It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
Today's Wild Card author is:
and the book:
B&H Books (March 1, 2012)
***Special thanks to Haverly Pennington of Lifeway for sending me a review copy.***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Michael Kelley is a Bible study writer and editor whose previous works include Holy Vocabulary and The Tough Sayings of Jesus. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. Michael and his wife have three children and live in Nashville, Tennessee.
Visit the author's website.
SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:
“Wednesdays were pretty normal,” writes Michael Kelley, looking for a bright spot amidst the chemotherapy routine brought on by his two-year-old son Joshua’s cancer diagnosis. His book of the same name offers much to anyone who’s tired of prescriptive spirituality and would rather acknowledge and work through the difficulties of faith with some transparency.
Joshua battled and beat the disease, but not before his family had to reconcile what it means to believe in God despite a broken world. His dad’s personal account of that fight to survive sparks a larger discussion of how Christians must learn to walk in the light of Christ’s promises despite the dark shadows of earthly pain. Indeed, it’s pain that sometimes opens the door to a deeper experience with Jesus, an authentic relationship that holds steady even when life loses the comfort of normalcy.
"Get ready to go on a remarkable journey . . . Faith is more than a gift we're given; it's a tool we must exercise and use in order to experience its supernatural power. Michael Kelley poignantly illustrates the process of turning faith from a noun to a verb and how it can transform and shape our ability to persevere. Everyone needs to read this book."
Pete Wilson, author of Plan B
"I sat down to skim this and instead read every word start to finish. Reader, please listen to me: If you have ever suffered, struggled, doubted, wrestled with a God who allows hunger and disease and two-year-old boys to get cancer, if you have attempted to believe God in the midst of devastation or fear, please devour this book like the gift it is. Thank you, Michael, for not only honestly sharing your story with us but drawing us deeper into the true, rich, genuine love of Jesus who cries with us, stays by us, and redeems us."
Jen Hatmaker, author of 7
"Anyone who has ever had a sick child will find much needed words of comfort, encouragement, and a powerful reminder that you're not alone. Whether for yourself or your friends, you'll discover divine solace in these pages."
Margaret Feinberg, author of Scouting the Divine and Hungry for God
"A huge man and a tiny child walk hand in hand through these pages, then right out of the book and into your heart. Read it for your own edification, if you wish! But be alert, there are other parents you may not have noticed, who grieve quietly and are much afraid . . . They need this book."
Calvin Miller, author of The Singer trilogy
"In the midst of a battle no wants to face, Michael wrestled issues about God and faith and the difficulty of life that most of us will in some way. Honest, heart breaking but beating loudly with hope, Wednesdays were pretty normal is a beautiful book."
Jon Acuff, author of Quitter and Stuff Christians Like
"Michael points back to a God that is deeper than the pain and doubts, and guides us beyond Christian platitudes to genuine rest in the arms of our heavenly Father. I look forward to recommending this book to people in our church."
J.D. Greear, author of Gospel
"Michael Kelley is a gifted communicator and offers the church in this generation much promise. I am pleased not only to recommend this book, but also to commend this faithful servant of the Lord."
Thom S. Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources
"This is not a sentimental memoir or another theoretical look at suffering. Instead, Michael leads us to the intersection of faith and life, of God's love and our pain, of God's plan and our questions."
Trevin Wax, author of Counterfeit Gospels and Holy Subversion
"I feel very strongly that this story is one that must be shared again and again. You'll find yourself seeing faith, hope, and ultimately, God, in a much more intimate way than you have before."
Mark Batterson, author of In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day
". . . It is also a story about hope and the God whose love reaches us in the deepest depths, the God whose middle name is Surprise! You must read this book!"
Timothy George, founding dean, Beeson Divinity School of Samford University
List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: B&H Books (March 1, 2012)
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER (Please click the cover below to LOOK INSIDE!):
Used by permission Excerpt taken from Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal; A boy, cancer and God /Michael Kelley/c. 2012/B&H Publishing Group
My take on this book:
I can't imagine getting the news that a child has leukemia. In "Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal" that's the news that Michael and his wife Jana hear about their two year old son Joshua. The author doesn't sugar coat the story, instead his honesty as his family comes to terms with the diagnosis, gives the reader a true glimpse of how anyone's life can quickly change. Michael allows us to see his struggles and doubts but more than that we see God's love and faithfulness in the pages of this story.
Overall, a story that I felt would be emotionally wrenching, instead it left me feeling uplifted and encouraged.