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LIFE AS A MIDDLE MANN

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The Heavenly Man

In addition to my new feature of movie reviews I've also decided that with every book I read I'll post a picture of the cover and share some reflections. I always forget what I read and this might help me remember and get some of my immediate thoughts down. The Heavenly Man is the autobiography of Brother Yun, a Chinese house church leader and the leader of the much talked about Back to Jerusalem movement. This book was selected as the Christian Book of the Year in 2003 and the Christian Autobiography of the year in 2004. My wife picked it up as soon as I finished it and I'm telling her she has to finish it so we can talk about it without me ruining it for her. She's also not allowed to read this post until she's done, there are a few spoilers in here. This book tore me up inside. Every once in a while you experience something that wrecks your perspective and completely ruins you for 'ordinary.' This book did that again for me. This book reads like a Chinese version of the book of Acts, literally. It makes me feel like I've seriously been 'playing church' the way we all remember playing house growing up. It's not real, it's not close to real. Having spent a significant part of my childhood growing up in China I felt a special draw to this book, it was also on a recommended reading list for our church's trip to China that Becca and I will be going on this July (support us!). His is an intense story of persecution and faith, of abundance in spiritual blessings with a complete lack of material blessings. His story is inspiring if not annoying. On a bad day I don't want to read about this guy? I want to read about the people that I'm better than, the ones who are complaining about missing t.v. shows and stuff, I like to compare myself to them and feel good. This guy, yeah, not so good. God has also been stirring in my wife and I's heart towards possibly taking the blessings he's given us to some of the most church-forsaken places in the world, China being at the top of that list. It was hard to imagine after reading this book just what we could possibly bring that would be of any benefit. Now, if they'd like to dilute the strength of the church and the move of God's spirit, then I'm just the guy! But my western arrogance, the view that any majority world country would be blessed to simply have a few Americans in their presence. Well, that had been fading for some time but it is now officially gone. In fact, maybe God is calling us to go to China...to learn from them. I'm not sure I can recommend this book, it'll bug you as it paints a different picture of what it means to give your life to the person of Jesus and the way of Jesus. A neat part about the ending of the book unfolds as he describes the Chinese church's commitment to take the gospel to the remaining unreached places on the globe. They have 100,000 who have committed to take the gospel back to Jerusalem, through the three main roads that connect China to the Middle East. I wish we had that same vigor, commitment and willingness to sacrifice for people and places that have never heard Jesus. Or maybe I wish I had the same vigor, commitment and willingness to sacrifice.

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  1. Blogger Ye-Jin | 6:31 PM |  

    Could you tell me where I can purchase 'The Heavenly Man' in Chinese version? I will really appreciate that.
    Thank you.

  2. Blogger Josh Mann | 11:05 AM |  

    Sure! Try http://www.asiaharvest.org/pages/booksChineseLanguage.html and that should work, amazing book!

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