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Saturday, August 14, 2010

WHO HAS CUSTODY OF YOUR SOUL?

Living life at the speed of sound or, rather, living life to the sound of other people demanding that we relentlessly pursue recognition, material success, and professional achievement is physically and spiritually exhausting. Busyness in the Chinese language means "heart annihilation." We are being annihilated by all of this hamster wheel living. We need to live before we die! The God who redeemed our souls has given us the responsibility to become custodians of their care. Our souls are constantly under siege by the culture. Sadly, most of us take better care of our cars than our souls! Stephen W. Smith's latest book, Soul Custody: Choosing to Care for the One and Only You, offers eight life-giving choices that everyone can make to free their souls from the world's demands and release them to live meaningful and satisfying lives. 


Smith contends that the care of our souls and our ability to hear and respond to the nudging of the Holy Spirit is often buried beneath the busyness of everyday life. Believers mistake the busy life for the abundant life and deny the soul freedom to pursue the very things God designed us to achieve. Believers focus on the external rather than the internal, building bigger churches and programs rather than simply walking with God and gathering together to worship. Soul Custody is a book that will enable believers to identify whether or not their souls are being properly cared for as well as the God-given gifts and desires that will enable their souls to thrive

Each life-choice offered in Soul Custody incorporates helpful Scripture quotes, life examples, and suggestions for change to begin the process of soul transformation. The appendices include worksheets for readers as well as self-exploration questions to help them identify areas of their spiritual lives that are not authentic reflections of their God-designed purpose. Smith is convinced that proper care for our souls is an often neglected area, and that all believers can benefit from creating a purposeful plan for their souls that prevents crisis and embraces the unique gifts that God has given each of His children. Life can be satisfying and fulfilling when we are caring for our souls. Creating a spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical balance allows each of us to live in God's light and to encounter many moments of peace and joy.

Soul Custody calls readers to pay attention to the state of their soul and free it to thrive. Every day, inner and outer violence ravages the soul, leaving us weak, fearful, and malnourished. In Soul Custody, Stephen W. Smith presents eight choices to help readers reclaim custody of their one and only life choices about silence, community, vocation, honoring the body, finding one s true self, and more. As Smith reminds readers, allowing God to shape the soul leads to the deep, full, and satisfying life that God had in mind all along. This is not a self-help book. It is not a book of easy steps to a happy life. It is an invitation to the life God dreams for each of His children. It is a call to start living to let the soul wake up to life as God intended. 
This is not a self-help book.  It is not a book of easy steps to a happy life.  It is an invitation to the life God dreams for each of His children.  It is a call to start living – to let the soul wake up to life as God intended.

Stephen W. Smith is a spiritual director and the co-founder (with his wife, Gwen) of The Potter's Inn ministry. Steve s books, such as The Lazarus Life, are an integral part of The Potter's Inn, along with ministry retreats and one-on-one counseling. In 2006, the Smiths founded Potter's Inn at Aspen Ridge, a retreat center in Divide, Colorado.

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