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Monday, January 7, 2013

"In Quietness and Confidence" (David Roper)

TITLE: In Quietness and Confidence
AUTHOR: David Roper
PUBLISHER: Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers, 1999, (third printing, 2012).

This is collection of thoughts and devotions from a man to men. Taking the idea from Pascal's Pensees, these 'random thoughts' constitute 31 short devotions that encourages readers, especially men to be in the presence of God, and to experience quietness and confidence, just like the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 30:15. Like sitting on the river's edge of a trout stream in Boise, Idaho called the "South Fork," a favourite haunt of fly-fishing enthusiasts. It is a quiet place for a noisy world.

There are many different spiritual dispositions that are familiar to the general make up of the masculine gender. Things like quietness and being people of few words; or the need to work with our hands, to make a living; or the tendency to prefer the laid-back posture rather than the up-front position. Of course, there is some generalization going on, but then, I find it mostly true among my friends and even for my immediate father and grandfather figures. They have left an impression on me that men speak relatively less than the women folk. When they do speak, the words can be weighty. Each day, Roper begins with a quote an a Scripture verse to prepare our souls for a devotional journey. Often leading with a story, the passage is not heavy on analysis but focuses on reflection of life, especially spirituality. He lets the piano key F leads in reflection the struggle between our natural tendency to do wrong, and our spiritual desire to do right. He retells the Old Testament stories with a freshness that holds readers' attention, like the dramatization of the Amalekites fighting the Israelites led by Moses, leading us to the grand moral of the story to address the root, not the symptom, the evil puppeteer and not the deceptive puppets. Roper also relates Tolkien's The Hobbit to everyday life, to be more aware of our role and our calling. Readers will be glad to see the wide range of applications and the hugely sensitive understanding of the ups and downs of life. Topics like suffering, trials, discouragement, and denials, are tackled with gentle encouragement, discipline, and hope. He even teaches readers how to read the Bible!

Filled with wise quotations from well-known authors, poets, musicians, Bible characters, theologians, and many more, this devotional packs a punch. Roper's gentle commentary is a welcome voice in this crazy busy world, where the only time we have is to say that we are busy, or we have no time. Taking one devotional a day, the same book in 1 month, readers have the opportunity to say NO to the senseless and frenetic demands of this world, and to say YES to the Spirit, to the Word, to God, that one will be able to go through life, in quietness and in confidence.

Hint: If you rush through this book, you may very well be struggling with rushing through life. Resist that. Gently go through this book and feel the difference, like sipping and savouring a nice cup of Latte, instead of gobbling down a cup of instant coffee. There is always time to do good things. Reading this book patiently is one of them.

Rating: 4.5 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me free by Discovery House Publishers and NetGalley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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