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God Moments: Unexpected Encounters in the Ordinary Paperback – April 7, 2017
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"Andy Otto brilliantly and simply helps all of us discover a God who wants to relate to us in the ordinary messiness of our day-to-day lives. Easily accessible yet profound and inspiring, this book is a modern-day spiritual treasure." --Rev. Dave Dwyer, C.S.P., Director of Busted Halo
"I'm an avid reader of Andy Otto's blogging observations about the spiritual life. Finally, we have a book that focuses on a theme close to the heart of his writing: a God who is found in all things. Andy draws us to look lovingly at a God who is always already looking lovingly at us. God Moments is a book for those who are unsure about how to discover God, but might find themselves drawn like a magnet to Christian faith." --Tim Muldoon, Catholic theologian at Boston College and author of The Ignatian Workout and Six Sacred Rules for Families
"God Moments is inviting and inspiring. Whether Andy Otto is invoking It's a Wonderful Life while reflecting on the power of Ignatian prayer or sharing stories from his own journey of discernment, he takes the spiritual and makes it practical. This engaging book will help you recognize God in all things and use that knowledge to become the person you were created to be."--Ginny Kubitz Moyer, Author of Mary and Me and Random MOMents of Grace
"In an earnest and accessible way, Andy Otto gives us a trademark, joy-filled take on Ignatian spirituality. God Moments is equally compelling and nourishing to any reader seeking a closer relationship with God." --Matt Weber, CatholicTV host and author of Operating on Faith
About the Author
Andy Otto is a Catholic writer, speaker, blogger, spiritual director, and podcaster who teaches theology and is the campus minister at Mercy High School in Red Bluff, California.
Otto earned a degree in communications from Curry College in 2006 and spent almost three years as a Jesuit seminarian before discerning marriage. He earned a master's degree in theology and ministry from the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College in 2015.
Otto created and edits God In All Things and he also founded the website Ignatian Resources. He previously worked as programming and acquisitions coordinator at CatholicTV. He has contributed to Busted Halo, America magazine, Millennial Journal, and EcoJesuit. Otto and his wife, Sarah, live in Chico, California.
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Otto wrote this book as a newlywed husband to a wife he credits for influencing the development of his theology. Together, he says, they hope to "change the world" by making it a kinder, gentler place. This book is clearly a step in that direction. I look forward to his next offering.
Otto, who has a master’s degree in theology and ministry, is a Catholic writer, speaker, blogger, spiritual director, and podcaster who teaches theology and is the campus minister at Mercy High School in Red Bluff, California. He spent almost three years as a Jesuit seminarian before discerning he was called to marriage. In this book, he seeks to share Ignatian spirituality based on awareness of God’s presence, the importance of prayer, and discernment of our vocation and important life decisions.
God has given each one of us good things and can and does use our encounters with the everyday to speak to us. God can speak to us through other people, things we read, and the beauty of creation. He can even speak to us in the messiness of life, in those difficult moments we would rather not endure.
In order to be aware of these encounters and fully appreciate them, we must engage in prayer and rest in God’s love. “Making self-reflection and prayer a daily pattern can move us toward the human beings God wants us to be.”
Only once we have prayed and tuned into God’s movement in our lives can we truly discern what God wants us to do. “Discernment is a form of decision-making that involves God’s desires and my desires.” Otto emphasizes that discernment is for choosing between two morally good choices. He also acknowledges that “sometimes we have to decide to give up on our desires because there are more important things happening.” In those instances, God can help us discover a new dream. Sometimes, discernment requires a great act of courage. “Courage allows us to dive in and take a risk trusting that God has a hand stretched out and is saying, ‘Don’t worry – I’ve got your back.’”
"God Moments" is particularly relevant for younger adults who are still trying to figure out where God might be calling them in terms of vocation, but Otto’s work also serves as a reminder for the rest of us to look for God in our everyday lives. "God Moments" is recommended for anyone seeking to be more aware of God’s movement in his or her life.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Barbara Quinn, RSCJ