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Publication Date: 2016
Daniel Fusco, a pastor and jazz musician, riffs on the major themes of the book of Ephesians to help each of us find God in the midst of our mess.
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Diane Busch5 Stars Out Of 5Life is messy but Jesus is with youMarch 26, 2017Diane BuschQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0Honestly, this book is a study of Ephesians, but it doesn't feel like it. Daniel Fusco writes so down to earth, it's as if he's talking to you like a friend. A friend who "gets it". A friend who has been through life with its messiness just like you have. And he's not afraid to say what you are thinking but were afraid to say. He acknowledges that in the midst of our messy lives, the truths about God are challenged or tough to believe. He says, "Messiness by itself is not good news. But messiness that Jesus can work in and through absolutely is good news!"
Whether you are new to faith in Christ or you have been following Him for years, there are truths and reminders throughout this book that will inspire you to grow in your faith. Daniel writes simply but profoundly as he presents lots of good news to help you through your bad news. "God wants to do new things in us. Life is messy, but God is real. God is the God of the mess. Jesus is alive, and God's spirit is loose in the world, transforming hearts and minds." Amen!
Cricket5 Stars Out Of 5Honestly: A Fresh Look at Ephesians for A Messy LifeApril 29, 2016CricketQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Daniel Fuscos new book, Honestly, gets straight to the heart of the matter when he writes at the outset, But lifes messiness isnt just the negative headlines---its everything that keeps us unbalanced. Life is extraordinarily unpredictable. Things happen that we cant fathom---some of which we choose, and some of which are chosen for us.
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female3 Stars Out Of 5For teens or brand new ChristiansApril 10, 2016bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 3Value: 3Meets Expectations: 2Fusco aims to help us in our messy lives with lessons from the book of Ephesians. This is not a verse by verse commentary nor a systematic look at the epistle. Fusco takes lessons from verses here and there, jumping around from chapter to chapter.
I have mixed feelings about this book. On the positive side, I really liked how Fusco reminded us of the purpose of troubles in our lives. Jesus sees those places we think negative as opportunities for healing change. The resolution to our troubles is Jesus. His presence is a gift, not to get us out of the mess but to be with us in it. Fusco has some good thoughts on that journey, including the importance of prayer.
On the negative side, I felt the book is very basic. It may be appropriate for very new Christians or ones who are biblically illiterate. Fusco retells Bible stories, such as the raising of Lazarus, in their entirety. The book may also be good for those seeking to know about faith in Jesus as Fusco does a good job of explaining our situation and how Jesus is the answer. Seasoned Christians may not find anything new or insightful in this book.
I also felt the book is aimed at young people. The way Fusco writes made me think this book might be better appreciated by someone in their late teens. Fusco loves to play bass and there is lots about music and stories about playing in a band. In fact, the questions at the end of the chapters are called riffs, which made no sense to this non-musical person. So a young person who plays guitar in a band might be the best potential reader for this book.
I appreciated Fusco reminding us that we must trust God's character when we are struggling with the mess of our lives. I appreciated being reminded that Jesus is with us as we go through the mess. I was a little disappointed in the writing style and the concentration of stories about playing the bass guitar.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
Alison3 Stars Out Of 5Good message, lacked chemistry with authorMarch 31, 2016AlisonQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0I was excited to pick this book up. Anything that acknowledges the mess of our lives and how Jesus fits into it is something that gets me excited. I finished Honestly and couldnt decide what I thought. Daniel Fusco had good truth that he shared. He has a heart for Jesus. He doesnt deny the mess and invites Jesus into it. One of my favorite things he shares about is how Jesus makes dead people come ALIVE. He is tremendously excited as he shares about this truth:
The good news is not that Jesus makes bad people good.
The good news is not that Jesus makes decent, moral people even better.
The good news is not that Jesus takes rebels and failures and does an extreme makeover on them.
None of that.
The good news is that Jesus makes dead people alive. (52)
Ill admit though, this book didnt jazz me as much as I hoped it would. I think the only explanation I could come up with was a lack of chemistry. Daniel shares a fair amount of sports stories and pop culture references. This Jersey boy is crazy about music and the pages are littered with footnotes with his silly and serious commentary on what hes talking about. I think Id like this book more if I knew Daniel, if I went to his church and experienced him beyond these pages. I think Id connect more with what he shared, if so. But as it stands, this book was good but lacked a deeper connection to my heart. I still have no problem recommending it, as I though the theology and truth sound. Just lacked chemistry for me. B- for me.
*Tyndale House Publishers have provided me with a complimentary copy of Honestly, in exchange for my honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255
Ron KlaveColoradoAge: 45-54Gender: Male2 Stars Out Of 5Honestly by Daniel FuscoMarch 26, 2016Ron KlaveColoradoAge: 45-54Gender: MaleQuality: 5Value: 3Meets Expectations: 1Unfortunately, this book had hints of brilliance that was surrounded by messy writing. Honestly: Getting Real About Jesus And Our Messy Lives was not an enjoyable experience to read and I felt the author was constantly reminding the reader how messy their lives are. Its like the unnecessary desire to always remind an alcoholic that hes an alcoholic just to keep him in AA.
Daniel Fusco takes the reader through the book of Ephesians and attempts to help you understand how Jesus is the answer to our messy lives. The premise of the book is great, albeit nothing new, and there were many times throughout Fuscos book that I found he made some amazing points, such as, Testing produces testimony. Issues are Gods opportunities. Issues precede miracles. The remedy for the mess is grace and peace. Unfortunately, the substance surround his brilliance was disappointing.
All too often, I couldnt help but feel that Fusco was trying too hard to come across as hip and cool, doing his best to make sure you thought he could understand any person, on any level, and at any age. Among the other reasons, his need for constant repetitiveness and his choice of using The Message, made reading this book frustrating and unpleasing. I desperately wanted to find a way to connect to this book and Fuscos writing style, but I could not.
Having said that, I believe a younger person, between 12-18 years old, might be able to relate more to the message and stylistic choices. I give this book 2 Stars out of 5.
Disclaimer: I received this free book in exchange for my unbiased opinion of its content and presentation. I was not expected to provide a positive review of this title. All stated opinions are my own.
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