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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel the sand in your shoes
You can almost feel the desert sand in your shoes as you read about the saints of old who walked by faith. Bloom writes short, memorable stories based on characters in the New Testament. With creativity and pastoral sensitivity, the author reminds us again and again that our faith is in the very same God who calms storms, forgives sins, and raises the dead.

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Published 19 months ago by Gloria Furman

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative but not well researched
Tim Keller recommended this book but I was not impressed. The author, in my opinion, takes loads of liberties with Bible stories in an attempt to make them more meaningful but the approach involves to much wild imagination and to little scholarly research for my taste.
Published 3 months ago by Poets Logic


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel the sand in your shoes, May 11, 2013
This review is from: Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith (Paperback)
You can almost feel the desert sand in your shoes as you read about the saints of old who walked by faith. Bloom writes short, memorable stories based on characters in the New Testament. With creativity and pastoral sensitivity, the author reminds us again and again that our faith is in the very same God who calms storms, forgives sins, and raises the dead.

I'm grateful for this meditation on the precious promise of God's provision to enable us to put one foot in front of the other as we walk with him by faith. I'll be re-reading this book often!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than His Letters, May 10, 2013
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This review is from: Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith (Paperback)
The author, Jon Bloom, wrote a monthly for Desiring God. I often come across people that had every single letter that JB every wrote. Bloom has an exceptional gift of relating biblical stories with the ability to almost put you right into the scene, to hear the discussion or thinking, to watch the miracles, and to help us all realize that right now we do walk by faith and not by sight. One day the sight of our Christ will be bold and wonderful. Today, these selected letters from Bloom's collection will encourage just about anyone you know. Whether you are reading it devotionally, to a parent in a retirement center, or for your kids each letter brings up a fresh, bold question about the biblical story. It is worth owning and giving as a gift.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars must read!!, June 10, 2013
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This book was incredible. Real simple, yet stirs your heart and affections for Jesus unlike any other. Probably because it's based on so much scripture. Definitely a faith builder
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good stories, May 11, 2013
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This review is from: Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith (Paperback)
Jon puts his prayful story-telling ability to great use here. You can almost fell that you are there seeing the biblical story as it happens. Very stimulating to my faith in Jesus and enriching my love for Him.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sanctifying the imagination, November 2, 2013
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David A. Beamer (Mich, United States) - See all my reviews
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A fresh re-imagining of several narratives from the Bible. Some are merely an attempt to put the reader in the vicinity of the story. Others go a bit further, adding imaginative details on the thoughts and words of those we read about in the Scriptures. For example, how and why did Thomas get separated from the eleven, so that he was missing in John 20:24, and how did the reaction of the other disciples affect him when he next met them?

I adore this kind of imagination: thinking about things that might have happened, might have been said (always staying true to what's recorded in the text). It helps put even more flesh and blood on people who were eyewitnesses of the glory.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing and thought provoking, May 21, 2014
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This review is from: Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith (Paperback)
Reread and think on sections of book daily. Tis challenging for sure. Small and easily taken in hand while visiting with home/hospital bound.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Believe the Hype, February 5, 2014
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This review is from: Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith (Paperback)
This book is AWESOME. Every chapter is only three pages long (or so). So I like to read one every night before I turn out the light. If you ever struggle with doubt or faithlessness, this book will help. The accounts chosen are very relevant to our lives today and the points are made well. You won't have to think long and hard about the lessons you are to learn. They are obvious and instantly applicable. Plus, the writing is humorous at times and entertaining. I consider my nightly reading to be a "treat." I look forward to my daily dose of faith booster!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fresh Yet Faithful Take on Well Known Biblical Accounts, January 31, 2014
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This review is from: Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith (Paperback)
I very much appreciated the refreshing perspective on well known biblical accounts. I'm confident reading this book slowly (one chapter a day) will encourage the reader to take their faith further along the journey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Front Row Seats to Observing Faith, September 26, 2013
This review is from: Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith (Paperback)
"Not By Sight: A Fresh Look At Old Stories of Walking By Faith" takes readers directly inside scriptural narrative and offers them a front row seat of observation.

