Article first published as Book Review: ‘Heart to Heart Journey with God' by Michael Bluemling, Jr. on Blogcritics.
October 17, 2016
Heart to Heart Journey with God
New Book Encourages Daily Conversation with God through Journaling
In his new book, Heart to Heart Journey with God, Michael Bluemling, Jr., offers readers a gift—a gift that was first given to him in unexpected circumstances by an amazing young woman who sat beside him on a plane and had no idea what an impact she would have on him. When he noticed her journaling, he happened to catch a glimpse of what she was writing down—words concerning her thoughts about God and her spiritual journey—which inspired him to begin journaling as well. Now Michael wants to share the power of journaling with his readers as a way to have a conversation with God.
For Michael, writing serves as a way to meditate on his relationship with God as well as work out a better understanding concerning life’s dilemmas and how the Word of God and our faith can help us through the obstacles we face. The fruit derived from the journal entries he wrote is now offered to his readers in this book.
Heart to Heart Journey with God is comprised of 180 short one- to two-page entries on various topics that confront us all in our efforts to be good Christians. The range of topics is vast, and often, the same topics repeat themselves several pages later, giving us new ideas and opportunities to rethink them and build upon what we already have learned. Every situation that confronts Christians in their efforts to have a relationship with God is covered in these pages, from questioning God’s existence to moral and sinful issues, such as adultery, to holding onto our faith in difficult times, using the talents God gave us, and striving for godliness.
Also, while the book is directed at a Christian audience, Michael shows tolerance toward all denominations as well as other religions. While raised Catholic, he understands that different beliefs can still lead us to our Father, and he asks us to separate a religion’s purpose from the flaws of its human practitioners. For example, he states, “There have been many terrorist attacks carried out by extremists in the name of Islam. However, the majority of Muslims, like Christians, are peaceful people. In the Catholic faith, many priests have committed inconceivable crimes against young boys and girls. However, this is not what the Catholic faith is based on. Both of these examples are occurrences outside of what each religious practice teaches.”
Michael, who is also the author of Turning the Page: Overcoming Abuse to Reach Life’s Fulfillment, knows the difficulties that people face in life. While the abuse he experienced as a child at the hands of his father could have scarred him for life, he never let his faith in God waver, and he has used his experiences to become stronger and reach out to those in need, including others who are abused, his fellow veterans, and now his readers, by helping them realize the importance of having a strong relationship with God, a relationship that needs to be nurtured on a daily basis, and which Our Journey encourages people to do.
One of my favorite sections of the book is “Day 163: Go West with God,” which reflects this need for a relationship with God, as well as the work required to see it grow and blossom. Michael begins this entry by saying:
“As the American pioneers headed west looking for riches and new resources, they had one fundamental idea in mind: growth. They packed up all of their earthly possessions and belongings in hopes of striking it rich when they finally settled in their new homes. They embarked on a long and hard journey that eventually led to much success for many of them; however, those triumphs did not come without great peril and loss of life for many who were unfit for the expedition.
“Our journey with Jesus Christ is similar to what those brave people experienced. At some point, we must realize the importance of not wasting God’s blessings, which we have been given so that we may ‘Go West’ with God.”
As Michael makes clear, and Jesus’ parable of the talents reminds us, the more we are given, the more God requires from us. Don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of those gifts, including the gift God has given us through Michael’s book.
I believe the best way to read and benefit from Heart to Heart Journey with God is to use it the way Michael intends. Commit daily over a six-month period to read one entry every day—as I said, they are short and none of them will take you more than a few minutes to read. Then find an idea or message in the entry that speaks to you, or maybe a topic you are struggling with understanding, and spend a little time, even just five or ten minutes, writing in your journal about that topic. The result will be increased clarity about Christianity, a better understanding of who you truly are, and a strengthened and transformative relationship with God. I have no doubt that this simple but priceless process can change your life in big ways if you commit to it regularly.
Every relationship requires commitment and nurturing, and a relationship with God is no different in this respect. After all, doesn’t the most important relationship in your life deserve at least fifteen minutes of your day? Don’t wait any longer.
For more information about Michael Bluemling, Jr., and Heart to Heart Journey with God, visit www.PowerofOneLLC.com.
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