Skip to main content

Rude Awakening

Rude Awakening by Mark Donnelly

The phrase ‘rude awakening’ often refers to a situation a person faces in which they are unprepared for or were not ready for in the least bit.  Mark E. Donnelly’s new book entitled Rude Awakening is a jolt to the bones of those believers coming to church every week and believing on their own merit.  Donnelly goes onto ask a series of introspective questions regarding our relationship with God in writing, “What is the fruit of truly knowing God?....Are you a good Christian? By whose definition?  Are you defining your goodness merely by what you abstain from” (14-15)?  Mark supposes that there is a kind of knowledge about God that doesn’t equate to truly knowing him because there is a disconnect between our actions and our heart.  Rather, being united to Christ gives us the motivation to love people well and serve them. Mark goes onto to mention that the love is in three directions: upward, outward, and inward (17).

After a near death swimming drowning, Mark goes onto to talk about various subjects in the book from the Holy Spirit to love and hate.  One of the best insights in the book was Mark’s taking a time inventory of his life by taking a time budget.  After calculating the time he spent on various activities, he asks a pointed question, “What activities are wasting my time?  What activities can I not eliminate” (106)?  I think we forget how often time gets away from us if we are not consciously setting wise boundaries.    This wise use of time includes the use of our money which is often a good marker of our hearts.  I think Mark has a good way of getting to the bottom of issues and pointing out practical ways Christians can come to terms with their failures and sins. 

I didn’t agree with every point of Mark’s theological views but I appreciated his willingness to see that even issues such as time and money have a dramatic effect on our spiritual lives. 

Thanks to Book Crash for the review copy of Rude Awakening in exchange for review.


Popular posts from this blog

My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes.: A Journey Through Loss with Art and Color

My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes by Roger Hutchison

Taking a look at the digital copy of this book allowed me to look at the striking art inside the book, and its connection to the words of the page that were focusing on loss.  Looking at the physical copy of the book even brings to life more the staggering similarity that the words and pain have together on the page.  The focus here is how certain colors express the sentiments of those who have lost a loved one.  I did not think that I would relate too well to this book until two days ago, as we lost our little boy, who was only 17 weeks old.  The pain is palpable and yet the pages of this book give me good reason to think of my son with a sense of pride and hope.

Roger writes, "You are a shooting star. Your light trails across the heavens.  I blinked and you were gone."  We were full of anticipation at the first and second ultrasounds, and there was the picture of our little boy Jackson, his developing face and little …

The Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South

Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose by Flannery O’Connor
A profound simplicity of thought, a penetrating vision of what it means to be human, Flannery O’Connor embodies the spirit of bringing fictional stories to life.  Others might call her fiction ‘grotesque’ in a rather unflattering manner, but O’Connor was not content to live up to their criticisms.  In this short book of collected essay and lectures, Mystery and Manners, editors and friends of Flannery, Robert and Sally Fitzgerald have given us a glimpse into the vision of her faith, style and life as a writer.   A lifelong Catholic, Flannery O’Connor sought to wed together the moral integrity of her faith with the character of her craft in writing.  Specifically, fiction for her was an exploration in imitation.
In a rather illuminating statement in the chapter entitled, “A Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South, “ O’Connor writes,
“I am specifically concerned with fiction because that is what I write.  There is a certain em…