Bloom writes: "The purpose of this little book is to imaginatively reflect on the real experiences of real people in the Bible in order to help you grasp and live what it means to "trust in the LORD with all your heart, and...not lean on your own understanding." Its goal is to help you believe in Jesus while living in a very confusing and painful world (pg. 18)."

Who's it written for?

As Bloom stated, his goal is to help you believe. "...believing in Jesus is very difficult...Because of this, it is crucial that followers of Jesus learn to "walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7). In other words, we must learn to trust God's promises more than we trust our perceptions (p.17-18)." You, the searching, the new Christian, or the old Christian. It is for any of you.

In the glowing forward written by friend and ministry partner John Piper, Piper writes:

"New Christians or old Christians, what we need in order to walk by faith and not by sight is glimpses. I know that sounds contradictory. We need sight not to walk by sight? But it's not contradictory, because the sight we need is not a sight of what the day holds, but a sight of who holds the day (p.14)."

Readers in every stage of faith should benefit from Bloom's book, as we all need to be confronted regularly by scripture's stories of faith. God placed these stories throughout His word to challenge, encourage, convict, and sanctify us. The book of Hebrews underscores the need for constant reminder of the faithful saints that have gone before us. When it comes to faith, we are perpetual students striving to grow, and Bloom's book places us in the perfect classroom.

What is is/ What it isn't:

The book is two hundred pages in length, broken down into thirty-five, three-four page meditations. Each chapter can easily be read as a stand alone chapter, which lends itself to using the book as a private devotional or a conversation starter for a small group. It would also be great to keep in your nightstand for days you're falling prey to doubt. In the back, you'll find a general index with guideposts for all types of faith-crises as well as scriptural index that offers a great springboard for personal study on the subject of faith.

Bloom's book isn't written from a weighty, heavy theological perspective; it's fine storytelling that invites readers to imagine they're on the sidelines of each story, looking in first-hand. His creative and text-based re-tellings stick strictly to scriptural facts but add in alliterative details to engage readers' senses and imagination. Because many of these Biblical texts are commonly read stories of the faith, each reflection is carefully retold in a way that helps the reader identify with the characters.

Each reflection begins with a retelling of a specific scripture passage and then concludes with Bloom's meditations on the application. One of my favorite chapters was actually the first chapter, "Where is Your Faith?" which focuses on Luke 8:22-25 and the story of James Zebedee and his fears in the storm. Bloom writes:

"A seasoned boatman, James was not alarmed easily. But he knew a man-eater when he saw it. This storm had opened its mouth to swallow them into the abyss...[John and James] stumbled to the stern. How Jesus had remained sleeping while the furious surf tossed the boat around was itself a wonder. They woke him screaming, `Master, Master, we are perishing (p. 23)!'"

In response to James' fear in the midst of the storm, Bloom writes this about Jesus' reaction:

"What Jesus did for James and the other disciples when he quieted the storm was a fear-transfer. One moment they feared the storm and the next moment they feared Jesus, with a holy, reverent fear. This storm was a gift from God to them because it taught them just how powerful Jesus was and deepened their faith in him (p.25)."

How often I am guilty of the same sinful fear and in desperate need of my own "fear-transfer!" I appreciated this meditation and how it helped me see how Jesus is powerful and capable of turning sinful fear into holy, reverent fear.

The book tackles the stories of the Centurion's faith, Peter's fear and faith, the doubt of John the Baptist and the skepticism of Thomas. It also looks at subject of hope for unbelievers, staying faithful when things get worse, "Has Jesus Been Worth It", the perils of success, and when we don't understand what Jesus is doing.

Does it deliver?

"Not By Sight" absolutely accomplishes what it sets out to accomplish. Each meditation is a quick read, equally quick to point to Jesus and the faith we can find in the gospel. It asks hard questions designed to challenge and equip you.

*Review originally published @ http://www.worshiprejoices.com/2013/08/21/book-review-not-by-sight-by-jon-bloom/
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very inspiring, June 17, 2013
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Destinie (BELLA VISTA, AR, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith (Paperback)
This book has helped me to open my mind to what faith really is... Good read to finish your day or start it!
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Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith
Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith by John Piper (Paperback - April 30, 2013)
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