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Playdates with God: Having a Childlike Faith in a Grownup World Paperback – October 7, 2014
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From the Inside Flap
Do you remember when you first fell in love? When you fell in love with Jesus, was it much the same? Did you spend countless hours poring over Scripture? Did sleep suddenly seem mundane as you rose at pre-dawn each day to meet with him? Was every sunset an expression of his love and did every sermon hold a secret message just for you? Isn't this the place we all long to return to within our spiritual lives? We desire the bliss of an intimate, unrestrained love relationship with God.
"Playdates with God" is a story of how God woos us back to our first love. Biblical and contemporary stories explore how God uses various human experiences and sensations to draw us closer into deeper intimacy with him. It's the story of how a simple invitation to play can open up the eyes to joy . . . even in difficult circumstances.
About the Author
LAURA J. BOGGESS is a content editor at TheHighCalling.org, and she blogs at lauraboggess.com, where she shares stories about faith, family, and chasing after God. With a master's in clinical psychology, Laura works in a medical rehabilitation hospital in West Virginia, where she resides with her husband, Jeff, and their two sons, Teddy and Jeffrey.
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Laura and I are different people. If I'm honest, I needed someone different from me to tell me these things. Every time she quotes one of our great predecessors in the faith my response is the same: “Why, of all the brilliant things they've said is this what you're quoting.....oh.....OH! Okay, I never thought of it like that.” My mind looks like a library: there's plenty of stuff in there, but it's not the most exciting place to be. Laura's is like a garden: it's refreshing and experiential. This is also reflected in her flowery prose and heavy use of vivid imagery.
Every Christian is called to have a relationship with God. For those of us who deign to study theology, it can feel like online dating: spending a lot of time at the computer learning about someone without really getting to know them as a person. This is why I needed Laura's book. Not because of the overwhelming number of footnotes and citations from well-known and trusted sources, but because Laura has a heart for God. It's pretty widely accepted that a lot of pastors and theologians forget to love the Lord our God with anything but all our mind.
Laura's book is very story driven. Every point comes with an anecdote, a snapshot of her life at that time. She also personifies every part of nature she interacts with in these stories, telling us what they said to her. It's very accessible and shows that she has really mastered the imagination and wonder side of childlike faith. It occasionally gives me pause, because my brain simply doesn't work that way, but she integrates it well and it is consistent with her thesis. This is not the easiest read for dusty old legalists, but it is something we should read because it is good for us.
Ultimately, I'm list-oriented, but working on it. (you'll get that joke if you read the book, which you should) All of you Pharisees out there who know about God but wonder if you're missing out on knowing Him, you need this book. If you've ever laughed out loud with joy at the marvel of Creation, and are wondering how to do that more often, you need this book. Heaven knows I did.
You may think of swingsets and merry go rounds, hide and seek games, or playing with Play doh, but Boggess wants you to know, it's as simple as a walk in the woods or down your street. Or it could be a mid afternoon concert at the library, a solo visit to a free art exhibit.
There are many ways to 'play'--but here is what she wants us to remember, "These moments when I attend to God are the moments that color returns back into life and my breath is deep and sure."
Life can be very black and white or gray many, many days........ 'Playdates with God' is an invitation to see and think a little differently about what time with God looks like--one that rejuvenates and speaks to us, adding the color back into our gray days.
And this little book is a gem. A GEM. Laura tells us stories about her life, she quotes lots of great authors, she plumbs mysterious and wondrous truths from the worlds of psychology, theology and ministry -- because that's who she is. She is a psychologist, a closet theologian, and a pastor.
I adored every page of this book, and I read it in one sitting. She asks terrific questions and she finds meaningful answers all the way through. I highly recommend that you order a copy today and plan to use what you find there as you walk out your days. She helps us to re-think how we live by doing one of the things I'm currently writing about on my blog: focusing on the ordinary, the small, and discovering God, right there. Right there.
Her writing is beautiful, her research is thorough and her beautiful testimony simply shines. This is definitely the little book that could!
I often ponder what "child-like" faith really looks like, and Laura's book really brings clarity to this deep, faith-affirming concept. She writes with such elegance, such grace (think: Ann Voskamp-ish) and yet I could totally understand/relate to all of her examples. For the learner in me, Laura provided some really cool ah-ha moments with both biblical and historical foundations.
Oh, and the analogies of parent-child relationships and how we can respond to God similarly? Yeah, those word pictures alone totally changed my thinking for the better.
This book is very unique, and it will certainly be one that I lend out to my friends (as long as they give it back!) I will personally read it again and again as it has a permanent place in my little Jesus-resource library on my bookshelf. It shows us that following Jesus is serious business, but it also an experience to enjoy.
Jesus is calling us to play. Pick up a copy of this amazing book and get started.