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A Book Review for Easter Week: Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot

"My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power."
1 Corinthians 2:4-5 NIV



Link for the book @ Christian Book:
http://www.christianbook.com/through-gates-of-splendor/elisabeth-elliot/9780842371520/pd/71524#top
Paperback $9.99

Authors site:
http://www.elisabethelliot.org/

Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1996--50th Anniversary Edition/288 pages
Non-fiction/Biography/Missionary/Ecuador
Link for the book @ publisher:
http://tyndale.com/Through-Gates-of-Splendor/9780842371520

Through Gates of Splendor is a well-known story. Many have read the book of the 5 missionary men in Ecuador. Many more have seen the films: End of the Spear,  Beyond the Gates of Splendor, and recently The Grandfathers.

In the early to mid 1950's Jim Elliot, Pete Fleming, Ed McCully, Nate Saint, and Roger Youderian, along with their families, lived in a jungle area in southeastern Ecuador. They were missionaries to the Lowland Indians named Quichua's (pronounced keech-wa). They also saw the Jivaros (he-va-ro) and Atshuaras (at-shwa-ra) Indians. They prayed for an opportunity to reach the fierce Auca (ow-ka) Indians. History had shown that the Auca Indians could not be trusted, and many had died trying to work with them.
The book gives brief introductions on each of the men and their wives. We also learn how the men came to know each other and how they came to surrender their lives to mission work. We learn what it was like to live in the jungles of Ecuador and what the Indian cultures and beliefs were like. The book gives a chronicle of the months and days leading up to the first encounter with the Auca Indians.

I kept thinking about two words from Acts 4:13 "ordinary men" while reading this book.
These men had a God made blending of personality and talent and spiritual gifts; but when they surrendered their lives for Him----they became bold and dynamic witnesses for Jesus!
Ed McCully stated in the book that he had "one desire now, to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it."
A life of "reckless abandon" that is such a radical statement for a modern Christian to make! Think about it, we live such sheltered predictable neat lives in America as Christians, but to give all that up for "reckless abandon."
It's a radical statement, but when I think about it, it makes me want to laugh out loud with giddiness! Not out of sarcasm, but from a bubbling joy in my heart! It's unexplainable.

On the front cover of the book there is a quote by Chuck Swindoll, "God used this book to change my life."
I agree this book does change lives, I know it has changed my life. 
There are some stories that we read that deeply affect our lives and we know we will never be the same again, this story I felt is one of those.
I wondered what are some of the reasons that has made this story so penetrating and affective.
1st Reason---- These men surrendered their lives for the sake of Christ Jesus. They did not count the cost--they did not look back----they were undeterred in the single focus of following Jesus.
2nd Reason----We see what happens when we let go and let the Holy Spirit take full control of our lives, we become dynamic witnesses for Christ Jesus. 
3rd Reason----This story demands a response from the reader. You cannot read this book and not feel as if you are being asked a question, and that an answer must be given.
Would you give your life for the sake of Christ Jesus?

I have a quote that I wrote on an index card and it is taped to my vanity mirror beside my bed, and I read it everyday.
"The key battle of our spiritual life--God's goodness--Is God truly worthy of our trust? This was the question of the serpent in the Garden of Eden."  Author Unknown.
I believe this is at the heart of why we don't surrender our lives completely over to Jesus.
We don't trust Him. We trust Him as our Savior, but we don't want to give our lives completely over to Him---we hold back, because He may ask us to give something up....like our life.
It may not mean that we must give up our physical body over to death, all though that is where we are all headed. It may mean surrendering our goals, plans or dreams. The bottom line is that surrendering our lives over to Jesus means that we want His will for our lives, whatever that may be.
John the Baptist stated in John 3:30 "He must become greater; I must become less." NIV

"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21 NIV

This was a buddy read between Becky @
http://operationreadbible.blogspot.com/and I. Becky will be posting a review on this book soon!

Blissful Reading!
Annette

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