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Living into Focus: Choosing What Matters in an Age ofDistractions Paperback – Jan 1 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group (Jan. 1 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587433141
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587433146
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 449 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #259,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Focusing on What Really Matters

"It's one thing to clear a piece of land, move the rocks, rake the soil, and protect it with a fence. It's another to bring it to life with berry-bearing bushes, exuberant tubers, vigorous vegetables, and many-splendored flowers. It's that second thing that Arthur Boers has done; he's taken a theory and made it fruitful."
--Albert Borgmann, University of Montana

"For many years now, [Arthur Boers] has embraced Borgmann's passion for living a generous life. . . . This book is his personal witness to the practices that develop into a life of wealth, of generous abundance."
--Eugene H. Peterson, Regent College (from the foreword)

"Arthur Boers has written an insightful, wise, and practical book for people who are feeling exhausted, bored, fragmented, or simply lost in a world of unending busyness and distraction. It is a gift for all of us who want to focus our lives on the places, people, and practices that deeply matter and that give honor to God."
--Norman Wirzba, Duke Divinity School

"I've been waiting for someone to write this important book. Herein Arthur Boers alerts us to the astonishingly overlooked 'quiet desperation' afflicting our lives through the incessant distractions offered by our technological age. And he offers us practices that make space for grace and beauty and focus, which is to say, practices that create the sort of wealth that is the true longing of humankind."
--Lee C. Camp, author of Who Is My Enemy? and host of

"This is an essential book for people of faith who don't want to drown in a culture of distraction. If you read it in a group, it will generate lively discussion. If you read it with your family, it will change the way you live together. And if you read it alone, it will produce some serious soul-searching. This book is a life raft in a sea of words."
--Lillian Daniel, coauthor of This Odd and Wondrous Calling: The Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers

About the Author

Arthur Boers (DMin, Northern Baptist Theological Seminary) is associate professor and R. J. Bernardo Family Chair of Leadership at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto, Ontario. He served as a pastor for sixteen years and is the award-winning author of numerous articles and six books, including The Way Is Made by Walking and The Rhythm of God's Grace. He speaks regularly at churches, conferences, and retreats.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert J on June 2 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In our busy world, people seem to have material things and are kept busy, but are lacking satisfaction and seem to intuitively know that there must be more to living than just being alive. Many struggle with how to cultivate meaning in their lives. This book offers some overall concepts and practical strategies to help create a life of meaning. Read it once all the way through and then read it again to highlight the parts relevant to me. There is much here for everyone.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 16 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
a delightful surprise...a restful read Oct. 10 2012
By jdb - Published on
Format: Paperback
This was a very interesting book to me for many reasons. The first reason for my interest was the title grabbed my attention. In recent years as I have tried to simplify my life and give more attention to my present surroundings, living more intently in the present moment as it were, I have become more aware of how many distractions compete for my attention. The world continues to accelerate and isolate, distract, and distance us from giving our attention to the people and things that genuinely make life worth living. The title made me curious. I was further intrigued by a number of the endorsements for Living into Focus especially considering that one of those endorsements was made by Eugene Peterson, of whom I am a great admirer, and who wrote the forward. Another reason for my interest was my preparation for leading a spiritual retreat focused on simplicity and spiritual rhythm; I thought the content of this book might provide me with additional information and insight for my presentation.

I am delighted to report that this book not only met my expectations, but also exceeded them in a number of ways. I was pleasantly surprised by the writing style of Arthur Boers. This is the first book I have read from his pen and I found this particular book almost akin to a form of literary onomatopoeia. Let me explain. Onomatopoeias are words that are spelled like they sound or vice versa... like "oink," "pow!" "tic-toc," I think you get the point. Boers' Living into Focus is about "slowing down" and living intently into the present moment. What I realized about a third to half-way through the book is that I was slowing down as I read it. I felt as though I were being led to a place of inner quiet and calm almost as if I were a cobra under the spell of an expert snake charmer. The cadence of the book and the easy manner of Boers' story telling was a meandering experience. He talked often about walking and I soon felt as though I were listening to him share his experiences as I walked along with him. It was an unusual writing style to what I normally read, but in a delightful way. I don't know if it was the nature of the subject matter or my state of mind, but the sum of many variables made for an almost magical read.

The book is sectioned into three primary movements: Part One, Focus Matters, discusses the importance of focus; Part Two, Losing Our Focus, details the contemporary challenges to maintaining focus, and Part Three, Finding our Focus, brings to point exercises and intentional actions to regaining focus on the things that truly give purpose to our life.

I have said that I was especially charmed by the tempo and style of this book. The sum of the whole was a very peaceful and restful read...and very insightful. I originally set out to use the information gleaned for material used in my presentation during a spiritual retreat; I found material and much inspiration in Living into Focus that was featured prominently over the retreat weekend.

I think Arthur Boers has presented weary travelers a wonderful respite in his Living into Focus. I would recommend it very highly.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
helpful practice-centered view Feb. 24 2012
By Maria F. Drews - Published on
Format: Paperback
In short, Boers offers a frank look at the distracted lives we lead, the focused life we want, and suggests practices to help us move from the former to the latter. His practiced-centered view helps us move from abstract ideas of "less distraction" and "more focus" that may just further distract us. Yet, for someone who enjoys dense theological texts, this book left me longing for a little more meat and a little less fluff. But if you're looking for some good insight and along with accessible examples and stories to help you along the way, this may be the book for you. To read my longer review, head on over to: [...]
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A must read! Feb. 1 2015
By mpsh61 - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book speaks of focal points. It talks about technology and how it can be useful, but must be put in its place. If you are overwhelmed by the busyness of our world, take time to read through this amazing book and start on a path to a more slowed down and rich life.
A Permanent Fixture in Your Library Oct. 31 2015
By Shenika A. - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is an accurate account of what society is faced with today. This constant state of busyness does not allow for deep relationships with God, family, or friends; conversely, it is a distraction from all things that are important and essential to living. Many of the things that have captured or preoccupied members of society's time and minds are used as a form of self-medication which in turn deepens the issues people are trying to run away from, in the first place. Boers not only identifed and addressed the issues and consequences associated with busyness and preoccupation with technology; he also suggested practical ways of shifting the paradigm, and creating an environment conducive to spiritual growth, and meaningful relationships with family members, community, and society. This book was confirming, eye-opening, and transformational. If you are serious about setting yourself apart and living a meaningful life with full awareness , free of cultural programming, this book will not disappoint. I truly enjoyed this book.
A good book on practices to control technology to do what we really enjoy June 7 2013
By Bret A. Hicks - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was a great reminder of the downside to technology. Though I love technology for its many benefits, it can be obtrusive and interfere with the things I treasure most. It has reminded me that it does not have to be this way, and how at times I have used certain practices to set limits so that I had time, energy, and focus for the things that are most important - time with God, family, relaxing, etc. a great,reminder and encouragement to renew some old boundaries and 'focal practices' which structure my,life so that I devote myself to what is most important rather than what seems urgent at the moment.