God In My Everything: How An Ancient Rhythm Helps Busy People Enjoy God

Paperback | August 11, 2013

byKen Shigematsu

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Ken Shigematsu shows that spiritual formation is more than just solitude and contemplative reflections. Spiritual formation happens in the everyday, in each and every moment of life.  For those caught up in the busyness of work, family, and church, it often feels like time with God is just another thing on a crowded "to-do' list. Ken explains how the time-tested spiritual practice of the "rule of life" can help bring busy people into a closer relationship with God. He shows how a personal rule of life can fit almost any vocation or life situation.


In God in My Everything, you will discover how to create and practice a life-giving, sustainable rhythm in the midst of your demanding life. If you long for a deeper spirituality but often feel that the busyness of life makes a close relationship with God challenging-and, at times, seemingly impossible-this book is for you.

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From the Publisher

Ken Shigematsu shows that spiritual formation is more than just solitude and contemplative reflections. Spiritual formation happens in the everyday, in each and every moment of life.  For those caught up in the busyness of work, family, and church, it often feels like time with God is just another thing on a crowded "to-do' list. Ken e...

Ken Shigematsu is the Senior Pastor of Tenth Church in Vancouver, BC, one of the largest and most diverse city-center churches in Canada. He is the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal awarded to Canadians in recognition for their outstanding contribution to the country. Before entering pastoral ministry, he worked fo...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.5 × 5.4 × 0.7 inPublished:August 11, 2013Publisher:ZondervanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0310499259

