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Sacred Friendships - Celebrating the Legacy of Women Heroes of the Faith
B M H Books / 2009 / Paperback
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Christian women from all races and nationalities have always helped hurting and hardened people through personal ministries of sustaining, healing, reconciling, and guiding. This book unearths the great spiritual riches of this diverse feminine Christian tradition. It enlightens readers to the often neglected legacy of Christian women and then equips women and men to apply that legacy to their lives and ministries today.
Celebrate the incredible stories of over fify amazing Christian women whose lives will change forever how you view women and their ministries.Sacred Friendships gives voice to the voiceless as it narrates how godly women have provided soul care and spiritual direction for the past 2,000 years. It enlightens readers to the often neglected legacy of Christian women and then equips women and men to apply that legacy to their lives and ministries today.
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Author: Bob Kellemen
Located in: Crown Point, IN
Submitted: September 20, 2009
Tell us a little about yourself. Ive been married for twenty-eight years to my college sweetheart, Shirley. Shirley and I have two young adult children. Josh is twenty-four and married to Andi, and is in law school in Washington State. Marie is twenty-one and is a college senior at Purdue, majoring in chemistry, and lives at home with us in Crown Point, Indiana. I graduated with my BA in Pastoral Ministry from Baptist Bible College in Clarks Summit, PA. I earned my Th.M. in Theology and Biblical Counseling from Grace Seminary in Winona Lake, IN. I have my Ph.D. in Counselor Education from Kent State University. Im also a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). I pastored three churches in Ohio and Maryland. In two of those churches I was an Associate Pastor focused on counseling and equipping. I also have served as a Sr. Pastor. For over a dozen years I was Chairman of the Master of Arts in Christian Counseling and Discipleship Department at Capital Bible Seminary. I am now the Professor-at-Large for that program. I am also the Director of the Biblical Counseling and Spiritual Formation Network (BCSFN) for the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC). Our vision is to equip people to use Gods Word to help Gods people to grow in Christlikeness. In my role as Founder and CEO of RPM Ministries I write, speak, and consult about Christ-centered, comprehensive, compassionate, and culturally-informed biblical counseling and spiritual formation. In all my spare time, I coach high school wrestling, play in a mens softball league, run daily, love sci-fi, and am a life-long diehard Chicago Cubs fan.
What was your motivation behind this project? Ive always been passionate about giving voice to the voiceless. When I started teaching about the history of Christian soul care, men and women would say, I had never even heard of most of these women. Yet their lives are remarkable. Their stories teach me how to live and how to minister today. Then these same students would say, You have to get these amazing narratives out there so everyone can learn from them! So, we wrote Sacred Friendships to unbury the buried treasure of the riches of the history of womens ministry. We wrote it to give the world the gift of the life stories of over fifty women of the faith. G. K. Chesterton observes that history is democracy extended through time. History gives votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. It refuses to submit to those who merely happen to be walking around. Sacred Friendships gives vote and voice to our female forebears in the faith. It listens to their voices communicating the unique shapes and textures of their practice of soul care and spiritual direction.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? Far too often we build our models of ministry by ignoring over half the Christian worldwomen. The big idea of Sacred Friendships is to give voice to the voiceless by celebrating the legacy of Christian women and by applying that legacy to our ministries today. We want readers, men and women, to learn from godly women of the faith how to be powerful spiritual friends. Readers will be enriched by the powerful stories of the heroic sisters of the Spirit to apply proven ways to help people find healing hope in the midst of deep pain. Theyll be empowered to help people to find Gods grace for their sins and Gods strength for their journey.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? Id like to think Ive always respected women. Id like to think Ive always tried to honor my Mom, wife, and daughter, for example. But I do have to admit that I understand now that in the past Ive evaluated women through the eyes of our culture. I have a renewed and ever-growing respect for women, for . . . the feminine soul. I saw strength in story after story. Ive always been aware of the tenderness of the feminine soul. But now I have a new appreciation for the persistence, resilience, and perseverance that are central to how God designed women. I think of Macrina, who nurtured three generations of Christian leaders, passing the torch of faith to her daughter and then to her three grandsons, two of whom we know as Fathers of the Church. Macrina endured great suffering and ongoing hardships, yet she modeled perseverance. Researching and writing Sacred Friendships has motivated me not to quit when the going gets tough. Ive not faced half of what these courageous women endured.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: Who should read Sacred Friendships? First, anyone who loves riveting stories of victory snatched from the jaws of defeat should read Sacred Friendships. Susan and I like to think of our roles as story-tellerswe share stories from the lives of over 50 remarkable Christian women. If you like a good, true story, read Sacred Friendships. Second, people might assume that Sacred Friendships is a book only for women. Not true. Susan and I like to say that Sacred Friendships is a gift to women and a gift from women. As a gift to women, Sacred Friendships puts to rest the lie of Satan that women in church history have been second-class spiritual citizens! Just one example: the famous Church Fathers were mentored by the lesser-known but incredibly gifted Church Mothers. Sacred Friendships encourages and empowers women to realize that as bearers of Gods image they have equal worth, dignity, value, and giftedness as men have. Women young and mature need the message told by these storiesbecause the world surely is not the place to turn for validation of worth in Christ. As a gift from women, Sacred Friendships is for men and womenits for anyone who learns best by example. Men and women can read Sacred Friendships and glean life-changing skills to empathize with hurting people, to encouraging people with Christs sure hope, to exhort people by speaking the truth in love, and to equip people to tap into Christs resurrection power.
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