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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars God DOES give us second chances.
Something like ten years ago a talented and popular recording artist made a confession that rocked the Christian world, destroyed a marriage and nearly ruined a career.

Christian recording artist Sandi Patty, at the time known as Sandi Patti, a spelling error of her last name that stayed with her for several years, was at the peak of her career: Grammy Award...
Published on September 25, 2005 by Peggy Blann Phifer

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49 of 69 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Having her cake
I believe the events chronicled here should be looked at in a less sentimental light. Ms. Patti Helvering (Pelsi) voluntarily started a career singing evangelical Christian music, she held herself up as a role model, voluntarily, and she was blessed with great profits for her efforts, and recognized widely. She also had issues to deal with, and then used or allowed these...
Published on June 2, 2005 by S. Keating


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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars God DOES give us second chances., September 25, 2005
This review is from: Broken on the Back Row (Hardcover)
Something like ten years ago a talented and popular recording artist made a confession that rocked the Christian world, destroyed a marriage and nearly ruined a career.

Christian recording artist Sandi Patty, at the time known as Sandi Patti, a spelling error of her last name that stayed with her for several years, was at the peak of her career: Grammy Award winner, recipient of multiple Dove Awards, even the Female Vocalist of the Year in 1984, frequent guest on the Johnny Carson show, a guest at the White House, wife and mother of four, the world was Sandi's oyster.

But behind the scenes, in her private life, everything was falling apart and she seemed incapable of stopping it, and through it all she made some very bad choices. An extra-marital affair and then lying to cover it up just about drove her over the edge. When she comes face-to-face with God and realizes that she has to set things straight, she begins a long and painful journey to Grace and Forgiveness.

If' you're looking for titillating details and salacious tidbits, you'll be disappointed. You won't find them here. Instead you'll read an honest and soul-baring account written by a woman redeemed. You'll read of a life ridden with guilt, hurt, anger and fear, told openly yet private things are kept where they belong - private.

If you know Sandi's story, perhaps you can appreciate what it took for her to write this book. She holds back nothing, blames no one but herself for the poor choices she made. What happened in her life has forever scarred her career and her family. But God does forgive, and Sandi's story as presented here proves that our God is a God of second chances.

Broken on the Back Row, A Journey through Grace and Forgiveness with a forward by Max Lucado, is a very personal yet open book of confession, forgiveness and redemption.

