Here's what folks are saying about America's Holy Ground:
The book is a heavenly masterpiece! What attention to detail! It’s perfect on so many levels! I know our friends and relatives will love their copies. It’s a definite keeper for the ages to be reread and enjoyed over a lifetime.
— Mary, Oklahoma
My husband and I have our own copies and are soooooo excited to read the devotions together!!
— Jessica, Indiana
Got it yesterday and am really enjoying it. Great book idea and really well done!
— Steven, Texas
In my devotional time today I read the Acknowlegments, Invocation (loved these carefully curated selections, and will re-read), and Introduction. Thank you so much for mentioning the Native American cultures - they were the first peoples to honor the thin places in these sacred landscapes. Can't wait to continue the journey tomorrow!
“The national parks demonstrate God’s deep love for us through their vast beauty. Whether through desert landscapes, ocean coral, or high mountain summits, it is clear that these lands are holy ground. In Lyons and Barkhauer's new devotional, “America’s Holy Ground”, we are reminded again of God’s love for us in the midst of these 61 beautiful national parks. These reflections are inspiring, educational, and thought-provoking, and a must read for any national park or outdoor enthusiast. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed!” – Amy Kennedy, Co-Executive Director of A Christian Ministry in the National Parks
“With our national parks under threat, books such as this one are more welcome than ever, coming as reminder of what we stand to lose when short-sighted policies remove the protections placed around America’s sacred, wild places. America’s Holy Ground captures the essential flavor of each of the sixty-one featured parks in stunning full-color photographs accompanied by spiritual reflections designed to evoke holy moments in nature.
“A tempting menu of awe-inspiring places, the book features well-known national parks from Acadia to Zion and some that are less familiar. Even if your travels are of the armchair variety, its expert photography (mostly by the National Park Service) reveals what it’s like to feel really small as you stand beneath the largest tree in the world (by volume) in Sequoia National Park; watch the tumultuous North Atlantic waters crash against Acadia’s coastal cliffs as the first rays of the sun strike the country; skip a rock across the Rio Grande (and the border into Mexico) at Big Bend National Park; or escape into solitude at Michigan’s Isle Royale, surrounded by Lake Superior’s icy waters. You might choose to see massive calving glaciers at Alaska’s Kenai Fjords National Park and learn the signs of a warming planet, or stand on the back patio of Lassen Volcanic National Park’s visitor center and stare into the maw of Lassen Peak, an active volcano.
“America’s Holy Ground honors those—from indigenous peoples to camp counselors, park rangers and legislators—who have sought to protect our national parks. Its photos capture everything from the immense power and grandeur of rock, cavern, and ocean to the delicacy of a fragile bloom and the refreshing silence of deep forests. These, joined with historical information, Native American wisdom, contemporary science, and Bible-based devotionals, make this lovely book perfect for collecting or gifting.”
Former journalist Lyons and pastor Barkhauer (Community of Prayer) share their belief in the spiritual power of nature in these brief meditations of national parks. Each begins with a quotation from the Bible before relating natural phenomena that inspire “humility, wonder, awe, and gratitude... such as when you peer over the rim of the Grand Canyon.” The authors also provide meditations on a theme related to the park. In the entry on Bryce Canyon, Utah, which isn’t a canyon but “a collection of hoodoos, fins, spires, and other formations” formed by rain, the nature of language is the focus. In Glacier Bay, Alaska, the authors consider landscape changes over millennia, rendered starkly by the icefalls from glaciers, a metaphor for the slow movement of God’s work. ...[T]hese ruminations on American national parks invite readers to appreciate the value of protected places and ponder their spiritual power.
Jason M. Brown, Patheos:America’s Holy Ground makes an excellent companion to any bird, tree, geology or insect guide book. At 256 pages it is a slender volume, with durable (but not weather proof) pages. It is packed with full color images, and easy to use alphabetical entries. There is also a resources section in the back and blank journal pages for writing notes while you are out on the trail or at a sit spot.... The guidebook is best used as a kind of devotional, read before and after one has experienced a given park. It is a kind of supplement to a lectio divina of the land, stimulating questions, themes and resonances with scripture. It can also be a means of guiding a group discussion or Bible study.
Bill Tammeus, former Faith columnist for the Kansas City Star:
"America's Holy Ground... is one way to enhance the experience of visiting the parks or to think about what those parks can teach us even if we can’t be there. To say that many of the photos in the book are gorgeous would be true, but on the other hand it’s sort of difficult to take a terrible picture in our national parks. If I were about to visit one or more of our national parks (and may our government preserve them forever), I’d for sure take this small book along as a welcome companion.”
Chris Erickson, Off the Beaten Path bookstore, Steamboat Springs, Colorado
“Travel friendly and easy to take with you to see the parks that you want to see.”
Cara Gilger, blogger, CaraGilger.com:
I knew the theological content and devotionals would be high quality but what I didn’t expect was the full page color photos to accompany each devotional. There is a devotional for each park which makes it an excellent gift for anyone in your life who enjoys traveling to the National Parks. We have a personal goal to make it to every National Park, so this book will be traveling with us this summer and many summers to come.