Windows of the Soul

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Overview

Praise for Windows of the Soul
Every once in a while a book comes along that makes you stop and think—and then think some more—like Ken Gire’s wonderful book Windows of the Soul.
—John Trent in Christian Parenting Today
Ken Gire has created a book that gently pours forth, like water out of a garden bucket, cleansing our thoughts and opening ...
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Windows of the Soul

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Overview

Praise for Windows of the Soul
Every once in a while a book comes along that makes you stop and think—and then think some more—like Ken Gire’s wonderful book Windows of the Soul.
—John Trent in Christian Parenting Today
Ken Gire has created a book that gently pours forth, like water out of a garden bucket, cleansing our thoughts and opening the petals of our spirits, providing us with a new sense of clarity in our search for God.
—Manhattan (KS) Mercury
Each word, each phrase, is painstakingly wrought, loaded with thoughts and prayer, and filled with new glimpses of God’s love, grace, and strength.
—The Christian Advocate
Windows of the Soul will surprise you with the many and varied windows God uses to speak to us. With the heart of an artist, Ken Gire paints word pictures in prose and poetry that will thrill your heart.
—Mature Living
Windows of the Soul is a rare book, resounding with the cry for communion that is both ours and God’s. With passion, honesty, and beauty, Ken Gire calls us to a fresh sensitivity to God’s voice speaking through the unexpected parables that surround us.
—Christian Courier
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310203971
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 4/1/1996
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 538,003
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Ken Gire is the author of more than 20 books including the bestsellers, The Divine Embrace and Intimate Moments with the Savior. A graduate of Texas Christian University and Dallas Theological Seminary, he lives in Texas.

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Read an Excerpt

Windows of the Soul

A glass window stands before us. We raise our eyes and see the glass; we note its quality, and observe its defects; we speculate on its composition. Or we look straight through it on the great prospect of land and sea and sky beyond.

Benjamin B. Warfield

"Some Thoughts on Predestination"

God stretched out the heavens, stippling the night with impressionistic stars. He set the sun to the rhythm of the day, the moon to the rhythm of the month, the seasons to the rhythm of the year. He blew wind through reedy marshes and beat drums of distant thunder. He formed a likeness of Himself from a lump of clay and into it breathed life. He crafted a counterpart to complete the likeness, joining the two halves and placing them center stage in His creation where there was a temptation and a fall, a great loss and a great hiding. God searched for the hiding couple, reaching to pick them up, dust them off, draw them near. Though they hardly knew it at the time. After them, He searched for their children and for their children's children. And afterward wrote stories of His search.

In doing all this, God gave us art, music, sculpture, drama, and literature. He gave them as footpaths to lead us out of our hiding places and as signposts to lead us along in our search for what was lost.

Shaped from something of earth and something of heaven, we were torn between two worlds. A part of us wanted to hide. A part of us wanted to search. With half-remembered words still legible in our hearts and faintly sketched images still visible in our souls, some of us stepped out of hiding and started our search.

Though we hardly knew where to look.

We painted to see if what was lost was in the picture. We composed to hear if what was lost was in the music. We sculpted to find if what was lost was in the stone. We wrote to discover if what was lost was in the story.

Through art and music and stories we searched for what was missing from our lives.

Though at times we hardly knew it.

Though at times we could hardly keep from knowing it.

The German poet Rilke tells of one of those times in a fable where the sculpting hands of Michelangelo "tore at the stone as at a grave, in which a faint dying voice is flickering. 'Michelangelo,' cried God in dread, 'who is in the stone?' Michelangelo listened; his hands were trembling. Then he answered in a muffled voice: 'Thou, my God, who else? But I cannot reach Thee.' "

We reach for God in many ways. Through our sculptures and our scriptures. Through our pictures and our prayers. Through our writing and our worship. And through them He reaches for us.

His search begins with something said. Ours begins with something heard. His begins with something shown. Ours, with something seen. Our search for God and His search for us meet at windows in our everyday experience.

These are the windows of the soul.

In a sense, it is something like spiritual disciplines for the spiritually undisciplined. In another sense, it is the most rigorous of disciplines -- the discipline of awareness. For we must always be looking and listening if we are to see the windows and hear what is being spoken to us through them.

But we must learn to look with more than just our eyes and listen with more than just our ears, for the sounds are sometimes faint and the sights sometimes far away. We must be aware, at all times and in all places, because windows are everywhere, and at any time we may find one.

Or one may find us.

Though we will hardly know it . . . unless we are searching for Him who for so long has been searching for us.

When we look long enough at a scene from a movie, a page from a book, a person from across the room, and when we look deeply enough, those moments framed in our minds grow transparent. Everywhere we look, there are pictures that are not really pictures but windows. If only we have eyes to see beyond the paint. If we look closely, we can see something beyond the two dimensions within the frame, something beyond the ordinary colors brushed across the canvas of our everyday lives.

