Book: Messiah to the Messed Up - Because I'm a mess, you're a mess, and we all need a Messiah by Sue Ciullocategories: Book, Christian, Nonfiction, Messiah, Christianity, Salvation, God, Religion, Spirituality, Christ, Grace, Forgiveness, Bible, Jesus
Sue Ciulloabout this book: I have long been intrigued by the gospel stories where Jesus interacts with everyday people. I had been in a Bible study group for years. One day our leader asked for suggestions for a book to study. I knew exactly what I wanted to study: a book that delved deeply into Jesus' interactions with messed up people and changed their lives forever. I did research on Amazon and at our local Christian bookstore, but I couldn't find the book I was looking for. It was then that I felt God telling me, "You write it, Sue."
I wanted to have a deeper understanding of how the scriptures would have been understood by the people originally reading them or hearing them, and so I dove into the study of first century Palestinian history and culture. I studied for an entire year before I ever wrote a word. From conception to publication, the project took seven years.
The title, "Messiah to the Messed Up—Because I'm a mess, you're a mess and we all need a Messiah" perfectly describes the central idea of the book. Who does Jesus love? Messed up people? Who is messed up? All of us. From the poorest widow to the wealthiest scholar—we're all just a mess deep down. That's why these stories are so relatable.
Each chapter is centered on a particular Bible story where Jesus met briefly with an ordinary person. This is followed by intriguing background information that lets the reader understand the significance of each of these encounters. Every chapter is juxtaposed with a contemporary story that lends current significance to these encounters that took place 2000 years ago. Jesus is every bit as present and every bit as significant today as he was when he walked along the dusty Palestinian roads in the first century.
I've been touched deeply by the response that the book has been getting. The repeated theme is that this book has made scripture come alive. Here is what some readers have written about Messiah to the Messed Up:
• "I would recommend this book to anybody who questions their faith or to the strongest believers in Christ and to anybody in between, or to anyone with a kind heart and a curious mind."
• "What I most liked about this book was the many personal stories the author gives that make the Bible stories easier to relate to. I will recommend this book to everyone who wants to read about the life of Jesus."
• "Sue is brilliant and I love to see the God given gift of writing put beautifully in this book. I'm not one to read books, but this one I couldn't put down."
• "These are stories we already are familiar with but get a new look at. We are messed up but the Messiah loves us anyway!"
• "I love how Sue has captured those same aspects, so succinctly, in this book. This is a great way to begin to learn about Jesus, and what He can mean in your daily life!"
• "Sue has great passion to connect with people that have stain-glassed barriers from their past church experience. Jesus still loves you and Sue's book honestly portrays the loving Jesus."
• "Never again should we assume that we have to clean up our act to come to God. An inspiring and practical book that will change lives."
• "Every chapter hit home and sent me back into my bible to reread the whole story again. I am amazed that, with all the preaching I've ever heard, Sue was able to give me perspective I'd never considered."
• "Exceedingly well written and inspiring! This author has compiled prominent Bible stories, provided explanations for each one and offered personal examples that illustrate their relevance in everyday life."
• "Messiah to the Messed Up is an EXCELLENT easy-to-read book that just plain hits home! It is, in my opinion, the best Christian study book you might ever read."
• "A quick read, this book is written in easy language that will keep you flipping pages. And after reading, you're going to be inspired to dig into the meat of the gospels in a way you never have before."
• "Sue Ciullo's book is equally appropriate for students, parents, corporate executives, ministry workers, and anyone who sees imperfection in his or herself and recognizes that we all need a Messiah."
• "This simple, honest book would be great to give to anyone seeking to know the truth about Jesus. It's not preachy at all."
• "I found that you don't need to be well versed in the stories found in the New Testament to find this book an emotional comfort during any of life's "challenging" times."
• "…, this book is WONDERFUL. Sue brings forth a group of biblical people who were "messed up" in one way or another and through Jesus became new people."
• "From the title of the book to the very last word, this book was a gift to my soul. It is liberating and inspiring, and Ciullo writes with such humility and authenticity that I read the book in a single sitting."
• "The world we live in is more than a mess ... this book definitely delivers some key understandings to making one's own life less of one!"
• "Author Sue Ciullo applies a fresh and engaging spin on age-old Bible stories, adding historical information to help the reader understand the deeper message. She then weaved the lessons into personal modern-day experiences, which more than once caused me to sit up and think anew about how deep our Father's love is for us."
• "Her tone was conversational. I felt like I was listening to a friend as we were having a cup of tea."
• "Sue Ciullo uses her own experiences to get to know Jesus as he continues to do miracles with the messed up. He's still here if we stop, listen and finally come to see Him still catering to those whose lives that are clouded by sin (Messed Up)!"
• "Ms. Ciullo managed to show me a different perspective that I could understand. One that opened up a whole new way of seeing the true inner beauty of Jesus, his kindness and love of humankind. Her stories made me cry a little and laugh a lot!"
• "You'll fall in love with Jesus all over again. For Christians and seekers, teens and adults."
• "Being a particularly imperfect person, this book gives me comfort in the knowledge that I'm not alone in needing grace! This book was hard to put dawn, and I can't wait to share it with my friends and family."
• "These stories were wonderful and helped me to apply Jesus' teachings to my own life.
• "The best part of this book is how each piece is so beautifully woven together to show how much Jesus loves us."
• "Sue shows us she is a mess and Jesus loves her. We're all a mess, and it is okay."
• "Her explanations of the Bible are clear and thought provoking but the personal illustrations touched my heart, humbling me and causing me to think of similar situations in my own life. A great book by an excellent writer."
• "The modern-day stories that the author parallels with the biblical stories in order to bring them into a 21st century light are both touching and thought-provoking. They moved me to tears a number of times throughout the book and I'm not a cryer!"
• "Most importantly, when you're finished with the book, you will discover---the way the two disciples did on the road to Emmaus---that it wasn't a stranger walking with you. It was Jesus."
• "Author Sue Ciullo uses scripture to introduce messed up characters that God forgives and uses in mighty ways. Before you give up, pick this book up!"
• "Whether you have been studying the life of Jesus for years, or investigating his life for the first time, Messiah to the Messed Up will help you understand Jesus and his compassion for each us."
• "If you've always wanted to know more about Jesus, if you've longed to see Him more clearly—let Sue Ciullo reintroduce Him to you. Messiah to the Messed Up delivers a long look at Jesus through the lens of love."
• "Sometimes I wonder if anything new can be said, and then someone comes along with fresh eyes on the stories we know so well. Sue is one of those people."
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