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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Publication Date: 2014
What is it that you long for? Dream about? Hunger after?
We all desire more than just the endurance of our daily routines. But often we feel limited and stuck like were merely existing instead of living.
Thats not the way it was meant to be. God intends the humanity in each of us to be deeply experienced, lavishly enjoyed, and exuberantly celebrated. In fact this is what the gospel is all about.
Yes, the gospel. Contrary to conventional thinking inside and outside the church following Jesus is not about denying our humanness but embracing it. Rather than acting more spiritual or being more religious, were called and enabled to become more fully human… and alive.
Matt Heard escorts us on a journey of discovery: that Jesus didnt come to save us from our humanity Christ instead yearns to restore it to what God originally intended. Matt then explores ten key areas where everyday life can become extraordinary Life.
Christ promised we could "live life to the full." He didnt just mean eventually.
Life with a Capital L is the Life you are longing for. Now.
About the Author
Matt Heard was senior pastor at Woodmen Valley Chapel in Colorado Springs for thirteen years. During that time, he led the church in groundbreaking initiatives to combat poverty through forging partnerships with local government, nonprofits, and other churches to serve the homeless, those in need, and the oppressed around the world. Today, Matt is a writer and a respected conference speaker. He and his wife, Arlene, have three grown sons.
"The Christian churchs first theologian, second-century Irenaeus, coined what remains the most accurate and penetrating definition of a Christian: The glory of God is man fully alive. Matt Heard has taken that brief sentence and expanded it into this marvelous book, telling by story and observation, and using vigorous language (there is not a dull sentence in what he writes), to get us to embrace what has been given to us."
Eugene H. Peterson, translator of The Message
Matt Heard is a fresh new voice with a literally life-changing message. Life with a Capital L is a call to each of us to embrace our own humanityjust as God does. Heres a book that will deepen your walk with God and elevate your life to the level of Life."
Mark Batterson, author of The Grave Robber and All In
"This is Praise with a capital P for Life with a Capital L. What does it mean to be alive? and What does it mean to be human? are two of the most important questions any human being can ask. They are questions that all Christians share with all of humanity. Matt Heard reflects on them with a warmth and honesty that will be welcomed by all who ask the questions."
John Ortberg, author of The Life Youve Always Wanted
"For years, Ive treasured St. Irenaeuss words, The glory of God is man fully alive. The quote rests on a shelf above my computer, and hardly a day goes by that I dont ask God to help me live out that enigmatic statement. Well, I now have a book to guide me. My friend, Matt Heard, writes winsomely and compellingly, answering that quiet aching so many people haveyes, even Christiansthat there must be more to life. Trust me, the book you hold in your hands will awaken in you a deep desire to be all that God intended. I highly recommend Life with a Capital L!"
Joni Eareckson Tada, Joni and Friends International Disability Center
"The problem of pain may be one of the greatest challenges to faith in God, but the problem of pleasure can be more precarious. Disappointment in pleasure gives rise to emptiness, and sometimes not just for a moment but for life. Yet God created us for a purpose, and as Matt Heard writes, for so much more than we often recognize. Matt challenges us to look deeper into the mirror and to God who knows us fully and loves us intimately. Life with a Capital L is rich in encouragement, illustration, scriptural insight, and pastoral wisdom, and offers readers fresh insight and lasting hope."
Ravi Zacharias, author and speaker
"I know Matt Heard to be a thoughtful, humble follower of Christ. Those qualities are evident in Life with a Capital L. This book is a clear and powerful call to rediscover the depth and breadth of Life as God intendedto embrace the longing we all have to really Live as humans made in Gods image."
Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family
"Matt goes to the heart of our need for Jesus. He makes us hope for heaven in a way that marks the everyday. Hes a pastor, a leader, and a friend, and none of that is lost in these words."
Jennie Allen, author of Restless and founder of IF: Gathering
"Your world can be full of color, adventure, and discoveryLife with a capital L. Let Matt guide you on a journey to your full humanityempowered, equipped, and inspired by the One who created you to live abundantly. Read this book and get ready to come alive in new ways!"
