5 Stars Out Of 5
This Book Was Not What I thought It Would Be
March 24, 2016
This book, Forsaken God, is not at all what I thought.
To begin with, I cried as I read Janets personal stories. Her passion for God and His goodness is inspiring. Her feelings come through as her heart showed up time and time again. But this book was not at all what I thought it was going to be. Janets words are not some dry, social commentary. I dont normally cry over plain facts written with no urgency or intensity and I wouldn't. It was full of heart and personal stories and beautiful use of scripture. Although Janet had prepped me for what she been working on in, for some distracted reason I didnt hear her.
The title, Forsaken God, Remembering the Goodness of God Our Culture Has Forgotten, had me hooked and engaged from her introduction to the appendix. Yes, the appendix! When does that happen? I mean no one reads the introduction AND the appendix. Well, you will want to also. I was fascinated by learning Janets story, but my tears didnt begin until I read Rainis in Chapter 3. Raini Bowles ends her personal testimony in the chapter titled, Recognizing His Presence, Im doing this (beginning a womens Bible study) because I recognize Gods call and his presence in my life. She tells how she began her ministry and God covered all the needs with immediacy and blessed surprises. Her situation is close and similar to my personal story and I could relate to Raini as well as to many of the womens stories Janet shares.
This is an amazing and inspiring book. It could have been, and I mistakenly thought it may be, a dry read, full of facts and stats about our cultures moral slide. I thought Janet was setting out to describe how our nations spiritual heritage is being swept under the rug. She does this eloquently enough. However, Janet gives us much more than obvious facts and her learned opinion. Much, much more. In Forsaken God, she does not leave us hanging out there with the problems challenges. I found myself (mentally) shouting YES! as she gave many solutions. She has written answers that make a whole lot of sense. Practical ideas scatter throughout with answers to remedy the Biblically-forgotten situation we have gotten ourselves into.
I believe this is why I was so emotional in reading Forsaken God. This book mirrors so much of my journey in ministry over the past 30 years. I shouldnt be surprised at all since Janet Thompson has been one of my personal spiritual mentors. Although we have never met face to face, I have collected Janets advice and wise guidance through her writings for years. My own ministry, Heartfelt Ministries, was built on a foundation she established at Saddleback Church with Woman to Woman Mentoring. My love of Titus 2 discipling turned into a formed program that evolved into Heartfelt Friends, becasuse Janet led the path of womens mentoring ministry.
Forsaken God has been written and now published for such a time as this, Believers. It is very likely you will hear of Janet Thompsons ideas spreading into Christian homes, churchs small groups, Bible studies, childrens ministries and mens and womens ministries. All can easily be implemented. I LOVE an action plan and each chapter has practical ways to remember, to recognize, and to celebrate Gods faithfulness in our lives. They are simple and they can immediately be put into action. As our generation does so, we will begin the process of directing the course of our familys legacy of faith.
Here are just a few of Janets suggestions:
-use photos you have to remind you of a time when God did something wonderful for you or your family. Janet has a framed picture of the Christian camp in her houses to remind her of the day she received Christ.
-when going through a tough time, praise God for those who have mentored you and encouraged you in the past as you pray for God to send you more mentors and guides in the future. Share this with your family.
-highlight passages in the Bible with the words remember, reminder, never forget, the next generation while reading to learn how important it is to share God with the next generation. THIS is an amazing exercise. I love Janets unique suggestions on ways to read the Bible.
-have a family celebration at Christmas with a birthday party for Jesus. Just think how memorable this will be for your children and grandchildren as you help them to know the real reason for the Christmas season.
In Forsaken God Janet writes, Intentionally remembering Gods goodness begins when we answer the question, Is God good? Most believers would answer Of course God is good. Then we need to act like we believe it. Believing God is good + following his instructions = a good life. Isnt that what we want for our famiies and ourselves? Then lets starting shouting about his goodness from the rooftops: One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts (Psa. 145:4) It only takes one generation forgetting the goodness of God to erase God completely from our culture.
Do you believe that?
If you do, then you will want to read Forsaken God. This is a wake-up call to all believers to fight for our faith. For our families. Our country.
Thank you, Janet Thompson, for writing a motivating battle plan.
We can do this. Its not rocket science, but it does have to be launched. Start remembering, recognizing and celebrating God in your family. This book tells you how to do so.