A vital book for our times: "Storm" by Jim Cymbala (with Jennifer Schuchmann)

Anyone could catch the newest headlines and quickly conclude that the church in many nations is in the "midst of a powerful storm", surrounded by a culture that wants nothing to do with Biblical Christianity.  Although Cymbala primarily writes of the threat to the church in America, the same threat exists for us Canadians as well, with recent polls showing that most Canadians - and most Canadian Christians - are rarely even reading their Bibles anymore! Cymbala and Schuchmann present a call for Christians to live a life grounded in prayer, in God's Word, and in the power of God's spirit, rising up to push back the darkness surrounding us today.

I greatly enjoyed Cymbala's prior soul-stirring books, and "Storm" was no exception. Cymbala doesn't hold back in his critique of the church, pinpointing the temptation of many churches today to focus on the latest and greatest methods and fads of building their churches, at the expense of allowing God's Spirit and power to change us. I love that no single denomination or church is targeted, for Cymbala notes "It's a "we're the body of Christ and we desperately need the Spirit's help right now" thing". As I read through the book, I myself was convicted by the words I was reading, because I know how easy it is to get consumed by the things of this world and neglect my prayer life as a result. Yet this book isn't one that will just convict you, but is one that will also encourage and uplift you as well. I loved the stories woven into the chapters, the real life examples of Christians who focus on God and allow the Holy Spirit to transform them - and the world around them. It is truly exciting to see what God has in store for his people - if only we will listen to his call upon our lives!

Jim Cymbala continues to challenge me with his writings, calling me to a deeper, richer prayer life centered on the hope of God's power transforming our hearts, our church, and our nations. I give this book a solid recommendation and a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher and the Booklook Blogging program, for the purposes of this unbiased review.