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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
***
I so wanted to like this book. I think that a different reader would enjoy it much more than I did. The topic was great, the points the author brought up were interesting, and I overall enjoyed what she wrote about. I also enjoyed that she was real and engaging and wrote in a seemingly very honest and transparent way. This is one of the many books by young authors that are so helpful in understanding grace as applied to our daily walks with the Lord.

However, I had trouble with her writing style--so much trouble that it was very distracting. She writes in a conversational and rambling style and jumps around from her subject to ideas that seem to occur randomly to her from her past that she then relates to the topic. It made me anxious and I found myself reading too quickly to get through it in order to finish the book. I knew that I wanted to get her points and kind of glossed over parts of her musings because I just wanted the book to be over. She uses a lot of sarcasm that seems out of place in this sort of a book. I was confused and it tired me.

However, to be fair, I can tell from many of the other reviewers that they greatly appreciated not only her message but her writing style too. I think that many people could probably related to her. As a reader you know yourself, and if this sort of thing appeals to you, I don't think you'll be disappointed in her subject matter.

Recommended only if you like this style of writing.
***
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on January 1, 2014
This is an amazing book. When we think we have everything figured out, we realize that we really do not know Him. And Angie open our eyes for that fact, using a very colloquial language, very simple and easy to understand. She proves to us that we are using the wrong approach to reach God. Many different aspects touched me deeply in this book, while I was reading it. The more we want to be close to God, the more we chase Him and the more we get frustrated for not sensing that communion we seek. But as she stated clearly, "we can't comprehend the truth in all it's wild simplicity, so we create a version of Christianity that appeals more to our sensibilities". How deep this sentence goes. Like herself, I am also a very intuitive person, so I have exactly the same feeling that I did not try hard enough to achieve my intimacy with God. And the capstone came in the form "When we spend more of our time searching for assurance than we do acting out of belief, we are chasing God". How true that thought is! So I start having the feeling that the author had some points on her assessments, and I was identifying myself very much with her thoughts. And when she gave suggestions on how not to chase God, I was devouring the book like it was my last supper. "Don't wait for the miracle you think will make it clear. Confess your belief and then act out of that determination". And every page I turned I read more advises that at the end I was astonished on how far away I was on my approach to know God.
If you really want to know your God, I recommend you read this book on how to reach him and not incur in the same mistakes I did. Like the author, "I don't want to run anymore. I want to kneel".
Excellent reading, I recommend this book to the permanent library of any serious Christian who wants to improve his relationship with our God, that loves us so much!

This book was written by Angie Smith and published on December 2013 and I received a copy for reviewing from the author (through Icon Media Group (Thanks, Kelsey)). I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinion expressed here is my own.
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on January 20, 2014
I have to admit, I had a really hard time understanding the whole concept of "chasing God" and why that was bad thing before I read this book. After reading it, however, I *get it.* Angie uses examples from her own life that are both funny and deep to relay her message. I love the way she breaks the Bible down into chunks that make sense. What I appreciate most is that Angie doesn't come across as telling people what to do and failing to see her own sins - she points out her own struggles, which makes this an especially relatable book. Throughout the pages, Angie incorporates Scripture as well as other ideas from great theologians, which makes me feel good knowing that she spent time researching what she was writing. I'd love to see a Bible study version of this book!
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on December 21, 2013
This was the first book I read of Angie Smith and I didn't know about her husband's band, but the cover and concept of the book struck me, expecially after reading a wonderful spiritual novel about finding God "Now and at the Hour of Our Death". I so want to find God and I can totally relate to Angie in her search that I go after Him and try to find Him where we want Him in the way we want to find Him. It's a controlling attitude and one that doesn't lend well to a genuine relationship with Him.

It's kinda like relationships. When girls go chasing boys, they try to put them into little boxes and it doesn't work. They don't want to be put into boxes, they want to be themselves and save us (see the parallel??)

You get to know Angie well in reading this (her character flaws and self-doubts she had during her journey) and it's wonderful. This is a really a warm and personal book that will inspire and hopefully motivate you like it did me.

We need to stop CHASING God and start letting Him come to us. He's much better at it than we are!
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VINE VOICEon March 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
We all know people who simple cannot tell us the point. The way they get to the bottom of anything is to wallow in every detail and "enjoy" every misery along the way. Well this author does this with additional sarcasms thrown in.

The book reads as a series of blog entries making it hard for me to believe this is woman with a graduate degree. The style is not conversational, theological, nor academic. I found I did not warm to this writting style at all. Perhaps because I am not female and women and men in general do not process information in the same ways although there are exceptions to any generalizations.

She seemed to have a much better grasp of surrender to God than she did how to abide in God. That to me was the major weakness of the book aside from the presensation style. She could clearly in her experience relate to surrender but abiding and living a spirit lead life were exceedlingly murky for her and hence the reader. .
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on January 17, 2014
Are you chasing God? You may not realize it even if you are. Angie Smith, author of "Chasing God", was not aware that what she was doing for God or because of God was actually running after Him. All of this running left her feeling like she would never be good enough to catch up with Him.

