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Friday, October 3, 2014

The Sacred Year

How could staring at an apple for over an hour help you to change your focus? How could digging a grave help give you a deeper understanding of what our own mortality means? How long could you sit in a room in utter silence until you had to do something or engage in another activity? How can you learn to appreciate all that life has to offer when you can't seem to find hope and happiness anymore?

I found some amazing insights into one man's spiritual walk, Michael Yankoski during one year he entitled in his book, The Sacred Year. In meeting with a man known as Father Solomon, he engaged Michael to take his own spiritual journey to find deeper nourishment, deeper encouragement, and deeper hope in a book that follows, through the ups and downs of one honest questioner's year of spiritual practice. There are simply so many amazing things that my poor copy of this book is more dog-eared than not. From outstanding quotes that open each chapter to the insights Michael discovered in so many profound ways, causes the reader to stop and pause at their own life, and realize how much we are truly missing. From learning to appreciate a great meal simply by fasting for 24 hours gives you a greater sense of the food you are eating. A good meal is never more appreciated than when you have gone without food for a few days. How too often we simply give up appreciating the abundance of food and flavors we have available to us simply by walking into a grocery store.

How when challenged to learn how to reclaim items that too often we simply discard not because we can't use them any longer but because we don't want them anymore. "We humans throw away such an astonishing amount of stuff every year, especially in the developed world. Resources are scarce, clean air and water and land are precious, and perhaps one of the ways of protecting what remains includes reclaiming what we might throw away, like lumber scraps, clothing or furniture. If we truly don't want them, and they are perfectly good, why not consider donating them instead? Michael actually spent time dumpster diving to see just what we so often throw away that still has value left in it.

How learning what is really important instead of the stronger overtaking the weaker, building something bigger, better and bolder, when you consider what is the point of it all anyway? "Is everything we build just destined to become rubble in another's ambition? For all the power and wealth here, for all the cultural influence and clout these culture-makers possess with their red carpets and private jets, they will all - we will all - one day be six feet under." (pg 111). He gains an insight into his own mortality digging a grave by hand. "The fact that I'm going to be down there someday. That we're all going to be down there someday. And the whole world will just keep on going about its business above us, like we were never even here."(pg 114).

He uncovers how God views us all not as a harsh judge looking for the moment to wipe us off the planet but in discovering through a close friend who is dying of cancer, how God views sin in our life like as a father views cancer taking the life of his daughter. The father hates cancer with an absolute, burning passion. So sin is like cancer, eating us alive, diminishing what we're made to be. It's a cancer of the mind, a cancer of the heart, a cancer of the soul. And it has spread out like a tumor throughout our whole selves. And, like the Bible says, "the wages of sin," are like the effects of untreated cancer, "is death." "And God like the father of the child with cancer, hates sin, hates the cancer that is eating us alive. He loves us and so he hates whatever it is that is killing us. He doesn't hate us, though, He loves us. He loves us and hates cancer, hates cancer because He loves us. God desires for us to live, to flourish, to thrive. That is why He made us. That is why God keeps us in existence from moment to moment." (pg 131).

I received The Sacred Year by Michael Yankoski compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own unless otherwise notated. There is simply so much to be gleaned from Michael's book and in his own year long search for something more than simply making it through this life doing the best we can with what God has given us. For those of you looking for a little bit more insight as the world grows at an exponential rate leaving us as debris in its wake, you just might uncover a true diamond in the rough tucked between the covers of this book.. I easily give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars and can't wait to begin my own journey!

For more information about The Sacred Year, Michael Yankoski, or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Michael Yankoski on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest books.

To read more reviews on The Sacred Year, please visit Litfuse Publicity's book tour page.

God is at work everywhere. And every-when. We only need to open our eyes and take the time to notice.

Michael Yankoski became jaded and disillusioned with his life as a Christian motivational speaker, feeling as though he was another act in the “Christian Carnival.” Religion started to become a fa├žade instead of a deep, nourished, lived experience of faith. He knew he needed to stop talking about his faith and begin living and practicing it. In a sort of desperation, Michael dedicated the next year to engaging various spiritual practices, and The Sacred Year is a firsthand account of the downs and ups, the failures and successes of an honest search for answers to the human yearning for life, love, and God. It’s time to stop talking about your faith and begin living and experiencing it.

Join Michael and #EmbraceTheSacred—seek out God at work in the mundane and attend to what God is doing in your life. Share those moments on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and make sure to use the tag #EmbraceTheSacred.


As a thank-you for ordering The Sacred Year, Michael is giving away a free ebook! Email your proof of purchase of The Sacred Year to, and you will receive A Straightforward Guide to Three Essential Spiritual Practices ebook for FREE! Learn more here.


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