PUBLICATIONS BY R. THOMAS ASHBROOK
Connected: Rediscovering Life-Giving Love with God
Published December 2022
Most Christians believe that God loves them and understand that love for God and neighbor comprise the ‘greatest commandments” in the Bible. Love, understood as affection and kindly deeds, however, becomes seen as all but irrelevant compared to making disciples or helping others. Why should one’s affection or deeds be greater than faith and hope and essential for use of spiritual gifts? It’s my contention that our confusion about LOVE accounts for most of the decline in church attendance and our inability to make a compelling case for a relationship for the lordship of Jesus. Connected looks at the real meaning of agape as used by Jesus and the writers of the New Testament that forms the foundation of our relationship with the Trinity and our amazing adventure in the Kingdom of God. Dr. Ashbrook helps his readers discover how LOVE connects them in organic ways to God, to other believers, to neighbors, and even to their enemies. Connected explores why many people resist intimacy with Jesus and how Love and suffering are related. It highlights the implications for the life of the Church and how it might better reflect the passionate love relationship with God and its members that invites everyone to discover their identity as God’s beloved.
Presence: What if Jesus Were Really Here?
Discovering Christ's Presence provides a personal and group, chapter by chapter, opportunity to reflect on the novel, Presence by R. Thomas Ashbrook. The Study Guide provides a rich resource for group or personal reflection on the Presence of Jesus and as a personal devotional guide. The extensive use of Scripture in the novel makes the Study Guide a wonderful tool for small group discussions and Bible studies.
Presence describes a fictional story about Jesus’ ongoing physical appearances to three people in a small mid-western town. Under the promise that they may never tell anyone about their experiences, each one meets with Jesus personally and engages the issues in their relationship with Him and in everyday life. Jesus leads them personally and then collectively into the experience of community and discovery of Scripture’s invitation to abundant life through adoption and transformation. Using what we would call spiritual disciplines, He shows them how to experience His Presence in everyday life. Presence deals with spiritual formation but approaches it from the opposite direction. Rather than tell people “how” to experience God, this novel attempts to awaken in both believers and seekers their deep longing for a personal and present relationship that will make them want to learn “how.”
Contagious Fire: Enflaming Hearts for God and Mission
Contagious Fire challenges the Church to enflame the hearts of its members with the love of God and mobilize that love in outreach to those who desperately need Jesus. Enriched by contributions from many Church and Ministry Leaders, Contagious Fire provides the insights and resources to empower Christian leaders for the coming fulfillment of the Great Commandment and Great Commission in the Church. Dr. Ashbrook describes a process for church leaders that begins with their own journey of transformation, invites core group of leaders to fellowship in that journey, and leads congregational members to discover their own journey in God’s love that makes that love contagious to those around them.
Mansions of the Heart: Exploring the Seven Stages of Spiritual Growth
In Mansions of the Heart, author R. Thomas Ashbrook begins with his personal story of frustration and confusion while serving as a pastor of the church. He tells of discovering a new path of spiritual transformation and offers seekers a way to move forward on their own spiritual paths.
Written for anyone who wants to develop a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God, Mansions of the Heart offers a step-by-step guide through a spiritual-formation road map based on Teresa of Avila's seven mansions. This spiritual classic reveals various phases of spiritual formation, for which Ashbrook offers a personal guide to spiritual transformation. Mansions debunks commonly held myths that lead to spiritual dead ends and describes a clear pathway to a deepening love relationship with God. The book also offers church leaders a process for helping people in their faith communities grow as disciples of Christ.
Mansions of the Heart Study Guide provides an individual and group study for Mansions of the Heart: Exploring the Seven Stages of Spiritual Growth. It includes spiritual exercises and reflective questions that help readers explore the foundations of spiritual formation and their relative place in the stages of Growth.
The Teresian Mansions Mapping Tool, available through ImagoChristi.org, helps believers discover their three-mansion place in the Teresian paradigm and identifies areas of growth cooperation with God as He invites them into deeper relationship.
"The Right Disciplines at the Right Time: Understanding the Journey with Teresa of Avila"
From Conversations Journal, Spring 2007