Good News Book Club The Rhythm of Compassion by Gail Straub Buy book: $13.38 "Imagine yourself as a spiritual archaeologist going on a soul dig. You are in search of your life story, and your most important tool is your commitment to truth." -- Gail Straub
Breathe in...breathe out. Breathe in... breathe out. Now, care for yourself... care for others. Care for yourself... care for others.
In her book The Rhythm of Compassion, author Gail Straub suggests that the care one gives to one's self and to the world at large is as vital as the act of breathing, and that the two types of care are just as related as the two steps of taking a deep breath: breathing in, and breathing out.
I'm sure this book will be helpful to many people, but, after reading only the first day's offering (& noting the publisher), as a freelancer in Christian publishing for nearly 8 years now, I can easily tell--and am disappointed by--the fact that this book is NOT a "Christian" book. I saw no mention of God or Christ. I saw mentions of Buddhism & the Dalai Lama (I'm not putting the Dalai Lama down. I'm sure he's a very nice man.)
BUT the point is that I think this book is more suited to either a simple nonfiction category OR perhaps, if it exists, a New Age category. I already know this is a little too New Age type of book for me to be interested in. I can only hope that next week's choice will truly be a CHRISTIAN book. This is the first choice I have felt to be definitely inappropriate. I may be the only one who says so, but I dare say others will think so (while some will, no doubt, disagree). However, I DO have experience in Christian publishing (not to mention decades of reading voraciously, from Christian & secular books), so I think my point is valid. Thank you.
P.S. If you really want to read an excellent Christian nonfiction book, I recommend a book that was featured much earlier in the Christian book club, "The Eyes of the Heart," by Tracie Peterson. I bought the book because I read part of it in the book club, and it's definitely NOT been a disappointment! It's a wonderful book! And I'm not just saying that cause I know the author & work with her. She's written quite a bit of great Christian fiction too, and this first nonfiction of hers is really touching my heart. A truly wonderful CHRISTIAN book! :-) (Thankfully, one that actually talks about Christ & God.)
I`m disappointed in this book`s message. It is definitely oriented toward Eastern religion if not right in the middle of it. (Actually, I think it is right in the middle of it.) It is not for Christians at all. There are many, many good Christian books for us to spend our time on. I would skip this.
It's refreshing to find a book on spirituality in the line up of books that we are reviewing. I liked this book. I would consider buying it, however I am hoping we will review a few more chapters first. I have read many books similar to this and each with it's own twist on the energy that feeds our bodies and our souls. In-breath - out-breath how vital that is to life, and yet looking at in in regards to a time to go within and nurture yourself, or find out what makes you tick and hopefully make necessary changes where they need to be made is important. The out-breath of finding your place in community helping others is not a novel idea but I like the concept of it being the out-breath. It makes perfect sense to give back, for we are so much more equipped for this after we have done some indepth digs.
What makes this book "Christian"? Not once in the introduction on the book jacket does God get mentioned nor any real indication of Christianity. Just breathing in and out, helping others, etc. does not make one a Christian. Enlighten me.
You made my point better than I did! :-) I tend to use too many words sometime. (I probably will this time too! LOL) And, Marlene, I definitely think we should help others; loving God (first) & loving others as we love ourselves are the Bible's 2 greatest commandments (as Jesus said). If we don't have love, all the other stuff really doesn't matter (See 1 Corinthians chapter 13).
Anyway, my point really is that this book would be more appropriate for the nonfiction category. IF this category were just called "Good News" or something vague (self-help, etc.), this book would be fine for this category. BUT the POINT is that THIS category is sent to us by email as the "BAMM CHRISTIAN Book Club." That's why I wrote; I'm disappointed to not have a CHRISTIAN book to read. Although the author did mention Jesus in the 2nd day's section (she made my point--to love others as we love ourselves), I doubt that the theme of the book will be about being a Christian--a follower of Jesus. I also noticed the author is using New Age gibberish, typically very vague but sounds good (only able to heal ourselves as we heal the planet, etc.). Too "cosmic" for me. No, thanks.
Thanks, Marlene, for seeing my point. I was afraid I would be attacked for bringing it up. I really don't want to offend anyone. I look forward to next week when we can get back to a CHRISTIAN book.
