Archives For Presence

 

The Sanctity of the Mundane
 
A Review of 
 

How to Be Here:
A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living

Rob Bell

Hardback: HarperOne, 2016
Buy now: [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Josh Morgan
 
 
Rob Bell, in his latest book, How to Be Here, explores how to create a life worth living through being present in the here and now. It addresses ideas that are becoming quite popular, likely because of their relevance for our modern culture and way of living. Bell continues with his strong, engaging writing style and story telling, so fans of his approach will likely appreciate this text, as well. His style should open up ideas to new audiences. At the same time, the book could be better organized to make his point clearer and send the message “home” more effectively.
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Finding Moments of Clarity

A Review of:
 

Availability: The Challenge and the Gift of Being Present
Robert J. Wicks

Paperback: Sorin Books, 2015.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle

 
Reviewed by Sara Jo Emmerich

 

Many religious helping professionals and engaged lay leaders may groan a little when they hear the title of Robert J. Wicks’ revised 30 year old classic: Availability. Wicks is well acquainted with that inward groan that lies at the cusp of compassion fatigue. He notes in his preface that “availability is at a premium because it is not only a gift but also sometimes a great challenge for many of us—one that we need to more fully understand and address if we are to be able to continue to be present in the full sense of the word. Availability is not only a gift; it is also a problem” (ix).

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“Overwhelmed by a sense
of  God’s presence
and breathtaking beauty

A Review of
Present Perfect:
Finding God in the Now
.
By Greg Boyd.

Reviewed by Shaun C. Brown.

Present Perfect:
Finding God in the Now
.
Greg Boyd.

Paperback: Zondervan, 2010.
Buy now: [ ChristianBook.com ]

Greg Boyd - Present PerfectIn his new book, Present Perfect: Finding God in the Now, pastor and theologian Gregory Boyd advocates what he calls, “the most important discipline that you could ever practice” (10).  Drawing upon two monks from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Brother Lawrence and Jean-Pierre de Caussade, as well as a twentieth century evangelical missionary and literacy advocate, Frank Laubach, Boyd defends the need for Christians to practice the presence of God.

To illustrate the need of Christians to be aware of God’s presence, Boyd tells a story of a time he went on a run through the woods to train for an ultra-marathon.  While Boyd ran, his mind focused on the upcoming race and his performance in it.  A few hours into his run, he noticed a cricket chirping.  Boyd then noticed more and more crickets, and then some frogs, bees, and birds.  Boyd then noticed the beauty of the scenery around him and the fragrances.  Boyd says:

The moment felt sacred.  I felt I was waking up to God’s presence permeating all things and reflecting in all things.  It seemed I was, for the first time, waking up to the way the world is supposed to be experienced—the way it really is.  Overwhelmed by this sense of  God’s presence and breathtaking beauty, I began to weep (13).

Boyd uses this story to illustrate how many Christians go through life seemingly unaware of God’s presence around them.  Boyd calls on them to awaken to the “reality . . . that God is present in . . . every moment” (15).

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