Book Review: “Dancin’ toward the Dawn”

dancin toward the dawn_tim hanselTwo of my favorite features in this book (first published as Through the Wilderness of Loneliness) by Tim Hansel:

1. NTS

Sprinkled throughout are occasional NTS entries: Next Tiny Step. Small, practical suggestions. Things TO DO.

God doesn’t always ask us to take big steps, but he does ask us to take the next tiny one. Take opportunities to exercise control. Make life happen instead of being paralyzed by circumstances or emotions. Experience has no substitute.

Tim quotes one of the soundest pieces of advice he was ever given:
Do the very best you can
with what you have
where you are now.

Example of NTS:
Saint Irenaeus said, “The glory of God is man fully alive.” Write down a list of those things that make you feel most alive, and see if you can find His presence there.

2. From My Journal

Excerpts from Tim’s own journals are also splashed throughout the chapters. They expose his heart, his vision, his learning from his own experiences.

Example:
When our striving fails, He is a God who comes to find us—even when we can’t find ourselves. All too often we think we have to change, be good, to grow in order to be loved. In truth we are loved in order to change and grow and be all the things that God wants us to be.

* * *

This isn’t a book just for the lonely, or I might not have read it. Loneliness isn’t a place I live, although I visit there from time to time. Rather Tim writes to touch souls wherever they are, lonely places or otherwise, and urges them to go higher and deeper from that place.

Perhaps that’s why I connect so much with his words. He touches the spirit in me that longs for more and more of the Lord, and encourages me to feast at the rich table spread before us.

* * *

On Emptiness:
But you say, “I’m lonely, too. Why doesn’t someone come to me?” It is interesting that the passage in Isaiah doesn’t say, “Here I am, find me,” nor does it say “Fill my needs.” The Scriptures are clear. The correct response is, “Here I am, send me” (Isaiah 6:8).

On Wholeness:
God is not going to take all the loneliness away and patch every hole in our lives. He is just going to give it meaning and purpose. He doesn’t promise to fix us—just make us whole and holy.

On Solitude:
Solitude doesn’t transform things; it simply makes us see things that we couldn’t see before. Solitude invites the inner presence of God. It’s about as obvious and reasonable as daylight. And as magnificent. I cannot explain it any further. (Journal Entry)

More from Tim Hansel

2 comments:

Lynn Severance said...

Lisa, such a nice review of Tim's book!

You certainly gave your readers some good excerpts to ponder. Even I want to get the book out and do some re-reading. I'l send this page onto Anastasia, who mans their computer.

Bless you!
L.

Lisa notes... said...

He definitely provide food for thought.

But another thing I like about Tim's books is that he not only gives me things to ponder over through his own words, but he's generous in quoting others as well.

I like this quote he included from Dewey Cass:

"When God is going to do something wonderful, He begins with a difficulty. If He is going to do something very wonderful, He begins with an impossibility.”

Even though it's a little scary... :-)

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