David Wilkerson: The Cross, the Switchblade, and the Man Who BelievedGary Wilkerson, R.S.B. SawyerZondervan / 2014 / Hardcover$2.99 Retail:5 Stars Out Of 5 7 Reviews
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NelloAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5A modern ActsAugust 23, 2014NelloAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5God always makes a way for a praying man. You may never be able to get a college degree, you may never get rich, but God always has and always will make a way for a praying man David Wilkerson, Kindle Location 903.
If there is one secret to the success and impact of David Wilkersons life, prayer is probably it, at least according to his son Gary. In David Wilkersonthe Cross, the Switchblade and the Man Who Believed, Gary Wilkerson lays it all out for us: his dads early years as the oldest son in the home of a strict Pentecostal preacher, his first pastorate where he supplemented his salary by selling cars, his change of focus from what people thought to what God thought, his move to New York to work amongst gang members and addicts, the writing of The Cross and the Switchblade, his move to California in the 60s, then to Texas, and eventually back to New York. The story takes us to Wilkerson Sr.s death in 2011.
In a way the book is like a modern book of Acts, replete with stories of how Wilkerson Sr. used his gifts of prophecy and healing, introduced thousands to Jesus in crusades, then taught, scolded and encouraged them through his newsletter. And like the stories in Acts, there are also tales of ministry bumps, broken relationships, physical illnesses, the need to adjust to the challenges of a changing society and a changing church culture.
I appreciated the writers frank but always respectful tone. He loved and idolized his dad, but still makes us privy to his shortcomings. The text and the acknowledgements tell us that he went to great lengths to get all sides of the story. There are numerous quotes from ministry colleagues, students, family members, friends, and neighbors, giving us a well-rounded look at the man.
David Wilkersons story is exciting and inspiring, but I also found it challenging because of the high standard that he held for himself and those that worked with and for him.
If you want to be convicted and encouraged to pray more, care more about what God thinks of you than what people do, love your fellow-man more, read this book. One thing is sure: you wont read it with an open heart and come away unchanged.
Reformissional RevDallas, TexasAge: 45-54Gender: Male5 Stars Out Of 5David Wilkerson - The Cross, The Switchblade and The Man Who Believed by Gary WilkersonAugust 18, 2014Reformissional RevDallas, TexasAge: 45-54Gender: MaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The book that I have chosen to review will not be available for purchase until September 2. I received an advanced reader copy of it, provided free for bloggers through the book review program for bloggers, available at www.booklookbloggers.com. I was not required to write a positive review, and I did not have to be for this one. Put simply, this was a fantastic book.
If you have never heard the name David Wilkerson, perhaps there's a chance that you have heard of the name of an organization called "Teen Challenge". The program is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program with the highest success rate in the nation, founded by David Wilkerson many decades ago. No, you haven't heard of it? You might be familiar with the book "The Cross and The Switchblade" which tells the story of how Teen Challenge began. What, you don't know that one? Ok, maybe you've heard of Times Square Church in New York City, where he Pastored faithfully for many years. Oh, you don't know about that one either? Then, you need to read this book. And even if you do know about the things I've mentioned, you still need to read this book.
Time and space do not allow me to furnish as many details as I would like to share about the content of the book. So, I'll highlight why I thought this was a great read. First, biographies can sometimes be written by researchers, historians and students who admire a person from afar but may have never met them in person. This one, however, was written by David Wilkerson's son Gary. And it is a firsthand account of details, stories and history that others may never have known.
Second, the author is incredibly honest as he tells the story of his dad's life. He does not portray David Wilkerson as a "superhero" to be idolized (and, just for the record, David would have despised hat). He tells of the highs, lows, struggles, idiosyncrasies, triumphs and tragedies without painting a picture of perfection. He shows you that David Wilkerson was just a man, who struggled like the rest of us, but had faith in an incredible God who accomplished the impossible through him. For this reason, I admired David Wilkerson more as a person, and God, whom I serve, more to work through ordinary people, greater than when I started. And, finally, the story kept me going. I received the book on a Saturday and finished it on a Sunday. It was a good read.
If you wonder if God could ever use you and feel like you've messed up too much, read this book. It's not just David' Wilkerson's story. It's the story of multitudes who were changed and used for the glory of God. If you know someone who's struggling in areas of their life with habitual issues, then let them read this book, to encourage them that change is possible. And if you want to see what God can do through simple people, like you, then read this book. In the story of one man's life, you'll become acquainted with Jesus Christ, who makes all things possible to him who believes.