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.
My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes. A Journey Through Loss with Art and Color
This simple, little book by author and artist Roger Hutchison uses art and color to help folks of any age who have suffered loss process their pain. Giving words to those who have no words in a time of grief is a great gift, helping them remember and celebrate the life of a loved one is greater still. Thoughtfully written and beautifully illustrated, the book is dedicated first to God, the creator of all color.
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.
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.
Dallas Willard wrote, “For most, trying to take the Exercises straight is like trying to board the airplane when it is already a hundred feet off the ground. Larry Warner’s Journey with Jesus effectively brings the Exercises within reach of any disciple…” And he’s correct. You won’t find a more practical, easy-to-use guide to the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius. The book itself is loaded with helpful insights, suggestions and direction drawn from Warner’s own experience of leading others through the Exercises. Everything is thoroughly explained with helpful introductions to each section and text boxes that pop up at just the right time throughout the book providing encouragement and much-needed instruction. Do you long to know Jesus, walk with Jesus and be loved by Jesus? Are you ready for your eyes to be opened to the availability and constancy of the ever-present God? Go on a journey with Jesus and your life will never be the same.
The introduction of this thoughtfully developed 15-month devotional guide from Renovaré says, “As followers of Jesus, we want to pour out our lives for others. This is a good and beautiful thing. However, if we are not continually replenished by ‘living water,’ we will end up drained, dry, and exhausted.” We’ve all been there, struggling with our tendency to be a human doing instead of a human being, keeping company with Jesus Christ. Bernard of Clairvaux captured it well when he wrote, “If then you are wise, you will show yourself rather as a reservoir than as a canal. A canal spreads abroad water as it receives it, and a reservoir waits until it is filled before overflowing, and thus without loss to itself communicates its superabundant water. In the Church at the present day we have many canals and few reservoirs.”
The Reservoir, presenting 5 brief weekly readings, a suggested Scripture text for meditation and wonderfully probing questions will help you drink the living water Jesus promised so you can become a person who lives out of the overflow.
“Mansions of the Heart begins with the author’s personal story of frustration and confusion and the discovery that there is more to the Christian life than building a successful church. While strengthening his relationship with God, R. Thomas Ashbrook — an engineer-turned-pastor — went on a wondrous and often challenging adventure of discovery. By revealing his story of transformation, Dr. Ashbrook offers seekers a way to move forward on their own spiritual paths.”
A must-read primer for anyone drawn to the formissional life, Mansions of the Heart draws the reader ever deeper into a love relationship with Jesus while leaving behind the performance-based, success-driven culture of modern religious life. If you want to discover the path to a life with God — not under God or in the name of God or for God — read this book! The insets throughout tracing the spiritual maturation process in the lives of mythical Michael and Abigail make it even more practical.