Lucius Valerius Galeo personifies the Roman Empire’s ambition and dominance. An egotistical centurion, his swagger betrays his arrogance and his blood-stained fists evidence his quick temper. He serves in Judea, quelling Jewish riots in Caesarea’s hippodrome and doing the bidding of the governor, Pontius Pilate, from Jerusalem’s fortress of Antonia. The Jewish people repulse him.
Lucius grows intrigued when protesting Jews lay their necks open to the sword—his sword—in response to Pilate’s desecration of their temple. His heart softens when a Jewish couple shows compassion to his children and their mother. His inner turmoil reaches its peak when a rabbi from Galilee arrives in Jerusalem. The rabbi’s teaching and miracles force Lucius to wrestle with his deepest assumptions and desires. Will he choose the ruthless power of Rome or the eternal power of Christ?
A Death Well Lived is a captivating tale set in first century Judea that offers hope for the worst among us and the worst within us.
"A Death Well Lived speaks clearly and boldly to making the choice to follow Christ in extreme situations. Overdorf brings to life the struggles of belief for a Roman centurion who witnesses the miracles of Jesus, and shows how that ripple in the water changes his life and the lives of those closest to him. Set in first century Judea, Overdorf draws us in and allows us to experience the last days of Jesus through the eyes and changing heart of a centurion." (Cindy K. Sproles, Best-Selling Author of Mercy's Rain and Liar's Winter)
One Year to Better Preaching provides preachers with fifty-two hands-on exercises that sharpen their homiletical skills. The book is designed particularly for those who preach each week—and have been, perhaps, for some time—to help them get out of the rut of the routine and infuse their preaching with new sparks of creativity, fresh approaches to sermon preparation and design, and sharpened verbal and nonverbal communication skills. Novice preachers, also, will find the exercises useful in developing their preaching abilities.
Each chapter includes instructions for an exercise, tools and suggestions needed for the exercise, comments from preachers who completed it, and recommended resources for further study. One Year to Better Preaching will leave a preacher reinvigorated and better equipped to proclaim the Word of God skillfully, passionately, and effectively.
"One Year to Better Preaching will help preachers improve their preaching not just in one year but in every year, month, or week they seek to follow Daniel Overdorf’s insightful advice" (Scott M Gibson, David E. Garland Chair of Preaching, Director of the PhD in Preaching Program, George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University).
"Daniel Overdorf is creative, thorough, and practical―a great combination! These insightful exercises, combined with the books, articles, and websites he mentions, will hugely impact anyone’s preaching. Fascinating reading!" (Donald R Sunukjian, Professor of Preaching and Chair of Christian Ministry and Leadership Department, Talbot School of Theology).
"Even preachers who make a conscientious effort to keep up with new developments in preaching are not always able to find the newest insights or do not have the time to keep up with approaches to preaching that promise renewal. Overdorf puts into one volume many of the most exciting themes to emerge in the preaching ministry in the last generation" (Ronald J Allen, Nettie Sweenie and Hugh Miller Professor of Preaching and New Testament, Christian Theological Seminary).
There are so many images that come to mind when one hears the phrase The Church. For some it is an institution, cold and rigid. For others, it is an image of worship services and sermons. As one reads the New Testament, a different picture rises to the surface. It is a picture of a community that cares, serves, loves, worships, corrects and encourages one another. In this convicting and challenging book, Daniel Overdorf guides us through a journey of scripture, in order to catch a glimpse of what the Bible says about The Church. Community is at the heart of the Bible s image of the Church, and it was demonstrated from the very beginning by Jesus. As Overdorf writes: "One cannot read of Jesus relationship with His disciples without recognizing the power of community. This ragamuffin twelve talked with Jesus during their long walks from village to village, asking questions and probing the wisdom of the great I Am. They sat at His feet around the evening campfires, drinking in story after story drawn from the annals of God s history. They stood beside Jesus, intrigued, while He taught the crowds. They watched while He stretched His hand to heal the leper, to comfort the grieving, and to brush back the wisp of hair from the eye of the curious child who sat on His knee. The disciples listened, learned, and observed in community with one another and with Jesus." Rediscovering Community: What the Bible Says about the Church will become a valuable resource that you will return to again and again over the years.
Despite the concern many pastors feel when it comes to sermon application, most homiletics texts devote little more than a chapter, if that, to this vital topic. Daniel Overdorf has filled this glaring gap with Applying the Sermon. This book equips preachers to develop sermon application that grows from the biblical text and addresses the needs of contemporary congregations.
Each chapter includes snippets of interviews with five of this generation's most respected homileticians--Haddon Robinson, Will Willimon, Tom Long, Vic Pentz, and Bob Russell. A great addition to any pastoral library, and a valuable resource for Bible college and seminary courses, Overdorf's Applying the Sermon also includes an extensive bibliography and a sermon application worksheet to give pastors a chance to acquire hands-on experience with these techniques.
"Applying the Sermon is a transformative work that encourages contemporary listeners and homileticians to think seriously and critically about the importance of preserving biblical integrity while pursuing contemporary relevance" (Terriel Byrd, Professor of Urban Christian Ministry, Palm Beach Atlantic University).
"Simply put, this book is needed! Sermon application frustrates the most skilled among us. We need help. I have been waiting for a book like this for some time. Daniel Overdorf has has modeled in the church and classroom the skillful gift of taking the ancient text and applying it accurately to the contemporary world. Trust me on this, he is the real deal and this book offers real help." " (J.K. Jones, Program Director M.A. in Spiritual Formation, Lincoln Christian University; Pastor of Spiritual Formation, Eastview Christian Church, Normal, Illinois).
“Preaching sounds simple enough. Just explain what the Bible says and then show how it applies to everyday life. What's so difficult about that? Daniel Overdorf underscores in this excellent book what every sincere preacher of the gospel has discovered - the exposition of the Scripture is usually the easiest part - the application to life is the real challenge. Yet it is at the point of application that the Bible comes alive for listeners and the Holy Spirit transforms lives. Daniel Overdorf's academic credentials, personal experience and extensive research qualify him to speak to this vital subject with obvious credibility. You'll find his work sympathetic to the difficult task of preaching and yet inordinately practical and helpful to all of us who are eager to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Bob Russell, Retired Pastor of Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, Kentucky).
Many ministers have seen, felt, and tasted the warmth and love of churches who care for their ministers—bills secretly paid, bags of groceries left anonymously on the front porch, gift certificates arriving in the mailbox, and bags of homegrown tomatoes and green beans left on their desks. More significant are the prayers, support, and even the accountability given by the church community. Many ministers have received such support. Sadly, though, many others haven’t. Too many unsupported ministers leave the ministry well before God completes all He hopes to complete through them. Voices raise, fingers point, accusations fly, petitions circulate, meetings convene. Ministry becomes less a passion, more a prison. Hearts break, frustration seeps, and ministers quit. What enables one minister to hang on when so many give up? What makes one preacher, one youth minister, one missionary stay put, when another moves every two years and finally leaves altogether? No single, simple answer exists. We could take significant strides, however—and save significant ministries—if we better understood how to minister to our ministers. What will this ministry involve? Ministering to Your Minister describes eight affirmations churches should speak frequently and act on consistently to support their ministers. These chapters include numerous practical ideas and suggestions so that, by the time we reach the final page, we will find ourselves better equipped and more excited about ministering to our ministers.