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Heart Wide Open: Trading Mundane Faith for an Exuberant Life with Jesus Paperback – March 18, 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for Heart Wide Open

Heart Wide Open will fuel your desire for a deeper relationship with God and give you the gentle nudge and the steps to get it. So much of this book spoke to me that I had to get out my highlighter pen! Wherever you are in your faith, you will benefit from reading of Shellie’s journey to a deeper, stronger, more intimate relationship with our Creator. She tells it like it is, with love, good humor, and abandon, as she writes out of an honest and open love for God, for His Word, and for you! With every word you read, you can sense her excitement as she went through this journey, and it will tug on your heart, calling you to join her in falling in love with Jesus all over again.”
—Korie Robertson of A&E’s Duck Dynasty

“Shellie Rushing Tomlinson writes with wit, wisdom, and plain-spoken truth. She throws open the doors and calls women to step into a deeper, wider, more soul-fulfilling love for Scripture, for themselves, and for the Lord. Heart Wide Open reads like a conversation with a best girlfriend and a wise mentor, all in one.”
—Lisa Wingate, national best-selling author of The Prayer Box

“Fans who love Shellie for her fabulous sense of humor will have their hearts warmed by her emotional vulnerability in these pages. She dives deep into her personal faith journey, sharing her own search for a genuine relationship with Christ. For everyone who longs to have an intimate bond with their Savior, this book will teach you to live with your heart wide open.”
—Julie Cantrell, New York Times best-selling author of Into the Free

“In Heart Wide Open, Shellie Tomlinson shares the beauty of her heart and the journey she took to trade a mundane faith for the abundant life with Jesus we have all been invited to. She does it in her southern and inviting way, wrapped up in her gift of storytelling, while still challenging the reader’s heart to dive into the deep topics of our obedience, prayer, and courage.”
—Denise Hildreth Jones, author of Reclaiming Your Heart

“I know two things about Shellie Tomlinson without question: she is an incredibly gifted storyteller with a sense of humor that never fails to save me from despair, and she is a true woman of deep and abiding faith. What I didn’t know until now is that she is able to use both those qualities to teach us how to embrace an intimate relationship with God. In Heart Wide Open she has made me laugh aloud one moment and then be moved with the wisdom of her words at the next line. Shellie shows us how to take the two great commandments—to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as ourselves—and integrate those things into the perfume of our everyday lives. Regardless of how long you have been on your faith journey, you will discover wisdom in these pages that will draw you closer to God and show you how to love His people with more patience. And, my friends, at the close of the day that is what it’s all about.”
—River Jordan, author of Praying for Strangers

“This book pushes me to be more vulnerable to the Father who loves me more than my own family—and that’s a lot. How wonderful to know that God not only loves us for who we are, but that He created us the way He wants us. He wants us to pour our lives out to Him to glorify Him. Thank you, Shellie, for encouraging us all through this book to draw closer to our God and to keep our hearts wide open to all the possibilities He has for us!”
—Missy Robertson of A&E’s Duck Dynasty

“So many of us have a longing for more in our Christian lives. In Heart Wide Open, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson fans this flame within us as she points our hearts toward a life of joy, excitement, and wonder in God. Her words will wrap around you like a hug, and you’ll find yourself being equipped to engage in your daily relationship with the Lord like never before.”
—Lisa Bevere, best-selling author of Girls with Swords and Lioness Arising

“To read Shellie Rushing Tomlinson is to make a new friend. Her writing is filled with sound theology, great insight, humor, and authenticity. I recommend this book to all who want to draw closer to Jesus. Her questions for Bible study are thought provoking and ripe for discussions. I have no doubt this study will strike a chord for many and be a great tool for personal spiritual growth.”
—Pamela Gregg Foxworthy, wife of comedian Jeff Foxworthy

“I love Shellie Tomlinson’s humor, but it’s her heart that I most want to listen to. I’m so glad she’s chosen to share it in Heart Wide Open. This is the book I’ve wanted her to write, filled with her unique blend of realness and wisdom.”
—Marybeth Whalen, author of The Bridge Tender and cofounder of She Reads

“This is a charming, funny, honest, touching look at one southern woman’s journey to a profound relationship with Christ. As the title suggests, Shellie lives with her heart wide open to the questions, the mysteries, and the certainties of our faith. You will love this book!”
—Sheila Walsh, author of The Storm Inside

“Shellie Rushing Tomlinson gets to the heart of everyday faith in Heart Wide Open with her signature storytelling and wit, opening her own heart to share about learning to walk with God. Her use of life lessons mingled with Scripture is sure to capture the heart of every believer and every seeking soul.”
—Rachel Hauck, award-winning author of Once Upon a Prince

“My Kentucky mamaw told me I was ‘as handy as a pocket in a shirt.’ Southern women just know how to turn a phrase and a head, which is why you won’t want to miss Shellie’s down-home, upbeat take on life, seen through cool drafts of sweet tea and sass. My favorite way to learn is to laugh myself sane. Thanks, Shellie.”
—Patsy Clairmont, author of Twirl: A Fresh Spin at Life

