Tag Archives: Soul Keeping

Three Books That Will Help You Care for Your Soul

Caring for our soul is the most important thing a person should do. Notice the significance Dallas Willard places on the soul:

What is running your life at any given moment is your soul. Not external circumstances, or your thoughts, or your intentions, or even your feelings, but your soul. The soul is that aspect of your whole being that correlates, integrates, and enlivens everything going on in the various dimensions of the self. It is the life-center of the human being. It regulates whatever is occurring in each of those dimensions and how they interact with each other and respond to surrounding events in the overall governance of your life.

Our soul is like an inner stream of water, which gives strength, direction, and harmony to every other element of our life. When that stream is as it should be, we are constantly refreshed and exuberant in all we do, because our soul itself is then profusely rooted in the vastness of God and his kingdom, including nature; and all else within us is enlivened and directed by that stream. — Renovation of the Heart

With that in mind, here are 3 books (including the one referenced above) that will help you better care for your soul:

reno     SoulKeeping         StirBookCover

Erich’s notes about these 3 books…

  • You absolutely must read every thing Willard has written. In this book, Dallas outlines the  general pattern of changes in the six key aspects of a person’s life (thought, feeling, will, body, social context, and soul). You can find more great resources by Dallas here: Dallas Willard Ministries
  • Outside of the Bible, Soul Keeping by John Ortberg is the second most significant book I’ve read to date (The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard is number 1). You can connect with John and his resources here: John Ortberg
  • I had the chance to meet Mindy Caliguire at a recent Groups Conference. Her 2 classes focused on the importance of Soul Care. You can connect with Mindy and her resources here: SoulCare

Your turn… What are some other resources you’ve found helpful on this topic?


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Three Assumptions Regarding the Soul’s Life With God

Soul Keeping by John Ortberg has quickly jumped on to my short list of “must read” books (you can find a list of the 3 books that have impacted my life the most here).  In chapter 10, The Soul Needs to Be With God, Ortberg talks about 3 assumptions we should put to the test when it comes to the soul’s life with God:

  • God wants to make every moment of my life glorious with his presence.

“This is the core of the ‘with God’ life. It’s not just that he wants to be with us, but that he desires to make our lives ‘glorious.’ …God wants you to focus on him. To be with him… Every day is a collection of moments, 86,400 seconds in a day. How many of them can you live with God? Start where you are and grow from there. God wants to be with you every moment. The psalmist say, ‘I have set the LORD always before me.’ Paul says, ‘We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.’ They speak to the need for our souls to be completely and thoroughly with God. But as both of these verses suggest, it does not happen automatically. ‘Set’ and ‘take captive’ are active verbs, implying that you have a role in determining where your soul rests.”

  • The best place to start doing life with God is in the small moments.

“I don’t know about you, but when I stand on a bluff overlooking the ocean or watch the sunrise over the peaks of a mountain range, it’s easy to be ‘with God.’ …Unfortunately, those moments are few and far between… Which is why we need to deliberately look for God in the ordinary moments of everyday life. When I wake up, I invite God to “Be with me this day.’ Then I try to consciously experience him walking next to me. Not in a magnificent worship experience, but in the ordinary and mundane.”

  • People will look different when I see them with God.

“People are a huge part of the ‘with God’ life, because we have to live with people. We have to interact with them. How we get along with people says a lot about where our soul rests. When we are living with God, we will see people as God sees them. If I’m aware God is here with me, and God is looking at you at the same moment I’m looking at you, it will change how I respond to you.

Your turn… Take a moment to share how these have been true in your life.

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Three Books by John Ortberg

John Ortberg is another one of my favorite authors. I mentioned one of his books in a post focusing on the 3 books that have impacted my life the most.  He has written a number of other great books. His latest book was released yesterday. With that in mind, I want to mention it and highlight two others you should check out:

“The soul is NOT ‘a theological and abstract subject.’ The soul is the coolest, eeriest, most mysterious, evocative, crucial, sacred, eternal, life-directing, fragile, indestructible, controversial, expensive dimension of your existence. Jesus said it’s worth more than the world. You’d be an idiot not to prize it above all else. Shouldn’t you get pretty clear on exactly what it is? Shouldn’t you know what it runs on? Wouldn’t it be worth knowing how to care for it? Two things are for sure. One is: you have a soul. The other is: if you don’t look after this one you won’t be issued a replacement. This book will help you discover your soul and take your relationship with God to the next level.”

“How do you explain a love that has no explanation? What will happen if you let it touch your heart? God loves you not because you are flawless, not because you are a perfect person, but just because you are. In Love Beyond Reason, John Ortberg reveals the God you’ve longed to encounter: a Father head-over-heels in love with you, his child, and intensely committed to your highest joy. Ortberg takes you to the very core of God’s being to discover a burning, passionate love that gives, and gives, and gives. He explores the life-changing ways this love has expressed itself through Jesus. And he shows how you, like Jesus, can love your mate, your family, your friends, and the world around you with the same practical, transforming love. Dispelling your fears and misconceptions of God, Love Beyond Reason brings you face-to-face with the Love that frees and empowers you to love.”

“The Me I Want to Be will help you discover spiritual vitality like never before as you learn to ‘live in the flow of the spirit.’ But if God has a perfect vision for your life, why does spiritual growth seem so difficult? John Ortberg has some intriguing answers to that question, and he has organized his thoughts and God’s words into a straightforward and timely guide for living your best life. This book will show how God’s perfect vision for you starts with a powerful promise. All those who trust in God “will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8). Ortberg urges you to recognize your brokenness, understand that God is the project manager, and follow His directions. The author first helps gauge your spiritual health and measure the gap between where you are now and where God intends you to be. Then he provides detailed tasks and exercises to help you live in the flow of the Spirit, circumventing real-world barrierspain and sorrow, temptations, self-doubt, sinto flourish even in a dark and broken world.”

Your turn… Take a moment to share your thoughts about these and other books Ortberg has written.

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