Too many people inherit somebody else’s Jesus, mimicking what they see in their family, friends, and pastor rather than facing the need to find their own Jesus. If we exist on someone else’s faith, we will miss the spiritual vitality and joy that comes from our own journey and in times of trouble we will find an empty well to draw from.
Today, so many are fearful of the unknown – a crumbling economy, job loss, loneliness, terrorism, tragic news around every corner.
We are overwhelmed.
Does the security and peace that should come from knowing we are in the hands of a loving God now seem to be an empty promise?
Perhaps that’s because we have built our foundation on someone else’s faith – parents’, friend’s, or pastor’s, so we merely inherit a relationship with Jesus, but never find our own.
A true storyteller and a teacher with a heart for ministry, Mark Hall traces the tragic, downward spiral that leads to a life of fear and spiritual compromise, and then charts the hopeful, upward road to the joy and confidence that comes when we claim our very own Jesus.
:)| Posted May 18, 2010
Did you ever play the game "Telephone" before? It's a classic illustration of what can
happen when the same story is passed down from person to person; you either wind up
with a totally different message than the original, or no message at all. It is this point that
Mark Hall wants to make in Your Own Jesus; unless we have a relationship with Jesus that
is not of the hand-me-down variety, we can never truly have a meaningful walk with him.
When I first heard this book was coming out, I have to admit I was excited because of the
author originally, not the subject matter. I happen to be a huge Casting Crowns fan and I
really respect Mark as a songwriter because he's not afraid to tell the open honest truth.
He also possesses a remarkable ability to put this truth into simple yet meaningful words,
and Your Own Jesus is no exception.
I got to read the first chapter online when it was posted as a preview for the general
public. My first reaction when I came upon his story of considering suicide was "He almost
did what???" It's awesome that a guy can go from contemplating self-annihilation to
becoming the leader of a top-selling, incredibly popular Christian band. Even cooler is
that he's willing to tell us he's human. Many Christians (myself included) aren't as open
about their weaknesses as they probably should be.
Each chapter uses points made in the songs from The Altar and the Door. In Chapter 1,
"Explaining The Wind", Hall talks about forgiveness and logic. Our humanity leads us to
regard forgiveness from God as skeptics. We weigh all the evidence and decide we can't
possibly be forgiven completely by God. We attribute to God human inadequacies He
doesn't have. Another trap we must avoid is hypocrisy; God's law applies everywhere, not
just in church.
"Infinite", continues where Chapter 1 leaves off. It begins the story of Blue, a man who
experienced firsthand what can happen when you give in to sin. Hall also discusses Psalm
1, and reminds us that nobody becomes lost in a split second; rather, it is a slow
regression of sin that escalates with every little compromise. The only way to stop this is
to quit throwing fuel on the fire.
"Stuck" discusses the "what happens in church stays in church" syndrome. We enjoy the
music, the preaching, and the fellowship but when the time comes to take it to the streets,
we either check our Christianity at the door like an old hat we're too embarrassed to be
seen in public wearing, or God leaks out of our heart all the way down the aisle. Or worse,
we decide that God looks a lot like us, faults and all. Jesus wants all of us and we must be
willing to give him access. We must also be on guard against sinful thoughts which can
lead to sinful actions. We would also do well to find someone who can challenge us on
anything we do.
"Newness" explains how we must become transformed inside and out. It also discusses
confronting people in a way that honors God, and says that telling the truth in love is more
important than maintaining friendships. Hall says we must ask to see and think about
people the way Jesus does. We must be right with God ourselves, not pass judgement on
actions we don't fully understand, and ask ourselves how we'd want to be confronted if the
tables were turned.
"The Roman Son" says that if we don't have our own relationship with Jesus, it's
impossible to see if we're headed down the right road or not. We also tend to stereotype
people from different groups as all being the same, and fail to see each one individually.
Showing Christ-like love to everyone shows them we're his, and he's God. There is no
"A Different Kind of Song" continues Blue's story to its conclusion. It also speaks out
against people who try to add their own beliefs to the Bible and are quick to reprove in
judgement rather than love. On the flip side, we shouldn't compromise to appeal to a lost
+ Check out Mark's "Crowns Camp" Videos at http://castingcrowns.typepad.com/
I really enjoyed reading this book. The stories Hall recounts are vividly told, and could
stand alone as devotional articles in some cases. His points are easy to understand and
hard to forget. A master of both the humorous and the profound, Hall has no problem
admitting he's not superhuman or sinless. But he does lift his torch high to reveal the One
A must read!| Posted August 23, 2009
It's easy to relate to Mark Hall's writings. I love a lot in this book. For instance on page 130 he writes "we can't change people, but God can use us as agents while He changes people."
It's very worth reading!
Amazing!| Posted August 04, 2009
I've never written a book review before but I have to tell you about a book I've been so blessed receive and read. Your Own Jesus by Mark Hall with Tim Luke. This book is simply amazing! I started reading and I could not put the book down! It's truth captured me! God's presence, truth and power within the stories in this book give me chills. The kind of chills that make you jump up and praise Him with shouts of joy! Oh, what a mighty God we serve!
In Your Own Jesus you will read stories about lives that were caught up in the world on a path to destruction and about the road back to where God has called us. Everyday issues and potholes we all deal with and tons of encouragement. Your Own Jesus is in my opinion an absolute must read.
Your own personal everyday Jesus| Posted August 01, 2009
Being that today is the release date for “Your Own Jesus: A God Insistent on Making It Personal” by Mark Hall and being that I’d been fortunate enough to have been given an advanced copy it is right to write the review I was asked to do.
I’ve been waiting for another book to be put out by Mark Hall w/ Tim Luke since the last book “Life Stories” and they didn’t disappoint. The way Mark is able to intertwine his storytelling with scripture reference brings to life the songs that the chapters are named after. From the story of the white monster in “East to West” that reminds me of my own father using the same style of rearing on me to Blue’s “Slow Fade” of fall and rise again to the chapter that captivated me the most which is the story of Barry Riner in the chapter “Every Man”. This book will show you how great God’s mercy, grace and love is for us if we just submit our lives and give Him the reins.
Your Own Jesus challenges you to find your own Jesus and does a great job of showing us how to live not by what we feel but by what the Word reveals. From the forward by Max Lucado until the discussion guide in the back I didn’t find anything lacking in how to make Jesus your own everyday, walking around with you Jesus. Even though I’ve been working over the past year to do this I found many new ways to make Him even closer. This is a must read for young and old alike to further their walk in making Christ the center of their life.
Really awesome book!| Posted August 01, 2009
This came out today but I got to pre/review it for Christian Music Review. I highly recommend this book. Mark is a great writer and isn't afraid to admit his weaknesses. Fans of Casting Crowns will appreciate the references Mark makes to songs from "The Altar and The Door".