“The goal, and the path itself, is simply openness – that you and I might become as open as possible to our Creator, Lover, Redeemer, and Friend, to ourselves, and to other people.”
The quest for a deeper spiritual life is something that every Christian faces. We all want to have a more intimate relationship with Jesus. But how we go about doing that is often the thing that stumps us. What should we do first? What should we stop doing? Is this the right way? Why am I not seeing results? Am I doing something wrong? So often we become bombarded with questions and uncertainty that we abandon the quest for a deeper relationship completely.
This should not be so. And to this problem of Greg Paul, pastor of Sanctuary in Toronto, Canada, writes the wonderfully simplistic book, Simply Open.
Simply Open invites you to grow in your relationship with God through the practice of a very simple prayer. And while some may be turned off by the notion of a simple prayer, it has the power to be the most spiritually transformative thing you do for your relationship with God, yourself, and others.
To be Simply Open, Greg Paul tells readers, is to be willing to release what we have, so that we may receive what God has for us, so that we may become who we were created to be, and do to others what we were created to do.
Greg Paul walks through this simple prayer, showing readers how a life of openness can radically alter the world they live in. Exploring a life of openness through all five senses – sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound, as well as openness in the heart and mind, Greg directs his readers on how to be more open in the most simplistic, but realistic and wholly ways possible.
You are invited through the wisdom of Greg Paul and Simply Open to experience the world, those around you, and God in a new way, a way that leaves and leads you to be grace filled and open hearted.
“Lord, open me to release, that I may receive, become and do…”
When I think about spiritual growth or spiritual development, I think of some Christian classics like Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline. That is a book that goes through, step-by-step, all the traditional rituals that are helpful and useful for maturing and strengthening one’s relationship with God and others. One could describe Foster’s book as a guidebook or a manual.
Simply Open is not a guidebook or a manual to spiritual development, and I think that is one of the best things about this book. It is definitely one of its strengths.
While instructions and a step-by-step help is useful, and the traditional church rituals are helpful and shouldn’t be abandoned, Greg Paul offers something slightly different for a generation that may be leery of the old ways. Simply Open does not look like a traditional church ritual for spiritual growth. This is a unique way of promoting growth and maturity for people that do not want the ways of the past.
By no means is Greg Paul attacking the traditional church disciplines, but what he invites readers into through this simplistic prayer of openness is very distinct from what has come before. Simply Open offers a beautiful path to growing and developing in relationship with God and others.
I believe that Simply Open will be a long lasting classic in Christian literature, as the principles and challenges are deep, and thought and action provoking. Whether it is read independently or as part of a cooperate setting, a bible study or church sermon, Simply Open has the spirit filled content to be reread for years to come.
I give Simply Open 4 out of 5 stars; an excellent book.
Have you read Simply Open?
What did you think of it?
Let me know in the comment section.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”