Kasey Van Norman, author, speaker and counselor, releases Raw Faith April 1, with the intriguing subtitle, "what happens when God picks a fight." It's an account of Kasey's battle with an aggressive form of cancer that taught her "raw faith is about trust" in spite of doubt, fear and suffering. Her is one we all need to hear.
She's the first to admit she "did not want to write this book...it took God punching me in the gut with cancer to shake off my Christian anesthesia...and pacifier kind of faith," she says. Reading her story reminded me of Isaiah 48:10 where God says, "I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction." I believe Kasey passed her test with flying colors!
Kasey was already familiar with affliction, both personally and in her work with abused and sex-trafficked children at the Still Creek Ranch in Central Texas. However, on a positive note, her "breakout book and Bible study" series, Named by God gained national attention and she was the headline speaker at Extraordinary Women Conferences in 2012-2013.
There she inspired more than one hundred thousand woman nationwide with an account of her "cutting edge journey into the redemptive power of Jesus." Her "ministry was poised to explode" until the phone rang and everything changed.
Kasey tells it like it is and holds nothing back, from coping with the emotions of uncertainty, stress and anxiety, to managing side effects of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. In addition to fatigue from poor nutrition, nausea, loss of appetite and what is known as chemo brain, the inability to focus, short attention span and memory lapses.
Yet as bad as these were, Kasey felt the most toxic side effects were what was "happening in her head and her heart," what she called the "Toxic D's: denial, depression and discouragement." These threatened the "health of her faith" and her faith was the anchor for her soul.
Join Kasey's life-transforming journey through the fires of "despair and spiritual renewal "to "ultimate victory" where she learned she'd "rather be in the valley with Jesus than healed on the mountaintop." That's where she countered what she calls the "two lies of faith" with "seven faith facts" that resulted in overwhelming victory in Christ.
Be encouraged by her raw and intimate journal entries, her personal testimony and solid Bible teaching. Where her "mustard seed faith grew into mountain moving faith" as she sought the Lord, read His Word and God transformed her into even more of the "redeemed, ready-to-take-on-the-world-for-God-woman" than she already was.
Micah Joel, an ER nurse recovering from brain surgery said to Kasey, "You know there is something about meeting death that allows you to experience the real Jesus."
That's what Kasey's brutally honest book is about, meeting the real Jesus. I recommend the book to everyone sick in body, spirit or struggling with illness. The companion Raw Faith Bible Study releases May 2014.
In Kasey's own words:
'Raw Faith: What Happens When God Picks a Fight,' by Kasey Van Norman, Tyndale House Publishers, April 1, 2014, 272 Pages, 978-1414364780, $14.99
Midwest Book Reviews: "Gail's Bookshelf" March 2014
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"Raw Faith: What Happens When God Picks a Fight," by Kasey Van Norman
As a respected Bible teacher, Kasey Van Norman had dedicated her life to sharing God’s Word and encouraging women to trust in God during times of crisis. Then, just as her ministry was poised to explode, Kasey was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer that shattered her spirit and rocked her faith to its core. Sick, frightened, and in pain, Kasey suddenly found herself facing the greatest challenge of her life—believing her own message.
In Raw Faith, Kasey chronicles her courageous battle with cancer, taking readers on a candid and poignant journey of faith and discovery, from the depths of despair through triumphant victory.
Drawing on a variety of Bible stories and characters, Kasey discovers and distills the singular truth that has existed since time began: while change and uncertainty are inevitable, God is always unchanging, and He is always faithful—even when our circumstances might tempt us to think otherwise.
Raw Faith Bible Study: What Happens When God Picks a Fight, by Kasey Van Norman
You’ve read the book; now do the study!
We all long for victory. Victory over fear. Victory over guilt. Victory from bondage and oppression.
Drawing on a variety of Bible stories and characters, respected Bible teacher Kasey Van Norman distills the singular truth that has existed since time began: while change and uncertainty are inevitable, God is always unchanging, and He is always faithful—even when our circumstances might tempt us to think otherwise.
Wherever you are in your walk with Christ, you will find yourself encouraged and inspired as Kasey shows how you, too, can be victorious in Christ!
Named by God: Overcoming Your Past, Transforming Your Present, Embracing Your Future, by Kasey Van Norman
In many ways, Kasey Van Norman has suffered more heartbreak than one woman can bear. Growing up, she endured her parents’ divorce, date rape, and years of addiction to sex, cutting, and eating disorders. As an adult, Kasey has endured a painful miscarriage; the heartbreak (and restoration) of infidelity; a cancer diagnosis; rejection by her friends, church, and community; and her mother’s death from cancer. But at the end of this twisting path of sorrow, Kasey walked out of the wilderness and into a place of God’s merciful and miraculous healing and redemption. In Named by God, Kasey shares her story of God’s infinite grace and compassion so that others might learn from her experience as they encounter a depth of Jesus like never before!
Named by God Bible Study: Overcoming your past, transforming your present, embracing your future, by Kasey Van Norman
You’ve read the book; now do the study! Kasey Van Norman invites you to join her on a six-week journey of total spiritual transformation. This interactive study will equip you to move beyond past hurts, bring power into your present circumstances, and ignite a victorious faith for your future.
Whatever season of life you may find yourself in, Named by God will guide you into a more intimate and vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ. As Kasey shares personal stories from her heart and reveals what God’s Word really says about you, you will find the freedom and spiritual vitality that your heart is longing for.
You Can Begin Again: No Matter What, It's Never Too Late, by Joyce Meyer
It's never too late for a new beginning. Look closely and you'll see that theme all through the Bible. Page after page, God delights in turning tragic endings into new beginnings. A childless woman conceives in her old age; a fearful, self-conscious shepherd becomes a leader of millions; and a prostitute becomes a wife and mother in the lineage of Christ. Every biblical fresh start reveals the amazing, awe-inspiring hope we have for our own new beginnings in God's plan for our lives.
