I just love love love Sheila Walsh. I "discovered" her when I went to a Woman of Faith Conference 8 years ago.
This book is EXCELLENT! I love how she writes...it's as if she's sitting there talking to you over a cup of coffee. A very easy read I must say! We are not all perfect...many of us are broken and just trying to walk along like there is nothing wrong. Some of us need to be reminded...sometimes constantly...that God loves us and is there to heal us. Even her Introduction title is perfect..."It's Okay Not to be Okay." That just takes a weight off my shoulders! We Christians always seem to struggle with showing our weaknesses and areas we need help with. This book definitely helps with that. It's an encouraging and inspirational book and I highly recommend it! This is a book that will be a constant read in my home. What a blessing!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneezeÂ®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
'God Loves Broken People: And Those Who Pretend They're Not' is basically one hundred and eighty pages of one broken person reaching out to other broken people with words of comfort, scripture, encouragement, insight, warning, and exhortation. Plus another forty-five pages of Bible study and three pages of notes.
Sheila gently brings healing truths for the wounds that the reader may have in his or her life. She does this through personal insight, scripture, and a constant call for the reader to join her in seeing things from God's perspective as shown in the scriptures.
Do we have pain? Yes. It is common to humanity. Pain and/or wounds that seem like they are going to take us out? Yes, even that kind of pain is common. Sheila takes an Introduction and thirteen chapters to show us how to overcome those things that can be overcome and accept those things that God has allowed.
She gives many examples throughout the book to better explain her points and they were all great. Nevertheless there are two examples that stand out the most for me. One being the Chinese woman looking for a mustard seed and what she found instead. The other one was the contrast between the baby Jesus and a baby prince of darkness.
The compassion she has for hurting people is clear throughout the book. Still she brings up concepts that aren't pleasant to embrace, but she works from a biblically solid base for what she says, and she bathes it all in God's fierce love and compassion. I definitely recommend this book to one and all.
Purposes of Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a temporary digital copy of the book mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Some books are fun to read. Some books an encouragement. Some books serve as a great reference. Sheila Walsh's latest book is all three.
As I read, I thought I was reading something that I could have written. One of the themes of my ministry is that we are all broken people in need of God's grace. Long ago, I learned to rephrase Thomas Harris' classic popular "I'm OK - You're OK":
I'm not OK,
You're not OK,
And that's OK
It is a theme that Sheila Walsh also picks up in her first chapter. I found the lessons in the book both helpful and true. Written by a person that had to walk through tough times to finally understand what it means to experience the grace of God.
The book is composed of stories and truths. The stories are of those who have experienced brokenness in their lives. The truths are rooted in scripture - and are valid for us all.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.
I have read several of Shelia Walsh's books, but this book is my favorite book of the ones she has written. The book is titled "God Loves Broken People (And Those Who Pretend They're Not) and Shelia said that if she could only write one book in her lifetime this book would be it. I think in so many ways it is because this book represents her life story the best.
The book is broken up into thirteen chapters and includes a bible study for each chapter. I love that because this book is not one that you simply read, but one that you can actually work through, and one that encourages you to read Scriptures from the Bible. As with many of the books I have read this one would be a wonderful one to do with a small group of women (men too, although I think women would relate to this book a bit better).
One quote from the book cover states, "Shelia Walsh shows how personal brokenness can open doors of intimacy with Jesus Christ that might never open in any other way." In my opinion that pretty much sums up the whole book. Shelia shares much of her own personal journey with brokenness in this book, but she also share the stories of many others who have walked the lonely painful road of brokenness as well. However, Shelia doesn't end with just the broken stories of their lives, but with how God has used the brokenness of their lives to draw them into a deeper relationship with Himself. Suffering and utter brokenness if one allows it to will usher him/her into an intimacy with Jesus that is not experienced in the happy and joyful times of life.
I feel of all the books that I have read of Shelia's that in this one she really challenges Christians to let go of ideas about how the Christian life should be one of no trials and pure happiness, but that we should instead embrace suffering and brokenness because that is what Jesus did for us. Purely because of that fact I think this book is wonderful.
This book will definitely be an encouragement to those who have lived through immense suffering or are currently in a season of suffering and brokenness. For those who are currently in a "happy" time of their lives I believe this book can be a reminder that brokenness and suffering will come to us all one day and this book may help to prepare us to have a correct response and view of suffering. This book is definitely a five star book and I would recommend it to others.
I received this book complimentary from Book Sneeze (Thomas Nelson) and in turn I am writing this review. Thanks Book Sneeze.
In the early 80's when i first received the gift of salvation through Christ Jesus, one of the first things i did was change the music i listened to and Sheila Walsh was one of my favorites...Also a few years ago i was blessed to be able to go to a Woman of Faith conference and Sheila was one of the speakers. So when i saw this book written by Sheila Walsh and also the title caught my eye, i was excited to be able to read it to write this review.
In the first chapter, Sheila shares this wonderful story about a stepping stone that her son Christian made for her on one of her birthdays. He had ordered the kit and when he received it was very disappointed because the box was filled with broken pieces of mosaic. Then his dad told him "he could use these pieces to create a one of a kind stepping stone for his mom" Christian then was determined to do just that and to use every piece in the kit. Since that time this stepping stone was placed in a very special space where Sheila now sits on her patio in the mornings and can see it every morning to see this wonderful gift her son gave her made with his own hands.
One morning her son came out to sit with her and then asked "Mom, do you think someone broke the pieces on purpose, or do you think they just gathered up broken things and use them in the kits?" Sheila answered " i imagine they collected the broken ones."
This question stayed with her for a long time. She then takes this simple question and compares it to the broken pieces in our own lives. ... She asks God, "Father,do You orchestrate the breaking of our lives,or just invite us to bring all the pieces to You?" Then she questioned to her self "does it matter? Would we relate to God differently depending on His answers? It's one thing to love God when we think of Him as the One who binds up our brokenness. But what if He is the One who allows, even participates , in the breaking?
All Jesus did , all of His life was to hold onto the promises and truths of Gods Word, the Bible. Sheila says, "I want you to know that for the rest of this book ."
Her goal for us to learn from her book is to train our eyes on two crucial things:
#1 is an ancient path and good way which is nothing other than the Word of God, the Bible.
Jeremiah 6:16 "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein."
#2 is the one new, not looking back ,but instead reaching for the fresh future God is at work preparing for us.
Isaiah 43:19 "Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert."
She shares many stories and incidences from her life and from others lives, all in the desire to show us --- of the Hope we have in Christ Jesus no matter how broken we are !!! And as i have always said...she continues with this "but remember as you read that not one of these stories can do for you what the Word of God can do. And that is why she intends to root everything she shares in the Scriptures.
It may be hard, but it will be worth it !
At the back of the book is a Bible Study for each chapter and to me this always helps us all to dig deeper and then it becomes more personal.
Its okay for us all to be broken, the key is not to stay that way... No matter what we have done or what we have been through there is a way out and that is to read Gods Word and trust Him in what He says in it.
I would recommend this book to anyone..man,woman,teenager,those who follow Christ Jesus and those who do not.It helps you see mainly through Scripture ,which is truth, that if you take God at His Word you really cannot go wrong...
Pray before you read any book and just Ask God to help you understand what you are reading and ask God to help you apply it to your life,if it is according to His Word....I PRAY we all do this daily...
Sheila as before, God has used you to bless my with more of HIM. I pray Yahweh will continue to guide you and engulf you with His love,peace and joy. I also pray His Word from Numbers 6:24-26" The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."
May HE alone be Glorified through us all who are called His children.