Ok – so this is something new for me on my blog so please stick with me! One of the other blogs that I follow is of a woman from Nashville TN who is married to a man that is a Christian author. One day on her blog she talked about the new book he had written and that they were looking for volunteers to participate in a “blog tour” review of his book. I was intrigued so I signed up!
As a participant I received 2 hardcover copies of Matthew Paul Turner’s new book ‘Churched”. One for me to read and review and another for me to give away on my blog as a contest! So if you like contests and free stuff like I do – all you have to do is leave me a comment on this post and I will draw randomly from the names and someone will win a copy of this book! And if I don’t have any takers I will be donating the book to my church library!
For those not familiar with leaving comments…you don’t need a Google identity/password to do so, just choose “anonymous” and leave your name at the bottom of the post so I know who you are!
If you want to find out more about the author please see his blog site at: www.matthewpaulturner.com!
“Churched” is the journey of a young boy, Matthew Turner, who grows up in a family that decides to become “Fundamental Baptists” switching from a different religion. I found this very idea funny – is that what a lot of families do…”decide” to be Catholic, or Lutheran or Methodist…etc when one religion or another doesn’t suit them any longer? He made a point to say that his parents weren’t Christian before this decision they were Methodist. I sometimes find myself making that distinction if someone asks what religion I am “in”. “I am a Christina who attends a Baptist church” - for me it is my personal walk with Jesus that is more important than the building I call my church home.
This book chronicles his journey of faith, how his years of strict church affected him and how he eventually found God in the process. It is a funny book and a quick read. And one that really made me reflect on how we are presenting God to our kids. Am I encouraging a relationship with a Savior or just giving my kids a list of rules that one needs to follow in order to get to Heaven. Too often I am afraid we see people who turn away from the church because of this very reason instead of falling in love with and developing a relationship with Jesus. Although the “rules” are important for our children to understand it is so important for us to be fostering that relationship as they grow too.
Matthew was submerged in a life of rules and regulations and examples of Hell. Men had to have their hair cut above their ears, Barbie dolls were burned in Sunday School to give young children a glimpse into what Hell would be like for people who smoked, the Pastor had an annual boxing match with Satan and all Christian music was of the “devil”.
He finds a way in these short excerpts, to give us a glimpse into the fear he felt towards God at the time. And although it is good I think to have a healthy fear of God, his was much more than that and after telling a lie as a child spent a long time begging God to please not send him to Hell. But despite his rigid upbringing he later found his way to a God of his understanding. A God that he can call a Savior and a friend.
I do wish the author would have shared more about his current “walk” with God, a little more into how he values that relationship today, because it is those stories that I am encouraged the most by – but maybe that is for another book! If you are looking for a book that is a humorous and quick read you will enjoy the book “Churched”.
And if you are interested in this little “contest” please leave me your name and/or comment by the end of this week – October 17th and I will pick our winner after that!