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A Brief Summary:
With a unique layout Practicing His Presence tells the journey of two different men at two different times. The first being Frank Laubach whose work, from 1930-1932, shares the journey he took and what he found. He starts off with his experience with God and then goes back into pieces of the journey he took while being in His presence. Laubach’s journey is one where he delights in the Lord and also where he shares some of his failures.
The second story we hear comes from Brother Lawrence whom it is said little is known but as the introduction states:
He was born Nicholas Herman in French Lorraine in 1611. Born into poverty, at age eighteen he was converted to Christ.
Brother Lawrence was known well for having the presence of God around him and many people looked to him in order to get the same experience. Brother Lawrence’s testimony is filled with the fervent love that Brother Lawrence feels from God.
The Wow Factors:
This is a must read and gives incredible insight from two different people at two very different times. The layout is great and very different from other books that I have read! I enjoyed the vintage language and felt that there was so much imagery and emotion put into each word that both wrote.
And this stood out:
The testimonies of both Frank Laubach and Brother Lawrence are incredible. By reading their words you get a sense that you also want to deepen your relationship with the Lord in order to feel as they felt. The way that they were able to describe living in his presence is awe-inspiring and also how often can you read a book that was written over 300 years ago?
My take away:
This book shares the sacrifice and the struggles that these two men experienced. They share this along with the outcome of where they were after giving up certain things. With the outcome they share it has given me the hope and faith that when God speaks that I need to respond. They have reminded me that there are trials but that God ultimately is my comfort.
Questions to Consider:
- The language is different, did that affect the overall reading experience? Did it slow you down, and if so, was it better to reread certain passages?
- Do you think that what Frank Laubach says about small talk is correct?
- In our current time, and what it sounds like for the 1930s, people are very busy with their own lives that if they have spare time (after all other activities) they might give the extra to the Lord. What would happen if we gave the first minute, hour, day, or even every 15 minutes to the Lord?
- Do the impressions in the change of tone communicate growth throughout each story?
- What do you think about Frank Laubach’s illustrations to compare how he is being given opportunities to the rolling waves?
- By writing, typing, and speaking our thoughts do we receive the same quality or a different quality of our thoughts? If Brother Lawrence had a type writer would he have been as specific in his writing?
Can I apply this?
Though how they practiced the presence of God was very different from how we would now; this can surely be applied to our lives. Each generation has trials of its own but we are not void of the presence of God. We can each spend time and grow in our spiritual lives. By reading the stories of Frank Laubach and Brother Lawrence it shows that it is completely possible to live in God’s presence. I look at this book as a story of success. They each turned from their own ways and decided that they needed more of God and went out to achieve it. With hard work and dedication we can also achieve living a life in the presence of God.
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