Did you start your year with a list of books you would like to read? I certainly did. People who know me know I value good books and how they entertain me and help me grow.
I’d like to give you a rundown on “The Deeply Formed Life” by Rich Villodas. This book was recommended to me by a trusted friend. I searched for it and liked the subtitle “Five Transformative Values to Root Us in the Way of Jesus.” Yes. Being rooted in Jesus is what I wanted.
Villodas introduces five values and practices from each of those values that God uses to transform our lives. I will share one quote from each segment that I found challenging and thought-provoking to give you a small taste of what the pages hold.
Contemplative Rhythms: “One is transformed by saying yes again and again to Christ’s self-giving, poured-out, redemptive love. We receive it, and we are to be transformed by it.”
Racial Reconciliation: “The gospel we proclaim must be big enough to engage the realities of racial fragmentation.”
Interior Examination: “Interior examination is a way of life that considers the realities of our inner worlds for the sake of our own flourishing and the call to love well.”
Sexual Wholeness: “We struggle to live with a mature, deeply human and humane, anxiety-free vision of our bodies as it relates to our spirituality.”
Missional Presence: “We all have particular parts to play in God’s redemptive plan, and these parts are often discerned through the burdens we carry for a particular people, issue, or call. Novelist and theologian Frederick Buechner said, ‘The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.’”
Villodas writes from his deep understanding of people and many years of experience in ministry. His challenge to us is to not settle for “shallowly shaped” but instead be “deeply formed!” Take some time to learn from the wisdom of a fellow believer (Villodas) who will encourage you to, above all, be deeply rooted in Christ.
What practices have helped you form more deeply? What will you try this year?
Linda Sparkman works in Leadership Development and HR for Cru. She lives in Florida and loves strong coffee and long walks. Having lived overseas for many years, she is motivated to resource and encourage CCCI’s staff around the world.