Book Review: “Chasing God” by Roger Huang

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I have been very frustrated in my plan to read this summer. There always seems to be a pull on my attention, mainly kiddos. My top priority this summer is to connect with my children, but I also crave the type of reading I can only do in summer. The heart encouraging, soul-lifting, laughter giving books that seem to stack up during the other 9 months of the year.

 

I had this great plan and well, reality interrupted it. So, as we enter the second month of summer I am going to choose to ignore the stack of books that remain unread and focus on the two I have read all the way through.

 

“Chasing God” by Roger Huang.

Roger is an immigrant who developed a heart for the broken people of the tenderloin district in San Francisco. After God shifted his heart, he began walking around the tenderloin with his family, passing out sandwiches and prayers to whomever he could. His endeavours blossomed into a full time ministry after much struggle and stepping out in faith to where God had called him. The ministry is called SF City Impact and I have the opportunity to attend their conference this month and get a first hand taste of how this important ministry spreads the love of Christ!

 

On a regular basis, I struggle with feeling confident in God’s plan for me. Knowing God’s plan for me involves getting to know God. I have to spend enough time with Him that I can learn to clearly recognize the ways He speaks to me. In the book, Roger states, “ I have prayed long enough to recognize thought that are from the Holy Spirit.” (p.233). Sometimes, I start to think hearing God can be complicated, but this quote reminded me that the most important factor in communicating with God is making communication regular enough that I can learn when He is speaking, versus; your own thoughts or other influences. It was a good reminder that hearing God speak is not just for the spiritually “elite”, it’s for everyone that seeks Him.

 

The most influencing parts of the book were the parts where Roger talked about his struggles. The road from bologna sandwiches to a non-profit that hosts thousands of volunteers, supports a church and school, etc. did not come easily. Struggling with God’s timing, various relationships, resources, and personal issues were all issues Roger faced. His childhood was one of abuse and neglect. He experienced many failures in ministry and faced many challenges when following God into the tenderloin. {Not to ruin it for you… the story does have a happy ending!} However, the most impactful portions of it, were the times when Roger questioned himself, doubted his competence and abilities. I don’t believe that very many people following God have a smooth path free of self-doubt. Whether it is a parenting issue; an outreach opportunity; a book launch; or a disabling addiction, we all benefit from the reminder that life can be difficult even for the people who seem to be doing such large and important things for God. This book makes the point that following God is the only option.

 

I would highly recommend this book to anyone. It has universal appeal.  It is a shot of inspiration to follow in the tracks God has planned for you. It is a reassurance that God is always present, God is always faithful. It is a reminder to be close to God above all else, and a call on your life to find the passion God has planted inside you. You will laugh, you will cry and you will be more empowered to follow the “impossible” dream God has planted in you.

 

 

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