Book Reviews, faith, Family, God's love, grace, love

Book Review: Between Heaven and the Real World

“Oh taste and SEE that the Lord is good!” (Ps. 34:8)

This is the theme verse of Between Heaven and the Real World by Steven Curtis Chapman. 

In all my years of reading, whether for pleasure, for school, or for work, I’ve never read a book written with such raw vulnerability, painful hurts, deep faith, total surrender and intense trust. That is, until I read this book.

Between Heaven and the Real World begins when Steven was a young boy and brings the reader through his life up until 2013. He shares of the struggles he had as a young boy, a teenager. He writes of meeting his bride, Mary Beth, of the struggles she experienced, and the struggles they experienced together. He tells the reader of the unwavering commitment he and Mary Beth had to one another and how, through the darkest, bleakest times, that commitment held them together. 

He shares stories of all of his children – biological and adopted. Maria, adopted from China, brought an effervescent joy to the Chapman home. Her happiness, her love of life brightened up the lives of everyone around her. Steven is at his most vulnerable as he writes of life after Maria. All of the family suffered greatly, and yet, through their suffering, the roots of their faith grew deeper and today, around the world, Maria’s legacy can be found everywhere. “Oh, taste and SEE that the Lord is good!”

One of the most interesting aspects of the book is the many times Steven shared how he got the inspiration for the various hit singles he’s had through the years, many of them becoming part of the “48 career number one radio singles.” After reading this book, you will hear one of those songs and remember just where Steven was, who he was with, and how God revealed to him the lyrics to the song. Knowing the background of the song gives the song a deeper meaning and makes the song even more special than when you heard it before.

This is a book that will minister to everyone who reads it. But for those who are in the midst of a crisis of faith, it is a “must” read. Your faith will grow stronger, your heart will be encouraged and your life changed. 

                                                                                 

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image, love, mirror, worth

Look in the Mirror

“What you persistently think, eventually, but inevitably, crystallizes into the words you speak and then into the things you do.” (The 4:8 Principle, Tommy Newberry)

In other words, what you think about yourself will influence everything you say and everything you do. You begin to believe what you say about yourself. And once you believe what you say about yourself, you will begin to act that way.

If you tell yourself you are worthless and unlovable, you will begin to believe you are worthless and unlovable. And once you believe it, you will begin to act as if you are worthless and unlovable. You will begin to dress with no thought as to how you look. You will develop an “I don’t care what other people think of me” attitude. You may even begin to act wild and reckless, doing foolish and stupid things because your mind tells you no one else cares about you – so why should you care. The way of dressing, the “I don’t care” attitude, even the reckless living are all defense mechanisms to keep from getting hurt. No one wants to be considered a worthless, unlovable person – and no one is. As the old saying goes, “God didn’t create junk.” To put it another way, God didn’t create worthless, unlovable people. He created us in His own image. But because of circumstances in which we were wounded emotionally, we tell ourselves these things until we believe them. Or even worse, some primary person or persons in our lives have told us that we are not lovable, not worthy of their attention, their time, their love.

So how do we change our “stinkin’ thinkin’?” We first have to know who our worth comes from. It doesn’t come from our parents, our heritage or our place in the family. It doesn’t come from our social status, the amount of education we have or our place in the community. And it doesn’t come from who we married or how much money we have in the bank or what we do for a living. Our worth comes only from God. Yes, that’s right – GOD.

God created us in His own image and God is not junk!

So back to the question – how do you change your thinking about yourself? You must begin to believe that you do have worth, but it is worth that comes from God – from belonging to Him and knowing who you are in Him. Look at yourself in the mirror every morning and tell yourself, “I am worthy because God created me and I have worth in Him.” Repeat this to yourself several times throughout the day. This is not the power of positive thinking – this is a fact you are stating in order to plant this truth into your heart! Act like you believe it. Dress like you believe it. The more you say it, the more you will believe it. And the more you believe it, the more you will act like it. Before you know it, you will see yourself as God sees you – worthy and lovable.

(c) 2008 Edwina E. Cowgill