Today I wanted to share a book with you. It is the first book in The Apprentice Series, which along with two other books form a "curriculum for Christlikeness." The aim of the first book is to help people discover the God Jesus revealed.
"The Good and Beautiful God" by James Bryan Smith.
From the introduction: "Each chapter deals with false concepts and the true one, namely, the narrative of Jesus. Each chapter also contains a soul-training exercise to help imbed the narrative of Jesus more deeply into our minds, bodies, and souls. These exercises are not mean to to make you more religious or impress God. They are meant to help you see and understand the world as Jesus did."
From the first chapter: "Would you like to have abiding peace? Would you like to have a heart that is filled with love? Would you like to have the kind of faith that see everything - even your failures and losses - in light of God's governance for good? Would you like to have the kind of hope that endures even in discouraging circumstances?"
"A lot of people want to change and would answer yes to these questions, but many of them do not believe it is possible. After years of trying and failing, they lead a Christian life of quiet desperation, longing for change and yet certain it will never happen. So they sit in their pews each week, sighing silently, resigned to their fate."
"I used to think that way. I tried and tried and tried to change. I prayed and prayed, pleading with God, begging God to change me. All to no avail. I wanted to become the kind of person Jesus described in the Sermon on the Mount - a person who loved his enemies and never worried about anything. But when I looked into my own heart, I discovered that I not only did not love my enemies, I didn't even love some of my friends, and I worried about everything."
From Dallas Willard - "The best practice I have seen in Christian spiritual formation."
From Richard J. Foster - "I urge you to buy this book immediately! Read it......Then live it out in the context of a loving community. You will not regret doing so."
I can't wait to dig in!!!!