Showing posts with label faith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label faith. Show all posts

Thursday, July 5, 2018

I'll Push You - Book Review

Every once in a while, if we are fortunate, we are given a glimpse into a relationship of such incredible beauty that we are instantly inspired to be more, to do more, and to love more than we ever have before.  To read I'll Push You, is to witness the ultimate expression of brotherly love and devotion.  It is the opportunity to enter into a pilgrimage of the heart.

There are volumes of travelogues written by those who have embarked on such ancient walks as the Camino de Santiago.  The thing that sets this story apart, along with Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray's extremely rare lifelong friendship, is the fact that this trek was supposed to be impossible for them to accomplish.  Few believed they could actually pull it off.  Of course, those naysayers did not comprehend the enormous overcoming power of Justin and Patrick's friendship, of their faith, and of their spirits.

Born just 36 hours apart, Skeez and Paddy, as they affectionately called one another, never really knew life apart from one another.  They were classmates throughout their schooling, were best man in each other's wedding, and only became closer when Justin was diagnosed with a debilitating neuromuscular condition similar to ALS.  When Justin lost his capacity to walk, and to use his arms and legs, Patrick did not hesitate to step in to help Justin's wife care for his every need.

Not one to wave a white flag and give up in defeat, though he would have been justified in feeling more than a little bit of hopelessness, Justin sought to find ways to continue to live life with gusto.  When he learned about the Camino in Spain (The Way), Skeez asked Paddy if they might attempt it. Without losing a beat, Patrick replied: I'll push you.  At the time, neither Justin nor Patrick knew just exactly what it was they had agreed to do.  All too soon, they would begin the most arduous journey of their lives.

How do you cross the Pyrenees, and other mountain ranges, make it through the Mesita desert, and ford through raging rivers in a wheelchair?  What do you do when the pathway becomes a steep, boulder-strewn bowling alley, or an impassable quagmire of deep mud?  These became the daily challenges that had stopped even the most robust pilgrims along the way.  With the help and kindness of strangers, Justin and Patrick are drawn into the pilgrimage within the pilgrimage.  What began as a travel adventure, becomes a deeply transformational journey of self-reflection.

Over the course of 500 miles, Skeez and Paddy explore what it means to love, to serve, to trust, and to grow in grace.  To take the journey with them is a blessing, a privilege, and the chance to ponder how we might be the love that turns the impossible into the possible.









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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Grief and Mourning for Those We've Lost

Review This! Is Mourning the Loss Of Our Fellow Contributor, Susan Deppner. 

It's hard to get back in the groove of writing a normal review. Losing Susan has affected me deeply, even though I never got to meet her in person. I felt I knew her better than many of the people I have actually met. When you work together online for years, read each others heartfelt posts, share each other's joys and sorrows, and pray for each other, you form a deep connection. So all of us here at Review This! still have fresh grief from losing Susan last week. 

Encouragement for Those Who Mourn
Photo © B. Radisavljevic


Cancer is a Thief

Cancer has stolen many I have loved from my life. It took both my parents. Dad was gone within days of his diagnosis. Mom had more notice -- a whole eight weeks. I had the privilege of caring for Mom in those weeks with help from Hospice. Here's my story of that time with a tribute to Mom. Being with Mom when she passed into the next life was precious. I wanted to see her off and I did. 

The same kind of cancer that took Susan from us also took one of my very best friends in 2010. A year earlier, the last time I'd seen her, was the previous Christmas. She lived five hours away from us, but we were in the area to see my brother on Christmas Day. 

Sandy and Her Mother Making Mochi Together for the Last Time
Photo © B. Radisavljevic


Sandy invited us to spend the morning and early afternoon before we were due at my brother's sharing a special annual event in the life of her extended family. Sandy's family is Japanese and traditionally met on Christmas each year to make mochi -- something I'd never heard of. I happened to have my camera so I documented the activities for a Squidoo lens that still lives on HubPages: How to Make Mochi. This is not a recipe, but a look into the home of a family that has been making this traditional Japanese food every Christmas to get ready for their New Year's Celebration. It was especially meaningful for us to be included because it was the last time we saw Sandy alive. Ironically, the next year, we attended Sandy's memorial service the day after Christmas. 


Both Susan and Sandy had friends and family who loved them. Both fought hard with faith and hope in their hearts. Both wanted to see their grandchildren grow up. Neither had the opportunity. Both were examples of living out the verse shown on the mugs below.




