This Beautiful Mess: Practicing the Presence of the Kingdom of God [NOOK Book]

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When Jesus announced, “the kingdom of God is at hand,” what did He mean? Uncover the reality of the kingdom of God and what it might look like if followers of Christ practiced its in-breaking presence. What happens when we view life through the lens of the kingdom? How does the beauty of Jesus’ reign break into the mess of our broken lives and world? What if we lived as though a world other than this one was here today? This ...
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This Beautiful Mess: Practicing the Presence of the Kingdom of God

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Overview

Already Not Yet

When Jesus announced, “the kingdom of God is at hand,” what did He mean? Uncover the reality of the kingdom of God and what it might look like if followers of Christ practiced its in-breaking presence. What happens when we view life through the lens of the kingdom? How does the beauty of Jesus’ reign break into the mess of our broken lives and world? What if we lived as though a world other than this one was here today? This Beautiful Mess launches a paradigm-shifting journey inviting us to experience the kingdom of God in the ordinary miracle of our everyday lives.

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he…sold all he had and bought that field.”
—Matthew 13:44

Jesus’ sayings about the kingdom of God just might be the most overlooked of his teachings. Yet the Good News of the kingdom—a treasure beyond price—was what he came to preach.

It’s time to ask:

-What is the kingdom Jesus talked about?
-Could it be already here, hidden from sight? If so, where is it?
-How can I be a part of it?

A new generation is tuning in to the teachings of Jesus and to their revolutionary implications. Could it be that living under Christ’s reign is not merely a future vision but a present reality?

Rick McKinley’s exploration is fresh, accessible, and timely. With careful attention to historical texts, he unveils new understandings of authentic personal and social transformation. The time is now. Your opportunity is here. In the mess of everyday life, you can live in the beautiful presence of the kingdom.

Story Behind the Book

”When we started Imago Dei Community, it was with a passion to be people who live in love with Jesus and live out the values of His kingdom in our city. But we had no idea how to do that. God let us stumble into grace and discover the wide-open plains of His kingdom. This has ruined us in the best way possible. Because once you taste untamed life in the kingdom, you will never go back to the sterile hallways of religion. The beautiful, transforming grace of Christ shows up in the messiness of life and the kingdom breaks in as a beautiful mess.”—Rick McKinley
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601425706
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/16/2013
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 394,971
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Rick McKinley is lead pastor of Imago Dei Community in Portland , Oregon . He’s a pretty funny guy who cares a lot about the gospel of Jesus. His passion to see the church become a force of Jesus’ love in society motivates him to write books, serve as a pastor, and speak around the country. Rick has a beautiful wife, Jeanne, and four amazing kids.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2007

    Where Theology and Practice meet the road

    There are a lot of resources out there that theoretically explain the theology of the kingdom of God. There are few resources that marry the theology and PRACTICE of living out that theology. McKinley has written such a book. Filled with deep theological insight, he also shows how those truths are applied and the difference it has made in his ministry and the lives of those he and his community have reached. Anyone interested in outreach and mercy ministry must read this book. McKinley has done the church a great service in writing this book--I hope that many read it and it changes how we live out our faith.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great for beginning to understand the Kingdom

    Rick McKinley provides useful stories and illustrations to help the reader to begin to understand what the Kingdom of God really is, and where we can fit in.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2013

    Impotant resource on the relationship between faith and science.

    For everyone who feels that evolutionary theory leaves not room for belief in the God of the Bible. For every believer who feels that science is opposed to your belief system. Even if you don't agree with the author's conclusions, this is a must read. At least educate yourself on the discussion.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This Beautiful Mess by Rick McKinley is a noteworthy read. It is

    This Beautiful Mess by Rick McKinley is a noteworthy read. It is simple, clear and direct in its communication of how to practice the presence of the kingdom of God.

    What attracted me to this book, in all frankness, was first and foremost the title. The words drew me. I could immediately relate to the strange wording. It made me think about the peculiar stance that one must take in the disordered (or possibly ordered) chaos that goes along with living in the world, while striving not to be a part of the world. The artistry of the cover illustration cemented this thinking further.

