Oct 27, 2014

Delightful Things: Rhythms of Grace by Kerri Weems

Photo from Amazon

Life is more like a symphony arranged by the conductor. A symphony has several movements to it but will only serve its purpose if all instruments are working in harmony. If there is no rhythm, melody is lost and movements are just exactly that—activity with no order and cohesion.  Life is not about balance but about rhythms, more about seeing the bigger picture than compartmentalizing.

This is the general idea that recurs in Kerri Weems’ Rhythms of Grace. In the book, Weems takes us on a three-part journey to pursuing the God-honoring tempo of our lives, grounded in wholeness. Rhythm is founded on how things are supposed to be according to God’s design (shalom), the Sabbath as a means to remember our freedom from the demands of our dog eat dog world, and being yoked to Christ with a yoke of grace.

Following these foundations are what Weems calls pacesetters and peace stealers. Pacesetters are factors that impact the tempo of our lives on different levels. The book focuses on the following: work, relationships, physical health, and spiritual vitality. Proactivity is the key to ensuring that we cooperate with God in keeping these areas healthy and prevent them from running amok.

As I read through the pacesetters in the book, the chapters on Work and Relationships remind me of what I’ve already learned in Boundaries, How People Grow, and Freedom from the Tyranny of the Urgent. It is commendable that Weems was able to synthesize the lessons I gleaned from these books. If you don’t have time to read all of those titles mentioned, I suggest you turn to Rhythms of Grace.

The chapter on physical health hit home for me. Right now I’m in need of some motivation to get fit again. As she began with a brief study of wholeness in God, of shalom, the book faithfully continues that thread by relating physical health with how we run our “spiritual race.” This section on pacesetters and peace stealers then concludes with spiritual vitality. At this point, I’m reminded of other books that expound on the spiritual disciplines: Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster and The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard. Both are actually listed as resources in the appendix. 

The book wraps up with encouragement, challenge, and sound advice. This is the part that most people read first because it's where we find the “how-to.” But I wouldn’t change how the whole thing was outlined. It might be helpful to go through the reflection questions at the end of each chapter even before reaching the final section of the book. Aside from a list of additional resources, there is also a Reboot Your Schedule exercise at the end. I'm excited to sit down and go through it this weekend.

Rhythms of Grace is simple without being simplistic, practical but not leaving out the importance of principle. I appreciate the emphasis on God’s grace and character, and our actions working beautifully together to live whole and fruitful lives, marching (or perhaps dancing) to the beat of the Master Conductor.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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