Lee Strobel, best-selling author of The Case for Christ and professor at Houston Baptist University
"This is what its all about. Literally. Unless Gods people understand whats in this book, we cannot be Gods people. Its that important. Please read this book and rejoice that Matt Heard has written it!"
Eric Metaxas, New York Times best-selling author of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy and Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life
"Matt Heards new book is a deep well of resource for the soul. In Life with a Capital L, we have an invaluable resource to live the abundant Life of God, a map toward cultural life around us, and a blessing to re-humanize our world. Matts approach toward beauty grows my heart as an artist and nourishes my creativity. His stories stir within me a deeper longing to create, love, and worshipwith passionour Savior-artist who pours grace into my heart."
Mako Fujimura, artist, author, and culture-care catalyst
"Matt Heard is a master storyteller, and peeking through all his stories is the Life Giver. I was struck by the intellectual depth of this book, but even more I was embraced by the personal Savior revealing himself through its stories. This book helped me see God not just in its pages but in my everyday experiences. Matt Heard ushers me into the greater Life."
Dr. Joel C. Hunter, senior pastor of Northland, A Church Distributed
"An essential part of the gospel is often missed by Christians and left untold by churches: Christ didnt come to save us from our humanity but to return us to it! Matt Heard has skillfully preached and taught this for years, and now he skillfully articulates this truth through this book. Like me, I suspect readers will find themselves asking What if? What if this is actually true? and find their imaginations running wild with the Good News."
John Stonestreet, speaker and fellow at Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview
"Life is a journey more than a destination. Matt Heard demonstrates and exemplifies this as one who seeks to be fully alive and longs for any who are interested to join him in that journey. This book is charged with all the stimulus and struggle that authentic human life must engage. Matts artful portrait of Life is honest and hopeful, assured of Gods love in Jesus Christ, but never glib or reductionist. This book awakens our thirst for Life as the real thing and nothing less."
Mark Labberton, president of Fuller Theological Seminary
"Part Francis Schaeffer, part Max Lucado, and part Rick Steves, Life with a Capital L is one of those rare books that is both a page-turner and yet deeply contemplative. Matt Heard dives heart-first into Jesuss promise of a full Life and shows through biblical insight and hard-won experience how this promise is alive and well and meant for each of us. Matts joyful engagement with art, music, food, conversation, travel, the Bible…and LIFE gives hope that God is actively restoring our humanity. Reading Life with a Capital L was a highlight of my year."
Jeff Myers, PhD, president of Summit Ministries
"Life with a Capital L will breathe new energy, new excitement, and new purpose into the life you are living. This is a challenge to all of us to go full tilt, be all in, and make it our ambition to embrace the fullness of what Life can and should be in relationship with Jesus. Being fully alive and fully human means we experience the eternal now. Im fired up after reading this book!"
Brad Lomenick, former president and key visionary of Catalyst, and author of The Catalyst Leader
"Matt Heard does not want to say something new but something old, only in a new, fresh way. And that he does well. Matt tells just the right story at just the right time. He writes with a pastors heart and experience. He has read good books and learned from the masters. And he writes in a winsome, accessible style. His point is clear, compelling, and significant: we long for real Life, real Life can be ours, and real Life is available in Jesus Christ. This truth never grows old. Matt Heard knows this in his soul. This book is not simply about Life with a capital L. It actually conveys that Life." Gerald L. Sittser, author of A Grace Disguised, A Grace Revealed, and Water from a Deep Well, and theology teacher at Whitworth University
"This book is Uplifting with a capital U. In it, Matt Heard pours out wise pastoral insights on being fully human."
Don Sweeting, president of Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando
"Many Christians have never considered that abundant life actually means becoming more human, not less. Gods image lived out through us means we get to experience the fullness of what it means to be human, and to a skeptical world, thats Good News!"
