Soul Keeping – Words & Music For Soul Care



Given the fact that my favorite genre of book is the spiritual memoir, I can safely say that I am no stranger to reading books about the soul.  I still remember picking up books like Thomas Moore’s Care of the Soul when I was barely old enough to understand its depths.

While I’ve read books that focus on aspects of soul care, until I read this book I don’t think I’ve ever read words that so accurately and simply define what a soul is in ways I can understand and actually comprehend.  The soul is such an intangible part of us, and yet it is everything.  Its breath and life, and the part of ourselves that will endure when our bodies are long gone.


John Ortberg’s latest book, Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You is a book to move through slowly, lest you miss all the wisdom packed in its pages.  This is a book best served with a side of contemplation–one that requires swigging and sloshing around its wise passages like fine wine.

One of my favorite aspects of the book is the glimpses Ortberg gives us into his lifelong friendship with Dallas Willard.  The book is dedicated to Willard, with various quotes, stories and interactions with him on every aspect of the soul.   One of my favorite quotes from Willard imparts profound truth:

 “The most important thing in your life,” Dallas said, “is not what you do; it’s who you become.  That’s what you will take into eternity.  You are an unceasing spiritual being with an eternal destiny in God’s great universe.”

The book is broken down into three sections: what the soul is, what the soul needs, and the soul restored.  At times he does get a tiny bit long winded, but usually brings the reader’s attention back with a story or quote from Willard.   One of my favorite things about Ortberg’s writing is his ability to converse about complicated topics, while always remaining conversational and relatable.   Ortberg takes his deft hand and breaks down heady thoughts; distilling the information into easy to understand morsels.  This was one of my favorites:

 The will is a form of energy.  You can drive and stretch and push the will.  The mind has an endless ability to think and feel.  You can direct your attention.  You can focus and study.  The body is your little power pack.  You can place demands on your body.  You can exercise it, strengthen it, hone it, and force it to run for miles.

But it is the nature of the soul to need.

Ortberg speaks my artistic language when he reminds us of an important fact about the soul.  “We can’t seem to talk about beauty or art without talking about the soul–particularly music.”   I was inspired by this book to create a Soulkeeping Playlist. {To listen, click on the Spotify link below.}

If you’re looking for a book to speak beyond the surface of life, and enrich your soul and spirit, look no further than Soul Keeping.  Open its pages, grab a cup of coffee or hot tea, {and perhaps take a listen to my SoulKeeping playlist while you read?} and get ready for the nurturing of your mind, spirit and soul.

Ortberg reminds us that “the best place to start doing life with God is in the small moments.” Any time spent in these pages will be well worth it to your own spirit and soul.

{I received a copy of this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.}

One comment on “Soul Keeping – Words & Music For Soul Care

  1. Hello Sarah, I love the book already, just from your review and the quotations taken from it!

    It also reminds me of what I read this morning: “Before eating from the Tree, Adam and Eve saw each other first and foremost as souls. They knew the soul is the essence of a human being, with the body serving merely as a protective covering. Since Adam and Eve were focused on the spiritual side, they weren’t self-conscious about their bodies.

    However, after eating from the Tree, human perception of the physical world changed. The physical senses enticed as if possessing a value of their own. Adam and Eve’s “eyes opened” to a focus on the body. The body had become a distraction from the soul and when this happened, Adam and Eve were ashamed of their naked bodies. For a spiritual being, can there be any greater humiliation than to be sized up as something superficially physical?

    This explains why animals, who have no divine soul, never feel compelled to put on clothes. But for Adam and Eve, the body needed to be covered, in order to de-emphasize the external, and to let the soul shine through.” Be blessed! patsy

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