Peggy Phifer ©2005
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of hope and grace to encourage your brokenness, February 16, 2005
This review is from: Broken on the Back Row (Hardcover)
Being a long time fan of Sandi's who was eager to read the book, I have since read it twice. It is the heart of a dear woman who has failed in her marriage, in her relationship with God, and with her fans yet found herself broken at the foot of the cross ready to do whatever it took to find forgiveness and restitution for her poor choices. It is not a book of excuses or justification but a heart-felt story of hope and forgiveness and grace that is available to all of us. Sandi shares about her beginnings in the music industry and a little of her first marriage. She shares about the difficult years when she strayed from God and subsequently found her self divorced from her first husband, the subject of talk in the public eye for the affair she was in, and the damage it did on her family, her career, and ultimately her relationship with God. But the story does not end there. She continues and shares how she found herself back to God and the steps she took with her church and pastor to restore her relationship with God, her family, her church and her career. For anyone finding themself ever broken on their back row, you find comfort, encouragement, and hope as Sandi shares her private journey to restoration.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars God's mercy IS new every morning!, December 22, 2005
This review is from: Broken on the Back Row (Hardcover)
Even before I bought and read this book, I couldn't believe some of the harsh, bitter, judgemental and un-forgiving reviews that are posted about it. I presume that these reviewers are Christians like myself, so that makes it even more appalling. This is the story of a beautiful and very talented singer( who happens to be a Christian) and the good, bad and ugly of her life. Sandi gives us enough info about her choices and mistakes but avoids being a "tell-all" book full of lurid details. She takes full responsibility for her actions as well as the consequences she and her family must now live with. It is clear that she has dealt with these issues in the proper Biblical way, but she has also moved on with her life. Through God's mercy and grace, she now has a blessed marriage, beautiful children, as successful a career as ever, and a wonderfully happy life! We should be rejoicing with her and praising God for His favor, not condemning her!! The Bible says that Jesus will leave the other sheep in the fold and go after the one that strayed away, and that's exactly what this whole book is about. It should give any Christian hope beyond description! If Jesus can see fit to forgive and restore us, who are we to not do the same with each other? I am so sorry to see the intolerance and criticism rampant in the Christian community. It's just not right. So praise God for His mercy and enjoy a good read!
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let freedom ring!, February 19, 2005
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This review is from: Broken on the Back Row (Hardcover)
If the events surrounding Sandi's past were in any other genre of music, they would have long been forgotten and forgiven. But she was in the Christian music industry on a pedestal where her fans and the industry placed her. Her fall from grace caused her to be shunned from the very industry she help build, and from the very people who should have helped her find her way(and I am not talking getting her cd's played on the radio).
But God knew a way to find her, even on the back row in the balcony as He set up the events that would lead her to freedom,which is what this book stands for. It is obviously the only way she would be at the place she is in today: happy and appreciative of what she has, and willing to share her forgiven past because she knows who holds her future. Broken on the back row is for anyone who wants to be inspired to find peace no matter which row of life you are sitting. Shine on.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Free Grace, August 5, 2005
This review is from: Broken on the Back Row (Hardcover)
One recent review of Sandi Patty's road to redemptiom story attributed Sandi's journey to cheap grace. Well, actually God's grace is not just cheap--it's free. In all of biblical history, God has chosen the lowest of lows, and the most sinful to accomplish his purposes and to be a leader to others (read the book of Judges where all of Israel is the example). This is not to say that Sandi is the most sinful human being on the earth, but to prove a point that God can use our horrible mistakes to reach out to others.

Sandi Patty has been given by God one of the most phenomenal vocal instruments of our time. She was the most sought after inspirational vocalist for nearly ten years when news of a divorce and adultery were on the horizon. Now she releases a book that chronicles her road to restoration. She was dealt with by God, her church, and her career and is still suffering the consequences of her actions. She has often acknowledged this in concerts, interviews, and now--this book. She knows what she did was wrong, and I think that is very clearly stated in the book.

In response to reviews stating that Sandi is profiting from her mistake by writing a book--Really? Does she need the money that badly by exposing her sin once again? I have another take. When a person who is not famous commits a grievous sin, the whole world does not find out about it. Because of Sandi's prominence in the Christian world, this is a way to apologize and offer the explanation that she has now been restored, to the multitudes who were upset by the news 12 years ago.

Sure--it would be great if Sandi had reconciled with her husband. But none of us know the circumstances surrounding that time. Nor were we given any details (graciously) of her former husband's actions (although some reviewers of this book seem to somehow know him and his spirtual life personally). Nor can we judge and say that God is still unhappy with Sandi. He is more likely unhappy with those of us who have not found it in our hearts to forgive.

Sandi has always had enough talent to stray from Christian music and try other avenues (whether it be Classical performing, Broadway, Jazz, Pop), but has never seriously sought after any of it. It certainly would have been easy when she was shunned by much of the Christian community. But she has continued to serve God by producing songs of worship and praise to her Creator and Redeemer and Restorer. I think that this is testament enough of where her heart lies.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I purchased the book on CD., August 3, 2005
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I have, for over 20 years, followed the career of Sandi Patty (even when her last name was spelled Patti!) and loved hearing in her own words this book. Sandi has always made her audience feel connected and she more than succeeds again!

The trying times of her life were shared in honest details and in a way that wasn't "poor me". I love Sandi Patty and recommend this book for anyone on the back row of life.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hymn of redemption, July 6, 2005
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This review is from: Broken on the Back Row (Hardcover)
Are the fallen forever out of the race? Then we're all parked on the sidelines! Not one of us can cast the first stone. Our loved one desperately needed to know that he had a second chance, could begin again, could know redemption. He picked up Sandi's book and found exactly what his wounded soul required. Hope poured in. Good overcame evil. God is the God of fresh starts. Give a copy to someone who needs to begin again, then hold them while they do. Then pray to God that when you need to start over, someone is there to hold you.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very candid book..., February 28, 2005
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This review is from: Broken on the Back Row (Hardcover)
Sandi Patty's "Broken on the Back Row" tells her life story from the happy family she grew up in, to the happy (and large!) family she has now.

