Thursday, 12 November 2015

Book Review: Resilient by Sheridan Voysey

Review provided by Ian Acheson

Sheridan Voysey will be well known to many of us due to his extensive local Christian media in the past decade or so. He now resides with his wife, Merryn, in the UK.

Blurb

Some days we wake to a world of crystal skies and bright possibilities. And other days it’s to rain pelting our windows and thunder rattling our roofs. How can we stay strong when the storms of life hit—when a spouse leaves, a client sues, unemployment strikes, or our dreams fail to come true? Is it possible not just to weather these trials, but bound back even stronger through them?

After facing his own fierce storm, author and broadcaster Sheridan Voysey tried an experiment—he would read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount every day for a month. That experiment continued a second month, then a third, as he discovered Jesus’ astounding invitation for weak people to become strong, little people to become great, and for all of us to find resilience by putting these radical teachings into practice.

Rich with stories and deep with insight, Resilient is a journey of 90 readings designed to recalibrate your callings, relationships, spiritual practices, and life choices—helping you to find resilience.

My Review

This is a book of 90 readings tracing the theme of resilience through the Sermon on the Mount. Some might call it a devotional or simply a book of meditations but how one defines it doesn’t really matter. It is a book that challenges the reader to invest time in Jesus words to gain understanding and with the Spirit’s help move from head knowledge to action.

The book came about as a result of Voysey walking through a season when he read the Sermon on the Mount every day. He began journaling and then writing some blog posts on his reflections.

There are six sections that generally follow the three chapters of the Sermon: Your Invitation, Your Calling, Your Relationships, Your Practices, Your Choices and Your Resilient Life.

Each reading starts with a verse, from the Sermon or other, a page and half of contemplation using a real life example or one from the Bible, and then ends with two questions to ponder and answer.

The Sermon’s content can be a little overwhelming with its challenge but this easy to read guide provides excellent current day context in how to navigate its messages. It is a book to be read slowly to allow Jesus’ words combined with Voysey's reflections to percolate. To read it too quickly would miss much of the power of its content. 
  
Besides the quality reflection of Jesus’ words, the one aspect of these readings that sets it apart is the challenge to do something about them. As Voysey sums up at the end:

“… a resilient life is made by putting his [Jesus] words into practice.”

The Sermon is a guide to live a different life, be “change agents to the world”, and Voysey's readings have challenged me to realise that an intimate walk with Jesus will better enable me to live such a life.

Highly recommended.



Ian Acheson is an author and strategy consultant based in Sydney, Australia. Ian's first novel, Angelguard, is available in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. You can find more about Angelguard at Ian's website, on his author Facebook page and Twitter

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for that review Ian. It sounds like a really good addition to the bedside table.

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  2. Thanks for the review Ian. I enjoyed Sheridan's Resurrection Year, appreciating his honesty and journey of hope. Resilient sounds like another great book.

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  3. Thanks for a helpful review Ian.

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  4. Carol, Jeanette and Dale, thanks for popping by to read my review and comment. I'd encourage you to check it out.

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  5. Thanks Ian. I really enjoyed his book "Resurrection Year", so it sounds like this one will be one to look out for.

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    1. Nola, I take it Resurrection Year was more a memoir-style sharing the struggle of not having children while this is more devotional-based using the words of Jesus to help shape a resilient life.

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