Rhinestone Jesus {review & giveaway!}

by GfG on April 29, 2014 · 11 comments

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Kristen Welch thought she had said yes to God in obedience to a godly life, but in a mini van after Disney World and then again in the middle of a slum in Kenya, she found out, painfully, that she really hadn’t.

Kristen’s journey of faith as seen in her life is beautiful, and heartbreaking, and beautiful, and heartbreaking.  And beautiful.

It’s just what a life lived fully for the LORD should look like, but it has a different appearance because she has made a difference, not only in her family, her Christian circles, and her her local community, but she has made a difference for people across the world in Kenya, Africa. And she’s still doing it.

In her easy to read, light, but hard hitting book, Rhinestone Jesus: Saying Yes to God When Sparkly, Safe Faith is No Longer Enough, Kristen shares her story of faith and where it has brought her.  Literally around the world and back six times, but also right into the heart of her marriage and her family.

RhinestoneJesus_spine_mockup

I loved the book and think you will too.  Though…. I was hesitant at first.

Honestly, I was worried that her book would come across like so many others that share amazing stories of world changers: to do something really world changing, you need to changes the lives of many in ways that would get you a book deal, preferably helping the poor and needy, especially those in poverty stricken countries.

Kristen’s story does that, but she adamantly proclaims that world changing is all about saying YES to Christ, first and foremost for salvation, and secondly in whatever area He leads you.

Whether that be to Kenya or to the  homeschool table.

Whether that be to the refugees in Houston or to the halls of a nursing home.

Whether that be to the streets of Mombai to save girls from the slave trade or the waiting room of a crisis pregnancy center to save a life.

Your yes glorifies God, no matter how little glory you get from man.

After Christ calls you to salvation, your life is no longer your own.  It may take you a long time to realize that or it might not. It might take a trip to a slum so shockingly sub par for life or it might take something in the suburbs that snaps you out of status quo.

God changes submitted hearts from the inside out and usually uses trials to do it (see the book of James).

Kristen shares her journey involving different yeses at different points in her life, all taking her deeper and deeper in faith.

Rhinestone Jesus encouraged, convicted, and humbled me.  I was super glad she said something like this so many times:

Dear moms, love God; love others.  It’s a simple response to His great love for us.  You don’t have to do something big for Him; just do something because your yes matters!

She challenges me to say yes in my mess.  And you too.  God still calls us to obedience, not only in the beautiful areas of  godly behavior, but He calls us to follow Him in obedience in direction of our personal lives.

It’s actually pretty stinkin’ amazing.  Seriously.

I have said yes in my mess many times.

Sometimes the yeses have been public decisions, like sharing my abortion story story, or  moving away from friends and family of eighteen years, or the shedding of cultural Christian rules that restrict grace.

Sometimes… these yeses have been  private, painful, and personally heartbreaking.

And that’s what I’m currently going through.  I won’t share the full story because it involves another person I love and I want to respect their privacy, but… I am having to say yes to God in the mess of my heart and mind as God leads me through this valley.

As He calls me to obedience.   As He asks me to choose Him.  As He sets to be my all in all.

It’s not glorious to the world, my mess and my yes right now.  It’s not a maternity home in Kenya saving women and babies.

But… it is a yes and He’s the One asking, so I say yes and I trust.

Every once in awhile, I stop and I cry.  I tell Him that I don’t know what to do.  I threaten to quit.  I despair that it won’t make any difference if I say yes or not.

This yes in my mess is a daily, sometimes hourly, act.  And that’s not easy for me, in case you think it is.  Trusting God in the middle of a broken dream never is.

But it matters.

Kristen’s book reminds me that one little lady who says yes to a very big God can have her heart heart and life changed on the inside.

And she can trust God to do whatever He wants on the outside.

My favorite section in the book was where Kristen discusses different areas of our lives that may need new yeses.  She doesn’t hold any punches, but speaks it all in love.  Every chapter ends with ways to make it personal, not just listen to Kristen’s story, but thoughts and questions on how to deepen your YES to the LORD.

This sweet tea and Chick-Fil-A loving lady lays it all out in this beautiful story of her life  to help you see that God is in the big and little yeses and the big and little messes.

I wept several times while reading, out of conviction and pure heart ache.

The following absolutely jumped from the pages.  I love and appreciate Kristen’s-

  • passion for Christ
  • love for her husband and children in intentional acts
  • heart for living out the faith in counter-cultural ways
  • voice for the despairing unplanned pregnant woman
  • words for the moms living lives that seem un-glorify-able
  • challenge to families to serve the Lord together
  • declaration of truth in Christ and His Word

She’s the real deal and I’m grateful to have the chance to share about this book that is written with the specific intention of glorifying God and calling the reader to do so too.

In whatever mess, say yes!

I encourage you to read this story as a way to challenge your own heart to take your family to new places, together, for Christ.

I have a squeaky new copy of Rhinestone Jesus to giveaway!  The book comes out May 1st, but if you order before May 1, you can earn some beautiful goodies!

preorder image

Naturally, a portion of the profits of the book go to Mercy House Kenya, a place I wish I could visit and minister.

As a review comment, the only negatives in the book for me were that I don’t agree with the theology of a couple of people she quotes, including Ann Voskamp, and I am not a fan of The Message.  Kristen quotes scripture more than a few times not using The Message though and her own theology seems more than solid to me.

This book is a super read and I plan on having my teens read it so we can discuss it. I want the encourage them to say yes in their mess and for us to do so as a family in new ways.

How are you saying yes in your mess? 

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