Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Review for The Road Trip by Jo Lyn Crozier

Road trips are fun and often very informative.  Jo Lynn Crozier is inviting us to join her character Liz on a road trip with God.  Never mind those bumper stickers that read God is my co-pilot.  This time God is driving and Liz in riding in the side car of his older model, rusted red motorcycle.  Are you ready?

In the Publisher's words:  Liz always felt God beside her, but she never imagined she would be in his passenger seat! In this humorous, heartfelt adventure story, God invites an ordinary woman to travel with him on a life-changing road trip. Along the way, they encounter fantastic beings, heavenly houses, and extraordinary communities that Liz could never have imagined. But this is no vacation. God has a lot to teach Liz, and behind all the whimsy is a deeper spiritual message with real-life applications. Buckle up and join God and Liz on the journey of a lifetime. 

"It is a journey to some whimsical places that have much deeper spiritual importance.  This book has changed the way I look at God's world, and the way I look at life as a whole."  Says Crozier.

I would have to agree with the author's own words.  It has changed my view of many aspects of the Christian life.  Or better to say, this book has helped me see things in a new light.  

When I first started the book I was confused.  There is an element of fiction and of non-fiction within each chapter.  As I continued on I discovered the author is sharing the road trip experience and then expounding on the spiritual lesson behind it.  Each chapter is a new location that God is sharing with Liz.  They visit places like The Comfort Zone, The Garden of Humanity and The Cottage of Wisdom and Virtue.  Crozier gives each of these places colourful and interesting characters to share and enlighten the characteristics of God and His world.  I found the lessons insightful and entertaining.  The author has taken the profound mysteries of the Christian life and placed them into likeable and easily understood caricatures.

The book is an easy read for anyone.  I can see it being very useful to help new believers to understand big concepts.  Also for established believers who are struggling with their daily walk with the Lord.  The author tackles topics such as:

  • what is growing in our hearts
  • taming our words
  • the trap of materialism 
  • prayer
  • helping the less fortunate
  • the dark places
  • where to go when we don't know what to do next
  • the storms of life
I do see one pitfall that I must warn my followers of.  This is much like the book The Shack - it is one person's vision of God and what He would be like to be with face to face.  Jo Lynn Crozier backs up her thoughts on God with scripture, but I still feel the need to say this is a dream or vision from her perspective.

Overall I enjoyed this book and would recommend it others.  I struggled a little with some of the writing aspects, such as her abundant use of clich├ęs.  Yet perhaps that helps with its overall appeal to all people.  Either way, I can confidently say that the book was worth the read.

Jo Lynn Crozier is a follower of Christ and a memeber of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, which aims to foster understanding between the two faiths. Crozier is a successful business woman and currently works as a mortgage broker. Her inspiration for The Road Trip came from her own biblical study and her relationship with God.  Crozier and her husband, Bobby, have four adult children and five grandchildren.  They currently live in Granbury, Texas.

To check this out for yourself, click here for an excerpt from the book.  If you are interested in ordering the book from Emmanuel House Publishing click here.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of Shelton Interactive and Emmanuel House Publishing, in exchange for my honest review.  I am required to provide only positive feedback, in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, part 255.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January is Jeremy Camp Month

Or at least that was what I had planned for.  Instead I got swamped under book reviews, business deadlines and headaches. So now, the last week of January is Jeremy Camp week.

If you are not familiar with that name, let me introduce you to one of my absolute favourite Christian artists.  This is a radio hit you might recognize.

Let me give you a little background about this man:

  • born to a pastor family, Camp was raised in the church in Indiana
  • his father taught him to play guitar and he soon discovered he had a love for music
  • in 2000 after attending Bible school in California, Camp released a self made album titled Burden Me
  • he is an ordained minister and worked as a pastor until his music career took off
  • at a performance he met a young woman named Melissa and started a friendship that turned into a romance
  • Melissa ended the relationship after a few months which was hard on Jeremy
  • Melissa discovered she had ovarian cancer
  • Melissa went into remission and the two married
  • "Walk by Faith" was written while on his honeymoon - only days before discovering her cancer was back
  • Melissa passed away in less than five months - she was 21 and he was 23
Jeremy says, 
Watching Melissa go to Heaven made me realize what’s important. Music is not my life. Christ is my life. The only thing that really matters is what we do for Jesus on this Earth, and as a result of what I’ve been through, I express even more the goodness of God and how faithful He is. (Read full bio)

Following her passing, Jeremy wrote the song, "I Still Believe". Which once a chart topping song, is now the title to his first book. Check it out on his website or read the first chapter.  Jeremy has been through the fire and still stands poised in worship.  I know I can learn a lot from him.

