The Shack

WIN A COPY FOR YOURSELF!!! (Read the blog to find out how…)

I love to read and I remember a few years ago when a book titled The Shack came out it was everywhere and seemed like everybody was reading it.  I added it to my list of books to read, however, I was in the middle of a series of books and wanted to finish them first.   The beginning of this year I got around to reading “the Shack”.  I loved it!!

I had heard from some people in our church what a great book it was, so I was looking forward to sitting down with a cup of coffee or hot tea and being swept away to another place as I read this novel.  Then before I started reading it I had 2 people ask me different questions about this book and they were not very positive.   Both questions dealt with God being a woman, so now I had to go read it.  I loved it, in fact, I couldn’t put it down!

Let me chime in my opinion about the God being a woman thing (if you haven’t read the book this will not ruin it for you)  I have always thought of God as a male gender in my mind, however, the Bible says His name is the great “I AM”.  If you have been abused by a man it might be hard to view God as a man, which is the case in this story.  I think the author does a great job explaining that when the character questions Her being God.  God also appears as a man in the story after healing and forgiveness have taken place.  In case you’re wondering, Jesus is always a human man.

With all that said let me say this – The Shack is a novel not a theology book.  The Bible is our only foundation to live by.  So when you read novels, enjoy the book and don’t try to argue theology. If you ever feel like a book is causing you to question the Bible, stop reading and put the book down. The only book we have to read is the Bible.

Personally, I loved The Shack. It is a book I will read again.  The author just did a great job writing the book.   In my mind the author did a great job of going from a dark, grey and dreary to life, light and peace.  I loved the way Father God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit interacted.   It is one of the best examples of the trinity I’ve read.   The trinity still blows my mind, but The Shack did a great job of giving me a word picture of the trinity.

Forgiveness is a theme that runs throughout The Shack.  Whether or not you’ve read the book, forgiveness is a topic that we all know something about!

You can win a copy of The Shack by simply sharing a brief thought on something God has taught you about forgiveness.  Leave a comment in the Comment Section below and on Friday, we will randomly choose a winner!  Please make sure to leave your email address in the comment so we can contact you!

Here’s to great books,

Martha

  • Courtney Abbott

    I had to learn to forgive my father for the mental abuse I received as a child. It was only after I truly started to believe that I was able to forgive my daddy and let go of the baggage that I was carrying in my heart.

    When I was a child my daddy would take my brother and myself with him when he was on dates with the woman that became my Step-mother. He told us that if we told our mother she would leave us and blame us. Can you imagine what that does to a child? It builds a wall and leads to a large level of mistrust in adult relationships.

    When I found the Lord and forgave my Daddy it released me from the mistrust that I was having in my own relationship.

  • Perhaps the greatest lesson I’ve learned about forgiveness is that I can (and should) forgive myself. God is quick to forgive, but I am not. I am learning that there is freedom in forgiveness – of others, and importantly, of myself.

    kadawkins@gmail.com

  • Debbie Pike

    I have learned that you have to learn to forgive yourself and love youself before you can even think about forgiving others. You have to come to the point in your life where you truly know that God has forgiven you for all your sins and then you can begin to heal and forgive others.

  • Jill Skinner

    This book was highly recommended to me from several people. I finally purchased and read it this week. I have to say it opened my eyes even further to just how great our God is. I have had many friends who have a problem embracing God. ALL of them have had bad relationships with men. For me, I had a wonderful step father who was in my life from the age of 5 and adopted me when I was 18. He wanted me to sign the papers myself. My favorite part of the book was when Father God tells Mack that he is not just a person without imperfections but much more than that. Wow! That really was profound to me. I have always seen God as my Daddy – PERFECT. While this helped me understand God’s love, it made me have a hard time helping others. The idea that that is not the case will enable me to better help and explain God’s love to those in my life who have had a hard time embracing God.
    I have read all the blogs calling the book heresy. I think many people miss the point that God doesn’t want to be put in a box, on a shelf maked “fragile”. While that is an ok way to view God for some people, it isn’t enough for me. That God in a box kept me out of church for most of my life. I much prefer intimate relationship. And I think He does too. Ultimately isn’t that why we were created?
    Like Martha says this is A book not THE BOOK. No man can give an accurate description of God. For He is more than we can ever dream of or imagine! All we can hope for is to continue to grow in our relationship and love every day.

  • Jane Figueras

    Martha, I completely agree with you. The way this gifted writer explains the Trinity… is AMAZING! It is so vivid & exquisite. For those who have read it, you know why it is so alive & for those who haven’t, just trust us & read it! I loved the book when I read it over a year ago (thanks to my dear friend, Beth) & also plan on reading it again & again.

