The Good and Beautiful God
Download The Good and Beautiful God, you successfully read this important alert message. This example text is going to run a bit longer so that you can see how spacing within an alert works with this kind of content.
Whenever you need to, be sure to use margin utilities to keep things nice and tidy.
Turning to the Gospels, James Bryan Smith invites you to compare your ideas about God with what Jesus himself reveals about his Father. Smith leads you through a process of spiritual formation that includes specific activities aimed at making these new narratives real in your body and soul as well as your mind.
In this anniversary edition of James Bryan Smith's classic book, you are invited to put your thoughts about God and how he works in our lives to the test to see if they match up with what Jesus himself reveals about God. Once you've discovered the truth in Scripture, you will learn how to practice spiritual exercises that will help you grow in the knowledge of our good and beautiful God.
THE GOOD AND BEAUTIFUL GOD is the first book in the Apprentice Series, which along with three other titles forms 'a curriculum for Christlikeness'. THE GOOD AND BEAUTIFUL GOD focuses on the character of God and how we can move into a life of intimacy with him. What we believe about God is of huge importance to our lives: the path to spiritual transformation begins here. Each chapter uncovers the narratives by which Jesus lived, and includes a 'soul-training' exercise to help embed this narrative into our minds, bodies and souls. Each chapter also includes questions that can be used for individual reflection or group discussion.
James Bryan Smith believes we have bought into false notions of happiness and success. In this follow up to his first book, The Good and Beautiful God, Smith traces through the Sermon on the Mount and helps us replace our false beliefs with Jesus' narratives about life in the kingdom of God.
In the third book in the Apprentice Series, James Bryan Smith helps you to live in relationship with others as apprentices of Jesus. He shows how to bring spiritual formation and community engagement together, and he offers spiritual practices that root new, true narratives about God and the world in your soul.
James Bryan Smith believes the gospel is about change in our lives today, not just our eternal destiny. In The Good and Beautiful Series he aims to help Christians develop a robust discipleship by helping them understand who God is, what it means to be a Christian and what it means to live in community as a part of God's kingdom. Throughout the series, which includes The Good and Beautiful God, The Good and Beautful Life and The Good and Beautiful Community, Smith encourages you to read, journal, pray, discuss and participate in weekly spiritual exercises to help you engage with the text. As you work through the books individually (or more ideally in a group setting) you'll discover your heart being shaped by the truth of Christ—and your life being changed. Get to know the God Jesus knew and the Kingdom he proclaimed. The transformation you seek will come as a direct result of spending focused time with him and his people. A Renovaré Resource.
What is the story you have been told about the gospel? James Bryan Smith, author of the bestselling book The Good and Beautiful God, brings us this spiritual formation resource full of field-tested material and practices for both individuals and groups. Uncover the magnificent story of beauty, goodness, and truth that will satisfy the ultimate longings of your heart.
We believe a lot of false narratives about the nature of God, things like "God helps those who help themselves"; "God blesses the righteous"; "God might not be out for your good, and you might be missing something." But pastor and professor James Bryan Smith, author of the Apprentice Series, points us to the truth of who God is, revealed by Jesus: A God who loves to help the helpless. A God who doesn't play favorites, whether righteous or unrighteous. A God who is, in his essence, self-sacrificing—even to death—to save a people he loves. In six short chapters, The Kingdom and the Cross zooms in on Christ's work on the cross and what it all means about who God is and how we're to live as his people. A soul training exercise is included for each chapter to help the new true narrative take root in our hearts. And a discussion guide at the end makes this complement to The Apprentice Series perfect for groups to work through together, especially during the season of Lent. Understanding Christ's work on the cross is crucial for any apprentice of Jesus. Here is a resource to help you see—and believe—more fully, that you might live more faithfully in his kingdom.
A Deeper Sort of Devotional Words are powerful. They contain ideas and shape the way we see God, ourselves and all of reality. We're transformed, in particular, by God's Word, and by "the Word," the Logos—Jesus himself—as described by John in the first chapter of his Gospel. Memorizing and studying a passage in depth can offer a deeper sense of the meaning of each word. In this unique introduction to the hidden life in Christ, James Bryan Smith walks readers through a thirty-day immersion in Colossians 3:1-17. Each of the thirty short chapters of this book bring out the main truth of just one word or phrase of this rich passage. You'll also find a very simple daily practice to take up, reflection questions and a guide for five weeks of group discussion. The chapters are short in length, making this book an ideal daily devotional. Since there are thirty chapters, it could be used for a one-month introduction to the hidden life in Christ. Though brief in terms of length, each chapter tries to unearth some very deep truths. For those who have read and practiced the exercises in the Apprentice series, this book will be a helpful refresher as you continue your sacred journey. Each chapter also contains an exercise or practice ("Living into the Truth"), as well as an affirmation that summarizes the main point of the chapter and a written prayer designed to move you deeper into the truths of the Word. In addition, each chapter concludes with a few reflection questions that can be used either by individuals or in a group discussion. The only way to tell a story is to use words. May the words of Colossians 3 become a companion to you as God continues to write your story.
