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Caught Off Guard: Encounters with the Unexpected God [Paperback]

By William P. Smith (Author)
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Item description for Caught Off Guard: Encounters with the Unexpected God by William P. Smith...

In his new book author William P. Smith bridges the chasm between the heart and the head. Where is the reality of God in the middle of careers and groceries? Why are so many believers frustrated with the enormous gap between what they know about God and how they actually live? In Caught Off Guard, author William P. Smith graciously addresses these seekers who have become dissatisfied with merely "talking theology" and instead yearn to taste and experience the "real thing"- a God who desperately longs for relationship with them. With real stories from today and biblical times, Smith demonstrates surprising and often unnoticed attributes of a loving and purposeful God by proving: *How God draws near to the radically undeserving *How God responds to people who have feeble faith or even active doubt *How God will help you as you seek to live a righteous life *How God changes the people around you by radically transforming your heart, mind and soul In Caught Off Guard, Smith draws an irresistible picture of the heart of God that shatters conventional wisdom, remains true to biblical principles and invites people to reconsider a deeper trust in our uncontrollable, loving God.

Publishers Description
Developed as a catalyst to reignite lost passion for life in the relationship to Christ, Caught Off Guard delivers real stories from today and biblical times that show the surprising and often unnoticed attributes of a loving and purposeful God.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Caught Off Guard: Encounters with the Unexpected God by William P. Smith has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • CBA Retailers - 03/01/2007 page 38

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Item Specifications...

Studio: New Growth Press
Pages   177
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2007
Publisher   NEW GROWTH PRESS #1265
ISBN  0977080773  
ISBN13  9780977080779  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Inspirational

Christian Product Categories
Books > Inspiration > Motivation > General
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Caught Off Guard: Encounters with the Unexpected God?

Caught Off Guard  Mar 23, 2007
Caught Off Guard is right book at the right time. It is so kind of God to have had Bill write a book that for me, is akin to a spiritual survival kit. Even the Preface of this book was water to a thirsty soul in my case. From the moment I picked it up, I felt an excitement return to me that I hadn't felt in a long time. It seemed like Bill was "reading my mail" and his words renewed my hope for change, and encouraged my love for God. Each page of the book reminds me that as Believers, we live this life bathed in the grace of God. Here's what you get in 4 sections: Section 1 entitled "God Shows You His Heart," which was a wonderful collection of biblical stories that focus on the father heart of God for his people and how he comes after us time and again. His compassion and mercy are highlighted in these 5 chapters. Section 2: "God Calms your Fears." This was especially poignant for me while I was reading this book. I was in an extremely difficult situation wherein I was afraid down to my bones, and I found mercy and comfort in my pain in these 5 chapters. Section 3: "God Provides What you Need." A thoughtfully written account of a personal God who knows each and every thing you need and challenges us to remember his all of His spiritual provisions. Section 4: "God radically Transforms You." As if salvation weren't enough, Bill carefully brings to the foreground the unbelievable care God shows us in helping us to not hide ourselves from Him, and what a grace this is to us. Each chapter has challenging questions at the end that beg you to answer them. As you do, the knowledge of who God is and what He's about in your life come into focus in a way that is refreshing and hopeful. I am reminded page after page that God is intimately involved in every detail of my life, that He is not out to get me, that He truly is on my side, and has my good at heart. If you feel that there is a disconnect between your knowledge of God and the application of that knowledge, this book will be a strong encouragement to you. He provides insight into those crazy questions we find ourselves thinking about (translating into living out) in everyday life, and, I get the real sense that Bill has somehow been all the places he takes us himself! Thank you, Bill!
Most helpful book I've read this year  Mar 18, 2007
Along with others, I have eagerly anticipated this book for a couple of years now. The CCEF crowd have produced some of the best works of applied theology around -- Ed Welch's When People are Big and God is Small and Blame it on the Brain; David Powlison Power Encounters; Paul Tripp War of Words and Instruments in the Redeemer's Hand, etc. Bill Smith stands out as one of the most insightful of this school of thought. His talents and commitment are amply demonstrated in thus, his first book.

Caught Off Guard is about fleshing out knowledge of God in the midst of daily struggles. Bill's rich experiences have prepared him to guide us through this tricky task. He has lived in inner city Philadelphia rehabbing homes. He has a master of divinity from Westminster Seminary and a PhD from Rutgers. He is licensed to preach in the PCA and worked in churches for years. He's been a counselor with CCEf, and editted their journal. But his greatest qualification is as a wise and creative Bible teacher.

Accessible but profound; lofty but humble, this is Bible teaching and pastoral application at its best. Lively, fresh, arresting.

The book is broken into 20 short chapters of about 8 pages each. Each chapter concludes with basic but helpful questions, making this ideal for small group study.

If I were to strain for criticism I could mention two very minor items.
1. Not alot of meaningful reflection on how God meets and changes us through the sacraments.
2. While this is unparalleled in showing the glory of God, there is somewhat less ink spilled on the centrality of the church.

But overall, this is the most helpful book I have read so far this year. I heartily recommend it.
Caught Off Guard  Mar 12, 2007
This book brings grace alive in a very personal and practical way. Each chapter takes a Biblical event and reveals Gods' amazing grace in the people's lives. A great Old Testament example in the chapter, "Do you embrace Jesus' restoration when you fall?" is Aaron, Moses' brother who blew it terribly. God shows up at his ordination to put His seal on Aaron's priesthood and reveal His forgiving grace to all of Israel. The personal, reflective questions at the end of the chapter both challenge my heart and give hope. I have used this book to minister to people in recovery and it has given them hope and revealed God to them in their lives.
In Caught Off Guard: Encounters with the Unexpected God, Bill Smith reminds us that God "is compassionate toward people who struggle to make their lives work." I am one of those have-not-yet-arrived folk; maybe you are, too. This book contains short, vignette-type chapters, each bringing to light different Biblical characters' situations and God's responsive, unfailing love. Dr. Smith does an unparalleled job of bridging the past to the present, seamlessly weaving relevant illustrations into the devotionals. The directive footnotes and reflective questions at the end of each chapter help reinforce understanding and application. Have you ever dug deeper into God's Word and walked away thinking, "I know I have read that passage in Scripture before--how many times?--but have never seen it, or God, in that way"? You will do this over and over again as you meander through Caught Off Guard. It is refreshing, restorative, and full of hope.
a fresh view of the creator  Mar 9, 2007
Everyone brings there own assumptions and experiences of life and God to the text of scripture. We then inevitably interpret the text through this lens. It is difficult to step away from that lens to see God more accurately by allowing Him to define Himself. In Caught Off Guard: Encounters with the unexpected God, Smith invites the reader to look at the scripture through a new lens. His conversational writing style allows him to speak profound truths in an understandable way.

I am currently using this book in a small group setting. I have found the questions that Smith offers are extremely provoking. These questions have caused our small group to enter a much deeper level of conversation. We are now going beyond the initial intellectual study of the meaning of the text and discovering the unsettling questions that our hearts are asking in which the intellectual truth answers.
The meaning of the text is only as helpful as it is able to be applied. Smith leads his reader to apply it.

The young adults in our ministry have been refreshed by reading Caught Off Guard: Encounters with the Unexpected God. This is most evidenced in that they are buying it for their friends and family.

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