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Practicing the Presence of People: How We Learn to Love [Paperback]

By Mike Mason (Author)
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Item description for Practicing the Presence of People: How We Learn to Love by Mike Mason...

A deep and vital exploration of relationships--and how to make them be all God intends them to be.

Publishers Description
In the deepest part of our hearts and souls is the desire to love well. Yet in our struggle to do so, we learn that, as Mike Mason puts it, "We are not born with love; it is something we must learn." Now, in Practicing the Presence of People, he helps us launch that learning process. Mason points the way to fresh knowledge and fresh experience, showing how we can discover new things about those we love, understand them from the inside out, tenderly identify with their weaknesses, and celebrate that they too were lovingly made by the hand of God.
Mike Mason is the author of the best-seller The Mystery of Marriage and The Gospel of Job. A full-time writer for fifteen years, he attends Pacific Community Church. He and his wife, Karen, a M.D. in general practice, live in Langley, Brittish Columbia, Canada with their daughter.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Practicing the Presence of People: How We Learn to Love by Mike Mason has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Ingram Advance - 10/01/1999 page 161

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Item Specifications...

Studio: WaterBrook Press
Pages   275
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.2" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 19, 1999
Publisher   WaterBrook Press
ISBN  1578562651  
ISBN13  9781578562657  

Availability  2 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 24, 2016 08:29.
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More About Mike Mason

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Mike Mason is the author of "The Mystery of Children, The Gospel According to Job, " and "Practicing the Presence of People." He and his wife, Karen, an MD in general practice, live in Langley, British Columbia, and have one daughter, Heather .

Mike Mason currently resides in Langley, British Columbia. Mike Mason was born in 1952.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Relationships > Friendship
2Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Relationships > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Relationships
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Worship & Devotion > Meditations
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Inspirational

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Practicing the Presence of People: How We Learn to Love?

Theology with skin on it  Sep 3, 2008
Mason suggests that we best learn to love God by loving the people we meet every day. I heartily agree. I also appreciated his evident knowledge of not only the devotional classics, but also with modern culture at its best--and worst.
Learning to Enjoy People  Jun 26, 2007
Practicing the Presence of People: How We Learn to Love This is a wonderful, meditative type of book. There are 2 or 3 pages with each day's thought. Very insightful writer. I'm thoughtfully reading this book for the 2nd time. I go slowly in order to 'chew' on the thoughts & challenges presented. The bottom line: there is nothing more imortant than learning to love people.
How we learn to love  Nov 3, 2006
This book significantly opened my insight into how to see people and behave knowing people are made in the image of God. The chapters are beautifully short yet and so form well in encouraging growth in faith and connection to people in a day. The chapters are compelling such that I found it difficult to stop with just one. I'm giving it to Christians as a discipleship tool almost as frequently as I give Bibles to non-Christians for conversion.
Highly Recommended  Jun 18, 2004
Besides the bible, no other book has had a more positive impact on my life than Practicing the Presence of People. In first choosing to read this book, I desired to love people better. I was on a mission's trip and wanted to bless those I was serving. This book broadened my vision for reaching others and filled me with more of God's love than I'd ever experienced before. Each chapter drew out different nuances to my understanding of God's will for my life. I began to understand why some of my relationships had gone awry or were stifled. What struck me the most was Mason's claim that God's deepest desire for us is to see God's beauty in others. Not in a moralistic "oh they're perfect" kind of way, but in practical ways that improved the fruit of my relationships as a mentor, friend, disciple, etc.

Mason's book is not for Christians who think, "It's simple, the bible is black and white." But if you want to learn more about God's desire for us, Mason illustrates the heart of the bible with craft! For example, the bible is showered with verses of praise describing the glory of God in people (praising God for loving us enough by sending Jesus to die for us and draw out that glory more). Practically, our heart should overflow. But it won't until God saves us personally. We only begin to see the glimmer of God's glory in others when we've dealt with the frustrations of trying to be in good relationship with God, our self, and others.