When God Calls a Loved One Home

We are never really ready for someone we love to leave our lives here on earth. Some leave us suddenly with no warning. Some linger for years fighting an illness like cancer. Maybe we have prayed they would be healed. We wonder why God did not answer that prayer in the way we hoped. Instead we've watched someone we love suffer. Was God not listening?

Many with strong faith, like Susan and Sandy, did not win their battles with cancer. Surely they did not die because they and their praying friends did not have enough faith. Yet some try to lay blame on those very people and tell them they just didn't pray with enough faith.

Edith and Francis Schaeffer founded L'Abri Fellowship, based in Switzerland, to help young people or any others who came to stay in their community find answers to their questions about faith. They were very strong Christians who served God with all they had. Though people all over the world were praying for him, Francis died of cancer.




 During the time Francis was ill, Edith wrote a book about the reasons we have suffering and affliction in our lives as she watched her husband slowly leave her. She helps us grapple with the "Why?" of the pain in our lives. She explains why those prayers for healing may not be answered the way we like.

 I highly recommend this book to all who are trying to understand why they or their loved ones are suffering. I have owned the book for about thirty years now, and I've passed it to many friends who've had cancer and wanted answers. They fought, but they did not all win.

Knowing Why Doesn't Do Much to Make Grief Go Away

Jason's Grave: A friend made the wreath. © B. Radisavljevic
 


I've had my share of grief and bereavement. Both my children preceded me in death. I lost both parents. Our best friend took his own life when he believed cancer would steal his mind. Another very close friend died of cancer in 2013. I should have earned a doctorate in the school of hard knocks for dealing with grief by now. One can and does get through it, but it always leaves an empty place and a scar in the heart. Here's what I've learned through my grieving experiences: How to Grieve and Go on with Life.

Our country music contributor, Barbara Tremblay Cipak, shares part of her grief journey after losing her dad in The Incredible Power of Love. The video she shares there is a fitting end for this post.

Grief and Mourning for Those We've Lost: Encouraging words and help for working through grief
© B. Radisavljevic


Have you lost a loved one recently? What helps you deal with your grief? Feel free to comment or ask questions below. 




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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Mary's Message To The World Reviewed

Spiritual Messages For All

mary mother of jesus
Mother Mary image courtesy of Pixabay.com
I'll be reviewing an older book today, Mary's Message To The World. Originally published in 1991 the content isn't as outdated as one might think. This book and the messages within will not appeal to everyone, I'll just say that right up front. I know in my heart that some will read it and scoff just as I am sure they have since it was first published. Still, others who will read it for the first time will be moved and I believe will grow spiritually. Read it with an open mind and open heart, is all I'm asking.

One might assume that since this book is about the Mother Mary that it was written for the Catholic faith due to the strong devotion to her. That is not the case, Mary chose Annie Kirkwood (of no particular denomination) to visit and urge to spread her message to the world. In the beginning of the book, it tells of Annie's struggle with the visits from Mary. She kept telling the Holy Mother that she was not a Catholic and that Mary should visit her friend who was of that faith. At one point, she reiterates that she is not a Catholic and Mary says, "I'm not, either." Needless to say, Mary did not give up on Annie and visited her many times from 1987 to 1988 and in later years, too.


I'm not one who caters to the idea of coincidences in our lives. Since a very young age, I have believed that all things happen for a reason. We may not understand them for a while but eventually the lesson we were to learn is revealed. We might see them as blessings, some will see them as a punishment of some sort and even more will ignore the lesson or message altogether. It is human nature.

I bring up the idea of a coincidence because of the way that this book literally fell into my hands. My husband was helping a lady that we know sort through her household belongings for a long distance move that she was about to make. She had several books that she no longer wanted and told him that if he saw any that interested him; he could take them. He saw this book and knew that I have a special connection to the Holy Mother and brought it home to me. Coincidence? My heart says, "No." My soul tells me that I was supposed to read this book and reconnect with the Mother Mary.

Reconnect?  You are probably wondering why I would say that. At the age of 12, I was visited by the Mother Mary. I did not understand at the time who she was. I was a young Protestant girl who knew that Mary was the mother of Jesus but we didn't have statues of her in our church so her image was not familiar to me. I somehow knew that she was a holy woman and that this visit was a special one but received no guidance from the adults around me. In fact, they called me a liar and ordered me to stop talking about it. My imagination was a little out of line, I was told often. I can't help but believe that the adults knew exactly who I was describing and closed their minds to the possibility of her coming to me, a child of 12 and a Protestant to boot. About 30 years later, I would see her again in a Catholic church holding her arms out to me with that loving look of peace on her face. She looked the same as she did 30 years before and my life was forever changed.

