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Tania Harris: God Conversations

Tania Harris, God Conversations: Stories of How God Speaks and What Happens When We Listen (West Ryde, Australia: Authentic Media, 2017), 240 pages, ISBN 9781780781884.

Tania Harris is both an academic and a practioner. She has been a student, teacher, pastor, church planter, an international speaker, and now, an author. Her calling is to help God’s people hear God’s voice on their own (page xiv). In several places in this book she mentions that it does not take years of education to hear God’s voice. God wants us to know Him, and God longs for us to hear Him (pages 16-17). The author herself uses examples in her interpretation of biblical texts along with her personal experiences and her humor, which when combined, takes us on the journey with her, hearing, seeing, and wondering out loud what we have stepped into.

The Table of Contents reveals 26 chapters, all with intriguing titles. I have chosen three as examples of her unique style of writing. To really appreciate this style and I heartily recommend that you read the book for yourself.

Chapter 1: How Do I know It’s God?

Chapter 1 gives us a background on the God who speaks. We find God desires communication with his people. God wants to be heard. So it is very common to hear the question, “How do we know it is God that is speaking?” Using examples from the kings of Israel and the prophets she leads us on the road to the New Testament, where Jesus walks and talks with the disciples. No question about who’s talking here. But what happens after the crucifixion and the Resurrection? How will we hear that voice? The Day of Pentecost arrives and Peter speaks to the crowd from the book of Joel, telling them that God will pour out his Holy Spirit upon all people. That there will be prophecy and visions and dreams, for men and women alike (Acts 2:17-18). With this promise, which is for each succeeding generation, comes the ability to hear God’s voice.

Chapter 3: I’m Yours Lord

Tania Harris, image from GodConversations.com.

In this chapter the author is excited about her spiritual life. She is experiencing God on her own and enjoying worshipping at church. She is elated that she is stepping out in ministry and is looking forward to teaching children of Wycliffe Bible Translators. As she is singing she hears a voice, “Give all your money away” (page 21). She has planned a trip and the money is all accounted for. An internal struggle pulls at her. What is she to do? Then she remembers Abraham. She thinks of his struggle as he arranges stones into a pile that is meant to become an altar (page 25). His belief in the promises of God may be stretched thin, but God sees his faith and makes a way. Because she has no doubt that it was God’s voice, she gives her money away, and finds in its place a God that can provide her with everything she needs.

Chapter 16: Silence

When we have been praying about something specific and sense the Presence of God, it is wonderful. When suddenly we do not sense his presence, we begin to wonder what happened. Did I do something displeasing God? Are you hearing me, Lord? Are you there? The author had never planted a church before, but she was absolutely sure it was his will. She just needed a little help. The voice she longed to hear was silent. So she prayed … and she prayed. And still no voice. Nothing. She had a choice.

This reminded her of a boy named David. David became King of Israel. David heard from God. As he grew older he desired to honor God by building Him a temple. So David prayed, but God gave no answer. Nathan the prophet told David to do what was in his mind. Here David had a choice. He chose to wait and God spoke through Nathan. David was not to build the temple, that would be for his son. But God would build a house for David, a house of kings. The author had a choice, just as David did. Sometimes God lets us choose. Be creative, do something new, learn and grow (page 134)!

This book encouraged, instructed, and inspired me. As I read through the book there were times when I had to put it down, there was so much to glean from her observations. Her writing style grabbed my attention—it is amazing how she pairs the biblical stories with her own stories. Her insight tugged at my heart. Her writing was clear, intentional, humorous and transparent. Each chapter builds to the next one. You must read this book to see the whole picture.

I recommend this book for those who are not sure if God speaks today, and for those who are seeking to hear His voice for themselves. For young women and young men, for they are the church of today and tomorrow, and for their elders, many of whom are young at heart. God Conversations is a guidebook for hearing the voice of God.

Reviewed by Cynthia Lathrop

 

For more from author Tania Harris, go to GodConversations.com.

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Category: Fall 2017, Living the Faith

About the Author: Cynthia Davis Lathrop attended Western Connecticut State University and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston (CUME). She is co-editor and contributor to the book Some Men Are Our Heroes: Stories by Women about the Men Who Have Greatly Influenced Their Lives. She has also participated in ministry in Kenya and Indonesia.

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