Sunday, 28 August 2011
When I picked this book up and read the recommendations it did make me slightly apprehensive about reviewing it. Especially when the Archbishop said it was "like Augustine's Confessions". So it was a happy surprise to find this a really good read. I took the holiday period to finish reading it. This isn't a lite read and neither is it a hard read, it is a window on one man's life and at times you want to look away.
It isn't a rant or a preach telling you how you should live life or a guilt trip of the life of a saint which you cannot hope to live up to, instead it is an honest testimony of how someone who had to live with an alcoholic who became an alcoholic themselves saw his life turned around by the love of God.
Even though my life and Ian's are separated by the Atlantic and several decades in age, he paints pictures which touch my own experiences of growing up in a "cheesy" youth group. The same emphasis on people and relationships rather than cutting edge events and I like the way Ian painted pictures of his life. The last book which made me well up was "Contemplative-Youth-Ministry" I read that probably 6 years ago this one had the same reaction for a differnet reason. As I read Ian's story my heart broke to hear the suffering that he went through in growing up. I could feel myself asking the same questions and ranting at God for other children today with parents who are drug addicts or alcoholics.
My other reaction was one of thankfulness, that I had the privilege of growing up with two parents who loved me and encouraged me in my walk with God, something I used to think meant my testimony was pretty poor not having done drugs or bad made good. But now I see this as the grace of God, testimony is more about God's work than our own.
I have taken this holiday period to read less demanding books (that will change this week) but this has been an unexpected gem. heartily recommend it, as neither some preachy piece of propaganda which smooths over the rough edges of life or a bt thitter rant at what life could have been.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Saturday, 13 August 2011
1. Never give your children an Ice Cream prior to a journey on a winding road...(will the car ever be the same?)
2. Going to the beach involves the same logistics required to mount an invasion
3. Holiday reading is a great excuse for leaving the academic books at home and reading a newspaper everyday and reading your Bible without having to think about a sermon or assignment in the back of your mind (which is great).
4. Is a week ever enough?
5. A sign on a church near where we stayed said "We preach Christ crucified" but who is this sign for? And what does it really mean?
"I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid" (John 14.27 NLT).