Feeling tired, stressed or disconnected with God? In this devotional, authors Pam Farrel and Dawn Wilson provide real-life stories mixed with a splash of humor and an encouraging word from God to help women get through hectic days. Joy from God, unlike the fleeting happiness of the world, transforms the soul and helps to heal frazzled, broken women. A cheerful heart is still good medicine (Proverbs 17:22), and women need it in megadoses! There will always be a need for humor to cheer our hearts, and when that humor is paired with powerful truth principles from Scripture, women will be revived and refreshed. To make it fun, the authors have taken Scripture verses and made them into text messages similar to those you might see on your cell phone, but these are from God’s Word.
In Minding Spirituality, Randall Sorenson, a clinical psychoanalyst, "invites us to take an interest in our patients' spirituality that is respectful but not diffident, curious but not reductionistic, welcoming but not indoctrinating." Out of this invitation emerges a fascinating and broadening investigation of how contemporary psychoanalysis can "mind" spirituality in the threefold sense of being bothered by it, of attending to it, and of cultivating it. Both the questions Sorenson asks, and the answers he begins to formulate, reflect progressive changes in the psychoanalytic understanding of spirituality. Sorenson begins by quantitatively analyzing 75 years of journal literature and documenting how psychoanalytic approaches to religious and spiritual experiences have evolved far beyond the "wholesale pathologizing of religion" prevalent during Freud's lifetime. Then, in successive chapters, he explores and illustrates the kind of clinical technique appropriate to the modern treatment of religious issues. And the issue of technique is consequential in more than one way -- Sorenson presents evidence that how analysts work clinically has a greater impact on their patients' spirituality than the patients' own parents have. Sorenson brings an array of disciplinary perspectives to bear in examining the multiple relationships among psychoanalysis, religion, and spirituality. Empirical analysis, psychoanalytic history, sociology of religion, comparative theory, and sustained clinical interpretation all enter into his effort to open a dialogue that is clinically relevant. Turning traditional critiques of psychoanalytic training on their head, he argues that psychoanalytic education has much to learn from models of contemporary theological education. Beautifully crafted and engagingly written, Minding Spirituality not only invites interdisciplinary dialogue but, via Sorenson's wide-ranging and passionately open-minded scholarship, exemplifies it.
The beloved debut novel about an affluent Indian family forever changed by one fateful day in 1969, from the author of The Ministry of Utmost Happiness NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • MAN BOOKER PRIZE WINNER Compared favorably to the works of Faulkner and Dickens, Arundhati Roy’s modern classic is equal parts powerful family saga, forbidden love story, and piercing political drama. The seven-year-old twins Estha and Rahel see their world shaken irrevocably by the arrival of their beautiful young cousin, Sophie. It is an event that will lead to an illicit liaison and tragedies accidental and intentional, exposing “big things [that] lurk unsaid” in a country drifting dangerously toward unrest. Lush, lyrical, and unnerving, The God of Small Things is an award-winning landmark that started for its author an esteemed career of fiction and political commentary that continues unabated.
There is a road to life in the unshakeable kingdom of God, but it's not an easy journey. In this book James Bryan Smith shows us the better road, the road less travelled, but the road full of riches. Along the way he introduces us to new spiritual practices that will provide the sustenance we need for the deepest, most joy-filled journey of our lives—the journey into the heart of God.
Christopher Hitchens, described in the London Observer as “one of the most prolific, as well as brilliant, journalists of our time” takes on his biggest subject yet–the increasingly dangerous role of religion in the world. In the tradition of Bertrand Russell’s Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris’s recent bestseller, The End Of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts, he documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos. With eloquent clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason, in which hell is replaced by the Hubble Telescope’s awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix. From the Hardcover edition.
