Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Face to Face with Jesus Book Review

A Former Muslim's Extraordinary 
Journey to Heaven 
and Encounter with the God of Love

SUMMARY:  It starts as a story ripped from the headlines of the war-torn Middle East.
     An extremist faction of Islam bombs a church during a service.  The one door in the back isn't big enough for five hundred people trying to escape.
Some are killed.
But after the chaos and fire and smoke,
One young woman comes back to life.
     In this thrilling true tale, death does not have the final word.  From the first time Samaa heard the Lord Jesus calling her out of Islam into faith in Him, till she met Him face to face in heaven, her life is marked by God's supernatural love and power.  Full of hope and encouragement, and overflowing with Jesus' love, her riveting account reveals the power of God to break through any circumstance - and is a moving reminder that, in a place beyond what we can imagine, we have a Savior waiting to welcome us face to face.

REVIEW:  When this book first came to my attention, I wasn't sure I wanted to read it.  But, once I opened it, I was amazed at Samaa's story and her experiences.  If you are discouraged with the modern-day American church, struggling with your own faith, or just wondering about all the violence in the Middle East and think there is no hope, I suggest you pick this novel up.  
     Samaa shows how God is working all over the world and how Jesus is reaching the masses.  Once a strict Muslim whose father was a Mullah, she came to a saving knowledge of Jesus and, through much prayer and over many years, eventually helped her entire family do the same.  The stories of how God is working through prayer is amazing and sounds like the early church in the book of Acts.  
     Samaa and her sisters were at church when it was bombed.  Samaa was standing in front of one of the bombs when it detonated where she died and saw Jesus face to face.  Jesus gives her the choice to stay in Heaven or return to her life and shows her snapshots of her life.   Seeing how she had lived her life for her own agenda, Samaa asked to be returned and be given an opportunity to tell others about Him.  From the moment she returned, she was a walking miracle, determined to tell others about her Savior.  Samaa, along with the other family members that were believers and members of their church, often prayed for miracles - healing, protection, deliverance, salvation, food, finances, whatever the need may be - which were answered over and above what was expected.
     This is an excellent book, full of inspiration and insight of what the church in the United States, or anywhere else in the world, could be like if we would take our eyes off ourselves and let the Lord work in and through us.

This book was provided by Chosen Books for review without compensation.
Samaa Habib grew up in an Islamic family in the Middle East.  From an early age she had a desire to know God and become a dedicated Muslim as a child.  Her life was radically transformed when she encountered the love of Jesus through a dream and a vision in her teenage years.  After her baptism as a Christian believe, she faced persecution on a regular basis, culminating in a terrifying bomb attack on her church fellowship where she had a death experience.  The heavenly face-to-face encounter she had with Jesus during her death experience has left an indelible mark on her life.  It ended with Jesus commissioning her to come back and tell the world He is real and coming again soon.  Since that time, Samaa has traveled the world, sharing her incredible testimony of converting from Islam to Christianity.  Her inspirational story of God's love, radical forgiveness, reconciliation and the power of the Holy Spirit is a powerful reminder that we do not serve the god of hatred; we serve the God of love!  Her life calling is to encourage the Church to be an ambassador of Christ's love, to prepare the Bride of Christ for the return of the Lord and to remind us all to live for eternity with heaven's view.

Bodie Thoene has written over sixty-five works of historical fiction with her husband, Brock, which have sold more than thirty-five million copies and won eight ECPA Gold Medallion Awards.  She and her husband have four grown children and eight grandchildren.  They divide their time between Hawaii, London, and Nevada.

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