Playdates with God: Meeting Byron

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He comes in carrying an armful of books—this the way we’ve seen him throughout the conference—stumbling down the halls weighted down by his stacks. It’s the final workshop of the Jubilee Conference and I’ve wandered into Byron Borger’s presentation amid a cloud of college students. I’m wanting to hear more of his story—to get his voice right…these are the things that editors do.

“I’m honored people came,” he laughs. “I wasn’t sure anyone would show up…”
He sets the books down on the table up front.
“Mind if I pray?” He says. “Let’s start with prayer.”
And this is the first glimpse I get of Byron Borger’s heart. He’s a man that starts with prayer. And in his prayer, he asks the Lord this: “…be with us now as we become a people who desire to learn for your glory…”
I am learning that this is just like Byron. He and his bride started their bookstore in Dallastown, Pa. over 30 years ago for this very reason: A desire to learn and help others learn for the glory of God. Byron shares that Hearts and Minds Bookstore grew out of his relationship with the CCO and Jubilee, that the love for reading and knowledge that he and Beth shared seemed a natural fit for such a thing. And, as their website says, it’s more than just a bookstore.
“What distinguishes us most is our enthusiasm for the development of a uniquely Christian worldview where Christ’s Lordship is honored and lived out in relevant ways in the midst of our highly secularized, post-modern culture. We offer quality books for the sake of faithful Christian living. We serve business folk, scientists, artists, college students, moms, dads (and kids!), pastors, poets and politicos. We believe Biblical faith leads to “thinking Christianly” about every area of life.”
That’s the way he talks. All the time. Byron has read a lot of books. His love for knowledge is tangible, as is his desire to help others fall in love with it. Any book you are looking for, Byron and Beth are sure to have. And if they don’t, they’ll get it for you. Because it’s about more than selling books for them.
In that quick hour and fifteen minutes of Byron’s workshop, he covered wide terrain. He talked about culture-making, assuming a Christian worldview, the importance of reading widely, the crisis of compartmentalization, the erosion of the Christian mind…and so many other topics. He covered a year’s worth of sermons, I believe.
Mostly he encouraged us to read.

“To live that holistic seamless life is a call to adventure and a call to think through the connections of life. Reading is a strategy to help you do that. The word disciple means ‘learner’, so when Jesus called his disciples he called them to be life-long learners.”
Isn’t that what he calls us to be too?
If you are looking for a book in the future, might I recommend you shop for it at Hearts and Minds? Byron and Beth have left the welcome mat out for you.
Byron is writing our final post in our discussion of Tim Keller and Katherine Leary Alsdorf’s Every Good Endeavor over at The High Calling today. If you have time, I think you’ll be blessed by what he has to say. 
How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him.

The Playdates button:


  1. says

    I love to read to learn, too. I would have loved hearing Byron talk! Thanks for sharing him with us.

    These are so good:

    “…be with us now as we become a people who desire to learn for your glory…”

    “The word disciple means ‘learner’, so when Jesus called his disciples he called them to be life-long learners.”

  2. says

    You would love to peruse the books at Hearts and Minds, Lisa! And the story they had set up at Jubilee was only a small portion of their inventory. Byron’s heart for sharing good Christian literature has inspired me to support the smaller bookstores in a more deliberate way. He truly is a disciple. Life-long learner.

  3. bluecottonmemory says

    When I was growing up, I dreamed of owning a bookstore – there’s nothing I love more than puttering around a book store with wonderful old books!

  4. says

    I so desperately want to be a reader and a learner, Laura, but sometimes I let pride get in the way of learning and busyness get in the way of reading. But I’m thankful for your reminder today. And am so grateful for Anne’s book (although I must admit, half-read, because of so many other books on my nightstand). But I will pick it back up today. Great thoughts and I’ll skip on over to see what else Byron has to say!

  5. Rachael DeBruin says

    A new reader of your posts, as of today! I just subscribed and linked up. A quick question: newer to blogger, can’t seem to copy your html code for you button? Could you please pass it on, would love to share it 🙂
    & on to check out Byron’s website; at this house books are a commodity, I surround myself with them!

  6. says

    Welcome, Rachael! I love new friends :). Especially book-ish ones. RE: the button–did you scroll down to the bottom of the page to get the code there? That might work better than trying to copy the button from my post. Let me know if that doesn’t work.

  7. kingfisher says

    You must have been right at home at Jubilee, surrounded by more books than you could possibly “take in”. So glad you got to hear good stuff, and am thankful the leaders are willing to start with prayer. Prayer, ah how it forms our days!

    Lova ya,

  8. Elizabeth Hernandez says

    I just love coming and reading your playdates they are so up lifting and encouraging. Then I float around to so many others who have linked up. Thank you for this bright spot in my day. I really need to start writing my playdates again. It has been way to long. Blessings to you

  9. says

    I don’t know if my post on Every Good Endeavor qualifies as a Playdate, but I linked back to here so folks could read your story of meeting Byron. I think I’ve got a post in me about you walking the streets of Pittsburgh and catching snowflakes on your tongue. That was pretty playful 🙂

  10. says

    I developed a love of books early in the first grade, when my teacher put me in charge of shelving books in our children’s library. Your friend Byron is a true book lover because he likes to hold and carry books you can feel. (not an e-book) LOL

  11. says

    It sounds like a,wonderful conference Laura, and an equally wonderful workshop. One of these days I hope we can do a conference together. Heading over to read his post. Thank

  12. amyscanderson says

    ooh~thank you! I want to grow, and I include in that growth supporting people whose ways I admire. Love this recommendation.

  13. says

    What a perfect tie-in to our Good Endeavor study! I would love to work in a bookstore, I think. But (as you know) it could be dangerous. I worked in a retail dress shop for a very brief time–and even with my discount, I always owed the owner money. I once thought about becoming a librarian. I can’t think of anything more playful than being surrounded by books.

  14. soulstops says

    sounds like it was a wonderful conference…and I love how you introduced Byron to us…hugs to you, Laura 🙂 Praying God’s love and peace for you today 🙂

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