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The real 'work' of prayer is to become silent and listen to the voice that says good things about me. Life of the Beloved asks how one can live a spiritual life in a Western secular culture. The greatest challenge, concludes Nouwen, is to bridge the gap between secular and sacred within the self as a human being loved by God.
This best-selling text integrates the latest research and cutting-edge practice to make an evidence-based case for family policy. It uses examples from around the globe to explain how families support society and how policies support families. The book also moves beyond analysis to action with pragmatic processes and procedures for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of policies by viewing them through the lens of family impact. Highlights of the new edition include: Extensive revisions with many new references and policies that reflect recent changes in the economy, politics, and family forms and familes. Many new learning tools including guiding questions, more tables and figures, chapter glossaries, discussion questions, and chapter summaries. Enhanced global perspective with a new chapter (5) that features what policies nations have put in place to strengthen and support families. A new chapter (8) that views how family considerations can improve the effectiveness of policy decisions on issues such as early childhood care and education, health care, juvenile crime, long-term care, parent education, and welfare reform. A new chapter (11) on what the policy process and policymakers are really like including how a bill becomes a law. A new chapter (12) that provides a theoretical and empirical rationale for viewing issues through the family impact lens and what innovative tools and procedures exist for analyzing the family impact of organizations, policies, programs, and practices. Several chapters that review what professionals can do in the policy arena and how they can foster compromise and common ground. Updated web-based teaching materials including sample syllabi, classroom activities and assignments, daily lesson plans, test questions, instructor insights, video links, web resources, and more. Part 1 highlights what family policy is and why it’s important and how family life in the U.S. differs from other countries. Part 2 examines the contributions family considerations can bring to issues such as early childhood education, health care, juvenile crime, long-term care, and welfare reform. Part 3 explains why polarization has stymied progress in family policymaking and guidelines for fostering compromise. Insights are drawn from the history of family policy over the last century. Part 4 provides strategies for getting involved in family policymaking. It reviews: the processes policymaking institutions use to enact legislation; new techniques for assessing the family impact of policies and programs; strategies for building better public policies; and various professional roles and careers for building family policy. The book concludes with a summary of how and where we go from here. Intended for advanced undergraduate and/or graduate courses in family or social policy taught in human development and family studies, psychology, counseling, social work, sociology, public policy, home economics, consumer science, and education, researchers and practitioners alike appreciate this book’s integration of theory, research, and practice.
Conventional coping strategies can be pushed to their limits when people find themselves in situations of suffering, illness, and dying. Moved beyond their everyday consciousness, individuals often have spiritual experiences of grace and encounters with the transcendent or the divine. The author shows how care providers can support patients in their suffering and how they can recognize patients' spiritual experiences. Explaining different types of experiences of transcendence such as seeing angels or feelings of otherness and presence, this book will be of valuable use to professionals working in palliative and spiritual care, such as spiritual caregivers, therapists, nurses, and physicians. The book entails a new approach to spiritual care which opens a space of hope wherein grace may happen even amid pain, suffering, illness and dying.
Henri Nouwen wisely said, "The great illusion of leadership is to think that man can be led out of the desert by someone who has never been there." Jesus has "been there" and knows how to lead us out--but first, he just may lead us in. He meets us in the desert and does his best work in us there. We look for an easier way in vain. I myself reluctantly entered the desert and eventually received unimagined gifts there--gifts I didn't ask for, deserve, or want--gifts hidden in such painful loss that I despaired--and yet, looking back now, these "desert gifts" were the best thing that ever happened to me. I entered the desert, and years later, found my way out. It's not a new way, it was just new to me. Jewish and Christian sages had been living it for thousands of years. Somehow, in recent generations, we managed to forget it. In this collection I mean to begin to make those riches available to you. I'm hoping that like me, you'll discover something that you didn't know you wanted or needed--and something now you wouldn't give up at any price.
