Book Review: The Deeper Life by Daniel Henderson

Every person on earth has a desire to understand their purpose and place in this life. In The Deeper Life Daniel Henderson identifies and explores the “eight vital longings of your soul,” establishing the questions and providing guidelines for arriving at the appropriate answers. Those eight longings expressed in the form of a questions are:

  1. Who Is God? (My Theology)
  2. Who Am I? (My Identity)
  3. Why Am I Here? (My Purpose)
  4. What Really Matters? (My Values)
  5. What Shall I Do? (My Priorities)
  6. How Shall I Do It? (My Goals)
  7. When Shall I Do It? (My Time)
  8. How Will I Finish? (My Legacy)


This book is divided into two parts. The first part is very informational. Henderson reviews these eight longings, giving guidelines to properly answering each question and guiding the individual to arrive at answers that are uniquely their own. As you read this section you will discover that your theology is the basis of your identity. Your identity is expressed through a clear purpose. Your purpose is guided by values. Your values determine your priorities. Your priorities are implemented by your goals. Your goals are accomplished by your stewardship of time. And all of this, when understood clearly and embraced daily, results in a legacy that really matters.

The second part of the book is very practical. It is the application of all that was learned in parts one. Henderson guides the reader through a series of exercises to answer the eight questions satisfying the eight vital longings of the soul. The combination of information and practical application in this book make it a wonderful read for anyone who struggles to find their identity, understand their purpose, and establish and accomplish their goals. When we prayerfully answer these questions we begin to understand and fulfill our life’s purpose.

Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review of the book. All opinions are mine.

“Hidden” Message in Names

I was watching a film on creation and the presenter made an interesting observation. You may have already heard or seen this but I thought I would share.

The names of the first ten generation of man and their meaning:

  • Adam – Man
  • Seth – Appointed
  • Enos – Mortal
  • Cainan – Sorrow
  • Mahalaleel – The blessed God
  • Jared – Shall come down
  • Enoch – Preaching
  • Methuselah – His death shall bring
  • Lamech – The despairing
  • Noah – Rest
Now put that all together and what do you get?
Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow, (but) the blessed God shall come down preaching (that) His death shall bring the despairing rest.

The ‘How’ and the ‘Why’

I was intrigued by this poem today.  It may provide some inspiration for those of you who are reviewing 2010 and praying, planning, and preparing for 2011.

Photo by h.koppdelaney

I am any man’s suitor, If any will be my tutor: Some say this life is pleasant, Some think it speedeth fast: In time there is no present, In eternity no future, In eternity no past. We laugh, we cry, we are born, we die, Who will riddle me the how and the why?

The bulrush nods unto his brother The wheatears whisper to each other: What is it they say? What do they there? Why two and two make four? Why round is not square? Why the rocks stand still, and the light clouds fly? Why the heavy oak groans, and the white willows sigh? Why deep is not high, and high is not deep? Whether we wake or whether we sleep? Whether we sleep or whether we die? How you are you? Why I am I? Who will riddle me the how and the why?

The world is somewhat; it goes on somehow; But what is the meaning of then and now! I feel there is something; but how and what? I know there is somewhat; but what and why! I cannot tell if that somewhat be I.

The little bird pipeth ‘why! why!’ In the summerwoods when the sun falls low, And the great bird sits on the opposite bough, And stares in his face and shouts ‘how? how?’ And the black owl scuds down the mellow twilight, And chaunts ‘how? how?’ the whole of the night.

Why the life goes when the blood is spilt? What the life is? Where the soul may lie? Why a church is with a steeple built; And a house with a chimney-pot? Who will riddle me the how and the what? Who will riddle me the what and the why?

– Alfred Lord Tennyson (The Suppressed Poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson)


God Art

Sometimes you end up in a different place than you intended, and that’s okay…sometimes.

The plan for our vacation last week was to spend six days hiking the Appalachian Trail, we made it for two.  We spent the remainder of our vacation in the beautiful Smokey Mountain National Forest.  If you have never been, it really is a piece of art.  The brush strokes of light, the cool morning breezes,  the mountain sunrises and sunsets, and the river’s babbling song set the scene for God’s masterpiece.

I couldn’t help but think that I was in God’s museum. Think about it, we have museums full of art conceived by man and we admire and enjoy their work.  These works, born in the creative minds of mankind, often inspire us to dream dreams of grandeur. But the thought struck me as I enjoyed God’s artwork, “every work made by man put together does not compare to the complexity and perfection of one scene in God’s museum…and this earth is under the curse of sin!”

We spent our first day off the trail driving around the park and admiring the beautiful sights. This is when I found God’s greatest masterpiece; the most inspiring and interesting of all His art, men. I was surrounded by the beauty of the mountains and the streams, majestically carving out a scene of God’s glory, but every time we passed people, they stole the show. I couldn’t help but to watch them, to admire them, to be in wonder of their behavior and the unique makeup of each one. And though each person is an incomplete work of art, they are His greatest masterpiece.  Out of all creation, in His eyes, we steal the show.

“When I consider the works of your hands…what is man that though art mindful of him?”

As I looked at the incomplete works of art as they rode their bikes down the trails, fished in the streams, and enjoyed the company of their companions I couldn’t help but notice that there was missing in each of them a mark of their maker.  You see, the paintings of men are never complete until the painter is painted in.

Don’t forget how valuable you are. He painted you into His masterpiece!

Firtst three pics taken on my Motorola Droid during vacation.  Last pic via