One of the gifts of spirituality is the ability to see that inconspicuous and obscure aspects of life are important. Jesus realized this truth with his parable about the power of a mustard seed. Dale Turner, a Congregationalist minister, demonstrates his understanding of it again and again in this inspirational collection of essays taken from his 15 years of weekly columns on the religion page of The Seattle Times.

He asserts the value of simple words of praise or little gestures of appreciation. They can work wonders in lives. Turner agrees with Harry M. Tippett who calls kindness "the loveliest flower in the garden of virtue. It blooms in every kind of soil, and often in the darkest corners." The author sings the praises of ordinary heroes who do the best with what they have in tough times. And he emphasizes how lives can be brightened by the practices of wonder, gratitude, joy, listening, and compassion. Different Seasons is a book to savor on the Sabbath when you have the leisure to slowly ponder the spiritual wallop of small virtues.

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