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.
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.
As Dallas Willard wrote, “The most important thing about you is not the things you achieve; it is the person that you become.” [From the flyleaf] “In Soul Keeping, bestselling author John Ortberg sheds light on the most overlooked…and least-understood part of your being. With a workable and relevant approach, he shows how living the “with God” life isn’t just a good idea — it’s the only way to find lasting peace and satisfaction.”
Have you reached a place in your spiritual journey where everything seems kind of stale and meaningless? Does it feel like there’s nothing more for you in your relationship with Jesus? The Deeper Journey invites you to consider the possibility that ‘it’s not what you are seeking’ that is the issue, but rather ‘who you are in your relationship with Jesus’ that is causing the roadblock.
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 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.
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.