Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Book Review: Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick

Cover design Ryan Holligsworth
The Earth Stood Still Too When I Read This One
By Lauren Yarger
Another "hip" pastor (this one even younger looking than most) from a trendy mega church trying to become even more famous by penning his first book. At least that is what I thought when I picked up "Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible" (Multnomah Books, 2010) by Steven Furtick, founder and lead pastor at Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC.

I'd heard of Furtick. He has an interesting blog and has been making the rounds at a lot of Christian conferences, so I put aside my growing ennui with books lining the shelves in the Christian section of bookstores from from youthful, good-looking pastors with wishy-washy messages and requested a copy of "Sun Stand Still" for review to see what he had to say. I was blown away. I began reading on a train trip into the city. When I looked up, I realized we had pulled into the station and that an hour and a half had passed unnoticed so engrossed was I in this book. It was almost like the earth stood still as I heard God speaking directly to my heart.

The pastor's goal is to "incite a riot in your mind." "To trip your breakers and turn out the lights in your favorite hiding places of insecurity and fear. Then flip the switch back on so that God's truth can illuminate the divine destiny that may have been lying down inside you for years." And for me, he did just that.

He challenges the reader to ask God for the impossible and to believe that He will deliver. Furtick gives examples from his own life (and it's an amazingly anointed one) about how he entered the ministry, how the Charlotte church was planted and grew against the odds -- even how he reached his college football team for Christ. He combines humor, scripture and wisdom beyond his years to convince you that anything is possible. Most of the lessons focus on the answered prayer in Joshua 10 when God makes the sun stand still.

Furtick has real skill as a preacher. He uses examples from his own life and biblical stories to make his point -- much in the storytelling manner Jesus used himself. We're left with truths, practical application and instruction that stay with us long after the "sermon" has ended. Some part of my faith was awakened by reading this book and I did something that I almost never do -- I sat down and read it again. It then became the focus of my personal study time with the Lord. Furtick includes guidelines for a "Sun Stand Still" prayer and gets you up out of your slumber of faith into proactively seeking the Lord and expecting Him to act.

Furtick also taught me a lot about not judging a book by its cover -- whether it's the book itself or a hip pastor who looks like he's 12.

You can buy the book here. There is information about the Sun Stands Still Movement at www.sunstandstill.org or visit the author's page at www.stevenfurtick.com.

A review copy of the book was provided by the publisher.

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Daily Inspiration

The Blind Side

Read about the real life mom from "The Blind Side."

Lifeway: http://www.lifeway.com/article/?id=169816

Guideposts: http://www.guideposts.com/story/sandra-bullock-blind-side-football?page=0,1

Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at http://www.buddyhollywood.com/.

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Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/) and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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