What do we see in those windows? What do we see of who we are, or once were, or one day might become? What do we see of our neighbor living down the street or our neighbor living on the street? What do we see about God?

Windows of the soul is a way of seeing that begins with respect. The way we show respect is to give it a second look, a look not of the eyes but of the heart. But so often we don't give something a second look because we don't think there is anything there to see.

To respect something is to understand that there is something there to see, that it is not all surface, that something lies beneath the surface, something that has the power to change the way we think or feel, something that may prove so profound a revelation as to change not only how we look at our lives but how we live them.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Part 1
Windows of the Soul
Pausing at the Window
Something in the Window
Longings of the Soul
Opening the Window
Part 2
Windows of Vocation
Windows of Stories
Windows of Art
Windows of the Wilderness
Windows of Poetry
Windows of Movies
Windows of Memory
Windows of Dreams
Windows of Writing
Windows of Scripture
Windows of Humanity
Windows of Tears
Windows of Depression
Windows of Nature
Conclusion
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First Chapter

Windows of the Soul
A glass window stands before us. We raise our eyes and see the glass; we note its quality, and observe its defects; we speculate on its composition. Or we look straight through it on the great prospect of land and sea and sky beyond.
Benjamin B. Warfield
'Some Thoughts on Predestination'
God stretched out the heavens, stippling the night with impressionistic stars. He set the sun to the rhythm of the day, the moon to the rhythm of the month, the seasons to the rhythm of the year. He blew wind through reedy marshes and beat drums of distant thunder. He formed a likeness of Himself from a lump of clay and into it breathed life. He crafted a counterpart to complete the likeness, joining the two halves and placing them center stage in His creation where there was a temptation and a fall, a great loss and a great hiding. God searched for the hiding couple, reaching to pick them up, dust them off, draw them near. Though they hardly knew it at the time. After them, He searched for their children and for their children's children. And afterward wrote stories of His search.
In doing all this, God gave us art, music, sculpture, drama, and literature. He gave them as footpaths to lead us out of our hiding places and as signposts to lead us along in our search for what was lost.
Shaped from something of earth and something of heaven, we were torn between two worlds. A part of us wanted to hide. A part of us wanted to search. With half-remembered words still legible in our hearts and faintly sketched images still visible in our souls, some of us stepped out of hiding and started our search.
Though we hardly knew where to look.
We painted to see if what was lost was in the picture. We composed to hear if what was lost was in the music. We sculpted to find if what was lost was in the stone. We wrote to discover if what was lost was in the story.
Through art and music and stories we searched for what was missing from our lives.
Though at times we hardly knew it.
Though at times we could hardly keep from knowing it.
The German poet Rilke tells of one of those times in a fable where the sculpting hands of Michelangelo 'tore at the stone as at a grave, in which a faint dying voice is flickering. 'Michelangelo,' cried God in dread, 'who is in the stone?' Michelangelo listened; his hands were trembling. Then he answered in a muffled voice: 'Thou, my God, who else? But I cannot reach Thee.' '
We reach for God in many ways. Through our sculptures and our scriptures. Through our pictures and our prayers. Through our writing and our worship. And through them He reaches for us.
His search begins with something said. Ours begins with something heard. His begins with something shown. Ours, with something seen. Our search for God and His search for us meet at windows in our everyday experience.
These are the windows of the soul.
In a sense, it is something like spiritual disciplines for the spiritually undisciplined. In another sense, it is the most rigorous of disciplines --- the discipline of awareness. For we must always be looking and listening if we are to see the windows and hear what is being spoken to us through them.
But we must learn to look with more than just our eyes and listen with more than just our ears, for the sounds are sometimes faint and the sights sometimes far away. We must be aware, at all times and in all places, because windows are everywhere, and at any time we may find one.
Or one may find us.
Though we will hardly know it . . . unless we are searching for Him who for so long has been searching for us.
When we look long enough at a scene from a movie, a page from a book, a person from across the room, and when we look deeply enough, those moments framed in our minds grow transparent. Everywhere we look, there are pictures that are not really pictures but windows. If only we have eyes to see beyond the paint. If we look closely, we can see something beyond the two dimensions within the frame, something beyond the ordinary colors brushed across the canvas of our everyday lives.
What do we see in those windows? What do we see of who we are, or once were, or one day might become? What do we see of our neighbor living down the street or our neighbor living on the street? What do we see about God?
Windows of the soul is a way of seeing that begins with respect. The way we show respect is to give it a second look, a look not of the eyes but of the heart. But so often we don't give something a second look because we don't think there is anything there to see.
To respect something is to understand that there is something there to see, that it is not all surface, that something lies beneath the surface, something that has the power to change the way we think or feel, something that may prove so profound a revelation as to change not only how we look at our lives but how we live them.
Read More Show Less

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    Wonderful addition to my devotional life

    What a terrific creative book! I enjoyed the way Ken Gire explains how the holy intersects with the ordinary in transcendant moments. I recommend and give this book often!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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