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Messy: God Likes It That Way

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  159 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Christianity is messy. Unanswered prayers. Painful choices. Unresolved regrets. We’re called to have faith, and yet we doubt. We try to be perfect, but we fall short. This is the chaos. It’s all around us. There’s no limit to it. And there’s no quick fix for it.

Both annoyingly honest and refreshingly humorous, Messy reassures Christians that God can reveal Himself in their
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 2012 by Kregel Publications
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Gail Welborn
Jun 07, 2012 Gail Welborn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
***A must read for anyone who claims the name of Christian***

Rarely does wit and profound wisdom combine in a serious book about Christian life and spiritual growth like it does in A.J. Swoboda’s debut book, “Messy: God likes it that way.” In these authentic, inspiring and refreshingly honest pages, readers learn though they may have lost hope, face painful choices and suffer regrets, “God likes it that way.” Because it’s in our imperfections and pain that we are most authentic and open to God.

Paul Steele
Sep 04, 2012 Paul Steele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this one. Swoboda keeps it real, without getting the least bit preachy. His writing style is very conversational, as if you are just sitting there with him in a coffee shop as he talks about his faith and the everyday things ghat challenge each of us in our own walks of faith. Do i agree with everything he says? No. But he gets me thinking about many aspects of my faith and why i do much of what i do. He got me to think hard about my own walk, which i think is all he could ask for ...more
Andy Bettencourt
Dec 29, 2016 Andy Bettencourt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid Read

Solid book! Fairly creative and provides an interesting take on both living out and understanding your faith. The author is very intelligent, quirky, entertaining, and easy to follow as he communicates the messiness and difficulties in living out your faith in the real world.
Beth Peninger
Truth be told I'm undecided about my rating for the book. I didn't not like it but something about it makes me feel reserved about it. And I'm not even sure what that "something" is. For those familiar with terms/labels/etc I am pretty sure some would call Swoboda emergent but reading this book made me take a step back from that label (overused anyway). The people Swoboda studies, quotes, etc in his additional studies of the Bible point him more toward 5 point Calvinist. Guess you can't judge a ...more
Jul 10, 2012 Alex rated it it was amazing
If you're a Christian looking for help in understanding how God can work in your life and you're looking for guidance and reassurance rather than concrete answers then I recommend that you read "Messy: God Likes It That Way".

This book helped me to reflect on many questions that I have as a Christian and has helped me find answers to some of them by providing me with a method for looking at things differently.

A.J. helps to drive home the point that we don't really know why the Lord does the thing
May 26, 2012 Ryan rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed Messy: God Likes It That Way by A.J. Swoboda. A.J. is funny, simple, honest, and writes with a thought-provoking style. You’ll feel like you can now ask the very questions you’ve been afraid to ask. Contrary to us believing we have to have everything figured out in our life, our relationship with God, and what we believe about the Bible, we realize that God knows what he’s doing much more than we do—oftentimes it looks really messy and not something that is easily categorize ...more
Mar 27, 2012 Kimberly rated it really liked it
This first book by Swoboda packs a punch. In short chapters he tackles many issues Christians have with their faith. His main theme was that when people become Christians they are often duped into believing that everything will now be ok. What we don't realize right away is how tough life actually is. The Bible is not full of nice happy stories, people struggled then and we still struggle now. The thing we need to see is that God is present in the mess, He created everything, so our personal mes ...more
Jun 18, 2012 Arlene rated it really liked it
Shelves: will-re-read
Overall what I took from this book is that it is ok to be asking hard questions, to be wrestling with God and others…he communicated well with a refreshing vulnerability that will surely plant seeds in others to do the same in their life. We have so much technology to communicate these days BUT we lack the tools/skills to deal with root/deep life stuff(so far). Thanks for stirring the pot!! We were ment for more than the superficial & shallow!
(E-book note: On my little kindle it got a bit fr
Oct 11, 2012 Rob rated it liked it
I'm not sure how to comment on this book... The writing style is casual, conversational, and borderline inappropriate at times for the given topic. The theology is, while at times challenging, at others quite in contrast with my own. The flow of the book seems to match the title - I felt the first half of the book was a bit more cohesive than the latter as at the end it felt a bit like the author was wandering (or maybe just my attention was...).

