Hustling God   -     By: M. Craig Barnes
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Hustling God

Zondervan / 2000 / Paperback

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Product Description

We work hard at life. We try to get better jobs, better homes, better relationships, and even a better spirituality. We are like Jacob in the Old Testament. His name means "striver, schemer, supplanter, hustler." He could have been the poster boy for the American Dream. But author Craig Barnes says this is not the way we should be living our lives. We should not try to manipulate and hustle ourselves into a place of advantage with God, a position that has been ours all along. After all, God is the one who climbed down the ladder to be with us. Using true anecdotes from the men, women, and families of the churches he has served, Barnes invites hard-running, stressed-out, burned-out people to stop striving. Life is not something we grasp and clutch to us, but a gift God freely gives. Only when we open our hands can God fill them with the blessings he has been waiting to lavish upon us all along.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2000
Dimensions: 8.5 X 5.5 (inches)
ISBN: 0310239524
ISBN-13: 9780310239529
Availability: Expected to ship on or about 07/01/15.

Author Bio

M. Craig Barnes is pastor of Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His previous books are Yearning, Hustling God, and When God Interrupts.

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  1. Sacramento, CA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Not A Self-Help Book
    October 15, 2012
    Philip Tutt
    Sacramento, CA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Let the title of this review dispose of any such expectation. Let me also warn the reader not to be put off by the conversational (even "chatty") style in which the book is written. That said, as I read this book, Rev. Barnes makes two main points: first, we cannot take from God what God gives us, and second, we must surrender to God if we are to receive God's blessings. The first point has two corallaries, both of which arise naturally within the context of Rev. Barnes' narrative. The first corallary is that we cannot avoid God's intent for us (rather like: you can run, but you can't hide, at least not from God). The second corallary is that while we may surely refuse the blessings which God offers, God does not give up trying to bless us while we yet breathe. As Rev. Barnes ably shows from his own pastoral experience, this latter corallary is sometimes very hard to see, or, if seen, to accept. Hence, the second main point: surrendering to God. On that point, I found the book somewhat less satisfactory. If faith is a gift from God (I believe that it is), and if, on account of that faith, I surrender to God (or, to put it more somewhat more analytically, I surrender to God's will for me, whatever that may entail), then, in some sense, there is nothing left for me to do: my salvation is assured. I ought, therefore, as a committed Christian, to need, indeed, to desire, nothing else. Yet, how often, even here, does doubt enter in. As Rev. Barnes observes: we so often find it difficult, if not impossible, to accept something which we are afraid that we may lose. The remedy, finding God's faithfulness, gets us right back to the question of surrender. So, the pastoral dilemma seems to be: how do I "find" what is already given to me (my faith, out of which I surrender to God). If, on the other hand, I have not such faith, then what is God's faithfulness to me? I think that Rev. Barnes probably knows, again out of the abundance of his pastoral experience (from which he gives the reader many heart-felt and instructive examples), that likely are no satisfactory answers to this dilemma. I suspect, also, that for the mature Christian, there do not have to be any. I highly recommend this book for thoughtful readers. I am confident that they will find many of the points in it both telling and profound.
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