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Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home Paperback – May 31, 2013
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“I know no one who is leveraging her everyday life more for the glory of God than Gloria Furman. I want to learn about God and grace from people who live it and fight to do so. I've seen my friend do both beautifully. Gloria has taken the bigness of God and laid him into the cracks of the mundane, and somehow the mundane starts to feel big.”
—Jennie Allen, author, Nothing to Prove; Founder, IF:Gathering
“This is sustaining grace, this is the desired haven: to know his steadfast love that saves and keeps us. Glimpses of Grace is not a how-to. It is a true friend’s invitation to see and know the Lord’s steadfast love displayed in every wave, big and small. Gloria offers encouragement rooted in her personal experience and wisdom from saints who have weathered the storms decades and even centuries before us. May you catch glimpses of his steadfast love and find an anchor for your soul.”
—Lauren Chandler, writer; speaker; singer; wife of Matt Chandler, The Village Church, Flower Mound, Texas
“Gloria is real! She’s going to tell you about the smell of her kitchen floor and the steadfast love of her Savior. Jonathan Edwards is right in there with peanut butter sandwiches and sprinkles. The grace this book shows us is no vague idea; it’s the biblical gospel infusing the stuff of life—the daily life of a homemaker. Strongly, humbly, and winsomely, this book calls homemakers (and all of us) to walk in faith, connecting the visible with the invisible.”
—Kathleen Nielson, author; speaker; senior adviser, The Gospel Coalition
“Glimpses of Grace is a beautiful picture of what it looks like to see Jesus Christ every day in every circumstance. Our friend Gloria takes the glories of Christ’s life and opens our eyes to their realities in the seemingly mundane circumstances of our lives. She builds a longing to know more of God and to believe that he is present in all of our work as mothers and wives. Her passion for missions and joy in God is contagious. We are excited to recommend this book to anybody wanting to see the ultimate reality of satisfaction in Christ alone for every day of your life.”
—Jessica Thompson and Elyse Fitzpatrick, co-authors, Give Them Grace
“We need gospel fuel to joyfully serve our families, and that’s what Glimpses of Grace provides. Many days I unload a barrage of law upon my family, when what they need from me is grace, encouragement, and reminders of God’s faithfulness. I thank the Lord for using Gloria to point me to the glorious gospel of his grace so that I might extend the same grace to my husband and children. As homemakers we can be smothered by the ordinary, blinded by the mundane, living in a fog of routine and fatigue, unable to see how to clean messy noses or break up sibling squabbles for the glory of God. In Glimpses of Grace Gloria helps to lift the fog by showing us how the gospel can change our perspective as we serve and love our families.”
—Kristie Anyabwile, wife of Thabiti Anyabwile, Pastor, Anacostia River Church, Washington, DC; mom of three; discipler of women
“Every homemaker, every mother, every woman, has experienced the disconnect between what she knows and what she feels, between knowing that what she is doing is good and the reality that it is exasperating and seems unfulfilling. In Glimpses of Grace Gloria Furman brings the gospel to bear on a woman's distinct calling. With precision and grace she shows that the good news of all that Jesus Christ accomplished, when properly understood and carefully applied, will transform the way a woman carries out the task the Lord has given her.”
—Aileen and Tim Challies, author, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment; blogger, challies.com
About the Author
Gloria Furman (MACE, Dallas Theological Seminary) is a wife, mother of four, cross-cultural worker, and writer. In 2008 her family moved to the Middle East to plant Redeemer Church of Dubai where her husband, Dave, serves as the pastor.
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The balance of this book is clear throughout, including in the following quote from Chapter 3:
"I believe it is helpful and necessary to retreat to quiet places to pray and read God’s Word. But silence is not necessary for you to have a vibrant relationship with God. your spiritual life is not restricted to early mornings before the noisemakers in your life wake up. If you feel that God meets with you only when the house is empty or quiet, you’ll view every noise and every noisemaker as an annoying distraction to your communion with God."
Here we see the well-rounded philosophy that it is helpful and even necessary to retreat to quiet places for quality time with God. Yet if we legalistically believe that we can only commune with Him in that setting, we are opening ourselves up for a lot of unnecessary frustration and wrong reactions to the interruptions He has ordained.
One of my favorite things about this read was Mrs. Furman’s emphasis on the Person of Jesus Christ as our object of contentment. I’ve realized in recent months how easy it is to think I’m content because I’m choosing to enjoy my housework, my job, and the other mundane pieces of life. That’s great, but I really need to take it a step further. Mrs. Furman explains,
"Surely these things–a cheerful attitude and sense of hopefulness–are wonderful by-products of rejoicing in God while in the midst of our homes. But that’s just what they are–by-products. The source of our faith, hope, love, joy, and gospel-grounded optimism is God Himself and not our stuff or our circumstances."
I also love the connection drawn between dwelling on Jesus and becoming like Him.
"We study Christ because we’ve been saved for the purpose of being transformed into His image, and in our beholding, the work of transformation occurs."
In terms of practicality, Chapter 7 “All Grace and All Sufficieny for Every Dinner Guest” was my favorite. Serving through hospitality must, like everything in our lives, must be done out of a deep-rooted love for Jesus. I’m sure every woman can relate to the fear of man that is shown in letting earning the satisfaction and admiration of our dinner guests become an idol as we prepare to open our homes.
