Customer Reviews for

Close Enough to Hear God Breathe: The Great Story of Divine Intimacy

Average Rating 3.5
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  • Posted September 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Enjoyable

    Greg Paul is a pastor and member of Sanctuary in Toronto, Canada, a ministry where the wealthy and poor share their experiences and resources daily and care for the most excluded people in the city, including addicts, prostitutes, the homeless, and gay, lesbian, and transgendered people. Greg is a former carpenter, a father of four and married to Maggie. He is also an author of two other books: The Twenty-Piece Shuffle and God in the Alley.

    Close Enough To Hear God Breathe by Greg Paul points out how our God should be viewed as our Father, a parent himself, as we are His Children. Greg breaks down the verses from the Bible and also tells of stories that have happened in his life, which allowed him to get closer to God intimately; but not in a sexually way but with a deep feeling that we should all be with God.

    Greg also helps us understand how God is here for us when we need him, through good and bad. He also provides Notes and a Reader's Guide at the end of the book.

    Would I recommend this book? Sure. Everybody reads a book and takes it in differently. I personally enjoyed the book and I hope you do to, if you decide to read Close Enough To Hear God Breathe by Greg Paul.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 16, 2011

    Books Teaches "God is Just Like Human Parents"/Similar to THE SHACK book

    Close Enough to Hear God Breathe: The Greatest Story of Divine Intimacy is a book that focuses on stories from the author's life. He tells a story about a human parent and their child and then relates that story to how God looks at us, His own children.

    I found this book quite touching and beautiful. At first, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it, because the author was relating stories about his own father and himself as the son and I didn't find that story very deep or touching. But as the book goes on, the author begins telling sad and tragic stories about other parents and their children. These stories are touching and may even bring a tear to your eye - especially one about a mother losing her son to drugs, alcohol, then homelessness and a young death at age 40. I'm not certain God relates to us quite like a human parent will relate to their son, but the stories are touching and the analogies are throught-provoking.

    This book reminds me of the message in the fictional novel The Shack by William P. Young - in that it relates the God-human relationship to human parents and their kids. This book also mentions that God is father and the Holy Spirit is mother and Jesus is like their son. So again, that reminds me of The Shack book. Those who like the Shack will like this book. If you didn't like The Shack, you probably won't agree with this author's analogies.

    My disclaimer - I received this book from the publisher Thomas Nelson free of charge but I always give honest reviews. I want you to be able to choose the best book based on stars because I know you have limited time and energy to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2013

     This book first appears to me as a disconnected and difficult t

     This book first appears to me as a disconnected and difficult to follow book. But after a few chapters into the book, I begin to appreciate the masterly way in which Greg weaves in a few stories and scriptures into one correlated whole. I must admit it took a while to savor and appreciate this wonderfully intimate work. This is a book to be read slowly, letting the pages sipped through and the characters come alive. 
    I especially like his chapters on The Beauty of a Broken Mirror, Chocolate Rosebuds, Striking off the Chains and Plastic Pop Bottles. Greg’s human episodes brings out his points vividly and poignantly. In these pages, I see God’s love for us in a very real and touching way. For Greg to write in this way, he must have an intimate and experiential knowledge of God, especially on God’s love, the sheer pleasure of redeeming something others can only see as junk (pg 134) – that’s God all over. 
    I would strongly recommend this book to those who want to grow in experiencing God’s love for us. 

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  • Posted August 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This is a beautifully written book that tells of the author's pe

    This is a beautifully written book that tells of the author's personal
    experience with God. His God is an intimate, loving God, not the God of
    punishment or judgment. The book is filled with lovely, personal
    anecdotes written with heart, many of them quite poignant. It's
    thoughtful, well-written and digestible. While you can read all the way
    through, it's also a book you can pick up and turn to a random page for
    inspiration and food for thought. (Disclosure of Material Connection: I
    received this book free from the publisher, for review purposes. I was
    not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed
    are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade
    Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of
    Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising")

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 31, 2012

    More Personal than Theological

    The story of the book, Close Enough to Hear God Breathe by Greg Paul is one of redemption. Not really the one time redemption that Christians commonly refer to in Christ, but the kind of redemption that continues to happen throughout our lives. Paul divides his book into five sections: The Heart of the Matter, Creation, The Fall, Redemption, and Consummation. His stories are centered around personal anecdotes from his life in ministry as well as from his personal life. Stories of love, loss, and redemption.