But in between, things have not always been pretty. During the 1980's, Sandi Patty had many best-selling gospel albums, won numerous musical awards, sang for Presidents, and many young girls wished they could be just like her. But she was so much in demand that it took a toll on her family life. She didn't even cancel her tour when her then-baby daughter, Anna, was very sick in the hospital.

Then, Sandi Patty disapointed many fans (including myself) when she announced that she was divorcing her husband, John Helvering. She made matters much worse by then having an adulterous affair with the also-married Don Peslis. When the word got out, Sandi Patty was humiliated. (Although, obviously, Peslis was just as guily as Patty, she is more well-known so she took the most embarrassment.) But Sandi Patty takes full responsibility for the sins she committed, and the humiliation she caused her family. She went through a long and difficult process to make peace with God, and with all the people she hurt.

Today, Sandi Patty has been happily married to Don Peslis for ten years, and they have a blended family of eight kids (although Anna is now grown up!) Her career is back on track. Last year she was inducted into the Gospel Hall of Fame.

As others have stated, this book contains no sordid details about what went wrong in Patty's first marriage, nor anything explicit about her affair. So I wouldn't worry about letting a young person read "Broken in the Back Row" by Sandi Patty.
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29 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Price of Fame, March 16, 2005
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Staysun "staysun" (Downers Grove, IL USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Broken on the Back Row (Hardcover)
The price of fame, at least in the United States, is apparently very high. The apparatus of publicity and adulation turns to vicious jabs and nasty remarks when the initial positive publicity turns boring. Much like her occasional candid talks at her concerts over the years, Sandi discusses many of the giddy high points and anguished sorrows on her roller coaster ride as American Contemporary Christian Music's equivalent of Hollywood's Judy Garland: An incredibly talented beloved artist stalked by glaring celebrity and exhausted by overwork and intense pressure from business minded associates eager to exploit great success for profit. But unlike Judy Garland, who suffered complete physical and emotional collapse in middle age, Sandi Patty appears to be finding renewed energy and song on her "journey through Grace and Forgiveness" in 2005. The unfolding prose of this autobiography amounts to a survivor's story. Sandi has survived both inner traumas and outward derision from a reportedly "Christian" following. There are several pages of photos, public and personal, and several key lyrics from her best songs (the most revealing source of information about Sandi). The "tell-all" biography of Sandi Patty may be written but it will be penned by a different author. This is a "love-all" celebrity memoir about finding authenticity and renewal under a harsh blinding spotlight. Artist of My Soul Songs for the Journey Falling Forward
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forgiveness and Restoration, May 4, 2005
By 
Jane E. Rockley (Santa Ana, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Broken on the Back Row (Hardcover)
Interestingly enough, I had never heard of Sandi Patty. I came across the book from a Christian book club I belong to. I was attracted to the subject matter, as I was a Christian when I got a divorce, and I did not have a biblical reason, so I can relate to how Ms. Patty felt. She went through tremendous shame and guilt, and endured the pain of condemnation of other Christians. I was overjoyed at the restoration of her life and her faith through the boundless forgiveness of God. It is very sad to me that so many Christians seem to delight in condemning those who fail, on a grand scale. This woman was truly repentant of her sin, and because of that, we can see God restored her in all ways, and blessed her with a new, happy future. His mercy truly knows no bounds for those who are truly repentant of their sin, and I believe Ms. Patty was. I thank her for her honesty and I thank God for the restoration of her life.
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Broken on the Back Row: A Journey Through Grace and Forgiveness
Broken on the Back Row: A Journey Through Grace and Forgiveness by Sandi Patty (Paperback - August 29, 2006)
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