The Making of an Ordinary Saint

My Journey from Frustration to Joy with the Spiritual Disciplines

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"Thirty-five years ago, Richard Foster introduced a generation to the spiritual disciplines. Now his son introduces another generation to both the glories and the frustrations of seeking to practice them--to master and be mastered by the craft and art of the spiritual life. This is a book of honesty and hope."--John Ortberg, senior pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church; author of Soul Keeping


More than thirty years after his father's classic book brought them to the masses, Nathan Foster took his own unique path into the spiritual disciplines. As he sought day by day to develop habits that would enable him to live more like Jesus, he encountered problems both universal and personal. Along the way, he found creative new ways to practice the disciplines and discovered that a vital, conversational relationship with God was truly within his grasp.

Now he invites you to join him on the journey. You may just find that holy habits are truly possible for all.

"Nathan Foster has written about the Christian life not impersonally and objectively but as a participant. Read this book and find yourself a new companion as you follow Jesus."-- Eugene H. Peterson, professor emeritus of spiritual theology, Regent College

"Delightful . . . simply delightful. Nathan's reflections on the spiritual disciplines are honest, fresh, and insightful. Read and be blessed."--Ruth Haley Barton, founder of the Transforming Center; author of Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership and Sacred Rhythms

"Nathan has a unique voice so badly needed today. He is a storyteller whose raw honesty disarms the reader and allows us to join him, without fear of judgment, on a journey toward an imperfect sainthood."--James Bryan Smith, associate professor of religion, Friends University; executive director of the Apprentice Institute; author of The Apprentice Series


Nathan Foster is an associate professor of social work and theology at Spring Arbor University, where he holds the Andrews Chair in Spiritual Formation. He is director of teaching ministries for Renovaré as well as a licensed clinical social worker, certified addictions counselor, public speaker, bassist for Christy & The Professors, and the author of Wisdom Chaser: Finding My Father at 14,000 Feet. He currently resides in Michigan with his wife and two children. To connect with Nathan, visit www.nathanfosterprojects.com.


Endorsements

"Thirty-five years ago, Richard Foster introduced a generation to the spiritual disciplines. Now his son introduces another generation to both the glories and the frustrations of seeking to practice them--to master and be mastered by the craft and art of the spiritual life. This is a book of honesty and hope."

John Ortberg, senior pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church; author of Soul Keeping

"I learned a new word recently: self-implication. It was used by a friend writing on participation in the Christian life in which she was concerned not just with being accurate with the biblical and theological content but with being herself implicated in the narration. This is what Nathan Foster has done--written about the Christian life not impersonally and objectively but as a participant. Read this book and find yourself a new companion as you follow Jesus."

Eugene H. Peterson, professor emeritus of spiritual theology, Regent College

"Nathan Foster's The Making of an Ordinary Saint breathes fresh life into the same ancient practices his father resuscitated for millions of ordinary people almost forty years ago. His conversational style and unvarnished transparency make his living experiment inviting for other ordinary saints in the making."

Gary W. Moon, executive director of the Martin Institute and Dallas Willard Center, Westmont College; author of Apprenticeship with Jesus

"Delightful . . . simply delightful. Nathan's reflections on the spiritual disciplines are honest, fresh, and insightful. Read and be blessed."

Ruth Haley Barton, founder, Transforming Center; author of Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership and Sacred Rhythms

"Nathan has a unique voice so badly needed today. He is a storyteller whose raw honesty disarms the reader and allows us to join him, without fear of judgment, on a journey toward an imperfect sainthood. As a longtime practitioner of his father's classic, Celebration of Discipline, I found this book to be a fresh retelling of the same teachings through a modern narrative. Nathan zeroes in on the internal issues that each of the disciplines unearth and in doing so allows me to see the value of these ancient practices in a new light. The highest endorsement I can offer is this: just like his father's book did for me thirty years ago, I want, really want, to practice these disciplines. That was Richard's genius; it has passed on to his son."

James Bryan Smith, associate professor of religion, Friends University; executive director of the Apprentice Institute; author of The Apprentice Series

"Nathan shows us that spiritual disciplines are not rigid things to do but adventurous, invitational experiments to explore a life of trusting God. Let's try them out!"

Jan Johnson, author of Spiritual Disciplines Companion and Invitation to the Jesus Life

"Smart, informative, invitational, honest, helpful. Those are the words that came to mind as I finished Nathan Foster's The Making of an Ordinary Saint. With no small assist from reflections by his father, Foster's book opens the celebration of the disciplines to a whole new generation. This book is at times raw but always loving as Foster tells of his journey of spiritual deepening in the midst of everyday life. You must read this book!"

J. Brent Bill, Quaker minister; retreat leader; photographer; author of Sacred Compass: The Way of Spiritual Discernment

"Nathan Foster is living with an ache, a space that only God can fill. His book lets us share slow, sometimes painful, grace-filled movements of the Spirit as he explores ancient disciplines and identifies his own awkward resistance to God's transforming love. He finds worlds of meaning in practical and biblical metaphors: drafting (a biking term) becomes a word for community-building, slavery (as St. Paul unfolds it) a way to surrender fully to God's will. What an honest, loving, joyful gift."

Emilie Griffin, author of Doors into Prayer: An Invitation and co-editor with Richard J. Foster of Spiritual Classics

"Nathan Foster has written a deeply personal and honest story about his own life with God. In doing so, he beckons us to trust that in the midst of our daily life, we too can follow Jesus. With The Making of an Ordinary Saint, Nathan captures the essence of how to go about living in the freedom of God's unbridled goodness, strength, and care. If you are ready to experience the God who loves you as you are, not as you should be, this is the book for you!"

Fil Anderson, author of Running on Empty and Breaking the Rules


The Author

  1. Nathan Foster

    Nathan Foster

    Nathan Foster is an associate professor of social work and theology at Spring Arbor University, where he holds the Andrews Chair in Spiritual Formation. He is director of teaching ministries for Renovaré as well as a licensed clinical social worker,...

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