Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Book with Heart

The title says it all, “One of the Few.” This book stands out from many of the Christian non-fiction books I have read. Jason Ladd invites you along for his journey from an agnostic Marine to a seeker to a devout believer in Christ.

For the first few chapters I thought the book was to be of light fare and here I found myself disproved by the remainder of the book. The progression in content was interesting, as Ladd began to get into meatier theological topics. Subsequently, in the latter third or so, the author gets into the pragmatics of belief and what those beliefs can truly mean for one’s life.

He questions faith, as most do. Yet, he still forges ahead, searching the depths of his soul. Even though, I highly doubted I would relate to the military verbiage Ladd incorporates throughout the book, I did to the extent I could appreciate it. The use of wartime and military analogies served One of the Few well. He uses wartime strategy to lay out a strategic plan for spiritual warfare.

Given, I did not believe with every tenet Ladd writes, but the heart of the book is what captured me and motivated me to continue reading. As a woman, I found a couple chapters a little awkward, although I am sure I gained something from them. I simply felt they were written from one man to another.  However, I related to his seeking, his journey and foremost, his heart.

I highly recommend One of the Few for seekers, particularly for men and those that enjoy military history. I am left with the impression that Jason Ladd is exactly the man he writes of, that he is a man of integrity and a passion for Christ that continuously fuels his zest for life.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Book Review: A Shining Example

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Handlebar.

Author Elizabeth Goudge pens My God and My All: The Life of Saint Francis of Assisi with her own flair giving life within historical context. Saint Francis was a man of great character, but certainly had his share of human flaws. I appreciated Goudge did not try to sugarcoat or whitewash any facet of this man. Fascinated with the life of this saint Goudge draws on her storytelling skills which makes this for an enjoyable read.

Most impressive is the sheer magnitude of color she lends to the life of Saint Francis. The reader steps back in time to the 12th century meandering down the paths of Assisi. Although this is a biographical work it almost reads as fiction. The reader walks beside Saint Francis as he establishes the Franciscan Order. The leaves on the trees dance, the sky is painted and the characters come alive with such clarity and beauty that I was left awestruck and in deep reflection.

I was left with such an indelible impression of this man that lived with tenacious conviction and ardent passion for his God I can only hope I emulate him in a small manner. In today's culture of self-promotion, Goudge has gifted us with a book for all ages of a man whom sacrificed everything for his one love so long ago. We all can learn, whether Catholic or not, another way to live, to live a life which exudes love, a life lived beyond ourselves.

Any reader whom appreciates a lovely read and has a love for God can glean something from this work. My God and My All does have a few passages I found pedantic, but overall is quite a classic in its own right.