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Review – Latest Spirituality Titles: 10 to Watch – Spring 2015

January 11, 2015 2 comments

Whoever said that Christian books are boring? Not so . … here is a personal selection of my ‘Ten to Note’ Christian titles from the many hundreds published in the current period:

40 Days, 40 Bites: A Family Guide to Pray for the World

Simply superb! If you missed this, you’ve missed a treat. This is Operation World Lite for all the family. Colourful and informative, a really outstanding package which deserves to do well. The maps, charts and prayer points enable adults and children to learn together whilst praying for the world.

Footsteps of Jesus: Pilgrim Traveller’s Guide to the Holy Land

Despite the perceived and sometimes real dangers, people still travel to Israel. I went there last year and I’m sure I would have benefited from this new BRF guide. The truth is that, alongside a Rough Guide and the Lonely Planet, you need to take a spiritual guidebook as well. This should be the one.

10 to Note 40 days 40 bites10 to Note Footsteps of Jesus

In God’s Hands – Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2015

At the heart of Archbishop’s Tutu’s faith is an unshakeable belief in the infinite value of every individual. This, coupled with his unwavering declaration of the love of God for everyone regardless of colour or faith, makes this paperback a profound reflection for the forthcoming season of Lent.

Love so Amazing: 40 Reflections on my Favourite Hymns

I love hymns. I collect books of hymn stories. Hymns are in danger of being lost to our culture. BBC TV’s ‘Songs of Praise’ has probably done more than most churches in keeping hymns alive in the national consciousness. Presenter Pam Rhodes selects her personal choices in this small hardback.

10 to Note In Gods hands10 to Note Love so amazing

Miracles

Sub-titled, ‘What they are, why they happen and how they can change your life’. Is this rather hefty hardback the definitive work on the subject of Miracles? You must judge for yourself, but it comes with some weighty endorsements, and attempts to navigate the middle ground between the extremes of enthusiasm and scepticism.

The New Rules for Love, Sex and Dating

I heard Andy Stanley preach at his mega-church in Atlanta last year. He is the son of the better-known Charles Stanley. Above all, Andy Stanley came across as sensible, realistic and down-to-earth, with none of the usual trappings of American superstar preachers. This book deserves to do well.

10 to Note Miracles10 to Note New Rules

On Rock or Sand: Firm Foundations for Britain’s Future

The Archbishop of York always seems such a joyful, solid character, and a far better role model for this country than so many of our politicians. In this book, John Sentamu edits various contributions looking at the essential values required to build a just, sustainable and compassionate society for the Britain of the future.

Presence and Encounter

I met David Benner at a counselling conference in Singapore. He had the most extraordinary impact on my life, introducing me to the constancy and beauty of God’s presence. I view that moment as a clear spiritual turning point. Anything written by Dr Benner is well worth reading – very slowly!

10 to Note On rock or sand10 to Note Presence encounter

When God Breaks In

Yes, it’s the same Michael Green – back again with a fascinating book of how Christianity is thriving and growing around the world. For me, the interest lay in his chapter of how spiritual renewal came to Singapore. Sub-titled ‘Revival can happen again’, this is truly a faith-building and timely book.

The Wisdom House

Hodder Faith do produce attractive books. This title is elegantly packaged and makes a lovely gift. I enjoyed this book of ‘life-lessons’. As a grandparent, so much of what Rob Parsons writes resonated with me. This is vintage Parsons: thought provoking, faith-full and wise. This really is a significant book.

10 to Note When God breals in10 to Note Wisdom House

This article was written in November 2014 for publication in Together Magazine (January to February 2015).

These titles can be purchased via any good Bookshop or from clcbookshops.com.

Bibliographic Metadata        
Title Author Publisher ISBN
40 Days 40 Bites: A Family Guide to Pray for the World Trudi Parkes Christian Focus 9781781914014
Footsteps of Jesus: Pilgrim Traveller’s Guide to the Holy Land Perry Buck BRF 9780857463456
In God’s Hands (ABC Lent Book 2015) Desmond Tutu Bloomsbury 9781472908377
Love so Amazing: 40 Reflections on my Favourite Hymns Pam Rhodes Lion Hudson 9780857215703
Miracles Eric Metaxas Hodder Faith 9781473604766
The New Rules for Love, Sex and Dating Andy Stanley Thomas Nelson 9780310342199
On Rock or Sand: Firm Foundations for Britain’s Future Editor: John Sentamu SPCK 9780281071746
Presence and Encounter David Benner Brazos Press 9781587433610
When God Breaks In Michael Green Hodder Faith 9781444787962
The Wisdom House Rob Parsons Hodder Faith 9781444745665

Reflection: A growing awareness of the daily presence of God

September 2, 2012 3 comments

Stephen Hawking opening the 2012 Paralympics in London said: ‘Look up at the stars. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the Universe exist. Be curious’.

G K Chesterton: To those given to behold God’s glory: ‘There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect’.

Exodus 33:14-16: The Lord replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’ Then Moses said to him, ‘If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? 

C S Lewis: ‘Oh Aslan, said Lucy, it was kind of you to come … I’ve been here all the time, said He, but you have just made me visible’.

Dr David Benner: We do not have to do anything to gain access to God’s presence. We must simply recognize Who is already present.

Charlie Cleverley writes about ‘Epiphanies of the Ordinary’, David Benner speaks about ‘Transformation’. Whatever it is, it’s both about seeing and knowing God.

The awareness of the presence of God in our lives today is key. It will determine how we live today and how we respond to those around us.

The Lord is here, His Spirit is with us; an awareness of God’s presence transforms how we respond to ourselves and to those around us.

Consciously practice the presence of God today. It doesn’t come easily or naturally. Other things can dominate and crowd out our intentions.

I notice on a train how people are immersed in their phones – a pointer to how being immersed in God’s presence works; the strength of our desire to connect.

However tough & challenging life is for you today, rest in an awareness of the reality of God’s presence with you. He desires to bless you.

Give yourself space today to be aware of the reality of God’s presence. He IS with you and He loves you. Enjoy the moment. Be blessed!

Find space to experience God today. Don’t wait until you’re next in Church. In fact Church is not always conducive to the experience of God.

Henri Nouwen: The core of all prayer is indeed listening, obediently standing in the presence of God.

Our culture of chasing results and targets can adversely affect our relationships. Seek a balance and more especially in finding time with God.

Live in your experience of God for today. Don’t assume it will perhaps happen tomorrow or in the future. Enjoy the moment now. He loves you.

Say this prayer today: For the awareness & reality of your presence with me today, I thank you Lord.

Lord, I’m grateful for my waking hours. Come to me today. Remind me of your love. Immerse me in your Spirit. Jesus, you are with me today.

Never underestimate the blessing of your presence to others; of you just being you. If you were not you, others would be so much the poorer!

These sentences are taken from my Twitter stream describing a growing awareness of the daily presence of God.

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