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Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road [Paperback]

By Donald Miller (Author)
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Item Number 21374  
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Item description for Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road by Donald Miller...

Fueled by the belief that something better exists than the mundane life they've been living, free spirits Don and Paul set off on an adventure-filled road trip in search of deeper meaning, beauty, and an explanation for life.

Publishers Description

From the author of "Blue Like Jazz" comes a road-trip memoir about three months spent crossing the country in a Volkswagen camping van, wondering out-loud if there is more to life than nine-to-five jobs, than the ruts the entire world seems to be stuck in. Follow Don and Paul as they dive headlong into the deepest of human questions and find answers outside words―answers that have to be experienced to be believed.

Day 1: "Trips like ours are greener grass left unknown for fear of believing trite sayings; sayings that are sometimes true. But our friends back home live an existence under the weight and awareness of times; a place we are slowly escaping; a world growing fainter by the hour and the mile."

Day 13: "It feels again that we are leaving who we were, moving on into the people we will become, hopefully, people with some kind of answers, some kind of thing to believe tht makes sense of beauty, of romance. Something that would explain the red glow against Paul's face, the red glow that seems to be coming off the console . . . 'Did you notice the engine light is lit, bud?' I ask . . ."

Day 83: "I sit in the van, waiting for her to come out when I notice a window in one of the classrooms open, and a backpack comes falling out, spilling a few books onto the lawn. After the backpack comes Elida, falling atop the pack and laying low, peeking back into the window to see if the teacher noticed. She gathers her books, reaches into the classroom and closes the window, then runs toward the van as though this were a prison break."

As you read "Through Painted Deserts, "you'll soon realize this is not just one man's account of finding light, God, and beauty on the open road. Rather, this book maps the journey you're already traveling . . . or soon will be.

Awards and Recognitions
Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road by Donald Miller has received the following awards and recognitions -

  • Christian Retailing's Best - 2006 Finalist - Biography/Autobiography category

Citations And Professional Reviews
Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road by Donald Miller has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Ingram Advance - 08/01/2005 page 24

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Thomas Nelson
Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.4" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2005
Publisher   Thomas Nelson
ISBN  0785209824  
ISBN13  9780785209829  
UPC  020049056929  

Availability  140 units.
Availability accurate as of Mar 24, 2017 10:02.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Donald Miller

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! In 2005, Donald Millerstarted The Mentoring Project, an organization that equips churches to run mentoring programs, pairing mentors with boys in need. Don s work with the fatherless led the Obama administration to invite him onto the president s Task Force on Fatherhood and Healthy Families. He is a frequent speaker, appearing at events such as the Women of Faith Conference, the Democratic National Convention, and the Veritas Forum at Harvard University. He still lives in Portland, Oregon, with his dog, Lucy."

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Religious
3Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Travel
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Faith
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Spiritual Growth > Spiritual Formation

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Reviews - What do customers think about Through Painted Deserts?

Miller continues to please  Oct 13, 2006
I first read "Blue Like Jazz", before "Through Painted Deserts", so I got Don's history a little out of sync. Normally I'm not a huge nonfiction fan, but I love the flowing style that Don Miller writes in. Plus he likes the same kind of experiences that I do. I have definitely become a fan.

The big criticism of Don by Christian theologians is that he is either "off" on this theology or too postmodern in his theology. I think it's telling that God didn't write a theology textbook, but a series of nonfiction stories that tell a Story--the story of redemption. I see that Don understands this, and wants to tell his part in the epic. And he's gifted at doing just that.

Many more of us would benefit if we had Don's authentic relationship with God.
Interesting read  Sep 18, 2006
At first I didn't know why I found this book to be so riveting. Upon reflection I realized it was because I felt like I was actually there with Mr. Miller throughout his trek and sojourn. For me it was just light-hearted and enjoyable reading, not really burdened with weighty or theological content, although there were some meaningful moments along the way. I recommend that you read this book after his hit Blue Like Jazz, even though this is chronologically backward, as it will help you to understand how he got to where he was when he wrote BLJ.