As negative as all of that sounds, I found myself
Greg Dill
Sep 18, 2015 Greg Dill rated it it was amazing
Musings of a post-modern pastor. Swoboda had a lot of excellent insight on various topics ranging from church, prayer, family, sex, suffering, and theology, just to name a few. Drawing from both Scripture and real life experiences, Swoboda does an excellent job in achieving his point. Namely, that many aspects of our lives are messy and God works through these messes to make us more into the person He wants us to be. Not sure God would have it any other way. Easy and quick to read, entertaining, ...more
Coleen Baker
Aug 02, 2012 Coleen Baker rated it it was amazing
Amazingly good book!!! I loved how the author used humor throughout the book and never hid his thoughts about doubt. This book was especially helpful for me when I was wrestling with the decision to become Christian. Reading this book helped me understand that it's ok if you're not "perfect," it's ok if you don't get everything right, God loves you anyway and wants you to have a relationship with Him.
Feb 01, 2013 Kaylyn rated it liked it
I received this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A humorous but real look at how life really is. The author acknowledges Christian life can be messy, but God makes sense out of the mess. This book provides a pathway to answers many Christians and non-Christians have about God and life in general.
My favorite of AJ's books so far! Put into words all my feelings about community and relationship and why and how it's worth it to invest and to be vulnerable and to love each other well and love each other deeply.
Vanessa Siemens
Jun 02, 2014 Vanessa Siemens rated it it was amazing
Good thought-provoking book and easy to read but sometimes felt a bit scattered (but that thankfully didn't detract from the ways in which it resonated with me and challenged me). All in all a good read.
Jul 19, 2012 LBSinger rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've ever read. What AJ says makes sense but you would never think about things that way, normally. Also, love that I actually know who this author is because he's preached at my mom's church before. He's as amazing in real life as in this book :)
I am seeing things I disagree with but on the whole it is, so far, and interesting book. Which is to say, a different but interesting approach to the Gospel. No question that the author is leading people to the Lord, and one can't argue with that.
Dec 12, 2012 Christine rated it liked it
There are a lot of good points interspersed throughout the book; however they are often sandwiched in between some far-out stuff. I think with some good editing, it could be a tighter, more compelling read.
Sep 05, 2012 Tina rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I thought the questions the author posed were relevant and real. What if our 'mess' is where we learn to truly trust God? This perspective is one I want to embrace!
Aug 02, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it
I like this book. This is a pastor who talks about things in the present day. How he struggled through his life.
Gail rated it liked it
Jan 20, 2016
Jelle de Jong
Jelle de Jong rated it it was ok
Jun 15, 2012
Jamie Johnson
Jamie Johnson rated it it was amazing
Apr 04, 2015
Brent Phillips
Brent Phillips rated it it was amazing
Sep 03, 2015
Laura rated it it was amazing
Feb 12, 2016
Evan rated it it was amazing
Jan 13, 2017
Jonathan rated it really liked it
Sep 10, 2012
Jul 16, 2012 Worth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library, kindle

Very satisfying. Stimulated my thinking and now I have a few things to mull over.
Lissa rated it liked it
Jul 24, 2014
Jeff Spiegel
Jeff Spiegel rated it it was amazing
Feb 24, 2016
Adam Mashburn
Feb 05, 2013 Adam Mashburn rated it liked it
Funny book, once I forgave the writer for being a liberal I liked it much better.
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“We have developed a community that celebrates the look of giving, but somewhere along the way we lost the point; our message has said we honor the look of giving over the heart of giving.” 1 likes
“Paul says there is only one line. And everyone is in it. That we are all broken sinners.” 1 likes
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