Friday, December 28, 2012

{Review} Midnight in Aisle 7 by Jay Lowder

ISBN #: 978-1616386085
Page Count: 240
Copyright: September 4, 2012
Publisher: Passio

Book Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

You never know when God will show up.

At some point we all feel abandoned - by a friend, spouse, family member, or even God. We search to discover meaning for our lives. Often religion tries to confine the answers we seek to church buildings and candy-coated sermons, but in life's darkest moments hope is sometimes illuminated through the most unlikely people at the most unforeseen times. In Midnight in Aisle Seven Jay Lowder presents encouraging, raw, genuine stories of real people, including himself, to demonstrate how anyone, anywhere, can experience an encounter that brings significance to life.

Mandy's Review:

Growing up I was taken to church every time the doors were opened. We stuck with one religion: Pentecostal. Not the extreme version where women can't cut their hair, wear pants or makeup, or where people handled snakes. Oh, no ... if we went to a Pentecostal church like that, I'd be running for the hills. The church I went to had people speaking in tongues and falling out in the Spirit. Being around all of that should have had me on fire for God. As Jay mentions in his book (and I'm paraphrasing here), when you grow up around that type of environment you're bound to take it for granted.

What I've realized lately is that your religion doesn't matter. It's your relationship with God that matters. I've also been realizing how critical and judgmental I am of others. I'm by no means perfect and I've known that. The church I go to now has a pastor that's "on the same page" as Jay Lowder. The church I go to now focuses on people and not the religion. When I read the passage below in Jay's book, it struck me like a slap in the face ...

"Jesus never favored the religious; His darlings were always the hurting and the sinful, not the self-righteous. He never tired of showing His love for renegades. It is ironic that we tend to be drawn the least to the people He was drawn to the most."

The people in my church are not perfect. There are those who have tattoos, like beer, enjoy rock music and occasionally curse in moments of anger. They are real people with a heart for God and are doing their best to live out the passage above by focusing on the hurting and the sinful.

Midnight in Aisle Seven is a very encouraging book that speaks to the heart and soul of a person. I feel as Jay does when he says:

"Undeniably and without apology my faith plays the biggest role in my outlook and viewpoints on life. Regrettably, I am not always a perfect example of what I say I believe. Maybe you have been betrayed by someone like me, who claimed an allegiance to Christ. Perhaps your greatest hurts came at the hands of the religious. Maybe you're convinced people who call themselves believers in Jesus are not compassionate or loving but just narrow-minded critics of anyone who does not embrace their opinions.

I don't fault you for drawing these conclusions. I was once one of those people who called themselves a Christian and was everything except a good example of Christ. Many of the accusations made against people of faith are deserved and earned. However, as you read the following pages, I hope you can objectively consider that the picture of God that has been painted for you may not be a true representation of who He really is. Perhaps you can find what many people in this book have found, which is a love, understanding, and hope they never thought possible."

*A paperback copy of the book was provided through the publicist in exchange for an honest review.

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