Where do I start? From the title, it is obvious I Start With Amen , a book by Beth Guckenberger. But what I really am trying to say is, where do I begin to tell you how much this book has affected me?
The first time I heard of Beth Guckenberger was at a church conference last summer. She and her husband, Todd, are co-executive directors of Back2Back Ministry. The theme for the conference was “God Writes the Best Stories”. Beth’s stories drew my attention especially since our daughter had just come back home after a few years serving as a missionary with another mission group.
Beth told story upon story how God used her and her family in Mexico. How God provided for the orphanages and her family. It wasn’t always easy but it God is always good. When I saw openings for Start With Amen launch team, boy did I jump at the chance!
And, guess what? This. This.book. There is no way I can even begin to tell you everything I’ve learned as I soaked in the words. No, I’m not putting this book or the author on high pedestal. Nope, she is only human. But, I firmly believe God gave her the words.
What’s it about? Well, read on…
Years ago, author Beth Guckenberger began inverting her prayers. She began with “Amen” and ended with “Dear Jesus”. What she discovered by starting with ‘amen’, meaning ‘so be it’, it put her in a place of surrender from the beginning. Surrender. Obedience. Essentially, Thy will be done right from the start.
This story-teller author packed truth upon Biblical truth spoken in word-stories. I liked how the author didn’t beat me over the head but gently, through her experiences, led me into a deeper understanding of surrender and obedience to God.
When I began to put into practice what I was reading, honestly, it felt a bit strange. I would say, “Amen” and then…nothing. I was in the habit of sticking ‘amen’ at the end so it felt like I was finished before I even began. However, the more I practiced inverting my prayers the more I began to feel a deeper connection with God.
For example, “Amen, I trust you Lord. I know you have a plan.” and proceed with requests and end with, “Dear Jesus”. It isn’t a formula, by any means, but a place where one can come before the Lord in a different posture.
Start With Amen is more than a book about prayer. Beth has a deep understanding of the Bible. This book is so marked up with so many “ah-ha” moments. So many thoughts written in the margins…some hard questions I’m asking myself.
Growing up I was taught not to mark, underline or dog-ear the pages of a book. I broke all the rules in this book. I honestly do not think I have ever underlined so many sentences in one book, besides the Bible, in my years of life.
I highly recommend Start With Amen! It is available for pre-order (yes, I’m the boss of you so go purchase it now!) with the release date May 9.
What are you waiting for? Go order it!
“If I wring my hands over our country, the economy, my kids, or our future, to what end does that angst provide? I can’t control… …but I can listen. I can intercede. I can offer. I can trust.”
**I received an advance copy from the author and publisher for my honest review.