Hosea 2:14 JB
A few weeks ago I posted some Lent Reading ideas, which included this great book by Joyce Huggett and published by Eagle. I am happy to say that I have now finished it and would highly recommend it if you can get hold of a copy. It is subtitled Heart-to-Heart Encounters with God, and that is the main thrust of the book. The desert experience is ultimately a time of meeting more closely with God. Using characters from the Bible, Joyce illustrates how life changing this can be. These include Abraham, Moses, Elijah, the widow of Zarephath, Sarah, Miriam, Mary and of course Jesus himself. It is pointed out that anyone who was called by God in the Bible underwent some sort of desert time as preparation, and we can expect the same. The book is full of fascinating quotes from other authors who have much wisdom to share. Joyce writes in such a way that you are drawn into a kind of stillness and God speaks through the many scriptures that are quoted. One of the author's main objectives set out in the introduction is to disabuse us of the idea that we end up in the spiritual desert because we have failed God. Throughout the book she emphasises that the desert is indeed a positive place where we find new direction and are able to face ourselves and God with complete openness of heart.
I have decided to change my original plans and am now reading The Lost Message of Jesus by Steve Chalke and Alan Mann published by Zondervan. I have read it before, soon after it was written but have felt drawn to it again this Lent. It is been the cause of a lot of controversy here in the UK but I feel it has a very important message.
Jeff Lucas said of this book, "Prophetic, fast-paced, easily readable and wonderfully disturbing."
Rob Parsons wrote, "The Lost Message of Jesus is a remarkable book. You might not agree with it all - part of its purpose is the encourage debate - but if you are anything like me, then it will help you see Jesus with fresh eyes... Time and time again I found myself moved - even to tears - and on almost every page I was challenged to think again."