Does God Really Like Me?
 

Does God Really Like Me?

Discovering the God Who Wants to Be With Us

by Cyd Holsclaw and Geoff Holsclaw

Does God Really Like Me?
paperback
  • Length: 224 pages
  • Published: January 21, 2020
  •  Forthcoming
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-4596-5
  • Item Code: 4596
  • Case Quantity: 48

"I guess I believe that God loves me. But does he like me?"

We all know what it's like to feel overlooked, disconnected, and ashamed. We might believe in God's love in the abstract, but we often live our lives without experiencing it in any deep or lasting way.

Pastors Cyd and Geoff Holsclaw understand this—indeed, they've felt it themselves. In this warm, engaging book, they explain from the story of Scripture that God not only likes us and wants to be with us, he also wants to work through us to bless the whole world. Filled with personal stories and simple, clear teaching from the Bible, Does God Really Like Me? applies the good news of the gospel to the shame and disconnection that we all experience in our everyday lives.

God wants to be with us—we belong in his presence. And from that place of belonging, we can bless the whole world with the message of God's love.

"The interactive presence of God pumps through the heart of Does God Really Like Me? and into our daily lives. A vibrant and relational God comes through all of Scripture and now engages our personal lives. Through the exercises in each chapter, we learn to interact with Jesus in ways that transform who we are and how we live. Maybe you have believed or maybe you are not sure if God really works—it is time to try God's living presence for yourself."

Jim Wilder, neurotheologian and theoretician at Life Model Works (formerly Shepherd's House), author and international speaker on relational Christianity, trauma recovery, and character development in community

"Through engaging stories, lived wisdom, formative practices, and incisive reflection questions, Geoff and Cyd Holsclaw carefully and compassionately offer answers to many of the significant questions we ask of God, others, and ourselves. This book will help you see many deeply held and inaccurate cultural perceptions about God and replace them with the truth about who he really is—the one who sees, knows, and delights in those he has created. If you know in your head that God loves you, but you wrestle in your heart and soul with whether God actually likes you, I'm confident this resource will help you to catch a glimpse of the smiling face of your loving heavenly Father."

J. R. Briggs, founder of Kairos Partnerships, author of Fail: Finding Hope and Grace in the Midst of Ministry Failure

"The Bible is adamant that God loves us; most Christians know this. But many have a difficult time embracing the idea that God not only loves them, he likes them too. They fail to realize that this is, in fact, the heart of the gospel: that God so loved the world that he gave his Son—in the most generous and intimate way imaginable—in order to restore us to a friendship with him. As wise and competent tour guides, Cyd and Geoff Holsclaw take us on a journey through Scripture to help us rediscover the vital and liberating truth that God delights in us, takes joy in our presence, and wants to be with us forever."

Andrew Arndt, teaching pastor at New Life Church, Colorado Springs

"Written with honesty and grace, Does God Really Like Me? makes the case that God indeed likes us, and longs to be with us. In a world dominated by feelings of deficiency, distress, and dislike, we badly need to hear the message of this book and to live into it: God loves me, and God likes me, and by God's grace, so can I."

James Bryan Smith, author of The Good and Beautiful God

"If this faith is supposed to be about love, why does it so often feel like dry obligation? Perhaps it's our capacity to even receive his love that God wants to heal. To do so he uses people like the Holsclaws. Through Scripture, story, imagery, and even music, they invite us to immerse into the possibility that this faith can be emotionally satisfying, that we can truly belong and be known by God."

Mandy Smith, pastor of University Christian Church, Cincinnati, OH, and author of The Vulnerable Pastor

"A. W. Tozer famously quipped, 'What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.' Cyd and Geoff Holsclaw dig deeper into this reality, going beyond thinking and cognition to the everyday, relational presence of the triune God. Does God Really Like Me? is an integrative look at how we actually experience God in our lives, weaving insights from biblical theology, neuroscience, and decades of Cyd and Geoff's pastoral wisdom. This treatment is a gift to the church; it immediately goes at the top of the list as an additional resource for those in the Gravity Leadership Academy. Our training of leaders to walk with Jesus, experience his love, and abide in his presence moment by moment benefits greatly by this accessible and profound book."

Matt Tebbe, cofounder of Gravity Leadership, copastor at The Table in Indianapolis

"It can seem today as if most people are big God-denying sinners! But I think something else lies under this observation: most people are sensitive souls seeking practical confidence in God via heartfelt questions—Am I truly welcome anywhere in life? If I am accurately seen, will I be exposed? Can I ever feel at home in this chaotic, fleeting world? Does anyone see me, know me, or care about me? As a decades-long follower of Jesus and as a pastor I have both had these thoughts and heard them from thousands of others. In Does God Really Like Me? by Geoff Holsclaw and Cyd Holsclaw, you will discover their experience-based and thoughtful grasp on this challenge—and their ability to guide us past our most gut-wrenching inner questions to the always-ready, always-there love of God."