I bring this up because it helps me explain that I do believe that Mary came to Annie Kirkwood and gave her the messages in this book. The Mother Mary has come to many people for hundreds of years. Some of her apparitions have been confirmed by the church while many others have been dismissed. Mary tells Annie that the men of the church often times dismissed her visits and messages because they didn't want the people to hear what she had said, warned of, or predicted. They had their own agenda and her visits didn't fit. This is one of the reasons that Mary chose Annie, she was not a Catholic; not affiliated with any particular denomination. She had a faithful heart and a good prayer life. She might be able to reach people of all cultures, all races, and all religions.

In the book, Mary makes predictions and warns of changes in the earth. She tells of the increase in earthquakes, volcanoes and hurricanes. She warns of the climate changes with droughts and floods. Weather that is unusual and unpredictable. She describes much of what we have and are witnessing right now and in the recent past.

Now, I should explain that in the book that was published in 1991 the predictions were all to come to pass by the end of that century. This is where people will begin to scoff; but hold on! Not so fast! Mary also explains that the "end" can be postponed if people heed her warnings and begin to prepare. Mary explains that we all need to connect with God, we need to pray, communicate and love ourselves and the rest of the world. It is a simple message but not one many people will pay attention to.

Mary has told Annie since the first publication of the book that the "end" has been postponed due to the prayers and connection of so many people. When I use the term "end"; I'm not saying that the earth will end. No, it will change dramatically, though. Life as we know it will change drastically but that is actually a good thing. This goes along with the predictions of the Native Americans who have been saying for a few decades now that we will be entering into the next world soon. It also goes along with the Book of Revelations in the Bible. Mary even mentions John's writing to Annie.

As I said in the beginning of this review, the book will not appeal to everyone. However, if you are open to spiritual growth and want to grow in your faith; I recommend that you read this book. I believe it will touch your heart, sooth your fears, and help you become the person that you were meant to be.





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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Two Movie Reviews "Just Let Go" and "Amish Grace"

Just Let GoJust Let Go

Just Let Go (Based on a True Story)


During the Lenten Season, I try to look for movies, books, music and other kinds of media, that makes me think! As a practicing Christian that is part of what the Lenten Season is for me.

It is a time to reflect and recognize my shortcomings and ask for the grace to become a stronger person in faith. To that end, I watched this movie, "Just Let Go" with the hopes that it would inspire me.

Just Let Go, features Henry Ian Cusick and Brenda Vaccaro in a couple of the leading roles. You will recognize both of these actors if you were a fan of 70's and 80's TV.
Based on a true story, It asks the tough questions. Can you forgive? Not an easy matter when your family has been decimated by a drunk driver.

The movie takes you to places that no one wants to visit.

When we hear the news reports of a drunk driver taking out a family and then walking away from the accident unscathed, we are appalled and angry!  How can this happen?  Why wasn't the drunk driver the one killed?  Our sense of justice is immediately put to the test.  I'm sure more than one would fail because we just can't see the Justice in that situation.  The bigger question is, if it happened to us, "Could we Forgive"?

As Christians that is what we are called to do, forgiveness is a large part of our core beliefs. But, if that were our family, could we forgive?

This movie tries to show what happens when we do take that time to work through our grief and let the anger and need for retribution go. Is it easy? Never in a million years would it be easy, but for our own sense of sanity, it might be necessary.  So ask yourself again, Can you Forgive?


Amish Grace (Based on a True Story)

Amish Grace by 20th Century Fox by Gregg ChampionAmish Grace by 20th Century Fox by Gregg Champion
In the same vein, "Amish Grace" is also a movie about forgiving those who have wronged us by their actions.

Not quite the same scenario as Just let Go, but with the same results. Many families were totally broken apart by one person's actions. How do you come to terms with those actions and the consequences of those actions?

The Amish, whose faith revolves around the "Our Father Prayer" has a strong connection with forgiveness.  They live the words of the prayer, especially,  "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us!"

They reached out to the widow of the shooter, recognizing that she also had her life turned upside down by the actions of her husband.

They did not turn their backs on her because of her relationship with the man who shot their innocent children. They forgave him and opened their hearts to the women left behind and her family. Could we do the same?

