When I started reading Lori Stanley Roeleveld’s newest book, Jesus and the Beanstalk, I connected with it. It was as if Roeleveld had peeked inside my brain and caught a glimpse of the questions I had recently been pondering.
This, I learned, is the nature of her blog and her book. Her writing has an approachable style to it, as if she were sitting at a kitchen table and talking with you directly over a cup of coffee.
It does not take much for us to realize that we live in unsettling, challenging times. There are giant problems everywhere we look and these giants produce obstacles, barriers, and strongholds.
Roeleveld uses 2 Peter, aided by the allegory of Jack and the beanstalk, to explore eight truths she has identified to conquer the giant challenges in life. These eight truths are: faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, affection for others, love.
As Roeleveld writes:
Remember Peter was writing at a time when the church faced giants similar to the ones we face today. Persecution from without. False teaching and immaturity from within. The world in turmoil and the early church asking the same questions we are. How do we survive these times? How do we best minister to those around us? How do we determine which teachers expound the truth and which are off track?
Spiritual maturity is key.
More and more we are hearing that the key to spiritual maturity is not caught up in what we do, but who we are. This is a major factor in Jesus and the Beanstalk. Roeleveld is so in tune with herself, reflective of her own life and experiences, that there is no doubt that a reader can relate and heed the call to spiritual growth.
This sense of familiarity in tone is one of the reasons why this creative approach to spiritual growth will yield fruit for an individual or a small group. At the end of each session are questions, aimed at helping the reader or a group of readers go deeper.
The book is divided into three sections. In the third, Roeleveld shifts gears and provides a six-day mini retreat for each of the eight truths she has discussed in the book. These retreats include word study exercises, inspirational essays, and Biblical character profiles. These components are not too academic nor too simplistic. As with her writing, these activities are approachable with the goal for the reader to grow spiritually.
You can purchase your own copy by clicking on the image below:
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital review copy.