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Victim of Grace: When God's Goodness Prevails
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Ok... so when I first began reading this book I have to say I was less than impressed even a bit discouraged, but I was determined to read it in its entirety and am so glad I did! When I first began reading it seemed rather superficial and even a bit deflating. Let me explain: As I read the first few chapters, Mrs Gunn made me feel like all the heartache I have personally experienced (health issues, loss, being a victim of a violent crime etc) were my fault because I was not walking close enough with God. It seemed what she was conveying was as long as you are consistently walking closely with God (consistency being key) then nothing can go wrong and if something goes wrong it is because you lack that consistency. But this is completely contrary to what she was trying to convey. You see, Mrs Gunn was baring her soul. She was simply laying out her life and her testimony as it occurred. So it is only when you read this book in its full context that you understand why it begins the way it does. Moreover, I want to give Mrs Gunn the proper respect she has earned because mid-way through the book she opens up and admits to a "heart" condition that I believe most, if not all, have succumbed to at least once in their walk with Christ. By making herself so vulnerable, she is furthering the Gospel as others who read this will see that others, including famous Christian authors, struggle and it is only with authentic, heart-felt repentance when one realizes they are truly a victim of grace. I highly recommend this book as it will be a blessing to all who read it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 3, 2013
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a book that speaks almost intimately as a woman to her friends. It is spiritual support drawn from well told stories by the author. Many of these stories come from her personal experience, but the most powerful are the author's interpretations of the experiences undergone by several women of the Bible thus bringing out tbe tbeme that the author calls "victims of grace".

I won't say that us guys can't also get a lot of inspiration from this. The author's stories can appeal to all regardless of gender. However, it is basically a woman's book and as I have already indicated, it's very much of a woman-to-woman book. It gives new insight to several familiar Biblical stories involving women.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2013
Victim of Grace
When God's Goodness Prevails
By Robin Jones Gunn

Book Description

Robin Jones Gunn reveals poignant truths from her life as well as from the lives of women in the Bible as she flips the notion that we are at the mercy of circumstances. She asks, what if God has dreams for you? What if he is accomplishing those dreams in the midst of shattered hopes? When life doesn't go as expected, it's easy to feel like a victim. We look at the events that have gone wrong and view our lives as impaired. What if we could see our future as God sees it? Would our view radically change if we understood we are indeed victims rather than of happenstance? God, the Relentless Lover, has vigorously sought you. He has instilled dreams in your heart that are grander than you can imagine. But the route to their fulfillment often is through a path you wouldn't seek. What if God wants to take the hopes that tug at your heart and enliven them? Are you ready to live inside the mysterious joy of being a victim of grace?

The past 3 years of my life have been very hard and has sometimes made me feeling like I am a victim of life's circumstances. Difficulties came to me that were not of my own making and I felt lost and abandoned by God. If we are honest, I think we have all felt that way at one time or another in life. Life is full of ups and down. In Robin Jones Gunn's new book, Victim of Grace, she shares how God is with us in all of our circumstances accomplishing His purposes in us and through us. This is Robin's personal story of how God has used her and worked through her life--even when it didn't seem like God was working anything out. She shares how God used her writing gifts and how she got started writing . . .and how she continues to write today. She truly shows through her life's story how God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we ask or imagine. (Eph. 3:20) Robin's life story made me smile and made me cry. She shares in the stories from the Bible and how God worked in their lives. I need to stop and reflect on how God has been working in my life and how to be obedient to Him at this stage of my life, even though I don't "see" or understand what HE is doing in me and in my life.

I feel blessed to review Robin's new book: Victim of Grace: When God's Goodness Prevails.
I highly recommend this uplifting book to women of all ages. There are questions at the end of the book for book club and/or study discussions. It would be a great book study for a group of women.

I received this book from Zondervan through Booksneeze. to share my honest review.

From the author

You are warmly invited to visit Robin's website at Robins Web Site Be sure to sign up for the Robin's Nest Newsletter and have a browse in the Online Shop.

Over the past 25 years Robin has written over 80 books with over 5 million copies sold. She and her husband live in Hawaii.

Her best-selling, award winning novels include the Christy Miller series for teens as well as the Sierra Jensen and Katie Weldon series.

The popular Glenbrooke series features eight gentle love stories and her Sisterchicks(R)novels are a favorite among midlife readers who enjoy the emphasis on travel and friendship in the series.

Robin's standalone novels include "Gardenias for Breakfast", "Under a Maui Moon", "Canary Island Song" and "Cottage by the Sea". Her newest release, "Victim of Grace" offers a personal glimpse into her life as a wife, mother and writer.

