Tag Archives: Rest of God

Books for a Wedding Anniversary


Some time ago a friend said she wanted to give her husband some books for their wedding anniversary.  But instead of buying them, she asked some friends to recommend and review a couple of books that she could compile into a list.  Here were my two.

The first, a ‘commentary’:

Paul Borgman (2000), Genesis: The Story We Haven’t Heard.

It is a superb introduction to Genesis and its great themes. Genesis as we tend not to see it: a magnificent story.

Two things stand out for me. One is that, beginning with Abraham, God initiated a partnership with us: “God won’t change things without human cooperation, and humans can’t change without divine assistance. Only when choosing to grow in partnership with God will the human recover lost companionability with both God and fellow human. That is God’s fervent wish.”

The second is, that Borgman points out how normal the very human responses of the various actors on the Genesis stage are. Then he says, speaking of Abram at this point, “Abram must learn something better than being normal. His ordinary way of being in the world must change.” This has become a regular and fervent prayer of mine. “God, in this situation, on this day, help me be better than normal in all my interactions and responses.”

The second book is Mark Buchanan’s (2006), The Rest of God: Restoring your Faith by Restoring Sabbath.

A very human and very real look at our normal responses to Sabbath-keeping. It is a call to rediscover God’s rest and the rest of God—and to delight in the process.

One of the keys for Jen and me was an almost throwaway line in the introduction, which becomes a central theme. Of his workaholic, argumentative days, he writes, “I preferred rightness to intimacy.”

Another on-going prayer for me has been, “Lord, help me to seek intimacy and relationship, rather than rightness.” I especially try to pray it in heavy traffic!

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Freshly Pressed with Harry Potter


I cannot begin to express the incredible sense of privilege I feel at having been “Freshly Pressed” by the Editor, Joy Victory, at WordPress.

Using her particular guidelines, Joy takes what she considers to be her “choice” WordPress blogs of the day and highlights them for a day. The result is that instead of a trickle of visits, hundreds of people stopped by to read what I had written about Harry Potter. That in itself was an honour, but the responses people left behind were humbling and hugely encouraging for my writing.

A colleague once said that, in the face of much praise, one should breathe in but not inhale. I’m trying hard not to inhale…..

There have been a couple of detractors of course. The saddest thing about these is that there is no room for debate. On the strength of one blog post it is decreed that I am so far gone that others should “leave him to his fate”. Quite convenient, really, because then we don’t have to engage, encourage, embrace or, of course, love.

Like the Pharisees, who stood by watching to see if they could trap Jesus, we seem only interested in the keeping of laws. Bible laws, of course, but only those we feel comfortable with. None of this namby pamby love that Jesus sought to demonstrate. “Rightness over intimacy” is what Mark Buchanan called it in his excellent book, The Rest of God. I struggle with the same tendency so I’m not pointing fingers here. Anyway, next week it’ll be back to the realities of a bloggers lonely existence but, for now, I am on top of the world. (Don’t inhale! Don’t inhale! Don’t inh……………..)

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Filed under Harry Potter