Friday, February 13, 2009

This Side of Heaven by Karen Kingsbury

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

This Side of Heaven

Center Street (January 6, 2009)


New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America's #1 inspirational novelist. She's written more than thirty novels, ten of which have hit #1 on bestseller lists, and her Center Street novel Just Beyond the Clouds hit #13 on the New York Times bestseller list. There are nearly seven million copies of her award-winning books in print, including more than two million copies sold last year alone. She lives in Washington state with her husband, Don, and their six children, three of whom are adopted from Haiti.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Center Street (January 6, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1599956780
ISBN-13: 978-1599956787


“Sometimes life isn’t so good this side of heaven.” (p.104)

Not so good. That was a place Josh Warren knew well. Living in chronic pain with a developing addiction to pain medication, he struggled to get through each day. His parents worried about him, tried not to feel too disappointed that his life didn’t quite measure up to their dreams for him. They still prayed for him – from a distance. His sister Lindsay tried not to get too discouraged either. She kept praying, kept inviting him to church and tried not to be surprised when he suddenly changed his plans.

But one day Josh calls Lindsay on the phone with news – he’s discovered a personal relationship with God. The broken, pain-filled life wasn’t so different, but inside – he was brand new. And all the while Josh poured God’s newness out upon his friends and neighbors he dreamed of reclaiming his illegitimate daughter and fulfilling God’s dreams for his life.

Sometimes the dreams we have for our lives, and the lives of those we love are very different from God’s dreams for us. At first, when we try to confront the differences, we’re hurt, we ask why, we don’t understand…but God shows us the way. That way isn’t always easy, but it is always one that He uses for our good and His glory. Josh’s life and his dreams turned out to be very, very different than those he had planned. The plans his parents and sister had dreamed for him changed very dramatically too. None of them would come away unchanged – this side of heaven.

I’ve read a lot of Karen Kingsbury’s books, and this one has moved me more deeply than any. Her personal testimony – the reality of this book rings true from the very opening of the story, and by the time you reach the end – her own words – your heart is changed. I work with women who are residents in a year-long rehab facility, and I understand the power of God and the change it brings to a life. I have also learned that love is a powerful agent of change in the broken lives of those who need a second chance.

Reader, don’t miss this story. It is beautiful. It is powerful. It is more real than you know. Make sure you love everyone God blesses your life with fully. Don’t ever give up on the opportunity to pursue God’s dream for your life and the lives of those you love - This Side of Heaven.


No comments: