Book Review w/ J. Curtis | Brother Lawrence & God’s Presence

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Title: The Practice of the Presence of God and The Spiritual Maxims
Author: Brother Lawrence
Publisher: Digireads
Year: 2016
My Genre Category: Christian Living/Disciple


Synopsis (5/5)

Certainly, the Monastic life is not for most people! Brother Lawrence also had struggles with this life, and especially the job he had – managing the kitchen and making meals! However, he made the most of the opportunity and simply focused on maintaining, as much as he could, an intentional gaze on the presence of God with him. In this work, he tried to explain his ups and downs in this process and share why he thought this the utmost goal of all believers, at all times. There certainly were aspects of the work where I struggled, for various reasons, however, the overall goal as Brother Lawrence presents it – focusing on God – is certainly an area where I have deficiencies (to put it nicely). In that regard, it was an important book to read.

Content/Writing (3/5)

There were times when I had difficulty in following Brother Lawrence’s thought. However, I am not certain if it was a lack of writing skills or a deficiency in intelligence on my part that made it difficult. Probably a combination of both. As such, I’m putting this in the middle of the road. Overall, however, the message is conveyed well and you can certainly takeaway the most valuable pieces. Lastly, hearing some of this struggles that he walked through I found encouraging in this current stage of my life.

Design/Font/In Hand (2/5)

This has probably been one of the least enjoyable books I have interacted with in a while. I do really like the cover design, but the layout, font, etc. was not too enjoyable to me. To be fair, it wasn’t really designed to be either. I do think the publisher did what they set out to do which was to make a simple and cheaper version easily accessible. There is much in that regard that I appreciate. Also, being overly simplistic is probably a great choice for a Monastic read! Nonetheless, if left me wanting for more.

Impact (4/5)

I have really been going through some challenges lately! It’s been tough, but also rewarding in how it is shaping me – I sincerely hope! – to be more like Christ. With this said, I would say this had a good impact on me. I was handed this book a few years ago, and I’m grateful I got around to it in this season. Focusing on the presence of God and living by faith certainly have been two important themes in my life over the last few years, but in particular, this last year.

Recommend (4/5)

For Christians, I would say this could be a great read. What’s nice is it has some challenging questions and probes well into how we are, and perhaps should be, living. It’s also a short read that you can plow through in a relatively quickly. For me, I am not ready to consider it a necessary read, but it is certainly a good perspective to wrestle with. I’m curious to see – if I read it again down the road – if my perspective on that changes.


“That this trouble of mind had lasted four years; during which time he had suffered much. But that at last he had seen that this trouble arose from want of faith; and that since then he had passed his life in perfect liberty and continual joy. That he had placed his sins betwixt him and God, as it were, to tell Him that he did not deserve His favors, but that God still continued to bestow them in abundance.” p. 8

Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God and The Spiritual Maxims (Digireads, 2016), 8.

“I say again, let us enter into ourselves. The time presses, there is no room for delay: out souls are at stake. I believe you have take such effectual measures that you will not be surprised. I commend you for it; it is the one thing necessary. We must, nevertheless, always work at it, because not to advance in the spiritual life is to go back. But those who have the gale of the Holy Spirit go forward even in sleep. If the vessel of our soul is still tossed with winds and storms, let us awake the Lord, who reposes in it, and He will quickly calm the sea.”

Lawrence, 20.

“He often sends diseases of the body to cure those of the soul. Comfort yourself with the sovereign Physician both of the soul and body.”

Lawrence, 25.

Overview (3.6/5)

I would certainly recommend this book to Christians seeking to deepen their walk with God, but again wouldn’t consider a necessary read for me just yet. However, it does have some great nuggets in it. Hopefully I can come back to this one in a few years and see how it has grown on me.


© J. Curtis, 2022

Published in: on 7 AMpFri, 02 Dec 2022 10:00:00 -050000Friday 2016 at 10:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Book Review w/ J. Curtis | The Final Quest

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Book Info –

Title: The Final Quest
Author: Rick Joyner
Publisher: MorningStar Publications
Year: 1996
My Genre Category: Christian Prophecy/Fiction


Synopsis (3/5)

The Final Quest is the first book of Mr. Joyner’s trilogy. It is based on a prophetic dream Mr. Joyner had regarding the last days of earth and the spiritual battles that are ensuing. It gives a “peek behind the veil” of the battles between the spiritual forces of good and evil, along with the roles that Christians play in these battles.

Content/Writing (4/5)

Much of the writing was well done. It gives some intriguing insights into our spiritual lives along with what we encounter day-to-day (and over the course of years of our lives) may look like from a Heavenly perspective. I did have a high appreciation for many of those aspects of the book. In addition, I think Mr. Joyner had very good descriptions along the way. Enjoyable read certainly.

Design/Font/In Hand (3/5)

Average. Font was plan, but easy to navigate. The addition I have is small and fits in the hand well. Nice companion for the nightstand or for traveling with. Additionally, the chapters were broken up into sections well which I appreciate, particularly for night reading. Designs were nice as well.

Impact (4/5)

I would go slightly above average on impact for me. I tend to be cautious – maybe to my own fault, granted – about “prophetic” works. I just tread cautiously with getting too caught up with certain details that we may take with more confidence than we ought. However, I did find portions of this work profoundly encouraging. Particularly the interactions with Christ. In that regard, for me it was like reading Narnia and having an encouraging encounter with Aslan. Thus, I go slightly above average.

Recommend (3/5)

I certainly would not put this in a must-read category, however, if you like a good story or if you find interest in Christian Eschatology, this work may be enjoyable and even impactful. Give it a go!


“I finally asked one of them why they did this, as even the smallest was much more powerful than I was. ‘Because of the mantle,’ he replied. ‘That is the highest rank in the kingdom.’ ‘This is just a plain mantle,’ I protested. ‘No!’ the angel insisted. ‘You are clothed in the grace of God. There is no greater power than that!’”

Rick Joyner. The Final Quest (Fort Mill: MorningStar Publications, 1996), 62

“And love will be what bring My kingdom. Love is the banner over My army, and under this banner you must now fight.”

Ibid, 170

Overview (3.4/5)

Overall, I really enjoyed this book as a personal read. Again, I think at times Mr. Joyner comes off as this work being an authoritative prophetic vision. I could be reading too much into that. I proceed with much caution with any work with a “thus saith the Lord” type of approach. However, it was a good story and gave me much to ponder while also providing comfort and encouragement in the face of life circumstances. It was worth the read.


Published in: on 7 AMpFri, 14 Oct 2022 11:49:16 -040049Friday 2016 at 11:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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