Ø Read Í The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning  Imagine A Stormy Day At Sea, Your Ship Yielding To A Relentless Wind, Pummeled By Crashing Waves, Subject To The Awesome Force Of Nature A Force That Is Both Fierce And Majestic A Power That Is Nothing Short Of FuriousSuch Is God S Intense, Consuming Love For His Children It S A Love That Knows No Limits, And No Boundaries A Love That Will Go To Any Lengths, And Take Any Risks, To Pursue UsRenowned Author And Ragamuffin Brennan Manning Presents A Love Story For The Brokenhearted For Those Who Are Burdened By Heavy Religion For Those Who Feel They Can Never Measure Up It Is A Provocative And Poignant Look At The Radical, No Holds Barred Love Of Our Heavenly Father It Is A Message That Will Forever Change How You View God a few favorite lines I was speaking to the Navigators not long ago and they asked, Do you have a word for us I said, Yes, I do Instead of being identified as a community that memorizes Scripture, why not be identified as a community of profes sional lovers that causes people to say How they love one another Why do we judge Jesus criterion for authentic discipleship irrelevant Jesus said the world is going to recognize you as His by only one sign the way you are with one another on the street every day You are going to leave people feeling a little better or a little worse You re going to af firm them or deprive them, but there ll be no neutral exchange If we as a Christian community took seriously that the sign of our love for Jesus is our love for one another, I am convinced it would change the world We re denying to the world the one witness Jesus asked for LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I VE LOVED YOU JOHN 15 12 Lodged in your heart is the power to walk into somebody s life and give him or her what the bright Paul Tillich called the courage to be Can you fathom that You have the power to give someone the courage to be, simply by the touch of your affirmation.
Having read some other works by Manning, I will start off by saying that this book is very similar in theme to his previous works Manning s essential message is the same God loves you, and if you have to tack on any thing else to that statement then you haven t quite gotten the gospel message.
Manning s work is a challenge because we all have a tendency to tack on other things to that basic message We say God loves you BUT , God loves you WHEN , or IF you THEN God will love you Far too often we reduce the spiritual life to the things we have to or should do in order to be right with God.
Manning s message, I think, is a challenge to any person of faith, whether they happen to reside in the evangelical or the progressive camp I ve been in both camps, and the tendency is to tack on all sorts of stipulations or to even discount the message that God might personally love even long for you and I.
I love that Manning doesn t just let us sit with smug satisfaction within the reality of that statement of God s love Instead, he asks us to consider whether or not we truly grasp God s love by asking us to examine whether or not we live that love out in the world around us.
He asks us Who do you consider unlovable Are they not the ones we are called to love Are we not called to be agents of God s healing in this world To love those who are unlovable, responding to the love that God has poured out upon us To be so united to Jesus that God s love flows through us If you have complicated the gospel message of God s love for you with all sorts of conditions, then this is the book for you In fact I probably ought to go read it again myself until its message has truly sunk in.

A Stirring and Focusing ReadBrennan Manning has written a provocative little devotional that will likely comfort the afflicated while afflicting the comfortable This is a series of short devotional thoughts that should provide fodder for the thoughtful Christian to ruminate over continually.
Brennan is known by manner for his honest stream of consciousness type writing and he doesn t disappoint here Whether tying the love of God and Christ as evidenced upon the cross back the the furious passionate longing of the Song of Solomon or providing anecdotal yet powerful images from the acquaintances from Brennan s past, whether prince or pauper, this book serves to shake up the world of any careful reader who allows themselves to open their hearts first and their minds following.
The book itself can be read in one sitting In that regard it is a piece of devotional minimalism The power however is found not in reading quickly and setting it down, but rather taking small bites and chewing long and hard to take it from the eyes, through the brain and into a deeper level of challenge.
I came away from this read feeling I had spent time over a cup of coffee with a mature friend and both encouraged and challenged to go deeper with the issues it reinforces.
5 Stars A very moving and meaningful book which I fully recommend.
Bart Breen Great inspiring book from one of my favorite authors Here s what is most sticking with me right now Is your own personal prayer life characterized by the simplicity, childlike candor, boundless trust, and easy familiarity of a little one crawling up in Daddy s lap An assured knowing that the daddy doesn t care if the child falls asleep, starts playing with toys, or even starts chatting with little friends, because the daddy knows the child has essentially chosen to be with him for that moment Is that the spirit of your interior prayer life It hasn t been mine, but I want to make it mine