Since the Good News Book Club & the BAMM Christian Book Club were sending the same books, I chose to just get the BAMM CHRISTIAN Book Club. So, for some people, the book has been identified as "Christian." Perhaps this time this book should have been sent for the Good News Book Club, while a true Christian book should have been sent for the members of the BAMM CHRISTIAN Book Club. Hence, my disappointment & assertion that it doesn't fit the "Christian" category. IF any of Gary Zukav's books are ever offered in the BAMM Christian Book Club, I will end my subscription. He is a major New Ager (he even mentions the "mother ship"--give me a break! speak English! not the New Age psycho-babble, please!)--and New Age is definitely not the same as what Christians (followers of Christ) believe. Is there anyone else who agrees with me or sees my point? Any others who are subscribed to the BAMM club instead? I'm not putting people down; I just much prefer true Christian books from major Christian publishers (and, as I said, since I'm a freelancer, I know a bit about Christian publishers--who is & isn't truly a Christian publisher). I've LOVED nearly ALL the choices thus far, so Suzanne is doing a good job. This one just sort of came out of the blue & struck me as all wrong for the people who were expecting a CHRISTIAN book. Hopefully, next week's selection will be appropriate--or perhaps the Good News Book Club & the BAMM CHRISTIAN Book Club should choose different books--divide them into 2 separate clubs so the Good News book club can have these New Age type of books if they want to. I prefer to keep my feet on the ground, my heart centered on the ONE GOD & His Son, Jesus, & not get into "cosmic" weirdness, crystals, psychics, etc. Thanks & God bless you all!
that Gail Straub said she needed to "accept my mother's milk long after birth." How weird is that! I know it's metaphoric, obviously, but this book is about as weird and New Age as they get. Does anyone else agree with me? (Besides Mary Kay--thank you, Mary Kay.) I still think it is an unsuitable book for a club that had been consistently sending out CHRISTIAN books--then this weird book comes out of the blue. Enough of the flaky, cosmic New Age babble! All people need is some common sense, to love God & accept His Son, Jesus Christ (the Source of TRUE, ETERNAL peace! Give Him a chance in your life!), and to love others as we do ourselves. Everything else falls into place after that (not that I've mastered it all perfectly, of course--I still stumble & fall & get back up again, with God's help).
Sure, there are still struggles--that's life. I have several chronic, very painful illnesses, but I feel & know (by faith even when I can't "feel" it--emotions can't be trusted sometimes) that God is always with me. Even when the pain is so bad I can barely stand it (and that's AFTER I've taken my prescribed medication by my specialist), I pray, I hang onto the Lord, & know that He will get me through this, a day at a time, sometimes a minute at a time! There is no greater joy than being His daughter--having the perfect, completely loving Father.
I'm sorry if my sermonette offended anyone. Doing good things & being a good person really aren't enough--Christ is the Way to God. The only Way. He Himself said so. So, Jesus couldn't just have been a great teacher or prophet. That doesn't make sense. HE HIMSELF said He is the Son of God & the only Way to God! Either He is completely right, or He was a liar! There is no in-between. I know our society, as a whole, is much more comfortable mentioning God rather than Jesus. That's because when someone comes face-to-face with the thought of who Jesus really is, it requires a decision. Do you believe He is truly God's Son & died for our sins & was resurrected on the third day, then ascended to heaven, & will return at some future time (the Second Coming), OR do you believe He was a liar (and still dead in the tomb)? Those are the only TWO choices. So most people ignore Him & don't want to talk about Him. God is much more "generic" a term. To some people, that can encompass any kind of god they want to worship, Allah, etc. But the God I worship & serve (albeit I am far from doing it perfectly--please don't think I'm holier-than-thou--I'm not! And I don't mean to sound judgmental--Jesus told us not to judge--just to be able to discern between good & evil). I am still on my own spiritual journey closer to my Father's heart of love, longing & yearning to know Him better...and still messing up sometimes, then asking for forgiveness--it's a lifelong process). Anyway, the God I believe in is the Father of Jesus Christ and my Father too...and the Father of everyone--He is just waiting and eager for people to truly turn their lives over to Him. He LOVES EVERYONE! :-) That's great news! God Himself IS Love.
Oh, dear, I'm sermonizing again! I truly don't mean to, and I realize to some people my view is too narrow. But I am so at peace & have so much joy deep down inside that I long for others to know the same feelings...to have that inside when life gets tough. I really don't have enough within myself WITHOUT God to get through life, especially the tough times. I can't imagine life without the Lord. The closer I am to Him, the more satisfied and complete & full of joy & peace I am. He's my Father & my Friend.
