Monday, June 25, 2012

Journeying With Abraham

Today's guest blogger is Joe Lenton, who talks about his latest book, Journeying With Abraham.

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We are fascinated by other people’s stories, whether through TV programmes on celebrities’ ancestors, reading blogs and biographies or having a natter with our friends. The lives of others can take us outside our own for a while, provide distraction, food for our curiosity or an opportunity to learn.

This is not really a new thing, though - we’ve been doing it for thousands of years. The Bible, although it does provide information of historical interest, is a big book of people’s stories - stories about people struggling through life with each other and their God. It is a collection of biographies and reflections on life that has inspired generations.

During a time of crisis and uncertainty, the Jews went back to the beginning and retold the stories of their birth as a nation. Abraham was a key figure, the father of the Jewish race, and his story takes an important place early on in the narrative of God’s people. Hundreds of years after his death, they returned to Abraham and took inspiration, comfort and a sense of identity from immersing themselves in aspects of his life story. It is a narrative that can still hold great power for us today.

Abraham is not some super-pious, always holy, unmatchable figure. No, his story is told warts and all - he is a man we can relate to. In my new book “Journeying With Abraham”, I offer a fresh approach to help us walk alongside Abraham and learn something not just about him but about ourselves and our relationship with God and others.

The aim is not that we know lots about the text and its historical background but that we undergo a process of reflection and growth, inspired by Abraham. This means that we bring our own lives into a kind of dialogue with the texts. We engage our imaginations, emotions, experiences and analytical thinking to grasp something of what might have motivated not only Abraham but the countless generations since who have so valued these stories. Reflecting in this diverse way can shed light on our own stories, finding new angles and new ways of looking at things. It is a process that enables us to examine our motivations, aims, desires and more, facilitating the ongoing gradual transformation of our lives.

So, why not spend some time journeying with Abraham and see where it might lead you? You can work through the material alone or in groups from either a paperback, E-Book or Kindle version. Each chapter has a large variety of questions with a strong focus on practical application as well as suggestions for prayer drawing on themes found in the passage(s) studied.

For book reviews, please visit www.goingdeeperwithgod.com, where you will also find other resources including meditations and articles. Maybe it is time for you to revisit this classic story? You might not only lose yourself in the drama - you could find yourself too.

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I shall see you on Wednesday.  Adieu

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