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Diane Vallere

A GOD FOR ALL SEASONS: Inspiration and Reflection for All Times

A God for All Seasons: Inspiration and Reflection for All Times - Patti Tingen A God for All Seasons by Patti Tingen is built around Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. This is the chapter which contains the well-known verses that state, “There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under Heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to rebuild. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to lose. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak up. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.” In her book, Tingen breaks down the year into seasons and those seasons into months then guides the reader along on a path of spiritual growth.

Tingen breaks the months down as follows:
December: A Time to Hope
January: A Time to Renew
February: A Time to Wait
March: A Time to Change
April: A Time to Plant
May: A Time to Trust
June: A Time Give
July: A Time to Celebrate
August: A Time to Rest
September: A Time to Harvest
October: A Time to Believe
November: A Time to Thank

This book isn’t written as a devotional but it could easily be used in such a way. It is a book that could be read one chapter at a time at the beginning of each month, in December to prepare for the year ahead or constantly throughout the year to strengthen your relationship with God. The way that Tingen relates scripture to the seasons and then to life experiences seems to flow effortlessly. On multiple occasions she references scripture verses I was familiar with but explained them with an association to life that I hadn’t previously considered. It also affects the way you will view the seasons as the year unfolds. Living in Florida I couldn’t relate to every bit of it (we have one season and it’s summer) but for anyone who lives up north where all four seasons are unique and separate it will help to provide a new perspective. Those long dark winter nights and rainy spring days will no longer be a cause for melancholy or depression; instead your will learn to appreciate them for the lessons in hope, patience and change that are being taught to you through nature and scripture.

Above all else, Tingen’s book invites the reader to look deeply into nature and the world at large. She encourages the reader to look beyond a winter day, a spring storm, summer heat, and autumn’s falling leaves and see the lessons behind the changes. Tingen reminds the reader that God created the world and everything in it with a divine purpose and we should seek out that purpose with all the days of our lives. God is in everything and there is a lesson to be taught to us if only we open our eyes, minds and hearts to His teachings. I do wish the book was a little bit longer, I wish some of the metaphors and similes were a little bit more elaborate and I would have wanted there to be a more structured guidance through understanding and applying Tingen’s lessons. She provides great insight and wonderful points for consideration which will help any reader strengthen their relationship with God.

Ashley LaMar
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