Robin Jones Gunn Facebook
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2013
Having read the Christy Miller series as a young adult, I was interested to pick up something new from Robin Jones Gunn. Victim of Grace reads like an autobiography highlighting moments in Jones Gunn's life where she was captured by god's grace in her life. Often she didn't know it at the time, but in looking back, the Lord was leading her into new places of wisdom, maturity, and ultimately blessing.

Included in each chapter is a Biblical story that goes along with the theme. Mentioned more than one is the story of Naomi and Ruth, how Ruth's loyalty to her mother in law ultimately blessed Naomi with an abundance of grace. While the retelling is insightful, the connection between the Biblical example and the author's example isn't always clear.

And while the author does write clearly, I found the book lacking depth. I hate to critique a personal story. They're so intimate. But there was something about this book that didn't ring true. The author does take us to deep places of hurt and emotion. And yet, with a turn of the page, the tone turned a bit too optimistic. Maybe I'm just a cynic, but there was such a switch, it was hard to follow.

With discussion questions, this book would make for a light beginning Bible study. But for further reflection, I'd keep looking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2013
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am currently in a Bible study group with other women and we are studying Women of the Bible. I brought this book to the study and read sections from it. It has been a great addition to our discussions. It has several stories of the women we are already studying from the Bible and then she includes some personal stories and those are nice to compare to our own lives. I went through a rough break up a few years ago and felt horrible but ended up realizing that I am happier now than I was while in the relationship. I met the right guy and the breakup caused me to seek God closer and realize He is first in my life before a man. I look at it like we are mice in a maze: God can see the whole maze (the bigger picture) and knows why we need to go the way we are going to get to where we need to be but we are often confused and upset with why we are where we are at because we can't see the end. But when we get there, it all makes sense! He sees what we can't, knows the desires of our hearts and remember God is good! So when you feel like a victim, there's a reason for your struggle!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I read a lot of books like this, so I pretty much knew how this book would go-talk about a life idea/story and then explain how God uses that to make us better, etc. The thing I didn't expect from this book was such a loving, intimate voice to emerge. As I was reading it I truly felt like the author was sitting on my couch and we were just talking about the goodness of God's Grace. She uses a lot of personal stories, but told in such a way that I felt like I was not only there, but part of that amazing experience. This book is so uplifting and challenges us to look at our circumstances and become "victims of grace" that God offers us daily. I will be sharing this book with my mom, sisters, and closest girlfriends as it is wonderful!
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on August 23, 2013
The cover of this book is pretty but it really does not do it justice! I guess that is why they say, "You can't judge a book by it's cover." So true, so true...especially in this case.

Now the contents....As I began to read it hit me with a big WOW!!! THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD!!!! I LOVE IT!!!! I mean, I really, really LOVE it!

I have always loved hearing people's testimonies as the Lord speaks to me so often through them. Robin Jones Gunn shares LOTS of her own personal testmonies.

Robin speaks from her heart.

There were so many things written in this book that reminded me so strongly of my own walk with the Lord. The little hints He gives which we feel is our own desires or imaginations until...they come true!

I found myself in tears quite often as I read this book. The Lord was showering me with His gift of love as I read.

I also LOVED how Robin has such a gift of illuminating bible stories! Such a bible teacher through her writing she is.

I kept this book by my side during the time I was reading it. The front cover is a bit bent because of this. Well loved you could say. I am a busy gal but I looked for every second I could to just "read a tad bit more."

Robin...God has SO GIFTED you. I am SO BLESSED to have read this book of yours. The Lord taught me SO MUCH through your words. I also feel IGNITED to keep going and press on. I have the courage now to "stay the course."

Thank you for the gift of this book you have written. Robin, you are so anointed to do this. You are helping all who are reading your books. I plan to read more of what you have written now.

Also, I am not one for reading fiction...but I may read yours...and the Lord may be changing my mind about fiction...after all...He is the best story teller there ever was.

I am, I am a changed person because of this book!

Glory be to our God!!!

God bless all reading this!

I received this book for free in exchange for a book review from the Zondervan publishers through the [...] book review program. I was not required to write a favorable review.
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on July 4, 2013
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I really enjoyed reading this book. It came right on time for my life's newest trials.

Robin Jones Gunn used Biblical examples of women going through hardships and applied the lessons to her own life. I thought it was brilliant. Most of the stories I remember, but some of the women I only heard of a few times. It was nice being introduced to strong Biblical figures (who happen to be women). Anyway, the book is about the daily insecurities women go through, that in a way, result in blocking God's blessings for us. It gives examples of trust and faith. The moment we let go and let God work, our lives are opened up for more blessings than we thought we even deserved. If you are going through a lost phase where you have no idea what you should do with your life, this book may help clarify God's plan for you. Also, if you need reassurance or could use some uplifting, you may enjoy this book. I love how Robin incorporated her life's story into the book. It was really refreshing to see that such a successful author could have struggled and through her faith alone, she was able to build the successful book empire she has today. She is living proof that faith in God goes a long way. And even if you don't believe in that, this book is still inspirational because Robin is a great example of never giving up even when it feels like life has abandoned you. The book's message is that God is there even when it seems like you're being ignored. It is about blind faith, having enough courage to jump off the mountaintop even when you can't see the ground. Knowing that God said he'll catch you and trusting that the scrapes and bruises on the way down are just a way to prove your loyalty and strength. Getting through life's tough times scars and all, but making it out! That's what I got from this book.

