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The Daily Practice of Life: Practical Reflections Toward Meaningful Living


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.

In contrast to building walls with gates opening only to creeds matching one’s own, this book helps readers:

  • create a personal routine integrating faith and practical realities;
  • draw on past ups and downs to improve focus on now and offer hope for a brighter future;
  • turn life experiences into parables with wisdom for more informed choices;
  • open up and respectfully listen and learn within and outside our own tradition; and
  • amplify commonalities that implement the heart of all authentic religions.



Walt Shelton writes with a humanity that is refreshing in a world that can often leave folks feeling disconnected. He brings Christianity to his words in a way that feels inclusive of people of all faiths, yet he’s very secure in his own religious tradition. He’s a great storyteller, often bringing tales of his upbringing, wise dogs he’s loved or even wiser family members who continue to teach him what it means to be a person of faith and an honorable human being. He always delivers a nugget, a reminder of the people we want to be. He’s a joy to read. (Nicole Villalpando, Specialty Editor and Faith Editor, Austin American-Statesman)

During law school, I had the privilege of taking several of Professor Shelton’s classes. I walked away from those courses with a better understanding of the law, but the greatest lesson Professor Shelton imparted through his teaching and mentorship was mindfulness, a process that I’ve continued to use to help bring balance and focus to my life as a wife, mother, attorney, and naval officer. For those looking for a thoughtful and genuine approach to living an intentional life, I cannot recommend The Daily Practice of Life enough. (LCDR Alexandra Gioiello, JAGC, United States Navy, Baylor Law School class of 2018, Former law student and research assistant of Walt Shelton)

Walt’s teaching, like his columns, is rooted in his deep Christian faith, but he also explores how other religions have dealt with the common issues all persons experience in life. He asks readers to think in fresh ways about complex issues related to morality and religion. (Fred and Barbara Worley, Members of Walt’s Journey class for more than fifteen years and of the prior interfaith Practical Faith group)

I had the pleasure of having Professor Walt Shelton at Baylor Law School in several classes and the opportunity to work with him as a research assistant for a presentation to a statewide legal convention and a law review article. His depth of knowledge in his course subjects is impressive in its own right, but his skill in sharing knowledge is unmatched. Professor Shelton’s thoughtful and enthusiastic approach makes one proud to be his student, which is like reading one of his columns and this book: engaging, thought-provoking, conversational, and―despite the complexity of the subject matter―comprehensible. Outside of the classroom, his kindness and compassion make the biggest impression. I regard Professor Shelton as an esteemed legal colleague, mentor, and friend. With his Statesman columns and publication of this book, readers will know what I and his other students have known for years―his wisdom and teaching extend far beyond the law and the classroom door. (Morgan Beam, Attorney, Tomball, Texas, Baylor Law School class of 2016, Former law student and research assistant of Walt Shelton)

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. (Johnnie Overton and Susan Holman, Church Women United, Austin, Texas)

Nothing is more thoughtful and comforting, yet a call to action than Walt Shelton’s writings. Who should care how many times you go to church, memorize the words of the service, and condemn all others who do not think like you or do not believe in “your God”? It is all very simple. Do you have an intentional, habitual implementation of your faith here on earth? Do you treat others with kindness and respect with active caring? Let Walt help you learn to make your faith authentic and be a true follower of Jesus in the here and now. (Ronald L. Beal, Professor of Law, Baylor Law School)

Paul urges us in Colossians to honor God through all aspects of our work. I have met few people who embrace their calling as much as Professor Shelton. His words in The Daily Practice of Life reveal an intimate portrait of a humble servant. But more importantly, they convey perspectives that are as enlightening as they are deeply relatable. The Daily Practice of Life reads as familiar as a conversation with a dear friend, and it shows us that a life well-lived is a creed that transcends the mission of Christian faith. (Jason Hill, Attorney, Baylor Law School class of 2004, Former law student of Walt Shelton)

About the Author

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.

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