Thursday, September 12, 2013

Charlotte Gambill - Turnaround God [Book Review]

That I want to give this book a five star and end this review isn't because I’m a fanatic. In fact ‘Turnaround God’ was my first contact with Charlotte Gambill, the author. I had never read or heard anything from her before this. 

First, a fact to be established: ‘Turnaround God’ isn't just worth the read; it is one to be handled with urgency. Charlotte has something vital to say to this generation of Christians that I think few or no ther authors are saying in recent times. So pulling back the urge to just rave and say ‘Go get the book’, I will be professional and review this book in two parts, the writing style and the content.

The Writing
I read ‘Turnaround God’ with so much surprise as most preachers and pastors [I have read] don’t really get to have a distinct writing voice or style. Most times they tend to fall flat on the page and as a reader, you read the book at the mercy of what they have to say into your life. But right from the first page of ‘Turnaround God’, I noticed Charlotte Gambill immediately begged to differ from this stereotype. 

While not extremely ‘poetic’ like the likes of Max Lucado, Rob Bell and the Canadian pastor Mark Buchanan, Charlotte’s writing is bold, upbeat, illustrative, imaginative (in fact very imaginative) and punch line oriented. You would love it. She’s good with one liners, does a good job of telling the right stories at the appropriate time and uses real life stories and issues as spiritual allegories. A clap for her with this craft cause it helps the message stick.

Reading Charlotte for me was like having a seaside coffee conversation with a friend who was teaching me new things say ‘how to swim’. And in that conversation, she never hesitated to get us to leave the coffee for a while and head over to the river for some practice. Yes, it was that engaging and practical. No dull moments at all.

In ‘Turnaround God’ the message is all round. Charlotte Gambill does not hesitate to address elephants in the church’s room today. I loved the chapter called ‘Turn the Other Cheek’ a chapter on forgiveness and using our energies for the important things. Charlotte has this to say on the matter:

“Every time we allow our differences to shout louder than our commission as the body of Christ, our eyes are off the things we are called to turn around. . . When we lose sight of the true fight to which we are called, the enemy can cause us to take fire at the very people we need alongside us”

Every chapter had a unique and urgent message to offer. I'm trying hard not to put Mrs Gambill’s book in a box by describing it in one line as a book about the transformation God wants to bring in us and around us in our communities cause I think it’s so much more than that.

I think a good book is one that does two things to you. First, you want to read it again and second you are not the same person who opened the first page when closing the last page cause something’s changed.

I’m going read ‘Turnaround God’ again and as for the change, I’m waiting for the people I do life with to tell me that something’s different cause I know something happened in those pages. I think I can boldly say Turnaround God helped turn me around. It can do the same for you too.


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