Sunday, August 9, 2020

Celebrate Lit blog tour stop, featuring Tim Witte's book "Back to God"


Welcome to my blog's stop on Tim Witte (author of Back to God: The Journey of Hope Through a Broken World)'s book tour! I enjoyed reading this book by Witte. I hope that you will enjoying reading this details about his book and reading my review too! 

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About the Book
Book title = Back to God: The Journey of Hope Through a Broken World
Author: Tim Witte
Genre:  Nonfiction
Release Date: January 27, 2020

Back to God: The Journey of Hope through a Broken World is a timeless, grace-filled message from the Bible to bring us back to God. 


Sometimes we long not for escape but to find our way in the midst of the questions burning in our minds. Who can I trust? Do I have meaning? What hope do I have?

In a society where nothing is permanent, technological advances increase our sense of vulnerability, and relationships come and go, we long for one unchanging element in which we can trust and rest in wholeheartedly without fear. We long for hope. 

Author Tim Witte conveys just that with Back to God, offering foundational principles from the timeless truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ: the message of unfailing hope that meets us in our broken world, a promise from the only one who cannot lie and who will not fail, and a powerful word from God to bring us back to God.

Back to God is neither academic nor profoundly apologetic but is a truthful, down-to-earth dialogue filled with illustrations that will resonate with readers who long for true answers from the Bible for life’s biggest problems.

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My Review:

Tim Witte, author of Back to God: The Journey of Hope through a Broken World, is a talented author! I am grateful that I had the opportunity to read and review this book for Celebrate Lit.

Witte’s storytelling skills are so smooth and completely captivating that I thought I was reading the first chapter of this book when I was only reading the Preface! I realized that after I turned the first few pages and saw the Acknowledgments section.

He takes stories from real life like the Columbine High School massacre that happened in Colorado in April 1999, and the fatal Space Shuttle Columbia disaster that occurred in February 2003, and makes them more compelling with a strong human-interest hook. Witte retells each story in a way that tugs at the readers’ heartstrings. His storytelling creates a deeper sense of empathy for the people who lost their lives during those tragic times in American history.

The author proves his point and presents his case for why humankind needs to return “back to God” throughout this book! He supports every claim with verses from The Holy Bible. Perhaps the verse on which this book was founded is Psalm 14:1-3 (ESV):


The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;

there is none who does good.

The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man,

to see if there are any who understand,

who seek after God.

They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;

there is none who does good,

not even one.

The author presents his case early on in this book. It is a case for acknowledgment of and healing from what he calls “spiritual brokenness and pollution.” His findings are well backed by facts, statistics, and of course, the stories that fill the pages of this nonfiction book.

As a reader, I appreciated how the sentences flowed seamlessly into paragraphs and how the perfectly formatted paragraphs neatly filled each page. But it was the author’s fluid storytelling style that kept me turning the pages of this well-written book!

The author addresses deep questions that most people have in common because they are all a natural-occurring part of the human experience: “Who can I trust? Do I have meaning? What hope do I have?”

Witte effectively conveys in his book that we do have hope in Jesus Christ! Nothing that we face in life is utterly hopeless because God promises to never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6) and His Son Jesus Christ walks with us through the mountains and valleys of life here on Earth (Psalm 139:8). Jesus will be here for us until the end of human history (Matthew 28:20)!

This is one the most truth-filled, down-to-earth books filled with messages of faith and hope, that I have ever read! I truly enjoyed this read and finished the book with a feeling of encouragement.

*Celebrate Lit provided me (Alexis A. Goring) with a complimentary copy of this book, Back to God: The Journey of Hope through a Broken World by Tim Witte. My opinions in this book review are my own.

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About the Author

Writer and veteran Bible teacher Tim Witte holds a bachelor’s in Bible and Greek from Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee, and studied computer science at Austin Peay State University.


He lives in northern Indiana with his wife of thirty years. They have three daughters, two sons-in-law, and two grandsons.

Tim enjoys teaching Bible classes at his church, woodworking, barbecuing, and spending time with family.