These are tough questions for Christians all through the year, but especially at the Lenten times when we are called to witness and proclaim our faith by our lives. We need to take the time to look at these hard questions!  It's a good barometer for our faith lives to see where we need to do more work.


My Conclusions


Of these two movies, I preferred Amish Grace as the whole story and the reactions were much more real to me than that portrayed in Just Let Go.

That may be due in part because of my own feelings.  I would be much more outraged and seeking some form of retribution. Just Let Go, seems to get to the point of forgiveness far too quickly.  My reactions would have been far more gut wrenching.  (My husband seems to think that's because I'm an extrovert!)
But that is my opinion. I'm hoping you will watch both movies and let me know how you feel.

The Bottom Line and the One that is the Hardest to Live is that:


Forgiveness is the Key to Happiness in this life. Both of these movies make you aware of that fact.
Is it easy to do? Not a chance, but then so many things that are worthwhile to do are not easy either!




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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas - The Needed Power of Faith

Faith is the bird that feels the light and
sings when the dawn is still dark
FAITH

The greatest gift we can give or are willing to receive is Faith.

Faith holds the secret key to the universe.

Think of all the things we treasure but cannot see: Those untouchable, intangible valuables that matter most and ultimately hold the power of good to shape our world.

Love - We feel it, we know it's real but we cannot touch it, bottle it, sell it, or earn money from it. It's the biggest, richest gift anyone can receive and it comes straight from faith in ourselves that it exists.

Compassion - We all matter. Every single soul on earth matters. No one is greater than another and the gift of compassion shows we have faith in and believe in this untouchable energy.

Hope - Without hope, we cannot have faith. Even though hope in our hearts is not visible to those who walk by us, our body language, our energy and our demeanor have the power to pass along the gift of hope. All of it, unseen, yet felt. One life touches another every single day.

Like butter and eggs, the years blend together. Before we know it we've lived through over 50 or more Christmases. No matter the number we've had, each one blends into the other and over-time, our traditions shape us and our family.

Our children and extended family are the carriers of our roots, and passing along even the smallest sense of tradition in today's crazy-busy world has more value than decades ago.

This year, let us pass along the greatest gift, especially to our children ... the priceless Gift of Faith.

Enjoy this beautiful song by Tim McGraw, Humble & Kind - Song Review can be found here, and most of all....

Merry Christmas xxoo







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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Book Review of Tabitha (Girls from the Mountain Book 1)



Tabitha's Story is One of God's Grace


In this Christian novel by Vikki Kestell, young Tabitha had to deal with situations so horrible that it hurt to read about them. Yes, Tabitha did bring it on herself by running away from home with Cray for a more exciting life than she had with her parents in their home near a Texas creek. She was fourteen and bored with her monotonous life. Cray promised riches and adventure.

Book Review of Tabitha (Girls from the Mountain Book 1)
Book Review of Tabitha: Girls from the Mountain Book 1
Image from Pixabay,  and Modified


Tabitha knew her parents did not approve of Cray. They had warned her that he had no sense and that he was a wild dreamer. Still, he was able to persuade Tabitha to run away with him to the Arizona gold fields. Even though Tabitha knew running away wasn't right, Cray's flattery about her beautiful red hair and milky complexion, as well as his promise to marry her in a church wedding as soon as they made their fortune, convinced her to ignore her conscience.

She had learned the difference between right and wrong from her parents. She knew she was rebelling when she left with Cray. What she never dreamed was that he would so completely betray her that only the grace of a God she hadn't met could save her.




Palmer House


Palmer House, a Denver ministry to young women and girls such as Tabitha, rescues them. When we meet Rose Thoresen, the administrator and counselor of Palmer House in 1911, she is 63. Tabatha, who is the oldest of Rose's “girls,” is now thirty. She has nine weeks to go before her new nursing school term begins in Boulder and she wants some project to keep her busy. Rose convinces her to tell her story of her journey to faith in Christ, including the mistakes she made before her rescue and arrival at Palmer House.

Book Review of Tabitha (Girls from the Mountain Book 1)


Rose said she would help by writing down notes as Tabitha told her story. It would then be edited and Tabatha could read it and suggest any changes before it was made into a small book to keep at Palmer House and for the use of other residents who had not yet entered a relationship with Christ. Much of what follows is part of her story. (Image above from Open ClipArt-Vectors on Pixabay, text added on PicMonkey)


Arizona and Beyond


We first see Tabitha in Arizona as she waits in the heat of the desert beside Cray's tent for him to come home for the dinner she has prepared. But he doesn't come. The claim he had paid for in this uninhabitable land had no gold left to find, so Cray had spent all he had in the nearest mining town of Fullman on supplies. They had only a two-week supply of food and water. They had found a patch of land near the only stream and camped there. When we meet Tabitha there, she has been there for two weeks. There are no other humans around. She is in the desert alone.


