Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sacred Pauses: A Book Review

About The Book:

In a fast-paced world full of distractions, spiritual practice can help us become more centered-more in touch with ourselves and others, more in touch with the world around us, more in touch with God. Sacred Pauses is an introduction to this more centered way of life.

The author, a pastor in British Columbia, begins with her own longing for personal renewal. What would it take to feel renewed every day? Instead of waiting for a vacation to smooth out the tensions of life, instead of waiting until the end of the week to shed our weariness, what if we could take time out every day? Live a renewed life every day? Be refreshed by God every day?

Sacred Pauses offers simple ways for readers to do just that. Each chapter explores a different spiritual practice-from the classic disciplines of Scripture reading and prayer to other creative approaches such as paying attention, making music, and having fun. With plenty of stories from real life and ideas to try, this book is personal and practical. Its flexible format is appropriate for personal use or in a group, every day or any time.

You can read an interview with the author, April Yamasaki here

About The Author:

April Yamasaki is lead pastor of Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, British Columbia. She has published numberous articles and several books, including Remember Lot's Wife and Other Unnamed Women of the Bible (FaithQuest) and Making Disciples: A Manual for Baptism and Church Membership (Faith and Life Press). She has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of British Columbia, a master's degree in Christian studies from Regent College, Vancouver, BC, and enjoyed seminary life along with her husband at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana, and Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia.

April has taught college-level courses in Bible and English, adult enrichment courses on prayer and journaling, and seminars and retreats on Christian living.
A third-generation Canadian of Chinese descent, she was born and raised in Vancouver, BC. April lives in Abbotsford with her husband, Gary, who teaches biblical studies at Columbia Bible College.

Visit her website at

My Review:

Life is crazy but as Christians we are called to, at times, take a step back and pause from the craziness that life brings and re-focus on God. While many of us look at the Sabbath as our "day of rest" we are really to find this pause in our every day lives as well. It's not just about going to church on Sundays, worshiping there and coming home and letting all we learned be put on the back burner. We are to live out these pauses each and everyday. 

As a mom, this is the most difficult thing that I struggle with. Taking time to pause and reflect through Bible Reading, prayer and study is something I love to do, but something I need to do more of. 

Recently, I had the chance to read Sacred Pauses by April Yamasaki and it has really changed the way I look at taking time to just rest and be still. The book is very well-written and easy to read. While the chapters are not long, and you could potentially read through the book in a couple days, I chose to read it more thoroughly and felt I got way more out of it. My favorite chapters were Creating Space (chapter 1) and Living Simply (chapter 17). 

While a lot of the information wasn't not completely new to me, much was, and it was a blessing to read and be reminded to take time and be still. As a busy stay-at-home/work-at-home mom, I learned a number of practical ways to pause in my day and have already noticed a difference in my attitude and habits after reading this book. 

If you are looking for a practical, encouraging and challenging book about spiritual disciplines this is the book for you. 

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Sacred Pauses online through Menno Media, as well as through your favorite Christian bookseller locally.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Menno Media, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

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