January is a good time to read, to help power down after the activities of the holiday season it's good to cozy up with a quilt and a good book when it is cold. It is even cold here in Florida, we get cold fronts that move down from the north, then move on after a few days (hopefully!)

This is the book I started reading a few days ago while on vacation. I’m reading it very slowly. A friend of mine recommended this book, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read it, but my curiosity was up because she was so touched while reading it. She would get tears in her eyes as she told our Faith Sharing Group about reading it. She felt God was speaking to her through the characters of this book. She won’t lend her book because it means so much to her, and because she has it highlighted and bookmarked so much.

The paragraph below is from the back cover of the book:

(Mack) Mackenzie Allen Philips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever. In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant "The Shack" wrestles with the timeless question, "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?" The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You'll want everyone you know to read this book!

The following paragraphs are from a review on Amazon.com by “Homeschool Mom.” I'm not sure that is the correct name as I went back to see and couldn't find it. I borrowed what she wrote so I wouldn't have to type it (remember I have a bum thumb!)

The Shack is not about theology or religion, but about the sweetness of an intimate relationship with God through Christ

Mack is reminded of basic truths found in God's word that he allowed forgot during his great sadness. The truths are given in an unconditional casual conversation format that may make some people uncomfortable. Mack learns that he doesn't really trust God and "Trust is the fruit of a relationship where you know you are loved" (p 126).

Mack discovers that God's desires an intimate love relationship with each of us. He learns God wants him to spend time with Him and intimately communicate with Him, to enjoy fellowship with Him, to trust and follow Him, and to give his life meaning and purpose.

He learns that God can use all things, even sin and evil to develop this relationship for good (Romans 8:28). Mack discovers the depth of God's grace (Ephesians 2:4-5) . He learns that he can not be self-sufficient and realizes he has been made acceptable through Jesus Christ and Him alone.

He learns he will not find God through guilt or condemnation. He understands God is lovingly and patiently waiting on Him to submit (1 Peter 5:7).

Mack is reminded of the two most important commands--to love God and love others (John 13:35). Mack already knows he must forgive others as Christ forgave Him but in the shack he is helped through the process.

Mack learns God works through everything including our brokenness and sadness (Philippians 3:8). When we are separated from our prideful flesh (the carnal, corrupted life) through grace and allow the Holy Spirit to work in us He will gradually bring us to the restful place of humble dependence, wherein we can consistently receive the grace that leads to intimacy. Beautiful, loving intimacy!

Mack learns God wants us to be made complete in Christ (John 6:44-45). God wants us to be of one mind with Him. God wants us to make His ways our ways, His thoughts our thoughts. I came away from the book feeling loved and secure with a strong desire to cultivate my relationship with God through His Word. How can that be a bad thing? Written by “Homeschool Mom.” (Thank you!)

Have you read this book? What is your opinion of it? I’m only about half way through the book. I want to start highlighting it, then re-read it.

May you have a very Happy New Year with many blessings!!



Clif said...

Glad you're back! I left a comment about this book on one of your blogs before you left, so I won't comment on it again. I don't know why you can't leave a comment on my blog but I will check a few things. I hope I can get it corrected. I don't want to miss your comments.

Anonymous said...

I read this book and thought it was very interesting. Although I don't agree with some of the theology I still enjoyed it. It was certainly different.
Hope you have a good time at Disney World. We went there once several years ago. Would love to go again. We've been to Disneyland about a jillion times and we always enjoy it.

Kathy said...

Everyone is talking about The Shack! It's the next book I'm going to read. Thanks for the review, Katherine.

Adrienne said...

Hi Katherine -
I read The Shack a bit more than a year ago. Then I met the author when he spoke at my Friend To Friend meeting where I led worship and sang some special music. He was back again last month as our special speaker. This time he played his guitar and sang as well as sharing. When he arrived I was playing my keyboard and he came to the front and hugged me! Told me he was so glad to see me again. He and I have mutual friends and his parents were missionaries in the same denomination as my father served as pastor. It's a small world!

I think I will reread the book again soon - given the recent events in our family it will be a good one to process through. And in time I want my daughter to read it, too. The question of where is God in the bad 'stuff' and the picture of a relationship of love with Him is appropriate for all of us.

Clif said...

ALWAYS glad to see a comment from Katherine. Four is even better than one!

PEA said...

I haven't read this book but you're the third blogger to mention it so it seems quite a few people are reading it:-) I use to love reading but the last few years I've gotten away from it...I should try to get back into it because I'm sure I'm missing some good books! xoxo

Anonymous said...

Hi it's me again. I just tagged you.

A Romantic Porch said...

I've heard of this book and contemplated reading it. Could my sensitive heart stand it? xo rachel

Nikki via The Scarlett Rose Garden said...

Everyone is giving rave reviews on this book... except my girlfriend I work with. She didn't even finish it. As one of your commenters said, she didn't agree with his theology,ect.

I'll be anxious to see what you think.

Right now I'm reading Wednesday's Letters... just got started.

Love Bears All Things said...

I haven't read it but I suggested it for our book club for 2009. I'll probably read it even if they decide against it.
As to the disagreement with the theolory some of your commentors mention, I am able to read books such as this with an open mind. We don't any of us believe exactly the same on some issues. I don't believe I will be swayed from what I know is true just by reading a book. I read all of the Left Behind series and enjoyed them. I think I learned much from them. My Dad, however, refused to read them after he read a little of the first one becsuse he said he didn't see the end times in the same way. He had a problem about the sinners left behind being saved.
Sounds like you are enjoying the book if you are wanting to highlight and reread it.
Mama Bear

A Hint of Home said...

Hi K-K,

Jonas told his mother yesterday about you. It came out of the blue. Sarah thought it was cute that he remembered you.
I have not heard of this book but I'm going to try to obtain a copy.
Hope you guys made it back safely.

Susan said...

Just beautiful Katherine!

A Hint of Home said...

Hi Katherine,

I just tagged you if you care to play. No pressure. Rules on my blog.
Have a happy weekend.

Gayle @ Mountainmoma said...

I reviewed this book last week on my blog as well. It was just so good, I had to talk about it! What a lovely blog you have, I will have to stop by and visit again.

Joy said...

I have it on reserve at the library. I have heard a lot of good things about it.