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When God Interrupts: Finding New Life Through Unwanted Change Paperback – February 7, 1996


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When God Interrupts: Finding New Life Through Unwanted Change + Yearning: Living Between How It Is & How It Ought to Be + Searching for Home: Spirituality for Restless Souls
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (February 7, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830819797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830819799
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

M. Craig Barnes (PhD, University of Chicago) is Meneilly Professor of Leadership and Ministry at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and senior pastor at Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is a former senior pastor of the National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. His books include Searching for Home: Spirituality for Restless Souls, An Extravagant Mercy: Reflections on Ordinary Things, Sacred Thirst: Finding God in the Desert of Our Longings and Hustling God: Why We Work So Hard for What God Wants to Give . Barnes is also the author of numerous published articles and is a speaker at seminary and church events.

More About the Author

M. Craig Barnes is a pastor and the president of Princeton Theological Seminary. He is the author of eight books and writes regularly for the Christian Century magazine.

Customer Reviews

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See all 21 customer reviews
This is one book I have referred too time and time again over the course of many years.
Alisen
The good news is that, even if we can't have the life we wanted, God can show us a way to want the life we have.
Paul M. Dubuc
It was just what I wanted and it is out of print so I was unable to get it from the book stores.
Fran P. Landro

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 96 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 1997
Format: Paperback
Several years ago as I was in the midst of meticulously charting the expected course of a job change, a wise friend told me: "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans." "When God Interrupts" by M. Craig Barnes, pastor of the National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., is the book to turn to in those disquieting moments when it becomes clear the plans we have made -- perhaps staked our futures upon -- have become finally so much dust. In accessible and at times deeply-moving prose it helps the sympathetic reader get beyond the question "Why me, Lord?" that inevitably accompanies such disappointment to a deeper understanding of what it means to worship a God whose ineffable grace is often to refuse us what we insist we want most.

"When God Interrupts" is book of hard contemporary wisdom set firmly within the Christian tradition. It is only secondarily a work of inspiration, although it contains passages that will invariably draws tears of recognition, and it will bring absolutely no comfort to those used to browsing the self-help literature for answers to their problems. It is a book for those who may have labored for years under the illusion that they have somehow taken the measure of God, at last understood His will, and are now ready to accept His reward for all their faith and righteousness. God's silence at the other end of this "deal" can be overwhelming, but for Barnes such moments, and he refers to them here and in other contexts as abandonments, are an invitation, a challenge to finally give to God what He wants most from us: ourselves.
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Paul M. Dubuc on January 5, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A little over six years ago I started to experience as series of very disturbing "interruptions" in a life that I thought had progressed nicely up until that point. Little did I know that M. Craig Barnes had just published a book that would help me greatly in making some sense of it all. I'm glad to have found it.
Any Christian who has suffered a huge interruption in the life that he or she has expected to live will benefit from this book. Like it or not, most of us will be abandoned by many things we value in this life. Even the best things we have our only ours for a time. We stand to lose our material wealth, our health, our livelihood, people we love, and finally our very lives as such. Dealing with this grim reality requires a choice of perspective. We can devote our life's energies to trying to preserve our lives as we want, or hope, them to be. The fear of losing our self-made lives will rule our lives. Inevitably, loss will come. How will you take that loss? If the meaning you find in your life depends on your ability to keep it the way you want it, then the loss may come pretty hard. Alternatively, M. Craig Barnes presents a perspective based on Bible lessons and people's stories which can help us to see and appreciate the sum of our lives as an unearned gift from God.
Gaining this perspective requires a conversion process that goes beyond mental assent to certain doctrines or simple belief. It is when we are abandoned by things we hold most dear that the test of faith comes. Is it real, or is it mostly dependent on our having our lives the way we want them to be? Most of us will have more than one opportunity in our lives to find out. The good news is that, even if we can't have the life we wanted, God can show us a way to want the life we have.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By R. Conerly on July 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
I thought after I read Sacred Thirst (which mysteriously appeared in the back of my car and remained there for over a year) that there was no point in reading any of the other books by Craig Barnes becasue they would never measure up to this one. I was wrong. I have read 3, bought 6 and am on my fourth. This one is beautifully written, as are all his books. Maybe this one goes even deeper to the heart of the matter, which I would say is Barnes' specialty. He tells more truth, the deep, hard truth, and somehow leaves you changed and deeply grateful for having heard it. The way I use these books is this: I read a small section (all Barnes' books are organized into smaller sections within each chapter) as part of my morning devotion. This and his other books have made an enormous impact on me and the people I've shared them with.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kelly B. Grimes on September 23, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read and enjoyed many "help" type books but this one really impacted me. It doesn't focus on how to fix your problem -- it focuses on how God shows Himself to you during those hard times.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert L. Riley on June 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent read for everyone. We have all suffered loss of a dream of one kind or another. This book is written by a man who had his own loss as well as shared in the loss of others. His insites are very helpful and he avoids the platatudes that many writers use. Very helpful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alisen on September 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I attended National Presbyterian Church where Craig Barnes preached from 1993 until 2002. This is one book I have referred too time and time again over the course of many years. If you've ever encountered some kind of unwanted change in your life that literally comes out of the blue, this will give you great perspective. Barnes does not wax philosophical...rather, he address the fact that life can hurt and unwanted change even more so....but in the end, we have to believe that God is working on something better for our behalf.

Best quote in the book, "God has interrupted our ordinary expectations, as cherished as they were, to conceive something. We can't manage it. We can't even understand it. All we can do is receive it. Because if God has conceived this thing, then it is holy, and it will save our lives.
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