Heart Wide Open: Trading Mundane Faith for an Exuberant Life with Jesus
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Heart Wide Open: Trading Mundane Faith for an Exuberant Life with Jesus

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Product Description

Are you and God friendly strangers? Is going to church enough, or do you want more? With her trademark southern humor, Tomlinson invites you to relax with sweet tea on the back porch as she encourages you to move beyond status quo faith, surrender to Christ, and be alive to God moment by moment. 224 pages, softcover from Waterbrook.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: WaterBrook
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 0307731936
ISBN-13: 9780307731937

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Publisher's Description

You believe in God. You’re trying to serve Him.
But do you know how to truly love Him—and let Him love you?
 
As a Bible-believing churchgoer, author Shellie Tomlinson harbored a secret in her good-girl heart. She longed for something more than routine faith; she wanted to love God with a genuine, all-consuming passion. So she got honest with Him: "I admit it. I don’t love you like I should, but I want to love you. Help me!"
 
In Heart Wide Open, Shellie invites you to answer the call of your restless heart and refuse to settle for anything less than the intimate friendship of God. Through her heartfelt and honest words, you’ll find practical inspiration to help you…
·   exchange your "just enough Jesus" mindset for an all-out pursuit of Him
·   put sizzle in your Bible study by asking God to show you the wonder of His Word
·   trade formulaic devotions for a devoted life
 
Are you ready to stop struggling to make time for God and instead live every moment with God? Discover how to live with your heart wide open.

Author Bio

Shellie Rushing Tomlinson is the author of the award-winning nonfiction humor titles Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On and Sue Ellen’s Girl Ain’t Fat, She Just Weighs Heavy! She is a popular blogger and speaker, and the host of the radio program All Things Southern LIVE. Shellie loves sharing humor and hope with audiences across the country. She and her husband have two grown children. They live and farm in Louisiana.

Endorsements

"Heart Wide Open will fuel your desire for a deeper relationship with God and give you the gentle nudge and the steps to get it. So much of this book spoke to me that I had to get out my highlighter pen! Wherever you are in your faith, you will benefit from reading of Shellie's journey to a deeper, stronger, more intimate relationship with our Creator. She tells it like it is, with love, good humor, and abandon, as she writes out of an honest and open love for God, for His Word, and for you! With every word you read, you can sense her excitement as she went through this journey, and it will tug on your heart, calling you to join her in falling in love with Jesus all over again." - KORIE ROBERTSON of A&E's Duck Dynasty

"Shellie Rushing Tomlinson writes with wit, wisdom, and plain-spoken truth. She throws open the doors and calls women to step into a deeper, wider, more soul-fulfilling love for Scripture, for themselves, and for the Lord. Heart Wide Open reads like a conversation with a best girlfriend and a wise mentor, all in one." - LISA WINGATE, national best-selling author of The Prayer Box

"Fans who love Shellie for her fabulous sense of humor will have their hearts warmed by her emotional vulnerability in these pages. She dives deep into her personal faith journey, sharing her own search for a genuine relationship with Christ. For everyone who longs to have an intimate bond with their Savior, this book will teach you to live with your heart wide open." - JULIE CANTRELL, New York Times best-selling author of Into the Free

"In Heart Wide Open, Shellie Tomlinson shares the beauty of her heart and the journey she took to trade a mundane faith for the abundant life with Jesus we have all been invited to. She does it in her southern and inviting way, wrapped up in her gift of storytelling, while still challenging the reader's heart to dive into the deep topics of our obedience, prayer, and courage." - DENISE HILDRETH JONES, author of Reclaiming Your Heart

"I know two things about Shellie Tomlinson without question: she is an incredibly gifted storyteller with a sense of humor that never fails to save me from despair, and she is a true woman of deep and abiding faith. What I didn't know until now is that she is able to use both those qualities to teach us how to embrace an intimate relationship with God. In Heart Wide Open she has made me laugh aloud one moment and then be moved with the wisdom of her words at the next line. Shellie shows us how to take the two great commandments-to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as ourselves-and integrate those things into the perfume of our everyday lives. Regardless of how long you have been on your faith journey, you will discover wisdom in these pages that will draw you closer to God and show you how to love His people with more patience. And, my friends, at the close of the day that is what it's all about." - RIVER JORDAN, author of Praying for Strangers

"This book pushes me to be more vulnerable to the Father who loves me more than my own family-and that's a lot. How wonderful to know that God not only loves us for who we are, but that He created us the way He wants us. He wants us to pour our lives out to Him to glorify Him. Thank you, Shellie, for encouraging us all through this book to draw closer to our God and to keep our hearts wide open to all the possibilities He has for us!" - MISSY ROBERTSON of A&E's Duck Dynasty

