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Love Him In The Morning by John Fischer
[ baker book house, 2004 | 96 pages | review by hollie stewart ]


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Love Him In The Morning - Click to view!I've never heard the song that serves as the skeleton to this slim-bodied text; apparently I'm an outsider in this position. Then again, I never did frequent summer camps, and my parents were too busy following The Who to ask, "John Fischer who?" But I did remember John Fischer from his CCM columns; being on the last page of the magazine, I could easily snip the page for convenient storage.

As a founder of the contemporary Christian music scene which sparked the flame of this very website, I'd say Fischer has a lot to give to this community. Love Him in the Morning serves a simple yet nourishing dish of no-nonsense Christianity, a simplicity that perhaps existed during the Jesus Movement days and has since been lost in our post-modern revelries.

For the other three of you who don't know the "All Day Song" (1972), allow me to quote the lyrics: "Love Him in the morning / when you see the sun arising; / Love Him in the evening / 'cause He took you through the day / And in the in-between time / when you feel the pressure coming, / Remember that He loves you / and He promises to stay / When you think you've got to worry / 'cause it seems the thing to do; / Remember He ain't in a hurry / He's always got time for you / So…"

You get it. It repeats itself, I imagine, in a folk style that fits nicely with the hand motions that correspond with the verses.

Yet the childlike wonder of the song fits the simplicity of this book. Six easy chapters demarcate the book into snippets dealing with the morning, the evening, the "in-between time," remembering His love, the threat of worry, and the reprise, "So Love Him." Seems simple, right? But Fischer delights in straightforwardness, saying, "The greatest insights always seem to come from the simplest of things. Here those things are the parts of a day; the morning, the evening, and everything in-between, which, if you haven't noticed yet, leaves nothing out" (21).

Fischer's newest non-fiction creation tells how mornings remind humanity of God's faithfulness. In the freshness of the day, we can inhale new possibilities and drink in God's promise that yes, He will walk with us. Mornings help us center in on God and His unconditional love for us. The evening serves as a reminder of God's grace; even though we've ruined the hours with our hopeless imperfection, we can sense God's cleansing hand collect the day into a sunset and wipe the sky clean. But what about the rest of the day? That's what Fischer calls the "in-between" time, the everyday nitty-gritty of living. This is the time where faith proves the most helpful, where questions are allowed, and where God can get involved with our "mess" and make something beautiful. Then, in light of this beauty, Fischer invites us to remember how He loves us. When we do that, we won't give into worry, and when the worry leaves, we will be free to love Him. Just as the song continues, so does the text of our lives-the cycle of setting sun and rising moon, of sleep-spent eyes and unsullied dreams.

I particularly enjoy two moments of this book. One of my favorite quotes talks about allowing God to be involved with the in-between times of life. Fischer writes how God wants to take part in the details, and not just when we're giving Him attention in church settings during times of worship:
Our worship too often takes us out of and away from the ordinary. We go to church to worship, and in church we find the answers in the songs, in the sermon, in the Scripture, and in the way we act. I'm sure God appreciates this. I'm sure he enjoys our praise and the efforts we go through to make it out best. But I also think he longs, even more, to be invited into what we do as we walk out of church and into the rest of our lives. And the rest of our lives are lived between the answers. (48)
The other delight is the poem Fischer quotes that his mother often recited. In it, God takes the day, burns it up into a blazing sunset, then "across the fretful thorough-fares, over the troubled roofs and petty wares, out of the lonely heights of the unknown, a clean wind blows, all tangled up with stars" (40).

Overall, this is a book that would serve the newborn Christian very well. It simply states basic tenets in the daily walk with God. A few points Fischer makes don't sit with me well, however. At one point it appears that he's assuming that every morning time spent with God is birthed from a time of need, while evening communion with God is a sign of someone's true love and devotion to Him (36). Of course, this isn't always the case. Every individual's relationship with Jesus Christ differs—or should differ—because it is a relationship. Healthy interactions change and grow deeper with time. But the author does make a point to say, "At least, that's the way it is for me" (36). Best to remind the readers that this is a reflection on God's faithfulness according to John Fischer, thus not universal. Keeping that in mind, Love Him in the Morning becomes a quick, easy-to-read meditation that is bound to touch others, even if they've never heard the song.
- Hollie Stewart
June 2004

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