I’ll have to admit that when Steve emailed me and told me about Rick McKinley’s book I saw an opportunity for a free book. I know that sounds bad, but it’s the truth. The other real truth is that it was such a blessing to read. In my opinion it’s one of those life-changing works. it truly is an inspiration to read.
Now, part of the deal to get the free book was to write a review about the book. I’m not the best author for sure, but the following is from my heart about “This Beautiful Mess.” I am also linking Rick McKinley’s blog to mine as well. Just click HERE to check out his blog. Here is my review on the book.
The cover of “This Beautiful Mess” really is a clue into the wonderful contents of this work. It is a picture of traffic lights, babies, buildings, clouds with a dove in the sky, and a man playing guitar. All of these are printed in gray with no color. Then right in the middle of the picture is a sunflower full of beauty. It is a great picture of beauty placed at the center of a world of chaos. It brings to mind the thought of beauty in the middle of the mess.
I have grown in my faith walk so much in the past few years, but not like I grew through reading this book. This Beautiful Mess is a wonderful study into the mind of God concerning His kingdom. This book clears so many of the questions I had in my mind about the true nature of the kingdom of Christ.
My view of the kingdom was so much like Rick’s early views of it. He writes, “The Christian life began to look like one long waiting game of Bible studies and boring parties. If I was lucky, a bus would hit me and I’d go straight to heaven. Until then the kingdom life I was reading about in the Gospels would have to wait.” (Page 85) Viewing the kingdom as less than what it is leads to “religion,” “church,” and a mundane Christian life. Seeing the kingdom as a way of life that makes a difference now and in the future ignites our hearts with the fire of passion for the cause of Jesus Christ again. It helps us see that the kingdom is and that we are a living part of it.
This book has helped me to see the kingdom all around me in the midst of suffering, in the creation God has provided for us, and in the church family. It has helped me to be more aware and therefore more excited than ever about being a part of it.
One of my favorite quotes from the book concerns itself with the way people in other countries see the church in the western world. We feel sorry for the plight of men and women in hard places as they suffer, but this quote really helps us to see that we are the ones for whom we need to feel sorry. The following quote comes from a man named Celestin who has been put in prison for his faith on more than one occasion. He has been beaten for his faith too, yet he feels for us. He says, “We see what you’re up against when you have medicine for the dandruff in your hair and for the fungus in your fingernails, it’s hard to believe that you need God on a daily basis. That’s a difficult thing to be up against.” What a statement!! That kind of thought process is difficult to fathom from someone with his background, but it’s so true. We have to really work hard to break through all of the trappings of our society to just be able to see God for who He is. God help us to be more kingdom minded.
Whatever you have to do, get this book and read it. I am going to be studying in our Sunday Bible study with our adults at Creekside. It is a must read for all Christians.