Sunday, December 07, 2008

Book Report – Soul School by Jeanne Stevens

The book Soul School by Jeanne Stevens sparked many thoughts for me. As I continue on this adventure called life I’m always looking for God’s work around me to mold me into a better Mark Eades for him on this earth. This book is another “work” that I have found that has really sparked some thoughts. There are a couple ideas that really stood out to me in this book but all of it has made me think, has challenged me, and encouraged me.

One of the ideas that really stood out to me was Mrs. Stevens challenged for all of us who are a part of the community of Christ to live life and be real in life together. “The greatest moments of my life are always better when shared with others, and my deepest moments of pain find comfort in community,” says Mrs. Stevens. We all will go through highs and lows but to go through those with Christ’s body is so important. Mrs. Steven goes on to say, “whenever we choose an independence that refuses to allow others to know us as we really are, we miss out on God’s intent for us to live and minister in community with others.” I recently spent some time with a good friend who I had lived life together with for almost 4 years but then he discounted for almost 2 years. As we talked I heard the pain that he has been going through and my heart broke. I wish we could have lived life together through those time of pain but we didn’t. We both agreed that we needed each other and that we won’t let that happen again. Life is hard we need each other.

The other big idea that really stood out to me was her ideas shared in the chapter called, “The Miraculous Middle.” This whole chapter sounded so much like the Romans “eXhange” series we are going through at New Covenant that I had to put it down here as I really feel the Lord is speaking to me. Mrs. Steven’s shared this idea, “For too long, I thought God’s desire was that I dig out all of my junk and try to throw it away through my own human efforts. But I’ve realized that what God really wants is for me to actually embrace my humanity and become aware and honest about my brokenness and sinfulness so that I could then life from a place of authentic deep need for Jesus.” The need for us to be real before Christ no matter where we are is so critical in our spiritual walks.

I would recommend Soul School to anyone who is looking for a spark in their spiritual life, looking to be challenged, and/or looking to have their walk with Christ strengthened. The next time I get to do a long (2-3 day) spiritual Retreat Mrs. Stevens book will be with me to spark more thoughts and I hope to be challenged and encouraged even more.

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