Book Review | The Comeback

The Comeback: It’s Not Too Late and You’re Never Too Far
by Louie Giglio

Louie Giglio’s newest book, The Comeback: It’s Not Too Late and You’re Never Too Far, is drenched in grace and written in his classic style:  straightforward, easy to follow, and full of stories that keep your attention.  He’s writing about broken dreams, troubled relationships, financial pitfalls, loss, and more and how “God always sees our needs right now, whatever our needs are, and how God’s plans will always prevail…He comes through in his time and in his way–he always comes through.”louie-giglio

When he talks about comebacks, he doesn’t ever promise that God’s going to make everything in your life perfect.  He tells the example of a young woman whose high school sweetheart and now-husband died in an unexpected cycling accident.  Two years later, her comeback still means her husband is gone and she’s grieving, but she’s seen how God has walked with her closely during that season of loss.

In this book, I think Louie Giglio really tries hard never to assume people know the Bible accounts he’s using in his writing.  He makes this book accessible for anyone–the unchurched, the unbeliever, the new Christian, the college student looking for some hope.   That’s a good thing!  At the same time, when he refers to a Bible story, he retells it in great length (taking a couple of pages to recap Joseph) and that can feel kind of basic for someone who loves Bible study and knows the stories of Joseph or Paul or Peter already.  So, this book could encourage anyone with the reminder that God hasn’t given up on you, but I do think those who will love it the most are those really digging into those stories at a beginner level or for the first time.

With that said, this book is an encouragement for those moments you feel lost, discouraged and defeated. It’s a reminder that there is hope.  God gives fresh starts and new beginnings, and He never gives up on us.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Disclaimer:   Heather King is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

What astronauts put on first (and other lessons from outer space)

psalm 104

In one corner of the exhibit, a crowd gathered around the volunteer standing next to the space toilet and explaining how astronauts go to the bathroom in zero gravity.

A few steps away, an older volunteer stood next to a space suit holding up pieces of astronaut gear.  Every time a new group walked over to him, he started into his speech: “Here is the one thing astronauts put on first” as he holds up a diaper.

Kids wrinkled up their noses and giggled with embarrassment.

The museum guides at the National Air & Space Museum sure know how to attract a crowd.  Of course, once they have your attention, they explain more than bathroom mechanics in outer space.

My youngest daughter, as she puts it, “Loves space. I loves everything about space.”

So, for her sixth birthday, we made the trip to the museum to celebrate.

We wandered through exhibits about planets, peered through telescopes and watched videos of shuttle launches.

It’s a humbling experience to stand in front of an exhibit that plots our point on planet earth and then earth in the solar system in the galaxy in the universe.

A week before, I had read an online article about an upcoming meteor shower, how if you stayed up until about midnight on one particular night, you could see shooting stars all across the night sky.

I’ve never seen a shooting star in my life.

So, I dared to stay awake and then dragged a fleece blanket and a small pillow out to my deck and watched.

And waited…..

I saw at least five airplanes, one shooting star and one other maybe-shooting star out of the corner of my eye.

You can’t sit still in the quiet of midnight watching the night sky and not be struck by the vastness of it all and the smallness of you.

In a world of social media that too often feels so noisy and all about us, how powerful to see it’s really all about Him.

Then there’s clicking through the images that New Horizons sent back of Pluto.  It took nine years for this spacecraft to make it out there and the first images of the flyby made it to us in July 2015.

I sat at my kitchen table and yelled for my kids to come over to see this incredible outline of a heart on Pluto’s surface.

“Come check this out!” I told them.

I felt incredibly vindicated when I saw that astronomers themselves are indeed calling it Pluto’s “heart” (so I’m not just crazy and making things up).

Seeing the impression of a heart so beautifully etched on the side of a distant dwarf planet expands your vision a bit.

What a great, grand universe.

What a great, marvelous God.

How detailed He is.  How artistic.  How creative and powerful.

How He must have chuckled when the first images of Pluto’s heart spot finally made it back to little ol’ us.

He engraved these details and all this beauty on the most distant reaches of the world and the universe.

Then, like an excited parent, He waited as we hunted for the treasure, made the discovery and finally tore off the wrapping paper of this long-planned gift.

And to think that this God of greatness is mindful of us, loves us, listens to us and tends to us.

No wonder the Psalmist wrote:

Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
    and let us exalt his name together!
(Psalm 34:3 ESV).

Magnify Him.

My thoughts default to the microscope at the museum, how it magnifies the tiniest specks of detail so that we can see the microscopic with our limited human eyes.

I think of the magnifying glass my kids use to blow up our faces to huge distorted proportions and how they laugh at our nose and eyes out of proportion.

We usually magnify to make the small bigger.

But that’s not what magnify means in this Psalm.  We don’t take a small God and make Him bigger.

As Louie Giglio says in Passion:

There’s telescopic magnification and microscope magnification, and it’s blasphemy to magnify God like a microscope…But a telescope puts its lens on unimaginable expanses of greatness and tries simply to help them look more like what they are. That’s what a telescope is for.

Shining our telescope of faith on God doesn’t make Him bigger than He is, it helps us see how big He really is.

Half an hour staring into a night sky, a day walking the exhibit of a space museum, a few minutes clicking through images of a distant dwarf planet, and I’m saying like the Psalmist:

Oh, magnify the Lord with me!

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Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2015 Heather King

 

I Am Not But I Know I AM, Book Review

I Am Not But I Know I Am: Welcome to the Story of God
By Louie Giglio

The message of Louie Giglio’s book, I Am Not But I Know I Am, is both humbling and freeing.  He reminds us from the beginning of the book that this life story we’re living isn’t really about us at all.  It’s God’s story, and we’ve simply been invited to play a small part in His great design.iamnot

This means that we can throw over all that stress we place on ourselves, feeling like this world depends on us or that decisions and outcomes rest so heavily on our lightweight shoulders.  It also means that we can stop treating this life like the story (and the glory) is ours.  It’s about Him, always Him, and never us.

Covering a vast span of Scripture, reminders from astronomy, and personal experiences, Giglio manages to keep every chapter short, easy to read, and both inspiring and challenging.  Louie Giglio is known for his story-telling, humor, and practical teaching to college students at the Passion conferences, and his gift for communication and teaching certainly shines in this book.

My favorite sections include his teaching on the importance of keeping a Sabbath perspective in life, choosing to rest and allow God to be at work, and recognizing that the world doesn’t spin and function because of our intense 24-7-365 involvement.  God doesn’t need us to make His plans succeed; He chooses to include us.

I’ve read through it twice and I’ve been challenged both times to examine my perspective on life.  Am I forgetting how great God is?  Am I trusting in my own abilities too much?  Am I focusing too much on myself and becoming too prideful?  Am I living a life that glorifies God?  These are questions worth asking not one in a lifetime, but repeatedly in order to fight against pride and help us be more yielded to God’s purposes and usable in ministry.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”