    The story that Greg Paul tells in this book is one that is very familiar with Christian books of substitution theologies and personal salvation. There were some stories and ideas in the book that I could really connect with, and there were others that I could not reach past the theological statements of ‘everything happens for a reason’ to find their redemptive qualities. Paul often speaks of his own family and people he encounters through his ministry to illustrate his stories. Often, he offers up a problem, his old thought process, an enlightening personal redemption story, and then a new thought process. While none of this is necessarily wrong, it becomes predictable and repetitive throughout the book. I had really wanted to try and like this book but just couldn't bring myself to.

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  • Posted October 3, 2011

    Not Recommended

    Close Enough To Hear God Breathe by Greg Paul. The story of divine intimacy. I really wanted this book to be good, but to be totally honest it was not. It seemed more like the life story of the author with some scripture thrown in. Mr. Paul is a pastor of Sanctuary in Toronto. It is a ministry where they help drug addicts, homeless, and other troubled people. Some of the stories in the book were moving and thought worthy. When he speaks of the death of his father was the only thing I could relate to. The author talks of sailing and drinking wine, his divorce, and his children. When he talks of his daughter, Rachel when she was small felt real to me. In one chapter "Erotica" he describes the Song Of Solomon in an extremely sensual way. I made me very uncomfortable. I think it's more about love. Another part made me uneasy was when he talked about going to eat with a wedding party after a wedding. He said he watched the bride and groom as the ate and talked with family knowing they just wanted to get out of their and consummate their marriage. Kinda creepy for a pastor, I think. The book jumps around with no flow. It was a hard read. It was small and could have been read in just a few hours. It took me almost a week, never being able to enjoy it. I appreciate the chance to read the book and give my honest review, but I would not recommend this book. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com

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  • Posted September 21, 2011

    Beautiful Devotional Book

    I just finished reading "Close Enough to Hear God Breathe", a new book by author Greg Paul and the first book I've read by him.

    The book is quite well written, as he recounts and retells stories throughout, Bible stories as well as his own personal life stories and from his family. I felt the age old Bible stories I know by heart and am familiar with were not only brought to life, but I felt I was able to see and apply them in new and different ways than I have before. Through the stories, Bible verses and accounts, one of the main messages Greg Paul is bringing out is the great love God has for each of us personally and individually and how He longs for that close communion with us, for us to be close enough to hear His whispers. I deeply appreciate this in this day and age when there is so much going on around us and it can be easy for me to "forget" and to get caught up in the day to day.

    I have enjoyed this book as an addition to my times of daily devotional and have been strengthen and encouraged by it.

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  • Posted September 16, 2011

    Okay Book: Relates God to Human Parents

    The title of the book is poetic and catchy, but I don't feel it relates well to the book. A title like "Is God Like Human Parents?" would very accurately describe this book. This book is broken into 5 Parts (1 The Heart of the Matter, 2 Creation, 3 The Fall, 4 Redemption, 5 Consumation) with 3 chapters in each part. The book is full of parent-child stories and is not very deep, so it makes for a quick read. The idea behind this book is to look at God as if he were a human parent and to look at us humans as his children. Each chapter begins by telling a human parent-child relationship story and then ends by explaining how God views us humans in a similar way.

    I'm not sure of the theological accuracy of this book, and I'm sure many will have disagreements with relating God to human parents, but it does make for an interesting read. At the end of each chapter, you stop and go: Does God really think/feel/behave like human parents in this way?

    As an example:
    Part 2's first story tells a story of how the author adores his son because the son is a reflection of himself, then concludes that God must adore humans because we reflect God.

    The second story is of the author's cold unemotional father who provides physically for his family but is so hard-headed that his sons don't speak to him for 3-25 years!!! BUT the author concludes that his own human father loved all his kids because he provided for them physically. So the author says although God is distant, doesn't speak to us, is unemotional and much like his cold father, that God also provides for us physically, so God must love us.

    Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from the publisher but I am giving my honest review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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