About the Author

Shellie Rushing Tomlinson is the author of the award-winning nonfiction humor titles Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On and Sue Ellen’s Girl Ain’t Fat, She Just Weighs Heavy! She is a popular blogger and speaker, and the host of the radio program All Things Southern LIVE. Shellie loves sharing humor and hope with audiences across the country. She and her husband have two grown children. They live and farm in Louisiana.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook (March 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307731936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307731937
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #580,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I’ve been so blessed to be able to read Shellie Rushing Tomlinson’s book, "Heart Wide Open, Trading Mundane Faith For An Exuberant Life With Jesus". I’m a huge fan of all Shellie’s work. Her sense of humor and openness make her a favorite author. However, this book is different, the same...but better.

I was, as Shellie says, well “churched” growing up; I know all the stories, the hymns, the do’s and don’ts, and I’ve never strayed far from the expected path. I thought I had a great relationship with Jesus. I memorized a lot of bible verses, had a pretty good amount of faith, and truly wanted to do what I thought was right. But I had issues with grace. If I had to be really honest, it was a hard concept for me to grasp that that I didn’t have to “be good” to “be saved, and stay saved”.

This is where Heart Wide Open really spoke to me. I read the entire book all the way through, underlining passages that spoke to me as I went. Once I finished, I started again – this time I’m taking it one chapter at a time, using the study guide in the back for each chapter. I’m telling you – I’m rejoicing with each paragraph, learning to truly love Him and let him Love me as He intended! I’m also learning to LOVE his word. No longer is reading my Bible an obligation, but in asking Him to help me love and appreciate His word, I’m finding it is a direct message to ME.

Don’t take my word for it (and I know this is an awkward review – but I’m too full of inspiration and joy to complete a coherent sentence) – just get the book and read it for yourself. You won’t be sorry! In fact, do what I did – get 2 copies, 1 for yourself and 1 for someone else. Pass along this blessing!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone who has a Pastors heart, the truths found in this book energize me tremendously! I spend the majority of my time encouraging believers and challenging them to live the "abundant life" in Christ. The difficulty here is that so many people are caught in the religion trap in America. This book serves as a conduit to relationship over religion! Shellie is gifted with the ability to communicate life changing truths in a humorous way that challenge each of us to go deeper in our walk with Jesus! I have handed this book out to women of all ages and continue to get heart-warming feedback about how God is using the book to draw them closer to Jesus! If you want to get off the check-list bandwagon and rest in Christ, buy the book! I will be ordering more shortly to hand out!
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I saw this book on facebook originally, and the title just grabbed me, and so I chose to follow the author and her posts, and seeing her faith behind the book just made me want to read it that much more. I had to find out what this was all about. I got it and read it through in 3 days, I just couldn't put it down! This is one of those books that you definitely want to read over and over, you just learn so much with it, and get a few to give to family and friends. This woman of God has her Southern charm mixed it quite well with her Biblical smarts, and I just love how she backs up everything she says with clear scriptures. Each paragraph made me excited to see what was coming next. I had never heard of this author before a suggested post on facebook, and this book has me anticipating what she is going to write about next! I love love love this book. Absolutely love it. Don't wait - get it right now, it will totally speak to your heart and reach you wherever you may be in your walk with the Lover of your soul. It is most definitely a must read!
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Format: Paperback
“As a Bible-believing churchgoer, author Shellie Tomlinson harbored a secret in her good-girl heart. She longed for something more than routine faith; she wanted to love God with a genuine, all-consuming passion. So she got honest with Him: “I admit it. I don’t love you like I should, but I want to love you. Help me!”

Are you ready to stop struggling to make time for God and instead live every moment with God?”

For me, the title of this book says it all… Heart Wide Open: Trading Mundane Faith for an Exuberant Life With Jesus. Who wouldn’t want to have an exuberant life with Jesus? Can you imagine what that would look like? I can admit it – my faith is mundane. I found truth in the words of the opening of Chapter 1 – “Jesus, I know I don’t love You like I should, but I want to want to love You!”

This book is a treasure; I found my own story here.

Moving past the title of the book, I chuckled at the titles of some of the chapters as she discusses our “broken want-to”, our “messed-up mustard seeds” and our wish to “slap ‘em silly in Jesus’ name”.

The author, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, has an easy style of telling her own life struggles that it feels as though you are having coffee with a dear sweet friend. While sometimes funny, and everytime heart-warming, her personal and honest stories will strike a cord in your heart. If you’re like me, you will hear yourself saying… yes… that’s it… someone gets it.

In my opinion, this is a book that requires more than one reading to uncover the wealth of truths within the covers. As an added bonus, the author has provided a Bible Study and Discussion Guide for use as a small group study.

Download or read the first chapter at: [...
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