Precocious and sometimes marginalized, Klaus Bockmuehl's insights regarding the Spirit’s agency in Christian Ethics, and therefore in our daily Christian experiences, have renewed import, now. This is an exceptional book, it introduces us for the first time to a much-neglected thinker. It also equips us with an understanding of how the Church can live ethically in power, through its relationship with the Father. In both respects it has much to offer its reader and the wider contemporary church.
This book explores the unprecedented challenge of involuntary singleness for women, and the implications of disregarding this challenge for the Christian (and particularly, baptistic) communities of faith. It argues that these communities not only fail involuntarily single women, but also in so doing, suffer a serious detriment to their own communal health and Christian witness. Taking the challenge of involuntary singleness as a test case, this book explores the method of convictional theology and argues for a holistic framework that can draw together the personal, communal, and visionary spheres of human existence. Although primarily a work of theological ethics, it also draws from a number of different disciplines, including cultural studies and sociology as well as intersections of science and theology.
Harry Crews on getting naked: "If you're gonna write, for God in heaven's sake try to get naked. Try to write the truth. Try to get underneath all the sham, all the excuses, all the lies that you've been told. . . . If you're gonna write fiction, you have to get right on down to it." "Harry Crews cannot refrain from storytelling. These conversations are blessed with countless insights into the creative process, fresh takes on old questions, and always, Crews's stories: modern-day parables that tell us how it is to live, to work, and to hurt."--Jeff Baker, Oxford American "Harry Crews has indelible ways of approaching life and the craft of writing. This collection shows that he elevates both to a near-religious artform."--Matthew Teague, Oxford American In 26 interviews conducted between 1972 and 1997, novelist Harry Crews tells the truth--about why and how he writes, about the literary influences on his own work, about the writers he admires (or does not), about which of his own books he likes (or does not), about his fascination with so-called freaks, and about his love of blood sports. Crews reveals the tender side under his tough-guy image, discussing his beloved mother and his spiritual quest in a secular world. Crews also speaks frankly about his failed relationships, the role that writing played in them, and his personal struggles with alcohol and drugs and their impact on his life and work. Those seeking insights into his work will find them in these interviews. Those seeking to be entertained in Crewsian fashion will not be disappointed. Harry Crews on his tattoo and mohawk . . . "If you can't get past my 'too'--my tattoo--and my 'do'--the way I got my hair cut--it's only because you have decided there are certain things that can be done with hair and certain things that cannot be done with hair. And certain of them are right and proper and decent, and the rest indicate a warped, degenerate nature; therefore I am warped and degenerate. 'Cause I got my hair cut a different way, man? You gonna really live your life like that? What's wrong with you?" On advice to young writers . . . "You have to go to considerable trouble to live differently from the way the world wants you to live. That's what I've discovered about writing. The world doesn't want you to do a damn thing. If you wait till you got time to write a novel or time to write a story or time to read the hundred thousands of books you should have already read--if you wait for the time, you'll never do it. 'Cause there ain't no time; world don't want you to do that. World wants you to go to the zoo and eat cotton candy, preferably seven days a week." On being "well-rounded" . . . "I never wanted to be well-rounded, and I do not admire well-rounded people nor their work. So far as I can see, nothing good in the world has ever been done by well-rounded people. The good work is done by people with jagged, broken edges, because those edges cut things and leave an imprint, a design." Harry Crews is the author of 23 books, including The Gospel Singer, Naked in Garden Hills, This Thing Don't Lead to Heaven, Karate Is a Thing of the Spirit, Car, The Hawk Is Dying, The Gypsy's Curse, A Feast of Snakes, A Childhood: The Biography of a Place, Blood and Grits, The Enthusiast, All We Need of Hell, The Knockout Artist, Body, Scar Lover, The Mulching of America, Celebration, and Florida Frenzy (UPF, 1982). Erik Bledsoe is an instructor of English and American studies at the University of Tennessee. He has published articles on southern writers and edited a special issue of the Southern Quarterly devoted to Crews. His 1997 interview with Harry Crews from that magazine is included in this collection.

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