Archives For Joy

 

Joy, Even in Death

 
A Review of 
 

Joy in the Journey: Finding Abundance in the Shadow of Death
Steve and Sharol Hayner

Hardback: IVP Books, 2015
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
 
Reviewed by Kevin Wildman
 
 
I have become convinced over the past few year that one of the biggest idols in the American culture is life. Often it seems that people are willing to go to extremes to get one more day with a loved one, often sacrificing quality of life for quantity of days. In their magnificent work, Joy in the Journey, Steve and Sharol Hayner help the reader to realize that life is not an idol. In fact Steve writes, “But life is about a lot more than physical health. It is measured by a lot more than medical tests and vital signs.” (62). As simple as it seems, this is a lesson that I think is desperately needed for today.

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An excerpt from
 

Bread and Wine:
A Love Letter to Life Around the Table

Shauna Niequist

Hardback: Zondervan, 2013.
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There is a wonderful review of this book by Jennifer Burns Lewis in our current print issue…
Are you a subscriber?

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Beyond Narnia and Mere Christianity

A Guide to Seven Lesser Known Books by C.S. Lewis

2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis.

Now would be a good time to revisit Lewis’s work; re-read the Chronicles of Narnia certainly, share them with your kids or grandkids, but also dig deeper into his work, you might be surprised by what you find.  We offer here a guide to seven of our favorite lesser-known books by C.S. Lewis.  We hope that you will find this guide helpful as you revisit his work over the coming months and years.

Also of interest for this C.S. Lewis anniversary year:

What other books would you include here? What are your favorite C.S. Lewis books?

 

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Next Book

Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life

If you haven’t read this already, I would definitely start here, with this autobiographical narrative of the first half (or so) of Lewis’s life. Surprised by Joy tells of the story of Lewis’s youth and the staunch atheism he developed, as well as his eventual conversion to Christianity.  This book tells the story of the experiences that would set the stage for the breadth and depth of his writing, and in that way this memoir is helpful in understanding the rest of Lewis’s work.  Borrowing its title from a Wordsworth poem, this book is arranged around the theme of joy and the role that it played in guiding Lewis to faith and guiding his work for the balance of his life. 

 

 

Our Latest Book Giveaway…

 

We’re giving away three copies of Rachel Marie Stone’s new book
Eat With Joy: Redeeming God’s Gift of Food
!   (IVP / Likewise 2013)

[ Read an excerpt of this book… ]

************

Enter to win a copy of this book!
Enter now to win (It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!) :

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Learning to Find Joy in Each Day

A Review of  

Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God
Margaret Feinberg

Paperback: Worthy Publishing, 2013
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Reviewed by Kimberly Roth

 

Margaret Feinberg is one of those authors who walk with one foot in the evangelical world and one foot in the mystical. Or, perhaps a better way to say it is this: she walks the evangelical path in a mystic’s shoes. Either way, there may be those who find themselves uncomfortable on her journeys – either because she’s too “out-there” or because she’s too “in-your-face” (depending on your personal bent, of course).

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I never tire of Wendell Berry’s poetry…

Here’s a poem from

A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems 1979-1997

Wendell Berry

Hardback: Counterpoint, 1999.
Buy now:
[ Amazon ]

 

*** Other Poetry Books by Wendell Berry






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Matt Litton - Holy NomadMoving Purposefully.

A Review of

Holy Nomad:  The Rugged Road to Joy

Matt Litton

Paperback: Abingdon Press, 2012
Buy now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Kevin Book-Satterlee.

Matt Litton writes the perfect pocket “unseminary” text in his book Holy Nomad: The Rugged Road to Joy.  I say unseminary because in no way would his cheeky and gritty writing style apply to seminary coursework.  Nor do his discussions stand for the lofty ivory tower reflections of the Christian life.  He is indeed gritty, writing a reflective confessional style book that sums up what probably most seminarians truly wrestle with or will.  In one little book he can challenge the call to following the Holy Nomad – Jesus – and the way of life that truly looks for a nomadic spirit in living the Christian life.

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Jane Kenyon was born on this day in 1947…

She died tragically of leukemia at the age of 47.

This poem is found in the wonderful collection

Dancing with Joy: 99 Poems.
Roger Housdon, Editor.
Hardback: Harmony, 2007.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]






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“What Joy!”

A Review of
Between Heaven and Mirth:
Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life
by James Martin, S.J.

Review by Mark Eckel.


Between Heaven and MirthBetween Heaven and Mirth:
Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter
Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life
James Martin, S.J.
Hardback: HarperOne, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

My faculty have impish ways.  One is jovial, spouting sarcasms and light-hearted ribbing.  Another is a clandestine wit whose laugh-line missiles cause a two second delay in explosive glee.  Still another lies in wait for the listener to fall into his word traps, a sly smile then dawning on his face.  We spend half our time in meetings, laughing.  I love it.  What joy, then, to read Between Heaven and Mirth!  One knows a book will be good by how many smiley faces are applied!  James Martin knows how much The Church needs levity and he encourages the purpose of lightheartedness throughout the pages.

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“A Palace in Time”

A Review of
The Sabbath World:
Glimpses of a Different Order of Time
by Judith Shulevitz

Reviewed by Ragan Sutterfield

[ Read an excerpt of this book here… ]

The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time
Judith Shulevitz
Hardback: Random House, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Sabbath World by Judith ShulevitzChristians have all too often ignored the Sabbath.  Ours is the Lord who questioned the keeping of the Sabbath, lowering its status, one could argue.  Paul, in helping spread Christianity, also set the stage for a diminished view of the Sabbath as he tried to wrangle diaspora Jews and gentiles into one church by saying that there was nothing special about one day over another.  Though both Jesus and Paul seem to have actually kept the Sabbath for the most part, it has been all too easy, outside of the very Sabbatarian context in which they were acting, to make the Sabbath a disposable idea, easily ignored or compromised when need be.

But if “the Sabbath was made for man” as Jesus says, most Christians have not accepted this gift of God. We have not learned to practice the Sabbath and so we are easily swayed by our kids’ soccer schedule or the mounting housework that we need one more day to complete.  Most of us acknowledge that the Sabbath is important, but we find ourselves easy Sabbath breakers if something better comes along. We need a voice to call us back—a voice from the outside who understands all of our ambivalence.

Judith Shulevitz’s The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time is just the right sort of book.  Shulevitz is Jewish, with an experience of Sabbath few gentiles ever get a chance to have, and yet she is secular, agnostic, and has struggled with a deep ambivalence toward the Sabbath.  She brings us the gifts of the Jewish tradition and yet understands the struggles of the modern gentile with a day set aside for a kind of rest that, on the surface, seems like a lot of work.

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