And the Shofar Blew by Francine Rivers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I've never felt so convicted reading a book. Ever. The inner workings of the Christian mind is a trippy thing to behold, and being a Christian, myself, I often wonder if God sees me as a whiny brat for all of my crying out in my temptation.
This book made me realize that God expects us, and wants us to cry out to him. We all struggle. Even Jesus struggled, but He didn't act on it, which is why He was the sacrificial lamb to heal our transgressions.
I hated Paul Hudson. I hated the inner workings of his mind, his detestable, prideful mind. Every time one of his Elders, or his wife, or his mother tried to talk to him, he'd brush them aside, like he was the only one God actually talked to (similar to the priests in the Bible, honestly). He thought he was so far above everyone that he could never actually fall.
Sadly, I did see something similar in the church I attended growing up. There's no doubt in my mind that the pastor loved God, but the church grew so much so quickly that a lot of things got lost in the shuffle. I saw a lot of people leave the church, hurt, angry, and lost. When my parents finally left the church (because the messages were never finished. They were rabbit-trailed, and carried over week to week with no resolution), they made certain that the pastors knew there were no hard feelings. The church we're in now is trying to grow and build, but it feels like we're doing it in an honest, Christ-centered way. It's amazing the difference.
Back to the book, I had originally wanted to read this several months ago, when Joel Osteen had all those scandals in his church. I got into a debate with my friend, Laura, about whether or not TV evangelists are legit (I'm still on the fence about Joel, but she was complaining about Joyce Meyer. I have a friend who came to Christ because her mother insisted she turn on Joyce Meyer, and I've never known Joyce to preach anything besides the honest truth about how God saves). My mom and sister suggested I read this book.
Gotta tell you, it is flipping terrifying to see how the Devil creeps into the cracks in our foundation, and destroys. The fact that God still wants us after we've been through the mud says a lot about Him. Makes me think about how the devil can sneak into my own life, and use my pride and vanity against me. The only way to get through it is to put myself in the Word, and pray constantly. This book reminded me of that.
I did find it a bit hard to get into, but once I got past the first two or three chapters, it really flew by. I couldn't read it fast enough. I stayed up until midnight reading on a work night, just because I had to know how what was going to happen.
Love it! I now need to read more Francine Rivers. And re-read "Redeeming Love."
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