Summary: Neither commentary nor traditional meditations, Ebys Markings are a spiritual memoir. His musings on 70 episodes or texts in the Gospel of Mark blend intellectual inquiry with confessional worship. They meld poignancy, whimsy, grit, doubt, sorrow, and inspiration. Anyone attending to the care of her or his soul will find nurture here.
Ebys project emerged from the practice of old spiritual disciplines: Bible Study, meditation, prayer, contemplation, silence, writing. Using the Gospel of Mark for his own Markings, Eby explored the Gospel through the grid of his forty years teaching literature at the college level, reading and writing, listening to music, walking in the orchard and woods, living in Africa, heeding one wise woman, rearing children, stumbling towards God. Then, under the influence of a given text and personal memory, he sat down and wrote, yielding these personal musings on a spare but elegant Gospel.
It can be said of this book as did one British critic of C. S. Lewis, "He makes righteousness readable."
overhearing an honest exchange between a middle-aged man
and the biblical book of Mark. Many details of Omar Eby's
life--the literature he has taught, hymns he loves,
adventures and struggles he recalls, friends, family, and
students--find voice in these rich and eclectic
devotional meditations. Personal, immediate, searching,
and often surprising, the pleasures of this text are the
pleasures of eaves dropping on intelligent, soulful
"With the richness of Ebys
literary skill, Markings creatively engages
Marks Gospel through the lens of Ebys life
experiences. Spiritual reflection from this engagement is
spiced often by arresting information drawn from
Palestinian and African geographical features or customs.
Not a commentary and not a journal as such, these 70
brief musings on Mark are soul food, seasoned to
distinctive gourmet tastein spite of and perhaps as
fruit of his disciplined lunch-fasting during his years
of college teaching."
"With a bent toward survival by
wit and a love of the outrageous, the author conveys,
paradoxically perhaps, a gracious witness to the
incomparable ways of God among humankind."
The book records, with great immediacy,
Eby's responses based on his career and on his personal
. . .
The Author: Omar Eby, Harrisonburg, Virginia, taught for six years in Africa, including in Mogadishu, Somalia; Musoma, Tanzania; and Kitwe, Zambia. He took graduate degrees in journalism from Syracuse University and creative writing from the University of Virginia. He holds the B.A. in English from Eastern Mennonite University, where he taught writing and literature for 27 years before taking early retirement to pursue his own writing. Eby has published books of fiction, biography, and personal experience.
Quote: "A saint attentive to nature hears in the mountains, the deserts, the savannas another language of God, not just the Hebrew and Aramaic tongue of the Testaments. The physical world embodies a spiritual world, concealed from those who have eyes only for the glitter of Broadway or the glitz of televangelists. Saints discover that all living and growing manifestations of nature give glory to God by being exactly what he has destined them to be. This is something of the inscape of which poet Gerard Manley Hopkins writes, this inarticulate utterance by a natural object of an identity which it has from and in God; this inexhaustible spiritual sheen radiates out through the fragile film of matter.". Omar Eby, in Markings
Market: Anyone engaged by a creative blend of personal reflections with thoughtful and inspirational Bible study; readers of devotional material; pastors, preachers, worship leaders.
Shelving: Spiritual memoir; Personal narrative; Gospel of Markexperiential commentary, contemplative reflections; Inspiration. BISAC: Autobiography; Religion. RTM: 170 Autobiography; 500 Literature/Classics; 690 Religion/Ethics
Publishing House (the new name of Pandora Press U.S.)
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