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Life is beautiful whether you're soaking in sunshine or caught in a thunderstorm. I take the beauty of life for granted too often. I have a supportive husband who I don't want to live life without, a beautiful son who is always reminding me of the simple things that really matter, and an independent daughter who is teaching me to throw schedules out the window and live in the moment. My day is made when free samples fill my mailbox. I love discovering a new product and sharing it with others. I'm addicted to coupons and every penny counts. I hope you will enjoy reading my posts and will share your success stories with me as well.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Messy Grace by Caleb Kaltenbach Book Review

Caleb Kaltenbach was raised by LGBT parents, marched in gay pride parades as a youngster, and experienced firsthand the hatred and bitterness of some Christians toward his family.

But then Caleb surprised everyone, including himself, by becoming a Christian...and a pastor.

Very few issues in Christianity are as divisive as the acceptance of the LGBT community in the church.  Messy Grace shows us that Jesus's command to "love your neighbor as yourself" doesn't have an exception clause for a gay "neighbor" or any other "neighbor" we might find it hard to relate to.  Jesus was able to love everyone without compromising truth.  So can we.  Even when it's messy.

 Caleb did a wonderful job writing this book.  You heart will break for Caleb, his Mom, and her girlfriend as you read how "Christians" were so far Christlike to them than you could imagine.  You will understand the LGBT community in a way you might never have understood them before.

Some of my favorite thoughts that Caleb had are:

There are times when Christians can be so concerned about holiness that they end up keeping away those who are less than perfect.  They create a church culture that allows only a narrow few to participate in the community.

 Two verses at the beginning of the gospel - John 1:14 and 17 say that Jesus came full of "grace and truth".  When releasing the woman caught in adultery, he displayed both qualities.  Jesus had grace to set the woman free.  Yet he also had truth.  He did not condone her activity.  He used strong language for it: "sin".  (vs. 11 says "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin.")

Romans 5:8 says that "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Not when we had it all together.
Not when we were moral and clean-cut and smelled good.
Not when we started attending church.
Not when we started acting the way Christians act.
Not when we started believing.

God paid a hefty price when He allowed His son to be sent into the world to be tortured and killed.  What does it say about our opinion of the cross if we are not willing to go and tell people about the death Jesus died for them -- just because we don't agree with them or they make us feel uncomfortable?

We can accept others as friends or family without approving of their life choices.  We can be loving without applauding.  We can be compassionate without commending.

If our churches are places where people can't be honest, we are creating sanctuaries for fake people.

Church needs to be a place where you can "belong before you believe". 

"Messy Grace" will be available on October 20, 2015.  You can pre-order now.  This is definitely a book for every Christian to read as we learn more about how to show love and witness to the LGBT community.

Disclosure - I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review.  All opinions expressed here are my own. 

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