The Practical Application of Faith
How can paying attention to real life experiences, intentionally focusing on the present, learning from our past, developing fresh habits, and listening to different ideas enhance our faith journey and quality of life? Practical, authentic faith means actively loving and pursuing justice daily, resulting in a meaningful life.
The Daily Practice of Life
Having a practice-oriented approach is essential for meaningful living as a Christian or otherwise. Is that realistic?
In The Daily Practice of Life, Walt Shelton, one of the most read faith columnists in Texas, shares a workable perspective. Nicole Villalpando of the Austin American-Statesman says he “brings Christianity…in a way that feels inclusive of people of all faiths, yet he’s very secure in his own religious tradition.”
How can we start each day with a step toward qualitative living? Jesus shows us a routine that anyone can personalize toward reflecting his life-model and teachings.
This book’s fresh combination of real-life events, biblical insights, and nuggets from other traditions will enhance readers’ journeys.
Authentic Living in All Seasons
How can we enhance our life and faith journeys right now and for a lifetime? Focusing on today, not allowing fear to block our aspirations, and consistently identifying and balancing our priorities are keys to enriching our lives one day at a time.
We all share mortality: a limited time in this life. We also share a related uncertainty: the length of our lives. Increasing the quality and happiness of our one God-given gift of life demands intention, commitment, discipline, and consistency. Practically, we will always be a work in progress. Engaging in the hard work of developing good habits can reward us with a more meaningful life now and in the future, including as role models, mentors, and light for others. When we cross the river to the life beyond, we can potentially leave an indelible imprint of our time in this world as a lasting and illuminating legacy for others.
Walt Shelton is one of the most read faith columnists in Texas over the last decade. Grounded in history and religion degrees, a lifetime studying the Bible, and reflection on experiences and other traditions, he has led Christian and inter-faith discussion groups for more than thirty years.
We should “learn to see life not as the using up of a limited resource but as the accumulation of treasures.”
Harold Kushner, When All You’ve Ever Wanted Isn’t Enough (Pocket Books 1986)
Nicole Villalpando, Specialty Editor and Faith Editor
“In this gentle and deeply humane collection of essays, Walt Shelton draws upon his own life experiences–as son, grandson, brother, husband, dad and granddad, as well as student, lawyer, teacher, pen-pal, dog lover, and dedicated runner and golfer–to meditate upon the challenges and joys of daily life. He uses texts as varied as the Synoptic Gospels, the writings of Jewish rabbis and Buddhist monks, and songs by the Beatles, the Byrds, and the Traveling Wilburys to go beyond the currently fashionable emphasis on living “mindfully,” which too often becomes but another form of self-absorption. Instead, Walt urges us simply to be responsibly “present” and connected to all that surrounds us—to nature, to those in our care and trust, and to all others who are in need. This thoughtful and thought-provoking collection is intended for believers and non-believers alike and could not be timelier.”
Dr. Howard Miller, University Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus
Departments of History and Religious Studies
University of Texas at Austin
“When you see the face of Walt Shelton, hear his voice, or read the pages of his book, The Daily Practice of Life, you will know that you have met a man committed to making a difference in the lives of others. Regardless of your faith tradition, you will find a common experience in the personal stories he shares. Woven in are references to scripture and other inspirational writings that encourage further reflection. In pondering the joys and challenges of living attentively and intentionally, Walt reminds us to be accepting, open and kind to family, friends, strangers, and even ourselves.”