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Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner Paperback – May 8, 1992
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From the Publisher
Daily meditations taken from the works of an acclaimed novelist, essayist, and preacher who "has articulated what he sees with a freshness and clarity and energy that hails our stultified imaginations."--The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Frederick Buechner, author of more than thirty works of fiction and nonfiction, is an ordained Presbyterian minister. He has been a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and was honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His most recent work is Beyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABC’s of Faith.
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Top customer reviews
1. The devotional entries, being taken from Buechner's writings, are sometimes taken out of a larger context that, placed as they are within the devotional, lose some of the depth of their meaning. This makes the devotional appear inconsistent and somewhat awkward. Sometimes you get a devotional about the Christian life, sometimes you hear about Buechner waiting to get his hair cut, reading a magazine article about such-and-such a person, and the event just ends without being connected to a larger principle or meaning.
2. This is a devotional about a human being, and his life, as a Christian. Do we always think about Christianity and Christian principles every waking hour of every day? Of course not, unless you're obsessive. This is about Buechner engaging his life with intent, and living the Christian intentional life with depth. Sometimes Buechner talks about Christianity, and sometimes about something else, but it's always well written and thoughtful. I get the vibe that I'm reading a really great blog. The other devotional I read alongside this one is Henri Nouwen's "Bread for the Journey," and then I feel like between these two, I get some really great food for thought with my morning coffee.
And to be honest, I really struggled with giving it five stars or four stars. The entries that are about Christianity are five star entries, hands down. They are excellent and real, sometimes gritty and always honest. But there are just some entries that leave me scratching my head, because I just don't understand why they're in a devotional, and I feel that should be worth the subtraction of one star. The reason why I decided not to rate this four stars is because even those entries that leave me scratching my head have such wonderful prose, that I enjoy studying them for their literary value, even if I might not particularly get a life lesson from it. Either that, or I'm a softy and an optimist, and when in doubt, I assume the best about someone else. Either way, I recommend this devotional.
I agree that it does exactly that. I was not familiar with Buechner's works until recently when I became the organist in a Presbyterian Church and the pastor frequently quoted him. I thought I'd start out small, with a book of daily meditations and then move on to his larger works if I enjoyed the smaller works.
This is a compilation of quotes from many of Buechner's works, one for each day of the year. Unlike many daily meditations, Buechner's words do not tell you what to think or believe. They inspire you to think on your own, many times very differently from what you might expect. They challenge, encourage, and give you pause. Some are very brief, less than half a page; others cover almost two pages. Some are very funny, like the one about Zaccheus.
I have started reading them to my husband every morning. It's a good way to 'jump start' the day. My husband actually picked the book up and read it straight through before I had a chance to get to it. I occasionally flip through the book and just read whatever I come to, usually in the middle of the day when I have a moment to myself. I am never disappointed, finding something each time that brings new awareness of God's immanence.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to search his/her soul to new depths.
I gave it three stars not because of Buechner but because of the choices of passages.