Unfortunately, in today's world many people fail to experience the freedom and healing power of God's grace. Even Christians too often experience judgement, rather than the love that is the vital essence of Christian life. A visionary guide in the spirit of Celebration of Discipline, Embracing the Love of God calls Christians back to the basics -- to understanding the promise of God's love to transform our most important relationships and fulfill our deepest spiritual needs.Here James Bryan Smith launches readers on a revitalizing spiritual journey. He distills the basic principles of Christian love and provides a new model for relationship with God, self, and others that is based not on fear and judgement, but rather on acceptance and care. Smith's moving insights illuminate the gentle nature of God's love and teach readers how to continue on the path of love by embracing it day by day. For both new Christians and those desiring renewal, Embracing the Love of God offers hope, peace, and guidance for spiritual growth.
What if God wants you to wait? Most of us know what it’s like to wait for God to change our circumstances. But, whether we’re waiting for physical healing, emotional breakthrough, or better relationships, waiting is something we usually try to avoid. Why? Because waiting is painful and hard. The truth is, it’s also inevitable. In Still Waiting, Ann Swindell explores the depths of why God wants us to wait by chronicling her own compelling story of waiting for healing from an incurable condition. She offers a vibrant retelling of the biblical account of the Bleeding Woman that parallels her story—and yours, too. Let Ann help you see the promise that is hidden in the ache of waiting and the hope of what God can—and will—do as you wait on him.
Imagine an atheist sending you regular prayer requests. Or your coworker grabbing you by the arm and asking you to stay late at work to talk about God just a bit longer. When Jesus talked about the Good News, people ran to him. We should expect the same response. Good News for a Change is about working together with Jesus to share the gospel in ways unique to each person’s situation. You will enjoy evangelism because it is a fun, deeply personal, community and person-oriented way to connect with people. You’ll be energized and focused on helping people discover why Jesus is good news for them.
We might believe in God's love in the abstract, but we often live our lives without experiencing it in any deep or lasting way. In this warm, engaging book, pastors Cyd and Geoff Holsclaw share personal stories and simple, clear teaching from the story of Scripture that God not only likes us and wants to be with us, he also wants to work through us to bless the whole world.
WHAT’S GOD DOING IN YOUR STORY? Our kids beg us for stories at bedtime or while we drive; we gather around firepits and dinner tables to tell and retell our favorite tales—the more dramatic the better. But when it comes to our actual lives, we prefer something less sensational, even boring—sunny skies and smooth sailing, please and thank you. We want our own stories to be predictable, safe, controllable, and catastrophe-free. When plans fall apart, jobs are lost, kids wander off, doctors give bad reports, we often wonder, "What are you doing, God? Are you sure you have this under control? It doesn’t really seem like it right now." God is the master Storyteller. He’s writing your story and it’s a part of His bigger, grander, eternal Story. But we’re still in the middle. We haven’t gotten to the happy ending yet, and it can be hard to trust Him in the thick of our struggles. That’s why Robert and Nancy share their own story, friends’ stories, and the stories of people in the Bible who have faced life-altering challenges, but, in the end, have found God to be faithful. Learn why you really can trust God to write your story—no matter what plot twists you may encounter along the way. "This is a unique and charming book, integrating stories of God’s providence from His people and His Word. Nancy and Robert write personally and beautifully, infusing readers with a Christ-centered vision, hope, and trust for the future." -Randy Alcorn, author of Heaven, Giving is the Good Life, and Deception "You Can Trust God to Write Your Story is an amazing book whose title says it all. For if you are a follower of Jesus, every day of your life—whether you feel like it or not—is weighted with kingdom purpose, eternal significance, and a royal destiny filled with joy and contentment. Let my dear friends, Robert and Nancy, help you embrace the mysteries of the Lord’s Providence. For when it comes to happy endings, you can’t find a better Author than the God of the Bible. Happy endings are His forte—turn the page, trust Him, and discover it for yourself." -Joni Eareckson Tada, Joni and Friends International Disability Center
“I used to be a lesbian.” In Gay Girl, Good God, author Jackie Hill Perry shares her own story, offering practical tools that helped her in the process of finding wholeness. Jackie grew up fatherless and experienced gender confusion. She embraced masculinity and homosexuality with every fiber of her being. She knew that Christians had a lot to say about all of the above. But was she supposed to change herself? How was she supposed to stop loving women, when homosexuality felt more natural to her than heterosexuality ever could? At age nineteen, Jackie came face-to-face with what it meant to be made new. And not in a church, or through contact with Christians. God broke in and turned her heart toward Him right in her own bedroom in light of His gospel. Read in order to understand. Read in order to hope. Or read in order, like Jackie, to be made new.