• Is Christianity Good for You?
    David Fontana
    test ~ test journo

  • Clouds of Heaven, Beings of Light
    Sharon Kay Casey

    I have read many fascinating NDE books, including most of the NDE bestsellers. Yet, I have not finished an NDE book that exceeds the power and importance of Clouds of Heaven Beings of Light. In her outstanding book, Ms.Casey shatters through disconnected earthly illusions by revealing the loving Heart of soul existence. Her work offers hope by echoing the words of Julian of Norwich, from her NDE 700 years ago, "all that is not well will be well."

    As the pages unfold, Ms. Casey paints a descriptive picture of heaven, including a festive celebration in heaven, amazing spiritual beings of light, structured features of profound symbolic value, and Jesus. In addition to these descriptions, she weaves personal stories of growth. She also references the teachings of Jesus, including the Gospel of Thomas (a favorite of mine) and A Course in Miracles (which I will soon read). Either directly or indirectly, Ms. Casey tackles the central questions of existence, including unity, time, love, and ultimate meaning. When I read her book, I think, "Wow, my life makes sense!" I think others will come to the same conclusions as well, given that Sharon Casey serves humanity as a true ambassador from heaven.

    I will finish with a quotation that poses an important question for reflection. Casey asks, "What if by judging yourself, you have judged the whole world? And by forgiving yourself, you have set the world free?"

    Roy L. Hill, Psy.D. Author of Psychology and the Near-Death Experience, searching for God.

    His book is available on Amazon: ~ Roy L. Hill, Psy.D., Amazon Review

  • Reluctant Patient: A Journey of Trust, The
    Ian G. Wallis

    Chaplains listen to patients’ stories and attempt to link the patient’s experience
    of illness with the patient’s construction of faith. It is a gift to the chaplain’s
    understanding of the task when the patient themself possesses both
    the reflective capacity and the theological/philosophical literacy to articulate
    such a linkage. The Reluctant Patient stands in this tradition of writing,
    of which Anne Oakley’s Fracture remains for me the pre-eminent offering.
    Ian Wallis is a former parish priest and theological educator who continues
    to live with the debilitating effects of a chronic heart condition. His
    book explores the struggle to integrate an experience of illness and a stance
    of faith whilst remaining honest to both.
    The book charts the phenomenology of patienthood and the aftermath of
    hospitalization. Chaplains will recognize themes of shock, disruption, alienation,
    disempowerment, waiting, ambivalence towards medicine, uncertainty,
    guilt, and depression.
    Less familiar to those of us who are based in institutions, is the continuing
    struggle for rehabilitation. Wallis speaks of the “lifelines” of books,
    music and DVDs; and of the significance of exercising choice – in his case,
    defiantly walking his dog. Above all, he stresses the importance of others
    in helping to maintain the fabric of normality and in offering small acts of
    kindness and companionship.
    This emphasis on relationship is at the heart of the book: “the undeclared
    sacraments of human encounter”. The negative experience of impersonality
    during a consultant’s ward round contrasts with the attentiveness of Wallis’
    GP, or the capacity of the NHS 24 telephonist to be present to her anxious
    Indeed, Wallis’ entire model of health has relationship at its core. “We
    need others to be fully, authentically ourselves”; and we can only access
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    relationship by “daring to swim in the common sea of our humanity”. This
    will involve embracing all our life experiences, including illness.
    Wallis’ written style takes some negotiating. The book too often feels
    like a sermon or a lecture; from the pedagogical tone (e.g. “we would do
    well to attend to trust’s ecstatic feet” – his italics); to the contrivance of
    extended metaphor (e.g. the sub-chapter on “waiting gardens”); and some
    heavy-handed hyperbolic humour (e.g. the ambulance journey “felt like a
    cross-country rally”, the wheelchair journey “running the gauntlet past the
    clashing jaws of an elevator”).
    For all this, I was moved by the narrative, especially when Wallis articulates
    an existential theology that clearly arises from authentic engagement
    with his illness. The book is subtitled, “A Journey of Trust”. For Wallis, trust
    is the pre-requisite for relationship: “an innate capacity to transcend self
    through openness and vulnerability exposing us to the possibility of encounter.”
    Such encounter may be with God: “Trust finds its ultimate expression in
    a readiness to risk all we are to all who God is … without knowing whether
    such a God exists beyond the limits of our imaginations”.
    As with many experiential accounts, The Reluctant Patient will be of most
    use to those least familiar with pastoral issues in institutional healthcare;
    but it also offers some profound insights, even for the most experienced Chaplains. ~ Revd Martin Kerry, Health & Social Care Chaplaincy

