Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Book review: "Resilient" by Sheridan Voysey

So, back in August I saw something interesting in my twitter feed from Sheridan Voysey. If you don’t know Sheridan, he’s a Christian author, from Australia though now living in England. I first came to know Sheridan through his book “Resurrection Year: Turning Broken Dreams into New Beginnings.” It’s about how he and his wife had this great dream to have children and that it just didn’t happen. Through infertility treatments and an incredibly long wait on an adoption list they decided that maybe this wasn’t what God had intended for them. Resurrection Year talks about their struggle, their acceptance, their lives together and their move to England. I liked Sheridan’s open and honest writing style so when I saw that he was writing a new book and that he was looking for people for a launch team for his latest book “Resilient” I raised my hand and said “pick me, pick me!”. (I actually just filled out a form.)
The book is made up of short little bites, usually no more than a very few pages long. They each start with a Bible passage, and end with a questions and different Bible passage. Each chapter focuses on something different, so it doesn’t necessarily need to be read chronologically. Sheridan suggested that it might work well for a short devotional, and I think he’s right. (I’m notoriously bad with devotionals though. My parents gave me a yearlong devotional based on CS Lewis’ writings and I just sat down and read it straight through!) I read it just chronologically in a few sittings. It will work either ways!

The book’s central theme is Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, specifically the Beatitudes. Even if you aren’t religious you’ve probably heard these:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
 Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
 Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
 Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
 Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

When reading and taking notes for this review I wrote down a lot of quotes. I’ll try to only pick a few and talk about those!

“Love God. Love others. The rest are details”. Boom. Sounds easy. Not easy. It’s easy to love our friends and family. What about others? Axe murderers, people who rant on Facebook or that coworker who horks their snot instead of blowing their nose… (Also on a side note, some “details” are very important. But let’s start with love, and then get to the details).

There is a section on being single and the pressure that some people might feel that they have “failed” in not being married. (Side note, I have -and I’m sure you do to- single friends who are hilarious and smart and in all ways awesome and in no ways failures. But they might have dark days when reminders are needed). “Singleness is not some valley to be endured until the pinnacle of marriage. Singleness can be a calling, a gift, and a powerful witness to the LORD”. 

One thing that I struggle with, and I think others do too, is when you’re on the verge of a big decision and you think “What if I decide to do this and it ruins my life?” A big move, a new job, a life choice whatever it is this can be a scary thought. I find this quote super comforting “If we love him, God can work even a poor choice into the tapestry of our lives”.

There was one quote that I highlighted that I would have liked Sheridan to expand on. “Are you focusing on being good then letting Jesus change you?”

I enjoyed this book. This book is like a reassuring pat on the back from a good friend. Like “hey, sometimes things are hard. And I can’t guarantee everything is going to go the way you want it too. But Jesus loves you and thinks you’re worth sacrificing his most precious Son for your salvation. You can do this!” And this book can help.

*There's also a special offer on the website. by November 1st and you get THREE bonuses. Click here for more info!*


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