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Shaping the Heart

Shaping the Heart

reflections on spiritual formation and fruitfulness

(ISBN: 9781841017266) Published on October 21st 2011.

From the back cover

God created the human heart to be a worship-filled, holy place with himself in residence, a garden in which the fruit of the Spirit may grow. Shaping the Heart is a book for every Christian who wants their heart to become - through the healing and redemptive touch of heavenly grace and mercy - a place where God delights to dwell.

Featured in the Church Times, May 4th 2012, as their reading group selection for May

"I could imagine using this book in a wide range of con­texts. It lends itself to being the focus of a reading circle or discussion group, but is equally suited to individual reading, or to being taken away on retreat. In the pages of Shaping the Heart, Evans invites us to embark on a sen­sitive and thoughtful process of reading, thinking, praying, and re­flect­ing, which many will find re­freshing. It is a book that has the capacity to bring us to new knowledge and insight, as we encounter afresh the God who saves us.
From the review by The Revd Peter Anthony, Junior Dean of St Stephen’s House, Oxford, and Junior Chaplain of Merton College, Church Times, May 4 2012."
Read the full text of this review, and all other reviews online.

Further information

This book is for followers of Jesus whose heart's desire is to become more like him as, day by day, they yield to the Father's shaping hand and respond to the prompting of his Holy Spirit.

Pamela Evans invites readers to journey for a while with the question, “Who or what is shaping the way I think, feel and live?” At the end of each chapter there are three relevant Bible reflections, and at least one per chapter will be suitable for use while travelling to work or taking a coffee break. So although the book will provide an outline for a retreat, it will also serve as an aid to reflection amidst the daily routine - the context in which most of our following of Jesus inevitably takes place, and in which unbidden subliminal shaping influences are more common than we imagine.

The theme of fruitfulness runs throughout the book, building towards the final chapter, Fruit that will last (John 15:16). Fruit-bearing reveals our identity and brings God glory. As Jesus said, "This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples" (John 15:8). Are you aware of being shaped for fruitfulness by the Master Gardener? Or does bearing fruit feel like an activity reserved for those with particular gifts, or an option for those with time to spare?

Using the book in groups

Home groups, discipleship groups, and work-place colleagues or friends meeting for mutual encouragement will find that the book works well in such settings. Some may wish to form a short-term small group, for the purpose of working through the book together.

The idea is that group members read the same chapter between meetings, using one or more of the suggested Bible reflections. Then, when the group meets, members are able to share insights - from the Bible passages mentioned, and from the impact of the teaching on their everyday lives. Using the book in a group will bring valuable opportunities for both encouraging and challenging one another. Also, for mutual prayer support as areas of difficulty emerge and the desire for greater fruitfulness becomes stronger.

If you have used this book in a group and would like to write a review of your experience, please contact the publisher.

You can read reviews of and order Shaping the Heart from BRF Online,