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5 Stars Out Of 5
Grace in the Mundane
December 31, 2013
In her book "Glimpses of Grace" Gloria Furman explores the questions: "What does the gospel have to do with our lives in the home? And "How does this grace change the way we live?" The book begins with several chapters devoted to a thorough and clear explanation of the gospel. Gloria does an excellent job of explaining the gospel and explaining why it is crucial to live every moment of everyday in light of it's truth. The second part of the book is the practical application of how we go about living the gospel in the "mundane" of our lives.
This book was both encouraging and convicting to me personally. I was reminded that the gift of God's grace given to me through the precious blood of Jesus Christ was not just for my justification, but also for my daily sanctification. When I become weary with the daily routines of being a homemaker or when I become prideful with my successes in keeping the house clean or having well behaved children I can remember that "the gospel gives me the courage to repent of these attitudes _ through God's grace, an entirely different dynamic is at work when I look to Jesus for strength and hope. This is faith working through love (Gal. 5:5-6). God in his grace can transform us into those who are steadfast, immovable, always abounding in his work, knowing that in him our labor is not in vain (1 Cor. 15:58).
What does a busy wife and mother need more than anything else in her home for her family? Super-human strength? Four arms? Eyes in the back of her head? Thirty hours in a day? According to author Gloria Furman, mother of four young children and wife of a minister who moved the family to the Middle East to plant the Redeemer Church of Dubai, what she needs most is the grace of God. In the introduction, Gloria writes, "As homemakers who are made in God's image and desire to live for God, we need to know what God's intentions are for us and for the work we do in the home. More specifically, we need to know: What does the gospel have to do with our everyday lives in the home? How does the gospel impact our dish washing, floor mopping, bill paying, friend making, guest hosting, and dinner cooking?" (p. 16).
After the four chapters of Part 1 in which Furman seeks to lay "Your Foundation in the Mundane," she goes on in the next nine chapters of Part 2 to apply the gospel principles of God's grace to such everyday situations as raising children, preparing food, showing hospitality, relating to friends, suffering burdens, dealing with loneliness, being real as earthen vessels, working at homemaking, and learning contentment. In the process, she mentions how God provided grace by sending someone to help in homeschooling her children. Especially noteworthy is her explanation of the problems related to her husband's genetic nerve disorder and the application of what she has learned from the struggles resulting from them. She writes, "This book is about how we experience the grace of the gospel as we go about our daily lives in the home" (p. 20).
Bible believers from different backgrounds may not necessarily agree with all the theological implications presented, such as inherited sin, the imputation of Christ's righteousness, and celebrating Easter as a religious holiday. There is also a reference to dancing. And to be honest, I personally didn't get much out of reading the book, most likely because it was designed to appeal to women regarding their specific needs and thus written according to how women think. I'm a guy. We guys have different needs and just approach things differently from women. However, women who want to please God in their home lives will undoubtedly find a lot of helpful encouragement in this book. Furman concludes, "We see glimpses of God's grace in our homes when we cherish God through the gospel of Jesus Christ. The solution to our problems in the home and the impetus for our enjoyment of life in the home is fellowship with God through Christ Jesus's atoning sacrifice on the cross" (p. 180).
Gloria Furman lives in Dubai with her husband Dave, a pastor. Together, they are raising three young kids. Gloria is an author and she blogs regularly at Desiring God & Domestic Kingdom
Her new book Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home (Crossway 2013) is a look at finding God in the day in day out life of housework and caring for the family. Any stay at home Mom will tell you that sweeping, mopping, ironing and taking care of the kids can feel routine and perhaps even pointless, so is it possible to discover God amidst all of this?
Or what about those Mothers who are in the workplace and who feel torn in two directions between a professional life and a family life? Gloria's book helps us all take a look at discovering those God moments in our every day routine.
Gloria's book is full of her own humorous and thought provoking stories and each one is tied back to her biblical meditation. Glimpses of Grace is a quick and easy read and as a writer, Gloria is an experienced writer with a easy to follow voice.
And what's great is, Glimpses of Grace isn't a self-help book, or a book that makes you feel bad for not having a devotional every day (although this book makes a great morning devo with your coffee) rather Gloria offers short perspectives about God and faith that are already there - and she just wants you to be aware of those moments - those glimpses of grace.
Thank you to Crossway for providing this free review copy.
In the beginning of the book Gloria says that often the encouragement given to someone in the midst of raising children is something like "this too shall pass" or "grin and bear it", and then we talk about what we're going to do one day when we get our life back. Those phrases used to sum up what she felt. If she could just get through this season of life, then perhaps she would be able to serve the Lord and be content. She'd be able to have a 'proper' prayer time, uninterrupted, and her spiritual life would be so much better. Until finally she came to believe that we need to glorify God in whatever we do, even in the ordinary and mundane. Even in washing the dishes and 3 am feedings. She says "The biggest questions I want to explore in this book are these: What does the gospel have to do with our lives in the home? How does this grace change the way we live?"
Everyone wants to be content, but it seems elusive. Contentment is something that has to be learned. It's an issue of the heart, not brought about by circumstances, and discontent in the heart must first be dealt with. Then we can be content in whatever circumstance we find ourselves, even the ones out of our control. Paul says in Phillipians that he has "learned the secret of being content" Phil 4:13.
I appreciated to candid look into the author's life and thoughts. It is not so much a new revelation as a new way of thinking about it, kind of one of those "Well when you put it that way..." moments. An encouraging read for every mother in the trenches! There can be joy and contentment for you, too.
I received this ebook from Netgalley and Crossway for the purposes of an honest review. My opinion is my own. Thank you Crossway.