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St. Francis and the Christian Life

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How do we live the Christian life? April Love-Fordham and her husband contemplated this as they retraced the footsteps of Saint Francis across the Italian wilderness. Did they need to renounce materialism and live more simply? Did they need to do more work serving those in need? Was more Bible study or a stronger prayer life needed? What made their commitment to Christ dif How do we live the Christian life? April Love-Fordham and her husband contemplated this as they retraced the footsteps of Saint Francis across the Italian wilderness. Did they need to renounce materialism and live more simply? Did they need to do more work serving those in need? Was more Bible study or a stronger prayer life needed? What made their commitment to Christ different than those committed to other faiths? How could their lives make a difference? Love-Fordham was planning a lecture series on Galatians, written by the Apostle Paul, when she and her husband began their pilgrimage. As they journeyed into the life and legends of Saint Francis, a playful old-school Franciscan monk befriended them. Together, the three named the parallels and divergences in the lives of Saint Francis and Paul. In doing so, they discovered an entirely new--but ancient--way of following Jesus. This book teaches Galatians the way Jesus taught: through parables. In this case, the parables are about Saint Francis. Each section ends with a spiritual practice designed to help readers discover their own unique way of living the Christian life. ""April Love-Fordham's Disorderly Parables Series resonates with the women's lives in our Bible study group. She stretches us beyond our comfort zone to prayerfully consider our fellow humankind. . . . We highly recommend her books for your next study."" --Stephanie Yuicus, St. Catherine's Women's Bible Study Leader ""This installment in Love-Fordham's Disorderly Parables Series is a winsome account of pilgrimage, framed within an accessible study of Paul's letter to the Galatians. The book's four sections explore what it means to follow the way of Jesus, with a chance to stop and reflect at the end of each section. Try using the photographs for visual meditation (visio divina). Another plus: the lesson plans, while intended for group study, work well as personal journaling prompts, too."" --Sarah Erickson, Director, Lifelong Learning, Columbia Theological Seminary ""April Love-Fordham's St. Francis and the Christian Life continues her Disorderly Parable Series in which she has woven together narrative and biblical exegesis to create a brilliant book on Christian spiritual formation. . . . The book is replete with wonderful advice for individual and group spiritual disciplines. St. Francis and the Christian Life is a must for any Christian who wants to grow in faith, or enable others so to do."" --Kenneth Swanson, Rector, St. David's Episcopal Church; Adjunct Professor, Candler School of Theology, Emory University With two degrees from Georgia Tech, April Love-Fordham (aprillovefordham.com) rose to the executive suite, left the corporate world, earned an MDiv and DMin, and was ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Today she is an Episcopalian and is writing a series called Disorderly Parable Bible Studies, including James in the Suburbs on James (2014) and Dismantling Injustice on the Song of Solomon (2016). She lives with her husband and Great Dane in Atlanta, GA.


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How do we live the Christian life? April Love-Fordham and her husband contemplated this as they retraced the footsteps of Saint Francis across the Italian wilderness. Did they need to renounce materialism and live more simply? Did they need to do more work serving those in need? Was more Bible study or a stronger prayer life needed? What made their commitment to Christ dif How do we live the Christian life? April Love-Fordham and her husband contemplated this as they retraced the footsteps of Saint Francis across the Italian wilderness. Did they need to renounce materialism and live more simply? Did they need to do more work serving those in need? Was more Bible study or a stronger prayer life needed? What made their commitment to Christ different than those committed to other faiths? How could their lives make a difference? Love-Fordham was planning a lecture series on Galatians, written by the Apostle Paul, when she and her husband began their pilgrimage. As they journeyed into the life and legends of Saint Francis, a playful old-school Franciscan monk befriended them. Together, the three named the parallels and divergences in the lives of Saint Francis and Paul. In doing so, they discovered an entirely new--but ancient--way of following Jesus. This book teaches Galatians the way Jesus taught: through parables. In this case, the parables are about Saint Francis. Each section ends with a spiritual practice designed to help readers discover their own unique way of living the Christian life. ""April Love-Fordham's Disorderly Parables Series resonates with the women's lives in our Bible study group. She stretches us beyond our comfort zone to prayerfully consider our fellow humankind. . . . We highly recommend her books for your next study."" --Stephanie Yuicus, St. Catherine's Women's Bible Study Leader ""This installment in Love-Fordham's Disorderly Parables Series is a winsome account of pilgrimage, framed within an accessible study of Paul's letter to the Galatians. The book's four sections explore what it means to follow the way of Jesus, with a chance to stop and reflect at the end of each section. Try using the photographs for visual meditation (visio divina). Another plus: the lesson plans, while intended for group study, work well as personal journaling prompts, too."" --Sarah Erickson, Director, Lifelong Learning, Columbia Theological Seminary ""April Love-Fordham's St. Francis and the Christian Life continues her Disorderly Parable Series in which she has woven together narrative and biblical exegesis to create a brilliant book on Christian spiritual formation. . . . The book is replete with wonderful advice for individual and group spiritual disciplines. St. Francis and the Christian Life is a must for any Christian who wants to grow in faith, or enable others so to do."" --Kenneth Swanson, Rector, St. David's Episcopal Church; Adjunct Professor, Candler School of Theology, Emory University With two degrees from Georgia Tech, April Love-Fordham (aprillovefordham.com) rose to the executive suite, left the corporate world, earned an MDiv and DMin, and was ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Today she is an Episcopalian and is writing a series called Disorderly Parable Bible Studies, including James in the Suburbs on James (2014) and Dismantling Injustice on the Song of Solomon (2016). She lives with her husband and Great Dane in Atlanta, GA.

