Takeaway: Spiritual Growth requires intention and discipline.
Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life is one of the most useful, practical books on spiritual growth I have ever read. It is somewhat similar to Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline, but I think a little more accessible and less intimidating. I am going to schedule some time to re-read it again in about six months. I will try to put into practice what I can now and plan on adding more later.
I have been reading through the “Ancient Practice Series” as well. And many of the same disciplines were covered in this book as well. And while I liked the Ancient Practice Series, those books are 150-200 pages of history and motivation on why you should Prayer, Fast, Tithe, participate in the Eucharist, observe the Church Calendar, etc., but none of them had much if anything in the way of practical advice on how to go about doing those things. This book was full of very practical helpful advice as well as the motivation, history and benefits.
This was a free book of the month from ChristianAudio.com a couple months ago. I had never heard of the book but picked it up primarily because it was free. The narration was wonderful, it was narrated by Grover Gardner (the same person that narrated the two Richard Foster books that I have listened to.) I listened to it on my kindle, which does not have great mp3 audiobook controls. Several times the kindle crashed and I listened to an hour (or two) over again. I would normally be fairly irritated, but this was so good and rich that I didn’t mind. (I think it was my kindle, not the mp3 file that was bad, FYI.) I will note that the book is only $7.99 for kindle and it is cheaper on Audible.com than on Christianaudio.com by about $4.
Highly recommend, so far it is my favorite book of the year, although I know it is early.
Disclosure: This was a free book from Christianaudio.com from their free book of the month. This is a great program and you really should look into it if you haven’t. The month of January is giving away the book Jesus Calling with the coupon code JAN2010. Jesus Calling was the number one selling Christian book of the year last year. I have no relation to ChristianAudio.com. I was so impressed with the book that I picked up a copy for my kindle to read later.
Read Again Post (a second reading of Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life)