Growing Down by Michael Kelley–Book Review

One of the many paradoxes of the Christian faith is this:  in order to mature and grow up in Christ, you have to “grow down” in the ways of the world.  According to Michael Kelley, growing down means recovering a childlike ( not childish) faith which includes dependence, simplicity, transparency, trust, wonder, passion, innocence and rest.  Not easy to do in a life and society that is complex and encourages us to be independent, constantly busy and worried about the future.  Kelly quotes C.S. Lewis:

“People need to be reminded more that instructed.”

and goes on to say:

“…we are becoming what we have already become.  Growth in Christ is about aligning our thoughts, feelings and actions to the reality of God’s finished work in our hearts….”

Growing Down: Unlearning the Patterns of Adulthood that Keep Us from JesusWe often forget that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross really did finish sin, death and the   devil. Their power over us has been broken for good.  We don’t have to do more, we simply need to truly believe and rest in our delightful inheritance as God’s beloved children. This requires changing our focus so that we abide in Jesus instead of the worldly attitudes that distract and control us.

Verdict: This book is not very deep, but it is clear, easy to follow and theologically sound.  I would certainly recommend it to others, particularly newer Christians.  I give it four stars.  If you would like more information or want to order it, follow the link below:

http://www.bhpublishinggroup.com/products/growing-down

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C. S. Lewis on Stewardship

  The only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. Our charities should pinch and hamper us. If we live at the same level of affluence as other people who have our level of income, we are probably giving away too little.

C. S. Lewis (1898–1963)

What is your reaction to this quote?  I find it challenging.  I fear few of us could meet C. S. Lewis’s standard–I know I don’t.

Prayer Changes Me

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Taking the Long View

36 Of The Best Inspirational Quotes Ever: Sometimes it’s hard to see any change in ourselves or our circumstances.  After all, we live in the present.  That’s why it’s a good idea to occasionally  look back to get the correct perspective.  Not one of us is righteous, and few of us have a “Road to Damascus” experience (like the apostle Paul) that turns us around in an instant. However, when we walk with God, we do change.  Think about who you were and what you were doing 1 year ago, 5 years ago, 10 or more years ago…you’ll see God’s hand in your life and how he has molded and changed you.  Then give thanks and place your trust in His ability to make you into the person He wants you to be.

A Quote by C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis

“[E]very time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different than it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing into a heavenly creature or a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state of the other.”

C.S. Lewis

 

Interactive Study Blog-Hebrews Chapter 11

One of our other authors, Michele, asked me to post the last several Hebrews interactive studies for her.  I hope you’ve been reading through Hebrews with her as much as I have!

In Chapter 11 we are told about faith.

“Faith is what our mind has that our emotions cannot change.”

I may be paraphrasing this quote from C.S. Lewis in “Mere Christianity” but I feel this is one of the best definitions I have ever heard.  As humans, our emotions can cause us to cycle back and forth on the way we feel, but our faith is something that our brain should never question.

Through our faith we come to understand the grace given to us.  But we cannot come to faith without scripture.  All of this works together to provide us with the food we need to mature in our faith.