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Messy Kindle Edition

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Length: 176 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Product Description

Product Description

Christianity is messy. Unanswered prayers. Painful choices. Unresolved regrets. But there is good news: God works in the mess. He gets a kick out of these disturbing, disorderly moments because in these moments, we learn to trust Him. What if we all trusted Jesus? How would the world look different? How would we look different?

Both annoyingly honest and refreshingly humorous, Messy reassures Christians that God can reveal Himself in their clutter. Author and pastor A.J. Swoboda offers biblical insight and vivid, personal stories to redefine faith from something that must be perfect to something that is imperfect, but can still give beauty, meaning, and purpose to a messy life. As entertaining as it is challenging, this book teaches Christians what it means to trust in each other, in grace, in hope, and in a Savior who defied the rules of death. Here’s to finding joy in your chaos!

About the Author

A.J. Swoboda (PhD, University of Birmingham) is a church planter and pastor of Theophilus Church in Portland, Oregon. An adjunct professor at L.I.F.E. Pacific University, Canby Bible College, Concordia University, and Eternity Bible College, Swoboda is a frequent speaker at church conferences and seminars. He is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the Evangelical Theological Society, and has written several articles and book reviews in magazines and journals.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 672 KB
  • Print Length: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (March 30 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007Q3LVW0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #90,867 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9bee0ce4) out of 5 stars 56 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c2917f8) out of 5 stars Buy it because it Begs to be Re-read March 30 2012
By MissErin - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Messy: God Likes it That Way is easily one of the most worth-while and helpful books I have read in quite some time. Swoboda's witty wisdom is easy to read but demands serious rumination. The book is accessible, relevant, simultaneously convicting about how to make positive life-changes and comforting in that I'm not the only messed-up one, and (bonus!) hilariously written. Each chapter addresses a different aspect of faith and walking with God; I found myself easily identifying with moments from each chapter even upon the first reading. However, having read it once, I fully anticipate referring back to Messy as my life continues to present its varying conundrums and seasons. I suggest reading it with a pen because I enjoyed using my copy like a journal- it's really that good.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c27c54c) out of 5 stars Excellent book, buy it now March 30 2012
By Joshua Tyler Nice - Published on
Format: Paperback
Many people are witty. Many people are wise. Too few people are both. AJ Swoboda's book was really humorous and profound at the same time. I really appreciated his thoughts on Christianity. I couldn't put the book down.
A really liked his chapter on theology. Coming from a guy who has a PhD in theology, it was refreshing to read him say that theology is only beneficial when it leads us to Christ.
The overall message of Swoboda's book is that life is full of imperfect, hurting, broken people. And, that he believes in a God who is at work in their pain. Many people have provided many attempts to answer the questions of life's ills in the world. Some of the answers feel better than others. This book felt like an authentic way of looking at the pain in people's life. When I put this book down, I felt I had read some really fair approaches to many of life's biggest questions.
If you take the time to read this book, I think you will find it thought provoking and interesting. Definitely funny. Which I always appreciate.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c27c7ec) out of 5 stars Messy Life Just the Way God Wants It Oct. 1 2012
By Animal - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Musings of a post-modern pastor. Swoboda had a lot of excellent insight on various topics ranging from church, prayer, family, sex, suffering, and theology, just to name a few. Drawing from both Scripture and real life experiences, Swoboda does an excellent job in achieving his point. Namely, that many aspects of our lives are messy and God works through these messes to make us more into the person He wants us to be. Not sure God would have it any other way. Easy and quick to read, entertaining, many times comical, and definitely not academic. I highly recommend this refreshing read for all of us who have messy lives... one way or another.

Some of my favorite quotes include:

"Preaching a beautiful message of grace, we so rarely, if ever, practice it on each other. Let alone ourselves."

"Frankly, I sometimes worry that people sell Christianity because they've conjured it up in their mind as this solution that'll fix the mess of our life like some kind of drug with the long commercials. Jesus becomes almost therapeutic; like a vapor rub. With few to no side effects (that we know of)... But, honestly, my life is way messier after I started following the Jesus I met that it was before."

"Jesus asks people to be past tense people in the present for the future."

