All Desire. It is destined to be a modern classic on the spiritual life.
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