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God in My Everything: How an Ancient Rhythm Helps Busy People Enjoy God

af Ken Shigematsu

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
733286,133 (3.9)Ingen
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 challenging--and, at times, seemingly impossible--this book is for you.… (mere)
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  S.C._Beam | Mar 24, 2020 |
It’s always a good sign when an author’s book comes from the requests of readers or hearers to learn more. That’s part of the tale of Ken Shigetmatsu’s book God In My Everything. I’m sure he never imagined, that Sunday morning he filled in for a no-show visiting speaker at his Vancouver church with the unrehearsed explanation of how he orders his life, a full-length self-help volume in the Christian Life / Personal Growth department would be the result.

His system of life rules began way before that, however, when he accompanied his friend and mentor Leighton Ford on a 10-day pilgrimage to Ireland. On that trip he visited the Glendalough Monastery and learned about the disciplines these early Christian monks practiced. Shigematsu was impressed with their practical faith that permeated every hour of the day and every task of life. He came away with the question: “Is it possible to follow the monastic way, enjoying God in every area of my life while immersed in the busy routines of modern life?” (p. 17).
God In My Everything: How An Ancient Rhythm Helps Busy People Enjoy God answers that question with a resounding “Yes.”

Shigematsu begins by envisioning a spiritual ecosystem. He pictures it as a trellis. The three up-and-down slats (Roots) are Sabbath, Prayer, and Sacred Reading. They are our means of relating to God. The cross-pieces are three planks that address three aspects of our lives with each other. The Relate plank includes Friendship, Sexuality, and Family. The Restore plank addresses Body, Play, and Money. The Reach Out plank concerns itself with Work, Justice, and Wisdom. These trellis items then become the structure of the book.

In a total of fifteen chapters Shigematsu delves into each subject, laying out for us how the monks handled each aspect of life, describing how they challenge us as moderns, and explaining the life rule he has come to for himself. An appendix section at the book’s end lists his rules along with life rules of six other people, so we get a good idea of how this looks. A sampling:
"Ken’s Rule
- Take a 24-hour Sabbath once a week.
- Begin each day with Scripture and prayer.
- Pray the Examen before going to sleep at night.
- Run 2-3x a week, swim 2x a week.
- Aim to be home by 5:15 p.m. each day, and to be home at least 4 evenings a week… etc.” p. 220.
Each chapter concludes with two items: a list of questions for discussion, and an empty page which readers are invited to use to create their own rule.

There’s much to learn and apply in this well-written and engaging book. Some things I especially appreciated were:

Shigematsu’s emphasis on creating bendable rules, i.e. rules that change as life situations change. He relates how his life rule in some departments changed when he got married and changed again when his son was born.

I like the way this book addresses every aspect of life.

I really liked the chapter on sharing faith (Chapter 15 “Sharing the Presence”) with its helpful four-sided pyramid graphic made up of word, sign, life, and deed (adopted from Bryant Myers, a former president of World Vision International). Shigematsu explains:

“Depending on the context and leading of the Holy Spirit, you might choose a particular side of the gospel to lead with and, as opportunity allows, progress to sharing all ‘sides’ of the gospel. The ideal is to eventually share the gospel as an organic whole that encompasses life, deed, sign, and word” p. 204.
(Shigematsu explains “life” as character, “deed” as a specific act of kindness or help, “sign” as a miracle or unexplainable coincidence that God brings about; it could be one that you share from your life or one that the person you are talking to experiences, and “word” as the gospel message from the Bible.)

Some readers may have concerns with the Catholic origins of Shigematsu’s system and may stumble over some of the practices he endorses (for example lectio divina - pp. 71, 72 and Examen - pp. 160, 220). I personally did not sense any slippage from Protestant orthodoxy in his teaching, only a search for and acceptance of helpful truth wherever it is to be found, in the spirit of the proverb “All truth is God’s truth.”

For a helpful book on how to order your life in a hectic age, keeping God at its center, Ken Shigematsus’s God In My Everything is an excellent choice.

I received this book from the publisher, Zondervan, as a gift for the purpose of writing a review.
( )
  Violet_Nesdoly | Jan 4, 2015 |
Who 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 — 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. ( )
  bobhayton | Oct 4, 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 challenging--and, at times, seemingly impossible--this book is for you.

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