Friday, October 09, 2009

Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom-my thoughts



I did not expect to like this book.


Not sure why. Normally general non-fiction is not my forte and I'm far from fond of memoirs.

But this story hit me at a pivotal time in my life as far as the current state of my own faith. I've been spending lots of time with God lately and because all of my children are in school now, there's been more hours to just soak in Him and soak Him in. I'm experiencing the sweet, tender moments of prolonged pressing into His presence.

It's been good. Refreshing.

But God is constantly workin' on us, ya know?

He's been working on me with hope. Teaching me how. I won't lie to you...it's been hard and hard to understand. He commands me to hope. This is an encouragement because when God speaks (commands), He also creates the ability to do so.

A few months ago I felt about to enter a time of testing with my hope. I turned in some book proposals and my normal defense mechanism against the many rejections writers (pubbed and unpubbed) have to face along their journey was to simply not allow myself to get my hopes up. If I refused let myself hope for the contracts, then I wouldn't be disappointed if they fell through, right?

God, knowing me so well, said, "I want you to hope for this. And hope hard, with everything in you. Don't hold back and don't hold out on me. Pull out all the stops. Hope."

Well of course my first thought was that the contracts were probably going to go through and this was God, in a Daddy-fashion, being excited and anticipated for me for the blessings He was about to bestow.

Well, I was right and wrong in my thinking.

He was about to bestow a blessing but not the one I expected. I envisioned book contracts and getting to create many new characters.

He envisioned creating more of MY character. More molding, shaping, squishing--like clay--pliable.

So I had a choice on the front end of this. I could hope or I could hide behind my usual defense mech.

It's always best to obey God because, well, just...trust me...you don't want to NOT obey God. Yucky things happen and He will upend your life if He has to in order to help you see His side of things. I'm sure Jonah would concur.

So I hoped. And hoped. And hoped. Without holding back. I even put out faith markers to prove my hope to God. Told all my friends I'd submitted the stories and really hoped for the contract. Everyone in my life became excited for me. I was excited for me. It felt good to hope. And not because I was sure I would get the contracts. It felt good to hope because I'd been afraid to before and for the first time, fear didn't hold me back from hoping. THAT felt better than anything. Even better than a book contract.

Which was a very good thing because they all fell through. No contracts. All rejections. LOL!

What does all this have to do with Mitch Albom's book?

Everything.

This book was sent to me by the publicity department of Hyperion books. I'm saying that for two reasons. One, the Federal Trade Commission, starting in Dec will require me to. And two, because I want to get used to adding not only that disclaimer but this one: I don't post bad reviews. I am a reviewer for several publishers, it's true. But, I warn them upfront: if I don't like the book, I won't post a public review, I will send it privately to them. A lot of people would disagree with me but as an author I can't bring myself to slam an another author publically. This is why most reviews that you sese from me are positive. I'm an honest reviewer, you just won't hear me talk about the books I didn't like...and trust me there are many.

Back to what my faith walk has to do with Mitch Albom's book:

Because this book arrived the day I received the most disappointing rejection. And guess what this book talked about most in my mind?

Hope.

One line, that has Velcroed itself to my heart, said: "I am in love with hope."

This book was a gift from God to me. It taught me to hope. It brought comfort and a sense of everything's-under-control even though God commanded me to hope on purpose then allowed disappointment to come on purpose.

Still not sure what all He's trying to teach me, but I'm getting it. And that's more valuable to me than a book contract. That my hope stayed intact despite that He intentionally left it unmet was the true treasure AKA blessing.

This book will be a bestseller. It has to. It should be. Everyone needs to be able to hope. This book will do that, enable. I love that the publisher/author included photos in the book so I could see the people whose lives so beautifully intersected in this book. You meet people on purpose. People go in and out of our lives. It's fulfilling and painful at the same time. But the impressions people leave with us and the little pieces of themselves when they choose to invest in us and we let them is something no one can take away from us. This book captures the way we impact others. How our lives can mean something to someone else simply because we are we and they are they. No two people are alike and the truth is we need each other.

God meant it that way.

This story is beautiful mostly because it's about life. About how life should be. When I uploaded the publicity photo for this book, the file was simply named "half."

That struck me as odd until I figured out in blonde-who-hasn't had her second cup of coffee yet-fasion that HALF is the acronym for the title. How ironic and so symbolic. HALF. Hope is half us and half God because He imparts the ability to a degree but then we have to do our part by CHOOSING to hope and not let the fact that we hope or not depend on circumstances. This story will help you do that.

Get this book!

And hope.

Cheryl Wyatt
www.cherylwyatt.com

Have a Little Faith is ON SALE NOW!!!


More about the author:

A-list author Mitch Albom is an author, playwright, journalist, and screenwriter who has written six books, including the international bestseller Tuesdays with Morrie, the bestselling memoir of all time. His first two novels, The Five People You Meet in Heaven and For One More Day, were instant number-one New York Times bestsellers. All three books were made into acclaimed TV films. Mitch oversees three charities in Detroit. He lives with his wife, Janine, in Michigan. Ten percent of the profits from this ook will go to Hole in the Roof Foundation, which helps refurbish places of worship that aid the homeless. www.aholeintheroof.com

Mitch's books have sold over 30 million copies of worldwide. He has been interviewed and his books have been featured on Oprah Winfrey Show (as a featured book club selection) and made appearances on The Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, and Larry King Live. Albom was Ted Koppel's final guest on Nightline. Tuesdays with Morrie remained on The New York Times bestseller list for 205 weeks and is now the bestselling memoir of all time. Albom is a former sports writer for the Associated Press and is a contributing editor for Parade
Magazine.

