52 Original Wisdom Stories: Short Lively Pieces for the Christian Year  -     By: Penelope Wilcock
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52 Original Wisdom Stories: Short Lively Pieces for the Christian Year

Monarch Books / 2015 / Paperback

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Product Description

Positive and life-affirming stories for church leaders

These 52 loosely related fictional stories about the large themes of life, nature, and faith follow the liturgical year and are an ideal resource for public worship.

Sid and Rosie are an older married couple with several children and grandchildren. Through a series of short, engaging narratives, we learn about their faith, their feelings for one another, their hopes and dreams, and their perception of how God speaks to them through the events of their lives.

Each story stands on its own; their sequence follows the rhythm of the church's year from Advent through Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, and Harvest Thanksgiving. With an open tone of wonder and reflection, author Penelope Wilcock explores the ordinary and extraordinary topics of daily life: falling in love, marriage, birth, education, illness, farming, adversity, hospitality, homemaking, and work.

This beautiful large-format paperback is suitable for personal reflection or as a refreshing resource for church and small group discussions.

Permission to photocopy is included.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Monarch Books
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 9.25 X 6.75 (inches)
ISBN: 0857216023
ISBN-13: 9780857216021

Product Reviews

2.8 Stars Out Of 5
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3 out Of 5
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Meets Expectations:
2.4 out Of 5
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  1. Irvine, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Short Stories About People and Their Situations
    November 11, 2015
    VicsMediaRoom
    Irvine, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Penelope Wilcock in her new book 52 Original Wisdom Stories published by Monarch Books gives us Short Lively Pieces for the Christian Year.

    From the back cover: Sid and Rosie are an older married couple with several children and grandchildren. Through a series of short, engaging narratives, we learn about their faith, their feelings for one another, their hopes and dreams, and their perception of how God speaks to them through the events of their lives.

    Each story stands on its own; their sequence follows the rhythm of the church s year from Advent through Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, and Harvest Thanksgiving. With an open tone of wonder and reflection, author Penelope Wilcock explores the ordinary and extraordinary topics of daily life: falling in love, marriage, birth, education, illness, farming, adversity, hospitality, homemaking, and work.

    These stories, intriguing and entertaining, are ideal as discussion starters or as read-aloud pieces instead of a talk or sermon. Each story is followed by questions for further reflection.

    This is a book about abouts. Ms. Wilcock has given us a book about Sid and Rosie. They take marriage to each other seriously however they have been married before and divorced. Its about those that are serious believers but do not go to church anymore. Its about the Church calendar the main fasts and feasts and how they were built on the pre-Christian agricultural year. Its about evangelism. Its fifty-two stories that focus on people like you and me in situations that you and I could get into. This is fascinating stuff. Ms. Wilcock is a highly gifted author who knows how to give us deeply human characters that have strong emotions. Ms. Wilcock has given us a unique stories that will capture your attention as you read and flip pages as fast as possible. I recommend this book highly.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Monarch Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  2. Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Thoughts on the Good, True, and Beautiful.
    November 6, 2015
    Sufficient in Jesus
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The publisher's blurb refers to this devotional book as "unique and life affirming," and in this case the marketing team is exactly right. Sid and Rosie, an older couple participating in the daily adventures of life, will both enchant and encourage you as you encounter them in these little parables.

    Having read some of Penelope's other novels, I knew that she is capable of exploring wide, high, deep truths through simple "fictional characters." I hate to call them fiction, though, because she renders them so realistically. They're fully human, clumsy and flawed, and they want to live well, so they try hard to find the rhythm of kindness and joy.

    Sid is a Quaker, having come to this path later in life. For him, the idea that Jesus is the Way is of primary importance. No amount of religion can make a Way- and a Way is what we need to walk in. Sid is slow to speak, and sensitive, and provides a sounding board for Rosie.

    Rosie is a self-professed spiritual ragamuffin, having worked her way through many faiths and their teachings as an adult before she met Sid. She is curious, passionate, and ever open to new ways of thinking. Together, they're an encyclopedia of quotes and insights from God-chasers and Life-lovers the world over.

    And we readers get to snoop into their days, eavesdropping on their stimulating conversations and witnessing the satisfaction they find in being together on this good earth. From Rosie making bread to Sid quoting poetry, to interpersonal misunderstandings and the required forgiving, their shared moments are ordinary. Yet they've determined to look up the sunbeams to the Sun, and to recognize the glory that grows in the ground and falls from the sky and lights up each other's faces.

    They'd be good friends to have, Sid and Rosie, friends who don't pretend to have God in a box, who aren't stuffed with sureness about God's will, but who do believe that God has given a Way, and they put their small feet on it and walk.

    If you're looking for a little wisdom, and a few smiles, and some new thoughts to chew on, then try this as a devotional. I don't see how you'd regret it.

    I thank Penelope Wilcock and Monarch Publishing for gifting me this book in exchange for a review.