I struggle with being "good" enough. I'm constantly wondering whether I'm doing enough, saying the right things, being the right person to be in God's good graces. I'm know the theology of doing vs. being. This circular argument has been going on for a long time. God loves me no matter what. Why don't I get it? Do you get it? Is your mind linked to the "gotta be good enough" thought process?

"Chasing God" is not a book about finding God. It's about not getting caught up in a chase that doesn't exist but about following God. God doesn't need to be caught. He isn't running. In her book, Smith reveals how she has spent a great deal of time searching for God and how chasing after God only makes us feel further away from Him. There is no guide to measure ourselves against. God loves us because of who we are. He doesn't carry around a measuring stick.

"Chasing God" offers reassurance and encouragement in your Christian walk. I love Smith's honesty and openness and vulnerability. There are many quotable thoughts and concepts to think about. Sometimes the personal examples go a little overboard but shouldn't keep you from getting some great wisdom from it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Icon Media Group in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. 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.”
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VINE VOICEon January 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Here is a very delightful and conversational Christian book. Angie has a style, unique and not without humor. She uses her personal experiences as well as sharing Biblical commentary.

Chapter 6 was, for me, the most powerful chapter in which she gives her interpretation of The Lord's Prayer. This alone would be worth the reading of her book. But there's a lot more.

Another highlight of the book, for me, was in the final chapter in which she explains why she feels that Thomas very underrated as a disciple. This is fascinating reading all the way through. However, while it's an easy read, it's not a fast read. It's one to take your time with. Heartily recommended.
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VINE VOICEon February 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I read a lot of Christian books and other literature but I have to say that this was one book that I just did not get the point. By that I mean that I understand what the author is trying to say but I don't really understand the point of view. Maybe it is the writing style, maybe it is just that I cannot relate to the idea of "not chasing God" and letting God just happen in your life. I do believe that you have to put effort out to know God and maybe that was what she was saying and I just did not get it. I rarely have a book that I feel somewhat at a loss over but this was one for me. I think the author understands the reasoning behind their writing and it probably was a sort of catharsis and the book is a release for her to express her opinion. This book was just not to my liking.
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VINE VOICEon April 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I find religion a fascinating and extraordinarily complicated issue. I remember in college being impressed by the fact that so many people with so many divergent views are so thoroughly convinced that their views are right and that, objectively, it would seem that the majority must be wrong. The idea here is that since no single religion comprises a majority of believers and only one religion can be completely correct, it must be the case that most (or all) are wrong. This concept has not made me antipathetic toward or scornful of religion--quite the contrary. But it has led me to be somewhat more skeptical of the theological or religious claims of people, even if I happen to agree with their conclusions.

Enter Angie Smith, who admits not really being a Christian until she was 24. She had a good life and apparently did not think deeply about religion. This book discusses her major philosophical turning point, and it does so in an informal, chatty language that anyone can access. Through this approach, Smith comes across as sincere, honest, candid, and friendly. And I do believe that many people would find "Chasing God" to be exactly what they need to firm up their Christianity. But for me, the key part occurs when Smith discusses some of the times she's doubted God's existence. She posits a hypothetical list of doubts we might have:

1. He doesn't really exist.
2. If He does, He doesn't seem to love me.
3. Maybe I've done something wrong.
4. I need to make up for it and get back on sure footing with Him.

The problem here, to me, is that even when she acknowledges her doubts and others' doubts, she glosses right over them. Notice that 2, 3, and 4 all essentially assume that the answer to 1 is of course He exists. What I am trying to convey here is that there is obviously a spectrum of belief for Christians, from unshakable faith to sometimes wavering faith to outright skepticism. Smith herself talks about having been at all ends of the spectrum. But this book, I think, speaks only to those people who have the ability to skip past that first question pretty quickly.

As a memoir, "Chasing God" is pretty good. It's eminently readable. I got to know the person behind the words. And it's interesting. As a guidebook to faith, though, the book seems to me to be one person's approach and probably inconsistent with many other people's paths. Still, for many, "Chasing God" will be exactly what they want.
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VINE VOICEon June 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
All too often I pick up a book about the Christian religion, excited to read more and delve into whatever insights it may offer. None will ever be the Bible, of course, but a good study book is really hard to find. I was excited about this one because of the premise it offered on why we chase God, but instead He has pursued us and we put it all into the wrong perspective. I could hardly make it out of the first two chapters. The author's long and overly descriptive glimpses into her childhood, her past, and her experiences was drawn out and repetitive. If you can't get to the point within the first couple of chapters, chances are pretty good you never will. If you must repeat yourself constantly without saying anything new, do you really have a story to tell or a point to make? So many times I just closed the book and threw it down somewhere, just annoyed I had wasted my time reading the author's autobiography instead of learning anything about God. I was very disappointed in the book, and couldn't recommend it as interesting reading material.
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