The synopsis explains it best– Available Grace: True Short Stories of the Rewards of Intentional Living is a wonderful collection showcasing moments when the author, her family, and friends experienced the grace of God in their lives.â€ As the Texas author explains, â€œBecause these are true stories, I have changed the names of many people who were involved.â€
Broken into six sectional chapters, the book covers 1964 to present day and relates numerous moments where God impacted the author, her family and their friends. Most of the stories involve the time period when the author was young to middle age though some are at other points. Â The book was inspired by a bible study teacher who talked about sharing Godâ€™s grace with others in the class.
â€œChapter One-Learning Godâ€™s Wayâ€ covers events where the author made peace with a very difficult neighbor, opened her home to a homeless couple, dealt with rumors that were not true, and other topics. Helping others and learning from them is the focus in this section.
That idea continues in â€œChapter Two-Reaching Out.â€ This section is about taking a more active role in reaching out to others. For example, instead of waiting for the church to send a homeless couple to their door, the author and others in the church in Lubbock overcame obstacles to open a soup kitchen where it was needed. The power of faith at work in others in a very moving thing and covered in various cases in this chapter.
We all need healing in some way.Â It comes in various forms in â€œChapter Three- God Heals.â€Â From the story of her own daughterâ€™s needs to the death of a child to many others, this chapter gives comfort and peace while showing how God can heal.
â€œChapter Five- Godâ€™s Comfort and Encouragementâ€ talks about many life problems and marriage situations. The author returns to the concept of her writing a book to make the point that this too was completed by overcoming obstacles.
The result of all that has gone on before is â€œChapter Six-Receiving and Givingâ€ where the author writes: â€œOnce you give a gift without expecting anything in return there is an afterglow that occurs and makes you want to give all the time. But the reality is someone has to receive it if someone gives, and at one time or another that someone is each of us. (Page 151) The theme here is that a gift must be embraced to work its magic and this chapter details those cases. At the same time the gift is a sacrifice and one that has to be acknowledged in order for the gift to be embraced.
While the stories are separated into sections, many of these pieces share the same elements of all the chapters. Inspirational and comforting, this 283 page book is about the power of God, faith, and the strength to deal with what comes along in life. Texas Author Marianne Cassell has created a moving testimony to her faith and the power it holds in her life and in so many others.
Available Grace: True Short Stories of the Rewards of Intentional Living
Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Co.
Paperback (also available in e-book)
Material supplied by PJ NUNN of BreakThrough Promotions for my objective review.
Kevin R. Tipple Â©2012
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