Tuesday, May 10, 2011


by Bill Hybels

Some authors are so wired and fired up that they are able to bring life to words and elevate them to titles in a way that eludes others. Bill Hybels is one such communicator with a trail of book titles that include 'Becoming a Contagious Christian' [the first Hybels' book I read years ago], 'Holy Discontent', 'Axiom', and 'Just Walk Across the Room' - the kind that appeal to readers who like them provocative. 'Whisper' should attract the kind of readers who range from those who know the value of well-timed whispers from friends to others who, like myself, are tone-deaf to every well-placed whisper and are thus, intrigued.

From the Bible, 1 Kings 19 recorded that when the prophet Elijah was running in the storm of deep despair, God came to him - not in a tumultuous whirlwind, a devastating earthquake, or a consuming fire - but a barely audible gentle whisper. That's the catch: man hears God not with his ears, but with a discerning heart that is yielded to Him.

Hybels recounts countless moments of such yieldedness and bending his spiritual ears to the divine God that have added value to his parenting, relationships, ministry and the work of running a large church. In short, God's whispers become the driving force beyond his God-given intelligence, experience, skills and competence.

While whispers are characteristically gentle - I'd imagine that it's hard to deliver whispers without gentleness? They would not be called whispers otherwise - waiting upon a whisper from God involves intensity and requires intentionality.  I especially like the following chapters:

Light for Dark Nights of the Soul - I have a few stories of my own of how God's whispers saved the night, and I know He will take me through others when they come.

Promptings for Parenthood - I can honestly say that I have not read a Christian parenting book that teaches parenting the way it is laid out in this chapter. A must-read for all parents who know that parenting means to change parents - not our children. That's why it's called parenting! Even psychologists, counsellors, social workers and Erik Erikson will tell you the same thing. 

Whispers that Change the World - where God shows us what breaks His heart about the sufferings in the world. But He'd rock your world first as He prepares you to touch His precious ones who are suffering.

Just Say the Word - at an age where education and capitalism has socialized many of us to 'seek achievement, upward mobility, that sense of "rising above" [pp 252 para 1], God's ways are antitheses requiring 'downsizing and downscaling'. I'd say that God desires that we be led not by brilliant strategies, but by a broken heart. Hybels calls it a 'demotion-laden life'. He further persuades, 'You can choose to live with an increased awareness of those whispers, an expanded heart to follow through and an enhanced eternity because of it.' Beautifully said.

Where you can get it: S$16.50 [sale price] SKS Books
Level of impact: Lead you running to God and be quiet.
Timing of book: reminds me, again, to turn down the volume in my mind.