Gabe Lyons, author of The Next Christians
"Loved Matt Heards book on Life. I read it in one night and believe he squeezed the Life out of the title. Its accented well with great personal stories; some of my all-time favorite quotes from Kierkegaard, Eliot, Pascal, and Babettes Feast; and liberal use of appropriate Scripture. This book is the package."
Peb Jackson, executive producer of Rising from the Ashes
JanetTemple, TXGender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5How God's Word throughout History Can Impact Your Life Right NowFebruary 19, 2015JanetTemple, TXGender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The last paragraph on the back of Matt Heards new book, Life with a Capital L, says, Christ promised we could live life to the full. He didnt just mean eventually. Life with a Capital L is the Life you are longing for. Now. And in this book, Heard helps readers understand how much God loves them, what He really longs for, what He provides for them as a result, and how they can enjoy living this Capital L Life.
I recommend this book.
I absolutely loved Part 1: Reclaiming Our Humanity. Then I struggled a bit through the first two chapters of Part 2: Ten Experiences of Life with a Capital L. In fact, I was tempted to give up on the book after reading them. These two chapters seemed to center on us without God. I feared Heard was saying that God had done His part, now it was up to us. He wasnt saying that at all. Im glad I kept reading.
The chapters on Beauty and Story and Worship and Love and Time and Brokenness were amazing. Heard explains each of these clearly, using quotes from well-known authors and his own Life experiences. As I read each chapter in sequences, I saw that Life with a Capital L tells the gospel story of God redeeming and restoring creation, taking readers from the Garden of Eden to Heaven and helping them understand how Gods work throughout history can impact their Lives right now.
If you struggle to see the Gospel for the good news that it is, you need to read this book. I thank Waterbrook Multnomah for sending me a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5For Christians steeped in contemporary cultureDecember 22, 2014bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 3Jesus promised Christians would have abundant life, Life with a capital L. Maybe we can't put a finger on it but we know that is not the life we are experiencing.
Heard writes that the answer is not being more spiritual but being more fully human under God's direction. He desires that we embrace the significance of our existence as images of God. That means deep engagement in the physical and spiritual realms, living an integrated life. He helps us understand our deep longings, how they differ from pursuits and how they get mismatched.
The essential element, he writes, is grace, resulting from an authentic encounter with the God of grace. We live, loved by God, not just knowing so in theory. We are to let God's unconditional love, through the Holy Spirit, transform us.
He gives the experiences of Christians living with a capital L:
Freedom to be fully human (being vulnerable to trusting God).
Learning to pursue life by practicing righteousness (distinguished from legalism).
Heart is engaged (mind and emotions engaged, fully feeling grief, hope).
Beauty is experienced (engaged senses, connecting with God).
Illumination received from Scripture (the only true light).
Story, realizing ours is part of a bigger one.
Worship (in the right direction, identifying idols).
Love (the difference between a bucket and a pipe).
Time (numbering our days, grabbing the life out of each one).
Brokenness (surgery of the heart, beauty from ashes)
Heaven (compass of eternity)
This is an about the topic book, not a here is how you do it book. Heard gives the general concepts and teaching on the topics but there are no practical action steps given. Each reader will have to contemplate the topic and come up with action plan on their own. There is a DVD series available, with workbooks, and that might give a practical plan of action.
This book will probably appeal to career age Christians. He draws many spiritual lessons from literature (classic and contemporary), poetry, art, songs, movies, television, a pro football player, and his own life. Because of that, the book would be good for Christians who watch movies and television a great deal and don't read their Bibles very much. Those who are familiar with current entertainment stars but not Bible characters would likely relate to this book.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
Sufficient in JesusAge: 18-24Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5"Enjoy Christ's Life in all of your life."December 12, 2014Sufficient in JesusAge: 18-24Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5
Imagine a person, the kind you bump into every day.
Imagine them either male of female, young or old. It doesn't matter.
Imagine that they love music, and they get caught up in stories, and they notice the goodness of the world around them. (They feel the pain too, and the tedium and wear and tear.)
