Chasing God by Angie Smith
B&H Books (December 10, 2013) 229 pages
My Rating: 5/5 stars(and then some more)
Even if you don't read my thoughts, make sure you scroll down for the giveaway. This is a book you'll want to read!
It's this book that reminded me why I'll never go completely to e-books! I have this book marked up and dog-eared, and I know I'll turn to it time and again when I need a boost of encouragement! Considering the message of the book, I have to find that ironic! ;)
I've connected with author's writing in the past, but I don't think I've ever connected with one as much as I have Angie's writing! We've traveled very different roads, and lived very different lives, but OFTEN I was nodding my head that she "got" me so well. There were many times, I was shouting, "Amen!" (inside my head...because I don't want to scare my husband and children). There were many times Angie said something so wonderful, all I could do was utter the word, "Wow!" and put my book down for a few minutes to ponder.
In saying that, I want to step aside for a moment, and say that despite how much I loved this book, Angie and I do have different theology. I agreed with *most* of what is in this book, but our biggest disagreement is in relation to salvation. I believe God has commanded in His Word that baptism(full submersion under water at an accountable age) is required of us in order for Him to give us Salvation. (I'm just going to throw this out there, but ladies, if you're curious exactly why I believe this, I'll be glad to study with you and/or tell you why.)
Back to the book!
To me, Angie sums up the point of the book perfectly in the introduction.
"We try to fill in the gray instead of living in the black and white. We shape our theology to suit our taste, our times, our situations, and our desires. It's the mess we've made by desiring to understand Him more than we want to know Him, and we're growing more exhausted everyday.
The goal of this book is not to present you with a formula for living out Christianity. It's to offer my thoughts on the difference between looking for Him and looking at Him."(page 2, ARC)
Angie discusses things that are controversial, but she always does it with humility! She actually discusses humility in one of the chapters, and it was a huge wake-up call for me. As you might expect from me, I ended up in tears quite a few times through reading this book! Many issues she tackles were tough ones for me to admit to myself.
She tackles the subject of doubt! I wanted to give her a hug for discussing this! It enters my mind, and I hate it. I pray for God to take the doubt away, because I KNOW He exists and guides my life each and every moment. But, the doubt enters. It's a topic I think most Christians are afraid to admit, but I love that Angie is brave enough to put it in this book. I can't tell you just how much it impacted me to know I'm not alone in this area.
"It isn't a contradiction; it is a confirmation of our humanity due to our sin nature, despite the desire to believe perfectly. With our mouths we say, "I believe," and with out hearts we confess our inability to eliminate doubt." (page 89, ARC)
With the topic of doubt, Angie also gives us a little lesson on "Doubting Thomas". This was so precious, I can't imagine I will ever forget it. (There were lots of tears!)
There were many lessons within this book, including a lesson in prayer and in Bible study. Sometimes we imagine things perfectly in our mind. For me, I imagine a daily morning Bible study. I wake up a 5:00(even if I've been up all night) with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. My children don't follow me downstairs, as I make my way down. I sit with my Bible and my highlighters and my perfect notebook at my dining room table. I don't drink coffee, but a big pretty coffee mug in always in my vision. It just doesn't work that way! Our situations will never be perfect, and Angie discusses this very thing. She encourages us to just DO IT! Realistically, Bible study for me will(more often than not)need to happen with my hair thrown in a messy bun, and while I'm standing in the kitchen scrambling eggs, and praying that God helps me not lose my temper today.
This is the year that I desire to FULLY embrace a simplistic life, and this book has been a HUGE encouragement form me in that area! I can't recommend it enough! THIS book exemplifies just what a life changing read really is(for me, anyway)! There was so much in there that impacted me greatly that I simply have to leave you with these words. Read it!
*Thanks to B&H Publishing and Icon Media Group for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Congratulations to Annette!