Friday, July 19, 2013

Garden of Grace: 1 Yr. Anniversary Coming Up!

What can the faithful do when life throws them a curveball? Does faith in Jesus heal? Is faith just a coping mechanism for dealing with the losses, challenges and mundane realities of daily living?Or does faith give true, abundant life? What does that kind of life look like?

These questions and others prompted the Garden of Grace, a collection of 30 devotions drawn from the garden and gardening experiences while studying Ephesians.

Garden of Grace covers a range of territory from uplifting meditations inspired by garden insects such as The Invisible Spider Web and Spiritual Blessings to winsome reminders for daily living in Patience, the Body of Christ, and the Praying Mantis. The colorful devotional of gardening metaphors and allegories is intricately woven with true life stories of spiritual friendships and real photographs of divine and human gifts. In A Life of Resurrection and Zinnias a friend’s gift of
seeds for a butterfly and hummingbird garden brought forth long-stemmed zinnias in their due season and became a reminder of the life God had prepared for the author even before he created her. The Grace Received includes a beautiful picture of an angel birdfeeder among bright red flowering salvia, recalling yet another joyous spiritual friendship besides friendship with God.  The spectacular show put on by white hybrid iceberg roses and their enduring nature is captured in Spiritual Athleticism and Iceberg Roses. In The Tree of Life and Knowing God, Biblical allusions and myths about the pomegranate are clarified with theological and academic insight. In the Bibliographical Essay and Theological Background which is a part of the Introduction, the author provides all the details of her study of Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians and her own research into gardening. This is a new kind of devotional combining solid theology, rigorous research, personal narratives, and photographs of the everyday reflections of an ordinary woman. It is a time-lapsed look at the grace of seeds, other garden objects, and the people in our lives. It is a great gift to give the gardener in your life. New and mature Christians who find the letters of the Apostle Paul inspiring will also like it. The devotions never fail to remind us of our spiritual realities so that like Paul, the Apostle of Spiritual Joy, we too live filled with the Spirit of joy, hope, peace and love. 

Rev. Barbara Buck, Associate Pastor at St. Peter’s By The Sea, Rancho Palos Verdes: “The introduction is right up there with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Henri Nouwen, and Eberhard J√ľngel!"

Marilyn Tift, Irvine: “Each time I read the Daybook, I discover something different and gain understanding too. The photos, the garden experiences, the personal disclosure, I love it!”

Kindle (published July 31, 2012) and print (published September 5, 2012) editions of the book are available from Amazon and the print edition only from CreateSpace. All royalties in the first year from the sale of the book go to Pravaham: A Community for Peace and Justice which provides vocational education for marginalized and oppressed rural poor high school dropout girls in south India. For bulk purchases please contact Charis Research.

About the Author: Anita has been a systems and technical services librarian, a digital library researcher and a professor. She is currently completing her second devotional, Casa Charis: A Daybook of Freedom.   

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