In YOU CAN BEGIN AGAIN, bestselling author Joyce Meyer explores the beauty and infinite supply of God's love and grace. Through inspiring stories, Scriptural principles, and her classic practical, life-application approach, Joyce powerfully demonstrates that God isn't done with you yet.
If you're stuck in a rut, disappointed by an outcome, hurting from a wound, failing in an endeavor, struggling in a relationship, or unsure about the future. . .don't give up. Don't give up on yourself, and don't give up on the God Who loves you and offers you a new beginning today.
The Bald Headed, Tattooed, Motorcycle Mama's Devotional Guide: For Women Battling Cancer & Those Who Love Them, by Sara Nelson Obrien
When Sara O’Brien discovered her childhood friend, Amy, had stage four cancer she felt compelled to travel across country to be with her and help with her care. After returning home, Sara learned her own cancer diagnosis.
So began a yearlong battle and beautiful relationship between Sara and Amy as they studied the Bible together daily and found that God’s love shines brightest during dark times. This devotional for women facing cancer focuses on the hope that can be found during the difficult days of cancer treatment, and reminds us that God’s promises are true, He is present, He is faithful, He is loving, He cares, and His arms are everlasting. It is also a bright reminder that there is joy in this journey. Sara’s wit shines through as she shares her personal experiences and God’s loving lessons. The Bald Headed, Tattooed, Motorcycle Mama’s Devotional Guide is an uplifting month long, daily devotional for women battling cancer and their loved ones, written with humor to lighten the heart.
Letters from the Land of Cancer, by Walter Wangerin Jr.
In Letters from the Land of Cancer, award-winning writer Walter Wangerin Jr. offers his profound insights into the greatest challenge we face: confronting our own mortality. 'Shortly after the cancer had been diagnosed I began writing letters to the members of my immediate family, to relatives and to lifelong friends. The following book will consist mostly of those letters. They will invite you into my most intimate dancing with the cancer, even as that partner and I have over the last two years swung each other around the tiled floors of ballrooms and bathrooms. Dizzy still, and day by day, I sat and wrote: This is what I'm feeling right now. This is what I think....'
From afternoon to afternoon of radiation, Wangerin wrote about confronting his mortality, about living with the messiness of undone tasks and bodily weakness. He wrote about the medical procedures he endured, the wild mood swings that unbalanced his days, and the fragilities and strengths of the relationships that surrounded him. Letters from the Land of Cancer is made up of these writings. Cadenced within the letters are Wangerin's eloquent meditations derived from his pastoral experiences with the faithful passage of death to life. Seldom has the great adventure of life and death been as beautifully presented as it is in this testimony to faith, love, and the shocking reality of hope.
No Prissy Shoes: Trusting God to Walk You Through Your Cancer Journey, by Linda Grabeman
It is the sorority no woman wants to join--the sisterhood of women with cancer. But every day, 2,200 new members are inducted.
If you, a sister, daughter, mother or friend is on that journey, this book of 31-daily devotions will give a potent dose of hope, comfort and encouragement from God's Word. Linda walks her readers through every step of the cancer journey. She shares experiences, but then brings them back to the awesome, life-changing truths in the Bible.
Here's what readers are saying:
-No Prissy Shoes was wonderfully encouraging and inspiring! Well written with a heavenward perspective!
-This book will give you the hope you are looking for!
-My girlfriend just had breast cancer surgery. I read this to her at the hospital. She loved it and so did the nurses listening in.
-Her obvious close, personal relationship with the Lord comes through on every page and through the scriptures that she chose. It's easy reading with a powerful message!
A Dose of Hope: Devotions for Healing the Heart, by Sarah Meece
Build a deeper, more intimate relationship with God. My life journey has been an interesting one, to say the least. I have experienced a roller coaster of events that have taken me through what has seemed to be a real obstacle course beginning with the death of my mother at an early age, a devastating divorce, a murder attempt on my life, which resulted in living in hiding for many months, and most recently, breast cancer.
A Dose of Hope is a gentle reminder that regardless of the situation, we need to turn our hearts and minds toward God for survival. As you read each devotion, the challenge question will offer an opportunity for journaling. By answering these questions, not only will this allow you to have some quiet time with God, but you will also have the opportunity to do some real soul searching. The journaling experience is designed to encourage self-evaluation and to help you deal with difficult situations in your own life. Regardless of how deeply rooted our relationships are with God, we can always grow, learn, and mature in our faith.
Within the pages of this book, it is my hope and prayer that you will find strength, comfort, encouragement, and a small Dose of Hope. God promises that “he will never leave us or forsake us” [Hebrews 13:5] and in each devotion, you will find the reassurance that no matter what obstacle you may be encountering in your life, God is always there for you, God loves you unconditionally, and He wants you to find true happiness and peace. ~ Sarah K. Meece
Hope Beyond Reason: Embraced by God's Presence in the Toughest of Times, by Dave Hess
You can stand victorious in the midst of life's greatest battle—the battle against death. Attacked by an aggressive, life-threatening strain of leukemia, a family confronted their worst fears. In the midst of the battle, they came face-to-face with the supernatural healing presence of Jesus Christ. In this gripping true-life story, you will be inspired to trust the faithfulness of God in all of life’s storms. Written with heart wrenching transparency with a dash of humor throughout, the author’s story highlights the human dynamics of the fight of faith. Dave Hess is a humble “walking miracle,” whose amazing account of God’s power over cancer reveals the intimate nature of a loving Creator. His encounter with an angel brings reality to the promise that God’s protection and peace are available for all of us! .