    Forgiveness, I have recently learned & experienced in my own life, is multifaceted. Now, I can only speak to my own experiences & that is the beauty of God & forgiveness. For many years, I have struggled with this because of my childhood & things I allowed to continue to creep into my adulthood. Forgiveness to me is: giving up the need for revenge or ill-will towards the party that knowingly or unknowingly caused my pain. Yes, I have the ability to forgive; I can forgive; I will forgive; I choose to forgive. This, however, does not mean that when injury is caused knowingly, do I absolve the guilty party of any responsibility. Like I said, it’s multifaceted. I’ve learned that for my entire life (for real), until very recently, it seemed that I always had this incredible need to prove my point of correctness. No longer, do I feel that because I have truly forgiven & just LET GO! I am ok with who I am today, because I have been fearfully & wonderfully made by my Loving Father. I am ok in forgiving because I realize that my new attitude will probably cause them discomfort since they’re used to my defensive responses. I am no longer co-dependent on the toxic relationships I continuously fed into. So, yeah, forgiveness, has been a long process, but I am thankful for the wonderful people God has chosen as my family….husband & sons… that all the while have stood by me, encouraged me, allowed me to vent & most importantly, spoken God’s Word into my life; never letting me wallow in my pity & resentment.

  • Angi

    As for the book, I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment and just as you have stated, I too have had to defend it to other Christians. I think sometimes we get so literal and legalistic that we cannot see God as the “I Am”, but only as a man with laws/commandments we are supposed to obey.

    Like some of the ladies above, I too had struggled with my relationship with my dad and thus sometimes have a hard time accepting God’s unconditional love, grace and mercy for me. I believe I truly forgave my dad after he died from cancer in 2005. He was an alcoholic, absent father, that verbally abused my mom and brother and had multiple affairs during their marriage. This led me to not trust men, and ultimately not trust that God could love me and never leave me. After he died, I received two suitcases containing his “belongings” which consisted of his military records, his medical records and every letter, card and picture I had ever sent him. As I perused through these two cases, I came to understand that he loved me and my brother in the only way he knew how. You see, he lost his father at a young age and never really had a man to look up to and encourage him. I have grown as a Christian to know the True God who says He will never leave nor forsake me. I have also come to a point in my life where I forgive my dad for my childhood and take full responsibility for my actions as an adult.

    Side Note: My favorite memory of my dad was the day he called me about a year before he died just to say “Hi Princess. I was thinking about you and wanted to tell you that I Love You.” Because of this, I will continue to encourage my husband to tell our girls he loves them frequently as I know how it can affect a girl’s life and her journey to young womanhood.

  • debbie henderson

    Forgiveness….I’ve never had much problem forgiving others…but God has taught me over the last few months to forgive myself…to let Him be my judge…not my emotions, not my feelings, not my thoughts and certainly not what anyone else says…to know what He says about me…and to trust Him and His word…forgiving myself has allowed me to draw nearer to the One who has called me….I can hardly wait to see what He has in store!!

  • My 31 year old cousin passed away two weeks ago on Saturday. He was like an older brother to me, and his father is like a second father to me. Seeing my Uncle in so much pain… seeing all of the people I care about in so much pain, was terrible. To top it off, the funeral was on my birthday! Talk about the opposite of festive, right??

    The one thing that I kept thinking throughout the funeral and being with my family mourning though, was my faith. I am a new Christian. I was saved on March 3rd, and plan to get baptized at first Wednesday in May. It occurred to me that prior to finding Christ, I would not have dealt with this loss in the same way. I would have been angry. I would have used it as a “reason” to prove to others why I was right in not believing in God. I would have condemned God for taking my cousin, despite the fact that I didn’t even know God! Instead of being bitter and angry, I had God’s love to see me through. I was (and am) saddened by this loss, but I know that there was a reason that God called my cousin home. I know that there is a plan, and that plan is beautiful despite the sadness. I was able to look back at the times I was blessed with, the memories I have, and to know that my life was made infinitely better because I had this amazing man in my life. The best thing was standing beside my Uncle and telling him, with all certainty, that I knew Brad was with God and that he was up there giving Him the kind of crazy shenanigans we had all been witness to our whole lives with Brad. And we both laughed thinking about the Lord trying to get a handle on him!

    My faith, even though it is new, has strengthened me and brought me through darkness. It has brought the people I love through as well, and I cannot thank God enough for loving me enough to give that to me.

  • *hit submit by mistake!! Oh the embarrassment!*

    The thing that I think of because of all this, is knowing that God forgave me for not believing. I spent 15 years of my life adamantly denying He existed, and He still forgave that denial. He loved me enough to forgive me… He loved me enough to give me the grace, courage and strength to get through this horrible time.

    Ultimately God has made me more forgiving by His amazing example.

  • Dana

    I know exactly what you mean when you said if you have been abused by a man it might be hard to view God as a man. I have learned that forgiveness is a choice and sometimes you may have to wake up and choose to forgive again and the next day, and next, etc. This sounds like a great book!

  • Angel

    I like all the others have experienced many situations in my life when I had to forgive or pleaded for others to forgive me. But, the ultimate act of forgiveness was my heavenly father payed the ultimate price to prove his forgiveness to me. He gave his life and died on the cross for all my sins and the sins of others. How is that for forgiveness? I will live for him all the days of my life to show my gratitude for his ultimate sacrifice!