Thursday, 11 October 2018

Book Review of Unexpected by Christine Caine.

By Keona Tann | @ACWriters
Unexpected 
By 
Christine Caine


Is it possible to have peace in an uncertain world? To not only expect the unexpected but embrace it?

Most of us want to have life under control. But God wants us to anticipate the unexpected with a faith deeply rooted in his goodness. He wants us to know that because he is in control, we don’t have to be.


In Unexpected, beloved author Christine Caine helps us walk into the life God has for us—unknowns and all. Using dramatic examples from her own journey, Christine offers real-life strategies and biblical inspiration to help us move from fear and worry about ourselves to hope and trust in God. As we learn new ways to manage disappointment, strengthen our hearts, and build our faith, we can enjoy a new adventure with God that is more fulfilling than any day we spend trying to anticipate what will happen next.


Stepping into our God-given destiny means stepping into the unknown, but we can embrace that calling because God knows it already. Nothing in our lives takes God by surprise. So even in the midst of personal upheaval, relational challenges, financial stresses, family transitions, career disappointments, and chaotic world affairs, we can expect God to be good and do good. What other expectation do we need to have? Listen to God’s dare to trust him in every unknown of your life today.


Review


After reading many of her devotions via her Propel newsletter I was intrigued about the release of Christine’s book “Unexpected”. The YouVersion Bible app had a devotion based around her book and I thought that would be a good way to see if I would like the content. I was so impressed with the 14-day devotion that I purchased the book.


The blurb states: “Every one of us is guaranteed to experience the unexpected. But when the unpredictable shakes our faith, we hide behind our defences, trade our hope for fear, and end up living a smaller version of the grand story God wrote for us. Is it possible to not only expect the unexpected, but even embrace it?
Unexpected offers encouragement and practical steps to move from anxiety about the unpredictable to confident faith in a good God. Through compelling stories and practical strategies, this book will help you anticipate the unexpected and live in the joyful freedom of complete trust in God.”

Unexpected is Christine’s 5th book of her Un.. series, the previous books are: Unshakable, Unashamed, Unstoppable and Undaunted.
Christine has collated stories from people who have faced some of the most difficult situations that life has to throw at us: the loss of a parent; cancer; a gravely ill child; rejection; the long wait of singleness; childhood bullying; miscarriage; and ‘wilderness’ experiences. Christine also shares stories from her own life and experiences she has had through her global anti-trafficking organisation A21.

I love the variety of situations that are tackled in this book and even if we haven’t faced that exact situation there are still relevant lessons to be gleaned.

In her book Christine urges us to remember that even in the most desperate of moments we can we find hope! Whatever season we face God can use every moment for His greater purpose and regardless of our age we can be used for Kingdom work because when our lives feel completely out of control we can remember the One who is in control. The wonderful thing about Jesus is that He has walked this earth, He dealt with many of the emotions and tricky situations we find ourselves in so when He says: “I understand” we know that He does.

As I read Christine’s book I felt the long-term pain of rejection shift in my heart. Rejection for me started in my teens when I faced the utter disappointment of having friends really let me down. I was young in my faith but I knew that I needed to pray and as I did Jesus said: “yeah I know, remember the garden?”. I didn’t so I had to research and I read the story of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, found in Matthew 26:36-46. Leading up to the garden Jesus had just shared the Passover meal with His disciples and now they have gone to a garden so that they can pray. Jesus moves away to pray in private saying: “My soul is deeply grieved, so that I am almost dying of sorrow. Stay here and stay awake and keep watch with Me.” (Matthew 26:38b Amplified). Jesus is asking His closets friends, the men who had followed Him and see Him do many miracles, to support Him by praying. When Jesus returns to them He finds them asleep and urges them to stay awake and pray, this situation repeats itself 3 times. I mean imagine it there is Jesus in the most desperate moment of His life and His friends can’t support Him by praying, I can only imagine the frustration that He felt. I realised that in His most desperate moment Jesus asked His friends to help Him but they let Him down. So when Jesus said He understood I knew He did.
As I read through Christine’s book I was reminded of the moment Jesus said: “I understand”. As I journeyed through her book I was reminded that God’s light can shine bright even in the darkest of moments.

I love Christine’s challenge: “Let’s dare to open our hearts and minds to allow God to revive our hopes. Let’s risk giving him room to fulfil his plans and purposes for our lives in unexpected ways.”

Whether you’re facing the hardest challenge of your life right now or you’re still reeling from unexpected and unwanted things I believe you will find encouragement and hope by reading this book.

I’ve been so impacted by this book that I’ve purchased several copies for my family members and friends because the encouragement that Christine and her friends have received from God is truly inspiring.

I highly recommend you grab a copy for yourself and if you know someone wrestling with a tough situation this book will bless them immensely.
Many blessings, Keona

About Keona:
I’ve lived most of my life in Tasmania, which is one of the beautiful Australian states. Deliriously happily married to my college sweetheart for over 20 years, we consider ourselves extremely blessed to be raising 2 wonderful teenagers. Hubby and I have also been long time child sponsors with Compassion so we have overseas kids!
I struggled with illness and disease for most of my life. The biggest battles were: endometriosis for 28 years and adrenal/chronic fatigue which was severe for 28 months. In September 2016 healing was declared over my life, praise God, this set me on a path of deep inner healing, restoration and transformation. My passion to write was reignited and I wrote out a mission statement:
“He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.” Psalm 40:3 (NLT)
I desire to impact the world through the words I share. I long to enrich, empower and encourage others whilst delivering my stories with empathy and understanding.
In my new-found boldness I’ve started a weekly blog which you can find at: https://keonajtann.wordpress.com/
Many Blessings, Keona

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