Overall, this was a nice and easy read. At times it was predictable or too simplified, but not a big deal. The book had a happy, inspirational story line. It featured women's success and failure stories. They experienced imperfection during their trials and elation during their triumph. This book was amazing and I was impressed.
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on June 19, 2013
Summary:

Robin Jones Gunn is the beloved author of The Christy Miller series, Sierra Jenson series, Christy and Todd's The College Years series, the Katie Weldon series, the Glenbrooke series, the Sisterchicks novels, the destination novels, and more. In her newest book, she tells her story about how God's goodness prevails. It's a powerful story, too, as it tells how God chose to use a little girl's vivid imagination and knack for making up stories as a way to spread His Kingdom here on Earth. She wanted to be a missionary and travel the world, but God had something even better in mind: He sends her books all around the world as missionaries! It's the story of how God took her circumstances, her hopes, her dreams, her relationships, her life, and turned them into something that glorifies Him. If you've read her books, then you'll probably recognize the title of this book. And that is what we all are, Robin says. God chooses to give us grace, even when we neither deserve nor ask for it. In that way, we are a victim, a Victim of Grace. Interspersed throughout her personal story are stories of kindred victims of grace from the Bible that the author identified herself with through different situations. From Eve to Mary, she shares how each were recipients of God's goodness, even when they were caught in the middle of trying circumstances.

My Thoughts:

Even though I've read a lot of different authors, Robin Jones Gunn remains my favorite. She writes with such a poetic beauty, from her vivid descriptions to her honest observations about the ways of God. I've looked forward to reading this book about her life ever since she first announced it. I had such high expectations for this book...and it exceeded them all. The gorgeous cover is just a sample of the beautiful words penned within the pages of this book. Her story is inspiring, and it is easy to see God's hand in each of her life's circumstances. Even if you're not a writer, you'll be inspired by her story. Personally, the book reminded me that I really am a victim of grace and made me crave a closer walk with the Lord. Her interpretations of Scripture are biblically sound, and her guidance is trustworthy. While reading, I rejoiced at the moments in which events happened in such a way that directly pointed to God's involvement in our daily lives, and I became misty-eyed in the tender, heart-wrenching circumstances in which God faithfully made His closeness known.

In Conclusion:

This book is a faith-booster. It's inspiring and convicting and intriguing all at once. I loved the chance to peek further into the life of an author who truly writes for Jesus and see the journey He's led her on. I wholeheartedly recommend this book, even if you're not familiar with her fiction. Robin Jones Gunn reminds us that we're all part of a love story; the greatest romance in history. Our Lover relentlessly pursues us and continues to lavish us with His grace. We're not victims of circumstances, but victims of grace. And our circumstances are made beautiful when God's goodness prevails.
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on June 18, 2013
When you're in between two points - a sure thing that was and an unknown place in the future - the waiting is tough.

Depending on your circumstances, "tough" might be a drastic understatement.

In her new nonfiction book, Victim of Grace: When God's Goodness Prevails, Robin Jones Gunn expresses her own journeys in waiting and faith during the in-betweens.

This book is founded on John 1:16: "For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace" (ESV). A small anecdote on the opening page sets the tone for the book, offering a strong perspective change.

The author's storytelling skills surface in image-filled phrases of emotions and scenes. She shares this book's purpose on page 15:

"I wondered what it would look like if I gathered up my free-fall stories and strung them together side-by-side with stories of some of the women in the Bible. What if I shared...the uncomfortable parts of the journey as well as the beauty of what happens when God's goodness prevails?" (p. 15)

She relays quite a few amazing experiences (a Bible smuggler, broken engagement, numerous moves) along with some rough times, and tells nearly the entire book in story form, whether it's her own stories or stories from the Bible. This way of writing made the book a much faster read.

Each chapter begins with a personal story and then includes a "A Kindred Victim of Grace" section where she retells a biblical woman's story. The connections she felt between her own circumstances and biblical events offer some unique perspectives and renewing thoughts that many readers should be able to relate to. One of the strongest threads woven through this book reveals itself in God's way of bringing so many instances "full circle," and the author highlights this even in how she organizes the book.

Entertaining and enlightening, I recommend Victim of Grace as a good read.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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