Heart Wide Open
Heart Wide Open: Trading Mundane Faith For An Exuberant Life With Jesus by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson wasn't on my list of top picks for books. In fact, I'd been seeing it for weeks, but always selected a different book that interested me more. I figured it was probably more of the same usual "be a better Christian" books: read your Bible, pray, and go to church. Then one day I felt led to choose this book. In fact, I felt like God was telling me I NEEDED to read this book. So ... I obeyed. Reluctantly. Grudgingly. I am so glad I did.
The description reads: "You believe in God. You’re trying to serve Him.
But do you know how to truly love Him—and let Him love you?
As a Bible-believing churchgoer, author Shellie Tomlinson harbored a secret in her good-girl heart. She longed for something more than routine faith; she wanted to love God with a genuine, all-consuming passion. So she got honest with Him: “I admit it. I don’t love you like I should, but I want to love you. Help me!”
In Heart Wide Open, Shellie invites you to answer the call of your restless heart and refuse to settle for anything less than the intimate friendship of God. Through her heartfelt and honest words, you’ll find practical inspiration to help you…
· exchange your “just enough Jesus” mindset for an all-out pursuit of Him
· put sizzle in your Bible study by asking God to show you the wonder of His Word
· trade formulaic devotions for a devoted life
Are you ready to stop struggling to make time for God and instead live every moment with God? Discover how to live with your heart wide open."
I immediately identified with Shellie's struggle as I began to read this book. She describes herself as being a "Church Lady" hypocrite - going through the motions, but not with a real heart of love for God. I think many people can struggle with this as they get into the "routine" of being a Christian - the newness of salvation wears off, and you can become lukewarm. I loved this quote from the book: "This sobering realization about the lameness of my own faith stared me down without blinking and prompted some serious soul searching. Why wasn't my faith satisfying? Why was it that my God and I were friendly acquaintances at best? Why didn't I know this One I called my Savior? Worse yet, why didn't I love him? Oh, I liked him well enough. I appreciated the gospel, and I was grateful for the promise of a secure eternity, but love this Jesus in the here and now? Not really. In light of all of my years of churching and being churched, I wondered how on earth that could be true."
There are so many wonderful quotes and thoughts in this book, I'd suggest reading it with a highlighter in hand. Grab your Bible, a notebook, and a pen, too, because there's a Study Guide and Discussion Questions (that you can answer by yourself or in a group) in the back, as well. I'd recommend reading this book slowly and meditating on each chapter. Let the verses and truths sink into your heart. This is such an important book and can be life changing if you allow it to be. I can't recommend it enough. You won't be disappointed! I have to add that the cover is absolutely beautiful as well. It makes the book even more appealing.
I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.