A book that brings you back to the basics  Sep 8, 2006
I read Through Painted Deserts while traveling to Australia for a study abroad trip. Miller retold the places he had visited with his friend in the West of America, a few of those places I have been. It made me reflect on those expereinces and realize how blessed I am.
More importantly, it made me realize that I needed to take the next 4 months I had in a different culture to the outmost extreme. I couldn't judge people (as Miller explains in examples). The key note, however, was that we need to stop for a second and realize the beauty of the simple things in life. When we do that we see a side of God. And that was wonderful advice for me entering a new country, but something I can take home too.
The book helped me and entertained me. It will do the same to you!
Stood Up  Aug 10, 2006
Like other Donald Miller books, this is just the same. Miller takes the same prose and describes his unsatisfied life journey from yet another experience. Miller is searching, unsettled and cannot find a place of contentment in life. Every form of tradition or structure is defiant against his utopia of "don't fence me in". His book can make you laugh at times and reflect on experiences that may compare closely to your own. Miller however, leaves you hanging and searching. He has no real answer. He speaks of God, but touches on multiple god's. He does not speak of a savior or God's plan. He lives a life as a Hebrew in the wilderness. Very disappointed in Miller and his all too common problem that unfortuanately many people today experience. Searching for what's right in front of them and trying to smorgasbord their faith with multiple religions and a "God loves me no matter what rules and conscious decision I make for myself."
Advice for Mr. Miller: You may make friends along your transient gypsy road, but they in turn think of you as just that.
A journey both physical and metaphysical  Jul 15, 2006
In this volume, Miller gently reminds the modernist that, in the final analysis, the big questions -- the 'why' questions -- determine whether the 'how' questions are important. Gently is the operative adverb.

Although I am not of the generation to whom this books is most naturally directed (older teens through thirty-somethings), and although I am an admitted so-called modernist (which is neither strictly good nor bad, but simply describes most westerners of the past three centuries), I find Donald Miller's observations to be important, consistently valid, and persistently fun. Here's a clip from the second chapter, which should give you a sense for Miller's prose:

"The trouble with you and me is that we are used to what is happening to us. We grew into our lives . . . never able to process the enigma of our composition. Think about this for a moment: if you weren't a baby and you came to earth as a human with a fully developed brain and had the full weight of the molecular experience occur to you at once, you would hardly have the capacity to respond in any cognitive way to your experience. But because we were born as babies and had to be taught to speak and to pee in a toilet, we think all of this is normal. Well, it isn't normal. Nothing is normal. It is all rather odd, isn't it, our eyes in our heads . . . the capacity to understand beauty, to feel love, to feel pain.
"If I do lose faith, that is if I do let go of my metaphysical explanations for the human experience, it will not be at the hands of science. I went to a Stephen Hawking lecture not long ago and wondered about why he thought we get born and why we die and what it means, but I left with nothing, save a brief mention of aliens as a possible solution to the question of origin. And I don't mean anything against Stephen Hawking, because I know he has an amazing brain . . . but I went wondering about something scientific that might counter mysterious metaphysical explanations, and I left with aliens."

The book is a kind of travelogue of a journey both physical and metaphysical; the details need not be related here. There are fanatical, reactionary 'christian' critics who love to hate Donald Miller, which is quite sad. A friend lent my daughter a copy of Miller's 'Blue Like Jazz,' she read it, my wife read it, I read it, my other two daughters read it -- which is honestly amazing, we have different tastes in books, yet we all enjoyed it and all might list it among our most recommendable. I think you'll enjoy 'Through Painted Deserts' and 'Blue Like Jazz' (unless you're a belligerent, religious nut, or a numb-hearted materialist). Miller inspires introspection, and does so with a light heart and a ready wit.

Paul: "You can't beat [Lynyrd] Skynyrd."
Don: "I could if I had a bat."

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