    The voice and writing style of the author was firm, passionate and pointed. He demonstrated a strong sense of commitment to his theme. His expressions were basic in parts. Familiar in parts. Still, on the whole, it worked. Giving a “new” take on the very simple considerations of the Bible, Mr. McKinley conveyed a purposeful message.

    If I had to pinpoint what I specifically took away from the book, it would be this…

    - The kingdom message is not about any one man, rather it is about the King.

    - We need to be mindful of having a repentant heart.

    - Discipleship and missions are paramount regarding the kingdom.

    - The Gospel must be shared.

    Scripture references were shared throughout this book, but they were presented in a way that flowed versus in a way that was static or preachy. I particularly liked how it seemed to be so personal and poetic at the same time. It made it easier to appreciate. Also, the examples of real life kingdom living and work were rich and meaningful.

    This book was encouraging and inspiring. I would definitely recommend it to others.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 9, 2013

    I don¿t know that I¿ve ever thought of this world as being a ¿be

    I don’t know that I’ve ever thought of this world as being a “beautiful mess”…beautiful sometimes, a mess sometimes–but both
    together? Rick Mckinley suggests that if we begin looking at the world this way, it could change everything!

    He challenges us to take literally Jesus’ comment that the kingdom of God is here–now–even in the middle of this beautiful mess.

    So what would happen if we really lived out our faith? If instead of trying to “do” things to bring about the kingdom of God, we simply
    lived as though we were already in it? That’s what Jesus said, really…that it’s here and now.

    He draws on many personal examples growing out of his own life and the lives of members of the church he established, a
    church committed to seeing the kingdom of God now. There were times when I laughed, times when I cried…but many times
    when I was challenged. It’s a new way of looking at life–and well worth reading.

    This book was provided free of charge from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for reviewing it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 23, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Where exactly is the Kingdom of God? In his book This Beautiful

    Where exactly is the Kingdom of God? In his book This Beautiful Mess, Pastor Rick McKinley helps us catch glimpses of the Kingdom at work here and now, on this earth. McKinley writes that as we look forward to heaven, we can and must carry out Kingdom work with our lives. Whether it is caring for the environment and God's creation or ministering to the homeless, we can see and be part of what the author calls a "revolutionary reality." I appreciate this book's emphasis on God's love for the world, and our calling as Christians to care for His creation. It is a comfort to know that the Kingdom of God is present in my life. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to deepen their faith walk.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2013

    Rick McKinley is the author of Jesus in the Margins and is the f

    Rick McKinley is the author of Jesus in the Margins and is the founding pastor of Imago Dei Community in Portland, Oregon. Rick speaks around the country on the topics of mission, leadership, and spiritual formation. Rick's latest book; This Beautiful Mess is a modern approach to the theology of the Kingdom of God.
    Originally this book was released in 2006, but this release has a newer hipper cover, an updated preface, three new chapters, and a small group conversation guide which would be great for churches.
    This book reminds me of a contemporary version of "Practicing the Presence of God" by Brother Lawrence, or even a companion book to Brian Mclaren's "The Secret Message of Jesus." In his book, McKinley shatters the misconceptions around how we interpret the phrase "the kingdom of God" in scripture and gives his readers real and practical ways of living the Kingdm out.
    McKinley's voice is friendly and personable and much of his stories come straight from his working with his Portland church. This is certainly one of those books that could be read again and again.
    Thank you to Multnomah Books for this review copy in exchange for a fair and honest review

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2013

    How does the beauty of Jesus¿ reign break into the mess of our b

    How does the beauty of Jesus’ reign break into the mess of our broken lives and world?