  • Wisdom from the Western Isles
    David Torkington
    This book is a trilogy with the pats entitled, respectively, Peter the Hermit, Peter the Prophet and Peter the Mystic.The Peter in question is the central character of the book, and his hermitage is located on the remote Hebridean island of Calvay. reading the opening pages rang bells - I had the feeling that I had read this book before. Sure enough, a rummage through some shelves uncovered a small book, published in this 1970s, called Peter Calvay, Hermit by Rayner Torkington. It seems that the same author is now called David and the first part of this trilogy is largely a revised version of that book. The other two parts, I think, were also published as smaller books some years later.

    The theme of all three parts is the spiritual life, the relationship of the human soul to God, particularly as expressed in personal prayer. the methodology used to explore this theme is intriguing - the book is mostly a narrative of conversations and dialogues between a (fictional) Dr. James Robinson, who speaks in the first person throughout the book, and the main character, Peter, the hermit of Calvay. James Robinson is a seeker after spiritual wisdom, coming from a vaguely Anglican background, and Peter is the voice that speaks of the riches of the Catholic Christian tradition.

    The core idea in the first section (the Hermit) is that of receptivity, of making space and time for God to enter one's life. This includes the regular and generous giving of time for personal prayer, whether one feels like it or not. It includes an attitude of patient waiting for God and a humble awareness that prayer is God's gift, not our achievement.

    The second section (the Prophet) uses what seemed to me a rather contrived device of having Peter disappear in a mysterious boating incident and James having the task of organising his writings and papers. These papers include a number of essays in which Peter records the story of his personal journey, which took place in a great variety of locations from Dublin to Moscow, from Paris to Mount Athos and to several Franciscan locations in England and Italy. I got the impression that these locations are the spiritual journeys they encompassed may have been largely autobiographical, not just if the fictional Peter, but of the author David Torkington. At the end of this section, Peter re-appears and continues his discussion with James on the topic of mystical prayer.

    The third section (the Mystic) is mainly an exploration of the teachings of the two great Spanish mystics, St John of the Cross and St Teresa of Avila. In the ongoing dialogue, Peter elucidates in contemporary terms concepts like the interior castle, the dark night of the senses and of the soul, the prayer and mystical union. Much of his explanation is based on a comparison wit the marriage relationship of his own parents. The narrative style of this book, with the various comings and goings to and from that small island int hr Hebrides, takes a bit of getting used to and at times seems a somewhat artificial device for linking together the conversations between James and Peter. However, the great merit of the book is that it presents in an easy and readable style all the major themes of what used to be called ascetical and mystical theology. Though much of the trilogy seems to date from several decades ago, it is in no way dated in language or content. It is a useful account, for anyone beginning or revisiting the study of the great truths about the journey of the prayerful soul towards God. ~ Aidan Ryan, The Furrow: A Journal for the Contemporary Church

  • Quiet Mind, A
    Eva McIntyre
    This is a good little book, especially for those not blessed with a reasonably good self-image. As Eva McIntyre says, "Often it's the negative images we recall, probably because of the way they shape us, and are critical in building up our coping and survival techniques." Rightly, she says that we can choose whether our general approach to life is miserable or happy and it is worth the trouble to do so.

    McIntyre's second point is what she terms "stilling the monkey mind" so that it does not rush from one point to another, needing to chatter all the time. She works through problems of emotion, fear and ill-health, then brings us to exercises of posture and breathing. Pain can be a problem, though I believe some people find it can also be a stimulus to our reaching out to God. Here she has some good suggestions leading to freeing up the spirit, and on the use of dreams.

