Monday, February 13, 2012

All is Grace by Brennan Manning

What happens when a embittered young man becomes a marine, then a priest, a monk, an ex-priest, a married man, and a divorced man not to mention an alcoholic his entire life?  That is when you find that it is ALL GRACE.. As Paul stated “I am the Chief of all Sinners.”  That is what we find in the life of Brennan Manning as described in this telling autobiography. 

            I was immediately sucked into this very vivid and descriptive reliving of his life.  He is as honest as he is a liar.  As open as he is shut tight.  Yet he is forthcoming about these issues.
            This book chronicles the discoveries of his life that lead him through each section of his life, from priesthood to giving it all up for Marriage.  To dying from the decades of Alcohol. 

            I read through this book for almost the entire thing and the thought that I continued to feel was “Too bad.  If he had just allowed God to use him and had given up Lordship think about what could have been.  He could have been another Billy Graham”.   But then I ran into a wall in my logic. 

            That wall was a mirror.  In this book I found myself.  It is a dangerous edge we all balance on in our walk with Christ.  Do we completely follow after and give Christ our EVERYTHING?  Or do we continue in our choice sin and hold the power of Christ back in our lives?

            I grew up a PK (Preacher’s kid) always seeking someone to like me for me.  Someone to call my friend.  I have been a preacher, a teacher, and lived in many places.
I have put work in front of my marriage in the past, and chosen ministry over my kids.  How close am I to falling into the same retrospective despair that fell upon Brennan in his later years.

            All but for the Grace of God go I.  Truly All Is GRACE!!
Thanks to David C. Cook for giving me a free E-book of this title to review.

Here is the publishers recap of the book:
It has been over twenty years since the publication of The Ragamuffin Gospel, a book many claim as the shattering of God's grace into their lives. Since that time, Brennan Manning has been dazzingly faithful in preaching and writing variations on that singular theme -    "Yes, Abba is very fond of you!"   But today the crowds are gone and the lights are dim, the patches on his knees have faded. If he ever was a ragamuffin, truly it is now. In this his final book, Brennan roves back his past, honoring the lives of the people closest to him, family and friends who've known the saint and the sinner, the boy and the man. Far from some chronological timeline, these memories are witness to the truth of life by one who has lived it - All Is Grace.

Brennan Manning has spent the past forty years helping others experience the reality of God's love and grace. It's at the heart of everything he's written and done. A recovering alcoholic and former Franciscan priest, his spiritual journey has taken him down a variety of paths. He has taught seminarians, spoken to packed arenas, lived in a cave and labored with the poor in Spain, and ministered to shrimpers in Alabama. Brennan is best known as the author of the contemporary classics, The Ragamuffin Gospel, Abba's Child, Ruthless Trust, The Importance of Being Foolish, Patched Together, and The Furious Longing of God.

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