ISBN - 13:9780310499251


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Book! I whole-heartedly recommend this amazing book by Ken Shigematsu for everyone who struggles with finding time for God in a busy, schedule-driven world. This book shows how in establishing a "rule of life" rhythm everyone can be in a closer relationship with God in the journey of discipleship. As a pastor ministering here in Asia, this book--written by an author who grasps the nuances of the Western and Easter cultures--will definitely resonate with the Asian mindset, but generally with everyone who finds themselves "too busy" to find time to deepen their faith journey. This book does an excellent job of weaving biblical principles with the practices of a monastic lifestyle to show how we can draw close to the Lord in our daily life. This easy to read book with profound concepts is sprinkled with heartwarming and moving stories to draw out the practical application to the principles proposed. Many of the stories are intensely personal and transparent illustrating that the author is not only speaking theoretically but as one who has going through the journey himself and continues to live it out in his present life. Personally, two of the most impactful chapters are the ones on PLAY and WORK. To read that our God delights in and desires for us to play (defined as "doing something for its own sake") as a means of drawing close to Him was refreshing. And to see all work as a ministry for the Lord and thus find satisfaction and stability in what we do is a lesson we all need to learn. I finished this book with the motivation and realization that "I CAN DO THIS!" This book comes highly recommended!
Date published: 2014-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Rest for the weary God in My Everything, is a book that may change your life.  In a world ruled by IPhones and social media, we are connected all the time.  Ken Shigematsu resurrects the concept of rest and Sabbath of your mind, body and soul and gives helpful advice on how to achieve balance in this hectic society we call life.  Drawing from the successful habits of monks that have observed these practices for centuries, he guides us through relevant and achievable possibilities.  We all know that crash diets do not work.  Once you revert to your old ways, the weight comes back.  The same can be said for books.  This book is not about drastically changing your life for a season only to go back to your old ways. It is about pruning it and finding a rhythm in living that leads to sustainable growth in your faith.  By removing certain obstacles, you will find a life more abundant than you ever thought possible.  It doesn't matter who you are, or what you do-we all live busy lives and often wonder where the time went or why we were so unproductive. Shigematsu writes with passion and authority, making the book easy to read and even easier to live out.   If you don't have time to read this book- that is the exact reason why you should read this book.
Date published: 2014-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this book I loved this book. Not only was I inspired and challenged but I want to use it with my women's groups. The questions at the end of each chapter helped me to stop and reflect on what I just read. This book isn't just about "what did Ken do" but rather, "what can I do differently". This isn't just a book that I will read once I will refer to it often especially when the busyness of life pulls against my desire to be centered in Christ. I can read it in chapters or as a whole. Either way it's one of the most helpful books I have read in years.
Date published: 2014-02-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Excellent, Practical Guide to Enjoy God How can I live a healthy lifestyle? How can I follow Christ faithfully in my everyday life? Ken Shigematsu offers valuable insights. Without question, this is the best holistic look on living a Christian life I've ever read. Especially as it breaks down practical and diverse areas to enjoy God. Simple and thoughtful. I'll be reading it a second time more slowly to help (re)construct my own personal "rule of life." It is a great read both for people exploring the faith journey, and for those who have been on the journey a while and need a fresh approach. Shigematsu seeks to apply the best of the monastic tradition to modern-day relevance, and does so in a helpful, compelling way. Two areas particularly drew my attention: work and play. With regard to work: Is work to be merely tolerated or enjoyed? Does faith enrich the work experience or take away from your career? Is God present in our work? With regard to play: Is the God of the Bible present in play and fun? What does it mean to rest? Do we need to rest? I enjoyed the author's answers to these questions, and felt God's peace to relax and enjoy him in everything I do. Overall a very helpful, practical guide to enjoy God, the life of faith, and the call to mission! A winsome invitation to embrace God in everything from your sexual desires to your service to others.
Date published: 2014-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Looking for balance in your life? Read this book! God in My Everything is the book I've been waiting to read for many years. As a pastor, wife, mother and follower of Christ I have often wondered how to keep Christ at the center of it all, without going crazy, of course! This book provides a framework for a life WITH Christ, not a life chasing after Christ. I was particularly inspired and motivated by this idea from the book, "Those who flourish in their lives with God have a Spirit-initiated rule of life, a rhythm of practices that enables them to welcome and respond to Jesus" (p.22). This concept was an awakening for me, the idea that I could welcome and respond to Jesus in each and every area of my life, instead of becoming overwhelmed with a to-do list that would draw me closer to God. I couldn't put this book down as I read chapters on each aspect of life (like eating, friendship, sexuality and money) and as the author provided analogies, stories, and ideas on how to incorporate Christ into each one of them. I appreciated that the concepts in this book were not vague and the advice was practical, especially for the stage of life I'm in right now. I've already recommended this book to several friends and I plan to read it again with my husband. Put this at the top of your list of books to read this summer!
Date published: 2014-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Christian discipleship in a refreshing read I loved Ken Shigamatsu's book, "God in My Everything". Ken shares his heart in the call to the "deeper life" in Christ, where the disciplines of the faith are practiced, exercised and lived in a daily natural rhythm. This book is "full-orbed" in its approach and I found it very helpful that he specifically describes the necessary components in the Christian walk. It reminds me of Francis Chan's book, "Crazy Love", A.W. Tozer's book "Pursuit of God" and the daily devotional by Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost for His Highest"- all primers in the act of "full surrender" to God. This book is ideal for group study and I loved the questions at the end of each chapter and the assignments to help discover my personal rule or rhythm of life.
Date published: 2014-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from your monastic bell How many of us cry out, How on earth do you cultivate time for spirit, time for connection with God and others - meaningful time - when modern life's demands don't let up? There are plenty of books out there that espouse a healthy spiritual life, but Shigematsu brings home the `how to' in a way I've never read before! In a style both engaging and endearing, with a dose of humor and realism, and with poignant examples from the ancients to last week - the author opens a door to freedom - from body to spirit, from work to play, in solitude and community, through the practice of a `Rule of Life'. Contrary to stereotype, Shigematsu clarifies how we can live with some life-giving monastic practices while engaged in society. He offers the gift of a monastic `bell' that is truly a rhythm to freedom - `I will not be mastered by anything' - while keeping our faces turned to one Master. We are stewards of our very selves, and through a `rule', the author helps us clarify our values and subsequent freedom in our `yesses' and `no's'. The author makes a Rule of Life accessible, flexible - in a word - possible. I especially like the sample `rules of life' from real people, offered in this book. Do `rules' sound restricting? Think only kids thrive on structure or rhythm? Get ready to discover - or rediscover - this vital gift for yourself. A must-read - I'll be passing it on to my friends.
