Reading Journey 3: The Boys by Katie Hafner

Hello, fellow bookworm! Today I'm going to share with you updates on the book that I am reading, The Boys by Katie Hafner.  It's about an introverted man Ethan who fell in love with Barb, an extroverted woman. They thought that they complemented each other but it turns out their differences drove them apart.  In the beginning, Ethan left the most impression on me because of his introvertedness to which I could relate. His sad childhood made me identify with him more. When he met Barb, it's so nice seeing he's opening up to new experiences. Barb was his total opposite. She loved to explore the world.  They got married, went to an amazing escapade in Italy, but when they fostered twin boys, their relationship became wobbly. It was aggravated by the pandemic when people globally literally stayed and worked from home. This part made the story realistic as I also experienced staying at home, social distancing, and the wearing of the mask and plastic face shield.  The strain

Book Review: The Sacredness of Secular Work by Jordan Raynor

 


I grew up in a Christian church with cousins who were worship singers, Sunday school teachers, or youth leaders, and uncles who were pastors. I thought that their line of work was more favorable to God than my secular job as a teacher.  


In his latest book The Sacredness of Secular Work, Jordan Raynor shows that it’s not the case. My job is as important as their work in the church before the eyes of God. For many years, Raynor has helped millions of Christians to see the importance of their creativity and work in God’s plans through his books, The Creator in You, Called to Create, Master of One, and Redeeming Your Time and podcast, Mere Christians.


Book Description 


From a leading voice in the faith and work movement and author of Redeeming Your Time comes the revolutionary message that God sees our daily work “in whatever form it takes” with far more value than we ever imagined.


The Bible tells us our labor is not in vain. But it is exceedingly hard to see how that is true when we’ve grown disillusioned by the fleeting nature of our work and the assumption that evangelism is the only sacred work we do. A bestselling author Jordan Raynor offers an empowering declaration that the time, craft, and care of the business owner, the bank teller, or stay-at-home parent carries an eternal impact far bigger than we think.


Combining research and storytelling, Jordan proves that our work is one of the primary activities that brings God delight, and quality work has potential to physically last into heaven. Through an exponentially bigger view of the gospel and fascinating scriptural insight, Raynor reveals twelve propositions for why work has intrinsic and eternal value, and 


With this biblically redemptive perspective, readers will feel free to pursue their passions and skills and “perhaps for the first time” experience our Creator’s delight in the work of their hands.


Discussion Questions

  1. What did you learn from this book?
  2. Has this book changed the way you see your work? 
  3. Discuss some of the traditional views on work the book raises. 
  4. What information surprised you? 
  5. Which parts of the book were the most compelling? Why?
  6. How is work important to God?
  7. What is the eternal impact of your work?
  8. The book said doing your work is rehearsing for eternity. What is the implication of this in your life? 
  9. What questions would you ask the author?
  10. Would you recommend this book? Why or why not?



Review

Does our work matter to God even though it's not directly connected to our faith? Is waiting tables any less than planting a church? Jordan Raynor strongly believes that they are equally important as every secular work has value in God's eyes, given that it is aligned with His words. In his latest book, The Sacredness of Secular Work, Jordan Raynor laid out the sources of misconceptions about sacred and secular activities, listed down ways how our work contributes to God's plans, and shared stories, commentaries, and insights that 


The belief that secular work doesn’t matter to God stems from misconceptions that have been widespread among Christians. To clarify this, Raynor explained the abridged and unabridged versions of biblical verses that were misunderstood mostly by Christians, affecting how secular jobs are viewed. He also presented shocking half-truths and whole-truths that elucidate ideas of heaven, earth, Eden, worship, and Christ's return. It means to say that there’s a hidden truth behind the general idea of work in terms of God’s plans. We have to separate the wheat from the chaff.


Moreover, the book helps me see how my work matters in the eyes of God. Raynor listed 4 ways how. First, it is the vehicle to bring pleasure to God, to gain rewards, to see what is under the veil between heaven and earth, and to share God’s love with others. Every work, whether secular or non-secular, as long as it doesn’t harm other people and aligns to God’s will, it brings glory to God. That is something that we have to see in order to give our best in doing our job. 


The book is also relatable with its stories and references to widely recognized pop culture elements such as Disney movies, Taylor Swift, and Hamilton, which the author connected to biblical ideas. The transition from creation to the fall of Adam and Eve has a similar significant change of tone as Taylor Swift’s progression from 1988 to Reputation. The two different contexts have parallels that make the ideas of the book more understandable.


If you are fascinated by how your secular work brings glory to God, this book is for you. You can see for yourself that you matter to God and your work is according to his plans. 


Thank you Jordan Raynor and Waterbrooke for the ARC and the opportunity to share my thoughts.  


FURTHER INFORMATION

Jordan Raynor's Website https://www.jordanraynor.com/   

Twitter: https://x.com/jordanraynor?s=21 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jordanraynor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jordanraynor


Book Information:


The Sacredness of the Secular Work by Jordan Raynor

Published on January 30, 2024, by WaterBrook 

224 pages (eBook)

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