Friday, July 24, 2009

Serials and Scenarios ~ A Perfect Mess - Lisa Harper

Book Summary:

Caught up in the self-imposed pressure to do and be all the things they think a Christian woman ought to do and be, countless women are working desperately to convince everyone, including God, that they have it all together. Few have any idea that the Creator of the universe looks at them with delight even when they yell at the dog, drive a minivan littered with French fries, or think bad words about that rude clerk at the store.

A Perfect Mess offers hope to every woman who yearns for a vibrant relationship with God but worries she isn’t good enough or doesn’t do enough to merit His affection. With characteristic authenticity, speaker and author Lisa Harper shares poignant stories from her own imperfect life to showcase the real-life relevancy of the Bible in the lives of modern women.

As she guides readers on a story-driven journey through selected Psalms, they will be inspired to experience for themselves how God’s incomparable love transforms the messiness of life into a gorgeous work of grace.

My Review:

Lisa Harper shares some powerful truth wrapped in stories and humor and self-deprecation. Harper covers a baker's dozen of Psalms, the better loved and known like 119, 23, 139 and 51 among them. Life issues and emotions common to all humanity like overwhelming emotions, fear, paths, faith are discussed in twelve simple chapters and roughly 200 pages. Most illustrations are woman focused but a man could find some areas that would either convict or be balm to his soul as well. The format and transparent, honest writing coupled with discussion questions makes Mess a great idea for a woman's Bible or small group study.

Each chapter covers a Psalm and Harper breaks it down a few verses at a time adding illustrations from her colorful life. A dead goat and baggy pants ended up being quite a little story about the love of God and His mercy toward His pathetic little messy ones.
Other scripture and some historical and/or Biblical information is tossed into each chapter as well. Six or seven questions for consideration/study end each chapter. The questions are ones that could be verbalized, given a little time for thought, in a large group or journalized for personal study.

Harper is charming and often funny, but also capable of diving deep into teaching truth and allowing the Spirit to convict the reader's heart. I folded over several pages to go back to and ponder the truth within and I also plan to hand the book over to my anxiously awaiting twenty-two-year-old daughter who will get much out of this simply complex study of human nature and God's divine design.