Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Nancy Moser's John 3:16 ~ Reviewed
By Nancy Moser
Published by Tyndale Publishing
Back Cover: When a Fatal Tragedy hits a college town, a string of events brings together a group of desperate people, each looking for a reason to keep living.
A father spiraling into depression, a dating couple faced with an unwanted pregnancy, a professional fired in an ethical scandal, estranged lovers confronted with the child they abandoned twenty-three years ago.
As these lives intersect on a bright fall day, one of them will hold up a sign at a football game with a short message: John 3:16. This simple act of faith will have the power to change lives forever.
"We don't know what the future holds but we know who holds the future". I've been a Christian for awhile now, and had forgotten so many of the special moments and hard decisions that I had to make once I gave my life completely over to the Lord. It may sound funny sometimes when I try to explain my decision to surrender control of my life and give it over to the Master but I have no regrets. Please don't judge Nancy's book by its cover; this story is so much more intriguing than what you seen on the outside.
Nancy Moser quickly engaged me in this story of different people living life large and on their own terms. Nancy follows the lives of several people: William, who is a football player for the small town; Carrie, who is William Paulson's girlfriend; Maya Morano, who is out to be the number one sells person in her company at all costs; Maya's husband Sal, who loves his wife with all his life; Roman Paulson, Maya's boss and William's father, John Gillingham, a bestselling author and Velvet, his long lost love; Lianne Skala who finds herself with an unexpected pregnancy; Peter McLean, who is going to college because his parents hope he will take over the family's farm when he graduates. Everyone in this town is going about business as usual, until there is a fatal tragedy that affects everyone. People in that town start to think about what's important in life for the very first time. It may seem hokey to some about but how Nancy Moser describes the situation of how ONE person's life reaches so many, it made you think - I really believe we don't know how our lives affect others around us. Look how the life of Jesus affected the people back then and how He is still affecting people today.
It was good to be reminded of the meaning behind John 3:16 and how the characters lives are affected by that one simple, but powerful verse. Not everyone in that town is very excited to hear the message behind John 3:16 and Nancy shows that. Not everyone jumps up and down for joy because you became or are a follower of Jesus!! We are all called to do our part – to be a planter of the seed. It's God's job to water the seed until it ripens for the picking. I love how one of the characters reacts after hearing the message of the John 3:16, she says "You're talking mumbo jumbo…like it's magic. What do I have to do, say it 3 times while standing on my head and my life will be perfect?...Give me a break."
Nancy Moser's message is honest, sensitive, funny and entertaining. It's a great way to talk about our faith without being pushy. It's a great reminder (especially in these uncertain times – when everyone is filled with fear ) of who holds our future; no matter what we struggle with!
I have to tell you that some sections of this book cracked me up and reminded me of the movie "Evan Almighty". Remember when God was trying to get Evan's attention and get him to start building the ark? It seemed that everywhere Evan went, his eyes were opened to the signs and he could see things clearly for the first time. It was so funny!! Nancy has God nudgings in her book as well. It was great! It's comforting to know that God is at work around us whether we see him or not!
Christian or not, you will enjoy this story which talks about peoples' lives and the decisions they make that affect themselves and those around them. You will see how one life has affected so many. This ONE person gathered all the love notes that God sent him each day (not only in the bible, but in the beauty he saw around him) and passed that love on to others. It's a great comfort, reminder and story!!
Don't pass it up!!
Reviewed by: Nora St. Laurent – Book Club Servant Leader