Spiritual Rhythm: Being with Jesus Every Season of Your Soul Hardcover – Aug 29 2010
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“This is a delightful work that shows us how to claim each and every season of the soul as a rich opportunity for spiritual growth and a life-changing encounter with God.” -- Ruth Haley Barton
“Reading Spiritual Rhythm, I found myself feeling like the fortunate friend of a wise guide. . . . Through these pages, I felt heard and understood, and I was met with encouragement, grace, and guidance for my season of the soul. Be prepared to connect---deeply!” -- Mindy Caliguire
From the Back Cover
'Abide in me, ' Jesus tells us, 'and you will bear much fruit.' Yet too often we forget that fruit needs different seasons in order to grow. We measure our spiritual maturity by how much we do rather than how we are responding to our current spiritual season. In Spiritual Rhythm, Mark Buchanan replaces our spirituality of busyness with a spirituality of abiding. Sometimes we are busy, sometimes still, sometimes pushing with all we've got, sometimes waiting. This model of the spiritual life measures and produces growth by asking: Are we living in rhythm with the season we are in? With the lyrical writing for which he is known, Mark invites us to respond to every season of the heart, whether we are flourishing and fruitful, stark and dismal, or cool and windy. In comparing spiritual rhythms to the seasons of the year, he shows us what to expect from each season and how embracing the seasons causes our spiritual lives to prosper. As he draws on the powerful words of Scripture, Mark explores what activities are suitable or necessary in each season---and what activities are useless or even harmful in that season. Throughout the book, Mark weaves together stories of young and old, men and women, families, couples, and individuals who are in or have been through a particular season of the heart. As Mark writes, 'I pray that this book meets you in whatever season you're in, and prepares you for whatever seasons await. I pray that it helps you find your voice, your stride, your rhythm, in season or out. Mostly, I pray that you, with or without my help, find Christ wherever you are. And that, even more, you discover that wherever you are, he's found you.'See all Product Description
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Mark Buchanan's gift for word-painting the panorama of God's grace is amazing in itself, but his insights in to the soul of his readers is equally stunning.
You will linger in each "Season" not daring to believe the next could be as profoundly real in your own life as the present one.
Arm yourself with a pen or pencil to underline and highlight your first time through, but be prepared. You will want to come back again and again. There is more, and yet more to feed and fill as you see yourself on every page. . .sometimes in every paragraph. You may be heard murmuring (or exclaiming) "YES!!" "Of course!" "Oh Jesus, thank You, thank You."
How does Mark know? Perhaps, like you, he's been catapulted into Winter's darkness, discovered in Spring's renewal there IS life after death (even in soul-seasons) and learned that Summer is but a magnificent foretaste of `Kingdom Come.' Fall? Well, I invite you (no, I urge you) to read Spiritual Rhythm for yourself. As with ALL of Pastor Mark Buchanan's books, there is not enough stars to rate this one adequately. I echo LOUDLY the words of Mindy Caliguire on the back cover of Spiritual Rhythm, "Be prepared to connect - deeply!" Then buy a copy for every one of your friends. They will love you for it!
Things Unseen: Living with Eternity in Your Heart; The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath; Your God Is Too Safe; The Holy Wild: Trusting in the Character of God; Hidden in Plain Sight: The Secret of More
The best thing about Buchanan's book is his prose. His books are right there alongside all of the other popular authors, but his writing stands head and shoulders above them all. There are no choppy sentences that run on and on, yet never describe anything. To read Buchanan's words describing the seasons of British Columbia is to read poetry. I've never encountered a Christian writer that treats authoring a book as a work of art, but this is what Buchanan does.
Buchanan believes that just as nature cycles through four seasons, so does your soul. There are times when life is bleak and cold. There are times when there are new beginnings. There are times of warmth, and times to harvest. There is no way to speed through these seasons, just as there is no way to make winter pass more quickly or summer last just a few weeks longer. The key is understanding which season you are in, and engaging in activities that are healthy in that season. Buchanan relates this personally, as he began this book in response to the death of a close friend.
There are poems interspersed throughout the book, and dozens of spiritual activities that can help you develop a rhythm. The book is divided into two parts, the first describing the seasons, the second describing how to understand your spiritual rhythms.
Spiritual Rhythm: Being With Jesus Every Season of Your Soul is really two books. Part one is the introduction and explanation book, describing in poetic parallel the seasons of the year alongside the seasons of the soul. While part one might seem a little long it is necessary (in my opinion) because it helps to draw the reader in, slowing them down in order that reflection and self-examination might take place. Accomplishing this reflection and introspective examination is needful for full benefit of the second part of the book, which is about practice and application of spiritual rhythm.
This book might not be for everyone. Our society is designed around immediate gratification, 5-steps-to...fill-in-the-blank helps, and how to do anything in 90 days. Spiritual Rhythm is more about slowing down, adjusting to the rhythm of life and soul, and partnering with the workings of God's Holy Spirit in our spiritual transformation in order to become more Christ like. Many people prefer to force this transformative process and hurry it along; consequently, it doesn't really take place because it cannot be forced... spiritual transformation cannot be hurried.
Because of the nature of our spiritual journeys and seasons of the soul, this book can be read again and again. Depending on the season of your soul when you read it, this very well could be the companion and guide you need to glean from your season or nudge you into the next season. I have been greatly blessed by this book, and I'm sure you will be too.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Zondervan Publishing to read and post a review on my site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
~The Rebecca Review
The author is a remarkable writer. His heart and soul are poured out through this book, as a gift to you. Each chapter will sing to your soul as you learn the "spiritual rhythm" of faith in God. The message within "Spiritual Rhythm" walks you throught the "seasons of the heart." You'll find that within each season there are "dangers, joys, pitfalls, and benefits." The author takes you deeper and shows you "what to do, what not to do, how to get the most out of your season, and how to avoid some of the seasons' traps." If the first half of the book were not a blessings enough, the author uses the second half of the book to strengthen your faith through whatever season you might be in.
Although I've "read" this book, I will now go back and "study" it. But, not just for strengthening my faith walk, I want to feel the peace in my soul that I felt as I allowed the words of each page to bring joy to my spirit . . . realizing that I can trust in a "Man for all Seasons."
*I was provided this book by Amazon Vine in exchange for my unbiased review.