The Grace Awakening

Name: Moe

Occupation: Navy Diesel mechanic

Neighborhood: Downtown

Where Interviewed: Koi Pond, Balboa Park

What book are you currently reading? What page are you on?

"The Grace Awakening by Charles R. Swindoll. Page one."

Tell me about the book.

"It's a new book. I just know the author. My parents told me he's good. I'm pretty careful what I read. If a book says grace on the cover, I'm pretty careful about reading it. Grace is given from God, so it's probably on people's grace in this world today. I just know the author is a respectable Christian author."

What do you make of the argument?

"I just started reading it. It starts, 'There are killers on the loose today.' But it's not talking about 'killers' as in literally killing. It's people not putting the right message out about grace or about God -- giving them false testimonies or making them think their thinking is best. There are a lot of churches that people go to, and the preacher or priest or whatever tells them what they want to hear. They're basically telling us it's okay to walk with the world and with God at the same time. So that's what this guy means by 'killers.'"

Compare this with other books you've read.

"I've read books by Billy Graham. He's a godly man. You can tell he's tasted salt, as in he's a friend of God. When you're a friend of God, you write about God, and it's nice to read someone like that. It's kind of like the Bible -- God wrote the Bible. The Spirit talks through men like that. He's just a man, but he can help you get to that path where you need to be with God. Only God can change you -- he's that only one who can change who you are. The book I was reading, called The Journey, it's about the journey of life, and how there are many roads we can choose but only one path that God wants us to be on. [Graham] puts a lot of parables in there so it's easier for people who don't really understand or grasp what's going on."

What book was most life-changing for you?

"The Bible: the word of God. That's about it. In Timothy it says, 'All the words of this prophecy, God breathed.' God whispers the Bible, basically. Life is an ongoing relationship with Christ. You can't just read it like a book. If you read the Bible like a book, you're not going to understand a thing it says. You have to know God to be his friend, to understand what he's saying. People are going to find controversy, but if you accept Christ in your heart and trust and follow him, then your whole thought changes."

Who are your favorite authors?

"Bruce Marchiano is one of my favorite authors. He's written one called Jesus Wept, and my favorite is The Character of a Man. But he's not talking about 'man' as in guys; he's talking about people. It's a great book on love, and it's really good."

What magazines or newspapers do you read?

"I don't really read magazines, but sometimes I read the paper; depends on whether it's interesting or not. I read skateboarding, biking, running magazines."

Do you talk to your friends about reading?

"I basically tell them it's a good book and they should read it. A lot of my friends are struggling with 'the world,' as I would put it. The books I read, that I try to get them to read, aren't the Bible, but they're a good motivational type of thing for someone to read and say, 'Wow, that's true,' or 'That's me.'"

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