Book Review: Reframe by Brian Hardin

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Reframe
Written by: Brian Hardin
Publisher: NavPress/Tyndale House Publishers
Month, Year: October, 2015

A brief summary from the publisher, Tyndale House Publishers:

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.

My Review:

“God has been waiting a long time to be more than a compartment in your life” (Reframe, page 145).

When I read the above sentence, I had to stop and re-read it.

Digest it.

Contemplate it.

Fully soak it in.

I had to dig deep within myself and accept that, God has been waiting a long time to be more than a compartment in my life. 

That’s a humbling realization – that God needs to be more than what I’ve allowed. Me, a punk of a human being, who is under the impression that I have the capacity to allow and allocate only certain aspects of my life to God, the all-knowing, all-powerful, omnipotent, omnipresent Creator.

Talk about a reality check.

Brian Hardin does that (upending my perception of God) quite often in Reframe. This book is broken into three main sections: Rethink, Reframe, Restart. In each of these sections, Hardin presses on the main point that God wants to know us, you and I, and how high His regard and love is for us. “God is so invested in you that He put His own breath in you, molded you in His image, and stood back and said that you are ‘good,'” (Reframe, page 5).

Reframe implores the idea that perhaps we’ve allowed outside sources, not God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit, to shape our perceptions of Him and who He is. Suggesting that perhaps we’ve adopted governances and rules as being directed from God himself, without doing the research, without studying the Word, without seeking out Christ’s truth for ourselves. Hardin writes of rethinking our faith, redefining what we believe, rediscovering how we know beyond a doubt that we are followers of Christ. He tells us to question if our beliefs are coming from God and His Word, or on hearsay of what we’ve heard. If we’re just picking and choosing who and what we believe God is, without taking the time to authentically know God. If we are letting God speak for Himself or if we are insisting that we speak for Him?

Over time we’ve compiled an enormous amount of data about God.
We know more now about who we think He is and what we believe He does and does not do than at any other point in history.
It’s as if we’ve created a collective 3-D model of sorts, and this is who we believe God is.
But trying to pull together all these facts and data about the unfathomable, sovereign God is like trying to put wind in a box.
If the data, facts, and formulas are all we have to hold on to as a relationship with God, then we simply have placed in a box what the wind has blown in.
But we do not have the wind.
We’re just enclosed in a box of our own construction.
And God will not live in our box.
He’s not even interested in it.
(Reframe, pages 19-20)

Each time I sat down to read Reframe, it left me with quite a bit to contemplate. I had a lot of questions, for myself and for the Lord. I questioned how much of my relationship was based on first-hand knowledge of God. I questioned how much of a role God was playing in my life, and how much of a role I was playing in His. For over two years I let God stand in the background, the backdrop to my center-stage, single performance. I didn’t notice Him. I didn’t acknowledge Him. I didn’t play any part in His life and didn’t believe He was playing a part in mine. I figured if I couldn’t feel Him than He wasn’t there, so why bother? I was depressed, lonely, insanely fearful, and yet I couldn’t accept Him because I allowed my emotional state to dictate if I believed God to be true. To be faithful. To be real.

Hunger shapes our lives, and at the center of it all is the longing of the soul….and life can only be found the way it was designed — in collaboration with God.
(Reframe, page 69)

I’m so grateful that He was a constant in my life even when I didn’t see Him as such. I’m grateful for the people who kept telling me to reach out to Him, that Christ never left me, that they were praying for me.  I’m grateful for those who cried with me and for me and pounded on the doors of heaven that Jesus would do a miracle in my life. Because He did. Somewhere along the way I had had enough and poured my heart out in the dark of night to Him. I’m still learning that my emotions don’t dictate if Christ is there – He’s always there – but that it’s a matter of me surrendering my entire story and my whole life to Him. I’m learning that God wants to be fully and completely throughout my entire life and not compartmentalized in one teeny tiny section. And that is a glorious realization.

Reframe gave me a lot to think about and I hope it will do the same for you. I highly suggest anyone and everyone to pick up a copy and give it a read, and I pray that God uses this book as a tool to bring you closer to Him.

I was graciously provided a free copy of this novel from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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