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I like Lysa, but this book was seriously lacking
on March 17, 2013
I like Lysa TerKeurst. I enjoy her on the radio, and I appreciate her encouragement and verses posted on Facebook. I wish I could say the same about this book.
A small group of eight of us used this book as a Bible study. An earlier (5-star) reviewer stated: "It is not so deep we lose the new Christians and all of us can learn something new from this Book." Unfortunately, therein lies the problem of this book. It is not deep, in fact it's quite shallow.
The first two or three chapters started out well, and we looked forward to continuing on. I liked the suggestion to begin a "blessings book," noting when I had said YES, and God's awesome responses.
The middle of the book was a disappointment. Lysa described conflicts in her marriage, and their biggest problems seemed to be (dis)agreeing on what curtains to purchase while decorating their house. That's nice for them, but in reality, that doesn't describe the deeper issues in any marriage.
I also took issue with the variety of Bible versions used in the text. Pick one version, preferably one that is a literal translation, and then stick with it. We don't need to twist God's word and find different versions just to suit a particular story we want to tell.
She finally lost me at the end of the book (Ch. 8/sacrificial giving section). When planning a long-awaited clothes shopping trip, Lysa learned of a friend who desperately needed $100--the exact amount Lysa had saved to buy clothes. Lysa gave her money to her friend. Lysa worried that her shopping friends would be disappointed, but instead she was delighted to learn that they gifted her with $700 to go on her shopping spree. Seven hundred dollars!! I live a comfortable enough life, but a $700 clothes shopping spree is outside the realm of anything I have ever experienced, and I can only imagine that's the case with most of Lysa's fans. The chapter was devoted to the idea that, if you give, God will give you more back--in a material way. (This was indicated not only by the shopping spree tale, but also Lysa's teaching example to her child, where Lysa asked her daughter to lend her $10 to buy lunch, and when her daughter refused, Lysa said she'd repay her extra. Her daughter finally(!) begrudging(!) agreed(!), and Lysa's point was that, unknown to her daughter, $50 was waiting at home in the mailbox as a birthday gift.) The whole chapter smacked of a false prosperity gospel, was completely unbelievable, and made Lysa seem unrelatable.
It comes down to this: if you want to better understand and study your Bible, read your Bible. Listen to specific Bible *teachings,* not someone else's happy or skewed interpretations, or their collection of various versions of verses, or their not-so-sad tales of woe. Ask the Holy Spirit to SHOW you what God wants you to know, and take books like this with a grain of salt.