Friday, March 28, 2014

being sick does have a good side...

I have been doing a lot of reading lately as I have been flat on my back with a really nasty flu bug - I usually have sympathy for people who are sick, but now I realise that I don't have enough... this was nasty. PTL I am mostly through it (just a nagging cough left and still-oh-so-tired), so will soon be getting back to real life...

But because of the sickness, I managed to finish off two of my "book review" books and figure if I don't get the reviews up on my blog now, who knows when I will get the chance. I was reading them all this time in parallel and decided that they have enough in common to put them together on my blog...

The first book is "GREATER" by Steven Furtick:
He is a pastor of a church called Elevation and his book has a lot of resources that go along with it (found on this website: The book tells some of his story of how he started the church and focuses on ways that he has worked out that God uses to help us be greater. It isn't about being "great", but about being "greater"!

His main focus throughout each of the chapters is actually on the story of Elisha - the prophet that followed the more well known prophet Elijah. I appreciated this look into Elisha's story as it isn't one that I am that familiar with. He also masterfully extracts points from the story that really made me think and examine the way I treat God's work in my life.

The main message is about dreaming bigger, but then starting smaller - making sure we are following what God has for us and not out own pride. He tells us to use what we have "think inside the box" and God will multiply that, just as the woman gathered up all the jars from the neighbours and God miraculously filled them with oil... we need to use what we have and God will do the rest.

He is also realistic, acknowledging that sometimes the "greater life" leaves us worse off than before - God has his way of doing things and we need to keep believing even through the hard times that He will come and make things greater out of this situation.

We need to remember that Jesus said about us: “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12) and step out to do greater things!

At the same time that I was reading this book, I was also being encouraged by another of Max Lucado's books "You'll get through this: Hope and Help for your Turbulent Times". I love Max's use of great stories, amazing insights and just beautiful writing to help me see things that God wants me to see.
In this book, he focuses on the story of Joseph and in each chapter takes a look at another aspect of the story of how God got Joseph through the various adventures he was put through in his amazingly turbulent life. We are also reminded that although things looked horrible for Joseph at times, in the end God was weaving it all together into his eternal story of love and redemption for the people of Israel. It isn't always just about us, but about the bigger picture which only God can see.

However, I do believe the authors differ in their treatment of the people reading the book. Steven is trying to encourage those who feel like they aren't able to do it, to get out there and get onto God's bandwagon. Whereas Max's emphasis is more on helping those who are feeling a bit battle-weary realise that there is more to the story, and they can trust God to move them forward.

I enjoyed these books immensely and would highly recommend them to a Christian seeking either to do greater things for God, or one who is maybe feeling a bit downtrodden and need of encouragement. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received these books free from the publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


Victor said...

Oh, nice that you left a disclosure. Do they require them now? I like Max a lot. I heard him speak at my church once. Thanks for the reviews.

Belinda Chaplin said...

I think I have always had one, or at least in the last two years for sure... they do kind of require them... I like Max a lot too! Glad you enjoyed the reviews

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