Monday, September 01, 2008

Releasing September 1, 2008: Mustard Seeds (Thoughts on the Nature of God and Faith) by Lynn Coulter

I admit it. I first gave attention to this book because of the cover. It made me want to write a book just to have a cover like this.

Mustard Seeds, by Lynn Coulter, consists of 15 essays about faith drawn from Coulter's personal losses and trials, such as the death of her parents, her husband's job loss, their financial hardship and her shattered shoulder. Coulter offers hope to those walking through their own spiritual badlands.

I liked this book for several reasons. First of all, the book is deep and intelligent, yet simple to understand. Coulter refers to many authors, theologians and thinkers, yet the essays are short and written in everyday language so that a person who is undergoing trials and depression can stick with it--it's not too cumbersome. One major symptom of depression is not being able to concentrate and assimilate thoughts, especially if one is also suffering insomnia, commonly triggered by depression. So I actually considered Mustard Seeds' thoughtful simplicity a courtesy to the reader.

I also enjoyed Mustard Seeds because of Coulter's transparency and vulnerability as she writes about her doubts and fears. Coulter was a believer when life took a turn for the worse, so she writes from the perspective of a Christian dealing with depression, which I assume is different from someone who has not yet trusted Christ as savior. As a Christian, with the confusion and deep sadness comes guilt, frustration toward God, perhaps shame, feeling isolated from other believers, etc. I like that Coulter touched on those aspects of her struggles because they're so relatable.

Thirdly, Mustard Seeds is a book of hope, not a quick-fix, 10-step guide to getting over, but a soft-spoken word of encouragement from one who has traveled the hard path herself.

From the press release:

"In her book, Coulter shares with us her frustration at what she perceived as God's silence to her prayers but also shares the little daily markers of God's love and care that we can sometimes overlook."

Reading Mustard Seeds feels like time spent conversing with a dear old friend over a cup of coffee. Lynn's honest story of how she renewed her faith in Jesus will be a blessing and source of encouragement to her many new friends who will read this book. - Mickey Mclean, WORLD Magazine.

And if there's one thing I enjoy, it's spending time talking with a friend over a cup of coffee, especially a 2nd cup (See "Full Scoop" at the top of this page!) If you are struggling with a spiritually dry terrain or know someone who is, this would be a lovely gift to that person or yourself.

Bottom line: We're not meant to trek those lonely roads by ourselves, and Mustard Seeds would be a great "friend" in the middle of a long, sleepless night.

To enter into a drawing for this book, please leave a comment.

29 comments:

Becky said...

What a great review! I probably would have picked up the book because of the picture on the cover too. I am such a sucker for bird lover/gardening stuff. I'll have to see if I can find that book somewhere in town and read it while sitting in my Mom/bird sanctuary.

Smilingsal said...

I would love to have a chance to get a book that's deep and yet easy to read and understand. Please enter me.

Fran said...

Beautiful description of a book Linda!! I'd love to win a copy...and the perfect person to pass along to.

Hugs,
Fran

April in CT said...

This sounds like the perfect book for my step-mother. If I win I'm definitely gifting it to her to enjoy.

Thanks for the give away! :)

Barbie said...

Hmm I can relate to those long sleepless nights and not being able to concentrate:-/ I guess enter me...

Merrie said...

What a great book! I love how you described it. It sure makes me want to read it. I know that I can relate in those areas. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Mocha with Linda said...

Wow. I wish my mom had had this book during these last 30 years. I think these days at the end of her life that we are walking through would look very different. She's struggled with depression for years and had the theology that "Good Christians don't have depression" and decided God had abandoned her.

I would L-O-V-E this book.

Tabi said...

I just read about the mustard seed faith in my devotional last week and I have been seeing it reinterated for me everywhere! God is amazing! This was a great breakdown of the book and will definatley have to pick it up!

Marina said...

Love the description of the book ..
since I hit menopause Iam some what moody happy, sad, can't fall alsleep ect... marina

Breanne Vasquez said...

Great review - will read this one.

Kim said...

Sounds like a book I could have used a few years ago. It's really hard to find books written in such a way that a "layperson" can understand.

It's not uncommon for women entering the menopausal stage to suffer at least some degree of depression. I'd love this book to help encourage others as well as myself.

sara said...

I would love this book. I have several friends that could use it about now....and if I don't win it, I will go buy it.

Thanks for the great review!

Anonymous said...

Linda,

Since we last talked, my best friend is moving, my other best friend is probably moving, i have to have a hystorectomy and my daughter wants to spend a semester abroad. Needless to say, the depression monster is showing its ugly head again. Trying to see the good in all of this, but it's hard.

Diana Robertson

carol ~ i throw like a girl said...

Thanks for doing this giveaway! It sounds like a great book that we can all probably relate to! Happy Labor Day!

Susanne said...

Well you know I'm gonna love the cover! What a great review, Linda! Please enter me, I'd love to win the book!

skoots1mom said...

enduring surgery-brought-on menopause is reason enough for this book, too, so put my name in the hat!
great review, very well said, "Liddie"! Lidna doesn't roll off my tongue, but Liddie works for me...would it offend you? I always like to ask 'cause people sometimes call me nicknames I don't like.
Anyway, I'm gonna read this book...hope I win it!

Cheryl said...

I just wrote a post about mustard seeds!
Add my name!

Shellee said...

could use some hope!

annie's eyes said...

Beautifully dressed book with a perspective Christians need to hear. I have struggled with why a believer can be faith-filled and still suffer with depression which manifests as doubt and sadness. Your comment here
brought more peace to me than you could possibly know. Love, Annette

Kim said...

Sounds like a terrific book! Thanks for sharing the review....

Susan said...

First of all, I love that cover, too! It's so peaceful! I'd love to win it, but am fairly certain that I'd buy it anyway. It sounds like a book I'd like to read.

Thanks for the information, Linda. Have a blessed week!

:-) Susan

40winkzzz said...

Oh, oh, pick me, pick me. Even though I'm not saying anything intelligent in this comment like most of the other commenters are.

Paula (SweetPea) said...

I would love a chance to win this book. I sure could use some extra helpings of encouragement even though the trials Lynn has endured are the not the same as mine.
Thanks.

Chatty Kelly said...

Pick me, pick me! I wanna win!

The Bayou Belles and Their Beau said...

Here's my comment: We're home. Thanks for your prayers.

Miss Sandy said...

As a person who has walked this path I commend the author for writing this much need book of encouragement on what can be a taboo subject in nice Christian circles. I think a trip to the book store is in order!

Gayle @ thewestiecrew said...

I'm entering! Looks like a great book. :)

C'mon by my blog and tell me how I can be praying for you, ok?

Joanna said...

Sounds interesting.

Diane said...

I have a handful of people that would benefit from reading this book. Definitely enter me!!

Hugs,
Diane