Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Stories I Never Told You by John Rozema

Everyone has a story to tell but Rozema has penned a memoir that is just short of spiritual perfection on many levels. It was refreshing to read his personal reflections and know with certainty he had no agenda to fulfill, unless testifying to God’s faithfulness counts as one. Rozema’s words flow effortlessly, enticing the reader to abandon themselves in the raw emotion of lessons learned.

There are many of Rozema’s experiences that everyone can relate to. His confusion in regards to “Christians” and their unchristian characteristics, a father who exhibited anything but fatherly love, calling out to God-as many soldiers do-from a foxhole, experimentation in other spiritual belief systems, marrying and raising a family, and health scares are realities most will feel are customary events. Yet, there are other aspects of his story that are deeply personal and enriching. Traveling from Holland to America, never hearing “I love you” until the age of 21, a tour of duty that included Vietnam, a Colonel in the military yelling that Rozema needed Jesus, and almost dying from a reaction to chemotherapy are personal experiences that can only be claimed by the author. However, they attest to how life experiences mold us and it’s in our reaction to these events, and a faith in God’s ways being higher than ours, that make the outcome a different story altogether.

How else do you explain being transformed from an emotionally abused child to a redeemed adult? How do you get from being a man struggling with God and spiritual beliefs to becoming a speaker at missions seminars? This is a man that emerges from a life of hard knocks with strength. He is strongly devoted, strongly secure, and strongly committed to sharing the possibility of being free from sin through faith in Christ. Where he was once shy, timid, and weak, he is now a man of courage.

In every adventure, every test he writes of, it is clear that one phrase sums up his life completely. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Pleasant Word-A Division of WinePress Publishing (October 15, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414115814
ISBN-13: 978-1414115818
Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 0.6 inches

Note-A copy of The Stories I Never Told You was provided by Pleasant Word for review purposes.