Life of the Beloved – Blessed

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One of the most impactful books I’ve read in quite a while is Henri Nouwen’s Life of the Beloved. As a priest and professor, Nouwen writes in a compelling way that touches both head and heart. This little book takes four words and uses them to explain our spiritual identity. In my previous post, I wrote about the idea of being taken – or chosen – by God. When we see ourselves as chosen by God, we no longer feel accidental or incidental. This perspective is foundational to a healthy spiritual life. The next word is just as important: Blessed “The feeling of being accursed comes easily. We easily hear an inner voice calling us evil, bad, rotten, worthless, useless, doomed to sickness and death. Isn’t it easier for us to believe that we are cursed than that we are blessed?” – Nouwen “There is little or no neutral territory…

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Life of the Beloved – Taken

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As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was blessed to have a month-long study break back in June. I loaded up my Kindle with more books than I could read in one month and ended up tackling seven. While all seven were good reads, there were two that were the most impactful — Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen and The Emotionally Healthy Leader by Peter Scazzaro. I would recommend both of these books to any Christ-follower — and especially to Christian leaders. Beginning with this post, I want to share a few reflections from Nouwen’s book (it’s the shortest and most accessible of the two). When it comes to spiritual formation, identity is important. How do you see yourself? How does God see you? How are those two perceptions similar? Different? Nouwen uses four simple words to help us understand our identity as beloved children of God….

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