"When we serve with the strength God supplies instead of from our own energies or motivation, we can serve with cheerfulness to the praise of His glory. We don’t have to be embittered martyrs on the altar of hospitality."
Quite possibly my favorite quote from the book is also in Chapter 7:
"When grief over our sin and thankfulness for the gift of grace meet together at the cross, a powerful work of transformation occurs in our hearts."
I hope these few quotes whet your appetite enough to compel you to pick up Glimpses of Grace. As a young wife looking ahead to, Lord-willing, many years of serving primarily from my home, the truth and encouragement Mrs. Furman had to share rang true in my heart when held up against Scripture. Her sense of humor and realism kept the book light and enjoyable, and her illustrations and real-life examples skillfully brought heady theology down to a practical level, while not trivializing the magnitude of the Cross. I believe this is a book I will return to in years to come as I fight carnal thinking in the mundane moments of life, and I highly recommend it to any woman seeking to love Jesus through her day-in, day-out routine.
While this book is written from the perspective of motherhood and homemaking, the premise is highly applicable for anyone in all walks of life. Furman fleshes out how the Gospel impacts every mundane part of our lives. And you don't have to be in the thick of motherhood to know what mundane looks and feels like--we all live there don't we? As a single adult with no kiddos, I feel like I've gleaned much from this quick read both in my spiritual walk and my ability to understand and encourage the mothers in my circle of friends. Most importantly however, this book has helped me grow closer to my Savior and deepen my understanding of the Gospel.
I can hear something metal clanking against the sides of the dryer.
Our three year old is calling from the bathroom that she needs to be wiped and I'm wondering why she's even out of bed.
I can see two praying mantis babies climbing up the wall next to the window.
The kitchen trash needs to be taken out, but I didn't get to it before our dog did and now there are bits of mushy cereal globs mashed into the carpet.
It's the last week of school, so teacher gifts need to be assembled.
My white towels are now soft pink due to this spring's hot-pink-favorite-color-of-twelve-year-olds.
We moved my grandparents into a senior living community over the weekend and I want to drop by to see how they are doing.
And I just remembered that today is the day Gloria's book releases!
But it's actually the perfect day to share her book with you.
Because this book is about living for God's glory in the midst of the mundane.
It's about looking for glimpses of grace in those everyday moments.
It's about how I respond on those days when kiddos are arguing about things like who is a better ninja, who has the biggest smile with orange slices in their mouth, and who is the boss of the bag of plastic farm animals.
It's about those days when nap time doesn't go quite like you hoped it would.
Because as Paul Tripp says:
"If God doesn't rule your mundane, then He doesn't rule you. Because that's where you live."
Though I only know Gloria through online interaction, I really appreciate her.
And just the fact that she quotes The Neverending Story and uses "smurfy" as both an adjective and a verb was probably enough to win me over...
But honestly, if I could share one message with all the mamas out there, especially those who are in the thick-of-it with lots of little ones running around, the message in this book is the one I'd want to share:
Sometimes life feels a lot like a burden--day-in and day-out its the same chores and tasks, challenges and discouragements, anxieties and responsibilities. Dust bunnies show up on the stairwell, social commitments clutter the calendar, and our families demand daily attention and care. At times, just catching our breath seems like an impossible feat.
So where is God in all of this? Does he care about the way we unload the dishwasher or balance the budget? Do the little things like changing diapers or cooking meals make a difference? And how can we use our spheres of influence for God's glory and our joy?
Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a working woman splitting time between the office and home, Gloria Furman--writer, pastor's wife, cross-cultural worker, and mom--encourages us to see the reality of God's grace in all of life, especially those areas that often appear to be boring and unimportant. Using personal examples and insightful stories, her richly theological reflections help us experience the gospel's extraordinary power to transform our ordinary lives. (from the publisher)
Glimpses of Grace is a call to treasure the gospel in our homes.
It's a reminder that following Jesus, means following Him wherever He leads...even into the routine and mundane.
It's a reminder that when we are weary, feel inadequate, or lack confidence, we can cling to His promise-
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
~2 Cor. 12: 9 - 10).
In this book, Gloria nudges us to look for the miraculous-
To notice how God uses the moment-by-moments to transform our hearts.
To trust and see how our struggles and heartaches and even imperfections can be used by God to draw us closer to Him and to show us that we can:
"Move forward with confidence that God loves to do things to demonstrate his power. 'Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts' (Zech 4:6)" (157).
This book is not a formula for parenting or homemaking.
Rather, it is a clear, beautiful picture of how the gospel meshes with real life and how when we are willing to manage our homes "us unto the Lord"-
God is glorified even in the midst of tooth brushing and toilet cleaning.
"Dirty dishes in the sink or red crayons smushed into an electrical socket by a curious toddler are not just worrisome ordeals...they're opportunities to see glimpses of grace" (33).
I really am thankful for this book and recommend it to anyone who wants to see how the gospel can illuminate and transform everyday life.
As Gloria writes,
"We see glimpses of God's grace in our homes when we cherish God through the gospel of Jesus Christ...
May Jesus be our treasure as our lives are hidden in him" (180).
Off to clean some bathrooms...
Most recent customer reviews
applying the Gospel to our lives is the point instead of steps of how-tos to follow.