Friday, January 16, 2009

Books for the Road--Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity
Resting on the seventh day doesn’t fit neatly into our busy lives, but Keri Wyatt Kent provides functional advice to help pause and refresh even the busiest life overrun with demanding jobs, countless kids’ activities and getting dinner on the table. Kent combines her own life experiences as a soccer mom with her study of the ancient practice of resting one day of the week, known as the Sabbath, in her new book Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity (Zondervan, January 2009). She invites readers to rediscover the practice of Sabbath in a practical and accessible format.

Kent bases her study on Jesus’ teachings and actions and explores six aspects of Christian spiritual practice that lead to Sabbath Simplicity: resting, reconnecting, revising, pausing, playing and praying. Practicing these six actions creates space in our lives for rest and renewal.

When asked what is Sabbath, its purpose and what do you mean by Sabbath Simplicity, Kent answered:

"Sabbath, first and foremost, is a gift from our loving God. He invites us to take a day to rest from our labor, so that we might engage in relationship with him and with others. Its purpose is to refresh us physically and spiritually, to celebrate our freedom, to draw us close to God, and yet to remind us that we are not God.

"God commanded us to Sabbath, to stop. But Sabbath-keeping is also a spiritual practice or discipline. All disciplines, (like prayer, solitude, etc.) create some space for God in our lives. Just as we have a lot of latitude in other practices (we can pray any number of ways, for example), we have freedom in how we practice Sabbath. My book offers a lot of ideas, and real-life examples, of how to approach this life-giving practice.

"Sabbath Simplicity is a sanely-paced, God-focused life. It’s a lifestyle that includes the practice of Sabbath-keeping, but goes beyond just taking a day off. In a way, it’s living out what Jesus told us to do in Matthew 6:33: Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Sabbath Simplicity seeks God first."

So if you are looking for a take-along book that will touch your spiritual senses, try Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity.


  1. Anonymous8:08 PM

    This is a beautiful book full of freedom and inspiration rather than rules and things to feel guilty about. It inspired me to begin keeping the Sabbath in a purposeful way that still works for my little family. Definitely a must read!

  2. After reading your review I checked this book on Amazon to read the reviews of other readers and to learn more about the book. It wasn't entirely clear, but I got the impression from a comment from one of the reviewers that the "Sabbath" the author is writing about is Sunday.

    Certainly as far as rest in concerned, Sunday can help to provide a needed rest from the burdens of the work week. But there is more to the Sabbath than just rest. As I point out in my blog, there is a close connection between God's Sabbath and faith because it takes faith to believe God's Word about His Sabbath day. In this respect, the Sabbath can serve as a test of faith today, just as it was for ancient Israel in the wilderness (Exodus 16:4).

    Many people think that the early New Testament Church changed the Sabbath to the first day of the week because Jesus Christ was resurrected on a Sunday. But that is impossible. The Bible shows that Jesus was resurrected no later than late Sabbath afternoon, not on the first day of the week.

  3. This book looks really good and I look forward to reading it!

  4. Sabbath Simplicity: resting, reconnecting, revising, pausing, playing and praying.

    Powerful that 'play' is included! :)

  5. Thanks everyone for stoppin by and commenting. Your names are also entered into my January book drawing...congrats to Karla, whose name I drew for Keri's book...Cathy