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A Place at the Table: 40 Days of Solidarity with the Poor Paperback – January 15, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A realistic, honest, and compassionate treasure. A Place at the Table is a journey of surrender to God that will usher us to transformed living."
-Lysa TerKeurst, New York Times bestselling author of Made to Crave --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From the Back Cover

"A realistic, honest, and compassionate treasure. A Place at the Table is a journey of surrender to God that will usher us to transformed living."--Lysa Terkeurst, New York Times bestselling author of Made to Crave

In a culture built on consumption--especially of food--it is easy to forget the poor that Jesus cared so much about. We get caught up in acquiring, buying, eating. Yet paradoxically, the more stuff we consume, the more our spirits wither and starve.

A Place at the Table invites you on a journey of self-examination, discipline, and renewed focus on Jesus that will change your life forever. Author Chris Seay is giving you a challenge: eat and drink like the poor for 40 days and donate the money you save on groceries to a charity or project that serves the poor in concrete ways.

But Chris doesn't expect you to go it alone. A Place at the Table includes a short chapter for each of those 40 days with Scripture, reflections, prayers, and encouragement. You'll even get tips for engaging your whole family in the process.

This book and 40-day journey can be enhanced with the companion DVD. Six sessions shot in locations like the Holy Land, Haiti, and Ecuador will help small groups and entire churches go on a passionate journey of radical faith, personal action, solidarity with the poor, and extravagant grace.

To download free resources and connect with others on the journey, visit www.chrisseay.net.

Chris Seay is a church planter, author, and third-generation Baptist pastor. He is the pastor of Ecclesia Houston and the author or coauthor of several books, including Advent Conspiracy, The Gospel According to Tony Soprano, and The Gospel According to Jesus. He lives in Texas.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (January 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801014514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801014512
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris Seay is a church planter, pastor, president of Ecclesia Bible Society, and internationally acclaimed speaker. His six previous books include The Gospel According to Lost, The Gospel According to Tony Soprano, and Faith of My Fathers.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By John Gibbs TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The primary reason why we struggle so deeply to be transformed into the character of Christ is likely because so often, instead of living with humility and vulnerability, we are busy chasing power and prestige, according to Chris Seay in his book A Place at the Table: 40 Days of Solidarity with the Poor. The book invites the reader on a 40-day journey to rediscover what the Bible says about food, life, love and grace, and to connect with the poor.

After some introductory chapters on sharing, gratitude, fasting and feasting, the book provides daily readings with meditations for 40 "fast" days interspersed with 7 "feast" days. Each of the 40 fast days also includes a brief description of a person living in poverty, usually associated with a Compassion project or a Living Water International project. Many of the daily readings are from Exodus, giving the reader plenty of opportunity to consider the Israelites' reliance on God for their daily food.

The Bible version used for the readings is The Voice translation, a project of "a collection of creatives and scholars" with the aim of providing a translation which is both accurate in meaning and "beautiful in its telling". The translation is a fresh one, with some interesting insights, although I found that it took some time to get used to God being called The Eternal One, sometimes shortened to Eternal.

Many people will find this to be a very useful resource to use during Lent. I personally found many of the reflections quite moving, and the constant daily reminders of the situations of people living in poverty helped to put the contemplations about fasting into context.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jacob Sweeney on February 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
If you want to start a fight, talk about money. Many pastors avoid the subject altogether - despite the fact that Jesus spoke more about money then anyone else. For others, its all they can talk about. They equate an abundance of possessions with faith. But, the bible cannot be reduced to such simplistic positions. It maintains a nuanced position that neither condemns wealth or poverty nor exalts them. They are both opportunities to display the goodness and kindness of God. Yet, that does not mean that we ought to have no concern for the poor. It's just the opposite. The Prophets regularly condemned Israel for their neglect of the poor, the widowed and the orphaned. James 1.26-27 considers the care for widows and orphans to be "true religion".

Chris Seay is the pastor of Ecclesia - a church in Houston, Texas. A Place at the Table is a forty day journey towards solidarity with the poor. He considers such a journey to be a type of Jesus' forty days of fasting. It was a lonely, desolate and hungry time. I think he overlooks the greater typology of Jesus as the new Moses and Adam. But, his goal in this forty day journey is that we might become more like Christ in the process. I can get on board with that.Each chapter is another day in the journey. He connects our journey through this life to Biblical events like the flood and the wilderness wanderings. Seay also wants to inform us of the many needs represented across the globe and the many ways our communities and our churches can mobilize to meet those needs in the name of Christ.

This book is less of an academic exercise and more of a journey. Seay intends for us connect with the heart of God to care for the poor and become more like Jesus in our kindness, selflessness, generosity and service.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Steven W. Mann on March 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
How to say the same thing a hundred different ways. His heart is in the right place, but like many good people, they believe if their message is good they have to pound you with it until you submit. He could have communicated his message in 10 pages. I get it, thank you. Rick Warren's book, The Purpose Driven Life, affected me the same way, saying the same thing 1000 different ways. After one chapter nothing new was presented. OK, 99% repetition and 1% slightly new. Either Christians are supposed to be very dense, or these authors just need to revel in their odd mix of righteousness mixed with guilt, or maybe they just believe most people like to hear them talk, or maybe they like to hear themselves talk. Sorry, good message tediously delivered.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. MATHERNE on March 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of the best works on the subject of fasting. It explores topics such as how to fast, why we fast, and practical ways to give through fasting. Fasting is a forgotten practice in many Evangelical churches. This book helps the reader understand the Biblical foundations for a fast, one that pleases God and is also sensible to follow in regard to amounts of food or drink to partake during an extended fast.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dr Conrade Yap TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
Seay invites readers to take on a 40 days of various spiritual disciplines that basically deny ourselves intentionally of things we so often take for granted. In doing so, we begin a process of self-discipline, and adopt spiritual disciplines with the objectives of learning to look outside of ourselves and our own needs. We are called to move from consuming to sharing. We are persuaded to develop a heart of gratitude to God for our daily provisions. We are given many practical steps to help us fast well, and to see fasting as a legitimate and crucial spiritual discipline. Seay gives us a wonderful rhythm of fasting for 6 days and feasting on the 7th. Such a cadence will help to release any puffed-up air of legalism, to encourage us along through the relatively long journey, and at the same time enable us to give thanks for much as well as for little stuff. Seay's strategy for fasting is a win-win method. He encourages us to donate our money that we saved from our fasting toward the needy causes. This way, the poor wins because they receive more. We win because we hear more sensitively from God.

Each day begins with a reflection which can be a biblical meditation, a spiritual thought, or a contemporary moment. One of his days even has a reflection from the popular TV series, House M.D. The Scriptures used are from the latest THE VOICE Bible translation project of which the author is one of the key members of the team. Every day, there is a short segment of a particular country to pray for. What I find helpful is the way the author uses his fasting and spiritual disciplines direct his focus back to God and toward the position of solidarity with the poor. The low times that he experience, he is able to turn it back to God. His high times can be seen through his praises and singing of songs.
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