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Practicing the Presence of People: How We Learn to Love Paperback – October 19, 1999


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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

In the deepest part of our hearts and souls is the desire to love well. Yet in our struggle to do so, we learn that, as Mike Mason puts it, "We are not born with love; it is something we must learn." Now, in Practicing the Presence of People, he helps us launch that learning process. Mason points the way to fresh knowledge and fresh experience, showing how we can discover new things about those we love, understand them from the inside out, tenderly identify with their weaknesses, and celebrate that they too were lovingly made by the hand of God.

About the Author

Mike Mason is the author of the best-seller The Mystery of Marriage and The Gospel of Job. A full-time writer for fifteen years, he attends Pacific Community Church. He and his wife, Karen, a M.D. in general practice, live in Langley, Brittish Columbia, Canada with their daughter.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (October 19, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578562651
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578562657
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

At mikemasonbooks.com you'll see my tag line: "Purveyor of Fine Sentences." I write sentences, not books. Someone once said that a writer's job is to make good sentences and the rest will take care of itself. So I try to make every sentence true and beautiful. As the sentences accumulate and start heading in a direction, books happen. (Maybe my website should be mikemasonsentences.com?)
This is not just a philosophy of writing but of life. It's moments that count, more than the grand scheme. Live great moments and the rest will sort itself out.
My first great moment happened in 1952 when I came into the world in Peterborough, Canada. By age eleven I wanted to be a writer, and although I got many things wrong in life, one thing I got right was to hang onto the writing dream and pursue it single-mindedly. After earning an M.A. in English from the University of Manitoba, I spent my twenties doing odd jobs to support my writing, from garbage-collecting to journalism to library work.
In 1982 I married Karen, a family doctor. We spent our first year of marriage studying theology at Regent College in Vancouver, and we've lived in British Columbia ever since. We have one daughter, Heather, born in 1987, who is married to Sean and pursuing a dance career in Toronto.
In nearly three decades of writing, I've published half a dozen devotional books, three collections of short stories, and a pair of children's fantasy novels, The Blue Umbrella and The Violet Flash. Currently I blog once a week and I'm working on a novel about angels.
Turning to novel-writing at age fifty has meant a radical change. In many ways I've had to learn my craft all over again and work through many fears and insecurities. The result, however, is deeply satisfying, and now with more fiction on the way I have a renewed sense of challenge and joy in my work.
All in all I enjoy a simple life filled with family and friends, books, music, and prayer.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A. Guzewicz on June 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
Besides the bible, no other book has had a more positive impact on my life than Practicing the Presence of People. In first choosing to read this book, I desired to love people better. I was on a mission's trip and wanted to bless those I was serving. This book broadened my vision for reaching others and filled me with more of God's love than I'd ever experienced before. Each chapter drew out different nuances to my understanding of God's will for my life. I began to understand why some of my relationships had gone awry or were stifled. What struck me the most was Mason's claim that God's deepest desire for us is to see God's beauty in others. Not in a moralistic "oh they're perfect" kind of way, but in practical ways that improved the fruit of my relationships as a mentor, friend, disciple, etc.
Mason's book is not for Christians who think, "It's simple, the bible is black and white." But if you want to learn more about God's desire for us, Mason illustrates the heart of the bible with craft! For example, the bible is showered with verses of praise describing the glory of God in people (praising God for loving us enough by sending Jesus to die for us and draw out that glory more). Practically, our heart should overflow. But it won't until God saves us personally. We only begin to see the glimmer of God's glory in others when we've dealt with the frustrations of trying to be in good relationship with God, our self, and others.
Scripture is clear. In Genesis, we were created in God's image and were in sweet communion with God, and then there was the fall of humanity with Adam and Eve's choices. From there, fortunately for us, God sent Jesus and the Holy Spirit, to continue our story and relationship with him.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book does more than challenge us to love the way God intended us to love; it shows us the way. It's easy to love from a distance, in "Practicing the Presence of People", Mike Mason shows us how to love close up. Maybe I needed that lesson; my copy is worn and tattered. Buy this book...no, buy two and give one to a friend!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jean V on September 6, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every word in this wonderful book rings true. As the song says, "What the world needs now is love, true love; that's the only thing there's just to little of...". This is a book that puts shoe leather to that pretty saying. Want to really understand people? Want to build stronger relationships? Then this is the book for you. The bonus is that Mike Mason is an accomplished writer who chisels every sentence. I have purchased three copies and given them to each of my college-age children. Now I need to get another for myself!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Niki_b_p on June 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
Practicing the Presence of People: How We Learn to Love This is a wonderful, meditative type of book. There are 2 or 3 pages with each day's thought. Very insightful writer. I'm thoughtfully reading this book for the 2nd time. I go slowly in order to 'chew' on the thoughts & challenges presented. The bottom line: there is nothing more imortant than learning to love people.
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Format: Paperback
This book was helpful in revolutionizing the way that I view people-- and learning to love them as Christ has loved me.

If you want to peer into a world of fascination and glory, learn to LOVE. People are the most beautiful thing on this planet (as they are in union with Christ) and Christ himself took on humanity forever, a man standing in the center of the Trinity.

This books compels us to ask the terrifying questions, "WHO ARE WE?" And as we look into the face of God, more and more, we see that we are more than we could ever imagine as we are in relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Every chapter taught me something. Will need reread again to absorb what god wants me to learn. Thanks for writing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love God, love People, live life. this book will change you forever. the practice of the presence of people(and of God) is the answer to all our problems.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Chase Davis on June 26, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really wanted to like this book. Some of his basic ideas are good in that they are clear and correspond to reality. We should practice loving people more than we pontificate on the notion. Loving people is a crucial component of following Jesus and loving God. However, the book is painful to read throughout. Nearly every chapter is filled with bad analogies such as;

"Picture your life as a dark forest in which you are lost. How are you to find your way? You may wish the forest was not there, but it is. You may wish for some magical intervention, but this is not likely to happen. No, you yourself must find the way. Beginning where you are, you must discern some light in the shadows, decide on a path, and follow it. Peering closely at the trees around you, gradually you realize that these are not trees at all, but people! Each on of these trees has a face, and each face has a light in it."

I'm sure Mason had noble intentions in writing this book and it's clear that the idea of loving people more genuinely is a passion of his, I just think it's a drag to read. This is mainly because it is not stimulating and when it attempts to be, it feels phony like when he says, "Forgive the dream-crusher, and no one will ever crush your dreams again." Lame. If you want to read a book that feels like reading the transcript to Oprah, go ahead and buy this book.
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