I loved this book, I’m not a massive reading fan & when I new I had to write a peace on it I was daunted, but Oh my Goodness this book is brilliant, fast moving and thoroughly engaging!
The thing that I loved about this book is that it has the feel of a 24-7 Prayer Titles book, with its excitement at seeing God do incredible things through the most unsuspecting people! And seeing how God brings people together when we pray and listen to the stirrings of his heart. Andy shares his story of Blowing him away and weaves in such wisdom and discernment flowing naturally in to bible verses and quotes and stories about monks in the past that have done the most amazing things, it makes you want to read biographies of all these holy men that have build the foundations of the Kingdom over the world. So inspiring.
The strap line to this book is “New monasticism and the ancient art of breathing” and in the way that its written it really embodies this tempo and nature recognizing the importance of us stilling ourselves in study, prayer, stillness with God and out of that breathes life, vibrancy, people, growth in faith, creativity, trust in God. At the end of each chapter is a challenge for people to think about and there not just nice ideas that may scratch the service of our faith in Jesus But they are challenges that keep you thinking again & again taking you deeper into trying to see the world/ people in the what God would, these challenges are followed with some beautiful liturgies that still the head noise and make the realize how beautiful God is, has been and will be. Andy breathes in… the bible, ancient wise monks and faith and God breathes out though him communities of :
- Engagement in mission & evangelism
- A commitment to life long learning that we might shape culture and make disciples by being discipled
- Practice hospitality
- Expresses gods mercy & justice
- Live prayerfully
- Celibate creativity to his glory
And all this can be summed up in one sentence “To love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself and to go into all the world”
These communities have sprung up all over the world and Andy shares there times of growth and answers to prayers with the tensions of working out the practices written above and the practicalities of life.
Pete Grieg has written the Introduction to this book and says this about Andy “How do I describe Andy Freeman? Well, he’s one of the kindest people I now and yet, you might not notice him in a crowed room. To me (and he’ll hate me for saying it) Andy freeman is like a walking talking outworking of the Beatitudes. Meek? Yep. Hungry for righteousness? Without a doubt. Poor in spirit? He thinks he is. A peacemaker? Invariably. And so as Jesus promised Andy is being blessed and raised up”
If nothing else I’ve written above about the book inspires you to pick it up and give it a read then surly the person of Andy will, what would our world look like if we grabbed some of the practices Andy shares about so that we may be a little more like the Beatitudes and a lot more like Jesus to the people around us.