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January 07, 2008


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Debbie Kaufman

Thank you Lu. I saw some books on the lists including yours that I want to read now. Some I have not heard of. I need to laugh sometimes so I tend to gravitate toward that list. BTW you and Emily seem to be able to read currently more than two books. Email me your secret, I'm having trouble with reading just two. :) I was proud I was able to juggle that plus SS reading, but now you two have me feeling ashamed that's all I'm reading. :)


I have no secret... Frankly I don't really know how to NOT read more than one book at a time. If I'm that into a book, then I will usually finish it within a few days to a week, especially if it's fiction. Nonfiction is a little different.

Part of what happens is that I need time to meditate on what I've read, particularly with the books I've been reading the last few years. So I give myself time to meditate on what I'm reading. And I naturally pick up another book. When I get a point I need to think a little, or am being really challenged I'll set it aside for a week and pick up the first book, or another book. And sometimes I just don't want to read on in one of the books, so having a variety of books to read helps. :) I guess I've got a little ADD going when it comes to reading.

And being in schoole helps that read-a-bunch-at-once muscle. I've had to read for two, three, even four or more subjects at the same time, so I've gotten more adept at switching books and topics quickly.


Yeah, there are so many different ways to read a book. And reasons to read a book. I-just-want-to-escape-for-now I-want-to-chew-on-this-and-live-differently, and I-have-to-read-this-for-school-or-work are usually not to be found in the same volumes, are they? Hence the multi-tasking. Multi-texting!

But it may be that Debbie gets more out of what she reads by sticking with one book at a time. It's not bad, to stay the course and go a bit slower.

I had to re-learn that when I was living overseas and couldn't run down to the library every week.


"The Prayer of Jabez" is kind of interesting. I think it's pure hokum, and ugly to boot, but for reasons somewhat different from yours. In a lot of ways we all need more blessings than we're getting, but it's not God's fault. We limit Him in what we ask for.

"Jabez" treats God like the machine that dispenses treats to rats after they push the lever a whole bunch of times. This would offend the hell out of me, as it has done in the past. It attempts to bypass the real living relationship we can have with God, in which he surprises us.

We desperately need surprises. If we knew which way to go we'd not be so deeply in trouble. You can't get out of that hole with rote repeated prayers, but a dialogue with God will lead to ongoing surprises. "Jabez" is an attempt to reduce God to human comprehensibility. I prefer, and am terrified by, a Living God who surprises me with his own brand of blessings... as I'm willing to accept these wild gifts.


Marti -- Too true. The gaps in time between my readings of a book do tend to leave me wondering at times what it was I was reading, where I was in the story or lesson/challenge, etc. If I go too long I have to start the book over, or at least go back a couple of chapters. I have one book that I've been reading off-and-on for a year. I know I haven't gotten as powerful an impact from it as I would have had I read it straight through without the breaks to read/work on other books. There are sections I don't fully recall, so when the author refers to them, I have to go back and re-read... not so good.

And I remember when I was overseas I was savoring every word on every page of my book, because I realized my puny library was going to have to last me at least a couple of years! I did the same thing when I was in India (in fact, I think that's where I first learned to really savor my books). I totally read differently when I'm overseas.

Larry -- YES, I totally agree. You hit it totally on the head much better than I. I knew my distaste for "Jabez" was deeper and more profound than I was saying, but I was tired and couldn't put my finger on it at the time. When I read your comment tonight, I realized that is EXACTLY what I was thinking/feeling that I couldn't name at the time. It really does treat God like a candy machine rather than the Living God who wants a relationship more than the "right prayers."

-->"I prefer, and am terrified by, a Living God who surprises me with his own brand of blessings... as I'm willing to accept these wild gifts."<--

Amen. Me too.

Thanks Debbie, Marti and Larry, for taking the time to comment. I always enjoy hearing your thoughts. You inspire me to go deeper with God.

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