I have to start this post off with an apology to my community group.
No, it's not for talking too loudly when I get excited.
No, it's not for interrupting too often.
No, it's not for allowing my dog and child to steal food off of your plates.
No, it's not even for failing to vacuum before you guys come over, or for not having enough clean plates, or for the holes in my sofa.
(Although, now that I think about it, a few apologies may be in order...)
I have to apologize because when we picked our last book, I voted down The Praying Life in favor of Counterfeit Gods, and then promptly went out, bought it, read it, and now I am going to hassle all of you into reading it too. Oops. Sorry!
But guys, it was so good. You really want to read it. And then, you want to talk to me about it. YOU DO! I PROMISE! I will bake you something if you do...
Book Nine: The Praying Life, by Paul Miller
LIKE: Mr. Miller is awesome. Paul? Can I call him Paul? Paul is awesome. Because I am just a smidge introspective and can get slightly obsessive about theology that I don't understand, I've read multiple books on prayer. And although I have enjoyed them all, and in some respect have benefitted and learned from them all, this one is my clear, head and shoulders above favorite. Fav. O. Rite. Paul just gets all over things. He's theological, yet emotional. There are passages that I have to read three times to fully grasp, and there are engaging anecdotes. There are lofty ideas and concepts, and really practical advice. Plus, there are diagrams that are ACTUALLY helpful. Who knew!
In conclusion- if you're like me, and have spent a significant amount of time feeling skeptical about prayer, its purpose, its effects, its place, you really want to read this book. And then, you want to talk to me about it. YOU DO! I PROMISE! I will bake you something if you do...
NO LIKE: At first, I was annoyed that there were 32 chapters. It just seemed excessive. Combine some of those bad boys, Paul. But, I think I take it back. This is not a book to read quickly. It lends itself to smaller bites and copious chewing. So, the smaller chapters help.
Thats it. The only criticism I have, I take back.
FAV QUOTES: Okay, here's something I 'no like'- there are WAY to many quotable quotes!! I underlined all over this book. So, after much sifting, here are a few I really liked. (All emphasis is mine.)
"The persistent widow and the friend at midnight get access, not because they are strong, but because they are desperate. Learned desperation is at the heart of a praying life."
"This one-person focus is how love works. Love incarnates by slowing down and focusing on the beloved. We don't love in general; we love one person at a time."
"You don't create intimacy, you make room for it. This is true whether you are talking about your spouse, your friend, or God. You need space to be together. Efficiency, multitasking, and busyness all kill intimacy. In short, you can't get to know God on the fly."
"Many things in life can't be observed directly. In quantum physics, you can't observe a particles mass and speed at the same time. Sexual love in marriage is beautiful; sexual love observed is pornography... Some things just disappear when you try to capture or observe them."
My favorite of the favs, is the one about loving one person at a time. That really resonated with me.
And, speaking of LOVING people, I know you are just about to kill me for all of these wordy, photo-less posts this week. Where is The Hank?? Where is the star of the blog?!?
Fear not, loyal readers!
We are at Smith Mountain Lake with some friends this weekend, (wooohooooo!) so I promise you a bangin' photo update when we return.