    But whatever the problem, the key is to focus on whatever we are doing - activity or meditation - so that nothing else can absorb or distract us. Our emotions need to be dealt with, by understanding and control, if we are to be in good relationships with others. And we often learn from our own experience how best to deal with them.

    McIntyre deals too, consecutively, with what she calls "the demon fear", with the needs of our body and breathing, and with the essentials of good posture. The spirit is freed only when physical and emotional needs are met, or at least put on a satisfactory hold.

    She reminds us that the bible contains many examples of God's communicating with humans through these means, though now such messages are not highly regarded because we have, perhaps, too much scepticism of religious psychosis or of attention-seekers. The book continues with chapters on 'Dreams, Visions and Voices' and then 'Finding Thin Places' (places we find helpful) as she concludes with discovering our closeness to God's love for ourselves and others.
    ~ Elizabeth CSF, Franciscan Magazine Vol.27 no.1 - January 2015

  • Suffering: if God exists, why doesn't he stop it?
    John Morris
    Rooted in modern science, philosophy and Christian theology, here is the best short answer to the problem of suffering I have ever met. It is forged in the furnace of family suffering and yet resolutely believes in God’s ultimate good purpose. It is a great achievement to have produced something so thoughtful and yet so succinct. ~ Canon Dr Michael Green, theologian, university speaker worldwide, prolific author

  • Suffering: if God exists, why doesn't he stop it?
    John Morris
    Having lost our 7-year-old son to cancer in 1967, after 3 years of suffering, we are especially interested in what is helpful to those facing sleepless nights. There are not many books that are. But this well done book is, so I can recommend it without reservation. ~ Rt Revd Charles L.Longest, DD, former Bishop Suffragan of Maryland

  • Suffering: if God exists, why doesn't he stop it?
    John Morris
    One wishes that all theologians would write as clearly and succinctly as John Morris - his analysis of the 'problem of evil' will enlighten believers and unbelievers alike. ~ Lord (Martin) Rees, OM, Kt, FRS, Astronomer Royal

  • Suffering: if God exists, why doesn't he stop it?
    John Morris
    ‘‘A must read!” ~ Archbishop of York

  • Suffering: if God exists, why doesn't he stop it?
    John Morris
    What makes this book work for non-believers like me is Morris’s intelligent approach to the questions we have. He may not have converted me, but he entertains and stimulates. So let’s call it a score-draw!

    ~ John Humphrys, BBC, 'Today', 'Mastermind'

  • Clouds of Heaven, Beings of Light
    Sharon Kay Casey
    Sharon Casey, in her book, Clouds of Heaven, Beings of Light, shares her journey of self-discovery that can accelerate the one we are all on. It’s an emotional roller coaster with feelings that can take the reader to tears of relief and joy. The information provided is practical and can be immediately applied in one’s own journey. It will help readers to more fully comprehend who they are in relationship to the world and what reality is, and the news is better than you may have thought. Miracles are natural, and this book will help you become miracle ready. I highly recommend it.

    Dear Sharon,
    I feel this book will be very helpful to many. I enjoyed reading it and rereading it. The tears referred to in the endorsement were based on my experience. Your shared experience will indeed help many get more in touch with their own joy, which of course is the joy of all as we are one. For those who are in the low point of life it will be very uplifting.

    Vernon M. Sylvest, M.D.
    Author of: The End of Fear The Path to Freedom
    ~ Vernon M. Sylvest, M.D., Author

  • Clouds of Heaven, Beings of Light
    Sharon Kay Casey
    Sharon Casey’s book, ‘Clouds of Heaven, Beings of Light', takes us on a Spirit Journey. She shares her process of ‘living with ’satan’” to eventually living as an extension of God’s Love. As with so many spiritual paths, with willingness, and letting go completely, ’severe suffering’ can be altered. Sharon takes us on her Awakening Path. … With a history of “abuse” and working as a big rig, ‘feed hauler’, her story is fascinating. And through “her story,” she paints a process that allows the reader to access their Own Awakening Voice. As a Course in Miracle teacher/student, I appreciate when others Share ’the process’ of Awakening. As diverse as humans are… we still can Hear Truth in another’s ‘Healed” story…and learn from their journey while we access our own ‘Listening for God’s Voice’… This Voice, Sharon shares so Beauty Fully in ‘Clouds of Heaven, Beings of Light’

    Dr. B. Calico-Hickey, D.C.

