The Easy Burden of Pleasing God
"The trait that best typifies the students who break down in my office is their great unhappiness. They are believers. Of this I am sure. Certainly they are more diligent believers than I am, to judge from all the good things they are constantly doing. But they are miserable, every one of them. And, though they usually manage to get back on track . . . I know that, in their spiritual work lives, they have not changed much either. And it breaks my heart."
Patty Kirk knows what it's like to try to impress God. It's like beating the air and bruising your soul. In The Easy Burden of Pleasing God she reminds us, through stories and reflections and careful meditation on the Scriptures, that despite what we may have heard or told ourselves, the yoke we take on as we follow Jesus is easy, and the burden of a loving God is light. To all of us who pursue perfection in vain and ache with the defeat that follows, The Easy Burden of Pleasing God will be truly good news.
"Have you ever seen the parent of a wee kindergartner grab the handle atop a heavy backpack and lift the load while the child continues to walk on, weightless? Reading this book is like that. Through Kirk's hand, Another lifts the burden you and I have been hauling around too long. And it feels fantastic."
"Patty Kirk takes us on a journey from the kitchen to the church to the university classroom (with spouses, colleagues, children, families and dogs along) for a series of engaging vignettes built around Scripture that altogether encourage us that following Jesus should be something that emerges naturally as we believe and rest in him. She stirs us on to a faith that she likens to the first few seconds of Peter's incredible walk with Jesus on the water."
"Patty Kirk's Easy Burden is a refreshing and wise mix of deep faith, common sense and excellent writing."
"I adore this little book. It is somehow simultaneously challenging and comforting. Whether you are new in the life of faith, newly again in the life of faith or an old hand, Patty Kirk's wisdom—served up in prose that is the best kind of clear, and served up with humor and personality—will edify. In short, The Easy Burden of Pleasing God is a keeper, by which I mean a book I will keep going back to, and by which I mean a book that will help keep me in the company of God."
"As I finished the last chapter, I closed the book with a feeling of peace and contentment. I returned to the cover and looked at the title again—The Easy Burden of Pleasing God. I realized that God really does desire for us to live a life of contentment, rest in him, love for others, giving, and believing, to name a few. By doing God's work one can really discover a happiness."
"As well as using personal experiences, [Kirk] skillfully retells familiar Bible stories to make the characters and situations easy to relate to. Reading this book is refreshing for the mature Christian who struggles with an overburdened life."
"In her new book of short personal essays, Kirk meditates on what it means to take on the easy yoke of Jesus—a paradox of the faith if there ever was one. Nonetheless, it's a paradox that she explores through the prismatic lens of work, rest, self-defeating perfectionism and love."
"In The Easy Burden of Pleasing God [Kirk] reminds us, through stories and reflections and careful medition on Scripture, that despite what we may have heard or told ourselves, the yoke we take on as we follow Jesus is easy, and the burden of a loving God is light. To all of us who pursue perfection in vain and ache with the defeat that follows, this book is truly good news!"
Part 1: God's Great Promises of Ease
1. Love Versus Rules
2. God's Work
3. The One Command of the One God Sent
4. A Little-Studied Message of Much of Scripture
5. The Limits of Godly Work
6. Invitations to End All Commandments
7. And the Second Is Like It
8. Free Indeed
Part 2: What Ease Might Look Like
9. Choosing What Is Better
10. Giving Cheerfully
12. Yoked to the One God Sent
13. Loving Siblings and Other Family Members
14. Getting to Remorse
15. Looking after Widows and Orphans and Other Needy Neighbors
16. "I'd Rather Do It Myself"
Part 3: Clutching the Curse of Toil
17. Good Works
18. Saying No
20. The Work of the One God Sent
21. Woe to Us
22. Knock Yourself Out!
23. The Bible Says
Part 4: Getting to Ease
24. Entering God's Rest
25. Enjoying God's Bounty
26. Helping Jesus Help Us
27. Loving the Poor in Spirit
28. The Secret of Being Content
29. What My Dogs Know: The Gospel of Rest
30. Walking on Water