Praying through the Psalms
The Psalms give us language and permission to pray from the heart, starting right where we are, just as we are, and they teach us that God is the focus of our praying.
Praying through Matthew’s Gospel
How do we learn more about God? Jesus came to teach us, to show us the true heart of God. You learn a lot about a person when you travel with them. Journey with Jesus and start your own pilgrimage to know God better, to see life more clearly, to learn to really pray using God’s own word.
Books 1 – 4 are now available covering all of Matthew in either print or ebook format.
Book 1: Matthew 1-7 (31 devotions)
Book 2: Matthew 8-13 (31 devotions)
Book 3: Matthew 14-21 (28 devotions)
Book 4: Matthew 22-28 (32 devotions)
A short (and free) two week introduction (ebook) to praying through Matthew’s gospel entitled “Starting a Journey with Jesus” is also available on Amazon, Apple iBooks/iTunes, and Smashwords.
Starting a Journey with Jesus
How do we share our faith and help our children learn to trust God? By leading them in prayer to God’s Word and training the family to listen for God’s voice. The book of 1 Samuel helps us to prepare our hearts by looking into the lives of Samuel and young David. In 30 readings (covering the 30 chapters of 1 Samuel), we learn how to be a child after God’s heart.
1 Samuel: How to Be a Child After God’s Heart by Angela Oltmanns
Elijah was one of the greatest prophets of ancient Israel. He confronted King Ahab, his wife Jezebel and the prophets of Baal to show them God is greater. When his life was ending, he was ready to pass his blessing on to his student and follower, Elisha. Elisha boldly asked for a double portion of God’s spirit and blessing to rest on him after his master was gone. Spirit of Elisha is written for moms who are seeking extra grace and strength for the important work they are given.
Spirit of Elisha: A Double Portion for Moms by Angela Oltmanns
Growing Deeper A good book is like a conversation and the author is both a guide and a conversation partner. They share their experience, insights and wisdom, and we gain from the encounter if we are willing to listen, ask questions and carry on the conversation in our own lived experience. Spiritual writers of the past have called this lectio divina, Latin for “spiritual reading”, and it is a helpful for us in living our life before God more thoughtfully and soulfully. The following books are a few of the many I have found helpful in my life.
Athanasius – The Life of Antony and the Letter to Marcellinus
This book is really two books in one, and each one is a “first” in its field. The Life of Antony is a classic spiritual biography of St. Anthony, the father of Egyptian desert monasticism from the fourth century. It is the first work (and justly famous) featuring a Christian monk, and it set a high expectation for all the monks and spiritual writers like Benedict who followed. In this edition it runs for 70 pages, so it is a fairly short book.
The Letter to Marcellinus is the first handbook on personal praying, singing and meditation on the Psalms. It uses the numbering of the Psalms from the Greek Septuagint, so most of the references in the text need the modern reader to add 1 to find the correct chapter (where it refers to the twenty-second psalm, it actually means Psalm 23). Apart from this inconvenience, this ~30 page handbook or “extended essay” is full of spiritual insight and helpful suggestions on praying the psalms on a personal level. The author Athanasius had a colorful role himself within fourth century Christianity that the introduction details, and the translator of this particular edition (Robert Gregg) gives an accurate and modern rendering of these Greek spiritual classics in English. This is a book that you can return to many times and get something valuable from each time.
In August 2011 our family of four moved from Texas to Shanghai, China.
We experienced a call back to the cross and it challenged many of our assumptions and notions about the Christian faith, the Chinese people and about how to be a family living together in the middle of a dynamic city.
In short and heart-filled stories Angela and Ron Oltmanns share the lessons learned and lived in China while walking with a variety of people as they say “yes” to God’s leading. It will encourage and challenge you as well to turn back to the cross.