The Remarkable Ordinary: How to Stop, Look, and Listen to Life
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The Remarkable Ordinary: How to Stop, Look, and Listen to Life

Zondervan / 2017 / Paperback

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Product Description

Your remarkable life is happening right here, right now. You may not be able to see it – your life may seem predictable and your work insignificant until you look at your life as Frederick Buechner does.

The Remarkable Ordinary is based on a series of mostly unpublished lectures, in which Frederick Buechner reveals how to stop, look, and listen to your life. He reflects on how both art and faith teach us how to pay attention to the remarkableness right in front of us, to watch for the greatness in the ordinary, and to use our imaginations to see the greatness in others and love them well.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 144
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 0310351901
ISBN-13: 9780310351900

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Author Bio

Frederick Buechner is the author of more than thirty published books and has been an important source of inspiration and learning for many readers. A prolific writer, Buechner’s books have been translated into twenty-seven languages. He has been called a "major talent" by the New York Times, and "one of our most original storytellers" by USA Today. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, Buechner has been awarded honorary degrees from institutions including Yale University and Virginia Theological Seminary.

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  1. Mar3599
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    The Remarkable Ordinary Is A Soul Searcher
    November 29, 2017
    Mar3599
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I titled this as a soul searcher, because we ALL must take our blinders off and ear plugs out to see extraordinary in the ordinary and remove the ear plugs so we can listen to others share their experiences too.

    This is the second book by Frederick Buechner that I've had the absolute pleasure to read and review. I enjoy reading his books because like I said before, it's like discussing life with a neighbor. You know, like Tim did with Wilson in the sitcom Home Improvement even though Mr Buechner is no Wilson and I am no Tim.

    It's easy to get trapped in a rut when you choose the path of getting up, going to work, enjoy the weekends, take a yearly vacation and you do it over and over and over again until you retire. But then, there's folks like me who handle every day differently. With that kind of life choice, you see real life - the ups, the downs, the upside and backwards and some days it's like an everlasting struggle and the good times, you simply don't want to end.

    That's what I enjoyed about this book, The Remarkable Ordinary. Life isn't about ruts, about schedules or plans, it IS about living every single second of every day - not selfishly pursuing your own interest, but truly soaking up every detail! It's hard, but honestly, if I could go back in time, I'd have payed closer attention to those details instead of being so self-involved or self-absorbed.

    Do you realize that there truly IS something so remarkable in the tiniest details of the day good OR bad? Seriously....to be thankful for the stuff other people take for granted, to share instead of seek, to give instead of take, to laugh instead of frown, to smile instead of cry....if you sit back and soak it up--it's almost overwhelming.

    I admit to getting sucked into the endless, bottomless hole or pit or what ever way you want to describe the horrible 'thing' I'm personally in right now (brought about by my own two hands mind you)....that I forget to stop, look and listen to life. That's exactly what Frederick Buechner is expressing in this book, The Remarkable Ordinary. See the extraordinary in the ordinary.

    The situation I'm in, getting worse on a daily basis, I have to remind myself that God wakes me up every morning to hear my Honey Bear sleeping or to feel our doggy laying beside me or that coffee will taste real good soon or that we have clean clothes to wear and.......my point here is this....if I focus on the negative of my situation, I can't focus on the good today holds, regardless of size.

    Focus focus focus.....The Remarkable Ordinary is an eye-opener to place your focus outside of yourself, if even for a little while, see-feel-hear-touch the remarkables you find in an otherwise, ordinary day.

    Please pick up this book The Remarkable Ordinary, enjoy the well-written read. You'll enjoy the read as much as I did.

    And, in closing, share your awakening experience with others who are trapped by the ordinary.

    **I received this book from handlebarmarketing.com for the purpose of a review-all opinions are my own
  2. bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Ungainly combination of subtle teaching and memoir
    November 18, 2017
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Buechner's book is sort of an ungainly mixture of subtle teaching and memoir. I initially thought the stories from his life were included as illustrations of his teaching but it later became clear that was not the case. While some of his recollections did seem to bear directly on his topic for this book, others just seemed to be rambling accounts of segments of his life. At one point Buechner writes, "And then there came this one particular Sunday, which I've often written about like everything else, but I'll tell you about it again." (84) If you make it your work to write books, I suppose you do have to repeat yourself from time to time.

    Buechner indicates that this book is an encouragement to live in that holy, inner place, where we have the image of God in us. He wants us to stop the chatter and be more mindful. He wants us to really notice those around us. "To love your neighbor is to see your neighbor," he says. (39) He wants us to recognize each person we see as a peculiar treasure. He encourages us to experience others by telling our stories so he tells his. He suggests we pay attention to what is holy in our daily life, those moments where we realize life is a treasure. He advocates trying to live in the present even though the stories he tells reveals he is still trying to understand his past.

    Today's evangelical Christian may find Buechner's work disturbing. He does not seem to understand being a new creation in Christ nor being born again. "I'm no saint," he writes more than once. (106,107) "I can't really imagine what it would be like to behold the Lord and not as a stranger," he also writes. (107)

    I really don't know to whom I would recommend this book. If the Lord is a stranger to Buechner, I am not sure what he has to offer evangelical Christians. Those who want to read about a man struggling to understand Christianity and his own life may enjoy this book. "I am better than I used to be," he declares, "but far from well." (105)

    I received a complimentary copy of this book through Handlebar. My comments are an independent and honest review.
  3. schoolmomred
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Anything but Ordinary
    November 17, 2017
    schoolmomred
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The Remarkable Ordinary is another book that I have devoured. In today's busy world, it is easy to get bogged down in just the, well, busyness of it. Buechner, through personal stories and lessons learned, teaches us the importance of just stopping and taking the time to listen to what each experience - and God - is teaching us.

    If you are not familiar with Frederick Buechner, you should acquaint yourself with some of his books. The two above are small, barely over 100 page reads. But don't let that fool you. What is contained in those 100 or so pages is worth a lot, especially if you know you are on a spiritual journey (and we all are, whether we acknowledge it or not) and want to make the most of it.
  4. pastor2519
    West Point, UT
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    opening our eyes to the remarkable ordinary
    September 29, 2017
    pastor2519
    West Point, UT
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Sometimes we need to learn to open our eyes and see God at work. Yes, learn to see Him at work. Sometimes its obvious, but other times, we have to force ourselves to think about why were not seeing God in our neighborhood and in our lives.

    Frederick Buechner writes in such an engaging style that its easy to gloss over the important stuff without even seeing it. My how art imitates life. His book The Remarkable Ordinary: How to Stop, Look and Listen to Life (Zondervan, 2017) points out that we are often so busy looking for something beyond ordinary that we dont see the remarkable. Its happening here. Its happening now. And yet we miss it.

    Sometimes we need to slow down, not easy to do in todays hectic world, and be careful that you dont fall into the trap that Buechner, in his 90s has no choice but to slow down. Being slow is a learned art form. And its in art that we often see the remarkable, or at least teaches us what to be looking for. Those who have a strong faith walk might also be able to see the remarkable: after all were used to being told that God is present in even the smallest detail.

    And this master storyteller points out the importance of laughter, but also, and no surprise here, of telling stories. Stories matter, and we all have them, but like God, like the remarkable, we often dont see them, and so we miss out on much of whats going on in our lives.

    The Remarkable Ordinary is filled with stories. Stories that point out how we travel on a journey, to an unknown destination, but if we take time to stop, look and listen to life, we generally end up with a life of peacebetter than we used to be, even if we still have room to grow.

    5/5

    I received a copy of this book from Handlebar in exchange for my review
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