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Words from the author (Tim Witte):

If I Should Die Before I Wake
Next to a chainsaw, the most dangerous tool you could find in my hand is a rhyming dictionary. The good news is I have not touched a chainsaw for months. The bad news is I recently dusted off New Rhyming Dictionary and Poetry Handbook. My subject is prayer so maybe, with much prayer, I can do more good than harm.

A Child’s Prayer

Writing Back To God made me reflect on the people and events God used in preserving my life and leading me to faith in Christ. Though I did not have a clear understanding of the gospel as a child, my parents laid a good foundation with biblical truths about God and myself. One of my earliest memories is of my Mom stooping beside my bed and having me repeat this prayer:

Now I lay me down to sleep,

I pray the Lord my soul to keep;

If I should die before I wake,

I pray the Lord my soul to take.

That nightly routine and the words of that little prayer helped establish a Godward orientation to my life. Not every child receives that. I learned some vital truths at a very young age:
  • I learned I could pray to God. What a concept! Many PhDs have not figured that out.
  •  I learned I was not ready to go to sleep until I had said my prayers. I don’t speak of praying in that way now; it sounds more ritualistic than personal. Yet, it conveyed the priority of praying to God.
  • I learned that God could protect me, but I should not presume upon that protection. I should ask for it.
  • The third line presents the possibility of death. It would have been bizarre and borderline cruel if, night after night, my mother had said, “Now remember Timmy, you might die in your sleep. Good night!” However, prayer is serious business, and I can talk to God about the scariest stuff.

Additionally, I learned my eternal destiny was not to be taken for granted; it was to be a matter of prayer. Ultimately, God would decide where I ended up.

As one would expect, my prayers became more varied and improvised as I matured. For most of my adolescence, I continued a somewhat sporadic pattern of prayer at night.

Gospel-ignited Prayer

However, the time came while in the Army when I ceased to pray. I recount some of this in Back to God. My life was a sinful mess. The last thing I wanted to think about was what happens “if I should die before I wake.” For prayer to be possible one has to have hope, but I was hopeless. Prayer would only be reawakened in me when another soldier brought me God’s message of hope.
Interestingly, my evangelist started the conversation by asking, “Tim, do you know where you would go if you died tonight?” From there, he proceeded to share the gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. That prompted me to read the Bible, and particularly the book of Romans. I was overwhelmed by the astonishing message of God’s grace. Then the flame of prayer was reignited when I read, “For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved'” (Rom. 10:13). God heard my cry that day, and now I have the Holy Spirit dwelling in me and teaching me to cry, “Abba! Father!” (Rom. 8:15).
So recited prayers can be powerful tools for instructing small children about themselves and God. Such prayers may help them form a daily habit of praying. However, only the gospel has power to kindle the eternal flame of prayer in our hearts.

A Responsive Prayer

You may want to take cover now as I am about to wax poetic. Understanding the role that prayers can have in teaching important theological truths and the necessity of the gospel to ignite prayer in the heart, I recently composed a responsive bedtime prayer for my daughter and son-in-law to use with their young sons. I patterned it after the prayer my mother taught me, but I filled it with gospel hope.
Child:
As I lay me down, I pray,
Thank you Jesus for this day.
By your grace forgive my sin, 
Make me true and clean within. 

Parent:
Holy Jesus guard your sheep,
For you died our souls to keep.
Keep us trusting in your grace, 
Till we see you face to face.


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                        Blog Stops
Artistic Nobody, July 29 (Author Interview)
Simple Harvest Reads, August 1 (Author Interview)
My Devotional Thoughts, August 3 (Author Interview)
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 6 (Author Interview)
Mary Hake, August 8
Blossoms and Blessings, August 9 (Author Interview)
God is Love, August 9
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Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Tim is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! 
Click the link below to enter:

4 comments:

  1. This sounds like a wonderful book.

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  2. Thank you for reading and reviewing my book. I am humbled by your gracious words and recommendation.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wonderful review! Thank you for sharing this timely book.

    ReplyDelete