I live in Portland where we judge everything by a high standard. Sometimes we have the right to; other times we are allowing the hipster culture to overwhelm us. That doesn’t mean we are always right. It doesn’t mean the only biscuit with gravy I would eat is from Pine State or the Library café in Arleta. Sometimes the best, most filling one is from Diane’s, the classic diner up the road. I am learning the same is occasionally true with things like books. Just because they aren’t the newest and hottest topic around, they are still good, and good for me.
Case in point, I just read Epic Grace*.
Epic Grace is a book about one man’s encounters with a gracious God in midst of struggles, failure and temptations. Kurt Bubna allows the reader to see who he really is and how through him, God’s grace has affected and blessed those around him.
If I am honest, I sometimes felt like I was reading a book my dad wrote or would have told me to read. I could hear his voice laughing at some of the jokes,”…on a southern California parking lot, I mean highway.” While I rolled my eyes and hear a rim shot. It seemed like my father understood the references to Cher, Homer Simpson, and James Earl Jones. He also would have preferred the use of the phrases like “Hogwash!”, “Big Kahuna” and “derrière” instead of the words they bring to my sinful mind.
He would have disagreed with me about many of the chapters using cliché and overused verses from John, Jeremiah and Job, as their back bone instead of some of deeper cuts that not every church member has read. We would probably both notice that the title is shoe horned into paragraphs occasionally, and there are big jumps like when temptations are listed as, “sex, drugs, pornography, gambling, too much chocolate…”
It pains me for people to laugh about too much chocolate being as serious a temptation as drugs.
As I was reading and judging along this vein, there was one sentence from Chapter 7 that jumped out to me and made me turn my frown upside down.
“Maybe it’s time for the church to stop majoring on the minors and to stop judging others so ruthlessly.”
And that one quote made me realize that I actually liked how Kurt Bubna was humble and open about his life…the wins and fails. I also appreciated how he used some of the most tested scriptures to show that grace is very important in life and the greatest gift from God. ‘
*I was graciously given a free copy of the book by the author and publisher for review. I also once upon a time hung out weekly with the author’s son and his family and others talking about church.