Saturday, December 12, 2009


The book I'm reviewing today has a fascinating concept: if God kept a treasure box of His memories throughout human history, what would be in it? Then the author, Leigh McLeroy asks a more intriguing question of the reader: if you had a treasure box that held mementos of your faith journey, what would be in it? After some consideration, these are a few of the items that would be in my treasure box of faith.

A kazoo: Oddly enough my first real twinge of conscience came from a kazoo. I was staying at my Grandma Valley's for the week of Vacation Bible School at church when I was about eight years old. Grandma had a kazoo, and I loved playing with it, but I wanted to know how it worked. So when Grandma wasn't around, I unscrewed the top and took out the plastic disk and started playing with it. But in goofing around, I punctured a hole in it, and when I put it back together, it didn't work anymore. I brought it to Grandma swearing up and down that I had no idea how it happened. The next day in Bible school, the teacher talked about lying and how it separates us from God. I asked to talk to her after class and told her about my lie, and she told me I had to tell my grandma the truth. When Grandma brought me back to her house, I told her the truth. It was so hard to do, because I didn't want her to think less of me, and she had already fixed the problem with a tiny piece of plastic wrap, but my conscience wouldn't let me rest, so I spilled it. Grandma brushed it off as no big deal, but in the long run, it became a defining moment.

A volleyball: When I was twelve, I was involved in a youth group held on the weekends at the local high school. I wasn't a member of the church sponsoring it, but we did a lot of fun activities. On one Saturday afternoon, we were all playing volleyball in the gym and a boy a couple years younger than me dislocated his knee. He was crying from the pain, and all of us adolescents stood around awkwardly not knowing what to do. One of the leaders came forward, placed her hands on him and started praying...out loud...for Jesus to heal him! I had never seen anything like it in my life, and while the other kids and adults gathered around and placed their hands on him as well, I backed away. As I watched, a light surrounded the entire group, and I knew without question that Jesus was there. I blacked out for a moment and when I came to, the boy who had been hurt was playing basketball like nothing had happened. Believe me or not, this is just how it happened and it forced me to acknowledge that Jesus is real in a way that I have never been able to deny.

The Left Behind series: It was while reading this series that I had my come-to-Jesus-salvation-fall-on-your-knees moment. I was reading the book's description of the fall of Jerusalem and then later that day in my scheduled Bible reading was the exact same passage in Luke. It may seem coincidental, but I knew that God was reaching out to me, and I gave my heart to Him. As soon as I stopped crying, I ran downstairs and called my dad to tell him the news he'd been waiting years to hear. It was an amazing day for both of us.

There are lots of other items that I would keep in my treasure box: books, journals, even some people. What would be in yours? What are the defining moments in your faith journey?

Treasured by Leigh McLeroy is an amazing book that poses the question: what would God keep in a treasure box as mementos of His love story with humanity? By focusing in on pivotal moments in the Bible, like the fig leaf, Abraham's knife, and Balaam's riding crop, she creates new understanding about who God is and just how much He loves us. It also adds subtext to each story making them richer and meaningful for today's readers. She takes everyday items and made them seem almost sacred because of their context. Each chapter is easily read in a few minutes daily making it a terrific addition to readers' time with God. She ends the book discussing the items that would be in her own treasure box of faith and encourages readers to consider the contents of theirs as well.

Thank you to Random House for providing me with a copy of this book for review.