Thursday, October 06, 2011

Living Close to God (when you're not good at it) by Gene Edwards

This is a simple book, and I mean that in a complimentary way. This isn't full of flowery words, indulging rhetoric, or bloated philosophy; just basic knowledge and life experience based on one man's journey toward a meaningful relationship with God. As the author himself puts at the beginning of his book, "I consider myself to be spiritually handicapped." He doesn't claim to have all the answers but rather shows what worked for him, offering suggestions to others who may be struggling the same way.

I like that he starts from scratch regarding the level of Christianity one is familiar with. Most self help books are geared toward people with an assumed foundation of principles intact and build from there; basically they are for the churched. Edwards speaks in lay mans terms with a practicality most can understand and doesn't overwhelm readers with a long to-do list or vague statements such as, "read your bible for 30 minutes then kneel and pray by your bed for another 15." He explains that forming lifelong habits will take time and not to give up if you don't automatically remember what hasn't already come naturally to you. A relationship with God can't be forced or made to happen overnight, much as we might like it to, but needs to foster organically with nurturing along the way. Just incorporating 20 seconds of time with the Lord in the morning, upon waking up, may be a small triumph. Instead of pushing forcefully toward the goal of a closer walk with Christ, Edwards encourages us to slow down, take a deep breath, and Be ourselves while absorbing God into our lives little by little, day by day. Then, perhaps a song of praise will pop into our head out of no where or, during the early morning rush hour instead of focusing on the radio, our minds may just tune toward a heavenly frequency. And gradually, almost without even realizing it, we've incorporated God into our every day life in a very real way.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Multnomah/Waterbrook Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

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