It took Kasey a long time to get it. She splashed in the shallows of Christianity for decades. She became plagued with questions and doubts. "How is it," she writes, "that this devoted Christian girl from East Texas who sang in the church choir and led small-group Bible study suddenly found herself tossing back a bottleful of Xanax to end it all?" (ix)
Kasey has written this book so we may no longer just talk about a life filled with hope and peace, but actually live it. That we might live not as victim but as victor. That we would strip away our masks. That a passion deep within our soul would be ignited. That we would no longer wade in the shallows but plunge into the deep end with the Lord.
She takes us through the journey, down the winding road of our past, seeing its potential to make us stronger people of God. We hit the rest stop of the present, keeping our focus on God. We feel the brisk wind of the future, God inviting us into his plans.
She shares her own story - raped as a teen, promiscuity following, hospitalized for an eating disorder, cutting herself, living a life of hypocrisy. She realized that it was not what was done to her but her reactions to them that were important. Her mistakes in the past did not have to determine her legacy. As with David, "God can give you a new legacy and allow you to pass on a blessing, not a curse, to the next generation." (39)
She helps us understand the pain from our past and why God allows it. "What I have learned along the way _ is that it is better to know God than to know the answers!" (55) She takes us through the steps of letting God heal our hurts. Then she works on the present and how God will still love us in the midst of our failures. She pays particular attention to how Satan can deceive us and what to do when we sin.
The last section of her book is on the future. We can look to the future with hope. She reminds us that the path to maturity is not an easy one. She encourages us to not be complacent, remembering, "there is nothing sweeter in this world than an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ." (219)
I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
This is a book about a woman's walk from simply being raised in the "Bible Belt" and being around religion to a real walk with Jesus. She shares in an honest way, the falling down and getting back up that she experienced in this new way of living for and with Jesus. She pinpoints the many times she was humiliated by what happened to her and her own choices as well. She paints a picture of how valuable we are to the heart of God; even when people hurt us and it LOOKS like God is nowhere around.
I liked the fact that Kasey, used scripture in her book and also took each scripture and enlarged on its meaning in an easy to understand way. At the end of each chapter there was a short one sentence note that reminded you what the main idea of the chapter was. There were times, I'm sorry to say, where it felt a little dry and was harder to read through. Its not that the information wasn't good or true. I guess because at this stage in my life I've already been through much of the forgiveness that she's talking about. I probably should keep it on hand though; because life isn't over yet and I may just need to be reminded. One really good thing I was reminded of was asking for the fresh infilling of Holy Spirit every day. Anyone who is torn between their love for God and keeping their hurts needs to read this.
I was given this book from Tyndale House Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
WOW! "Named by God" is a powerful and life-altering book. Kasey Van Norman finds the courage to be completely transparent in retelling the story of her life's journey with God amidst pain, heartache, failures, joys, and overcoming her sinful past. Kasey breaks the book into three sections: finding purpose in your past, taking responsibility for your present, and having hope for your future. All chapters and issues are clearly written out and easy to follow and understand.
Reading this book while going through my own dark valley has been a blessing and with Kasey's strong use of scripture, Biblical and personal examples, along with a bluntly honest, yet gentle look at truth about sin and our responsibility, I have found myself encouraged not to give-up. This book has pointed me to the Truth and to the true source of hope. Reading "Named by God" helped me see that though my story and struggles are different from Kasey's, I am not alone during this dark period of my life. There are individuals who have made it through similar struggles to mine, along with those who will go through them in the future, and one day, I may just be able to encourage those individuals as they struggle through their difficulties.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is in need of counseling, or who is struggling with their past or self-worth. This book is both encouraging and convicting.
This is a word I use to describe Kasey Van Norman's new book, Named by God. It is extremely difficult in this psychology-saturated culture to find a book with a Biblical Perspective to help the hurting. Mrs. Van Norman's book does this.
She is clear in her presentation of the problem to all hurts in life. Sin.
She is clear in her presentation of the remedy of all hurts in life. Jesus.
Named by God reminds those who have been hurt, even deep, deep hurt, that Jesus is the Healer. The author journeys through her own hurt, which was mighty significant, to help the reader embrace the truth from God's Word. This is where true change comes.
Kasey writes in a very gentle and compassionate way that will tell the reader she really understands, but then gives the reader the answer to freedom. As I read this, I saw the path from hurt to healing come alive; the problem to the cure; the pain to servant hood and bonding with the body of Christ.
Anyone, wherever you may be in these equations can use this as a great resource.
Everyone has a past that would just as soon forget about but as a Christian it seems the past keeps jumping up and pestering you. In her book the author relates her past and how she finally was able to break free from it and become the person God had planned for her. Although a Christian she continually fell back into sin to the point of self destruction. She now sets focus on her main agenda through this book, to reach out to those that have strayed away from God and to highten the flame of those that know Him. I did like her analysis of those that that were transformed . Abraham, Joseph, David, Paul are just a few mentioned andthen your own name.
As I read I could see myself in a few of the situations as far as forgiveness goes , serving in the church, I could do more along with mind wondering if the sermon gets dull.. With plenty of scripture throughout the book to back up her points I always advise everyone when they read this type of book , pull out your Bible and read along. Always read the scripture before and after a verse because that could change the whole perspective or outlook of the scripture. This is the type of book that one needs to keep a highlighter beside them as they read and highlight parts that have a special meaning to you, then its so much easier to find as you continue your Christian journey and you want to remember something you read earlier in the book. I always say a highlighter and pencil notes is the roadmap on your journey.
I do recommend this book. There are many good points throughout. What drew me to the book was her story. Like the prodigal son she came out of her pig sty of sin to be used by God.
I received this complimentary ARC from Tyndale Publishers. A positive review was not required and the opinions expressed here on my own honest thoughts on the book.