Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Book Review: Holding Fast

image Holding Fast
Author: Karen James
Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 2008
Number of pages: 225

Karen James tells the story of losing her man to a mountain. Kelly James is a man’s man; a follower of Jesus, a lover of life, a godly dad, and hopeless romantic. He’s a mountaineer that’s straddled the world’s most famous summits. The final peak he mounted swallowed him up and refused to give him back to the family that waited for him. Kelly James was the kind of guy we dudes all wish we were like. Living for Christ is loving life. It’s not weakness in a man. It’s strength.

In the book, James let’s the reader experience her family’s desperation as a rescue operation is mounted to find her husband and his buddies while they are lost on Mt. Hood in the decade’s worst storm. Despite all of their skill, expertise, and meticulous planning, when its man is pit against nature, nature doesn’t throw in the towel. Nature does what nature will do.

But the family is not without hope. Or faith. And as the family talks of the faith and prayers from which they draw strength and hope, the nation is mobilized by their plight. Volunteers and resources from all over the country appear daily to pitch in to search for the three guys lost on mountain.

The author quotes Pastor Rick Warren as he’s interviewed by Larry King: “Larry, I used to think that life was a series of highs and lows, but I have come to realize there are always good things happening.”

James shares with readers that she was afraid of really jumping in with both feet with God, because she felt it would cost her something more than she could give. And then she lost her husband. But she wisely reminds us that “He decides how, when, and what we will have to face in life.” God’s purposes bring great reward, but often at a great cost. There’s nothing warm and fuzzy about being sold out to God. It takes passion and pain, strength and sacrifice. But that’s the only way to fully experience an abundant life.

James organizes the book well. She put incredible thought into how to tell the story so that the reader gets the best possible view of both the challenge of her faith and the triumph of her husbands.

This is a great read and I’d recommend it to both men and women who need a boost I their relationship with a spouse, a kid, or God.

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