Sunday, August 16, 2009

Loved, Stories of Forgiveness

This book interested me as soon as I saw it. Loved, Stories of Forgiveness. Stories of young people who have been prodigals, messed up their lives, yet found their way to God, or back to God. I will admit I would have enjoyed the book more if it were men and women represented in the book, but they are all women, which seems to make it a woman's book, but we can all use the message of the book - and maybe they will do one for men - good idea!

Rebecca St James, popular & successful Christian Contemporary Artist, is the

general editor for the book. The book has six sections: Identity Crises, Addictions, Family Problems, Friends, Man Trouble, and Faith Crises. Each section starts out with "In the beginning" and has a woman from the Bible to start off the section. Rahab, Eve, and others, then seven stories about seven different women follow in that section.

The stories vary. Abortions, abuse, self-abuse, drinking, drugs, sex. The young women in this book went bad, yet they all found their way back to God. The stories are heartbreaking, but also full of hope. They show the truth that no matter how bad we are, no matter how far we have gone, God will forgive, and still love us. A message we all need to hear.

Ms. James starts the book out with a foreword. In it, she tells of an illustration a friend did with her about God's love. He sat down by her with an empty waste basket and a water bottle. He began pouring the water into the waste basket, and told her to try to grasp the water, but she only got wet fists. No water was retained by her grasping hands. He than began to pour again, and this time told her to cup her hands together under the water. This time, her hands held the water and it began to run over.

A realization came to her. Her hands were in a position of receiving, instead of doing. They were open palms, instead of clenched fists. And this brought fulness, to the point of brimming over.

She then writes, "This is the way it is with God's love. For many years, my walk with God centered around my performance. If I was doing what I thought I needed to do spiritually, then God and I were "good." And if I wasn't, then He was disappointed in me. I was grasping at God's love for me, rather than receiving it. I was trying to earn His love rather than graciously taking it and living for Him out of gratefulness for His goodness."

She has more good things to say, but that is all I will put here. If you struggle with believing God's love, read this book. It is great.