Time for a change of pace in my book reviews. Last week, I talked about how my focus on this blog was changing. This will also include the types of book reviews I write. I will continue to review science fiction and fantasy books, but will also add books of different genres.
Today the book I’m reviewing would be considered a Christian or religious book. The title is In the Eye of the Storm, and it is authored by Max Lucado. Most people who are Christian or know anything about Christianity know that God’s Son Jesus Christ became completely human so He could die for our sins on the cross. When people consider Jesus’ humanity, they usually think of when He was born or when He died, not the times in between. This book considers one of those in-between times. Lucado interweaves what he calls “the second worst day of Jesus’ life” with accounts of storms that we are all familiar with to help us realize that because Jesus experienced storms in His own life, He knows how we feel. I had never thought of it in quite that way before. During this day, Jesus finds out about the death of John the Baptist, finds out He is wanted by King Herod, welcomes home His disciples with joy and celebration, ministers to the crowds of people who have come around them, tries to get rest, but is still asked to minister, and asks for assistance, but the disciples are unable to give it. I don’t know about you, but any one of those things would send me over the edge, and all of them happened to Jesus on the same day.
I gained insight from this book because it felt real to me. Why would Jesus have not experienced human emotions? He was completely human and at the same time, the Son of God. If He didn’t understand how His creation felt, the faith I have would be a cold one, and it is not. I would recommend this book to anyone going through their own storms of life.
Today has been a year since I first started writing in this blog. In some ways, it has been the fastest year I have ever lived through, and in others, time has passed slowly. I have grown so much this year–as a writer, as a teacher, as a person. I have lost things, and I have regained things too; most especially my relationship with Jesus Christ. I read this in my devotion book this morning.
“Make a big deal out of God. Become who you are for him! Has he not transferred you from a dull, death-destined life to a rich, heaven-bound adventure? Remember, “You were chosen to tell about the excellent qualities of God.” And do so every day of your life. With God, every day matters, every person counts. And that includes you.” (Grace for the Moment, Max Lucado, pg. 319)
“To tell about the excellent qualities of God.” That told me God knows what my gift is and how he wants me to use it like I posted the other day. It is a marvel to me that I can read just what I need when I need it or that I get a phone call or an email just when I need it. But, it really isn’t a marvel. It’s God working in my life showing his love and his grace even when I know I don’t deserve it. My main goal is to show that love and grace to others so that people can see Jesus in me. I look forward to growing more in this next year.
Until next time, be real!
Now, before I write anything else, let’s get one thing out-of-the-way. Today’s topic has nothing to do with what people usually take the word intimacy to mean. I don’t even know what I would write if I wanted to write about that. 🙂
No, today’s topic has more to do with being true to yourself. In the few years that I have been writing seriously again, I have used writing in one part of my life while putting the other parts of my life over to one side while I write. So, my life has been in parts, and my writing has been fragmented because of it. What has been amazing to me though is that people have told me that my writing has touched them even though it has been fragmented. With the steps I am taking today, I am hopeful that it will touch even more people. My plan is to take the two halves and make them whole considering all the parts of my life and experience during the times I am writing and creating.
The biggest part of this is going to be acknowledging my faith as I write. I am a follower of Jesus Christ, a Christian. Now, you will notice I did not say that I go to such and such church although I do. In my opinion, the biggest problem with Christianity nowadays is that people don’t live their faith. They don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Their faith is contained in the four walls of the church, and they don’t go anywhere else with it. The world sees people who claim to be Christians not doing what they’re supposed to do which is love people in Jesus’ name. I’ve read the debates; I’ve heard the arguments on just about every topic that Christians argue about among themselves and with others who are not of the Christian faith. I think that is sad. God is supposed to convict. God is supposed to judge. We, who are Christians, are only supposed to love people in Jesus’ name.
That is the biggest reason I am making these changes. I want to show people Jesus’ love through my writing, through my stories. This doesn’t necessarily mean every story I write is going to be a specifically Christian story though I know God wants me to remain open to the idea. What God doesn’t want is for me to hide who I am anymore. I used to be afraid of being condemned, afraid of not being liked. I think that comes from unrealistic expectations from my younger years. But, no more. I’m going to do what I should have done a long time ago. The two halves of my personality are going to be united into one, and I’m going to share from the deepest parts of my soul. Stay tuned to the blog for further changes.
Until next time, be real!