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Using an approach similar to the one he took in his popular Back Side books, author J. Ellsworth Kalas looks at some familiar Old and New Testament Bible stories through the lens of a time-tested faith and hope to open up new possibilities of insight and meaning. Each of the twelve chapters features a key passage of Scripture and is centered on a theme such as overcoming a bad start in life, dealing with rejection, capitalizing on adversity, not letting others define you, never giving up, finding the gain in your loss, and measuring your true self-worth.
"I confess that I am an unreconstructed optimist. Not a naive
one; Ive lived too long for that, long enough to have experienced a resounding case for pessimism. I have vivid memories of the Great Depression, and Ive lived through several wars and those international anomalies that we call police actions. Ive watched what has seemed to me to be a rather steady decline in both public and private morals, and a growing confusion about ethics. And of course, Ive watched the increasing prevalence of both evil and inanity (sometimes theyre synonymous) in television and on the Internet." from the Introduction But: There is God. And because there is God, there is goodness. I profoundly believe that God is at work in our world and that our planet has not yet been written off as a lost cause. History seems to tell me that though our human race appears so often to dedicate itself to its own destruction, God is always at work, usually, I think, behind the scenes. And because of God, faith, love, and goodness keep being reborn. So I write about Life from the Up Side.
Twelve sessions: On Being Born with a Rusty Spoon: For those whove had a bad start When Life Is at January: Who knows what wonders lie ahead? A Woman Who Lived with Scorn: For those who suffer rejection close at hand Dont Blame the Donkey! Capitalize on your adversity When Youve Been Given a Bad Name: Dont let others define you Color Her Moses: Never give up. Never. Plot for a Life: More than success Party Gone Flat: What to do when life loses its flavor Suppose Youre Worth More Than You Think You Are: Its time you calculated your worth How Wide Is a Boat? Gladness is nearer than you think Strange Victory: The gains in our losses The View from Mount Nebo: And then, there is heaven
J. Ellsworth Kalas has been part of the faculty of Asbury Theological Seminary since 1993, after 38 years as a United Methodist pastor and five years in evangelism with the World Methodist Council. He has been a presenter on DISCIPLE videos and is the author of more than 30 books, including the popular Back Side series as well as the Christian Believer study.