By this time Tabitha had been with Cray for a few months. He had kept saying he'd find the gold and then go back to Texas and buy land and cattle. Tabitha was the only one who continued to speak of marriage. They often quarreled. Cray was finding no gold, though he went to look for it every morning and returned sullen and distant. On the morning of the fifteenth day on the campsite, Cray seemed happier as he left. He packed his gear on the mule, along with extra water for her. He ate the breakfast Tabitha had prepared, and took the lunch she had packed for him. He even said goodbye to her, which he'd not bothered to do for a while. As he left, he'd told her “Goodbye, Tabitha. You wish me well now.'


Book Review of Tabitha (Girls from the Mountain Book 1)
Book Review of Tabitha
Photo from Morgue File, Modified



Cray did not come home that night. The next morning Tabitha walked to his dig to find his tools and the mule gone. She knew then he would not come back. He had left her alone in the desert. She crouched in her tent for the rest of the day, alternately sobbing and ranting in anger over his desertion. She tried to figure out how to survive. She knew her only hope was to walk back to Fullman, a day's journey. It was not a reputable town. Tabitha thought that maybe she would find Cray there and he would take her back.

Instead, when she thought she had been rescued by another woman, she learned that Cray had sold her into prostitution as payment for new supplies. She also learned that escape only brought beatings and threats of worse punishments. She died inside and at one point was tempted to take her own life.

Rescued by the Grace of God


Although Tabitha had not yet met the Lord, she heard a street preacher while she was being transferred from one brothel to another. She did not know the meaning of what she heard, but the preacher had looked right at her and said that Jesus could save even her. She held onto those words and cried out to this Jesus she did not know for help. One night that help came, and she arrived at Palmer House. While there, as Rose and the other staff loved her and taught her, she finally trusted herself to Jesus and decided to spend the rest of her life following him.


After Palmer House


I don't want to reveal more of the plot here because I don't want to spoil it. Much of the action occurs during World War I. We watch as Tabitha faces enemies during her nursing school education, and as she decides what to do about a very persistent suitor – a rich man who is a benefactor of Palmer House, the nursing school, and an orphanage. Even knowing her background doesn't discourage him. Later they both go overseas separately to serve in the war in different locations.

How Reading Tabitha Affected Me


The book's theme – how the grace of God can overcome evil – was well executed. I found myself thanking God again for the blessing of a normal childhood with parents who loved me and the opportunity to learn about Jesus while still young.

I was outraged to see how young women, still in their early teens, were enslaved as prostitutes with no hope of escape. I'm even more outraged that this still happens today, outside of novels, in our large cities, as pimps befriend runaways and then bully and enslave them. I just read today that in a county where we once lived and still own property detectives just broke up a ring of suspected human traffickers. In this case the victims were Chinese and here on visas.

Daniel Walker, who worked undercover for many nonprofit organizations to rescue today's enslaved prostitutes, has written God in a Brothel to describe his experiences freeing women and children from the sex trade in the United States. You can read it for a nonfiction perspective on how Christians still rescue those who cannot help themselves.

I often found myself in tears as I watched Tabitha's struggle with the consequences of her wrong choice so early in life and as I later watched her grieve the loss of the one she loved.

My Review


Although some may find the style sentimental and Tabitha almost too good to be true in her later life, she does model servant leadership. She is serious about making up for the lost years with her obedience in her later life as a Christian. Toward the end of the book she faces the ultimate test of her faith, but I won't be a spoiler.

The biggest weakness I saw in the book was that many characters seemed unrealistically good or evil. Yet I know that very godly and very wicked people do exist. Tabitha was the most well-developed character, and I found myself wanting her to be successful and eventually marry Carpenter. We don't see enough of Mason Carpenter, her benefactor and love interest, to get to know him very well, since most of the time the two are away from each other. We do see that he's the perfect gentleman, always helping everyone and doing good. I couldn't help but like him, but it was  hard to believe he was so perfect.

The author was very good at tying all the loose ends of the plot together in a satisfying way. I was able to predict some plot elements I was sure would be there, and I was happy that the author agreed with me.

