Henri Nouwen said, “Without solitude, it is virtually impossible to live a spiritual life….We do not take the spiritual life seriously if we do not set aside some time to be with God and listen to him.” Whether you feel drawn to this statement, or sense a kind of resistance, that is all the reason you need to try this book by Ruth Haley Barton. Solitude and silence can offer something to all of us, and this Christianity Today Book Award-winner, offers practical suggestions on how to get started.
Do You Love Me? Exploring our Relationships
Most people struggle with relationships from time to time. It’s not easy developing and maintaining healthy, life-giving relationships with others, let alone a love relationship with God. This biblically rich, 4-week study, designed for individual or group use, effectively explores the dynamics of a healthy love relationship with God and how that relationship spills over into our everyday lives.
This entire book gives the reader encouragement and permission to enter into a regular time of retreat and rest. The author, Ruth Haley Barton, notes the sources of our exhaustion and then goes on to give examples of what retreat might look like, as every person is different, and the ways we rest and restore ourselves are different, too.
This is an excellent resource for pastors and church planters. Begin by watching the 35-minute video story of American pastor, Matt Canlis, who moves to a small town in Scotland to discover what it means to live the Jesus life in a church or ‘parish’. The video includes interviews with Eugene Peterson and N.T. Wright who mentored Matt and encouraged him to live at Godspeed. Then, move on to the 7 videos that companion the chapters in the study guide which is formatted for small group participation. Chapters in the book include: Place, Presence, Pace, Identity, Stability, Names, and Mission. You will be drawn into the small village of Methlick and fall in love with the people who have lived there all their lives, moving at God’s pace — 3 MPH — and learn the value of ’slowing down to catch up with God.’ This resource can also be used for small groups within the church who are desiring spiritual transformation.
What is the key to interior freedom? According to Paul, it is that which enables us able to say, “Now I rejoice greatly in the Lord …I am not saying this out of need, for I have learned to be content regardless of my circumstances. I know how to live humbly, and I know how to abound. I am accustomed to any and every situation—to being filled and being hungry, to having plenty and having need.” (Phillipians 4: 10-12)
This book is an invitation to see the church through new eyes. [From the flyleaf] “In our quest to renew the church, Christians have walked through many movements to develop new expressions of the body of Christ. Now in the post-Christian world in North America we’re asking the question again: Is there a way to be the church that engages the world, not by judgment or accommodation but by becoming the good news in our culture? In Faithful Presence, noted pastor and scholar David Fitch offers a new vision for the witness of the church in the world through a thoughtful reexamination of seven disciplines that the church has practiced since its inception.”