    Rick McKinley's book This Beautiful Mess from WaterBrook/Multanomah was provided to me for review (complimentary copy). I had seen it on the shelf at my local bookstore, but that had only succeeded in putting Sixpence songs in my head. I am grateful for the opportunity to read it. Rick McKinley serves as pastor at Imago Dei.
    The book is divided into 3 main parts:
    Part one Discovering the Kingdom.
    Part two Re-visioning life in the Kingdom. Stop analyzing and be present in the Body.
    Part three Practicing the presence of the Kingdom. (reminiscent of Brother Lawrence and AW Tozer)

    Fans of Experiencing God will connect with recognizing where G-d is at work and letting Him do the work in and through us to bring about change.
    Rick shares personal experiences as well, how their church is moving, growing and seeing change.

    New for this edition: an updated preface, three bonus chapters, and a small group conversation guide.
    "God has this amazing judo move that He uses to attack the kingdom of Darkness. He causes all things to work for good to those who love Him, the Bible says. God takes what is meant for evil and turns it for good, if we trust in Him at those times and embrace His sovereign goodness even in the midst of our pain and loss."
    "If you start with the church, you might end with the church. If you end with the church, you may never get to the kingdom. But if you always start with the kingdom, you will get the church."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 20, 2013

    The Kingdom of God is not just experienced in heaven (as many be

    The Kingdom of God is not just experienced in heaven (as many believe), His kingdom is the way things really are….and it’s already happening all around us. We live in His Kingdom, and the book makes the valid point that many of us do not live like it is His Kingdom. We live as if Jesus is our Savior but not as our King, a very important distinction. I love this quote from McKinley “When I became a Christ follower, the sad truth is that I transferred Christ into my kingdom, into the context of my life. My kingdom consisted of my desires and aspirations, namely the future I hoped for, an agenda that allowed me to reign as I chose….I wasn’t good at ruling my little kingdom, though.” He goes on to say “I realize now that God was not abandoning me. He just wanted nothing to do with my kingdom agenda. First, we had to settle the kingdom dilemma. Had Jesus bowed to my agenda, He would not have been the true God.”
    There are some big thoughts to absorb early in this book. McKinley goes on to discuss different elements of what it’s like to live in His Kingdom and how to shift your thoughts and your actions to serve God appropriately. While there were many good nuggets sprinkled throughout the book, I found it was not a book that I eagerly anticipated the next chapter and the later part of the book did not hold my interest as much as the first few chapters did.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah's Blogging for Books program in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.

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  • Posted August 10, 2013

    Rick McKinley's book, This Beautiful Mess: Practicing the Presen

    Rick McKinley's book, This Beautiful Mess: Practicing the Presence of the Kingdom of God, is a book that addresses practicing the Kingdom of God right now. After reading how McKinley and his church Imago Deo Community got very honest before God, and said yes to Jesus's invitation to repent, and then to see what God did next really got me excited . McKinley really brought this point about living in the kingdom home when he told the story about the guy on the airplane, that was sitting next to a man in a fluffy robe, who after dialoguing with this gentleman, he finds out that he's actually a RULER of a country. He askes the ruler if he has a crown and the king says, yes but I only wear it when I rule. Then the the ruler goes on and says that he's not ruling in the airplane but only in his country. So, he could not demand anyone on the plane to bow down to him, or to serve him since he wasn't their ruler, unless they came to his kingdom. It made sense to me and I hope that this will be a book you find well written and informative, challenging you as it did me to action.

    I do recommend this book and I am thankful to Multnomah Publishing for sending me this book to review. I have not received any compensation and the opinions are my own.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 31, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    booksbysteph says "been there, read that" I am givin

    booksbysteph says "been there, read that"


    I am giving this book a neutral review rating. This author is another theologian who is giving his version of what the kingdom of God means in relation to the present time. I am not agreeing or disagreeing with what the author is saying, but I have heard it all before. 

    As for the writing, I got lost as he jumped from one metaphor to another just to get a simple point across. And what is with the random poems at the end of the chapters? Another why to confuse the reader into believing the author's point-of-view? If you have the patience, give this book a try.