    ~ Dr. B. Calico-Hickey, A Course In Miracles Teacher

  • Clouds of Heaven, Beings of Light
    Sharon Kay Casey
    “The author unveils her own spiritual journey in Clouds of Heaven: Beings of Light, giving witness to the transforming presence of the divine in human consciousness. Sharon Kay Casey opens a doorway of hope and possibility for many."

    ~Nancy Clark, international award-winning author, Hear His Voice: The Light’s Message for Humanity, and Divine Moments: Ordinary People Having Spiritually Transformative Experiences
    ~ Nancy Clark, International Association for Near-Death Studies

  • Prescientific Bible, The
    Dr Peter J. Colyer
    Dr Colyer tries here to reconcile his faith with his scientific knowledge. It is an interesting read that looks at the Bible through scientifically enlightened eyes. ~ Reflections, Summer 2015, Edition 70

  • Why Religions Work
    Eleanor Stoneham
    Not everyone - especially those from a specific faith background - will agree with this author's every micro-conclusion. But on a broader plane, this book is lucid, well-researched, deeply-felt, humane, forward-looking, compassionate and helpful, and couched in an engaging and approachable style. It may even - depending on where you are in your thinking - change your ideas in a radical way. I have no hesitation in recommending it to the thoughtful reader in search of signposts. ~ Aggie C,

  • Long Road to Heaven, The
    Tim Heaton
    The purpose of this concise book lies wholly in its sub-title A Lent course based on the fi lm ‘ e Way’. It highlights the topic of Lenten reflection in one’s personal pilgrimage towards the Promised Land and attempts this by mirroring the ever-popular pilgrims’ walk to the shrine of Saint James the apostle at Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain.  The book divides into four main parts which explain how to organise and structure a Lent course, a section of historical reflection on Saint James the Great and the legend at Compostela, a five-part study course examining the concept of salvation based on the film  The Way observing a group of pilgrims walking the way of Saint James.

    The author provides interesting biblical commentary relevant to each study week. The book will relate to everyone in their daily journey through life with its hardships suffered as we seek to grasp a vision of personal salvation. The work is commended as a study resource.
    ~ S. JOHN HAZEL,

  • Reluctant Patient: A Journey of Trust, The
    Ian G. Wallis
    I would recommend this book to all healthcare professionals to give them an insight into what is happening to patients beyond the scalpels and drugs.

    Anyone with pastoral responsibility would find it helpful to be reminded how positive outcomes can come from human frailty. Anyone who has been seriously ill would find in Mr Wallis a life and faith affirming companion on their journey. ~ Graham Cook, Reform Mag Dec/Jan 2014

  • Quiet Mind, A
    Eva McIntyre
    Eva has been very brave in writing what so many people, both in and out of church life, ponder to themselves but are too fearful to speak out. It really is a big comfort to those seeking, or bewildered, or downright depressed and 'turned off' by what they think Christianity and its churches are all about. It is a short concise book, but with a huge volume of sense and ideas, and is easy to understand and use. Its poems are evocative and proufoundly deep, yet simple. Thank goodness for a volume which will take the angst from you about praying, and give you the strength to love yourself as you are and as you can be, and then help you, or those you meet, to love others free of shackles.
    I do so hope priests and teachers will read this along with everyone who longs for a better, more loving, and peaceful world. Its fresh approach should be talked about, it is for sharing. It won't take you long and will be well worth the effort, and offer you new insights. It is a book much needed. ~ Helen Kennaway, Amazon

  • Quiet Mind, A
    Eva McIntyre
    Book arrived quickly and in good condition. I am grateful for the help it offers> Having attended a presentation given by the author I have found it a very useful follow-on from that. ~ Leon, Amazon

  • Quiet Mind, A
    Eva McIntyre
    Great little book very challenging and thought provoking will make you think a lot about how you can quite your mind so as to hear from God. ~ Paul Balkwill, Amazon

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