Thursday, July 29, 2010

Longing For God

Dear Faithful Ones,

I have often shared devotional messages, which some of you either frequently or even occasionally decide to read and ponder. I have also recommend many books in addition to God's Holy Word for the edification of your own spirit. I must admit in this season of "retirement" I have rediscovered the joy and wonder of reading, and my appetite has been nothing short of voracious especially for Christian literature of all sorts.

Today, I return to a recommendation to read and meditate on a work titled Longing For God by Gayle Beebe and Richard Foster. I have read this book three times in the past year, and even now am in the process of further absorbing certain portions as Patti and I seek God's guidance in this season of our lives. Some of you may be familiar with Devotional Classics and Spiritual Classics from Renovare? These books were compiled by James Bryan Smith and Richard Foster, and contain a rich collection of the wonderful writings of the ancients (and even some contemporaries) of Christian thought. Longing For God takes these classics in a further direction toward spiritual formation for each of us who desires to follow Christ. Beebe presents the saints and their God-given insights to us, followed by Foster's reflections. I love the way the book is organized and the introductions to each stream or path of spirituality. For those who like to preview books, I suggest using this link to view contents, excerpts, etc. and also read reviews -

I often try to include excerpts in my messages but I hesitate to do that here, as I really don't want to keep you from discovering what God may desire to speak to you from the whole of this work. I have had my "favorites" from time to time throughout the book, and they seem to change with each reading or purpose of God? I do recommend reading and pondering all the introductions to each section, as well as the general introduction and the conclusion to the book. Currently, I am immersed in "Path One" and "Path Five", particularly Augustine & Bernard and Fox & Wesley, but I always find myself referring to other sections as I do so. The integration or interdependence of all the paths become clearer with each reading and meditation. Rather than providing a "canned" program or format for the Christian life, Longing leads you into a search (journey) toward God. I believe each person will find their own path as they read and ponder the journeys of others who have gone before. Steeped in Scripture, Longing will have you always with Bible at the ready so you can see verses illuminated in a new (old?) refreshing light. You may even find yourself led to read the entire work of a particular author, where an excerpt really stimulated your spirit and heart?

For me personally, Longing sits alongside my Bible, Celtic Daily Prayer (my devotional), my journal and The Imitation of Christ in my "quiet time corner". I believe you too may find it indispensable to your own journey along The Narrow Road, the Good Red Road of Christ Jesus.

only by Grace,


No comments:

Post a Comment