5 Stars Out Of 5
A cheerful, human book full of good news--easy to read, believe and relate to
April 15, 2015
"Pleasure is not only determined by the things we do, but by the company we keep."
Some say that Almighty God wants us to have a close relationship with him, and enjoys spending time with us. One part of this idea naturally appeals to me, but another part resists it. It seems a little too good to be true, and besides, he has a universe to run, and billions of suffering people to attend to, so how would he have time to chat? And how do we spend time with someone we cannot see or audibly hear? So, with these divergent feelings, I was excited at the opportunity to read this book by Dutch Sheets, hoping to find some clarity through the perspective of a well-known author who has a good knowledge of scripture.
The Pleasure of His Company is a cheerful book! Each chapter focuses on a different angle of drawing near to God, and leads us to consider an easy shift in our routine that can help us leave the noise and busyness behind, and find peace in God's presence.
The first chapter sets the tone. The author muses about the definition of pleasure, relating some humorous personal thoughts and family personalities. Then, rather than theologically listing God's attributes, he describes him as one would describe a loved one; a loved one whose way of life on this earth attracted the most extraordinary people, whose divinity brought about one-of-a-kind events, and who set in motion global spiritual transformation. Someone, in other words, far surpassing anyone you'll ever meet in character and fame, yet, as the author asks, "What if I told you this man requests the pleasure of your company...He created us, mere humans, because he wanted a family, not distant servants." My reaction to the question was, "I don't know if I believe that, but keep talking! Keep trying to convince me!"
I oppose overly-chummy--almost disrespectful--approaches toward our holy God, but I cannot deny that Jesus taught us to call God "Abba", which means "Dad". I appreciate that Dutch Sheets gives the scripture context that I require to ensure that, far from being a recent spiritual fad, this is what was intended all along since the creation of the human race.
The author is trying to lead us "out of the blinding fog of non-relational religion". The pages show a life of following Christ as something joyful, spent with Someone who delights in us; not our religious activities, not how much money we give to charities, not how morally good we are, but--as parents understand--us, his treasured children.
More than any other inspirational book, this one encourages me to believe that our Father in heaven takes immense pleasure in our company--not only as groups, communities or nations--but as individuals.
[I received this book free from the publisher through the Bethany House book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review; the opinions I have expressed are my own.]