This historical Christian romance reminds Christians of how God reaches out to all of us.  Those who may be searching for meaning in life, who have no hope left because of their past mistakes, may find hope as they read this book. Tabitha illustrates the power of God to cause a person be reborn to a new and living hope.

Vikki Kestell also wrote the A Prairie Heritage Series. It explains some of what occurs before and after the events in Tabatha. You will see some of the same characters' stories unfolding in A Prairie Heritage Series. Tabitha fits between Stolen and Lost Are Found. You might want to pick up the entire series and read Tabitha where it fits best chronologically.







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Monday, July 13, 2015

Hiking Through Book Review


Hiking Through
Hiking Through is a bitter, sweet, and victorious story of Paul Stutzman's new beginnings on the Appalachian Trail. He had dreamed of hiking the trail and after the death of his wife, he began that hike. As someone who has worked to continue living during the dark hours of profound grief and loss, who has questioned the presence of God, and who believes nature heals us, I found this book to be both entertaining and soothing.


One Man's Journey to Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail


Paul Stutzman was raised in an Amish and Mennonite community. He attended church regularly and lived a quietly Christian life. Paul married a "liberal" Mennonite gal named Mary, raised a family, and was successful in the restaurant business. Life rolled along as expected until Mary passed away from cancer. She lost that battle and his faith in an active God was shaken.

He chose the trail name Apostle Paul and began the 2,176 mile hike from Georgia to Maine. When asked about his trail name on that first day he replied, "Apostle Paul. I'm hiking to Damascus, hoping for an enlightening experience. Damascus, Virginia, that is. Then on to Maine."


Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail


I have read several AT thru-hike memoirs.  They have been decent reads. But there is something about Paul's story-telling and documentation of the trail that I found interesting.  I have a basic understanding of protecting your food supply by hanging it in the trees, trying to pack the lightest pack possible and yet have sufficient supplies, and pitching a tent in the rain. Even so, I had imagined the AT as an arduous but well-kept, longer version of other park trails.  

I was wrong.

Paul's descriptions of the wide variety of shelters, weather, and trail conditions kept me engrossed in this book.  He described fording rivers, slipping from narrow board walkways into mucky bogs, and scrabbling over house-sized boulders.  I am certain I have a more clear understanding of the AT trail after reading his descriptions.  I am more familiar with the terms blue blazing, slack-packing, and hike your own hike. 


God and Faith


I do not typically read Christian literature and at the first sign of bible thumping or attempts to save my soul from the fire and brimstone I run the other way. I have beliefs and a certain level of faith, but I have no desire to be lectured by other humans who are as flawed as I am. Typically, as soon as I understand that a book is "religious", I shut it and put it aside.

Some reviewers make statements along the lines of 'I didn't realize God was going to be a main character in this story' (paraphrased). Apostle Paul makes frequent references to his conservative up-bringing, his understanding of the church the requirements to avoid sin, and his questioning of God. After all, why does God let our loved ones suffer and die? And do nothing to stop it?  Paul looked for signs of an active God along the trail.

However, I didn't feel lectured or Bible-thumped. I felt fully as though I were watching a man find his way. And in his search I learned a thing or two.  At the one point in the book that he summarizes his thoughts on God and the trail, he gives the reader permission to blue blaze, and skip that section. Oddly enough, I read every word.

Paul did find his signs that God exists and is active. He found those signs in the dancing of the leaves on the trees. And in the earth-shaking storm that threatened to take his very existence. 
"I was terrified of the storm but I was not terrified of dying. I actually felt at peace with the possibility. I clung to the tree, on my knees in streaming water, wind tearing at my body, rain and hail pounding me. I hung on. I knew God was there."

A Good Read About One Man, One Long Hike, and Faith


If a memoir (not a technical how-to) about the Appalachian Trail interests you, if you have ever lost a loved one and questioned the existence of God, or if you have ever struggled with living a more peaceful life, you will likely enjoy this book as much as I did. 


Other Thru-Hiking Memoirs and Trail Resources:


Paul Stutzman -- The official website of Paul Stutzman. Read about what he's done since thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. 

Trail Journals -- an online community of hikers as they prepare and hike. Read about their hiking gear, their preparation, and their journal entries while on the trail. 

Movie Review of Wild -- The story of Cheryl Strayed and her thru-hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. Another hiker in search of something. Watch as Cheryl finds herself. 











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