"We begin to see the Spirit at work in the church when we choose to take our idealized views of what church should be, with all of its holy trappings, out into the backyard and shoot them between the eyes."

"Paul could have started one church, stayed, grown it to be a megachurch, and been invited to speak at all the best pastor's conferences. But he didn't. He started a church, brought people to faith, then left... But, he had to be gone. It was brilliant because, had he not done that, they would have done to him what we do to pastors today. They would have started to worship Paul instead of Jesus."

"The Gospel is Jesus eating really really good food with really really bad people."

"Communal prayer is authenticated when the person you are praying with knows all the dirt on your life. All of it."

"God seems to be the sort of God who likes to move down the ladder of success for the greater purpose of redemption, to die in our shoes."

"Jesus gets humanity in a really special way that the other gods can't. Prayer is way easier when you know you're talking to someone who, like you, got in trouble for peeing on the sofa and not in the toilet. I can pray to that guy... It's the very beauty of God in the flesh that makes the gospel, the story of Jesus, so intriguing. Isn't it? Because God in the flesh has experienced the worst of everything we have had to experience."

"God is closer to you than you are to yourself."

"Conversion might take a second. But salvation takes a lifetime."

"If we can't make God love us more by doing really good things, then we can't make God love us less by doing really bad things."

"Sure, God hates sin. But I'm rather sure God hates sin the same way I hate dirty diapers. I'll always hate their diapers, but I'll never confuse the diaper with the baby."

"Christian spirituality goes wrong when we compare all the things we are good at with the world's sin."

"You know you have created God in your own image when God approves of everything you do."

"Jesus did have revenge. On everyone. It just looked different than our concept of revenge. The human version of revenge looks like retaliation. But, Jesus' revenge is very different. He called it resurrection. His way at getting back at the world for killing Him was by being raised from the grave."

"Because we can touch it, feel it, and flip through it, we accept our Bible as our personal Lord and Savior and turn it into our God."

"Christians are repentant atheists."

"Worrying about what God's will is often keeps you from doing God's will."
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c29e120) out of 5 stars Great book May 4 2012
By Grahm - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Don't read Messy if you are looking for answers.

Or do read it if you are looking for answers -- as many will, as I did to an extent -- but don't be disappointed when you don't find them, or when they're incomplete, or when they're different than what you expected. Instead, revel in Messy's overarching theme: that following Jesus is often both difficult and confusing. If that statement comforts you, you should read this book. If it upsets you, read the book. Because it's true: church is messed up, the Bible is confusing, relationships are difficult, Christians are hypocritical. It's all a lot messier than most of us were led to believe. But there's good news, and it's news that this book shouts: that God gave up his deity and sacrificed himself to rescue the messed up, the confused, the difficult, the hypocrite. Maybe once we realize how transient everything else is -- how our theology is always changing, how Christian fads grow and then wilt with the seasons, how we don't have adequate enough words or brains to even begin to comprehend our God -- we can focus on the significance of God's love for us. The questions remain important, but they no longer hinder us.

With that in mind I'll rescind my opening statement: Go ahead and read Messy if you are looking to answers. You'll find some, but I think you'll find something even better: a renewed desire to focus on the important stuff -- love God, and love the people he made (see also: everyone). Get that right and the mess starts to matter less. That's what Messy argues, and it's a cogent argument. Read it!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c27c990) out of 5 stars A fresh perspective on the Gospel April 6 2012
By Louie Hogan - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is incredibly valuable to anyone looking for why Christianity seems cluttered, chaotic and crippled and how we each get to be completely part of that. Undoubtably a page turner, Messy: God Likes It That Way will constantly keep you asking yourself how you see the Church and how much does that conception line up with the Gospel. It brings the truth, the gentleness, the intrusiveness, and the craziness of the Gospel under a 21 century light, helping the reader to really consider if they way we live the Gospel now is the way it's meant to be lived. Often hitting incredibly close to home for me, this book is a perfect read for anyone asking the "Why's" about God and perfectly, delicately, and insightfully leaves the reader still asking. It's a messy book in a messy world about a God who has things pretty well together.

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