I can’t tell you how I discovered Brennan Manning. No one introduced me to him. I, in fact, have never met him. But I don’t recall hearing about him during my years at First Baptist in Corvallis. Or on any of those retreats I attended over the years at Warner Pacific or Ridgecrest, Cannon Beach or at Mt. Baker.
No one I know walked up to me and said, I have this friend you need to meet.
No one said to me, You should read this book by this Manning fellow.
I didn’t stumble across Manning until late in life.
Mine and his.
I think it happened in a bookstore in Nashville, of all places.
I was already a Rich Mullins fan. Had been a fan of his for sometime. So I think when I came across the book titled Ragmuffin Gospel, I was immediately drawn to it because of Mullins. It was one of those powerful discoveries. You know the sort. When you read a book in one sitting and the whole time inside you are jumping to your feet and shouting Amen like a Pentecostal?
I gave copies of that book to several people. It’s that kind of book.
So is his latest, and very likely his last — ALL IS GRACE.
It’s been a messy one.
Manning is the first to admit to that.
But then, I’m the sort of girl who thinks God is a trenches kind of fellow. I don’t envision God in white robes. I see him in combat boots. So messy is something I’m comfortable with.
When John Blase contacted me earlier this year about possibly endorsing Brennan’s book, I was gobsmacked. I never once entertained the thought of endorsing a book by Brennan (& John). Finding that Brennan had a connection to Point Clear, Alabama (Fairhope) made me love the book and him all the more.
The other day I received a note from a reader/friend who came across my blurb on Brennan’s book:
Oh, the company you keep, dear. I read your on-target endorsement in All Is Grace and thought, “well of course, Brennan has touched her life too because that’s the way she is.” Which is probably why I connect with your work.
Brennan’s books have hugely impacted me through the years and now this one is like the ultimate. I’m still speechless about it. Just wanted to say it was fun to see your name on this significant book
ALL IS GRACE is indeed a significant book.
You should read it.
Because here’s the thing I am realizing more and more — we spend too much of our time debating things that really don’t matter and not enough time contemplating the one thing that truly matters — Grace.
Some of you are going through tough times right now. I’m praying for you and I’m trusting that God’s Grace will be all sufficient for you, especially in times such as these.