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Monday, August 21, 2017

"Sacred Mundane" (Kari Patterson)

TITLE: Sacred Mundane: How to Find Freedom, Purpose, and Joy
AUTHOR: Kari Patterson
PUBLISHER: Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publishers, 2017, (216 pages).

Stress is very much a part of our lifestyle. For many of us, the question is not whether there is stress or not. It is a question of how much and how we can manage it. Conventional wisdom would teach us that stress is less about the pressures imposed on us but our responses. What about the spiritual perspective of life? What about how we can live free and flourish well? Are we too caught up with the temporal that we fail to take notice of the eternal? Perhaps, we are thinking that we need a retreat to some faraway place in order to find some sanctity in our busy lives. What if we don't have to? What if we can live sacred lives not only in the present but in our daily mundane lives? As far as author Kari Patterson is concerned, not only can we bring a fresh perspective of the mundane, we can be empowered not in doing but in becoming. It is in recognizing that God is interested in all of our lives, not just Sundays or special moments. Moments such as Naaman despite being a leper was mightily used by God show us that hangups limit our potential by hijacking our identity. This recognition will set us free toward finding freedom, purpose, and joy in God. We are invited to live unstuck in order to live out the calling we are created to be.

In eight practical steps, we are invited to enter the sanctity of God in our everyday lives. We start with letting God into our lives so that we can turn anything that happens to us to become glory for Him. We calibrate our worldview according to the Word of God. We learn to listen, to pray, and to sense God speaking to us. We learn to see life not as a daily grind but a life of engagement, in the here and now, without waiting for something long and far away. We embrace God through loving one another, remembering people are not projects to be worked on but individuals to be cared for. Having done what we could do, we can then trust God to do the rest and we give thanks as we see God's will gradually fulfilled in our lives. There is a very helpful study guide at the end of the book that gives us a chance to re-visit, revise, or respond to the chapters read. It is a nine-week study that should provide much food for thought and steps for practical implementation. The purpose of it all is to lift us out of any mundane routines or dreary lifestyles and to see our lives as how God would see. If God is for us, who can be against us?

This book is written with the purpose of promoting spiritual growth for people who might be jaded with their spiritual lives. We all have various responsibilities that we cannot run away from. Whether it is work in the office or in the home, traveling or doing various ministry work, from time to time, we would feel restless, even discouraged about whether we are making any difference or not. This book, with the various steps should speak to those of us. I appreciate the first chapter "Let Him in" which is particular relevant for people very much living an active lifestyle and always on the go. It can be exhausting to be running on adrenaline for extended periods of time. People in ministry will understand that. By urging us to let God deal with our inner souls, we learn that ministry is not about what we do, but what God is doing, through us.

Kari Patterson is a popular speaker, a pastor's wife, homeschool mom, Bible teacher, mentor, and author. She blogs at Sacred Mundane.

Rating: 4 stars of 5.


This book has been provided courtesy of Kregel Publishers without requiring a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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