Attend: Forty Soul Stretches Toward God - eBook
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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Publication Date: 2017
A young Christian writer presents a practical guide for reconnecting with God and practicing the presence of God in our frantically busy world today.
Our world is full of distractions that do not promote the health of individual souls. What can people do when they feel they have no time or ways to find God? In her new book ATTEND, Laura Davis Werezak reminds readers to encounter God through 40 brief everyday activities that they have been taking for granted, from opening a window to jotting down a dream. Modern life and technology increasingly render these activities obsolete, and readers who struggle to connect with God through "typical" devotions will discover depth in their everyday lives through each beautifully written exercise. Like the wisdom Brother Lawrence provided in his 17th century spiritual classic The Practice of the Presence of God, these daily reminders guide readers to appreciate God in our midst today.
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Deuce SkunksSpringfield, MOAge: 25-34Gender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5A Great Starting Spot For Connecting (Or Reconnecting) With God On A Personal LevelFebruary 27, 2017Deuce SkunksSpringfield, MOAge: 25-34Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Attend: Forty Soul Stretches Toward Godis an anthology of simple, practical, and effective ways to attend to God in our daily lives, written by Laura Davis Werezak. In it, you will find 40 methods for stepping away from the everyday hustle of life and enjoying a closer communion with God through the miracle of everyday moments. Each of the suggestions spans for a couple of pages, where Laura explains not only what to do, but also how and why this act helps our soul to recharge and reconnect with the one who created us. She includes classic teachings, prayers, and scriptures to support her ideas, as well as personal anecdotes.
Some of the included ways to attend to God are as simple as opening a window or calling an old friend to reconnect. Others take more effort and energy (but are worth every ounce of it), such as asking someone for forgiveness. Most of them are designed to be done in ten minutes or less, although the reader is encouraged to spend as much time attending to God as can be allocated. All of these "soul stretches" can be achieved by anyone who has the desire to feel God's breath and presence in their ordinary life.
Laura does a wonderful job at making this book easy to read and understand. I did find that some of the exercises aren't really a good fit for me personally right now, and I would invite you to read every one of the exercises (in order), but pick-and-choose which ones you want to give a shot on your first go-around. Maybe the others will be more appealing at a later date or after you've accomplished the ones that call to you from the start. Overall, I'm giving this book 4/5 stars. While it's not quite what I'd hoped it would be, it's great for someone looking for a starting spot or stepping stone to connect (or reconnect) with God on a morepersonal level, and most of the activities can be done without too much deviance from your daily routine.
*Disclaimer: I received a free print copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this honest review. All opinions are my own.*
Heart2HeartVictorville, CAAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5How can you find God in the simple task of making your bed? It's possible!February 21, 2017Heart2HeartVictorville, CAAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Everywhere we look into our busy days there simply doesn't seem like there is enough time to get our items crossed off our "To Do" lists. The biggest challenge is not forgetting time with God during our busy days as Moms, Dads, Women and Men. So how do we find God in the ordinary things we do every single day? Is it possible that we can take time to converse and be in the presence of God while doing our mundane chores that must be completed like making our beds, cleaning up a mess, making ourselves a snack, lighting a candle to fragrance our home or even sitting with a loved one during a painful moment?
Laura Davis Werezak takes readers into the heart of 40 simply ways we can do just that and in the process find that God loves nothing more than to walk with us in every detail of our lives that we complete each day. Often times we feel cut off from God, when it is simply that He is very present, we have simply chosen to forget about inviting Him into the things we do each day. I believe we are simply forgetting those meaningful connections we used to have with Him and strive to find some time in our days and hope at the end of it, we will have a few minutes to connect with him. We find ourselves looking for the next best thing to connect with God so we can feel better about ourselves and the fact we even included Him into our day.
We need to begin to look for God in our every day moments. Take a moment and discover with all our senses that God is very present in everything we do. From the brush of the wind against our cheeks to the gentle kisses of water from rain drops on our skin. God is here. "Unpacking the truth of Isaiah 30:15, this book delightfully ventures through this process of turning toward God, resting quietly in God's presence and taking action to serve and glorify Him. To attend is to live with attention instead of retreating into a spiritualized reality or a digital virtual reality. To attend is to live the reality that God has designed, shaped, and formed specifically for us and for our benefit. Let us turn away from distraction, look one another in the eys and re-learn how to live in the world." (Front Flap).
I received Attend by Laura Davis Werezak compliments of Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Groups. This is such a simple way to get back to understand the importance of our intimate connection to God in the simplest ways. God isn't looking for over-achievers, just people willing to spend some real quality time with Him. I love the simple lessons found in this book and learning to mediate and understand how things like making a bed can teach us to manage tasks better, and that even if you have a terrible day in which nothing goes right, at least you can come home to an inviting bed. A made bed gives you the encouragement that tomorrow will be better! This would be a wonderful give of encouragement to someone you might know that needs a gentle reminder that God is very present in all things. For that reason, I easily give this book a well-deserved 5 out of 5 stars!
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5Good ideas to attend to God's presenceFebruary 20, 2017bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Werezak came to a point where she longed for a connection with God. Her regular practice of study, prayer, and worship were not working any more. At a low place, she began to see things from a different perspective. She realized God wanted her to turn her face to him in full attention. She started having experiences that broke down her ideas of who God should be and how faith works. She began discovering God in new places and new people.
Werezak shares what she has learned and encourages us to discover for ourselves how God can show up in unexpected places. She provides 40 readings to help us as our "soul's muscles ache to be stretched toward God..." (10)
We are given a wide variety of suggestions of deeds and practices to help us pay attention to God's presence in the world. They range from planting seeds to practicing the Daily Examen. We might go for a walk. "Walking can create a space and time to attend to God." (76) We might read a spiritual classic, watch a sunset, or pray the Jesus Prayer. These are ideas aimed at interrupting the harried pace of our lives. By doing so, we give place for God. My favorite suggestion was journaling. As Werezak explains, "I write to take refuge in God." (187)
Werezak is an Anglican and some of the practices, such as praying with beads, may be foreign. Also, referring to God, though only once, as "Mother-gentle God" may surprise some. Nonetheless, I found the ideas Werezak suggests are good ones. They help change up our lives, relax a little, experience peace, show love, and more, as we recognize God's presence.
I recommend this book to readers who are open to new practices to help them pay attention to God. Werezak mentions many additional resources, such as books, so if you wanted to pursue some of the practices more deeply, that could be done.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
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