In Have a Little Faith, Albom offers a beautifully written story of a remarkable eight-year journey between two worlds--two men, two faiths, two communities--that will inspire readers everywhere.

More about the book:

OVERVIEW OF HAVE A LITTLE FAITH-provided by Side Door Communications/Pure Publicity

What if our beliefs were not what divided us, but what pulled us together?


Have a Little Faith begins with an unusual request: an eighty-two-year-old rabbi from Albom's old hometown asks him to deliver his eulogy. Feeling unworthy, Albom insists on understanding the man better, which throws him back into a world of faith he'd left years ago. Meanwhile, closer to his current home, Albom becomes involved with a Detroit pastor--a reformed drug dealer and convict--who preaches to the poor and homeless in a decaying church with a hole in its roof.

Moving between their worlds, Christian and Jewish, African-American and white, impoverished and well-to-do, Albom observes how these very different men employ faith similarly in fighting for survival: the older, suburban rabbi embracing it as death approaches; the younger, inner-city pastor relying on it to keep himself and his church afloat.

As America struggles with hard times and people turn more to their beliefs, Albom and the two men of God explore issues that perplex modern man: how to endure when difficult things happen; what heaven is; intermarriage; forgiveness; doubting God; and the importance of faith in trying times. Although the texts, prayers, and histories are different, Albom begins to recognize a striking unity between the two worlds--and indeed, between beliefs everywhere.

In the end, as the rabbi nears death and a harsh winter threatens the pastor's wobbly church, Albom sadly fulfills the rabbi's last request and writes the eulogy. And he finally understands what both men had been teaching all along: the profound comfort of believing in something bigger than yourself.

Have a Little Faith is a book about a life's purpose; about losing belief and finding it again; about the divine spark inside us all. It is one man's journey, but it is everyone's story.

5 comments:

Annette O'Hare said...

Great post Cheryl. Like you, I don't consider myself much of a non-fiction reader. That is until I read "90 Minutes In Heaven." Now it seems a whole new world of books has opened up to me. You make this book sound very interesting and having suffered the rejection process of the "unpublished" for quite a few years now, maybe this is what I need to hear. Thank you for introducing this book.

Kathleen L. said...

Cheryl, I may or may not read this book, but I did appreciate your blog post. What caught my attention was your line about God telling you to get your hopes up, knowing in his foreknowledge things would not turn out the way you had hoped. That resonates with me. Had a similar thing happen myself with my husband's job last year, and I did not have or keep the victory of hope like you. I'm just starting to regain it, though--my hope, that is. I'll pray for you, since I know how hard this can be. I hope your season of waiting is shorter than ours has been. And that you have unexpected joy in your journey.
Blessings to you.
Kathy

Project Journal said...

Wow nice post Cheryl! I saw this in Borders this past weekend...it sounded very good. I actually suspect that my mom bought it for me for Christmas : )

I've read his other books and they're all very good, too. We had to read one in Freshmen English Adv.
TTYL!
Hannah

Lisa Goich-Andreadis said...

If you're a fan of HAVE A LITTLE FAITH, and a fan of Mitch Albom's, here's a great charity Mitch started to repair Pastor Henry Covington's church roof. All it takes is a small donation ($5, $10, $25) to help repair the roof of the Pilgrim Church in Detroit that Pastor Covington runs before Michigan winter sets in. Any money over and above the $20,000 needed, will go to other places of worship in need of repair. Check out the A HOLE IN THE ROOF FOUNDATION'S webpage at:

http://mitchalbom.com/service/node/5646

No donation is too small!!

Patrina said...

Cheryl,
in searching your blog to get to know you...I came across this post. And it was the post that showed me a deeper view of you. I loved the post. I loved your candid honesty. I loved the way you described your relationship with God and His with you.

This is the reason I blog...to encourage people in the Lord and to be encouraged as well. The following is a very deep but simple truth. You said, and I quote:

"You meet people on purpose. People go in and out of our lives. It's fulfilling and painful at the same time. But the impressions people leave with us and the little pieces of themselves when they choose to invest in us and we let them is something no one can take away from us. This book captures the way we impact others. How our lives can mean something to someone else simply because we are we and they are they. No two people are alike and the truth is we need each other."

This was a profound statement. We may never know how our simple words ...on a blog or in a book... has impacted another's life. But, that's why I write to encourage - I want to leave a lasting impact for Christ. I want to plant a seed that someone else might water - even though I may never see it grow.

"The truth is, we need each other"... Truth. That is what God intended when He created Adam and then Eve. Eve was created as a "helpmate" to Adam. We were never meant to go it alone. We were created for relationship -regardless of how long or short. Relationship first and foremost with God - our creator - and then with each other. I see us all as helpmates to each other in this journey through life.

I just want to encourage you today. I pray over my blog and my blogging experience. I ask that He guide me to those that He wants to encourage. All I can say is that today, He led me to you.

May you be encouraged today - not just by my words - but by the Love of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God's blessings be upon you for who you are and ever HOPE to be.

In Christ, there are no wrong turns. He gently guides you to the exact place that He's already prepared for you. He knows every possible route to His goal for your life, and He's placed road signs at specific points to get you there.

He will never leave you or forsake you. His love endures forever!

God speed!

Patrina