Saturday, August 9, 2014

Almost Heaven

"Almost Heaven" by Chris Fabry

Great author, great book.  This book took me a little to get into and I didn't think at first is was going to be as great as his other two but towards the middle I changed my mind.  The way this book was written with first person story telling and also a view from an angel was unique and entertaining.  It seemed to me a little confusing at first but once I figured out the characters it began to flow.  Billy is a bit odd but has an amazing heart for his God.  He is destined for great things but bad always seems to get in the way.  He is a genius when it comes to fixing things and plays the mandolin like nobody else.  Malachi is an angel that is watching over Billy and has his work cut out for him.  But despite the trials Billy never wavers from his faith and because of that God will use him to touch the hearts of many.  "God has seemed massively indifferent to my devotion, if he has even heard my cries."  Oh boy, have I felt like this at times.  Crying out to God over and over and wondering why He isn't doing anything.  "Sometimes, when you know the right thing to do, you simply have to do it, even though it breaks your heart."  I've had to do this numorous times in my life, it's never easy.  "...the struggle of our lives was not a sign that we were failing or losing.  The struggle was a sign that there was still life.  If you stopped struggling, that's when you needed to be worried.  The fight meant God was helping you keep going one more day even if you did't think you could make it."  I read this book when there was a struggle in my life and this spoke to me.  I tell you I know that God gave me this book at just the time I needed it, it wasn't just happenstance.  God is there in the struggle, He hasn't left you.  "For the human followers, it is in losing that they finally discover.  It is in failing that they see.  It is in the abandonment of the trail they believed would lead them to lasting joy that they set out on a new path.  It is much narrower and overgrown, but in the journey through this wilderness of the soul, they discover more about themselves and Him than if every prayer of their wayward hearts had been answered in the affirmative."  Such good words.  We have to let go of the path we thought our lives would take, stop fighting against the struggles and hold on to the One who will deepen our faith and make us more like Him and bring us into glory.  "Some of you may be shaking this morning...from a lack of knowing God loves you and has some kind of plan in the middle of what you call a life.  It can get cloudy and misty at times, so thick you aren't able to see much of the field he has planted you in.  and if that's where you are, I'm here to tell you that you're in a good place.  It probably doesn't feel that way.  But God has you right where you need to be.  Because it's not where you're strong that he will use you; it's where you're weak."  I needed this when I read it and it speaks profoundly to me.  When we are in the midst of a trial it often feels like we have been abandoned by God.  It has helped me to remember and speak truths about who my God is.  He is good and He is love so even in my trials He is good and He is love.  I am strongest when I am weak because that is when He can work the most in me.  "But then there are people like me, who think they are doing exactly what God wants them to do, and they plow through everything that is thrown at them and in the end they're nowhere closer to God than when they started."  It's so hard to keep the path, to keep plowing through the muck and mire but don't give up, God's got a plan even when it is so hard.  "Music has a way of filling in the missing places. It is a gift from God above, who didn't have to provide it, but he did anyway and I half think he decided life just wouldn't be as good without it."  I agree, music lifts my soul and can bring me encouragement and peace.  "When trouble comes, where does help come from?  It comes from The Lord who made heaven and earch.  He is the one who keeps me.  he's the one who won't let my foot slip.  He doesn't nod off during the troubles of my life.  If he really does care, he already knew this was going to happen and had prepared an angel to protect us."  I found such peace in this, such truth.  God already knows all that is going to happen to me and he will protect me, I need not be afraid.  "Success, sometimes, is just loving somebody with a love that doesn't come back the way you want it."  This book spoke to me so profoundly when I was going through a hard trial.  It changed my perspectives on the trials in my life.  There was no mistake I was supossed to read this book at this time in my life.  If you are going through something hard I recommend reading this book.  Hopefully it will bring the encouragement you need to keep walking that path that God has for you no matter the hardship.  God loves you and hasn't forsaken you.

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