"So many of us have a longing for more in our Christian lives. In Heart Wide Open, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson fans this flame within us as she points our hearts toward a life of joy, excitement, and wonder in God. Her words will wrap around you like a hug, and you'll find yourself being equipped to engage in your daily relationship with the Lord like never before." - LISA BEVERE, best-selling author of Girls with Swords and Lioness Arising

"To read Shellie Rushing Tomlinson is to make a new friend. Her writing is filled with sound theology, great insight, humor, and authenticity. I recommend this book to all who want to draw closer to Jesus. Her questions for Bible study are thought provoking and ripe for discussions. I have no doubt this study will strike a chord for many and be a great tool for personal spiritual growth." - PAMELA GREGG FOXWORTHY, wife of comedian Jeff Foxworthy

"I love Shellie Tomlinson's humor, but it's her heart that I most want to listen to. I'm so glad she's chosen to share it in Heart Wide Open. This is the book I've wanted her to write, filled with her unique blend of realness and wisdom." - MARYBETH WHALEN, author of The Bridge Tender and cofounder of She Reads

"This is a charming, funny, honest, touching look at one southern woman's journey to a profound relationship with Christ. As the title suggests, Shellie lives with her heart wide open to the questions, the mysteries, and the certainties of our faith. You will love this book!" - SHEILA WALSH, author of The Storm Inside

"Shellie Rushing Tomlinson gets to the heart of everyday faith in Heart Wide Open with her signature storytelling and wit, opening her own heart to share about learning to walk with God. Her use of life lessons mingled with Scripture is sure to capture the heart of every believer and every seeking soul." - RACHEL HAUCK, award-winning author of Once Upon a Prince

"My Kentucky mamaw told me I was 'as handy as a pocket in a shirt.' Southern women just know how to turn a phrase and a head, which is why you won't want to miss Shellie's down-home, upbeat take on life, seen through cool drafts of sweet tea and sass. My favorite way to learn is to laugh myself sane. Thanks, Shellie." - PATSY CLAIRMONT, author of Twirl: A Fresh Spin at Life

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Heart Wide Open

"Heart Wide Open will fuel your desire for a deeper relationship with God and give you the gentle nudge and the steps to get it. So much of this book spoke to me that I had to get out my highlighter pen! Wherever you are in your faith, you will benefit from reading of Shellie’s journey to a deeper, stronger, more intimate relationship with our Creator. She tells it like it is, with love, good humor, and abandon, as she writes out of an honest and open love for God, for His Word, and for you! With every word you read, you can sense her excitement as she went through this journey, and it will tug on your heart, calling you to join her in falling in love with Jesus all over again."
—Korie Robertson of A&E’s Duck Dynasty

"Shellie Rushing Tomlinson writes with wit, wisdom, and plain-spoken truth. She throws open the doors and calls women to step into a deeper, wider, more soul-fulfilling love for Scripture, for themselves, and for the Lord. Heart Wide Open reads like a conversation with a best girlfriend and a wise mentor, all in one."
—Lisa Wingate, national best-selling author of The Prayer Box

"Fans who love Shellie for her fabulous sense of humor will have their hearts warmed by her emotional vulnerability in these pages. She dives deep into her personal faith journey, sharing her own search for a genuine relationship with Christ. For everyone who longs to have an intimate bond with their Savior, this book will teach you to live with your heart wide open."
—Julie Cantrell, New York Times best-selling author of Into the Free

"In Heart Wide Open, Shellie Tomlinson shares the beauty of her heart and the journey she took to trade a mundane faith for the abundant life with Jesus we have all been invited to. She does it in her southern and inviting way, wrapped up in her gift of storytelling, while still challenging the reader’s heart to dive into the deep topics of our obedience, prayer, and courage."
—Denise Hildreth Jones, author of Reclaiming Your Heart

"I know two things about Shellie Tomlinson without question: she is an incredibly gifted storyteller with a sense of humor that never fails to save me from despair, and she is a true woman of deep and abiding faith. What I didn’t know until now is that she is able to use both those qualities to teach us how to embrace an intimate relationship with God. In Heart Wide Open she has made me laugh aloud one moment and then be moved with the wisdom of her words at the next line. Shellie shows us how to take the two great commandments—to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as ourselves—and integrate those things into the perfume of our everyday lives. Regardless of how long you have been on your faith journey, you will discover wisdom in these pages that will draw you closer to God and show you how to love His people with more patience. And, my friends, at the close of the day that is what it’s all about."
—River Jordan, author of Praying for Strangers

"This book pushes me to be more vulnerable to the Father who loves me more than my own family—and that’s a lot. How wonderful to know that God not only loves us for who we are, but that He created us the way He wants us. He wants us to pour our lives out to Him to glorify Him. Thank you, Shellie, for encouraging us all through this book to draw closer to our God and to keep our hearts wide open to all the possibilities He has for us!"
—Missy Robertson of A&E’s Duck Dynasty

