Crash The Chatterbox Book Review

Steven Furtick, lead pastor at Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC, has written an incredible book.  Crash The Chatterbox: Hearing God’s Voice Above All Others is Mr. Furtick’s third book, and it delivers a message that is fresh, honest, and most of all needed.  In the age in which we live, there are so many distractions, so many voices, competing for our attention, and many of them are negative.  This book specifically addresses the chatter that goes on inside of our own heads, constantly reminding us past failures, our history, and our lack.  These are the voices that keep us from hearing God and from accomplishing His purposes in our life.

Steven suggests another way.  He is honest with the reader in telling them that the chatter will always be there. No matter how much we mature and progress, there will always be the voice of the enemy discouraging us from whatever lies before us.  But we can choose to listen to the other voice, the one that reminds us of who God is, what He has done, and what He says about us.

In my own life, it is very easy to hear the negative, feel the negative, and follow it down the road that leads me towards fear and stagnation.  The way that Steven suggests is not easy, and it is not natural, but each time that we resist the chatter and pursue God, it moves us that much closer to plan that God has for us.

This book is a much needed reminder of who God is and who we are in Him.  For anyone who struggles with doubt and fear, this book is a must read.

I received this book at no charge from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.

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Easier Said Than Done

“I have nurtured my own hurts and meted out my judgments for so long-“  In life, we have two choices about what to do with our past:  We can let it define us, our past, present, and future; or we can realize that our past is a part of a much larger story that God is writing, one in which He will redeem us from our past and use the things that hurt us the most to bless the most people around us.

In her new book Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers, Leslie Leyland Fields shares how God has walked with her through her past. And through the redemption of it, she is helping to lead others through their own dysfunction.

Through the stories of Jonah and Joseph, she reveals how all of us to experience pain and hurt in life, but God gives us the opportunity to release those who have harmed us from judgment, which ultimately allows us to be more like Christ in our life and to show more of Christ to those around us.

This is an extremely personal book, as Leslie shares how she learned to forgive her own father prior to his death.  Through stories of her life, as well as the lives of others, she relates how we must revisit our hurts if we truly want to release them.  We must learn to “remember well” and choose to humanize those who have harmed us in the past.  Later, we can choose to forgive, as Christ has forgiven us.  She doesn’t sugar-coat. She doesn’t make it sound easy. This is hard work and takes time and energy and a close walk with God.

I was inspired by reading her assurance that we can forgive and honor within the confines of our specific relationships.  So often, we compare our lives to the lives of the best around us, and feel defeated before we even begin.  We have the freedom and responsibility to walk out our own life and uniquely and individually work out our forgiveness and reconciliation.

I was disappointed that little time was spent in addressing those who harbor hurts against those who have already passed on.  Although it is specifically mentioned on the jacket, it is barely covered in the text.  My father, who I was estranged from for most of my life, passed away a few years ago, and I realize that this is an area that I need to continue to work on forgiveness and release.

This is a great book.  It deals with a very heavy subject with love, humor, and a transparency that that much needed.  I strongly recommend it.

I received this book for free in exchange for my unbiased review through the Book Look Bloggers program.

Tuesday Thoughts

Last night, I came across two passages in a book that I am reading called Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers by Leslie Leyland Fields that gave me pause.  The first:  “Lot’s wife looked back longingly at the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:26)  We can stubbornly cling to our pain and refuse to live beyond it, but God is greater than the power of our past".”

And the second: “I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free (Psalm 119:32)”.

These passages describe two very different people.  The first, Lot’s wife, has clung to the past, refusing to stop looking back at the sin that defined her, and is now stuck in that position forever.  Turned to a pillar of salt, she will forever be staring at the past that she could have escaped, but through her own actions, refused to let it go.

The second person realizes that God has set his heart free from sin and his past and his failures and the failures of others and is RUNNING through life, enjoying the intimacy that God offers BECAUSE he acknowledges that he has been set free.

I have often felt like I have a little kid in me, jumping at the opportunity to be free. God is beginning to connect the dots.