I Still Believe: A Memoir
I didn't know who Jeremy Camp was before reading this book. I enjoyed this memoir though. He is articulate, honest, and open.
He tells his story beautifully, with deep emotion and conviction. Learning of his heartbreak and redemption show so many that they can overcome so much - with faith, and the grace of God.
April 30, 2014
A Memoir of passion for God and love for people
As a music listener I fall into that category of pathetic people who have no clue which artist sings which songs. Prior to reading Jeremy CampÃ¢ÂÂs memoir, Ã¢ÂÂI Still BelieveÃ¢ÂÂ, I know I could have told you that Jeremy Camp is a Christian singerÃ¢ÂÂ¦and thatÃ¢ÂÂs about all. I donÃ¢ÂÂt think I could have confidently named a single one of his songs. As it turns out, IÃ¢ÂÂm very familiar with his music and IÃ¢ÂÂm now very glad IÃ¢ÂÂve read his story. I love memoirs in general and Ã¢ÂÂI Still BelieveÃ¢ÂÂ is no exception. Whether a person is young or old, famous or not, makes little difference; so much of what we experience in life is universal, and because it is we can gain so much from one anotherÃ¢ÂÂs experiences and insights.
What Jeremy CampÃ¢ÂÂs memoir succeeds in doing is showing his passion for God, his sincere love for people, and a true humility in his calling. As he walks his readers through the story of his wifeÃ¢ÂÂs death and the grief and suffering that entailed, he is able to testify to GodÃ¢ÂÂs goodness even in the midst of personal tragedy. This is a book that will encourage you in your faith and strengthen you as you walk through trials and suffering. ItÃ¢ÂÂs not JeremyÃ¢ÂÂs testimony alone that will speak to you, however. ItÃ¢ÂÂs also the testimony of his parents and how their passion for Jesus and their faith in GodÃ¢ÂÂs goodness influenced their children. Finally, itÃ¢ÂÂs a tribute to JeremyÃ¢ÂÂs first wife Melissa, memorializing her love for others and her desire to be used by God whether in life or death.
Ã¢ÂÂI Still BelieveÃ¢ÂÂ offers a lot of incidental insights into the importance of worship-particularly during the times in our life when thatÃ¢ÂÂs the last thing we feel like doing. YouÃ¢ÂÂll gain an appreciation of the nitty-gritty, behind-the-scenes aspects of the music industry, and ultimately- especially if youÃ¢ÂÂre a pathetic music listener like me, youÃ¢ÂÂll acquire a deep appreciation of the heart and experiences behind Jeremy CampÃ¢ÂÂs songs and youÃ¢ÂÂll even be able to identify them as his.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Tyndale House Publishers. 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 CommissionÃ¢ÂÂs 16 CFR, Part 255.
January 25, 2014
A Chat over Coffee
In my teen years, I really enjoyed following up-and-coming artists rather than big names. Looking back I see that I started following Jeremy within a year of his first recording contract. Reading his autobiography/memoir I Still Believe filled in some gaps I had regarding his testimony. Details are great!
In the book, Jeremy is honest about his struggles to trust God, walk by faith, and believe His promises. As I read, I felt like we were sitting down for coffee and he was telling me his story, permeated with Scripture and God's glory. Since it's in first person, it reads like he's talking to you rather than like a biography would. There were definitely some asides and small details added that could drive some readers batty, but I liked how it felt like a conversation.
Jeremy talks about his life since the tragedy and the tension his success has brought. I found it interesting that about the time he was struggling with balance in his music career and his walk with God is about the time I stopped listening to him. His style has changed significantly from his first two CDs, most of which were written in the depths of grief. Are his songs still deep? Do they still resonate with his audience and minister to them? Yes! I'm just not as "into" music as I was in my teens.
If there's one thing I took away from this book, it's how often I take life for granted. "I can minister tomorrow." "My husband will be here." "Phone calls and letters can wait." But they can't. The urgency of the Gospel in Melissa's life challenged me to realize that same urgency. Definitely worth my time to read this book!
I received this book for free via Tyndale House Publishers for this review. The perspectives above are entirely mine.
January 24, 2014
I Still Believe
Overall, I found Camp's writing unpolished. While he has clearly been gifted in writing music and lyrics, prose does not seem to be his strength. I have no doubt of his sincerity or depth of emotion, but those qualities fight to come across on the page. Regardless of his writing ability, he is obviously very earnest in his faith. I found it refreshing to know that his songs are coming from real experience and emotion, rather than being churned out for the CCM charts. His story is a powerful one and God has clearly used in many lives. At the end of the day, perhaps his inexperience in writing prose is a testament to the reality of his situation and the tenderness of his heart.
August 27, 2013