This fascinating short book is less than 150 pages, yet it is chuck full of blessings and truth. Have you ever wondered how a loving God, a just God, a perfect God can possibly live and accept your imperfections and past? Have you ever thought to yourself that it’s just too late for forgiveness, or why God could possibly want to be around you? You may think you’ve blown it for good, but this author, Ms. Blondina Jeffrey, says otherwise. And she backs it up with her experience and God’s own Word.
Ms. Jeffrey and her husband Alfred serve as volunteer facilitators for Prison Fellowship Ministries at a correctional facility in South Florida. They have experienced innumerable blessings from their work there. Ms. Jeffrey shares many of those blessings with us in her book as she clearly and succinctly outlines for us how to live joyfully and abundantly in spite of ourselves and our past. If you are a flawed human being, or have ever said “oops!” sometime in your life, this book is for you! It’s filled with practical advice, knowledge, and so much joy.
There are only 9 chapters, introduction, prologue and epilogue. It’s set up so that each chapter covers a crucial topic. Think of it like a banquet filled with yummy, tasty food that’s healthy and good for you. Perhaps one chapter is meat, another fruit, and yet another some vegetables. All important information for us to know, shared with us intelligently, building one upon another until there is a firm platform for us to stand on. The writer talks with us as friends, co-workers in Christ, and brothers and sisters in God’s family. She draws a little from some of her favorite books, some favorite hymn writers, and from experience. All of it is sound truth from the Scriptures. And while she’s building up the platform, she also dispels many misunderstandings and myths that sometimes perpetuates over time and creates unnecessary tension in the family of God.
Besides an index for her sources, the author includes for each chapter a Bible study guide so that this book can be used for individual or personal Bible Study. There was so much encapsulated wisdom that my copy of the book is full of underlining and stars (my way of bringing my attention back to a section I want to read again). That’s a sure sign of a good book.
What I like most about this book is that the author is not just directing her attention to the poor souls locked up in a penitentiary for years to come. Her experience leads her to conclude that most people are locked up inside, either inside or outside the walls of a prison. Whether we are Christ’s own or not, our prisons are often of our own making. We carry around burdens that keep us from being a joyful and fulfilled person. Sometimes we carry around loads given to us by others, sometimes assigned to us by ourselves. Sometimes they are completely undeserved, while others are totally earned. Any way you look at it, this author can show you how and why we release those burdens and become a person that can now experience joy and abundance. I highly recommend this book for young or new Christians, especially those with no or little background in Christian belief. Even more so, I recommend this book to those who may have come out of an oppressive religion.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a review copy of this book from the Book Crash on behalf of the author. I was not required to write a review, positive or otherwise. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”