* God has given us five senses, but how many of them do we actually use in our interaction with him? Inviting you to experience a new dimension of faith, Bill and Booram offer readings and exercises that utilize the whole body to help you develop a greater awareness of God's presence. 208 pages, softcover from InterVarsity.
Perhaps you've been missing out. God has given us five senses and a brain with two sides. Yet we often approach God in one way only: through words that are analyzed and processed logically in our left brain. The right brain, however, is the creative, intuitive center--the place that connects most to our seeing, smelling, touching, tasting and hearing, and that roots experiences in our hearts in transforming ways. In Awaken Your Senses,
longtime ministers Beth Booram and Brent Bill invite you to engage your right brain in your faith through sensory spiritual practices that position your heart for divine encounter. Readings and a variety of exercises that utilize your whole body lead you to experience God in new ways by
- tasting chocolate, words, matzoh, Scripture, forgiveness
- seeing the moon, wisdom, art, glory, your best self
- touching others, stones, prayers, rubble, Jesus
- hearing silence, music, pain, footsteps, the Spirit, the news
- smelling gardenias, life, salty air, home, healing oil, coffee
Teaching you to pay attention in love to your surroundings, Booram and Bill will help you open your eyes and ears and nose to a sensuous faith--one in which God can be experienced each day as we live and move and have our being. So whether you're weary, stuck, struggling, growing or on information-overload, the exercises and reflections offered here can bring refreshment--a cold drink of water, a gentle breeze--to your soul. Come experience God with all of who you are, and discover more of who he is.
Brent Bill is a writer, retreat leader and Quaker minister. He's the author and coauthor of many books, including and In addition, he is the author of more than one hundred short stories, nonfiction articles and the popular blog Bill is a graduate of Wilmington College and the Earlham School of Religion. He has been a local church pastor, denominational executive, seminary faculty member and go-cart track operator. He lives with his wife on Ploughshares Farm, fifty acres of Indiana farmland that is being reclaimed for native hardwood forests and warm season prairie grasses.
Beth Booram is the co-founder and director of Sustainable Faith Indy, an urban retreat center in Indianapolis, where she leads The School of Spiritual Direction and offers individual and group spiritual direction. Beth designs and facilitates contemplative retreats and speaks around the country on spiritual formation and Christian leadership. Beth has authored several books including and She spent sixteen years on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ and has served in several pastoral roles within the local church, including at a 6,500 member church, where she led a weekly women's ministry of more than 500 women. Beth and her husband Dave have four children and reside in Fishers, Indiana.
Modeling the best Sunday School teachers, Bill (Sacred Compass) and Booram (The Wide Open Spaces of God) get close to God via the five senses. The journey could so easily have been a skip instead of a sail; however, they truly manifest the books purpose: to help more of you experience more of God. The two ministers and workshop leaders accomplish this so well with natural sweetness from the inside, not with treacle glopped on top. Starting with the cover illustrationsa rose, a bird singing treble, threatening thorns, and a bitten pear, each image superimposing on anotherthe book divides naturally into five parts. Each chapter begins with questions based onpencil drawings by artist Marcy Jean Stacey. Within each chapter, the authors alternate essays, their voices nearly indistinguishable except for Bills wittier bits; they touch on the personal, such as Boorams sacred hospital smells. Each chapter includes spiritual exercises. The two cite the Bibles raising up of the five senses, augmented with quotes from many sensate Christians. It adds up to a deeply pleasing book. (Feb.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.
"Awaken Your Senses by J. Brent Bill and Beth A. Booram is a beautiful invitation to explore and embody the sacred sensual world. This delightful work invites us into a greater integration of head and heart, mind and spirit, through the use of mindful and creative exercises. It is a wonderful companion and guide for becoming more centered, present and aware in the midst of a busy life. What a joy to drink deep of Awaken Your Senses!"
"Awaken Your Senses invites us to notice God's movement in and around us. These pages grant us a permission to remember, and yet be more present through the conduit of our senses. This is the sort of resource that can help us keep a more rhymed company with God."
"Amazingly, we become dull to something as extraordinary as life, and bored by someone as awesome as God. This book woke me up without beating me up, and gave me tangible, practical ways to savor the sacrament of life, to have genuine gratitude for my body and its senses, and to sink into the glory of God until I felt nothing but joy. Read this and be blessed."
"With Awaken Your Senses, Brent Bill and Beth Booram have given us a superb resource for seeking the God of life through sensuous experience, a way of knowing that has been sadly neglected--and too often held suspect--by the church. How did a faith based on the claim that 'the Word became flesh' become so divorced from bodily, incarnate knowledge? Here is a beautiful book that will help us reclaim our bodies, our senses and our relationship with God."
"This book is a feast for the senses. It is an invitation to see, hear, smell, taste and touch deeper spiritual realities through physical senses that are awake and alert to God in all of life. It gently but powerfully leads us into a life that is truly sacramental and enriched through the use of Scripture, personal stories and beautiful images."
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