Monday, June 20, 2011

Book Review: Mirror Ball

Mirror Ball. Matt Redman. 2011. David C. Cook. 176 pages.

It's New Year's Eve in downtown Nashville, and things are getting crazy.

The full title of this one is Mirror Ball: Living Boldly and Shining Brightly For the Glory of God. What is the book about? It's about worshipping God. It's about transforming lives through deep-rooted passion for HIM. Can God use you? If he does it will be because you realize it is through God and God alone that you are able to be used. In other words, if we 'shine' in our lives, if our lives are 'reflecting' God's glory, it is because Jesus is the light of the world. He is shaping us, transforming us, making us His own.

Matt Redman says it best (so I'll stop trying!):
In and of ourselves we have no light. But in His bright and shining light we are transformed--and begin to radiate the glories of our God to the world around us. You may be feeling totally inadequate, far from ready for that task. But if so, you have forgotten the most important part of the equation. It is not about you and your best efforts. It is about the light, power, and love of Christ illuminating our fragile lives. As Scripture reminds us, the same God who said, "Let there be light," has made His light to shine in our hearts. When God shines upon His church, we become a dazzling testimony to His awesome radiance. You may feel ineffective. You might have lost confidence in your ability to shine. You may think you are too small or too inconsequential to ever be of any value in the kingdom of God. But no matter at all--for, in the end, it's all a matter of light. His light. The life of worship never begins with you. It starts and ends with Jesus. (24-25)
The book is short. Perhaps too short. I found myself disappointed, and I'll explain why. I was enjoying the book. I was finding many passages that spoke to me. Many passages that I was planning on sharing with you. And I felt happy to be in this one. And then discovered--around page 107--that the book was over. The remaining pages were a discussion guide! I wasn't expecting the last chapter to be the last chapter. I wanted more and I felt cheated. Is there a *real* reason to feel cheated? No! Of course not. Other readers may even value discussion guides. (I'm not one of them. I never have been one of them. I'm not just picking on this book, this discussion guide.)

This is my first time to read Matt Redman. I've listened to his albums. I've enjoyed his work with Passion. But I'd not read any of his books before.

Favorite quotes:
God makes worshippers out of wonderers. (24)
But passionate worship is never a matter of merely getting the words and tune right or raising a loud shout. The true test of our passion for God will always be our lives. If I'm looking for a heightened way to tell God I love Him, the very best way has very little to do with stringing poetic sentences together. It involves a life laid down in service and adoration. The concrete evidence of whether our worship has lived or died in us will always be our lives. (28)
We were hiding from His face, covered by our shame, and lost without a hope. There was nothing we could do to turn our situation around, nothing in our hands to give us means of escape. But love broke through the darkest night to find us and bring us back home. In the incarnation of Jesus, in His life, His death, and His resurrection, we see the mighty God of love in action. It is a love that seeks us, saves us, rescues us, and revives us. It is patient and kind, neither self-seeking nor easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. It always hopes, always trusts and always perseveres. This love breaks down boundaries, presses through uncertainties, and refuses to be stopped by any obstacle in its path. At Calvary itself we witness the purest love this world will ever see. It is an act so mysterious and magnificent that we shall be singing about it through all eternity. The cross of Jesus has many layers--in its complexity we find such themes as justice, sacrifice, and suffering; obedience, endurance, and hope. But right there in the center, making sense of them all, we find love. (33)
Worship is a reflex of the ransomed heart, never an empty religious ritual or a hollow act of self-deprivation. It is love flowing freely and absolutely from heart, mind, and soul in response to all we have received. (35)
God reveals, and we reply. God acts, and we are amazed. God shines, and we reflect. This is the life of worship. (38)
Small doses of revelation lead to tiny lives for God. Anyone who ever lived a big life for Jesus journeyed with a great big view of who He is. (43)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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