Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Book Review: When God Makes Lemonade

Today I'm reviewing the book "When God Makes Lemonade" created by Don Jacobson. I received the book through my affiliation with Booksneeze and picked it for a very specific reason. The subtitle of the book is "True Stories that Amaze and Encourage" and these days, I think we could all benefit from true stories that demonstrate God working in the lives of others. I think it goes without saying that 2013 has been a less than stellar year and in fact, at times it has been downright depressing. Through it all though, my faith in and love of God has gotten me out of the valleys and helped me to carry on; after all the Lord himself says that he will neither leave us nor forsake us (Joshua 1:5). Furthermore, we know from the Sermon on the Mount that the Lord will always take care of us as he said "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" (Matthew 6:26) So, I picked this book to help lift my spirits and to help remind me that even when times are tough, God is still by my side. 

I'm sure you are familiar with the saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade," and that is basically the premise behind the stories told in this collection. The book doesn't have one author. You may have noticed that I mentioned it was created by Don Jacobson. That is because there are 68 different stories in the book and only one of them was written by Mr. Jacobson. The book contains stories from all walks of life and I have no doubt that there is at least one or maybe more that you can relate to. Most of the stories are obviously about difficult situations and circumstances, but they all end on a positive note reflecting on how God made the situation better. A lot of times when we are in a situation the seems sour, it may take weeks, months, or even years to see the lemonade (if you will), but with these stories, you can immediately read the sweetness that God made out of each sour circumstance and perhaps it will shed some hope on your current sour situation; well, provided that you are in a sour situation. 

At the end of many, but not all, of the stories is a section called "Lemon Drop" which is written by Mr. Jacobson. In this paragraph or two, Mr. Jacobson shares some of his own thoughts about the story and how it ties in with God's love for us. Like I said, each story does not contain a "Lemon Drop" but the ones that are there will really give you something to think about. 

Also at the end of each story is information about the author. Some of the information is just one sentence and other authors have a paragraph or more of information.  I liked that this information was included in the book because often in compilations of stories, we aren't always privy to information regarding the people writing or telling the stories. Plus, I always read the book jacket information on authors so for me in general, information about the author(s) is something I enjoy. 

"When God Makes Lemonade" is an easy and thought-provoking read. It's not necessarily a book you need to read all at once either; so, if you are looking for a book you can pick up every now and then and read a story or two, then this would be a good book for you. If you are a teacher of an adult or even teenage class at your church, some of these stories might be good to use as practical applications. A lot of the stories are only three or four pages long and can easily be read in a classroom environment. There are many ways this book can be used in your life to positively influence your own outlook or help positively influence the outlook of others. It will truly amaze and encourage you. 

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