books · Christian · non-fiction · Uncategorized

Raw Faith…

A Black Cat Book Review

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Raw Faith by Kasey Van Norman

Thirty something Kasey, is happily married with two children.  She and her family have just moved to a new town, joined a new church, are making new friends.  She has a thriving ministry, and a book about faith.  Her life is good.  Then the phone call comes. She has an aggressive form of cancer.

Now there are questions, lots of questions. Not just about the cancer and treatment but about faith, about Kasey’s faith.  What is faithraw and what is her faith. She has taught bible studies and wrote a book about faith.  She has told others that in crisis there is nowhere to go but to God.  Now she wonders; can she, will she, live what she has taught.

After the diagnosis there is chemo.

This shows Kasey that sometimes God does give us more than we can bear to prove we cannot handle things on our own.  We need Him when there is nowhere else to turn.  She tells of her doubts and learning that Satan uses doubt to separate us from God.  She tells of knowing that the power of Satan cannot beat God’s power.  She tells of drifting and depression. Drifting and not trusting God fully but going her own way.  Depression that makes her draw into herself and learns that when there is nowhere else to go then she draws closer to God.

Through her cancer treatment she finds that the true foundation of faith is not what we experience of faith but in the person of Jesus Christ.  We choose what to believe; God does not  force us one way or the other.  We choose where to place our confidence; in our emotions or God.

There are no “weak” or “strong” chapters but I found the one about prayer had the greatest impact on me.  Kasey emphasizes that prayer is more than the spoken word. It is  conversation with One we have a relationship with.  There are two parts to prayer: speaking and listening.   Both are important.

There are many personal moments shared in her book and many stories from the Bible.  Everything she writes she reinforces with scripture.  The book is one that can be read quickly, which I did.  But if you to go back and read it more slowly and let the lessons Kasey learned speak to you, which I did, you will find depth and encouragement for your struggles.  You may not have cancer but everyone at some time will find themselves in a fight that only God  can win.  This book is a good starting point to help you focus on the Victor.

As Kasey says, “Raw faith is not based on what God does but on who God is.”

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This book was sent to me free of charge by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. in exchange for this review.

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Black Cat · books · Christian · non-fiction · Uncategorized

Sunday, Named By God, a review…

A Black Cat Book Review

 

Named by God by  Kasey Van Norman

Like all of us Kasey Van Norman has a past.  Like most of us, there were good times and bad times; times she was on the right path and times when she lost her way.  Unlike a lot of us she has overcome her past, lives in the present, and looks forward to the future.

Of her past, Van Norman writes openly and honestly and doesn’t feel sorry for herself.  She has faced her short-comings and failures, asked for forgiveness, and has forgiven.  She encourages us to do the same by looking at who we were and why, to learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others in our lives, and to see God in all of it.  See how He was there with us and what He was doing for us, through us, and often in spite of us, to accomplish His plan.

She then brings us into the present.  And once again, like all of us she has her ups and downs and like most of us she questions the why of things.  But unlike many of us she does not question God’s love for her or His grace in her life.   And she tells us how she has come to this understanding.

She writes, “In order to be transformed, we must come to the realization that it is not enough to simply believe in God; we must believe God.”  and  “In order to take another step in transforming our present, we must presently believe in God’s ultimate plan for our lives.”

In the redeemed believer the future is assured and Van Norman tells us to be filled with the Word, know our gifts, and use them in service to others.  She writes that we are not to give the future just an occasional thought but to embrace it.  Because of  what  our future holds she wants us to know that how we live is important not only for our own lives but for the lives of others.

Named By God is engagingly written with personal stories and experiences with no excuses for when she went off the path on her own.  She uses scripture to reference and explain what she is saying.  Van Norman did not overcome her past to live in the present and embrace the future by herself and she knows it.  She gives God the glory!

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This book was sent to me by Tyndale House Publishers at no cost to me in exchange for this review.