Pacific Book Review, October 28, 2010,
This review is from: Does God Smile? (Paperback)Reviewed by: Beth Adams, Pacific Book Review
Title: Does God Smile? How Do I Really Know That God Cares Anything About Me?
In Larry Shoop's book, "Does God Smile?" he goes on to answer the subtitle's question of "How Do I Really Know That God Cares Anything About Me?" By doing such, Larry Shoop has an instructive speech with a moral, a sermon if you will. For each of the chapter topics, Shoop expresses God's behavior through incidences within his own life; most descriptively views on history primarily gained from the scriptures.
Larry Shoop is a very articulate writer, telling Biblical stories with subtle inferences. For example, in the onset of this book he writes about a smile, and defines the generally accepted definition about how a smile is significant in human behavior. He then goes on to reveal what can best be summed up by this following excerpt:
Think about this: Jesus had time for women and children. To those of us living in western society that might not seem to be a big deal, but in the culture in which Jesus lived, women and children were not considered of much worth. Even today in some areas of our world women are relegated to the position of a commodity to be used by men. Jesus had not brought into the culture; instead, He cared even about those who were not considered important. They were important to Him, as we can infer by what is recorded about Him.
So Children seemed to love Him, and their mothers seemed to think He was pleasant company for their children. That is one indication that He smiled.
No doubt Jesus smiled. The points Larry Shoop make throughout his book are ones to encourage self esteem, honesty, praise (versus criticism), obedience and most importantly love. He begins each chapter candidly; often talking about a personal incident being the father of his two daughters. At times he begins by discussing some challenging situations, for example having an unfavorable boss or colleague. Then he carries fourth a moral message and fits it into the situation. Finally, and most enjoyably, he brings his storytelling skills into the Biblical events and historical characters like a History Channel episode, and explains the Christian root of the principles, and how his faith in God has been defined by his reason.
Reading "Does God Smile?" is like a "Month of Sundays," as Larry Shoop has his sermons sequentially lined up for easy Christian reading with entertaining and enlightening stories. This book is ideal for Christian bookstores, church gift shops, and for those wishing to pass a few hours in thought about being a better person and going in peace through life. Altogether, Larry Shoop has provided a great service in compiling these many words of wisdom, challenges and devotion into a useful resource for believers of all Christian faiths who want to have a stronger relationship with God.