Just Shy of Harmony (A Harmony Novel)

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9780060006327: Just Shy of Harmony (A Harmony Novel)

Master storyteller Philip Gulley returns to the winsome ways of Harmony, Indiana, the small Midwestern town that captured the hearts of readers in his acclaimed debut novel, Home to Harmony. Just Shy of Harmony follows the happenings of an eventful year spanning two Easters, in which Quaker pastor Sam Gardner and the members of his flock discover surprising answers to life's challenging mysteries.

Sam has an unexpected crisis of faith -- will he overcome it? Does the future of the church really lie with Pastor Jimmy of the Harmony Worship Center and sermons like "Ten Mutual Funds Jesus Would Die For"? Will Wayne Fleming resolve his conflicted love for the beautiful lawyer Deena Morrison, owner of The Legal Grounds Coffee Shop, where ten dollars buys you a cup of coffee and the answer to any two legal questions?

All the lovable Harmony characters are here, with all their homely charms. Readers will discover a secret illness, learn of a surprise lottery recipient, and laugh at the progress of Dale Hinshaw's ill-hatched Scripture-egg ministry. When Easter dawns, all will expect a miracle in Harmony.

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Review:

In Just Shy of Harmony, Philip Gulley's follow-up novel to Home to Harmony, the award-winning author again offers matchless slices of small-town life as he catches us up on the doings of the quirky characters that inhabit this small community. Beloved minister Sam Gardner slides into depression as his little Quaker church, which once had goals of spreading the gospel and ending world hunger, now juggles such lofty issues as what type of vanity table to put in the ladies' restroom and the progress of its chicken noodle sales. Gulley gently pokes fun at evangelical Christianity's foibles through his characterizations, including church member Dale Hinshaw's "Scripture egg project" (chickens lay eggs with Scripture in the yolks to reach the unsaved). There are poignant moments: Wayne Fleming's wife Sally has deserted him and his three kids, and now Wayne is in love with lawyer Deena Morrison, owner of the Legal Grounds Coffee Shop. When Sally returns home, Wayne must make the most difficult decision of his life. Reading one of Gulley's stories is as comfortable as sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch, listening to an old friend spin tales. This installment in the Harmony series is sure to win Gulley some new fans and please his loyal following. --Cindy Crosby

About the Author:

I was born in February of 1961. My mother went into labor while she and my father were watching Gunsmoke. My father was taken with that program and wanted to name me for one of the characters. Unfortunately, my cousin was named Matt, which left the name Festus for me. My mother, a Catholic, wanted to name me after her favorite pope, Cletus. They compromised by naming me Philip, the guy in the Bible who became a disciple of Jesus and was never heard from again.

I live in the same town where I was born. I moved away at the age of 19 to work, where I met my wife, Joan Apple. We were married on June 2nd of 1984 at the Quaker meetinghouse in Paoli, Indiana. I began attending Marian College in Indianapolis where I studied theology and sociology. I then enrolled at Christian Theological Seminary where I graduated with honors, to the utter amazement of everyone who knew me.

While in seminary, I became the pastor of Irvington Friends Meeting in Indianapolis. While there, our two sons were born, and I began writing essays for our church's newsletter. One Sunday, Paul Harvey, Jr. and Dina Kinnan attended our meeting for worship and began receiving our newsletter. A few months later, they were approached by a publisher with an offer to write. Already committed to a publisher, they recommended my writing instead. I was invited to send the newsletters I'd written to the publisher, who agreed to publish them. That was my first book, Front Porch Tales. I've been writing ever since.

In 1998, my family and I moved back to my hometown. I took a year off to write, then agreed to become the part-time pastor of Fairfield Friends Meeting, a small Quaker meeting near my home, where I continue to minister.

I write five days a week, usually in the morning. I knock off for lunch and a nap, then am back at it until my boys get home from school. Once a week or so, I travel somewhere to give a speech. This is not nearly as exotic as it sounds. If humanity has invented a more dismal way to travel than the airplane, I'm not aware of it.

I don't work on Saturdays, unless I've goofed off through the week and need to catch up, a not uncommon occurrence. Sundays are spent at Quaker meeting for worship and in my recliner, asleep, with the newspaper in my lap. I have single-handedly raised the Sunday afternoon nap to an art form.

This marriage of pastoring, writing and speaking is one that appeals to me. Each activity complements the other. I once spent a summer during college working for the state highway picking up roadkill. Compared to that, what I do now is a breeze.

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Gulley, Philip
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Book Description HarperOne, 2002. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Master storyteller Philip Gulley returns to the winsome ways of Harmony, Indiana, the small Midwestern town that captured the hearts of readers in his acclaimed debut novel, Home to Harmony. Just Shy of Harmony follows the happenings of an eventful year spanning two Easters, in which Quaker pastor Sam Gardner and the members of his flock discover surprising answers to life's challenging mysteries. Sam has an unexpected crisis of faith -- will he overcome it? Does the future of the church really lie with Pastor Jimmy of the Harmony Worship Center and sermons like "Ten Mutual Funds Jesus Would Die For"? Will Wayne Fleming resolve his conflicted love for the beautiful lawyer Deena Morrison, owner of The Legal Grounds Coffee Shop, where ten dollars buys you a cup of coffee and the answer to any two legal questions? All the lovable Harmony characters are here, with all their homely charms. Readers will discover a secret illness, learn of a surprise lottery recipient, and laugh at the progress of Dale Hinshaw's ill-hatched Scripture-egg ministry. When Easter dawns, all will expect a miracle in Harmony. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0060006323

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