“Sanctuary” Easter Sunrise Service-Seattle: http://sanctuaryseattle.org/?p=913
Seattle Times Easter Services: http://tinyurl.com/77wg3nz
Night with a Perfect Stranger: the Conversation that Changes Everything, by David Gregory, Worthy Publishing, 2012, 132 Pages, ISBN-13: 978-1936034864, $14.99
Nick feels spiritually “stuck,” his faith dry, not what it once was. Instead of spiritual refreshment from reading the Bible he feels inadequate, discouraged, like he doesn’t measure up and wonders why he isn’t “… a better Christian…”
It wasn’t until Nick met Jesus face-to-face in Night with a Perfect Stranger that Nick’s cynical skepticism had turned into a life-affirming belief in God. His spiritual life then changed into one of strong commitment and purpose that reflected his newfound relationship with Jesus. He had expected the bond to flourish into spiritual maturity and it had started that way. Especially after his wife Mattie “…had a similar encounter…” wrote about in Day with a Perfect Stranger.
Now six years have passed and Nick’s initial sense of “closeness” that gave his life “…purpose…and meaning…” has waned. He still believes, but his faith has faded, along with his prayers that now seem to bounce off the ceiling. He feels like a car running on empty fumes without a spiritual gas station in sight.
In book three, Night with a Perfect Stranger, Nick again has an encounter with Jesus, this time after an argument with his father. Upset and angry, Nick neglects to check the gas gauge for his late-night drive home to his pregnant wife Mattie.
Nick’s car is the only vehicle on the road when the engine sputters and diesin the middle of nowhere. He pulls onto the shoulder as the car coasts to a stop and sees “…a man holding a fuel can….”
Thus beginsGregory’s third book, a parable where Nick has an exchange with Jesus that changes everything. The novella is told through two conversations, the first between Nick and Jesus, the second with Nick, Jesus and Larry, a newfound friend who lives out the lessons Jesus teaches.
Gregory’s inspirational message characterizes Jesus with perceptive insights that recognize sin, but also God’s love and the Holy Spirit’s work in believers. Spiritually rich, insightful and entertaining, the narrative, chock full of life-changing spiritual nuggets, reveals Jesus is more about relationship than religion. Night with a Perfect Stranger is unforgettable, a must-read especially suitable for Easter.
While some compare Night with a Perfect Stranger to The Shack, Gregory’s book reminded me more of The Listener, Taylor Caldwell’s classic released in 1960. In Caldwell’s story fifteen people’s lives are changed after they meet with The Listener. That book and this are theologically sound, while The Shack continues to stir controversy with its portrayal of the Trinity.
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