Imagine them as your basic human who wants to live a good life, and knows that this requires more than just being alive. They've got a longing for purpose and peace and permanence.
What do you and I have to give them?
Can we give them the Person of Christ, who is the Source of the goodness they've tasted, the end of the Road they're on, and the Savior who holds their brokenness tenderly?
If I said to this imaginary person "The Gospel is your answer," they might immediately say "Oh. You think I should try religion?" What do I say at that point? No? Yes? Maybe?
When we rattle off John 10:10, "IhavecomethattheymayhaveLifeandhaveitinfull," what are we even saying? (Heaven knows we've stamped that on enough coffee mugs and inspirational calendars!)
What is this "Life with a Capital L" that Jesus offers us?
That's the subject of Matt Heard's book, and that's the phrase he used for a title.
"Life with a Capital L."
It's what most of us want. And it's not Achieved as much as it is Received.
Over the course of this book he ushers us toward Life.
A Life that begins with grace, and is sustained by grace because grace is what leads us home.
A Life of freedom- not freedom to self-destruct, but "freedom to enjoy Christ's Life in all of life."
A Life that engages our hearts, finding the significance of our days beyond the "mournful numbers."
A Life that utilizes all the senses to experience the call of beauty.
A Life that comes to God's Word for illumination, and doesn't use that flashlight as a weapon.
A Life lived conscious of our place in the Story, redeemed and sanctified for His glory.
A Life of worship, defined succinctly as a living Coram Deo- before the face of God.
A Life of love, and not in any sloppy sense. St. John said it- "Anyone who does not love remains in death."
A Life that doesn't fear the passage of time- "Numbering my days isn't just realizing there's a finite amount of them. It's grabbing the Life out of them."
A Life where fragility and fulfillment exist together, and it's hard and good at the same time.
A Life lived in anticipation of seeing His face.
Something I especially appreciated was the way Matt Heard brings quotes from so many other authors into his own work- from Isak Dinesen to T. S. Eliot to Walt Whitman. He even includes a black and white copy of a painting in the front of this book, a painting that captured in one scene exactly what he's trying to show us through these chapters. "There is life everywhere."
And I also really enjoyed the way he handled Scripture. He treated it like it made perfect sense, and he crafted a context for the verses he chose so that we could understand their meanings for us today. In other words, if you gave this book to somebody who thought the Bible was weird or irrelevant, the way it's presented here will shock them. Just like Emilie Cailliet, you may find that "This is the Book that understands me."
So today, with the ideas and stories of "Life with a Capital L" singing in my brain, I'm going to keep reminding myself- "Be Still. Be God's. Be Here." Remember, Reorient, engage with Reality.
Thank you Blogging for Books for my review copy. In exchange, this review is my opinion.
PossessHisPromisesCaliforniaAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Life with a capital L ... A gift with a capital "G"November 16, 2014PossessHisPromisesCaliforniaAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Matt Heard, senior pastor of Woodmen Valley Chapel in Colorado Springs, has given Christians a gift with a capital G in his book Life with a capital L. A moment in the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow forever transformed him. Nikolai Yaroshenkos painting There is Life Everywhere captured his attention and his mind.
Heard grapples with the statement of Jesus, I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10
From C.S. Lewis to Jonny Lang, from Tolstoy to John Lennon, Heard goes deep into what this God-given life we have on earth could potentially become if we were to stop and recognize the fullness of humanity and eternity within us.
"Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:2, 10
What if in the busyness of life, we stopped to be still and know God? Really know. Life as a big L might spill from our hearts, flood our eyes with rich rainbows, pour unheard tones into our ears, and stream new depth of thought into our minds.
This book came to me as my Mama was walking to heaven. Her journey to heaven was longer and more agonizing than expected. Yet, in her journey, there were glimpses of eternity, reflections of her new home. On her journey, she was experiencing life with the capital L, and I was able to recognize that journey in a much richer depth than I think I would have if I had not been reading this book.
I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books for an honest review.