    Until next time, live life one page at a time!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2013

    great book! 

    great book! 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This Beautiful Mess: Practicing the Presence of the Kingdom of G

    This Beautiful Mess: Practicing the Presence of the Kingdom of God by Rick McKinley is a hybrid book of theology and literature. The modern cover looks like a piece of art, almost reminiscent of Eric Carle's mixed media work for children. As a reader I found myself struggling to read the text contained in the intriguing, pieced image of the dove. I resigned myself to the fact that the bits of text had no meaning and was for artistic effect much like the poetry included in the book. Using biblical illustrations as well as personal anecdotes, the author's intent is to dispel commonly held myths and traditions surrounding religion and Christianity.


    McKinley creates modern day parables and anecdotes to illustrate ageless truths of the bible. At times the imagery is a bit extreme and forward as in the royal passenger in mysterious and eccentric clothing in order to illustrate the analogy of Jesus' kingdom. Nevertheless this style of writing is powerful for the modern reader. His writing is honest yet dramatic. He points out the hypocrisy of established religions and traditions that are devoid of the true message of Jesus. He makes the reader think about his own life and how many are living an incomplete powerless gospel. The author discusses the problems seen at two extremes of the spectrum: rigidity and liberalism. But good deeds and salvation need not be mutually exclusive as its important to incorporate the entire gospel: both facts- that salvation is through Christ alone and also that salvation is open to all.


    Within the text are selected pieces of prose and poetry from various writers. This breaks up McKinley's text. The writings are not necessarily connected to the text and as private works of different authors, they are subjective in nature. The writing is honest but reminds me of something taken from someone's personal journey or what you may be submitted in a student creative writing course. I am not sure of the purpose of their inclusion other than to give multiple personalities to McKinley's work. These pieces of poetry give the book an artistic feel. In fact, not all the poetry included is specifically Christian in scope. These extra writings might inspire some readers to write poetry of their own. Appendix chapters provide more background information with a more direct approach. There is also a short conversation guide. Overall some good points were made in an artistic method. As a blogger I received this book published by Multnomah for the purpose of writing this review.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 20, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Rick McKinley is the author of Jesus in the Margins and is the f

    Rick McKinley is the author of Jesus in the Margins and is the founding pastor of Imago Dei Community in Portland, Oregon. Rick speaks around the country on the topics of mission, leadership, and spiritual formation. Rick's latest book; This Beautiful Mess is a modern approach to the theology of the Kingdom of God.

    Originally this book was released in 2006, but this release has a newer hipper cover, an updated preface, three new chapters, and a small group conversation guide which would be great for churches.

    This book reminds me of a contemporary version of "Practicing the Presence of God" by Brother Lawrence, or even a companion book to Brian Mclaren's "The Secret Message of Jesus." In his book, McKinley shatters the misconceptions around how we interpret the phrase "the kingdom of God" in scripture and gives his readers real and practical ways of living the Kingdom out.

    McKinley's voice is friendly and personable and much of his stories come straight from his working with his Portland church. This is certainly one of those books that could be read again and again.

    And if that doesn't sell you on the book, just know that author Donald Miller goes to McKinley's church - so you know he's gotta be good! 

    Thank you to Multnomah Books for this review copy in exchange for a fair and honest review

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2013

    I grew up in the church, and we often prayed the Lord's Prayer.

    I grew up in the church, and we often prayed the Lord's Prayer.  "Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."  But in practice, we didn't expect the kingdom to show up on earth.  Instead, we talked about staying safe and holy until the rapture happened or we died and went to heaven.  When I read Rick McKinley's book, it shattered all of my old misconceptions about the kingdom of God and gave me hope that I could (and would) find it right here, right now, if I saw the world the way God sees it.  As I read Rick's humorous, honest, insightful book, I realized that God isn't just in the hereafter; He's here today, and His light is shining through all the cracks and brokenness of our world.  This book changed my life.

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  • Posted July 19, 2011

    Wonderful book.....

    Loved it....great read! "Passing out cigarettes and socks to the homeless" It thoughts and actions like this that can revolutionize christianity and how people view God and His kingdom. Growing up in the bible belt I come from a rule based faith more so then a grace based faith and this book just adds to what I'm learning and discovering what and who my King wants me to be..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2011

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