Thursday, October 25, 2007

And the Shofar Blew

by Francine Rivers
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Available in hardcover, paperback and audiobook on CD. Tyndale House Publishers, 2003. 448 pages.

Another great book by Francine Rivers. A contemporary novel, this book delves into true Christian service. Is it about programs and ministries? Is it about numbers? Or is it about compassion and people? How do we know when we are following God's will or just jumping ahead with our own ambitions?

It begins with a dying church -- one which possesses a beautiful history, but its numbers are dwindling. The few remaining faithful are too old to keep it going on their own. Enter a young, enthusiastic couple who accept the new position as pastor. The husband was raised in a mega-church where his internationally-known father served as pastor. The wife comes from more humble beginnings and serves as music minister. The story spans a lifetime and the gammit of emotions as old and new collide; what's popular with what's true; what works with what's right. Each character struggles to hear God's expectations above human ones. They work to balance a demanding ministry with family and relationships.

Final Thoughts: This book is well written with fully developed characters. The dialog is true and the personal struggles tangible. A GREAT READ. Beyond the virtues of the story itself, this book encourages introspection in readers. It made me question my motives and my relationship with God. It was encouraging and challenging. I highly recommend it.

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