In a country of business and chaos, it is a rare thing to encounter a soul at rest, and a rarer thing to find rest yourself. But is is possible to encIn a country of business and chaos, it is a rare thing to encounter a soul at rest, and a rarer thing to find rest yourself. But is is possible to encounter Christ when the mind and heart are so cluttered with the activity of the world? I think not, and this why where Sarah Young's little devotional reads like a breath of crisp fresh mountain air. Reading it invokes the feeling of sweet, clean breeze washing over the soul. It is the perfect reminder to sit still, breath the Holy Spirit, and let wash away the trivial cares of the world. I highly recommend it....more
I was quite unimpressed with this book. The premise was a good one: demonstrate through real-life examples how giving back to God with an open hand wiI was quite unimpressed with this book. The premise was a good one: demonstrate through real-life examples how giving back to God with an open hand will bring blessings into the life of believers, and how this expands across denominational borders. The execution was terrible. The eleven "journalistic narratives" in this book are sloppily presented, often detouring off the main topic without explanation, disorganized, and containing unexplained references to institutions and events that may be unknown to the reader. The desire to demonstrate how Christians from all walks of life can experience these blessings was taken to an unnecessary level in interviews with a fringe left political activist episcopalian preacher and his views on whether or not homosexual priests should be ordained in the church, another interview with a non-messianic Jewish Rabbi, and a Catholic priest as well. I did not come away from this book with any greater desire to give, but instead confused and trying to figure out exactly what the book was trying to say.
Note: This book was provided to me by Thomas Nelson for the purpose of this review. ...more
While there have been scores of books written to help Christians deal with “the flesh” as it is referred to in the Bible (many of which are listed undWhile there have been scores of books written to help Christians deal with “the flesh” as it is referred to in the Bible (many of which are listed under “Recommended Readings” at the back of the book), I thought that Inner Mess was thoroughly original in its approach. The whole premise of the book is the concept that we humans have many aspects or characters that make up our personage that are “dedicated to doing what Jesus wouldn’t do.” These shady characters collectively make up the Inner Mess. Giovannetti’s goal in part one is to help readers recognize each Inner Mess character and understand the emotions, traumas, fears, etc. that give that character the gumption to “trash your outer world.” I found this method of distinguishing each fleshly personality as separate but related to the others to be much more practically helpful than the conventional view that typically globs all aspects of the flesh into one giant vat of Ugly and expects believers to clean up the entire mess in one fell swoop.
I also appreciated the author’s grace-saturated Part Two presentation on how to deal with the Inner Mess. It provides a clear, practical strategy that leaves no room for self-induced legalism and guilt or abdicating responsibility for sinful thoughts and actions.
Giovannetti’s writing is well organized and highly readable. He interjects a lot of humor, which is especially welcome in a book on such a weighty topic. The author also uses storytelling liberally to illustrate concepts. In fact, at the beginning of each chapter he tells a segment of a story featuring Scott, a bus driver who has to deal with a rowdy bunch of riders and the chaos they create. I’m usually pretty disciplined about peeking ahead in a story, but I have to admit I was tempted to skip ahead when Scott knocked out the felon and the punk pulled out a gun and… Well, you’ll just have to read it for yourself.
Overall, this was an excellent book which I would recommend to anyone who has ever shared the sentiment of the Apostle Paul when he said, “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”...more