Monday, August 11, 2014

Radically Normal by Josh Kelley - REVIEWED

About the Book: (from Harvest House)
What if being a radical Christian didn’t have to mean selling everything and becoming a missionary to India? What if it could mean settling down and enjoying your normal, God-given life in extraordinary ways? It’s time to reexamine the Bible, put an end to the guilt, and get on with living the abundant life Jesus promised. Radically Normal: You Don't Have to Live Crazy to Follow Jesus is an invitation to do just that. Along the way it takes a new look at several old challenges:

  • How to be a good Christian (and witness) with out being weird
  • How to find greatness in your everyday life
  • Why spiritual stuff isn’t innately better or holier than earthly stuff.
  • How holiness leads to happiness and obedience is meant to increase joy.
  • Why selling all your possessions is not necessarily holier than keeping them.
  • How enjoying this life is meant to increase your desire for the next.

My Thoughts:
We are destined to advance the kingdom of God and change the world, to bring healing and hope to the earth and its inhabitants.”  (p. 57)

Can radically normal Christians be radically obedient without being obsessive?”  (p. 51)

Josh Kelley asks very thought provoking questions.  His questions give believers pause to consider that His plans for us, His very design of our talents and purposes is unique to what He alone has called us to do here on earth.  Being called to full-time ministry – or vocational ministry – isn’t any different from being called to be a teacher, a nursery worker, a builder or any other occupation.  God has equipped each of us in unique ways to serve Him and advance His kingdom here on earth.  His gospel is alive in each believer’s life through the Holy Spirit, and God speaks to us and calls us into ministry every day He gives us breath.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of reading Josh’s book.  I’ll be honest, I’m still digesting and ruminating.  I’ll be re-reading and getting new insights from his work.  What I’ve learned for certain is that God is calling me every day to do the work He has planned for me and my unique set of skills and talents.  I’ve also learned that God doesn’t love me any more or any less than He loves those He has called to serve Him on the mission field in a foreign land.  He just wants me to be obedient to what He has called me to do.

As humans, we tend to assign a skewed set of values to vocations and overlook God’s hand in every aspect of our life. Josh Kelley shares what he has learned through his own life experiences – good and bad – and has written a thought-provoking book that challenges believer’s on every stage of their faith-journey to examine their hearts and seek God no matter what occupation fills their days and lives.  I am thrilled to receive the message of this book, for it is a message that God has placed in my path over and over again lately.  I know He wants me to be radically normal – and I am very blessed to be able to walk in the truth of that calling!

This book has study questions for each chapter as well as suggested reading for those who want to go deeper in their pursuit of God’s calling in their lives.  This would make an awesome small group study and an excellent guide for one on one time with God.  Thank you Josh Kelley for writing this book!

About the Author:

Josh Kelley has been a pastor for 15 years and holds a BA in biblical studies from Pacific Life College. He lives in northwest Washington with his wife, Marilyn, and their two daughters.

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