Scripture is clear. In Genesis, we were created in God's image and were in sweet communion with God, and then there was the fall of humanity with Adam and Eve's choices. From there, fortunately for us, God sent Jesus and the Holy Spirit, to continue our story and relationship with him. We walk this journey every day towards or away from a relationship with God, and people. Again, it's solid theology to think that God's glory is waiting to be unlocked in all of us. Furthermore, if you study Jesus' life thoroughly, relationships are critical. Here's a few verses from the bible that Mason draw's out in his book, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind," "Love your neighbor as yourself," and even "Love your enemy's." And finally why? "Because God first loved us." For Christians to actually take the "greatest commandment" (love the lord and your neighbor) seriously would revolutionize how the world actually views Christians. Sure, I completely believe the bible when it brings testimony to Jesus dying for our sins, but the proof is in the pudding. How do you make disciples of all nations? Well we don't need any more Christians hitting people over the head with the bible, that's for sure. What we need is love. Friendship is the vehicle for deeper compassion.

Lastly, I find Mason's insight into God's heart for us captivating. I may not know 100% that God actually prays for us, but what's wrong with thinking that he might? What if I phrased it the opposite way by saying God never prays for us. Which do you actually think is true? I think we need to ask ourselves tougher questions than only what the bible says. We need to step out of linear thinking and grasp what the bible means. I am confident that Mason's book gives a healthy, Godly look at our relationship with our self, others, and God.

1 Corinthians 13:1 says, "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal."

"Forgive the dream crusher and your dreams will never be crushed again." -Mike Mason, Practicing the Presence of People: How We Learn to Love

Maybe it's well meant, but it's also ludicrous!!  Feb 1, 2003
Mike Mason begins his book by stating: "One day in contemplation there came to me the phrase 'the practice of the presence of people.' And with it came this thought - why not take all that I've learned about knowing God through contemplative prayer and apply it to knowing people." Not a bad beginning, but it gravitates toward the bizarre.

His previous book, "The Mystery of Marriage" was a wonderful treatise on marriage, and as he says, he once wanted to become a monk, but he fell in love, and the insights he brought to that topic are far superior than this foray.

He says that this book is a series of reflections, 5 categories compared to the fingers on a hand - 1. People; 2. Self; 3. Presence; 4. Practice; and 5. Friendship. He says that being united to people means overcoming all our fears and judgments so that no sin or imperfection stains our fellowship. Not a bad theory, but it is flawed. We are sin-stained people who need the grace of God, Mike.

He goes on to say that "people reflect the presence of God in the world," based on an experience he had with a woman in whom he saw the "glory of the Lord" on her face. Now maybe that's true, and I don't discount anyone's experience, but to go and come to some other conclusions which are tantamount to heresy is questionable. For instance:

"God's prayer life consists of practicing our presence."
"We gain access to earth by believing in people." He seems to believe that all people are good, in the face of the fact that Jesus has stated that only God is good, and the prophets have stated that the heart is deceitful. He continues in later chapters to say that the practice of the presence of people is the answer to all our problems. (Really, Mike?) Maybe we should inform the President and Sadam Hussein. This is serious stuff, here, apparently.

He interjects quotes from Nelson Mandela, Agnes Sanford, Thomas Merton, Paul Tillich, and Will Rogers, in what is a home-spun theology not based so much on biblical truth, but Brother Lawrence, and at one point, he believes that if Brother Lawrence was alive, he would be writing Mike Mason's book. And what about these gems"

"Intimacy is 'in-to-me-see'".
"Let God be God and He'll let you be you."

He goes on in a number of ways and takes Scripture out of text, in particular James 3:17, in the wisdom passage, and he arrives at the conclusion that "get enough relief happening in your life, and you will fill up with the love of God." Then he goes on to say that "Friendship is the proof of the gospel's pudding." This is heretical, especially in light of 1 Corinthians 15:1-8. He also proclaims that "Hence, in John's gospel, the great commission to the church is not to go the ends of the earth and make disciplies, but to become the house of God by being friends with one another." This is incredibly lunacy.

Then the icing on the cake is as follows:

"Friendship is the message Jesus wanted to preach. Jesus Himself did not accomplish what He did alone. He chose to work with friends. What did Jesus' friends do for Him? I believe they helped Him (as heretical as this may sound) to be more human. After all, humanity was something Jesus learned about as He went along..."

I can't review this anymore, because it is ludicrous!! Maybe Mike has meant well, but he should stick with marriage books, or sink his teeth in the Bible, or get mentored by someone with a grasp of the truth. "Oh, God, may you open the eyes of your child, Mike, and grant he be filled with true wisdom. Amen."

Please...if you get this book, read with the wisdom of above and discernment, and especially compare what you read with the Truth.

This is not a recommended book, and I'm pulling it from our church library.


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