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Publication Date: 2013
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Ken Shigematsu shows that spiritual formation is more than just solitude and contemplative reflections. Spiritual formation happens in the everyday, in each and every moment of life. For those caught up in the busyness of work, family, and church, it often feels like time with God is just another thing on a crowded to-do list. Ken explains how the time-tested spiritual practice of the rule of life can help bring busy people into a closer relationship with God. He shows how a personal rule of life can fit almost any vocation or life situation.
In God in My Everything, you will discover how to create and practice a life-giving, sustainable rhythm in the midst of your demanding life. If you long for a deeper spirituality but often feel that the busyness of life makes a close relationship with God challengingand, at times, seemingly impossiblethis book is for you.
Ken Shigematsu is the Senior Pastor of Tenth Church in Vancouver, BC, one of the largest and most diverse city-center churches in Canada. He is the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal awarded to Canadians in recognition for their outstanding contribution to the country. Before entering pastoral ministry, he worked for the Sony Corporation in Tokyo and draws on both eastern and western perspectives in writing and speaking. Ken lives in Vancouver with his wife, Sakiko, and their son, Joey.
KyokoWashington DC5 Stars Out Of 5This book is excellent.December 30, 2013KyokoWashington DCQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This book vividly revived my memories of Tenth Avenue Church in Vancouver, Canada. I went to the church every Sunday to hear Pastor Ken's sermons that attracted people from various backgrounds such as wealthy Vancouverites, drug addicts, and immigrants from all over the world. I think this book well reflects his approach to this kind of audience. From new Christians from non-Christian family backgrounds to professors at a nearby seminary, Pastor Ken's way of explaining the gospel is fun, amusing, yet deep and straightforward to the core of the gospel, Jesus' love and redemption for our sins. As I read this book while living on the East Coast, I somewhat sensed the breeze of the West Coast in his writing. However, Pastor Ken's message is universal, and I can think of some friends and family who would benefit from this book. Therefore, I recommend this book to anyone looking for a Christian book with broader perspectives applicable to our diverse daily lives.
Scotty5 Stars Out Of 5Life rhythms for serious spiritual growth ...November 13, 2013ScottyQuality: 4Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5If you want to walk with God, there need to be some rules.
And you need to set them up.
Once a person surrenders their life to Jesus Christ, they don't become a mature Christian with a rich, deep faith overnight. We have to grow up in Christ, and learn how to live out our faith.
That's the challenging part, because it takes discipline.
It takes a few rules.
In that case, "God In My Everything" by Ken Shigematsu (published by Zondervan) could be a great book to help you exercise enough discipline in your life to practice the spiritual disciplines you'll need to grow in your faith.
Just the mention of "rules" is enough to immediately scare away many who call themselves believers, but without establishing certain practices in your life, it's not likely you will successfully live out a consistent faith. Inspired by a visit to an Irish monastery, Shigematsu shares solid Bible teaching and good ideas about "how an ancient rhythm helps busy people enjoy God."
Borrowing from ancient monastic practices, Shigematsu walks his readers through how to develop a rhythm of life that will draw them closer to God.
"And don't forget that developing your rule is not a gimmick, a technique, or a shortcut to spiritual growth. It's a rhythm of spiritual practices that helps center your life on Christ, enabling you to become more receptive to the work of the Spirit," Shigematsu writes.
Shigematsu explains those spiritual practices by using the illustration of a living plant growing with the help of a trellis, with the trellis being the "life rule" or rhythms we develop. As he guides you through the different sections of the trellis, the author does an excellent job of illustrating each rule or spiritual practice in easy-to-understand language and interesting stories.
You may not agree with every idea Shigematsu offers, but reading the book will likely not only challenge you to grow in spiritual maturity, but also provide you with helpful steps in how you can bring God into all aspects of your life. This book can also be used by a couple of Christians studying together or a small group in which each person is hungry for spiritual growth.
If you don't adequately have God in your "everything," then I recommend you read "God In My Everything" and use it to help you more fully enjoy your relationship with God.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Bob HaytonSt. Paul, MNAge: 25-34Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5directs our hearts to God even in life's businessOctober 4, 2013Bob HaytonSt. Paul, MNAge: 25-34Gender: maleWho in 2013 does not feel busy? At times I feel like I'm spinning even when sitting still! And I am not alone. The frantic pace of life threatens to choke the life out of Christian faith.
Ken Shigematsu, pastor of the Tenth Church in Vancouver, gives us a guidebook on how we can slow down and set up a "rule of life" that will direct our hearts to God in the midst of life's craziness. Shigematsu draws from ancient monastic practices as well as the writings of a variety of Christian leaders from years gone by. He doesn't set up an impossible hoop that today's Chrisitans must jump through, instead he advocates a wise approach that takes the best lessons from ancient devotional practices and adapts them in a realistic and hopeful manner for today's church.
