In his book The Storm: A Time of Mercy, Choices and Hope, author James A. Toups recalls the various challenges and storms (figurative and sometimes literal) in his life that have made him the man he is today. The book is more than simply a journey through his own life however. James’ storms (challenges) in life are relative to us all. I’m certain as you read this book you will find some familiar situations.
“Within the covers of this book are memories that give glimpses of the world through the eyes of a boy, an adolescent, a young man, a father, a grandfather, in search of union with Christ and the eternal hope that comes from that union.” In so writing this memoir James gives us hope. A hope that is the central focus and mission of this book. Just as James walked through life and discovered a Creator around every corner so can we…..if we only open our eyes and hearts.
James A. Toups’ story is one of a close-knit, large family from the southern United States. It’s a story of faith, hope and love. The book is so beautifully written that one feels as if they are sitting right next to James as he partakes of his mothers first-day-of school breakfast. You feel the tension as the family endures not one but two hurricanes – the literal storms in their lives. You read with a sense of familiarity as James lovingly reflects upon his grandmother, MawMaw’s, banana pudding. Fast forward a number of years and he reflects upon the horrific actions known to us as 9-11. In another chapter, living in Louisiana, James has to face the biggest storm of his life, the biggest storm this nation has ever dealt with, Katrina.
The underlying theme through the entire book is James’ faith story. A faith that grows as James grows from young boy, to young man, to father and grandfather. Much like our own lives James faces a number of personal storms that he chose to use to build his faith, perhaps unknowingly, but events that changed his life. Every one of us face similar challenges, how we handle them is the key to life eternal. James chose to rely on God to see him through each of his challenges and that is a lesson we need and an example we should follow.
“Surviving storms with our hears and souls intact requires us to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, for such a profound relationship changes all we are and all we do, oth on the natural and supernatural planes.”
Bravo James for a life well lived. May the years ahead be as fruitful as the years behind. Many thanks for providing a resource that puts faith, love and hope in front of our eyes without forcing it. Your work moves us as your reader to improve ourselves, seek out God and live life to the full. May you be blessed abundantly for this.