Posts Tagged ‘spirituality’
A Refreshing Approach to a Direct Engagement with the Scriptures
In “Beyond the Quiet Time:presents a refreshing approach to finding a direct engagement with the scriptures. McGrath helps the reader develop a plan which offers a new approach to as it relates to personal .
The book includes both a devotional and a theological importance on reading, studying, and applying the Scriptures to daily life. The book brings a new flavor to the “Quiet Time”, presenting a plan for receiving spiritual nourishment, encouragement, and motivation for living out the Christian life.
The format of the book integrates possibilities for use in a study group or for individual study. The chapters include: a theme, a passage from the Bible relating to the theme, commentary with questions for consideration, thoughts for reflection, discussion points, a “Study Panel,” and recommended exercises for meaningful application to daily life.
Alister writes with clarity as he models this devotional approach to the Scriptures. He defines, addresses the question as to why it is important, what we can learn from the past, and how the Scripture gives guidance relative to everyday life.
The five chapters of the book provide the groundwork for future devotional study. They cover the foundational essentials of the Gospel message setting the scene with contemporary illustrations which provide a relevant setting for application. McGrath includes the concept of being lost, the need and provision of rescue, involvement in the world, faith, and living life to the fullest.
“Beyond the Quiet Time” provides the reader with a resourceful, creative process for adding freshness tothough direct engagement with the Scripture.
Regent College Publishing, 978-1573832656
As Reviewed for Midwest Book Review
With a shelf full of versions of “” why purchase another one? This is a question one could ask of me. I have a dozen versions of “ ,” yet I purchased and read “The Art of War – Spirituality for Conflict” and am extremely glad that I did.
This version of “The Art of War” annotated and explained was annotated by Thomas Huynh and it is his translations with the editors at his website Sonshi. There is a foreword by Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of salesforce and a preface by Thomas Cleary. It was Cleary’s preface that helped me decide to purchase this version, since several of my versions were translated by Cleary, and I’ve enjoyed the numerous translations of his I’ve read over the years.
Huynh states that he wishes he would have had this translation when he first started studying Sun Tzu’s words twenty years ago. After reading it, I agree that any student of Sun Tzu will benefit from “The Art of War – Spirituality for Conflict.”
Besides the interesting foreword and preface, there is a good introduction that lays some basic history and information for those new to Sun Tzu and those that have studied various translations already. One impressive fact about this book is that it is the work of twenty years of study with over forty reputable scholars working on it.
I enjoyed how this edition addresses a spiritual approach tothrough Sun Tzu’s teachings. The book still contains the thirteen chapters that were written by Sun Tzu. They are laid out in a format that has the translated text on the right side page, with the commentary to the translated text on the left side page. If a person wanted to, they could read every right hand page and they would be reading the entire translated text of “The Art of War.”
However, if you truly study “The Art of War” like I enjoy doing, you will not only read the translated text, you will savor the commentary and annotations as well as ponder the lessons beyond Huynh’s guidance.
In the annotations, Huynh provides examples relating to the text from many sources. It is refreshing to see things from the Bible, Buddha, and Lao Tzu not contrasting each other, but illustrating points and guiding towardresolution. The text also includes examples based on General Robert E. Lee, Fourth Geneva Convention, a sermon delivered by Martin Luther king Jr. at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in 1957, George Washington, Robert Gates to the U.S. Congress in 2007, Henry David Thoreau, mathematics professor and investment trader Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Yamamoto Tsunetomo’s Hagakure, and many more. These examples and illustrations of lessons and principles help with the study and application of “The Art of War” to other areas than only military strategy.
This is important, because while many readers of this text will benefit in areas other than in the military. While I first studied “The Art of War” while in the U.S. Army, I study it now for different reasons. It is a text that not only can help the military person, but any person who deals with conflict. And we all face conflict!
Sun Tzu’s teachings are effective in all conflict, not only war. This new translation, with the annotations and explanations will allow any reader, from those with no previous knowledge of “The Art of War” to those who have studied multiple volumes, to learn and apply Sun Tzu’s sage advice. It is very insightful and will not only help with your understanding and application of the ancient text, but will provide you with guidance to prevent and resolve conflicts in your own life.
If you want to study conflict resolution through a book about war. This is the text for you. If you have never read “The Art of War,” this is a good book to start your studies. It is clear, easy to read, and contains excellent annotations to apply the lessons to your life. If you are a student of “The Art of War,” this is a must add to your collection. You will find it an informative and refreshing look at this classic manual. I am very happy that I decided to purchase yet another volume. Its practical and pragmatic guidance has broadened my understanding of “The Art of War,” and more importantly has helped me bring these ancient lessons into my conflict resolution practice. Highly recommended!
Love in the Land of Dementia: Finding Hope in the Caregiver’s Journey
Creativity Connection Press (2006)
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (10/06)
“Love in the Land of Dementia” reveals’s deepening love and increased with her mother. Deborah deals with the complex issues of and change in a relationship change completely through this mysterious disease. She tells of learning the need for being flexible, of acceptance, and of enjoying the precious moments creating special celebrations to brighten the day for her mother and herself.
The book also provided helpful suggestions for living with and caring for the victim of dementia. Deborah tells of deepening bonds with her mother and her family while coping with, anguish, self-reproach, and embarrassment.
Deborah relates the occasion of her mother’s eighty-seventh birthday this way, “She can’t even make a birthday wish or blow out her candles. But she can lower her face to the glob of celebration nestled right in her own palm (birthday cake) and she can raise her face and laugh. ‘Happy Birthday Mom’ I say, kissing her messy cheek and tasting its sweetness.”
