>> June 8, 2010
She seems to have a knack for taking tough subjects and making them approachable through fiction. As a teenager I was sucked into her "Mark of the Lion" series. In college I appreciated her portrayal of God's relentless love for us as she retold the story of Hosea and Gomer in "Redeeming Love".
Several years ago I bought "and the Shofar Blew" at my local bookstore. I read it, liked it, didn't think much about it.
Last week I was browsing our newly unpacked bookshelves and picked it up again. Read it cover to cover in two days.
This time I could relate to the book in a whole different way. Being a PW for the last 7 years gave me appreciation for her description of the battles raging over the hearts and wills of young pastors.
Rivers skillfully exposes the potential for arrogance and self-centeredness in successful young pastors. She showcases the dangers of upside down priorities to the young pastor's marriage and family. And she deftly illustrates just how easily "church" can become infected with an egocentric country club mentality, how gospel can be replaced by greed, how preaching can become prattling - without us ever being able to pinpoint the actual shift.
I felt so powerfully moved by this book that I urged my PH to read it too. He's working through it in the rare bits of spare time he has... But already the story has sparked great conversations between us about how we can prayerfully safeguard our own ministry journey from these pitfalls.
I don't know if Rivers wrote the book for a pastoral-family audience, or if she meant it for a broader Christian readership. I'm sure both categories could find something to apply to their own roles. But as a pastor's wife I found it especially timely and practical.
If you've never read this book, I totally recommend putting it on your summer book list. And if you have read it, I'd love to start a discussion on what you learned from the story in the comments below.
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