Recently I was solicited by the owner of Tribute Books to write a book review on a newly-pub'd book entitled Why God Matters - How to Recognize Him in Daily Life. This book is co-authored by a father/daughter team: Karina Lumbert Fabian and Deacon Steven Lumbert. Why God Matters is a book geared toward Catholics, and its purpose is to help the reader to recognize Christ's presence in their lives.
The forward is written by William T. Ditewig (Professor of Theology & Religious Studies at Saint Leo University in Saint Leo, Florida). It is in the forward that readers first catch a glimpse of the depth to which Karina and Deacon Steve encourage and challenge us to allow God to be present in our daily lives. Mr. Ditewig writes: "Grounding their reflections in the everyday lives of Christian disciples.....Karina and Deacon Steve suggest, echoing St. Patrick, to 'breathe with God's breath.' This breath, the Spirit of God, creates, inspires and sustains all believers, and it is through this breath of God that God's own Word- Christ- is proclaimed to the world. In other words, the very everyday life of Christians can be the most fundamental and effective form of evangelization itself."
There is much about this book that I enjoyed. The writers take personal life-happenings and apply them in a faith-based way to the instruction of a God-centered Catholic life. In this day in age, I think people really need to be approached in a very humble and personal way in order to allow them to see not only Christ in you, but to see their own need for Him through your offering. Through the small stories which are told in turns, both Karina and Deacon Steve relay humility, kindness and encouragement based on their personal struggles, achievements and lessons-learned.
I also enjoyed the "Life Lessons" and the excerpts from the Catechism which accompany each story. They are both uplifting and helpful as we apply them to our daily life. One of my favorite "Life Lessons" came from the chapter entitled "Love in a Pot of Rice" written by Karina. In this lesson, she writes: "God calls us to be the first teachers to our children in living a life of faith, hope and charity. How did your parents teach you this? How are you teaching your own children? Spend some time in reflection and prayer today......."
It is great to come across a book written by two people who are in the same family yet have come to the Catholic faith in two very different ways. It is interesting and inspiring because even though their journeys have been different and their experiences all their own, their stories collide into a refreshing and simple depiction of what it is to be Catholic and live out the faith in every day life.
Why God Matters is a very easy-to-read book. The layout of short chapters alternating between Karina's stories and Deacon Steve's make it one you can read in between laundry loads or while picking up toys! Their stories are uplifting and the quotes from the bible coupled with the excerpts from the Catechism and the Life Lessons make it an even stronger work of encouragement, inspiration and hope.
Why God Matters can be purchased here.