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Glorious Mess: Encountering God's Relentless Grace for Imperfect People Paperback – February 1, 2012
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From the Back Cover
We all spend a significant portion of life running, chasing down our own plans and desires. Despite God's call on our lives, we, like Jonah, are often found rowing against the storms that God is using to pull us back on course. But God's relentless grace is always there, in the midst of the messes we make and no matter how far we've strayed.
In Glorious Mess, Mike Howerton clearly reveals God's perfect love for imperfect people. He shows you how to hear God's voice, how to embrace God's calling, how to make the most of your messes, and how to see God working through them. Howerton encourages, inspires, and challenges you to be your best self before God and others. Includes insightful discussion questions for group or personal use.
"This book is pure gold! Read it a first time to be encouraged, then read it again to soak in and apply its life-changing wisdom. Mike Howerton, one of my all-time favorite young leaders, has hit a home run!"--Rick Warren, Saddleback Church; author of The Purpose Driven Life
"Howerton has written a passionate, personal, pastoral, and practical look at how God brings his glory out of our messes through the grace of Jesus."--Mark Driscoll, founding pastor of Mars Hill Church; co-founder of Acts 29 Church Planting Network
"Glorious Mess makes you laugh and then makes you think and pretty soon leaves you prayerful--in a good way. This is a powerful book that will confront you and lift you at the same time."--Jud Wilhite, pastor of Central Christian Church, Las Vegas; author of Torn and Uncensored Grace
"Glorious Mess is a profoundly gracious, funny, and challenging call for ordinary people to truly risk themselves in service to Jesus. I highly recommend it!"--Mike Erre, pastor of Mariners Church, Mission Viejo, California; author of The Jesus of Suburbia
Mike Howerton is lead pastor of Overlake Christian Church in Redmond, Washington, and served for six years as the college pastor at Saddleback Church. He is a graduate of Pepperdine University and received his master's degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. Mike lives in Washington with his wife, Jodie, and their three children. Visit www.GloriousMess.org for more information.
About the Author
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Top Customer Reviews
Jonah is given another chance to follow God's lead, but it was not without failures in his life to finally bring him coming back to the Lord. This book brings you through a thorough understanding that we humans make really big messes and poor choices, but that their is a loving God waiting for us to reach back to Him and follow HIS lead. I was touched by all the life lessons brought out in this story but in particular the point that as a Christian we have a God that believes in second chances. We can learn through Glorious Mess as shown though Jonah that a right attitude, a praying spirit, a partnering with the Lord, and above else a heart of grace will always lead one back to a fulfilled Christian life. If you are in need of a boost in your spiritual walk-look into this writing and learn from the ancient Jonah as only told so eloquently by Mike Howerton.
In Act One, Howerton proposes the need to listen to God's voice via two main ways. Firstly, we need to learn to listen to the way God speaks. In this he gives 7 guidelines on how to hear God. Secondly, and more importantly, we need to cultivate a listening disposition. Here, Howerton gives practical tips on avoiding the barriers to hearing God.
In Act Two, we are all tempted to run away from God just like the biblical character Jonah. He tries to convince us that such running is futile, and only increases our need to have a 'theological chiropractic' exercise. Without God, our mess remains a mess, even a greater mess.
In Act Three, Howerton shows us the way out of our follies. Firstly, he helps to identify the four major messes in our lives, like relational, family, silliness, and spiritual messes. Secondly, he gives us two ways to get out of this, through recognizing the cost of the things we need to leave behind, and through embracing the rewards if we do so. Lest readers think it is a me-initiative, this act of rescue is more often than not, initiated by God.
In Act Four, we listen and notice God on how He rescues us. We marvel at how God gives us a second chance. We learn to go beyond mere happiness to holy joy. We embrace the wonderful grace of God in our ordinary life.
In Act Five, we enter into the promise of God, and the promise of what this book tries to lead us toward: Seeing the glory of God despite of our messes in life.
This is not a difficult book to read, but for some people who feel they are living a messed up life, it is deeply encouraging. Howerton's use of the Jonah story is the framework that pulls the whole book together. The book is riveting through the many stories Howerton shares, just like pastors tells stories during their sermons. It is humourous too, although some of the quips that are funny to some may not go down well with others, especially the part about his ex-girlfriend he called 'Gelda.' The things he wrote about this girl is unnecessary. Howerton could have been more gracious about the whole thing. It is nice to be humourous, but not at the expense of 'Gelda.'
More importantly, this book reminds us that in God, we are never alone. It tells us that there is a little Jonah in all of us. We are all writing our own stories whether we feel we are in a mess or not. The book is more than simply a book of our mess. It is a story of life within the greater story of God's purpose. It is a calling to individuals to participate in the greater story of the Kingdom of God. It is a story of a relentless pursuit of people by a heavenly Father. Relentless love. Amazing grace. Eternal love.
Rating: 4 stars of 5.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group".