In this book entitled Revival in the Valley of Dry Bones: Raising Up an Exceeding Great Army, Pastor Mackey states, "Clearly, there is a dire need today in our cities for a word of true prophetic destiny that sets the captive free from the brutal bondage of modern-day slavery where the poor are the last to be hired and the first to be fired. Even in the midst of the valley of apparent hopelessness, we must not give up,because there is divine hope from above. We can be the visionaries of victory rather than the everlasting victims of the vicious system."
In an age when the so-called prosperity gospel holds sway in many Christian communities or the good news of Christ is reduced to feel-good bromides, it would seem that death has little place in contemporary preaching. Embracing the vision of the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37 as a metaphor for preaching in the Spirit, acclaimed homiletician Luke Powery asserts that death is the context for all preaching. In fact, the Spirit leads preachers to the context of death each Sunday in order to proclaim a word of life that ultimately breathes hope into people's lives. Yet many preachers avoid death because they are at a loss of what to say about it and do not realize its vital connection to the substance of Christian hope. As a result the church is too often left with sermons that are fundamentally devoid of hope. Dem Dry Bones aims to remedy some of the theological and homiletical shortcomings in contemporary preaching by looking closely at the African American spirituals tradition, which Powery describes as "sung sermons" that embrace death. Thus, not only is death the context for preaching hope, but hope is generated by experiencing death through the Spirit who is the ultimate source of hope. Through this study, Powery demonstrates how to preach in the Spirit so that proclaiming death becomes an avenue toward hope. In short: no death, no hope.
Gay Men Creating Post-AIDS Identities and Cultures
Author: Eric Rofes
Category: Health & Fitness
Dry Bones Breathe: Gay Men Creating Post-AIDS Identities and Cultures breaks new ground in offering an original and insightful interpretation of gay men’s shifting experience of the AIDS epidemic. From Dry Bones Breathe, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of current community debates focused on circuit parties, unprotected sex, and gay men’s sexual cultures, and you will learn how social, political, and biomedical changes are dramatically transforming gay identities and cultures. Dry Bones Breathe is Eric Rofes’explosive follow-up to Reviving the Tribe, a book which broke open debates in gay communities around the world about sex, identity, and gay men’s relationship to AIDS. In this volume, Rofes contends that most gay men no longer experience AIDS as the crisis they did during the 1980s. Gay men often attribute this shift to the advent of protozoa inhibitors, but Rofes explains how other factors, including the epidemic’s predicted trajectory, new treatments for opportunistic infections, the passage of time, and the increasing diversity of gay men inhabiting communities throughout the country have set in motion the transformation of gay life. AIDS organizations and gay leaders, however, continue to assert that gay men experience AIDS as an emergency, resulting in a tremendous dissonance between gay leaders and their communities. In the midst of this controversy, Dry Bones Breathe lets you share in stories of hope and recovery and a new vision for AIDS work that demands a radical redesign of prevention, care, and activism. Dry Bones Breathe tackles several other issues concerning the powerful shifts occurring in gay communities and cultures by: explaining why an understanding of the terms “post-AIDS” and “post-crisis” is crucial to interpreting contemporary gay male cultures and what Australian prevention theorists have to offer gay men in the United States describing the “Protozoa Moment” and exploring how a dangerous obsession with pharmaceuticals is leading many to mistakenly attribute all changes in gay men’s cultures to combination therapies examining the writings of Larry Kramer, Andrew Sullivan, Michelangelo Signorile, and Gabriel Rightly to illustrate how the crisis construct has unleashed a backlash against gay sexual cultures discussing the dramatic diminution in gay men’s AIDS-related deaths in epicenter cities and the impact of shrinking obituary pages on gay men’s mental health exploring the diverse relationships to the epidemic forged by young gay men, gay men of color, gay men from rural or small towns, and middle-aged men not infected with HI detailing how HI prevention and service organizations targeting gay men must redesign their mission and restructure their work In response to continuing efforts to direct gay men back into a state of emergency, Dry Bones Breathe suggests that long-term prevention efforts must be constructed around something other than a crisis. While AIDS organizations look at gay men’s diminished participation in AIDS activism, Rofes argues that these organizations should face how they have distanced themselves from the reality of most gay men’s lives. From stories and experiences full of hope, anger, sadness, and strength, Dry Bones Breathe will teach you about gay men who no longer base their identities and cultures solely around AIDS.
God’s Spirit once took the prophet Ezekiel to a vast valley filled with brittle, parched-dry bones—a potent picture of widespread spiritual dryness. But by the Word of God proclaimed through Ezekiel’s mouth, those piles of bones took on sinew and flesh and skin, then were infused with life-giving, wind-driven breath from the Spirit of God. A sweeping vista of skeletons was turned instead into a force of fired-up warriors ready to do battle for the Lord. A transformation just as dramatic is what God wants to generate in our individual lives today and in the life of His church. Dry Bones Dancing is about escaping religious dryness to move on to true spiritual passion. The results will be an experience of supernatural power and peace in the presence of God as you are invited to go deeper and see God’s character and glory as never before. Broken . . . Whole Parched . . . Flourishing Dry Bones . . . Dancing Is the landscape of your spirit all too desert-like? Then it’s time for a change. It’s time for a miracle. And God is ready to give it to you. Author and speaker Dr. Tony Evans boldly declares the truth: God’s people are not meant to dwell in a lifeless valley. But if we are to embrace pure joy and rich passion once again, God requires a humble heart. Evans shows desert-dwellers how to pinpoint what brought them there in the first place—and how to get out. Experience spiritual nourishment and vitality once again. And get ready… …to dance! Story Behind the Book After many years of ministering to Christians burned out by religion and spiritually dry, Tony Evans searched the Scriptures for answers to share with everyone who is seeking to rekindle their passion for God. He found the perfect passage in Ezekiel. Through his study of the story, he bolstered his own spiritual passion, and now he shares it with those seeking to be rebuilt and reenergized by and for God.
Are you ready to rebuild the walls of your life? Tear down the old walls and build anew. I am ready to rebuild the walls of my life. There's no need to feel burdened or discouraged because the walls of your life have been torn down. Let us take encouragement from Nehemiah and other biblical characters, as encouragement on how to pursue not just strong walls, but God Himself, who is our fortress and deliverer. God is our stronghold, our deliverer. He is our fort, our bastion. God is our castle and our citadel. Failure is not fatal. One mistake doesn't make you a loser. You are not a mistake. A mistake is what you did not what you are. Our scars represent strength not weakness. Yes they can and they will be a great army in the name of Jesus. Your situation may look as hopeless as it did for the Assyrians but I can almost guarantee. What God has is for you. Even though your blessings may delayed I believe in my heart they your blessings won't be denied. Abundance and blessings are on the way! In Jesus Name.
Michael BRUCE (Presbyterian Minister at Killinchy.)
The Gospel comes to us in an inexhaustible variety of ways: in reading Scripture and praying together, in thinking hard and arguing in faithful community, in the Holy Spirit and in flesh and bone. These sermons engage heart and mind, all of the senses (including our senses of humor and tragedy), and the real lives of real congregations, to proclaim a thoughtful, embodied vision of the gospel of Jesus Christ.