Friday, June 24, 2011

PrayerWalk by Janet Holm McHenry

For those that make New Year’s Resolutions, what is often at the top of the list? Getting healthier. For Christians, the top of the list will likely also include some sort of improving their spiritual life. While I don’t necessarily have New Year’s Resolutions, I do keep another list. This year it is my 26 in 26, or 26 things to do while I’m 26. (If you go back to my posts in March of 2011, you can find that list). Each year, I plan on making a new list, so next year I’ll make a 27 in 27 list. I’ll admit, however, that New Year’s Day and New Year’s Resolutions makes me think about my next list, and since my birthday is just two months away I start making my list.
  PrayerWalk by Janet Holm McHenry takes both of those top resolutions, getting healthier and improving ones spiritual life, specifically their prayer life, and weaves them together. Previously, I had been introduced in prayer walking on mission trips, but not as a regular lifestyle. Prayer walking is simply walking around an area, like one’s neighborhood, and praising God for what He is doing in that area and praying for the people in each household.
McHenry’s own prayer walking began as a way to multitask, to get two things done that were lacking in her life, a deeper prayer life, and some basic, but much needed exercise. She began just by walking and praying for the needs of her family, but God quickly turned that time into so much more for her. She began praying for the local daycare and its kids and families, then it was neighbors and churches and city officials. In that time, God began filling her too. Her son noticed one day that she was singing as she was making the kids lunches. Her depression was gone, and she began to notice things around her that helped to change her outlook on life.  God was changing her life as she choose to make a simple decision, get out of bed, meet with God, and prayer walk.
PrayerWalk is not just a book encouraging believers to get out and pray for their community while they take part in one of the easiest and most basic forms of exercise, though it certainly does that. McHenry’s book includes the physical benefits of walking regularly both on one’s short term and long term health. It also gives the spiritual benefits of praying for ones family, neighbors, community, schools, officials, etc. The book could simply stop there and be a good book, but instead the author shares answers to prayer from her own prayer walking as well as others. Included in the book are also a study guide and a 30 day prayer walking challenge that has a daily focus for both the spiritual and the physical.
Many of us desire to have more discipline in our lives. Yet we fail to cultivate that discipline simply because we don’t choose to make the choices each day that will develop a disciplined life. We choose to sleep in instead of getting up and spending time with God. We choose to watch tv instead of spending one on one time with our family. We think that having a schedule means we can’t be flexible. Why not choose to make a decision today to cultivate discipline. And tomorrow, make that same decision!
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to see improvements in their spiritual and their physical life. You will be encouraged to get out and begin the journey to become “a woman of prayer, strength and discipline.”
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
For information from the publisher about this book:
For an excerpt from this book:

Monday, June 20, 2011

"The Waiting Place: Learning To Appreciate Life’s Little Delays" By: Eileen Button

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” ~John Lennon
All of us have had to wait. We wait at the stop light, the checkout line, the doctor’s office; we wait for the kids to get out of school. But there is also longer seasons of waiting. Kids wait to grow up, wait to finish school. Young adults wait to get married, to get the dream job, to have kids. However, the waiting doesn’t end as we get older. Button’s book, The Waiting Place, is essays about enjoying life while you wait. We can’t stop the waiting process or even speed it up, but we can focus on other things that help us enjoy the moments while we wait.
I knew this book would be a good read because I am in a season of waiting, and I certainly was not disappointed. It was a good reminder to not let life get away from me while I am waiting for bigger moments. Any seemingly mundane or normal day can be special simply because one took the time to make it so. I loved how the author wrote they essays using accounts from her life, both of her growing up years and her adult life watching her children grow up. This book was not just a collection of random essays, but it was essays that invited the reader to get to know a family and see what enjoying life while waiting looked like in many different areas and seasons of life.
In the New Testament, Paul tells us to work while we wait for Christ’s return. Not only should we working to further the kingdom but working to find beauty and joy in the challenges of life. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is so focused on a big event sometime in the future, but has forgotten to appreciate the life that they are living today.
I received this complimentary copy from BookSneeze®.