Monday, April 21, 2014

Book Review - Home Behind the Sun

Home Behind the Sun: Connect with God in the Brilliance of the Everyday

By: Timothy Willard and Jason Locy
Publisher: Nelson Books
Publication Date: April 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4002-0566-0
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: April 22, 2014

Timothy Willard and Jason Locy team together and have penned Home Behind the Sun; an insightful (and soulful) read outlining their philosophies and self-perception of what God means to them, but what it can mean for all mankind.

Messrs. Willard and Locy open Home Behind the Sun with a prologue that speaks to their personal mission, compulsion and, most importantly, purpose in writing their book. Challenged from the onset, they share the sentiment of one friend, in particular, when they shared their information of embarking upon such a book: “...I love how you guys are reframing the whole image Dei discussion. I often feel like ‘the image of God’ gets narrowed into social justice compartments. If I’m not active in some cause, then I’m not fulfilling the gospel. Isn’t it gospel living to raise my four boys and to make a living, supporting my wife and family?...” While the question was taken to heart, it set the tone for both men to broaden the spectrum (and certainly shape the content) to include an important statement: “...the gospel of Christ extends into every facet of this life...”

The overall message that resonates as much as resounds throughout this body of work is the reality that we humans do exist under the guidance and direction of a higher power; and more importantly, He is God. There is an insistence of awareness to the aforementioned premise. Both men challenge the reader to consider how we have evolved as a civilization (generally speaking) when it comes to faith. Much has changed since the beginnings of time and in more recent times; the ‘gospel’ is used to fit our day-to-day, month-to-month personal needs—as a matter of convenience if it were. By no means have Willard and Locy written a 200+ page diatribe of sermons and prayers. Rather, they’ve broken down complexities and religious wonders and simply affirmed their beliefs of how blessed we are once we allow the concept and premise of God into our lives.

When asked if I was interested in reviewing this particular book, my initial reaction was trepidation. I don’t profess to be an ‘all knowing’ sort, but what convinced me to take on this book was my personal convictions and commitments to keep an open mind. Besides, I seek answers for a better understanding. However, I do have a deep-seeded aversion to a pulpit pounding delivery as much as fundamental insistence from a 'professed authority.' Much to my relief, Mr. Willard and Locy have writing styles likened to two men who simply want to share the joy they have achieved because of their devotion to God. They break their message down chapter-by-chapter using the innocence of children (their respective children) and how fresh and open they are to the message of belief. In yet another chapter titled “Mist Kiss,” they take the reader to Yosemite (which happened to be compelling for me, personally). El Capitan and Half Dome, located in Yosemite National Park, is their reference point. I have stood at the footpath of both majesties and asked myself the question: “How is it possible there is no God when one is here in the moment?” I commend both men for writing a carefully crafted book. I also thank them for delivering a body of work that truly has something in it for a culturally diverse readership.

Quill says: Home Behind the Sun carries a superb and beautiful message that strips away secularity and presents the premise of understanding and opening the heart and welcoming God into it.

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