The subtitle of this interesting book by Trina Paulus reads, “A tale — partly about life, partly about revolution and lots about hope for adults and others (including caterpillars who can read).” Though it’s not overtly Christian in content, the book does a wonderful job of exploring the futility of following the crowd and the process of transformation in our lives — the sacrifices that must be made, how we have to die to ourselves and our old way of life to make room for something new. Children will love and adults won’t miss the nuances of the evolving story.
Living in Christ’s Presence: Final Words on Heaven and the Kingdom of God
Adapted from talks given by Dallas Willard and John Ortberg at the Knowing Christ Today conference in California, Living in Christ’s Presence is rich with spiritual insight and wisdom. The DVD or audiobook version features a lightly edited live recording of the conference that is so engaging you’ll listen to it over and over again. John Ortberg’s talk on The Importance of Spiritual Disciplines and the ensuing conversation with Dallas Willard on the topic is certainly worth your attention. And Dallas Willard’s closing remarks on blessing others and God is a thoughtful way to bring the discussion on life in the kingdom of God to a close.
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.
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.
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.
From thoughtful author and teacher, Jan Johnson, this wonderful devotional guide to Psalm 23 can be used as the framework for a personal prayer retreat or in small groups. Built around seven meditations, the book explores the kind of life that’s available to anyone who will allow the Lord to be their Shepherd.
Grief is a black hole. Whether you’ve lost a spouse, a child, a parent or your way in life, grief can swallow you whole. It changes you forever. Larry Warner’s Journey with Grief: Navigating the First Year is a caring friend that will help you process your grief in the first twelve months.