34 review for St. Francis and the Christian Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brent

    The Disorderly Parable series does something few other Bible study series do by weaving together original fiction, serious Biblical exegesis, historical research, and the author’s own pastoral insight in a way that’s cohesive, challenging, and engaging without ever being dry. Highly recommended.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Henderson

    I loved this incredible book. I loved this incredible book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    April Love-Fordham

    If you’ve ever asked yourself how best to lead a Christian life, you may find that St. Francis and the Christian Life: A Disorderly Parable of the Epistle to the Galatians by April Love-Fordham is for you. Author Jon M. Sweeney notes in a foreword that, “(Love-Fordham) does here what we desperately need spiritual books to do: she prompts questions in us.” If you’re studying the missions of St. Francis and St. Paul, you’ll find this an interesting comparison on how they approached the establishme If you’ve ever asked yourself how best to lead a Christian life, you may find that St. Francis and the Christian Life: A Disorderly Parable of the Epistle to the Galatians by April Love-Fordham is for you. Author Jon M. Sweeney notes in a foreword that, “(Love-Fordham) does here what we desperately need spiritual books to do: she prompts questions in us.” If you’re studying the missions of St. Francis and St. Paul, you’ll find this an interesting comparison on how they approached the establishment of religious communities in their respective times. If you’re looking for an engaging and thought-provoking subject for group or personal study, you’ll find this to be an utterly approachable and readable presentation that includes lesson plans, suggested spiritual practices, illustrations, and a bibliography. I enjoyed St. Francis and the Christian Life. For all that it’s a non-fiction work on a serious question (“how are we to live the Christian Life?”), it reads with the easiness of an adventure novel set in the Italian countryside and laced with history, mystery, and suspense rather than as a purely academic treatment. The result is enjoyable. Love-Fordham crosses three timelines—the Early Church, the Middle Ages, and the modern world—as she and her husband end a hiking pilgrimage on the Camino di Assissi with a month’s stop at an agriturismo a day from Assisi. While there, April Love-Fordham works on a lesson regarding St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians and draws comparisons between the two saints. The descriptions of the Italian countryside, the religious sites, and the people that she encounters, including the mysterious Brother Giovanni, add color and interest to the historical and religious themes. -- Readers' Favorite Review

  4. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Cheresnick

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amy Rudolph

  6. 4 out of 5

    Steve

  7. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

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    Sam

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    Lydia Wallace

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    Micielle

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    Rachella Baker

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    ROY Law

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    Brooke

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    Taylor

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    Pam

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    Charissa Rate

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    Kim Ellis

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    Karyn Palmer

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    Raymond Stone

  22. 5 out of 5

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    Taylor Johnston

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    Darlene Howard

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    Teresa Lavender

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    Cathy Tilton

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    Rick

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    F

  33. 5 out of 5

    Jerrilynn Atherton

  34. 4 out of 5

    GG

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