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.
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.
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.
A quarterly subscription service, Field Guides for the Way is for creative contemplatives and ANYONE who wants to encounter God in a fresh way in everyday life. Built around the truth that a life of faith is a beautiful adventure, each kit is an invitation into a deeper, more intimate journey with Jesus. The Field Guides themselves are beautifully written. The tools that accompany the guide make opening each box a bit like Christmas morning. If you’re ready to take a “step toward God, toward your soul, toward wholeness and renewal,” this thoughtfully designed resource is a wonderful companion along the way.
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 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.