Jeremy took his faith and his wife's dying wish for souls to be saved and hit the road making music.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Learning how to walk

This lesson God is showing me that my walk with Him is a journey not a destination is much deeper than I thought.  The speaker at our Pastor's and Wives Retreat was a seminary professor. Needless to say my husband and I titled him the Nugget Guy after the first session.  Most of what he said went completely over my head but every few sentences or paragraphs he would drop a nugget.  A golden chunk of words that would set the wheels in motion.

He challenged me further on this idea of a journey.  He talked about the story of Creation the first night.  He shared his ideas that creation is a process too.  Yes, our bibles tell us God finished creating the world in six days, but that actually the process continues on - in us.  He said our lives are active participants in the process of creation - the creating of something good from a mess.

At that moment he started speaking my language.  My life is a mess.  It feels sloppy, squishy and out of control most of the time. But his point was that the mess isn't supposed to reach perfection - it is only intended to complete the process.  Once again this idea of it all coming down to the process (not the end product) rises to the surface for me.

He talked about the root meaning of the word 'perfect' from the original languages.  It doesn't mean what we have come to ascribe it to.  It means complete, whole and lacking nothing.  So our ultimate goal to reach isn't perfection like we think of it. Instead we are to strain towards becoming complete and whole. That is what the process will bring us to.

When God finished creating each component of Creation He said, "It is good."  Do you sometimes feel like your "good" isn't good enough?  Are you aiming for a bar of perfection?  Perhaps you should set your sights where God does - He is looking for "good" - for complete and whole.  He is aiming for 'finished'.

I will give you one more "nugget" to ponder.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Ice, Ice Baby

Today was all about ice for me.  I had an incredible and perfect example of a God lesson.  On ice.

It all started with my husband and I driving to our house in another town that we rent out.  We were meeting a prospective renter to show the place.  We walked in the house.  It was freezing cold. My husband walked up the stairs to the thermostat in the hallway and skidded along the floor.  We looked down and the entire floor was a skating rink.  We skated along the hallway to the bathroom and the all the air in my lungs vanished.

The entire floor was covered in ice as thick as 3 inches.  The tub was filled with ice.  The sink and toilet were overflowing with ice. After we caught our breath we looked around the house.  The basement bathroom looked much the same but with water instead of ice.  It was very surreal.

Suddenly our pre-planned day of renting our vacant home then continuing along our way to a relaxing and refreshing retreat in Banff for the weekend ended.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Play that funky music!

I apologize for the long break since my last post.  It has been a rough week with the weather fluctuations.  My migraines and headaches have ruled.  However I will attempt to get back on track with a normal course.

I don't know if it is the beginning of a new year or the dull thump of winter hitting, but I feel like I'm in a funk.

What's a funk?  The dictionary says a foul odour; an R&B song; or a depressed mood?

Have you ever felt like that?  Where you are whirling around in your own head without any signs of getting out.  I suppose some funks can be depressive, some can be contemplative and some could even be voids of nothingness - whatever they are they can be hard to shed.

This morning I found a key to the door of my funk.  It is a simple key that anyone can use, so today I am sharing it with you.  I suppose the idea was prompted by a book I am reading in order to review.  It is an odd mix between fiction and non, as the author takes you on a mental picture journey and then explains it.  (Did I lose you?)  She uses story to get her point across - much like a parable I suppose.

The chapter I read last night was about The Dark Place.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Discount coupon

I have a treat for you.  The makers of Courageous are offering a coupon towards the purchase of the Courageous DVD or Blu-ray.  The DVD set goes on sale on Tuesday January 17th.

Print off the coupon image below and take it into a participating Canadian Christian retailer near you.  Enjoy!


If you're still uncertain about supporting this great movie, then watch the opening scene.  But be warned ... you'll want to watch the rest after this teaser.


You were warned!

Check out the Courageous Movie Youtube channel for loads more of videos, clips and inspiration. 

Thanks for Graf-Martin Communications and the makers and publishers of Courageous for making this coupon possible.