Date published: 2014-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mentorship in literary form If your life’s to-do list reads: ‘Remain vaguely dissatisfied.  Stress about lots and lots of things.  Complain.  Keep longing for depth.  Feel trapped.’ then this book is not for you. If you are looking for a spiritual spritz to perk up your dying vine, then this book is not for you. If, however, you are willing to pull out a few weeds, dig in some fertilizer, prune the straggling branches and soak the soil, then Ken Shigematsu provides some excellent guidance on nurturing a well-structured life. Using a direct and practical approach, Shigematsu provides the reader with the opportunity to reflect on their use of time, money and relationship energy.  With refreshing caution, he advises making gradual and sustainable changes over time, allowing each component to mature in God-honouring choices. Shigematsu’s unique incorporation of monastic tradition into the rigors of an urban lifestyle speaks of his solid grasp of both realities.  He appeals to contemplatives and commuters alike. I appreciated this timely book as it provided me with mentorship in literary form.  ‘God in My Everything’ expresses the prayer of the believing heart and offers a challenge to live a transformed life—one that is simple, satisfying and beautiful.
Date published: 2014-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Life changing read! When I first picked up "God in my everything" I thought "Ok.  Another spiritual book on Christianity".  However, it didn't take long once I got into the book to realize the "everything" in the title really meant everything!  It is multifaceted, simple yet relevant. No aspect of life has been left out, and through his elegant, direct writing, this author connects spiritual well being with one's physical and emotional states.  Ken Shigematsu also has a talent at taking complex concepts and breaking them down into practical, easy to implement practices, and liberally draws from his own experiences to provide illustrations, making his concepts easier to understand and relate to.  This book was so engaging I couldn't put it down!   I am passionate about nutrition and healthy living, so I was pleasantly surprised to see this as a chapter in this book and how it is linked with worshiping God.  It just serves to highlight having a holistic approach in applying the practices of having God present in things you do everyday...making Ken's teaching very practical and helps me tie each part of my life together. 
Date published: 2014-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Holistic and tangible approach to living life with God everyday GOD IN MY EVERYTHING is a practical yet insightful book that gives the reader concrete ways to draw closer to God in the everyday moments of their lives, rather than 'getting away' to find God. This book is a valuable asset in guiding people to cultivate an awareness of God's presence in the every day areas of their lives such as work, rest and play. And no matter what stage in life or spiritual journey the reader is on, this book will help them experience God in everything, not just in some things. Ken Shigematsu bases his book upon this pivotal question, "Is it possible to follow the monastic way, enjoying God in every area of my life, while immersed in the busy routines of modern life?" He answers this question by giving a holistic approach to living life with God by sharing openly from his own experiences, life lessons, and practices that make it tangible for the reader to incorporate it into their own daily routine. He offers a deeper look into the history of the monastic life and how their ancient practices can apply to our modern day world. He, also, shares personal stories and of others which are both captivating and poignantly written. His style of writing has a rhythm of it's own - it's poetic and practical, inspirational and intriguing. In the midst of my own busyness, preoccupation, and struggles, this book helped me to re-evaluate and re-prioritize God's presence throughout my day. It encouraged me to reach up to God in every moment, reach in to simplify my life, and reach out to make a lasting difference in the world. So far, these sacred practices have provided a rhythm of life that has flowed out of me with fluidity, grace, and wisdom - a beautiful life song that has resonated God's handiwork for all to hear. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to experience, see, and feel the presence of God in everything and in everyday.
Date published: 2014-01-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly Outstanding! I have read a lot of books along these lines - a lot - and this is simply best most accessible of them all. I will be passing it on to nearly everyone with whom I work. The book is truly outstanding. I predict it will become the "go to book" for the church in our time. It is simply ... well.... real ... clear ... real .... honest .... real.... full of life .... real .... full of grace and truth. Darrell Johnson First Baptist Church, Vancouver
Date published: 2014-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from God In My Everything Ken Shigematsu's God In My Everything - A Book Review by Ricky P. Mapa My young adult daughter asked me if it's worth buying this book. Here's what I told her.  I'm reading this book for the second time now. I'm still struck by the writing style of the author, Ken Shigematsu, simple yet profound, there's depth but it's also personable and warm. Instead of my dread of the Benedictine rule in monastic communities, Shigematsu demystifies these ancient practices and shows us how applicable and relevant they are today.  This second time of slower reading, I notice the author's insight or explanation of a concept that help enrich or expand my own point of view. For example, one new practice that I can try on my own is looking at physical exercise as a continuation of my prayer time. I noted this from how Shigematsu sees his exercise habits as a continuation of his time with God. When I think of how God gave humans both body and spirit, the continuity of being in touch with God during one's time to pray and time to exercise makes sense.  I appreciate the author's consciousness of God in the area of money. To enjoy the nice things in life within the realm of essential needs is liberating. What I got from reading the chapter on money is that living simply (virtue of simplicity) empowers us to be as generous as we can in giving to others and charitable causes. Having recently returned to full-time pastoring,  I find the chapter on Sabbath most valuable. I specifically like Shigematsu's use of oriental concepts, such as the Chinese characters for "busy" as pictographs of heart and death. It is a sobering reminder for me to take Sabbath rest seriously given that life is literally short in my family. If you're yearning to go deeper in your relationship with God and desire more of Him in every aspect of your life, I highly recommend Shigematsu's God in My Everything for its simplicity, depth and practicality.  It would be worth the trip to Tenth Church and pick up a signed copy for my daughter.
Date published: 2014-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great book for the busy person who would like to experience "God in My Everything" What is it about “God in my Everything” that appealed to me? The book talks about deeper spirituality. I’m at the stage of life where I’m learning more about what it means to have “God in my Everything”. The book is timely, relevant and meaningful. The author, Ken Shigematsu, invites the reader to “journey down this ancient pathway and learn to enjoy God as you draw closer to Christ.” He talks about what the ancient monks referred to as a “rule of life”. “A rule of life is simply a rhythm of practices that empowers us to live well and grow more like Jesus by helping us experience God in everything.” I discovered that a “rule” does not have to be burdensome, and that the word came from a Greek word meaning “trellis” – “a support system for a vine or plant that enables it to grow upward and bear fruit.” Ken shares about the root practices of this “trellis” – Sabbath, Prayer and Sacred Reading, and the various components of life building from that foundation (family, friends, work, play, etc.). This book is for those who long for depth, truth, meaning, joy and beauty in their lives. Can one find joy and peace in the midst of a hectic and busy life? Discover for yourself. I highly recommend this book!
Date published: 2013-11-27