When you mention monastic practices, a wide variety of reactions are sure to arise. Some will see Martin Luther whipping himself to rid his soul of the devil, and others will see Simon Stylite sitting atop his pole for thirty years. There is a danger in going after monastic rituals, don't get me wrong. Monastic devotion apart from a clear understanding of the grace of God in the gospel of Christ, can be soul-damning. I would have wanted more caution in this book about this fact. That being said, however, there is something to be learned by the devotion of the monks and the practices they set up to direct a community of faith to God.
"God in My Everything", is more than just a monastic manual. It is really anything but that. Shigematsu envisions the Christian life as a growing plant that needs support by a trellis consisting of life practices that we establish. The roots are prayer, sacred reading, and an experience of Sabbath â€” rest and communion with God. The activities of life then support our trellis: friendship; covenant sexuality or it's twin, celibacy; and family. Our bodies are made to relate, and also they need to be restored through attention to the physical body's needs, time enjoying life and nature (play), and a careful use of our resources (money). Ultimately, we reach out through a Christian approach to work, justice and living out a witness to the watching world.
I appreciated the book's emphasis that all of life is to be lived for God's glory, and that the joys of life are not divorced from Christian devotion. There was an emphasis on social justice and good deeds, but not at the expense of Christian witness and gospel declaration. Shigematsu strikes a good balance in this book, and people from a variety of Christian denominations can appreciate his contribution. We go wrong when we lose that balance and stress one area of life to the expense of others. The beauty of this approach is that it can be adjusted to a variety of life situations and is a healthy encouaragement to take stock of your current lifestyle and how you can better arrange your life to pursuit a joyful relationship with our Heavenly Father. To that end, Shigematsu includes several examples of individual "rules of life" written by a variety of people as plans for how they will live out a God-centered life in their own everything.
This book will challenge you to examine your devotional life and not just that aspect of your life either. It will call you to experience God in all areas of your life. For that reason I encourage you to read the book in a spirit of openness and prayer, not looking for the few things you can nitpick. I don't agree with all of Shigematsu's advice, but in the whole he is spot on. May more of us determine to live out all of our lives to God's glory and honor.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
crtnybcBritish Columbia, CanadaAge: 35-44Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5be intentional about your daily activitiesSeptember 23, 2013crtnybcBritish Columbia, CanadaAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I started this book with a different idea of what it might be about. Then, as I started reading, I thought what's this about a bunch of rules? But it's true that if you are intentional about what you are doing, you will be more effective.
The author guides you through the steps of creating your own rule, or rhythm of life. One of the things that stood out for me was taking a Sabbath. Meaning that it's one day of the week in which you stop and take time for things that are not work. Not homeschool related, or meal planning or laundry. Some things can't be avoided, like preparing meals for my family or tidying a bit if company is coming but I will try to take time to do something I enjoy on a Sunday afternoon. It doesn't have to be Sunday, and this rhythm is flexible, but it's something I will try to implement. Without feeling guilty.
I wouldn't have thought that how ancient Benedictine monks lived life would have much effect on mine. I started reading this at the beginning of September when, of course, things are ramping up and the busyness begins again, but also a certain routine comes into play for the majority of the year. I will be more intentional about that routine, without being rigid.
I received this book from Booksneeze and Zondervan for the purpose of an honest review. My opinion is my own.
IrishDutchman4 Stars Out Of 5Deepen your walk with GodSeptember 17, 2013IrishDutchmanQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4God is a God of order. He created us to enjoy order. My kids function at their best when they are on a schedule. I function at my best when I am on a schedule. Most people have a rhythm to their life whether it is by design or by default. In this book, Ken Shigematsu explores the concept of spiritual rhythms as a way to fully engage and enjoy God.
In the first section of the book, Mr. Shigematsu introduces us to the "rule of life". This monastic principle helps give structure to our spiritual growth. The imagery of a trellis is used and is very helpful in illustrating this concept. The second section is concerned with the roots of our spiritual growth. These roots are three-fold: sabbath, prayer, and sacred reading. The third section is concerned with how we relate to others. This is also three-fold: spiritual friendship, sexuality, and family life. The fourth section's three-pronged emphasis deals with our restoration: care for our bodies, play, and money. The fifth and final section unpacks how we reach out in three ways: work, justice, and witness.
This book found me as I began to desire a more disciplined approach to my own relationships to God and others. There is much wisdom to be found in this book. It has made me hungry to find some primary sources and study this topic more deeply. I appreciated the author's ability to communicate profound truth in such an integrated way. I pray that this book will gain a wide readership and that it will be used greatly to deepen many people's relationships with God. It has given me some structure as I begin my journey to deepen my intimacy with God.
Disclaimer: I received this book from Zondervan via Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for my unbiased opinion.
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