Again, I'm sorry if I offended anyone. That really is not my intent. I am just disappointed about this week's book offering. I didn't mean to say this much when I started my post. I'm just so thankful that I am a Christian; I long to share the joy & peace of it. To me, Christianity is NOT a religion--it's a RELATIONSHIP, with Christ, and through Him, with God our Father (and the Holy Spirit lives in our hearts & guides us). It's alive & vital & life-giving. I'm just so thankful that God loves me & knows me individually--every little thing about me! It's amazing & incredible, but true! :-) I've seen the evidence of it in my life--in circumstances, in answered prayers, and many other ways.
OK, I'm gone on WAY too long! LOL I tend to be chatty since I work at home, & it's a bit isolating at times. Overall, I'm very glad for the book club--I love to learn about Christian books by publishers for whom I don't freelance. Forgive my sermonette (I didn't mean for it to be--just sharing my experience) & my wordiness. I get carried away sometimes! :-)
As Tiny Tim said in "The Christmas Carol," by Charles Dickens, "God bless us, every one!"
It didn't take me long to realize that this book wasn't for me. I defintely didn't like it and didn't think it was Christian. However, like Suzanne says:
Hit the delete key if you don't enjoy the read and don't feel guilty. Which is exactly what I did.
If the Good News reading selection is intended to be family friendly, in my opinion, this selection doesn't fit. I'm concerned about perspective, not just content and language. The meditation on the poem about death in the Day 3 section just didn't square with my understanding of a Christian worldview.
Just a note to say send a note to Suzanne explaining the discrepancy and perhaps she can clear it up for you. She is good at that. Or you can go on venting in the forum which may or may not solve your problem. I don't mean to offend, but I believe in the direct approach. I know she does her best to solve any problems that she is aware of.
- Doris -
Thank you, Sheila, Judith, & Mary Kay for understanding why I brought up the point that this book does NOT belong in this category. I DON'T appreciate the "s" word in what I read! Of course young people shouldn't read this! What a bunch of nonsensical gibberish! WHY do people persist in making complicated what is so incredibly simple? Like one of you said, "You are enlightened." Thank God for those of us who are, and we must continue praying for those who simply don't see yet--that God will open their eyes to the wonderful truth about Jesus Christ. This is the first week I've ever posted--I should've posted the week that Tracie Peterson's nonfiction, "The Eyes of the Heart" was featured. As I said in an earlier post, I have since bought it & am enjoying it immensely.
I'm so relieved that we're finally going to get back to an actual CHRISTIAN author next week! Robin Lee Hatcher! :-) I've read her before; I like her writing. Back to Christian books! Yay!!! :-D
Thanks, Doris, but I am done venting, and, yes, that was partially what it was. I'm not offended at all. I'm just glad I didn't offend anyone else. I do tend to ramble on & on! Sorry about that. I actually didn't know if Suzanne monitored this board or not--it says that someone has to approve the posts, but I guess Suzanne herself would be too busy. I thought of emailing her, but it's over & done with now, although I may ask her about this so we don't get a similar book in the future. Forgive my ramblings! (I work at home, so I'm somewhat isolated, and I'm a VERY talkative person--bet you could tell that! LOL) :-) <br>
I'm glad this week's book is by Robin Lee Hatcher. She's a good author; I've read at least one of her books. <br>
Btw, if anyone is interested in Bible study (off the topic, I know), I'm proofreading a set of 4 study guides (ideal for small groups--or even for individual use) that go with 4 books by Colin S. Smith. The books are called "Unlocking the Bible Story" (volumes 1-4) & the study guides just have the same name with "Study Guide: Volume 1," etc., after the titles. The study guides will not be available until March 2004, but I believe the books themselves are already available. I'm impressed with the study guides; I'm on the 3rd one now--the 1st 2 deal with the Old Testament; the last 2 with the New. They aren't typical Bible study guides, but I like them because they're a bit different. It's more like topical studies, studying God as Father, Holiness, Salvation, etc. <br>
OK, I'm done my typical rambling post again! This will be the last one for this book! :-) Sorry I got off topic. Gotta get back to work now. <br>
This message has been edited by chapteraday on Nov 10, 2003 10:41 AM