I, personally, am a fellow traveler on this roller coaster ride of uncertainty and frustration and was especially touched by an incident related of her father’s difficulty in coping. Paul worked for some years in radio and relates his experience this way: “It’s interesting enough, though far less glamorous than the average person believes. It becomes hard work day after day to fool the public into believing you’re happy all the time.”
Deborah goes on to say, “Years later, as Mom moved more deeply into Alzheimer’s, Dad replayed his radio training. He tried to fool the nurse’s aides, the kitchen staff, the other families and my brother and me into thinking he was happy or at least coping. But we knew him too well. We could see and feel the pain and anguish underneath his brittle smile. We could see the hard, hard work of all he was going through.”
I appreciated the way the author shared her personal discoveries and the willingness to make herself vulnerable to the reader. She tells of an anticipated extended afternoon visit to family where she may be called on for help. “Still, I cannot walk over to the plastic sack and take out the white rectangle of protective paper. I cannot take my mother’s hands and guide her into the bathroom. I am not ready to take another step away from being her daughter, towards being her caretaker.”
Deborah has a unique gift of communication and is able to take difficult and seemingly impossible situations and bring tenderness to the story as the reader experiences first tears, than peace, and finally a smile as hope replaces despair and the future dread is exchanged for the preciousness of the moment.
The subtitle of “Love in the Land of Dementia” expresses the true theme of the book, “Finding Hope in the Caregiver’s Journey.” The book is well written, is illuminating, insightful, and inspirational. I highly recommend it to caregivers, both family, and professional.
During these trying and uncertain times, people are increasingly turning toand literature. To be sure, today is an age of increased divorce, increased drug and alcohol abuse, and extreme financial insecurity.
Finding a proper perspective is easier said than done. One of the bestin decades is called “It’s A Silver Lining” and has recently been released. It proves that it’s never quite as bad as it seems. While definitely a Religious book, “It’s A Silver Lining” takes several unexpected turns while ushering the reader through the joy, sadness, betrayal, and of one man’s life.
Faced with a debris field of wreckage all about him, and quickly losing the will to go on, this man sets out to take stock of his life and decisions. He eventually sees the hand of God in every situation of his life and receives the ultimate gift of gratitude. He discovers that his wealth can be measured more by his abundance of friends than his bank account.
Some people embrace religion and religious books while others hold such things in contempt. The author was the latter and had spent twenty five years erecting a wall between himself and God. As the book explains, a chance visit to an Arizona monastery facilitates the melting of this iron wall within a few short hours.
The whole lesson of the book is this; every situation in our life (especially the seemingly bad), has been placed there deliberately-for our benefit. All events in our life set-up the next and when the dust settles, we can always see the Silver Lining, if we look for it. The key is to minimize the time between the event and our recognition of its purpose. The faster we see it, the happier we’ll be, regardless of the outcome-trust me, it’s a wonderful way to live!
If you honestly seek your path, you will find that someone or something has left a trail of breadcrumbs just for you. It is there for you to see right now, if only you will look. Take a look at the religious books, especially It’s A Silver Lining and we will help you pick up the trail.
Jeff, author of Spirituality Simplified asserts in his introduction that the principal impetus for his writing his book was to create a spiritual growth book that would be accessible to mainstream readers. Moreover, it would include “the best of the best” content gleaned from a broad mixture personal/spiritual growth books that he has read.
What the book does best is the author’s succinct presentation of his own thoughts, as well as others, that permit his readers to digest and make sense of them in any way they wish. It is not merely a collection of the author’s sayings and anecdotes, but rather a penetration of our lifestyle and how we can deepen our knowledge in improving it as we embark upon the path to spiritual growth.
Each chapter is framed around fundamental concepts that are carefully analyzed and shored up by powerful passages taken from the teachings of some prominent and spiritual growth authors as Deepak Chopra, Allan Cohen, Anthony DeMello, Wayne W. Dyer, Neale Donald Walsch, Louise Hay, Dan Millman, Eckhart Tolle, and many others. It should be noted thatincludes an Appendix listing nearly forty books related to personal and/or spiritual growth that he has personally read and that has served as his source material for Spirituality Simplified.
We are reminded in the first chapter that it is essential to have an open mind when considering new information pertaining to spiritual growth, even though some of it may appear to be off-the-wall. This probably is the most difficult change of behavior we are called upon to pursue, as we all realize that once we become attached to a particular philosophy, religion or belief, it is not easy to cast it aside.
From this starting point Maziarek probes in detail about such topics as who or what is God, who we are, cause and effect, present moment awareness, oneness, abundance, non-attachment, forgiveness, the path of spiritual growth.
A dominant theme and one that Maziarek returns to throughout the book is that each of us is responsible for co-creating his or her life in concert with God. Maziarek uses the term God-Force and as he explains “it is the depiction of God as pure loving energy that is constantly creating ideas, items, and circumstances through His/Her/Its creations. This view sees human beings as pieces of this God-Force, not separate from it,” and we should strive to tap into this force. In other words, as the author maintains, you can no longer look outside of yourself and blame other for your life’s circumstances.
Another principle that is explored is that we must live in the present, for the past is water under the bridge, (although you can learn from past experiences), furthermore no one can predict the future, nor should we seek rewards in some afterlife. Basically, as the author states, “the Principle Moment Awareness states that the only time that is real is in the present, for it is from within the ‘now’ that everything we experience in life originates.”
As the author concludes, there is no easy path to spiritual growth, as there are no set of rules that will provide you with all of the answers. It is up to you to discover your inner truth and to formulate your own spiritual philosophy.
Although many of the book’s themes have been explored elsewhere, Maziarek’s strength lies in his passion and intensity as he examines several enlightening principles that are highly relevant to our daily lives and that will aid us in arriving at a more comprehensible awareness of our true identity.