Scarfing Down Soul Food


So there’s this book.

reading book

And if you have any interest at all in your “soul”, it is a MUST READ.

I am in the process of devouring John Ortberg’s book, Soul Keeping – Caring for The Most Important Part of You.  (A very welcome birthday gift from my brother and sister-in-law 🙂 )

He defines what the soul is, what it needs, and how it can be restored.  

It is delicious and satisfying. Loaded with the richness of the truth of Scripture and the reality of human longing.

The “fat kid and cake” scenario is happening right here, right now on my couch.

And I want to share my cake with you…

To have explained so clearly that part of us, that deepest part, that makes us who we are, is refreshing and rejuvenating at every level.  It helps to explain what we need so desperately, why we need it and how to experience the fulfillment of that need.

It shows how that our healthy soul has been God’s intention for us all along.

It explains that when the soul is in a poor condition it affects every other part of us – our mind, our heart, our body. And that when our soul is healthy, those same parts of us gain the benefits.

It defines the enemies of our souls – those things that preoccupy us and divert our focus from what matters most.

Those enemies that we don’t see coming, that sneak up behind us, dressed in very nice clothes, introduce themselves as friends and then rob our souls of the time and attention we need to devote to their well-being.  (He doesn’t say this specifically, but this is the word picture that came to me while soaking in Mr. Ortberg’s wisdom.)

I could go on and on, but my “book review” would never do justice.  

This I know – That if my soul is not in a healthy place, I will not be the sponge to God’s nourishing word and joy-giving will that I need to be.  If my sponge (my soul) is empty and dry, then when it is squeezed by circumstance it will have no reserve of “living water” to refresh others.  My body, mind and heart will suffer.  Others will suffer.  

BUT – as John Ortberg so aptly says, the cluttered/hardened/shallow soul “is closer to being saved than it knows”. It just needs to let the seed of God’s healing touch (His word, His heart for us) go deep enough to take root. 

I’m still learning.  For the rest of my life, I’m sure.

The soul is vast and largely incomprehensible.

But it is where God connects with us.  Where we hear His voice and see His perspective.

 Where He pours His life into ours.

It’s where we experience God Himself, the Holy Spirit, who can heal us, change us and breathe His air into our soul’s lungs.

When we experience this, our soul’s cry will will mimic Oliver Twist’s phrase-

“Please Sir, I want some more.” 

I’m going to go and eat some more of my soul’s cake now.

coffee and book

Please, please, please read this book.  Then when we talk we can salivate together. 🙂

Psalm 130:5 – I wait for the Lord, my whole being (my soul) waits, and in his word I put my hope.

Matthew 22:37 – Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

Jeremiah 29:13 – You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (soul)

Psalm 103:1 – Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

Psalm 139:13-14 – For you created my inmost being (my soul); you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Psalm 42:11 – Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Matthew 16:26 – What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

Jeremiah 6:16 – This is what the Lord says: Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.




2 thoughts on “Scarfing Down Soul Food

  1. I read that book when it first came out and loved it. But my absolute most favorite book of his is “the me I want to be”. Totally anazing!

  2. I haven’t read this one yet, but I really like John Ortberg. I really enjoyed his book about spiritual disciplines, and I’m about to start one called ” All the Places to go..How will you Know?”, which is about the open doors God has placed before us, and is encouraging us to step into through faith. I’m interesting in reading yours also – it sounds great! Thanks for the great recommendation!

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