Thursday, November 19, 2015

Book Review: Reframe: From the God We've Made . . . to God with Us by Brian Hardin

Reframe: From the God We've Made . . . to God with Us

By Brian Hardin
Publisher: NavPress
Published: Sept. 17, 2015

Amazon Synopsis:

Accomplished recording producer Brian Hardin experienced a mediocre Christian faith until one day, he purposed to read the Bible daily. His resolve led to the start of the Daily Audio Bible, which after eight years has had more than 55 million downloads and feeds hundreds of thousands of listeners each day.

In the process of reading the Bible to his growing audience every day without fail, he has made a true, real friend in Jesus. Not a “Hey God, I know You’re up there somewhere” type of relationship, but one that contains the emotions, dialogue, and intimate moments that we long for from our closest of comrades. Brian found it necessary to entirely reframe his perception of God into a relationship as real as any experienced here on earth.

Reframe challenges you to change your paradigm about your relationship and connection with God, because in truth, you are engineered so that life will not work without Him. Reframe invites you to reconsider life and what it might look like if you were ruined for anything else but a life-giving connection to the almighty God.

Book Links
Amazon  *  Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Reframe is not a novel, but rather an inspirational book to help you readjust your life and get your relationship with Jesus back on track as a personal, intimate connection with Him. Brian Hardin, the author, states that knowing all the facts about God will not make a deep, true relationship with Him just as knowing all the facts about your spouse will make a successful relationship with your spouse. It is the interaction between the two, the give and take of information, sharing of emotion, dialogue and time spent together that creates that deep personal relationship.

Hardin says that “what God wants is an honest, loving, loyal, and intimate relationship with us.” (Loc. 1150) and that “He wants to be holistically included in everything we do and think and dream about and hope for.” (Loc. 1172) He also states that “talking to Him isn’t just about gratefulness or worship or petition or complaint. It’s all of that and everything else that happens every day.” (Loc. 1174)

Reframe challenges us to change – change the way we do life. The challenge is that we “will be entering into a first-person, always-on, never-off relationship with the God of all at all times and in all places for the rest of eternity.” (Loc. 1475) We need to include Christ in our life – but not just so that we can know Him more, but “it is the act of completely and irreversibly opening your heart to God and giving yourself wholly back to Him – to know and be known.” (Loc. 1622)

I thought that this was perhaps not such a new concept, but an old one that we have long forgotten, for Hardin backed up his ideas with Scripture. All through the Bible we see God pursuing us, calling out to us, to share in a relationship with Him. Hardin points directs us to Old and New Testament verses that show us that God does not want to be shut up in the box that we have put Him in where we only let Him out on Sundays or just before mealtimes when we say grace. He wants to, as His name Emmanuel means, be “God with us” at all times.

I for one have been challenged by this book to re-think what my relationship with God looks like. I want to recognize and feel Jesus’ presence with me all day, every day and able chat conversationally with Him about whatever is going on, on a moment by moment basis. I plan on reframing my relationship with Jesus so that it will be what God meant it to be.

Reframe is both inspiring and challenging, and a call to change.  It included anecdotes from Hardin’s life and I found the book to be so interesting I zipped through it highlighting important phrases and sentences along the way.

I thoroughly enjoyed Reframe, and I would highly recommend it to everyone who considers him/herself a Christian. I gave this book a rating of 5 stars out of 5.

Thank you to the publishers via NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

He may be best known for founding Daily Audio Bible, the revolutionary Scripture podcast, downloaded over 55 million times, but Brian Hardin is truly a man of many hats. With his trademark soul patch of whiskers and wisps of hair framing his face, the Nashville creative rose to recognition throughout the Christian music industry producing for the legendary likes of Larry Norman to modern radio regulars like Jill Parr and Manic Drive, earning hundreds of album credits and a healthy collection of Grammy and Dove Award nominations. Along the way, he branched out into photography, landing everything from music industry publicity shots to portraits and corporate portfolios, alongside an eye for graphic design that found his work featured in Time, CCM, Christian Retailing and Gaither Homecoming (to name a mere handful). It was from within these extraordinary accomplishments that an unexpected professional blow set Hardin on a path toward restored faith, and eventually, vocational ministry.

“I hit a real wall in the music business several years ago when a record label I was working with declared bankruptcy,” he recalls of the events that shaped his current path. “It rocked me deeply and led me to a true fork in the road of life. I was raised a Christian and even grew up a pastor’s son, but after 20 years in the music business, I was living a comfortable, semi-agnostic life. I didn’t really know God and felt an authentic relationship with Him wasn’t all that critical because everything was going so well, but after major financial loss I had real decisions to make. I could either throw ethics to the wind and do whatever it took to survive or actually give faith a fair play in my life, and the long and short of it is I stuck to my heritage, fully offered my life to the Lord and God provided in a real way.”

Author Links
Website  * Twitter  *  Facebook  *  Google+  *  LinkedIn  *  Goodreads

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