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Book Review: Essentials for Life by Marcia Ford

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Our lives are so busy and cluttered with our everyday activities that we can barely hear ourselves think. So how can we find the time to not only remember but put into practice what is essential in our lives? What do we truly value? How can we learn to accept who we are? How do we face the future without fear and, most importantly, how do we learn to recognize God's guidance in our lives? Before we can answer those questions we must answer the most important question of all: what is actually essential to our lives?

It is a huge question with very different answers for each person but it is nonetheless an important question. Our answer is even more important. That answer can help us find ourselves,our relationship with God, even our relationships with others.

With chapters like "Refine Your Image of God", "Grasp the Resurrection's Impact," and "Spend Quiet Time With God," Essentials for Life shows just how to answer all those questions and more. In this simple and easy to understand guide you learn how to spend time with God, who the Holy Spirit really is, and how to reconcile your past. Each chapter breaks down a method of how to accomplish each subject discussed and is written in a language for today. At the end of each chapter is a do and don't list that summarizes the chapter and the steps you need to take to carry out what you just learned.

Marcia Ford did a great job of explaining how to get back-to-the-basics of life and what the basics are. People, many of them at least, already know the general idea of what she says. However many are lost as to what those ideas entail. In that respect her book is excellent. She provides us with plenty of useful information, and biblical quotes to back up her theories, as well as quotes from famous people to show that they struggled with religion the same as you or me. At times it seems, however, that the quotes threatened to overpower the chapter. They are scattered throughout the body of the text as well as the sidelines.

That said, I do not think people understand just how "stuck," as Ford calls it, they are. I know I didn't. I put her guide to the ultimate test in that I applied her guide to my own life. As a result I learned to simplify my life and became closer to God.

I would challenge anyone to not only read her book but to apply Ford's methods to their own lives and not come out all the better for it. You must go into it with an open mind, but you will come out with an open heart. Ford has kept things simple, which is completely refreshing. Many times you come away from a religious guide more lost than found. She writes as if she is addressing an old friend and not a general reader with whom she has no prior relationship.

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