Joy in the Journey: Finding Abundance in the Shadow of Death  -     By: Steve Hayner, Sharol Hayner, Mark Labberton
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Joy in the Journey: Finding Abundance in the Shadow of Death

InterVarsity Press / 2015 / Hardcover

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Product Description

Steve Hayner was serving as president of Columbia Seminary and was healthy and fit when he found out he had terminal pancreatic cancer. He and his wife, Sharol, embarked on a journey together with their children that soon included tens of thousands of visits from friends and acquaintances via CaringBridge. The overwhelming response to their posts on this website attested to the surprising and engaging way that they chose to live in the fact of death.

As a result, they uncovered the remarkable truth that God, our good Shepherd, provides a feast for us when we are in the valley of the shadow of death as well as in the green pastures. Steve was always known for signing letters and emails, "joyfully". These pages, including reflections from some of those closest to Steve and Sharol, offer us a hope-filled glimpse into what it means to walk with God in honesty, with joy, even through great pain.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 144
Vendor: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 7.00 X 5.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0830844473
ISBN-13: 9780830844470

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Author Bio

Steve Hayner (19482015) was the president emeritus of Columbia Theological Seminary and an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), as well as a professor, author and the former president of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Known by many throughout the world with love, affection and gratitude, Steve's passion was to prepare women and men to lead congregations toward the fulfillment of God’s call to be churches who are biblically faithful and growing steadily in their love for God, their love for each other and their love for Christ’s work in the world. Hayner began his education at Whitman College where he earned his BA in English literature. He then received his MTS in Semitic studies at Harvard Divinity School and one year later earned a ThM from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Steve was then ordained and installed as "university pastor" at University Presbyterian Church in Seattle, Washington, where he was involved with students and faculty. What started as a group of seventeen students quickly grew to over 1,200. While there, he completed his PhD in Hebrew and Semitic Studies at the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland in 1984. Steve then took the position of vice president of Student Affairs at Seattle Pacific University. Throughout his time in Seattle, he was involved as an adjunct professor of Old Testament with Fuller Theological Seminary extension sites. In 1988, Steve was called as President of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (USA), a nondenominational discipleship ministry to students on college campuses across the country. In 2001, Steve made the transition from the academic world to parish ministry. He became the senior associate pastor at High Point Church and the associate pastor at the Fountain of Life Family Ministry Center, both in Madison, Wisconsin. He served on a number of national and international boards, including World Vision, International Justice Mission, Presbyterian Global Fellowship, Christian International Scholarship Foundation, Fuller Seminary and The Navigators. He was awarded an honorary DD degree by Presbyterian College in 2011. After being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2014, Steve passed away the next year. He is survived by his wife Sharol and their three children and five grandchildren. Sharol Hayner has been serving in ministry for over forty years with her husband Steve. She served as children’s music director at University Presbyterian Church in Seattle and as children’s music director and worship coordinator at Christ Presbyterian Church in Madison, Wisconsin. At age forty-eight, she began seminary and ultimately graduated from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. Ordained in the PCUSA, she served as associate pastor for discipleship at Peachtree Presbyterian Church and now serves as parish associate at Kairos Church, both in Atlanta. Sharol and Steve have three children and five grandchildren, all of whom live in the South. Mark Labberton is president of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He previously served as Lloyd John Ogilvie chair for preaching and director of the Lloyd John Ogilvie Institute for Preaching. Labberton came to Fuller after sixteen years as senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, California. He has served as chair of John Stott Ministries (now Langham Partnership) and co-chair of the John Stott Ministries Global Initiative Fund. Today he continues to contribute to the mission of the global church as a senior fellow of International Justice Mission. He is the author of and . Alex Gee believes that evangelism can be flavorful, soulful and fun. And his passion in life is helping others find their passion. His dynamic style communicates his love of God, motivating and encouraging others. He is the pastor of Fountain of Life Family Worship Center and president and founder of faith-based Nehemiah Community Development Corporation, both in Madison, Wisconsin. In 1994, he received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award.

