Garden City: A Book That Changed My Life


Last time I wrote about a book called Following Jesus in the "Real World": A Heart for God by Richard Lamb and the impact it made on me post-college. (Click here if you have not read that post yet.)

Sharing another book today called Garden City by John Mark Comer.

JM Comer is a pastor at Bridgetown: A Jesus Church in Portland, Oregon, which is where I first attended after leaving the Mormon Church. JM is an incredible speaker and teacher. Click here to listen to a sample of Garden City.

Garden City was such a refreshing book for me to read (especially right out of college) because it covers the subject of work from a biblical stance.

I frequently stressed over whether or not I was living into God's will.
The question of What is my purpose? overwhelmed me as I neared college graduation.

But if we look to the scriptures we find that our mission in life is actually quite simple.

"And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD's commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?" ~Deuteronomy 10:12-13

The Lord calls us to love and to serve.
God calls us to be in partnership with Him.

John Mark Comer writes: "Our job is to make the invisible God visible--to mirror and mimic what he is like to the world. We can glorify God by doing our work in such a way that we make the invisible God visible by what we do and how we do it."

But how do we figure out what our calling is?

JM discusses how our calling starts off as vague and ambiguous, but the hope is that over time it gets clearer and clearer. Vocation is something that you discover. It's not necessarily something you chose.

Here are 8 questions John Mark wants us to ask:

  1. What are you passionate about? What keeps you up at night? Everybody has something. Figure out what you love and see if you can make a living out of it.
  2. What are you good at? What are you bad at? Important to know both. Eliminate options.
  3. What do you think the world needs more of? Do you ever think, "Somebody needs to do        ."
  4. Is your work creative or destructive? Does it make the world a better place? 
  5. What are people close to you saying? They have a unique vantage point and can speak your identity over you. Ask them to speak into your life. And listen! Tell them about your dreams and get input. Ask: "What do you see as my calling and vocation?"
  6. What are the open doors in your life? What is something staring you right in your face. Sometimes a closed door is a timing thing.
  7. What is an area of your life that God keeps blessing? 
  8. What is the Holy Spirit stirring in your heart? Different than the first question. Sometimes the Holy Spirit calls us to do something we don't initially want to do. Sometimes you have a sense you are supposed to do something else. Remember that God has a sense of humor. 
If this is something on your mind ask God to speak His calling over you.

Journal. Pray. Listen.
Ask other people to speak into your vocation.

Don't be afraid to try stuff. Don't take success or failure too seriously.
Get out there and live. 

Best gift you can give to the world is living into who God called and created you to be.



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