Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tyndale Publishers Book Review: Craving Grace by Lisa Velthouse

Craving Grace is the true story of a faith dramatically changed: how in one woman's life God used the sweetness of honey to break through stale religious practices and hollow goodness, revealing the stunning wonder that is God's grace.

Binding:              Hardcover
ISBN:                 978-1-4143-3577-3
List Price:           $16.99
Release Date:     May 2011
Page Count:        272

Craving Grace is a memoir about faith, failure and her search for sweetness.  The premise of this book is the author's struggle and experiences while fasting from sugar, which she refers to as the Honey Project.
"I began fasting from sweets, and suddenly I started having trouble being good.  I started having a lot of trouble being good.  Wherever I turned, I was making mistakes, hurting people, being misunderstood, and making a mess of things.  This didn't make sense, because I was still trying to behave in the same careful way I had always behaved."
Isn't this the case?  In that we earnestly seek to win God's approval by our works.  We tell ourselves if we could only try a little bit harder, follow all the rules and be more disciplined, that maybe, just maybe we'll get His attention.  

We go about assigning ourselves rules and regulations believing that if we do it flawlessly and without fail, He will love us more and/or answer our prayers. Thankfully, that's not how grace works. Grace isn't something we can earn, but something He gives to us freely.    

The following excerpt capsulizes this book for me:
"Having been accepted--more than accepted, loved--by God for exactly who they are, they can be less afraid of being rejected by people, less afraid of knowing and being known.  Understanding that Christ became vulnerable for them to the point of death, they allow themselves to be vulnerable too.  As recipients of God's grace, they themselves become more gracious, less judgmental toward others.  They learn to accept and relish the truth that no one person is more deserving of God than any other.  This shatters walls everywhere."
Here is a short video of Lisa Velthouse discussing Craving Grace vs The Law.

Overall, I think Lisa Velthouse is a good writer and her memoir Craving Grace is an interesting read.  However, what I didn't anticipate was how the chapters didn't follow in sequence, but jumped around a lot.  I honestly didn't enjoy that aspect of the book and personally found it to be counterintuitive.

In conclusion, I would recommend this book to young adult single women.  

I want to personally extend a big thank you to Stephanie S. Smith of (In)dialogue Communications and Tyndale Publishers for sending me a complimentary copy of this book to review.


Lisa Velthouse is a freelance writer and speaker who has been working in communications and ministry for over a decade. She got her start in publishing at the age of 17 when she was selected from over 1,000 applicants to write a year's worth of columns for Brio magazine. While writing for Brio, Lisa began speaking at national evangelical events for teens, and she also came up with the idea for her first book, Saving My First Kiss, which was published shortly after she turned 21. In the years that followed, she worked as a ghostwriter and then served two years on staff at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan.

A believer in God all of her life, Lisa began to feel disenchanted about him during her mid-twenties. So for six months she fasted from sweets in an attempt to learn that God could be sweet. At the start of her fast, she doubted that the process would result in much more than mere discipline, if that. But half a year later, her life and her faith had been transformed. She could see for the first time that God's story is a story of grace, and she was surprised to find that God's grace is the only true sweetness. In her newest book, a memoir titled Craving Grace, Lisa tells the story of her sweets fast and of how life changed for her afterward.

Lisa's writing has been noted in Publishers Weekly and Focus on the Family publications, and she has been a guest on numerous nationwide radio and television programs. Her travels in speaking have taken her across the United States and abroad. She is married to Nathan, an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps; they live wherever military assignments take them. Read more from Lisa at http://lisavelthouse.com.

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