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A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society Paperback – Special Edition, July 28, 2000
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"All of the marks of a classic--profound, timeless, life-impacting." -- Leith Anderson, author of Leadership That Works
"I've never read a book by Eugene Peterson that didn't stir and challenge me." -- Max Lucado, author of In the Grip of Grace
"Wonderful book, one of the very best guides to the Psalms! Peterson's combination of passion and insight match the psalmists" -- Tim Stafford, author of Knowing the Face of God
About the Author
Peterson, now retired, was for many years James M. Houston Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He also served as founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland. In addition to his widely acclaimed paraphrase of the Bible, The Message (NavPress), he has written many other books.
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One particularly good section, I am paraphrasing here because this was an audio-book, says…”We can act ourselves into feeling. We shouldn’t worship only when we feel like it. The bible never says, worship when you feel like it. Instead it says to worship. The act of worship will bring about the feeling of worship far quicker than the feeling of worship will bring about the act of worship.” I have found this true in my attempts at fixed hour prayer. I often do not feel like praying. In fact, I frequently am half or three quarters of the way through the time before my mind even switches over to what I am doing. Sometimes I never switch over to a worship mood. But more often than I would have ever guessed, I am caught by something that I could not have predicted. I suddenly am worshipping when I would not have predicted. If I was “choosing” when to worship based on feelings there would be less worship in my life. The last chapter is also about “feelings and worship” and is probably the best of the sections.
In another chapter, Peterson uses the example of having children as an example of the work that we should be doing for God. None of us actually do much to construct a child. We participate, but what we do, most of the time is not what would be considered “work”. Instead, God does the work and allows us to participate through an act of love. Children are not created without our participation, but at the same time, we all know it is God work and not our own.
Peterson, in his distinctive, narrative, style really is one of the best authors I know to move us in the direction of spiritual growth. I have picked up the kindle edition to read again later.
Thankful for Eugene's voice, I've gone deeper in my faith and learned a lot from his words and also how he encourages scripture reading.
One of my most favorite quotes from the book:
"The joy comes because God knows how to wipe away tears, and, in his resurrection work, create the smile of a new life."
A refreshing, encouraging, correcting, convicting, vivifying trip through the songs of ascent (Psalm 120 - 134).
Eugene Peterson does a wonderful job of unveiling through these 15 Psalms and clearly articulating the paradigm of faithfully following & maturing in Christ.