1.08.2010

Simple Compassion Blog Tour



Simple Compassion: Devotions to Make a Difference in Your Neighborhood and Your World, by Keri Wyatt Kent,  is a 52-week devotional which "invites you to discover a life overflowing with creative compassion" (back cover matter).  I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher to review during this week's blog tour.

At the end of each weekly reading, Kent provides action steps ("Compassion Steps" and "Community Steps")  to help the reader move from reading to action.  I am looking forward to working through some of these steps in the coming year, both individually and with my family.  Some of the steps are more "thoughtful", some more definitely "practical", but all are thought-provoking.  The steps not only directed at helping others, but also at changing one's own heart and mind.

I appreciate Kent's honesty and openness in her writing.  She is transparent in sharing that she isn't "there yet" in various areas...she is writing as one in the midst of the journey, rather than as an "expert".

While I am looking forward to spending more time in this book this year, I do have a word or two of caution:

First, the author is open that she is not a "conservative", nor does she think particularly highly of those who are.  Early in the book, she says, "I'm not looking to pick a fight with conservatives.  Well, okay--maybe I am." (p. 21)  Later in the book, she describes an acquaintance as a "wacko right-wing conservative..." (p. 129).  For those of us who do consider ourselves conservatives, those things can be rather off-putting. :)

Kent in particular does not hold at all to a conservative Christian view on women.  She sees such a view as limiting and restricting to women.  I do not in any way agree.  I see it as highly valuing women; their roles may be different from those of men while being no less important or valued.  If you are an "eat the meat and spit out the bones" conservative woman, you may still get much out of this book.  If you are one who would prefer not to read a book written from a more liberal perspective on women, you may want to skip this one.  (I actually tend to fall more into the latter category, but do make exceptions on occasion. :))

Another, more minor point to be aware of.  I tend to think of  "devotionals" as containing a particular Scripture reading as a prominent part of the day's reading.  Simple Compassion does contain Scripture peppered through the readings, mixed in with quotes and anecdotes, but not necessarily a focal Scripture for the week.  There is a listing of the Scriptures referenced in each reading in the "leader's guide" in the back of the book.  

An optional part of this week's blog tour is the "Simple Compassion Challenge".  The challenge is as follows:

"Choose to intentionally perform one “act of compassion” per week for the month of January. It could be as simple as writing a note of encouragement to a friend or as involved as giving up a Saturday to take sandwiches to the homeless in your area. Feel free to be creative, the only stipulation is to be intentional."

I'm in for the challenge.   I plan to post weekly challenge updates.  Some weeks may be individual acts, some may be "school projects" for the kids and I, or a project for the whole family.  We'll see how the month unfolds. :)   If you would like to participate in the challenge with us, let me know in the comments.   I'd love to hear what your plans or experiences are!

Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in the Simple Compassion tour this week!




4 comments:

Debbie said...

Hmm ...you shared some info about this author that I didn't know. However, I've read excerpst from this book on the Zondervan devotional website and really enjoyed what I read. So, I'll have to stay tuned to read what an admittedly conservative woman thinks about this book.

Blessings,
Debbie

Keri Wyatt Kent said...

Jennifer, thanks so much for reviewing my book. I did want to clarify about the context of the quote you shared about conservatives--I'm not saying I disagree with all conservatives about everything. That would be impossible since people who call themselves conservative hold many different viewpoints. (I hold a conservative viewpoint on a few issues myself). The context of the comment is a chapter about a woman whose story is told in the New Testament, Priscilla. Because the bible tells us that she taught Apollos, a man, about Scripture and theology, I think there is biblical precedent for women teaching men. There are some conservatives who would disagree with me. I respect all viewpoints--I hope that comes across in the book. And it's just my opinion about that one particular passage in the Bible.
I'd love to hear more about what you think about the rest of the book!

marineswife said...

I loved reading your review. Thanks!

spaghettipie said...

Thanks for participating in the tour!
Tina