Today's Devotions

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Worth Considering: Lent

  • A Lenten Prayer +

    Ash Wednesday - March 9, 2011 A Lenten Prayer The Lenten season begins. It is a time to be with you, Read More
  • First Sunday of Lent Devotional +

    First Sunday of Lent - March 13, 2011 A pure heart create for me, O God, put a steadfast spirit within Read More
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good_and_beautiful_godThe idea behind James Bryan Smith’s The Good and Beautiful God (InterVarsity Press, 2009) is twofold. First, spiritual growth generally requires intentionality and discipline--hence the "soul training" exercises at the end of each chapter. Second, many Christians struggle with loving and growing in God. A common cause of these struggles is "false narratives," misconceptions about God that we may or may not realize we have, but that make a huge difference in our spirituality. ("God wants me to try harder," "God blesses me when I'm good but punishes me when I'm bad," etc.)


Smith works to uncover these narratives and replace them with Jesus' narratives. Living by Kingdom narratives not only encourages healthy spiritual growth, it also inspires greater love and appreciation for God. For me, Smith's method is especially helpful because he convinces my scholarly skeptic side, yet remains surprisingly accessible--without dumbing things down to the point of insulting readers' intelligence. The narratives he addresses are things I've struggled with, myself, and it's so refreshing that he doesn't just give me platitudes, but instead addresses them on a much deeper level.

The InterVarsity Press website offers good info on the book, including the table of contents.  The Good and Beautiful God is the first in Smith’s three-part “Apprentice” series. Additional material, including supplementary blog posts, audio files, and even a sample chapter, can be found on the series website: www.apprenticeofjesus.org.

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

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Music

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Audio & Video

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The Hit List

  • Falling in Love With God +

    “falling in love with God,” as Boa’s subtitle for the facet explains. In this approach we attempt to enter into Read More
  • One Holy Fire, Nicky Cruz +

    The introduction to One Holy Fire, Let the Spirit Ignite Your Soul establishes Cruz’s desire to awaken the passion and Read More
  • Transformed +

    Webster defines devotion as “love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity or cause.” How do we fall in love Read More
  • A Christ-Life Through Spiritual Alignment +

    A Christ-Life Through Spiritual Alignment Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. Read More
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Gems

  • Joy Will Find A Way: Bruce Cockburn +

    Bruce Cockburn’s song Joy Will Find A Way describes the way joy from love can transform one’s life. make me Read More
  • Shepherd's Joy by Luther Jackson Middle School Advanced Chorus +

    Read More
  • Joy to the World! by Surfjan Stevens +

    Joy to the World , the Lord is come!Let earth receive her King;Let every heart prepare Him room,And Heaven and nature Read More
  • The joy of the Lord is my strength by Douglas Miller +

    The joy of the LORD is my strengthThe joy of the LORD is my strengthThe joy of the LORD is Read More
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