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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2014
Come near. Stop striving. The Master of the banquet has raised His glass to welcome you as His dear child.
So often Christians view Christ as someone whos far away and cant be approached until they have their lives in order. In Arms Open Wide, author Sherri Gragg proves that Christ is a kinder, more tender, more loving Savior than many understand Him to be.
Sherri writes in fictional narrative form while mixing biblical history with scripture, creating a setting that transforms readers back in time and places them right in Jesus presence. For thirty-four days readers walk with the Savior to witness miraculous healings and events, and give fresh insight into His power by thinking and feeling with people whose lives became instantly transformed by His love and grace. Readers journey with Jesus and His disciples in the most important time in history.
Hearts will be stirred and lives will be changed as readers draw near and walk with the Savior as never before.
Features & Benefits:
- Helps readers experience the kindness and grace of Jesus
- Instills a deep, lasting impression about the love and forgiveness our Savior offers
- Will transform readers as they engage in a first-person experience of what it might have been like to walk with Jesus when He was on the earth
- Brings to life biblical traditions and customs while helping readers experience Jesus life and the miracles He performed
Sherri Gragg fell in love with stories as a child, discovering that she could travel to any place and any moment in time between the covers of a book. Today as a writer she takes her readers with her on the journey. Her first book, Arms Open Wide: A Call to Linger in the Saviors Presence, utilizes cultural background and archeology to immerse the reader in some of the most riveting moments of the Gospels. Sherri is a nationally published freelance writer and award winner in the 2012 Writers Digest Competition and lives with her husband and five children in Franklin, Tennessee.
Marcy5 Stars Out Of 5Arms Open Wide; A Call to Linger in the Savior's PresenceJanuary 16, 2015MarcyLove the title and I have to say that the stories presented in the way they were, opened my eyes to the life and times of Jesus in a way that I had never imagined. Engages the emotions and places you right in the story, close and personal. I love the way you are allowed to see and experience the emotions of Jesus, something I had never thought about. Wonderful little book and it will always be cherished by me.
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Imaginitive and inspiring devotionalJuly 13, 2014bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Gragg uses fictional narrative to draw us into God's presence. She has created stories around passages in Scripture. She had done a great deal of research and builds each narrative on an historical and cultural foundation.
These are touching stories. I was moved by the fictional narrative imagining the history behind the traumatic death of the widow's son (Luke 7:11-16). I felt her despair and then her joyous surprise when Jesus changed it all. Some of the other stories brought to life include the woman with the issue of blood, the Samaritan woman, the man born blind, the boy with the loaves and fish, the man let down through the roof, turning the water into wine, Mary and Martha, and many more - thirty four in total.
Gragg lists the Scripture upon which the narrative is based at the very beginning of the devotion. She concludes each reading with a prayer that comes from her heart.
I remember reading somewhere that one way to meditate on Scripture is to imagine the action going on in the passage. This would be an excellent resource for that kind of meditation. Reading through the narrative really helps you see the event with your imaginative eye. She has included details of buildings and landscape in her narratives, helping to bring the passage alive.
I really enjoyed these narratives. I felt like I was inside the story. Some of the narratives are written in first person, definitely making the reader part of the story. It would make a wonderful devotional reading for Advent or Lent.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
mountainsAlberta CanadaAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Beautifully sculpted truthsJune 24, 2014mountainsAlberta CanadaAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5So much attracted me to this book. First of all, the title ... "arms open wide" has been a visual I have tried to hold in my mind of Christ. "A call to linger" ... is such a beautiful word picture of what God desires for us. Friendship. Fellowship.
Yet, as you know from your own lives, friendship does not grow out of nothing. There is time invested; hearts invested. And so that brings us to Sherri Gragg's wonderful devotional/storybook.
Basically in the simplest terms, Gragg's book is a deeper, wider lens placed at the heart of bible scenes and stories. So, for example when the Bible chooses to say "Jesus wept.", Sherri chooses to open all our senses to what that must have looked like and felt like. The true essence of storytelling.
This little book is both beautiful on the inside and outside. The gold embossed hard cover entices you to open its treasure trove of pages. Then once inside Gragg opens up a vivid and stirring mental picture of New Testament Judea. She entices us to linger longer and deeper into thirty four different stories/scenes from the New Testament.
I chose to use the book as a devotional, so each day I read one of the bible stories. The first one in the book is the scriptural story of Jesus and his disciples escaping the crowds in a boat. Gragg invites the reader to read first from their bible (Mark 4:35-41), then to open their eyes wider by entering into the story right on the banks of the Sea of Galilee. Then at the end of each scene, Sherri Gragg has included a heartfelt prayer based on the eternal truth of God's character drawn from the story.
I found the stories engaging and lively. Sherri Gragg followed scripture closely adding in her own interpretation based on cultural cues and research she gathered while visiting Israel. She speaks in the introduction of her heart's desire to draw readers closer to the intent and heart of the gospel message. Too many times we read scriptures and try to squeeze their meaning into our own limited and sometimes incorrect cultural viewpoint. This book takes you right into the time and place that the story took place, much like a movie, incorporating all the nuances and social cues of the time. Gragg says that once she encountered Christ on his turf she was able to see and experience the bigger picture of a loving and redemptive God with arms open wide.
This book is a wonderful gift, or addition to anyone's personal Bible reading collection. It is especially perfect for people who love to mix fact and fiction.
Thanks to Thomas Nelson and Booklook Bloggers program for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to review it positively.
gcw1York, PAAge: Over 65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Arms Open WideJune 3, 2014gcw1York, PAAge: Over 65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5ARMS OPEN WIDE
A Call To Linger in the Savior's Presence
By Sherri Gragg
A collection of thirty-four devotionals, a scripture reading and a prayer is included with each. Sherri Gragg writes each in a way that will transport you back to the time of Jesus. She writes from a personal view of the time and story that was in the scripture reading. Well written and moving, the stories make you feel you are there and are an actual part of the story. You are present, or feel you are, at the resurrection of Lazarus, you feel like you are a part of the crowd that was there. She will make you feel like you are present at healings of the sick, the healings of the leper and present in the garden when Jesus they arrested Him.
The book is easy reading and well written. The stories covered are stories that you will be familiar to you and you will get a new view of them. I am sure you will have a new idea about these Bible stories and fell inspired when you are finished reading this book.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
Debbie from ChristFocusHarrison, ARAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Spend some time with jesusMay 7, 2014Debbie from ChristFocusHarrison, ARAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5"Arms Open Wide" is a 35-day devotional that truly has you spending time with Jesus. Each devotional started with a quote from the Old Testament related to or which is fulfilled in the gossip passage. The author then took an event from the gospels and filled in cultural background and fictional elements to create a narrative. You're directed to read the Bible account and then a fictional recounting of the event as seen through the eyes of a person whose life was transformed by an encounter with Jesus. The author invites you to be transformed along with them, offering a heart-felt prayer that relates to how the viewpoint character was changed.
I liked that the author focused on Jesus and that she stayed true to the Biblical accounts. And it's a unique and enjoyable way to learn Bible background information that provides further insights into a passage. I'd recommend this excellent devotional.
I received this book as a review copy from the publisher through BookLook.