Todd Hunter, bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others

"Geoff and Cyd Holsclaw have given the church and the seeker a gift with their first book together. Their vision of the grand narrative of the Bible, personal vulnerability, and invitations to application and reflection present the reader with multiple avenues for receiving their important message. God's invitation to intimacy and deep desire to dwell with humankind is presented with accessible breadth and depth. They cover the major epochs of God's reconciling mission and present the Cross as the ultimate expression of God's pursuing love for the lost. I commend this book for all believers, especially those wrestling with deep feelings of inadequacy or in recovery from profound moments of rejection. May God use these insights and stories for the healing and liberation of many."

Charlie Self, professor of church history at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, director of learning communities for the Made to Flourish network

"If you've ever wondered if there is anything really good or likable in the good news of the Christian story—about who you are, or who God is, or about life with God—then listen to it again with Cyd and Geoff Holsclaw. And begin to practice with them this gift of life and love and liked-ness. They know our God and our family story, and they help us see the biblical pattern of God's unstoppable life and love for and with us, of his delight in and purposes for us, woven with the unbreakable beauty of divine joy. Settle in, get (un)comfortable, and begin the renewal that comes with hearing, seeing, and experiencing God's joy over you as his beloved, image-bearing child in his permanent family. Listen well. The Holsclaws tell their story of homecoming and reshaping through discovering what it means to be loved and liked by (thus becoming like) God, who has woven his own joy-filled life and Spirit into the flesh and fabric of our lives forever in Jesus. Try it. You'll like being liked by God. Just ask Geoff and Cyd."

Cherith Fee Nordling, author of Knowing God by Name

"We absolutely must recover from a shame-based theology. You and I are meant to live from our identity as God's image bearers—shame be damned!!! Geoff and Cyd Holsclaw offer a winsome road map helping us orient toward the reality of God's love for us, out of our shame and into the presence and story of God. God in fact likes us very much—we belong to him and he is always glad to be with us. The Holsclaws bring us the depth of a theological anthropology from creation to consummation—served up with stories and metaphors from their own lives—inviting us toward a clearer understanding of how God sees us."

Jared Patrick Boyd, pastor, spiritual director, and author of Imaginative Prayer: A Yearlong Guide to Your Child's Spiritual Formation

"Geoff and Cyd Holsclaw have a gift for communicating the joy of the gospel in practical and life-giving ways. Through their comprehensive and perceptive exploration of Scripture, they demonstrate that the good news is so much better than what we often live or even imagine. If you've ever struggled to fully embrace the truth that God loves you and delights in you, Does God Really Like Me? is a reorienting and reassuring read."

Sharon Garlough Brown, author of the Sensible Shoes Series and Shades of Light

"With the wisdom of pastors and the depth of theologians, Cyd and Geoff Holsclaw write Does God Really Like Me? Its winsome prose and wonderful stories will draw you into the world made known in Jesus Christ, where God is so 'glad to be with us.' And so I welcome you, without reservation, to read this book and discover a path out of dryness with God. A profoundly deep, faithful, and biblical masterpiece for our times."

David Fitch, B. R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology at Northern Seminary Chicago, author of Faithful Presence
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Read an Excerpt

CONTENTS

Introduction
1. What Is That Smell?

Part One: God's Idols
2. Where Is Home?
3. Do I Belong Here?
4. Does My Work Matter?
5. Does God Really Like Me?

Part Two: God's House
6. Why Do I Have to Wait?
7. Is God Angry with Me?
8. Is God Disappointed with Me?
9. Is God Done with Me?

Part Three: God's Body
10. Is God Disgusted with Me?
11. Am I Wanted?
12. Is This All There Is to Life?
13. Is This the Death of Me?

Part Four: God's Movement
14. Will I Ever Learn?
15. Will I Ever Find Peace?
16. Did I Really Sign Up for This?
17. Can I Go Home Now?

Acknowledgments
Notes

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Cyd Holsclaw

Cyd Holsclaw is a pastor at Vineyard North in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as well as a ministry and life coach and spiritual director.

BY Cyd Holsclaw

Geoff Holsclaw

Geoff Holsclaw (PhD, Marquette University) is a pastor at Vineyard North, as well as affiliate professor of theology at Northern Seminary in Lisle, Illinois, and coauthor of Prodigal Christianity.

BY Geoff Holsclaw

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