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Holy Play: The Joyful Adventure of Unleashing Your Divine Purpose Hardcover – February 26, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Determining one's calling in life can be an exuberant process of mining one's deepest desires that delights the God who wishes to inspire our choices, not dictate them. That is the central message of this engaging but evanescent meditation by Jones, an author (The Jazz of Preaching) and founding minister of Beacon Light Baptist Church in New Orleans. Challenging the view (popularized by megachurch pastor Rick Warren in The Purpose-Driven Life) that vocational discernment is all about tapping into God's unique purpose for one's life, Jones claims instead that "we are called to join God in co-creating purpose and life itself." Readers are encouraged to discover how to playfully and creatively join with God in forging their path. Suffused with autobiographical morsels and references to Bible stories as well as a plethora of quotations, the book includes chapters on topics like "The Anatomy of Stuck-ness" and "Dreaming Your Way to Purpose." For readers eager to pursue their own vocational discernment, Jones provides chapter-ending questions and exercises. While the message of this volume could probably have been compressed into a sermon or an anthology chapter, it does pose a provocative counterweight to the popular idea that God has predetermined a unique, singular purpose for each human life. (Feb.)
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Review

Determining one's calling in life can be an exuberant process of mining one's deepest desires that delights the God who wishes to inspire our choices, not dictate them. That is the central message of this engaging but evanescent meditation by Jones, an author (The Jazz of Preaching ) and founding minister of Beacon Light Baptist Church in New Orleans. Challenging the view (popularized by megachurch pastor Rick Warren in The Purpose-Driven Life) that vocational discernment is all about tapping into God's unique purpose for one's life, Jones claims instead that "we are called to join God in co-creating purpose and life itself." Readers are encouraged to discover how to playfully and creatively join with God in forging their path. Suffused with autobiographical morsels and references to Bible stories as well as a plethora of quotations, the book includes chapters on topics like "The Anatomy of Stuck-ness" and "Dreaming Your Way to Purpose." For readers eager to pursue their own vocational discernment, Jones provides chapter-ending questions and exercises. While the message of this volume could probably have been compressed into a sermon or an anthology chapter, it does pose a provocative counterweight to the popular idea that God has predetermined a unique, singular purpose for each human life.(Feb.) (Publishers Weekly, October 30, 2006)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (February 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787984523
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787984526
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I don't care who you are or who you know, you will benefit from reading this book. I am going after my goals and dreams already, but "Holy Play" encourages even further creativity in your life. Holy Play takes you on a journey of ideas that encourage you to create the life you want to live. I believe we are giving up our greatest gift from God by constantly awaiting for Him to "show" us what our purpose is, claiming, "I'm waiting to see what God has planned". The reality is God is going to use what we do for His glory. But it is up to us to decide what we love, and what we have a passion for. God would have made us puppets if he wanted to live our lives for us. Holy Play encourages you to empower yourself, and realize the God-given gift of creativity.

Back in high school, I vowed to make a living doing something that I love....music. Not only did I want to perform music, but also write my own music, have other singers record songs of mine, and own a music label. I used to feel pressure when heading in or out of church hearing common church-goers make comments such as "He's going to be like his father"(go into the pastorate), or ask, "Are you thinking about seminary?" Though I admire and respect my father, and all that he has accomplished, I have my own life to live.

My father told me that whatever I do, he will be proud, and will support me. He also stressed that if I was not getting enjoyment out of what I do, then why not do something that I enjoy? God feels the same. He wants us to live and unleash our power as humans to create a life of fulfillment.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a spiritual director who works with lots of people facing vocational crossroads in life. I LOVE THIS BOOK. On so many levels. First, it's imminently readable and personal. Second, it is a book about discernment that takes ethnic diversity seriously---it's not all stories from European mystics! And finally it emphasizes joy and freedom, something Christianity is sadly not always known for emphasizing. I read a LOT of books on discernment as this is one of my specialties in spiritual direction. So many of the books are esoteric and heady. I found Holy Play refreshing in its simplicity while not losing any of the profound mystery that goes along with discernment. I would recommend this book to anyone facing a change in life that they want to understand better spiritually. Kirk Byron Jones is a gift in that he exudes confidence in the human person's freedom and in God's delight in our freedom.
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Format: Hardcover
First, I would like to say that I am so proud that you are my father and proud of this fine piece of work that you have here. I have enjoyed every word of this book and it only took me 3 days to finish it!!! It's so easy to read and the examples of books, music, movies, and even our family, made the book so real and enjoyable. You have worked so hard and I know this book will change lives. It's already changed mine. I have questioned my purpose for so long and can't seem to figure out the one thing that gives me joy. You have helped me realize that my purpose doesn't have to be just one thing, it can be many. No wonder why I have so many interests! God doesn't want me to stick with just one thing, he expects me to create new goals, take on new challenges and do them to the best of my ability, with "great joy" of course. I recommend this book to all persons who are struggling with their calling and even if you don't have issues with your purpose, know that there are many paths you can choose in life, which ever one you choose god is with you every step of the way. Thanks Dad!!
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By Lazarus on April 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Like a bottle of fine wine, Kirk Byron Jones only gets better with time. His latest offering Holy Play is an absolute must read! I have given copies to my friends and they love it. If you are struggling with issues regarding your vocation, this is definitely for you. As a seminary student, this book gives me permission to have guilt-free choices about my work in ministry. God will be with me as I fulfill the desires of my heart. I do not have to be "afraid" to have fun and enjoy what I am doing. This book actually changed my whole outlook and how I viewed the clergy profession. I see God in a new, exciting positive light. This book is an easy read but has deep meaning. Rest in the Storm was life-changing for me, so I have been a fan of this author for a while. His B.R.E.W. Series helped me through a very difficult summer internship two years ago. Kirk Byron Jones writes from the heart and his love for God and his family comes through in his writing.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful book. I truly didn't want to finish reading it, so I slowed down my pace in the last two chapters. I've turned down so many pages, so I can go back to them and re-read them and reflect more on the messages.

Kirk Byron Jones perspectives about God's desire for us to co-create our vocational paths and to be open to fulfilling our vocational dreams in multiple ways is liberating. I love the message that any path we choose, God will be with us. So many people keep waiting for "the sign" from God to take risks to do what they dream about and desire most in their heart. Our freedom is God-given and it should be exercised and used in creative ways to help us identify how we can manifest our vocational calling. We also need to ensure that we approach our vocation with a spirit of playfulness and joy. Work shouldn't be drudgery, but rather a time for your spirit to be enthused and to joyfully create. If we cannot feel the sense of play in what we do within our vocation, it could be we are not doing what we truly are passionate about or that we've forgotten to include fun in our daily work, or we're simply moving too fast to notice the joys.

I recommend this book to everyone. Whether you are at a cross-roads with your vocation and need inspiration to help you choose the next path, whether you want to feel more fulfilled in your current vocational role, or whether you simply want to be reminded that incorporating play and creativity into your daily work and leisure are not just fun, but also important for your spiritual growth, you will love this book and Jones' wisdom. Reading this book lifted a burden from my heart about how I view my work and it lit a fire in my soul to soar with more joy.
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