Thursday 30 August 2018

Book Review - Crafting a Rule of Life by Stephen A. Macchia

By Ian Acheson @achesonian

Your personal rule of life is a holistic description of the Spirit-empowered rhythms and relationships that create, redeem, sustain and transform the life God invites you to humbly fulfill for Christ's glory. 

All of us have an unwritten personal rule of life. We wake at certain times, get ready for our days in particular ways, use our free time for assorted purposes and practice rhythms of work, hobbies, and worship. There is already a rule in place that you are following. Isnt it time to give up your unwritten rule and prayerfully write one that more closely matches the heartbeat of God?

In this practical workbook Stephen A. Macchia looks to St. Benedict as a guide for discovering your own rule of life in community. It is a process that takes time and concerted effort; you must listen to God and discern what he wants you to be and do for his glory. But through the basic disciplines of Scripture, prayer and reflection in a small group context you will be lead forward in a journey toward Christlikeness.

The invitation is transformational, so brace yourself for sweet release. By letting go and trusting God, you will receive the gift of life in its fullest and richest form.

To borrow another reviewers headline: "We all arrive somewhere ... very few of us get there on purpose." Macchia provides a compelling rationale and detailed workbook on how we can all draft our own 'rule of life' and be intentional in observing it.

Having studied the Spiritual Disciplines work of Foster, Willard and co, Macchia helps bridge the gap between how we can successfully orient our lives around intentional rhythms incorporating the disciplines so we can live a life that does indeed bring glory to the Lord. In much of modern ministry there's a lot of energy around the doing but action should only come out the essence of our heart that is being increasingly filled by more and more of the heartbeat of God. But we need to be intentional about how we draw close to God's heartbeat. Macchia's work helps provide a roadmap.

Providing examples from the Bible and a historical figure in each chapter, Macchia challenges us to contemplate and respond to a series of questions around each priority of our lives: relational, missional, vision, giftings and desires.

This is a challenging workbook and one needs to give yourself plenty of time to work through it. I suspect it will be something I refer back to regularly as we should with our 'rule of life' as we enter different seasons in life.

Ian Acheson is an author and strategy consultant based in Sydney. Ian's first novel of speculative fiction, Angelguard was recognised with the 2014 Selah Award for Speculative Fiction.You can find more about Angelguard at Ian's website, on his author Facebook pageand Twitter

1 comment:

  1. Ian, thanks for sharing your insightful and challenging review.


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