Book Review: The Grace Effect; How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief

Now that various ongoing projects at home have wrapped up, I’m attacking my book pile (paper and virtual) with a relish. At the top of the pile was The Grace Effect by Larry Alex Taunton.

I have no idea how I came into position of this book. I’m sure I found someone who was offering for free.  I can’t say no to free books.

The Grace Effect is a multi-purpose book. On the surface, it tells the story of the Taunton family’s adoption of their daughter, Sasha, from the Ukraine. That in of itself is a compelling story but the author also gives the reader a very readable history lesson in the history of Russia and the Ukraine, socialism, his interesting conversations and relationship with deceased author and journalist, Christopher Hitchens. The main take away from Taunton’s book is how society cultivates its own demise when it rejects the ultimate source of grace.

Taunton has written an excellent book. I devoured this in two days. His descriptions of Orphanage #17, where Sasha lived, echoes the stories my in-laws told when they returned from mission trips to Russian orphanages. I have no doubt that Taunton’s descriptions are accurate and without embellishment.

I plan to reread this book again mainly to absorb what he calls “common grace”.  This book is too good to keep to myself so I’m giving my copy away. If you’d like to win, just leave a common on this post. I’ll draw a name at random on Wednesday, June 6.

Out of the Mouths of Morons (A Shocking Discovery of What I Actually Believe About God)

I don’t feel like we’re suffering. Something must be wrong.

Those are the words that came flying out of my mouth when my husband came home with everything he purchased to start doing some home improvements. He assured me that he did not use our credit card, our checkbook balance could handle the heft of the purchase and even though I’m not bringing in any income yet…we’re fine.

And then those words came flying out of my mouth.

And then I saw that all too familiar look on my husband’s face that says “Are you crazy?”

Yes, honey. I really think I might be.

I haven’t brought in a steady income in two months, our standard of living has not changed and my husband says we’re fine. He’s either lying to me or our math is wrong.

He’s not lying and our math is accurate.

We have made some significant changes around here since I left my job. No more daycare expenses. Reduced our grocery spending by half and we are not eating out. Those changes pretty much sum up my old paychecks.

But somehow I equated that making changes that would be good, even great, for our family must equate that we are going to…must…suffer for it. God answered a two-year long prayer and I’m concerned that we’re not “paying” for it.

It’s moments like this, when the rubber meets the road, where I come face to face to what I REALLY believe about God.

I falsely believe that if God answered my prayer about staying home with my family, I’d have to pay for it by suffering in some way, shape or form.


Thankfully there are Bible verses that combat my false beliefs. I just need to take the time to look for them and learn what’s true about God.

Like these verses from Luke  11:

9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

God knows how to give a gift and He gives them without conditions, strings attached, or a price tag. He does it all out of love.

All I need to do is accept.