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Remarkable Faith: When Jesus Marveled at the Faith of Unremarkable People Paperback – July 11, 2017
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"When we're at our wit's end, drained of every ounce of spiritual energy, Remarkable Faith invites us to reach out - just one more time - to our loving Father who delights in saving us. Keep this book handy for those times when it seems all hope is lost...for that is the moment unfailing faith connects us to a never-failing God."―Maisie Sparks, author, Holy Shakespeare! 101 Scriptures That Appear in Shakespeare's Plays, Poems, and Sonnets
"In REMARKABLE FAITH, Shauna Letellier has accomplished no easy feat-she reawakens our sense of surprise with the word of God and welcomes us into a fresh freedom in our faith in Jesus. She is a noteworthy new voice who surely has more books to come, and I'll be waiting for the next!"― Cindy Lambert, co-author, One Light Still Shines
"Like a tour guide sharing her beloved hometown, Shauna Letellier leads you through the winding back streets of eight of Jesus' miracles. Her delightful blend of storytelling, research, and commentary will make you weep, wonder, and wander ever deeper into the Word. As it explores the unexpected faith of ordinary people, REMARKABLE FAITH awakens a longing for the same relentless pursuit of Jesus-the Strength in your weakness, the Fulfillment of your needs, the one true Lover of your soul."― Kathi Lipp & Cheri Gregory, co-authors of Overwhelmed: How to Quiet the Chaos and Restore Your Sanity
About the Author
Shauna Letellier (pronounced let'ler) has written for the Huffington Post, Day Spring's (in)courage blog, and MomSense Magazine (now called Hello Dearest), a publication of MOPS International. She attended Focus on the Family's Focus Leadership Institute and is a graduate of Grace University in Omaha, Nebraska, with degrees in Human Development and Family Studies and Biblical Studies.
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But what if “strong faith” doesn’t always look strong? What if the most remarkable faith is shown through those who come before God in all their desperation and weakness?
"Remarkable faith is often grown in the broken soil of desperation."
Remarkable Faith by Shauna Letellier explores the faith of eight individuals in the Bible who are known not by their names, but by their afflictions. These individuals were so desperate to seek help from Jesus they went to great lengths to find him—breaking social and religious rules to get close to the only One they hoped, in faith, would heal. Some interrupted, screamed, and pushed their way through jeering crowds.
Jesus acknowledged these nameless people in the Bible and even marveled at their remarkable faith.
Letellier uses these miraculous encounters with Jesus to write fictional vignettes that dig deeper into the characters’ lives by painting a background of personal history that weaves together cultural and theological context. As you step into the past and encounter the daily life of each character, you begin to understand the painful affliction each person must have carried.
Letellier does a great job of maintaining the accuracy of scripture while engaging readers with her colorful interpretation of each character. I appreciated the research and historical/cultural background she added to each vignette.
The scripture passage is included at the beginning of each story.
Weak Faith (The Father of a Demon-Possessed Boy)
Helpless Faith (The Paralyzed Man)
Unworthy Faith (The Roman Centurion)
Suffering Faith (The Hemorrhaging Woman)
Distant Faith (The Samaritan Leper)
Panicked Faith (The Mother of a Demon-Possessed Girl)
Defiant Faith (Blind Bartimaeus)
Flagrant Faith ( A Forgiven Woman Honors Jesus)
The first chapter depicts the weak faith of the father whose son was demon-possessed in Mark 9:17-27.
Shauna uses her imagination to describe the actions of the father as the demon was threatening the life of his son. I just love how she made the love of this father come alive to me through her words.
"The father jumped out of the way of his thrashing son, but stayed near enough to chase him if he ran toward the nearest well or stream. He skittered around to protect him from the violence foisted on him by the demon—to soften the blows by throwing his cloak under the boy’s head for a moment, and to kick the largest rocks out of the way."
I also loved the scene in chapter 8 about the woman who poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet and wiped her tears with her hair.
"She removed the scarf form her head, pulled the long pin from her knotted hair, and let it fall to the side of her neck. Ignoring the collective gasp at her blatant immodesty, she wiped her shower of tears with her hair, smearing the wet dust in an effort to clean and dry his feet. It was the most pathetic service she’d ever rendered."
These scriptural vignettes remind me that it’s ok to come to Jesus in my neediness. And it’s ok to receive God’s grace and worship the Lord for His immense mercy and goodness, exempt from anything I could ever do to deserve it. My faith doesn’t have to look “strong” and my need for him doesn’t negate my faith.
I not only loved learning more about these Bible characters stories’ and encounters with Jesus, I loved seeing faith and miracles unfold! Shauna did a wonderful job in weaving theology, scripture, and fiction into a great marriage of beautiful writing. They all circled back to the main theme of the book, which is seeing that remarkable faith is not performance based. Remarkable faith can come about in the most ordinary ways and people. The Lord loves us because of our weakness and brokenness, which drives us into His loving arms.
Each character’s story was a little different in their approach to Jesus but each one had the same result, Jesus brought healing, forgiveness, and salvation. Their afflictions, their source of sorrow, pain, and desperation brought them right to the place they needed to be, to Jesus. Each vignette portrays the gospel of Jesus and His unending love and grace. Shauna also shares powerful, faith-filled prayers at the end of each chapter. I loved these! Beautifully poetic and filled with hope.
The author skillfully drives home the powerful truth that we are not a disappointment to God by our perceived unremarkable faith, it is that very thing that brings about our remarkable faith in Jesus. The human needs and struggles of the biblical characters make them relatable and relevant. I felt the depth of their pain and exclusion, I could feel their loneliness, their desperation, and I was astounded by their acts of remarkable faith! The author’s vivid descriptions give a wonderful layer of visual insight into each story and the circumstances each real character faced.
Shauna explains that Jesus finds remarkable faith in the weak who beg for His help, the helpless that don’t show a single good deed to point to faith, the unworthy, the suffering, the outcasts, the panicked who have deluded themselves by false gods, the defiant, and the flagrant worshipper. How great is our God??!!
Some of my favorite quotes from “Remarkable Faith” by Shauna Letellier:
“Worship is the result-the reflex-of the person wowed by the grace of God and gripped with affection for the Almighty.”
“When we recognize our inability to earn fellowship and favor with God and realize we must simply receive it as a gift of grace, this divine exchange-Jesus’ righteous cut and paste-is exceedingly good news!”
“When we admit we lack anything that could earn God’s favor, we are finally free to receive what Jesus gives in exchange for our sin-grace, God’s undeserved love, favor, and righteousness. Grace can’t be earned. It is a scandalous gift.”
“Remarkable faith defies silencing, and calls out to Jesus for the help needed. With arms outstretched to Jesus, defiant faith gladly receives vision, life, and the irresistible desire to follow him. As we delight in him, he transforms affliction into affection and makes beggar into disciples.”
“Worship and gratitude intertwine, and while we might think they are services we render to God, they are actually his reward to us. They are gifts by which God nurtures his relationship with us and evidence of remarkable faith.”
“Even when we do not understand it, even though we lack the external marks of what humans normally applaud, faith that suffers and seeks Jesus because he is good is remarkable faith.”
I absolutely loved the rawness, powerful truths, mercy, grace, and hope within the pages of “Remarkable Faith” and I highly recommend it! Shauna’s beautiful writing style and faith-filled message are such a blessing.