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Paperback Sacred Pathways: Nine Ways to Connect with God Book

ISBN: 0310361176

ISBN13: 9780310361176

Sacred Pathways: Nine Ways to Connect with God

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Book Overview

Sacred Pathways reveals nine distinct spiritual temperaments--and their strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies--to help you improve your spiritual life and deepen your personal walk with God.It's time to strip away the frustration of a one-size-fits-all spirituality and discover a path of worship that frees you to be you. Experienced spiritual directors, pastors, and church leaders recognize that all of us engage with God differently, and it's about...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Great stuff...

Having already read Thomas' "Sacred Marriage," I had extremely high expectations for this book, and I would say that they were largely met. Gary Thomas manages to write in a style that is both intellectual and personal, challenging the reader to ponder at a deeper level than many Christian books while never allowing his style to seem distant or arrogant. It's a tricky balance, but Thomas manages to strike that balance. "Sacred Pathways" sets out to establish the reality that Christians do not naturally connect to God in identical ways and that this is not only acceptable but part of God's plan. It's the type of message that many of us need to hear, as we play the dangerous game of comparing our spirituality to other esteemed believers and realizing that we don't measure up to them. Thomas instructs us to consider that we are not meant to try to mirror anyone else's walk with God. Rather, we need to identify how we have been created and head down that "sacred pathway" with all diligence to "cultivate and grow" our relationship with God. Thomas managed to tell very personal stories from his own life about every one of the nine sacred pathways, while managing to explain which ones came more or less naturally for him. This articulates the crucial point that though we may be bent toward one pathway more so than another, none of us have the right to ignore any of these sacred pathways as somehow irrelevant in our lives. One particularly commendable component of Thomas' writing is his respect for the history of the church, and he constantly refers to our spiritual predecessors to gather their thoughts from the past centuries on so many different topics. What a refreshing approach to contemporary Christian writing! How much richer would the spiritual vitality of the church be if we were able to better learn from the past two thousand years of collective wisdom and experience? I look forward to reading more of Gary Thomas' books. I would recommend "Sacred Pathways" to any Christian interested in learning more about the diverse ways that God has created us to seek after Him.

Superb Overview of Devotional Styles

Most Christians have dealt with the frustration of trying to balance a busy lifestyle with a consistent devotional time. Some of us do better with the balancing act than others. Many of us wonder, "Are there better ways I can commune with God on a regular basis?" Thomas states here that there are better ways, once we have discovered as God has placed them in us. Thomas identifies nine "sacred pathways" that are present in differing degrees in Christians. Naturalists love God in nature. Sensates worship God through their five senses. Traditionalists walk with God through ritual and symbolism. Ascetics draw strength from solitude with God and from simplicity. Activists energize themselves spiritually through confrontation. Caregivers best worship God by caring for the physical needs of others. Enthusiasts love God with mystery and celebration. Contemplatives interact with God via adoration. Intellects love to serve God with their minds. The author includes at the end of each chapter a questionnaire, so that reader can quiz himself to see how strong of an inclination he has in each pathway. Most people have two to three pathways that are dominate. This title is excellent. I recommend it to anyone who wants to improve the quality of consistent devotional time with God.

Helped me to love others...

The "Pathways" helped me understand other people. Of course, in a church there are different people with different personalities but I have had a judgemental heart toward some that I considered "weird" and "inappropriate". (Bear with me...I'm being honest). Through this book God showed me how diverse and beautiful His children really are! I realized that the guy that sings and claps really loud is an "Activist" for the Lord and is genuine in his passion. I understand now that the lady who talks about Jesus being her lover is a "Contemplative" and really does have a true deep heart love for Jesus in an intimate way. This book will open your heart to love, respect and even enjoy the diversity of the Body of Christ. Plus: I tried all of the "Pathways" (even the ones I thought were really really not for me) and it gave worship and my relationship with God a new depth.

God gave you your own way

Just as people have different personality temperaments, they also have different spiritual temperaments or preferred ways of approaching God for worship and discipleship. This is the primary thesis of Gary Thomas' book, "Sacred Pathways." People do not have to go to God in the same way. The best way to approach God is in accordance with the specific temperaments with which one has been created.Thomas contends that every person has at least one spiritual temperament, and most have several. Understanding basic spiritual temperaments is helpful not only for identifying one's God-given preferences, but also for understanding how others may worship God in equally valid ways."Sacred Pathways" includes a chapter each on nine spiritual temperaments: naturalists, sensates, traditionalists, ascetics, activists, caregivers, enthusiasts, contemplatives and intellectuals. Each chapter describes the temperament's distinguishing characteristics, including its strengths and weaknesses. Thomas' discussions are well illustrated with many personal experiences from his own life and others. Each chapter concludes with a short assessment to help readers determine whether they have that specific temperament.The final chapter, "Understanding Your Sacred Pathway," gives practical suggestions on how to nurture one's spiritual personality which consists of one or more temperaments and the interplay between them. Thomas does not discuss the differences between private and corporate worship, but he does recognize that some temperaments are better suited for private worship-not all are equally suited for corporate worship. The final chapter also includes practical suggestions for cultivating a more meaningful devotional life in accordance with one's temperaments in both corporate and private worship. This is helpful not only for individual worshippers, but also for those responsible for leading corporate worship.I first discovered this book through reading Rick Warren's "The Purpose-Driven Life." I'm glad I did; "Sacred Pathways" has given me a better understanding of-and a greater appreciation for-the different ways we worship God.

the heart's true home

Many members, one body. A delightfully refreshing look at the differences we have as individuals in the church through our communication with and worship of God. Thomas confirms our own uniqueness through nine "Sacred Pathways" to God - the naturalist, sensate, traditionalist, ascetic, activist, caregiver, enthusiast, contemplative and intellectual. He provides practical ways to test yourself at the end of each chapter to determine your own path. Just as God communicated differently for Moses, Elijah, and Paul, we too hear Him and worship Him in different ways. What a confirmation that you don't have to be a clone, but rather, can follow the direction God has put into your own heart. This book spoke to my spirit and I've recommended it to many. It is a must for pastors who wish to understand their congregation better. Thomas expands our horizons without compromising the message.
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