Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Must Read - Grace of Giving

For quite some time now I have visited Marja Meijers' blog and she has blessed me often with visits and encouraging words here at my own. Marja also writes books and one day I thought... "All this time and I have yet to read one of Marja's books - what's up with that?!" So I ordered her most recent title, Grace of Giving. This is her fourth book in a series about the Ten Commandments and gives us a look at the shortest command - Do not steal!

When I got the book and my first quiet-time opportunity, I made a little "reading nest" on the couch. Me in my "slummies", a glass of ginger ale, sunflower seeds to nibble on, my notebook and Grace of Giving.

I was immediately captivated by Marja's unique approach and perspective. She says in her introduction:

"I was inspired by the wonderful scripture of John 10:10 and began using it as a foundation for my writing because it so unmistakably speaks of stealing and giving, negative versus positive, warning versus promise."

One description of Marja's writing is that "she presents ancient biblical truths in a fresh and down-to-earth style, relevant to our time and culture." I would certainly agree with that. As I was reading this book I found myself settling deeper into my nest and remarking more than once to my husband... "This is really good!"

Grace of Giving opened my eyes to the difference between being obedient to the law and fulfilling the law. I learned how the way of the thief is so much more than just not stealing.

"Only through His grace and our faith in Jesus Christ can we be at peace with God! Good deeds or strict obedience will never ever bring us into relationship with God. So, because of Jesus, the emphasis on obeying the law has moved to fulfilling the law."

There is a section on rebirth and salvation that made my heart pound with expectation. I have come away enlightened, inspired, challenged and positive that this little book is anointed with timely truths. The flowers on the cover are perfect because all the way through this book I felt little spiritual and soul awakenings blossom within me. I have purposed not to set it aside without application. This too is something valuable I learned from reading Grace of Giving.

"We store up so much insight, so many teachings, so much knowledge, so many revelations and whatever we can get in our notebooks while running from church to conference to bible study to retreat sessions that we forget what we have in storage. When we need something, we don't go looking through our stuff (too much work); we just go out and buy something new. We keep accumulating without really using what we have, without tapping into the resources we already possess. That mentality is the way of the thief: more, more, more."

That mentality reminds me of spoiled children at Christmas time. They barely have one gift unwrapped and they are grabbing for the next one! Hello?

I have tons more that I could say about Grace of Giving but I don't think it would be nice to quote someone's entire book on my blog! I also think it would be thievery to diminish the absolute pleasure you will find in reading it for yourself. I highly recommend this book. It is a gem to the Christian body and I'm confident it will be a blessing to everyone who reads it. Its pages are just over 100; they are succinct, powerful and reach into many, if not all, aspects of daily life.

Finally, just a little about Marja Meijers herself. She is a neat person! She was born and raised in Holland but now divides her time, with her husband Jan between Holland and California. She was saved in 2001. She is a volunteer on the advisory board of Teen Challenge. She and her husband travel all over the world and have just started a new non-profit organization called Traveling Light. She speaks five (yes 5) languages... how cool is that!

Marja is an encourager and a blessing. Get to know her. She blogs here with Fresh Insights on Ancient Truths and here - The Life of Sorek, a Journey into Origin and Purpose of Spirit, Soul and Body. Her books are found everywhere but I am happy to link you to Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Tate Publishing, where you can explore many of her other books too.

Just a couple things more to note. The Ventura County Star recently highlighted Grace of Giving in this article. And lastly, to those who buy Grace of Giving... you will find a neat little pass-code in the back of the book allowing you to download the audio version. You can listen to Marja in her own beautiful Holland-born accent read to you. I can't imagine what you are waiting for!!

Thanks Marja for writing Grace of Giving, it has sincerely blessed me ♥