Revival Rising: Embracing His Transforming Fire, by Kim Meeder
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Chosen Books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
In many ways, this particular book could have stood to have a different title. The author wants to inspire in the reader a fierce passion to reach and care for the hurting as a means of bringing back revival, but a great deal of this story relates to the author and her own personal drama as well as her own sense of privilege which comes through in this book about the author’s travels and experiences and personal beefs with former people involved with her horse ranch in Central Oregon. It has always struck me as particularly odd how many Christian writers there are from Oregon who have such great ideas on how to revitalize American society while they cannot even encourage meaningful amounts of people in their own regions to go to church or adopt anything remotely approximating godly living. Anyway, the author certainly has a lot of experience in seeking to help the needy and appears to be aiming her book at women who are in need of encouragement about the possibility of revival in their own lives.
This book is a bit more than 200 pages and is made up of five sections and seventeen chapters. After a foreword by Focus on the Family president Jim Daly, the author writes a preface and introduction that sets up the work and its goal of inspiring and encouraging the reader. After that the first section discusses the need for God to reawaken our heart (I) by reawakening our freedom (1), our pursuit of God (2), and our love (3). After that the author calls on God to restore our souls (II), by restoring our trust (4), our faith (5), our worship (6), and our forgiveness (7). This would appear particularly appropriate for a great many of this book’s intended female readers. The author then discusses how God needs to renew our minds (III), in such areas as obedience (8), belief (9), joy (10), and purity (11). The author then calls upon God to reinforce our strength (IV) through the reinforcement of our courage (12), stand (13), and discernment (14). Finally, in the fifth section, the author calls upon God to reignite our love for the lost (V) by discussing the need to reignite the testimony we have to share with others (15), the Spirit of God that is within us (16), and our will to live for God (17), after which the author concludes with a discussion of the rising revival.
I must say that as a reader I found some of the stories a bit too histrionic and overdramatic for my tastes. But this is a matter of personal taste and there is certainly a great deal that is in this book that is well worth appreciating and that will likely be enjoyed by its intended reading audience. One can see in this book the attempt of the author to demonstrate a re-ignition of her own testimony, which includes talking about fearsome encounters with drunk native Americans, or remembering the horrific events surrounding the deaths of her parents. And there are many readers who will find such moments to be genuinely touching, as it shows the author’s own experiences and struggles. And for me this was the part of the book I appreciated most, seeing the author wrestle with the sorrows of her own life in a way that did not suggest mere first world problems from a privileged person who has enough resources to run a horse farm in Central Oregon as well as frequently travel for various mission and seminar trips. I just wonder if the author is sensitive enough to how such things could be seen.