Extra Content

Table of Contents

Beginnings I tell the story of my conversion to Christ as an adolescent and subsequent transition from a shop-lifting, drug-using juvenile delinquent to a young adult struggling to follow Christ, but lacking any knowledge of spiritual practices and tools. I set the stage for the reader by discussing the events that led to my taking a pilgrimage to Ireland, which introduced me to the concept of a rule or rhythm of life. Part One: Invitation to a PilgrimageChapter 1 Discovering the Treasure of an Ancient Path This chapter explains how, as an urban pastor spiritually treading water in my early thirties, I trav-eled to Ireland and visited many of the important sites of Celtic Christianity and at the same time discovered the work and spiritual disciplines of Saint Benedict. Connecting this experience with the practices of my Samurai-scholar ancestors in Japan, I describe how my pilgrimage to Ireland prompted me to explore the idea of a rule of life, its importance, and its application in my own life and the lives of others.Chapter 2 Creating a Spiritual Ecosystem This chapter uses the image of a trellis to show how a rule or rhythm provides a framework for our becoming more like Jesus. Drawing on my experiences as a sailing enthusiast, I illustrate how a rhythm of life enables us to grow: raising and trimming sails, an image for our participation in God's work of purification, works in tandem with the wind, a symbol for God's grace. Using the careers of Michael Jordan and Yo-Yo Ma as illustrations, I show how deliberate practice, rather than sheer talent or giftedness alone, fosters a person's spiritual development. In order to guide this deliberate practice, I explain the importance of finding a coach, a spiritual friend, and a supportive community to help us build our spiritual ecosystem. Chapter 3 A Rule that Bends but Doesn't BreakThis chapter opens by flashing back to a time in my twenties in Tokyo, Japan, when, at the very time others considered me to be a rising star in the Sony Corporation, I felt like I was losing my soul. I describe how, as a result, I unconsciously began to engage in practices that restored spiritual health to my life---I began living by a rule of life. Then, in order to provide a biblical foundation for living by a rule, I explore the life of Daniel as a model in Scripture of someone who lived by a rhythm. Finally, I move to the practical. I outline the different potential categories of a rule: Sab-bath, prayer, lectio, spiritual friendship, sexuality, family, care for the body, recreation, play, mon-ey, work, and mission. I close by giving a series of practical suggestions on how to craft the rhythm: start simply, build slowly, and prune.Part Two: The Core PracticesChapter 4 Oasis for Body and SoulThis chapter explores how setting aside one day of Sabbath rest in seven creates a sanctuary for us in time. I show how this day of rest not only gifts our bodies with rest but also offers peace for our soul as we are freed from our compulsive need to define ourselves by what we achieve. Citing examples from traditional monastics and illustrating this theme with the experiences of a student, an engineer, and a parent, I demonstrate how pilgrims of Christ can establish periods of rest in their lives. This chapter connects these ideas about Sabbath with creative ways readers can keep Sabbath, namely by worshiping in community, enjoying loved ones, and recreating in creation. Chapter 5 Deepening Our Friendship with God This chapter describes prayer as a way of growing a friendship with God. I show how the analogy of prayer as a friendship with God helps us form realistic expectations for the difficult seasons of our spiritual life, whether that season is parenting young children or a long season of drought. Drawing on the example of Benedictine monks, I offer ways of creating a rhythm for spending time with God in our lives---even for those unable to s