    Penelope says:

    "My aim in writing is to make goodness attractive. I love simple human kindness and gentleness, and I am moved by human vulnerability. I am fascinated by the power that is within our grasp to lift one another up, to heal and strengthen and encourage each other - our power to bless.

    In the novels I write, I think of the reader sitting down to enjoy a book, the door of their imagination open wide to allow the story in to influence and shape their spirit. I accept the responsibility that confers as a great privilege, and it is my intention that when you put down any book of mine at the end of reading it, you will feel hopeful, peaceful and comforted, more ready to look on your fellow human beings with compassion and see their point of view."
  3. PRYOR
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    DISAPPOINTING
    November 3, 2015
    Moonpie
    PRYOR
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 1
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    I love devotional books so I was looking forward to reading this one. I am always interested in anything on the book of Proverbs which is what I connect the word wisdom with. I therefore assumed this was also a Christian book. This paperback was none of these things.

    The stories had practically no biblical foundation but instead were a very large mix of Eastern religion, New Age, and many others that are not a part of the Christian faith. There are a few paragraphs where scriptural truth is shared, but that is it. I found it difficult to read as it was extremely confusing. The book is about a couple of senior citizens that have been married before. One is Quaker and one, Catholic. They both have pretty much abandoned attending church. This I found odd as I presumed the basis of the book was applying the Bible to ones life.

    I hate to give a bad review on a book, but I promised an honest one. I was very disappointed in this book.

    I received a copy of this book free from Kregel Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  4. Cosby, Missouri
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    52 Original Wisdom Stories~ Not What I Expected
    November 1, 2015
    Carrie Shindorf
    Cosby, Missouri
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 1
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 0
    I have to say I was terribly disappointed in this book. I thought it was a devotional with short stories but this is not the case. It was not at all what I expected.

    It is a confusing book. The book is fictional and revolves around an elderly couple. The stories are made up from conversations that Sid and Rosie share with each other. They both have left behind their childhood churches and now Sid has become a Quaker and Rosie church hops. The stories contain spiritual conversations and opinions of the two. They seem to embrace anything and everything and mush it all together.

    As a born-again believer I found the book to be very unbiblical. There are times when the book reflects biblical truth but most the time Sid and Rosie embrace ideas from false religions not found in the Bible.

    I would use discretion in reading this book. I would not personally recommend this book.
  5. Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    Contains ideas troubling to evangelical Christians
    October 31, 2015
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 2
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 1
    This book is not what I was expecting. It originated in England, where Christianity is sometimes practiced a bit differently than in the U.S., and I think American evangelical Christians will not appreciate some of the book's content.

    The short stories revolve around an elderly English couple married for eight years. Both have been married and divorced before and both have left the churches of their youth. Sid, the husband, is now Quaker. Rosie, well, Rosie goes to a church here and there from time to time. The stories contain their dialog about or thoughts on spiritual things, including the liturgical year, climate change, and more.

    There is an acceptance of other religions that may make American evangelicals terribly uncomfortable. In the very first reading, Eckhart Tolle is quoted. There is an odd discussion that indicates Matthew found nothing wrong with the Zoroastrian way, as long as it was going toward Jesus. (42) [Sid] believes that every religion has its insights and contributions to make its offerings for the altar of the one, true, living God. (47) In one conversation, Rosie says it doesn't make sense to her that Gandhi and the Dalai Lama will go to hell because they weren't Christians... (120) She also says, If people call God Allah or Shiva or Vishnu, why would he mind? (120) In another story she quotes from a Zen master. (139) She also quotes from Taoism a few times. She thinks the Rapture has begun because animals are going extinct, going back home, passing into the mystery. Isn't that the Rapture?, she asks. (151) Rosie says of angels in the Bible, ...they got there from the Zoroastrian influences, didn't they? (220)

    And then there is the reference to Masaru Emoto, said to have discovered that writing a positive phrase on a water jar's label changed the molecular structure of the water inside. Sid relates this pseudoscience to the Eucharist. (178) That is just strange.

    Yet there are times when the readings are distinctly what I would identify as evangelically Christian. One example is Rosie's short talk on John 15. She reflects on being able to do nothing unless abiding in Him, ...now that I can certainly believe! (143) She also talks about the words of Jesus working powerfully within her and that her body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. There is a discussion of light with insights about God unfolding fractally that was amazing. The concept of God being like a hologram, where each part is the whole, is thought provoking.

    Readers will learn much about the saint's days and feast days in the liturgical year. We read how the (pagan) Celts wove Christianity into their ancient rhythm of fire festivals. Since Sid is a Quaker, we learn quite a bit about that spirituality too. Wilcock includes a few questions for discussion and a prayer at the end of each reading.

    I am puzzled by this book. There are times when it reflects biblical truth well and Sid and Rosie sound like what I would call truly Christian. There are other times when I think their ideas and beliefs have wandered very far from Christian faith as I understand it.

    I would use discretion in reading this book. I can't recommend it for general devotional use. If one wanted to learn about the origin of the special days in the liturgical year, I think there are much better resources than this book.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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