From our partners at Grafted Life Ministries, Life with God is a comprehensive 1-3 year study series for small groups that lays a foundation for a lifetime of relationship with God. Year 1: Foundations focus on healthy relationships as a precursor to a healthy, love relationship with God. Both 12-week semesters are built on a study of the Book of Genesis and include 12 lessons per semester with support from an audio podcast. Years 2-3: Extended Journeys take the participant deeper into a life with God with studies based on Exodus, 1-2 Samuel, the Gospel of John and Acts.
When the Soul Listens: Finding Rest and Direction in Contemplative Prayer
Writing about this book by Jan Johnson, author Brennan Manning called it “a well-written and finely constructed introduction to the prayer of simple regard.” Author James Bryan Smith wrote, “The best recommendation anyone can give to any how-to book is this: It makes you long to do it yourself. That was certainly the case for me when I finished When the Soul Listens. It made me yearn for a deeper, wider and more consistent practice of contemplative prayer in my own life.” I (Mark Warner) couldn’t agree more. I listened to this wonderfully practical book while traveling on sabbatical and was moved by how accessible it is. The practice of Contemplative or Abiding Prayer is a central practice of Christian Spiritual Formation and Jan Johnson does a wonderful job of inviting the reader into a different kind of life with God.
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.
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.
Described as a modern-day book of psalms, this collection of prayers by Ted Loder is written in poetic form, and will provide words for the most honest, intimate places of your heart. The book is divided into thematic chapters, like Comfort & Reassurance, Restoration & Renewal, and even Prayers for Seasons & Holidays. When you want to pray – but don’t know where to begin – this will be your ‘go to’ book. Each word of every prayer is written with deliberate intention, inviting you into a time of contemplation and relationship with the Holy Spirit.
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.
In the words of the Trappist monk, Thomas Merton, “There is only one problem on which all my existence, my peace, and my happiness depend: to discover myself in discovering God. If I find Him I will find myself and if I find my true self I will find Him.”
Rather than choosing to discover ourselves or encounter God, this short, but insightful book by David Benner, guides us along a new path which permits us to uncover our identity in Christ and learn who God is at the same time.