Editorial Reviews

"For nine months Steve Hayner fought a losing battle against an aggressive pancreatic cancer. During that time both he and his wife kept in touch with friends and relatives through the CaringBridge website. Their journals provide an intimate look at the struggles they faced together and individually—and what trusting God looks like. There's wisdom here for others facing illness, or befriending those who do. They write of hymns and the succor they receive from knowing that people are praying. Notes of encouragement bring 'hope and joy, not to mention distraction from some of the daily grind of this disease.'"
"'In life and in death we belong to God' are words often spoken by people of faith facing extraordinary life challenges. It was not until I witnessed those words made flesh in Steve and Sharol Hayner's exquisitely expressed reflections on their journey that I truly understood the depth of their meaning. Many books try to capture the essence of how to live while dying. Joy in the Journey hits the mark, leaving its readers certain of one thing: life lived joyfully is a gift that keeps on giving. Thank you, Steve!"
"Written as a series of journal entries on CaringBridge.org, this intensely personal book follows the journey on which cancer took the Hayner family. . . . This book would be good for those who are on a cancer journey themselves, as well as friends and family members who want a greater understanding of what is happening and what to expect."
"Steve Hayner signed his letters 'Joyfully.' That's the benediction appended to his death in this collection of helpful, humble, and heartfelt blog posts he wrote with his wife, Sharol. The Hayners, Presbyterian ministers, logged entries from the day in April when Steve was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer until Sharol wrote her final entries alone after Steve had died. . . . The essays telling titles include 'Waiting,' 'Grace Notes,' and 'New Year, Last Chapter.' Sharol often turns to Psalms for succor, and she shepherds readers with her. . . . The authors often thank their blog's followers; a few readers responses are blurbed. Eulogies for Steve, written by friends and the Hayners' children, end this joy-themed book."
" Joy in the Journey is a book to be savored slowly, read and reread, to be given to friends and family, to be a guide on the journey of life and death. . . . This book is a gift for all of us who struggle to follow Christ in the midst of life and death. . . . Through this book, Steve's life continues to ripple and ripple, teaching us to live joyfully in the midst of pain and to trust that 'in life and in death we belong to God.'"
"This incredible little book offers a window into the soul of a dying man and his wife. Both of them are highly trained in theology, and some of their observations grapple courageously with God in the voice of the Psalmists. But most of their writings are a response to be faithful to God in the midst of this great interruption of their lives. Anyone who knew Steve will not be surprised that the response is always about joy."
"Steve, Sharol, and friends all display a vision of looking ahead to the joyful life with Christ, and the hope that is brought through reflection on the Word of God. Interspersed throughout the book are poems and hymns, allusions to and quotes from the Bible, and more. These tidbits are not just insights into the hope found in Jesus, but also provide ways to reflect upon grief and joy in life. . . . Joy in the Journey is a hard read, but one that provides several helpful insights into living—and, sadly but necessarily, dying—well."
"Steve and Sharol lived in and wrote about the victory they already had in Jesus. I found hope on every page."

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  1. Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Finding Abundance in the Shadow of Death
    September 17, 2015
    Michele Morin
    Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    A journey through cancer and a journey of joy would seem to be two very divergent paths particularly if the cancer is terminal and if it hits in the midst of a season of health and productivity. However, Steve and Sharol Hayner have invited readers into their experience of Joy in the Journey a hard pilgrimage that took them through pancreatic cancer, chemotherapy infusions, side effects, great pain, and loss. They pull back the curtain on grace lessons from their day-to-day struggle to live their way into acceptance and peace.

    Throughout Steves illness, the Hayners kept family and friends up-to-date using the CaringBridge website, never intending to write a book. However, their authentic writing and the deeply theological truth they share work in tandem so that Joy in the Journey avoids sentimentality, instead singing in the key of biblical lament. Abounding in grace, Steve writes through days in which he prays his goodbyes to the people he loves and to his career as president of Columbia Seminary. Sharol walks her own grieving with traveling mercies that allow her to wait through the weeks of unanswered questions and the months of serial unknowns.

    Disappointing test results, a galloping malignancy, and nine short months of living and dying with a terminal disease demonstrate on a macro scale what those of us who believingly follow Christ know well: life is fraught with even characterized by tumultuous days. Able-bodies and good health make daily adjustments to circumstances and changing relationships a bit easier, but in all the unmet expectations that are part of every normal, mundane day, it is clear the we are being prepared through our daily disciplines and laborious attempts to follow Jesus for darker seasons and a deeper following. It is our response to suffering of all types that determines the impact the suffering will have on our soul, and Steves thoughtful reflections from the valley of the shadow yield helpful reinforcement toward a right response:

    When Jesus is all you have, you soon discover that Jesus is all you really need.

    As long as I have life on this earth, I have a call.

    God will never give up in His work to transform me into the likeness of Jesus.

    Joy is not about my circumstances, but rather about being held and sustained by Gods love.

    Obviously, there is no right way to transition out of this life, nor is there a best way to grieve, but this stunning memoir and tribute to a godly man puts a spot light on a melding of grief and gratitude that is both reassuring and motivational. For those who are trusting Gods faithfulness, it is possible to claim the gift of joy even in the darkest days.

    This book was provided by IVP Books, an imprint of Intervarsity Press, in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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