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Langley, BC, Canada
I love to read. I love books. I like to talk about books and recommend them. I read everything including cereal boxes and junk mail! I heard once that if you're not reading at least 3 books at a time you're not reading enough! This blog will keep track of the books I've read and whether or not I liked them. It will be a little bit of everything from Christian fiction to Science fiction and fantasy. Feel free to participate by suggesting books to review and giving your comments. Occasionally I am given free books by Publishers in exchange for a review. I am not told how to review them or compensated in any way for the review.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Spiritual Rhythm by Mark Buchanan

Mark Buchanan is a Canadian pastor on Vancouver Island. This is his 6th book. I’ve read several of his books and have also heard him speak a couple of times. He’s my favourite kind of communicator, direct, real and honest.

In this book he is comparing spiritual growth to Seasons, not to the seasons of life i.e. youth, adult, senior etc. but the actual seasons of Winter, Spring Summer and Fall. He begins with a statement that generally characterizes spiritual growth, busyness = maturity, the more you do for Jesus the more spiritual you are. Recognizing the fallacy in that he adds another component, busyness+commitment=fruit. But that doesn’t seem right either. Finally (and I’m obviously paraphrasing a chapter here) he realizes that the better model of spiritual growth is Seasons. “Fruit grows in seasons and all seasons are necessary for growing it” (pg18). Each season we go through has a purpose for making us more like Christ.

Then he goes on to describe the seasons. Winter is the absence of light, of God of friends, winter is death. A stark description but true I think of many people who have at times felt far from God either because of depression or circumstances or any number of reasons. Spring is hope, renewal, new beginnings. Summer is vitality, a foretaste of heaven, a time for joy and warmth and fruitfulness. Fall is harvest; a time to reap what we’ve sown in the other seasons. Each season has its purpose and he also describes various activities that can help bring clarity to your life as you experience each season. This is a book that he has lived. There are lots of personal examples and stories.

Part 2 of the book discusses the rhythm of the seasons, and how we can join in with the rhythm of each season. Often spiritual growth is discussed in terms of balance but he says we need more than balance. He says that while staying in the boat requires balance, getting anywhere in the boat requires rhythm. “We crave balance but we need rhythm”. (pg 198) Finding the rhythm of the season that you’re in will help to propel you through that season and on to the next. Of course he ends up with some spiritual disciplines like worship, reading the Bible, prayer and community. These are watchwords of any spiritual growth discussion. But in this book these disciplines are the well of water that sustain us through each season

This is a long review but I really wanted to give you a taste of what the book is like. I found this book to be very helpful in understanding the season that I’m in and in finding value in that season. I know that you will find it valuable as well.

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