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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
  • Marketta Gregory: ‘Sensible Shoes’ is the next book club pick

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  • Like most people, I enjoy a good book, but I donít like to take time to weed through the mediocre ones. Thatís why I love recommendations from friends.
    And thatís why this summerís Simply Faithful book club pick is ďSensible Shoes: A Story about the Spiritual Journey,Ē by Sharon Garlough Brown ($18, IVP Books). A friend suggested it, and I read it and fell in love.
    Now I canít wait to discuss it with you and introduce you to the author during a Facebook chat in August.
    Brown does a masterful job of introducing us to four strangers who meet at a spiritual retreat center and begin the difficult work of unmasking themselves. Hannah is a pastor on a forced sabbatical. Meg is a widow haunted by her past and struggling with an empty nest. Mara has experienced a lifetime of rejection and now is in a difficult marriage. And Charissa? She is a graduate student who desperately wants to do what is right.
    They all wrestle with faith in such a true-to-life way Ė a way I often donít see in Christian fiction Ė and thatís the real gift of this book. Brown, who has a masterís of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and is a pastor and spiritual director with the Evangelical Covenant Church, paints faith as a relationship that grows and stumbles and strengthens, as something more than merely a subplot to life.
    She also weaves in scripture and spiritual practices, like walking a labyrinth and praying the examen, so readers come away with tools to draw closer to God in their own, non-fiction lives. In fact, at www.sensibleshoesclub.com Brown offers a free 80-page companion guide to the book, which essentially serves as a 12-week devotional.
    In the next few weeks Iíll share more about the author and your chance to chat with her. In the meantime, what do you say? Will you join us for the Simply Faithful book club?
    Marketta Gregory is a former religion reporter who now shares her own journey of faith with readers. She lives in Rochester, N.Y., with her husband, their three young boys and one very vocal Pomeranian. To contact Gregory, email markettagregory@yahoo.com or write to her at P.O. Box 12923, Rochester, NY 14612. You can also visit the Simply Faithful page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter (@MarkettaGregory).

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