Cover Image: Spiritual Practices for Soul Care

Spiritual Practices for Soul Care

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In a world of constant activity, this book offers 40 ways to integrate spiritual disciplines into your daily life. From prayer to rest, these practices will help you develop a deeper connection with God and a more fulfilling Christian walk. Awaken to your transformative soul care journey with these insightful disciplines and prompts.

Barbara’s conversational tone is filled with encouragement and discernment. As she walks through the 40 practices, she includes Scripture, explanation, poetry, and very interesting soul care leaders. Often the featured leader has their own content and resources for further growth in that specific practices. As an African American minister, Barbara offers incredible illustrations about civil rights and personal experience. I really appreciated how clear and accessible her writing is.

Thank you @readbakerbooks and @netgalley for the eARC 🥰

Perfect for you if you like:
Spiritual habits
Recommendations for further spiritual growth
Author’s personal reflection on spiritual disciplines

Similar to:
Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster
Holy Habits by Noah Herrin
Spiritual Formation for the Global Church by Ryan A. Brandt and John Frederick

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Soul care is an emerging trend in modern Western Christianity. Its ancient roots and disciplines originate in the early Church and practices of discipling in the Middle East and Europe as the Church emerged beyond its Jewish foundations. Peacock presents another layer of observation and practise that include her African American traditions and solid academic career.

The 40 units or chapters can be approached by topic, personal need, or by categories such as Soul Care living, directing, discipling, restoring, etc. "Whether you are committed to practicing four or all forty spiritual disciplines on a regular basis, you must be mindful that the process of God-centered transformation is designed for those who year to live their best authentic life." (Peacock)

Theological reflections are fleshed out with stories from her life, observations, and heritage. Using scriptures, poetry, and questions for active worship, the author invites the reader into a deep life of spiritual

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Spiritual Practices for Soul Care: 40 Ways to Deepen Your Faith by Dr. Barbara Peacock lives up to its promise by sharing 40 spiritual practices that will refresh your soul. In each chapter, you'll find a different practice along with a Bible passage, insights from a real-life soul care leader, and a poem. The chapter then concludes with soul-stirring questions designed to guide the reader in putting the discipline into practice. While the book is presented in themes, you don't have to read it in order. Each chapter can stand alone; yet together, they collectively invite the reader into a closer relationship with God.

This is a book that is best savored slowly, and I would encourage you to read through it at your own pace and explore each practice as the Spirit guides you. That, to me, is the real beauty of this book: that it can be personalized to the reader’s journey. So, no matter where you are on your faith walk, there’s a spiritual practice in this book that will meet your needs and (re)ignite your faith.

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As an IT professional I love that the book, Spiritual Practices for Soul Care by Dr. Barbara Peacock is structured in a way that each chapter gives:
1. Practical and biblically sound ways to connect with God in our "busy" daily lives.
2. Action challenges to help you pause and reflect on how to apply each practice.

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An excellent book that you can either use alone or would work in a bible study group. It features 40 different spiritual practices broken down into seven sections giving a thematic overview.:
Each of the 40 chapters speaks of the individual discipline, includes a Scripture passage that connects with every day living, a a soul care leader who exemplifies the spiritual practice, a poem written by the author and offers ways in which to apply that particular discipline into you every day life.

I found the book to be both accessible, interesting and inspiring. Barbara L Peacock provides a really good instruction book on both the discipline and how to integrate it into your life. I can either be read in 40 daily instalments, or taken at a more leisurely pace. It is a book that you can turn to again and again. Engaging, uplifting, inspiring and helps the reader to draw closer to God. The "soul" aim of the book is to have a time engaging deeply with the Heavenly Father, to draw closer and rest your weary soul. This book is an excellent resource for both new and more mature christians alike. You can adopt any number of the practices according to your personal tastes.

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While I appreciated how many spiritual practices were included (around 40!), it felt a bit surface level at times because there wasn't room to explore each one. This book is best for new Believers who have yet to introduce practices into their lives and want a clear and easy place to start.

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Each chapter begins with a topical title and introduction to a specific discipline or practice. Then there is a scriptural pericope (aka scripture focus) that inspired the practice and on which to meditate further. This is followed by a very brief introduction to a person (aka soul care leader) who [presumably] models this practice in everyday living (along with a specific book or other work that illustrates why that person was chosen (and potentially provide a follow-up in the case of written works). The author then provides a short poem, also inspired by the discipline or practice (which didn’t do much for me, but I generally struggle with poetry). Finally there are some recommendation on putting that particular discipline “in action” (although this was generally in the form of prompting questions … so more meditative than active). For the most part, this book only works if it is used as a springboard for future study and meditation (with numerous references to material that supports the disciplines or practices identify in each chapter. In at least one case, the contextual facts presented did not match my own understanding (specifically the claim that a majority of jewish homes had an upper room that served as a prayer closet). This leads me to question other contexts presented and detracts from my own ability to simply accept what is said and enjoy it.

After reading the publisher summary and endorsements, I still was not expecting this book to essentially be a 40 day devotional. My track record with devotionals is extremely hit or miss for a number of reasons, such as not connecting to the life experience examples or from the need by the author to strength it all out to cover a specific number of days; additionally, in my experience, there tends to be a lot of beautiful fluff and not as much practical application in this type of work. In this case, the number 40 was chosen because of its significance in biblical numerology and gematria and not because the author actually had 40 specific practices to communicate. This means some chapters are quite a bit better than others. Ironically, some of the weakest chapters could have benefited with a more extended treatment and deeper examination, especially of the scriptural and individual exemplar sections. Soon after you start reading the book, it becomes apparent that most of these comes out of the author’s experience as a spiritual director, which is heavily dependent upon a personal connection with the person seeking direction … so it should come as no surprise here that only about 25% of this book connected with me and another 25% was a struggle (with half more or less neutral). I have starred the chapters that I connected with below ...

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In this world of frantic activity and constant entertainment, it can be hard to identify and embrace the rhythms that lead to true flourishing. Your spirit longs for a stronger connection to the divine, a clearer sense of personal spiritual growth, a closer relationship with your creator and redeemer. But how do you integrate this kind of inner growth into the realities of your outer life?

If you long for a deeper experience of God as you journey through this life, Spiritual Practices for Soul Care offers 40 ways to help you put the spiritual disciplines into action each day. From prayer and meditation to serving and socializing to resting and healing, these simple, restorative practices will help you develop the kind of Christian walk you desire.

If you have been frustrated by slow or stalled progress, or if you simply yearn to go deeper, now is the time to pause, take a breath, and awaken to your transformative soul care journey--starting today.

This was such a beautiful book, and exactly what I needed to read at this stage of my life. I have been longing for a deeper connection for some time now, and this book delivers.

I really loved this book and can see myself turning to it again and again as needed.

Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this book in return for my honest review.

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