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Amy VG (BC)
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Union with God: Including 22 of Madame Guyon's Poems
Union with God: Including 22 of Madame Guyon's Poems
by Jeanne Guyon
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.01
24 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars I honestly don't think you need to go through Guyon's process, Feb. 11 2016
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I did not like this book. I am amazed at all the positive reviews. I obviously do not "get" it perhaps. Basically this book is a detailed account on the loss of "self" or ego. To me, it sounds like the Christian equivalent to Buddhist or Hindu "enlightment". Reading Union With God reminded me of all the Buddhist meditation books I have read.
But I don't know...while reading I was struck with the question as to why do I have to go through all that Jeanne Guyon describes to have "union" with God? For the past year I have been praying the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, and it seems to be a healthier, more enriching way to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ than Jeanne Guyon's method.
Some concerns: chapter 3 really concerned me. She writes that the more you move to your centre, the more desolation you will feel, which is the end of self-nature. Also, she describes how the enemy attacks from all sides, and as you progress you find yourself unable to protect yourself, until finally you realize that the enemy is your "best friend and truest friend". I am wondering if she is saying that your self-nature perceives God as the enemy and then in the end you find out it's God, not your enemy. But, I am not sure, and it would be dangerous to find out it is the enemy. The reason I am not sure because she also says in Chapter 3 that every Christian virtue disappears, and as they depart you lose all joy within.
In Chapter 6, I was confused with Jeanne Guyon's description of how God apparently causes suffering of the older Christian mentor so that the younger Christian can grow in her union with Him. How does she know this?
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Guyon's Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ, though there were a few cautions I did have in that too. Especially the ending from SeedSowers, which explains the translation process and provided a sample of Guyon's actual text. The actual text was very complicated and confusing and I wondered then and do so now, that perhaps the translators could have made errors trying to understand and communicate in common English what Guyon wrote. I would caution readers on this book. I liked Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ and her autobiography, but Union With God doesn't sit right with me. As a practicing and devoted Christian, I honestly don't think you need to go through Guyon's process to have a deep and fulfilling relationship with Christ.

Imagine Heaven: Near-Death Experiences, God's Promises, and the Exhilarating Future th
Imagine Heaven: Near-Death Experiences, God's Promises, and the Exhilarating Future th
by John Burke
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.67
28 used & new from CDN$ 9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars So comforting, so inspiring, so relevant, Feb. 1 2016
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Very few books I have read have impacted me as much as this one. I think I have read almost every current NDE book out there. And what I love about this one is that the author wrote from a Christian perspective. He convincingly compares numerous NDE experiences with the Scripture. So comforting, so inspiring, so relevant for our lives as Christians. There were chapters that were more interesting to me then other chapters. I understand that the author needed to write thoroughly through all the facts, but some chapters were a bit dry and boring for me. I know those chapters were definitely needed to convey all the information. On a whole most chapters were full of inspirational stories and connections to our Almighty Lord and Saviour. Definitely recommend if you like to read NDEs.

In His Steps
In His Steps
Price: CDN$ 4.61

3.0 out of 5 stars not my fave, Feb. 1 2016
This review is from: In His Steps (Kindle Edition)
I don't know...I didn't really enjoy this novel. I liked the idea of an entire congregation deciding to live their life with the constant question: what would Jesus do? Problem is, we are not Jesus. And in today's world, we don't really know what Jesus would do in many circumstances. What we can do, and this is not emphasized in this book, is to pray for the Holy Spirit to help guide us with how Jesus would live our lives. And look to your Bible, for God's teachings on how to live. The Gospels and Paul's Letters especially.

Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ
Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ
by Jeanne Guyon
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.11
53 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most profound books I have ever read, Feb. 1 2016
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While reading this amazingly rich guide, several times I had to stop and ponder how a woman in the 1600s could have written this without today's university education, formal Bible study, or guidance from other teachers. I think that is what God does, equips the willing, perhaps not just the educated and powerful. Jeanne Guyon obviously had help from the Holy Spirit. Her method of a deep practice of knowing God, and allowing Him space to work in your life is incredibly simple and manageable for all of us. Her first two suggestions are doable for beginners. Several later suggestions are definitely challenging, and will probably take a lifetime to work on (abandonment and continual prayer are two that will be struggles for me). If you want to learn how to be led by the Holy Spirit in your daily life, then read this book. Your life will never be the same. This will be a book I will need to read over and over to fully understand it's depth.

Mary As the Early Christians Knew Her: The Mother of Jesus in Three Ancient Texts
Mary As the Early Christians Knew Her: The Mother of Jesus in Three Ancient Texts
by Frederica Mathewes-Green
Edition: Paperback
6 used & new from CDN$ 28.00

5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating read!, Jan. 14 2016
I was blown away by this book. The author, Frederica Mathewes-Green, has a gift of writing clearly and simply to her reader. Growing up Catholic I experienced Mary as a prominent figure in the Church, but I never could understand why the Church has the doctrine it does and why such a focus on her. Figuring that the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church share the same roots, I was curious what the Eastern Orthodox Church thought of Mary. The author, taking the Bible, as well as, the writings of the early Christians clearly and cleverly lay out how the early Christians viewed Mary. It was fascinating to read, and I had a couple "aha" moments, as the author is able to write so I could understand in my heart, not just my head. Highly recommend if you would like some background as to the why's and how's of Marian doctrine.

