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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Stumbling Into Grace

As some of you may have read in an earlier post, I am excited about going to the Women of Faith Conference in October with my 13 year old daughter.  We are anticipating this trip and I've been telling my daughter about some of the speakers and their backgrounds and what she has in store for the weekend.  So, when I saw that Thomas Nelson had Stumbling Into Grace:  Confessions of a Sometimes Spiritually Clumsy Woman by Lisa Harper available for review, I jumped at the chance!  They sent me a complimentary copy for the purpose of review.  And I can tell you, you WON'T want to miss this one!  Lisa is going to be one of the speakers at the conference in Ft. Lauderdale on October 28-29.

Stumbling Into Grace is organized like a devotional book and would be best read that way.  Although, it could also be good resource for small group meetings or mentoring/discipleship relationships.  The book is divided into three parts:  Real Life, Real Gifts, and Real Growth.  Each chapter has five short parts:
  1. Lisa's "So, today I've been thinking about..."
  2. Jesus and ... (where Lisa shares a portion of scripture from Jesus' life and ministry in the gospels)
  3. The Heart of His Story (Here she shares biblical commentary which includes some background, history and word studies)
  4. Hope for Our Ongoing Stories (Here Lisa helps us apply the scripture to our present circumstances.)
  5. Living in Light of His Story  (Here Lisa offers a short prayer and about 5 to 8 personal reflection/group discussions)  She also offers a personal journal entry prompt in this section.
Here is a little about Lisa Harper from her website,

Rarely are the terms hilarious storyteller and theological scholar used in the same sentence, much less used to describe the same person…but then again, Lisa Harper is anything but stereotypical! She has been lauded as a gifted communicator, whose writing and speaking overflows with colorful pop culture references that connect the dots between the Bible era and modern life. Her style combines sound scriptural exposition with easy-to-relate to anecdotes and comedic wit.
Best-selling author and pastor Max Lucado calls Lisa one of the “best Bible tour guides around,” and speaker Priscilla Evans Shirer adds, “If anyone can help us to hear, understand and receive the truth of Scripture it is Lisa Harper. Her God-given ability to not merely teach the Word but package it in a way that stirs the heart and calls to action is incomparable. When she speaks ears perk up!” Lisa’s pastor – Scotty Smith of Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN – sums up her appealing approach with this commendation, “In a day in which people deeply connect with stories and yet too often find the Bible abstract and irrelevant, Lisa shows us that the 66 books of the Bible are telling one grand story of personal and cosmic redemption, with Jesus starring as the lead character.”
Her vocational resume includes six years as the director of Focus on the Family’s national women’s ministry where she created the popular Renewing the Heart conferences, attended by almost 200,000 women, followed by 6 years as the women’s ministry director at a large church in Nashville. Her academic resume includes a Masters of Theological Studies with honors from Covenant Seminary in St. Louis. Now a sought-after Bible teacher and speaker, Lisa is currently featured on the Women of Faith tour and speaks at many other large multi-denominational events – such as Moody Bible, Women of Joy and Focus on the Family conferences – as well as at hundreds of church retreats all over the world. She’s been on numerous syndicated radio and television programs and was featured on the cover of Today’s Christian Woman.
She’s written nine books including Holding Out For a Hero: A New Spin on Hebrews; A Perfect Mess: Why You Don’t Have to Worry About Being Good Enough For God and Untamed: How the Wild Side of Jesus Frees Us to Live and Love With Abandon. She also served as a key contributor to the Becoming Devotional Bible for Women and as a columnist for Today’s Christian Woman magazine.
Yet in spite of her credentials, the most noticeable thing about Lisa Harper is her authenticity.  When recently asked about her accomplishments she responded with a grin saying, “I’m definitely grateful for the opportunities God’s given me; but don’t forget, He often uses donkeys and rocks!”
By using Stumbling Into Grace during your devotional/quiet times, you will laugh (out loud) and cry, but most importantly, you will be ushered into the presence of the Almighty God Who offers His grace to those of us who are sometimes clumsy spiritually and stumble into His amazing grace!

You can order Lisa's book by following the link to bellow: