For Lisa Velthouse’s whole life, Christianity had been about getting things right.
Obeying her parents. Not drinking. Not cursing. Not having premarital sex. Vowing to save her first kiss until she got engaged, even writing a book called…well, Saving My First Kiss. (This, it turns out, does not actually help a girl get a date.)
But after two decades of trying to earn God’s okay, she found her faith was lonely, empty, and unsatisfying. So where does a “good Christian girl” turn when she needs answers? More discipline, of course: fasting! By giving up her favorite foods—sweets—Lisa hoped to somehow discover true sweetness and meaning in her relationship with God.
For months Lisa managed to fast, but the only result seemed to be that suddenly she was falling short in everything else. Then, one night at a wedding, she denied herself the cake but broke an even bigger promise she’d made years before—failing in such an unexpected and world-rocking way that it challenged everything she thought she knew about God and herself.
Craving Grace is the true story of a faith dramatically changed: how in one woman’s life God used the sweetness of honey to break through stale religious practices and hollow goodness, revealing the stunning wonder that is God’s grace.
Lisa Velthouse is a freelance writer and speaker who has been working in communications and ministry for over a decade. She got her start in publishing at the age of 17, upon being selected from over 1,000 applicants to write a year’s worth of columns for Brio magazine. While writing for Brio, Lisa began speaking at national Evangelical events for teens, and she also got the idea for her first book, Saving My First Kiss, which was published shortly after she turned 21. In the years that followed, for a time she worked as a ghostwriter, and after that served two years on staff at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, MI.
A believer in God all her life, during her mid-twenties Lisa began to feel disenchanted about him. So for six months she fasted from sweets, in an attempt to learn that God could be sweet. At the start of her fast, she doubted that the process would result in much more than mere discipline, if that. But half a year later, her life and her faith had been transformed. She could see for the first time that it was a story of grace, and she was surprised to find that God’s grace is the only true sweetness. Lisa tells the story of her sweets fast and of how life changed for her afterward in her newest book, a memoir called Craving Grace.
Lisa’s writing has been noted in Publisher’s Weekly and Focus on the Family, and she has been a guest on numerous nationwide radio and television programs. Her travels in speaking have taken her across the United States and abroad. She is married to Nathan, an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps; they live wherever military assignments take them.
Reading this conversational-style memoir has been one of the highlights of my summer. From the very first pages I was drawn into Lisa's journey from legalism to living the true meaning of God's Grace. It is honest, sometimes in a very raw way, yet I related to many of the thoughts and points Lisa made. You will be challenged as you read Craving Grace and hopefully look past legalism and works based faith and embrace God's Grace, given freely and without strings.
I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up.
BUY IT: You can purchase Craving Grace at your favorite bookseller from Tyndale House Publishers
***I received a complimentary electronic copy of this book, courtesy of Tyndale House and NetGalley, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own and I have not been compensated in any other manner***