The Illumined Heart: Capturing the Vibrant Faith of Ancient Christians: Capture the Vibrant Faith of Ancient Christians by Frederica Mathewes-Green (1-Jul-2007) Paperback
The Illumined Heart: Capturing the Vibrant Faith of Ancient Christians: Capture the Vibrant Faith of Ancient Christians by Frederica Mathewes-Green (1-Jul-2007) Paperback
4 used & new from CDN$ 39.60

4.0 out of 5 stars a real gem!, Jan. 14 2016
This book is a real gem! I read it in less than 24 hours, I could not put it down. I enjoyed Fredercia Mathewes-Green's easy, conversational writing style. And the content was superb! Taking her knowledge and background (she is a Khouria, spiritual mother, at Holy Cross Orthodox Church), the author clearly lays out a picture of the life of an ancient Christian living around 400AD. The author obviously has a good amount of knowledge of the Bible, as well as, the numerous writings from the ancient Christian church. And she gleans from both to portray a fictional family, easily and clearly how they would have lived and practiced as Christians in this time period. I had so many "a ha!" moments. This little book will be one I read over and over to glean the knowledge it contains. The title says it all: "capture the vibrant faith of ancient Christians", I recommend it if you would like to learn more on how to live a vibrant faith. I think the only downside, it's pretty light, more of an introduction. The author has a detailed book list in the back so the reader can delve deeper when ready.

Sanctuary of the Soul: Journey into Meditative Prayer
Sanctuary of the Soul: Journey into Meditative Prayer
by Richard J. Foster
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 21.60
25 used & new from CDN$ 13.67

3.0 out of 5 stars brief overview, Jan. 14 2016
I don't know, I see all these five-star reviews and I really wanted to love this book...but I didn't find this little book that practicable. I enjoyed Richard Foster's gentle writing style, his numerous quotes from saints - known and not-so-known - and his hidden gems of wisdom. However, after reading this book, I don't think I came away learning anything new. Perhaps, the point of this book was more of a general overview and with all the quotes, the reader can then go look up some of the heavier, meatier books that they seem guided to read?

The Good and Beautiful Life: Putting on the Character of Christ
The Good and Beautiful Life: Putting on the Character of Christ
by James Bryan Smith
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 23.23
38 used & new from CDN$ 20.18

5.0 out of 5 stars amazing series, Jan. 8 2016
This is an amazing series. Wow. I am impressed with the author James Bryan Smith. Now I love any and all works by Dallas Willard. Sometimes Willard's work is hard to digest and apply to daily life. This author has clearly taken the works of his mentors and done just that. Clearly laid out in accessible and applicable chapters, this little book is packed with helpful insights and suggestions to apply the teachings of Jesus to your daily life. It is appropriately titled "The Apprentice Series" and it truly is. One of the best guides on Christian discipleship I have read. I will be reading this one many times. And when my kids are older, I will read it to them as well. I also want to buy this for friends, it's so good!

A Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness, and Contemplation
A Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness, and Contemplation
by Martin Laird
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 21.00
28 used & new from CDN$ 14.50

5.0 out of 5 stars thoroughly impressed, Jan. 8 2016
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I am thoroughly impressed with this little book. I have read a lot of meditation books over the past 10 years. First, as a practicing Buddhist for 7 years, and now as a Christian for 2 years. And this little gem has been by far one of the best books on awareness and contemplation. What I absolutely love about it are all the quotes and references from seasoned Saints, from many years past. Mainly St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, author of Cloud of Unknowing, Evagrius, and St. Hesychios. So profound. The author, Martin Laird, clearly knows what he is writing about and has the ability to convey clearly and simply to the average reader. It was a delight to read, along with his first book "Into The Silent Land". If you are curious and want to learn more about the art and practice of Christian meditation, I highly recommend the work of this author.

The Divine Hours (Volume Two): Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime: A Manual for Prayer
The Divine Hours (Volume Two): Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime: A Manual for Prayer
by Phyllis Tickle
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 18.99
26 used & new from CDN$ 15.92

5.0 out of 5 stars enjoying it!, Jan. 8 2016
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I have been using Phyllis Tickle's Divine Hours for about two months now and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I pray three times a day with it. The morning, afternoon, and evening prayers. I don't have time to pray the compline readings at this time. Often my afternoon prayers are said more like 5pm and the evening prayers at bedtime, but for me, I try not to be too rigid with the times. I have enjoyed praying the psalms, poems, and Bible readings. I love how it follows the liturgical year. I have felt my prayer life deepen and grow using this format. Thank you Phyllis!

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