Today we launch a new blog series called Sanctuary Summer Book Club. I will be honest: I marvel at all of you girls who are digesting multiple books each month. I know, I don't have any more license to use the "where is all the time for that?" excuse than any of you! I guess I just don't crave reading enough to devote what little down time I have to flip those pages. My Bible app reads to me on my way to work each morning and I take in another round of the Word generally before my eyelids finally surrender to the weight and close for a good night's sleep. (And I might take in a little HGTV on occasion.)
But every now and again, a book will peak my interest and keep me coming back for several nights in a row, curled under my covers with a steaming cup of hot tea close at hand. If any book is going to grab my attention for more than a few chapters, it is generally a good autobiography. I like real stories. I want paragraphs to draw me in to someone's world, taking me on a journey from point A to point B. While we strive to avoid promoting any of the accolades of our Sanctuary leadership team, and my dear friend and Sanctuary sidekick, Casey Graves, is the last person to ever toot her own horn, I must confess her book, Perfectly Weak, was one of those page-turners for me.
Casey is a church planter's wife of 20 years and has walked through a few highs and lows, both in marriage and ministry. About 10 years ago, Casey and her husband, Justin, had received what felt like the final sucker punch to the gut in their ministerial stamina. One experience after another had left them both feeling vulnerable to the temptation to quit altogether. But, as Casey would put it, Justin followed the news "I got fired today" with "Well, we were asking God to do something. I guess this is His answer."
While Casey desired to hide, angry with God and hurt by His people, Justin decided this was the perfect opportunity for them to fulfill the call to plant a church that they had heard nearly ten years earlier as newlyweds. "Aside from being hurt, we had no obvious means of starting a church. We had no sponsors, no people, and absolutely no money. How would we even begin? It was way too scary for me and I was way too wounded to begin." But this continual admission of fear and anxiety did not squelch the stirring inside Justin, nor did it deter God from His continual prodding.
The place of surrender in Casey's heart began with a tearful conversation with God in the stillness of her darkened bedroom. "I heard God very clearly say, 'If you will just be willing, I will do the rest.'" And that is where this amazing journey began, the story that makes up her vulnerable, powerful, and authentic book. Perfectly Weak enlightens the readers to the very strength that comes from weakness when it is surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ. You'll take a deep breath with a renewed 'I can do this' perspective after reading this honest account of Casey's own experiences--both high's and low's.
This is ENTRY ONE in our July blog series, Sanctuary Summer Book Club. Each week we will feature reviews of some of our favorite reads and be giving away a copy of the featured book(s) for those who read AND comment below the entry. Want a copy of Casey's Perfectly Weak? Post a comment below and you'll be entered to win at the close of the week!
To purchase your own copy, order Perfectly Weak at Amazon.com.
Bridgette Tomlin, founder of Sanctuary, and her husband, Chresten, have been married for 20 years and have been in the ministry together for every single one of those years! (whew!) 19 of the 20 years have been spent in full-time evangelistic work, both stateside and overseas. They have two beautiful blonde babies--ages 13 and 8--and base out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Like many ministry wives she often feels like the red flag on the tug-of-war rope with the children on one end and her husband and the ministry on the other end! When she finds time for personal hobbies, Bridgette enjoys entertaining, blogging, singing, browsing the local antique shops, and sipping on a cup of hot tea for a few precious quiet moments. Her heart is to lead others to the authentic presence of God--through worship, through Word, and through one-on-one connection.