"So many of us have a longing for more in our Christian lives. In Heart Wide Open, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson fans this flame within us as she points our hearts toward a life of joy, excitement, and wonder in God. Her words will wrap around you like a hug, and you’ll find yourself being equipped to engage in your daily relationship with the Lord like never before."
—Lisa Bevere, best-selling author of Girls with Swords and Lioness Arising

"To read Shellie Rushing Tomlinson is to make a new friend. Her writing is filled with sound theology, great insight, humor, and authenticity. I recommend this book to all who want to draw closer to Jesus. Her questions for Bible study are thought provoking and ripe for discussions. I have no doubt this study will strike a chord for many and be a great tool for personal spiritual growth."
—Pamela Gregg Foxworthy, wife of comedian Jeff Foxworthy

"I love Shellie Tomlinson’s humor, but it’s her heart that I most want to listen to. I’m so glad she’s chosen to share it in Heart Wide Open. This is the book I’ve wanted her to write, filled with her unique blend of realness and wisdom."
—Marybeth Whalen, author of The Bridge Tender and cofounder of She Reads

"This is a charming, funny, honest, touching look at one southern woman’s journey to a profound relationship with Christ. As the title suggests, Shellie lives with her heart wide open to the questions, the mysteries, and the certainties of our faith. You will love this book!"
—Sheila Walsh, author of The Storm Inside

"Shellie Rushing Tomlinson gets to the heart of everyday faith in Heart Wide Open with her signature storytelling and wit, opening her own heart to share about learning to walk with God. Her use of life lessons mingled with Scripture is sure to capture the heart of every believer and every seeking soul."
—Rachel Hauck, award-winning author of Once Upon a Prince

"My Kentucky mamaw told me I was ’as handy as a pocket in a shirt.’ Southern women just know how to turn a phrase and a head, which is why you won’t want to miss Shellie’s down-home, upbeat take on life, seen through cool drafts of sweet tea and sass. My favorite way to learn is to laugh myself sane. Thanks, Shellie."
—Patsy Clairmont, author of Twirl: A Fresh Spin at Life

Product Reviews

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  1. HolliSolenberger
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Changed my life
    August 12, 2017
    HolliSolenberger
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    this book is so amazing. Before I was done with chapter one it was one of my top favorite books in my over 35 years of reading. It felt like the author and me were sitting on a front porch swing drinking iced tea and girl talking about the heart of God and how passionately he loves us. She explained the questions about scripture and all things intimacy with the Lord that I have had trouble putting together for years and yet she wove it all together so beautifully in the truth and light of scripture. I love her Southern Charm I love the funny stories and my only regret is that I didn't read this book sooner. Be warned you are going to want to buy a copy of this book for everybody you know before you're even finished reading it yourself. So get extra copies hahaha. Love love love this book!!
  2. MsPreacher
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A WONDERFUL GROUP BIBLE STUDY!
    August 17, 2015
    MsPreacher
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Our Ladies Bible Study Group just finished an eight week study using Heart Wide Open and the video that can be purchased to accompany it. I just don't have enough words to express how our group grew in our personal relationship with CHRIST through this study. During our study time at church we would watch Shellie's video in the first session and then read the chapter in the book and use the study questions in the back of the book for a Spirit-led discussion for the next session. If your group only meets once a week, you could make this a sixteen week study! Shellie is a favorite author and radio host of mine. Her fresh-from-the-Louisiana-delta writing style makes for enjoyalble reading and her heart for CHRIST revealed in this book enriched our walk with HIM!
  3. Smoothie71
    Alabama
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Honest writing makes for good reading
    August 23, 2014
    Smoothie71
    Alabama
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Heart Wide Open sounded intriguing to me when I read what it was about.

    Shellie Rushing Tomlinson writes with such authenticity and honesty... I like that.

    Heart Wide Open is about seeking an authentic love for Jesus; an authentic relationship with Him. It's a book about fighting through the pain and struggles of life and finding yourself resting in the arms of Christ. It's about learning that perfection is not what Jesus wants from you, but your heart and your life that He is after.

    One of my favorite things Shellie talks about in this book is how there are many ways to live out this life for Christ and there's just as much goodness in living in Rwanda to share God's love with others as much as there is in keeping a good attitude when you have cancer or being a friend to someone who is lonely.

    Because this life is about God's glory, if we seek to glorify Him in all things, then He will be use that to glorify Himself. The desire is just as important as the action.

    It's not a light read. You'll face questions and tears and maybe be a little bit of being uncomfortable while reading, but it's a good read. I recommend it for anyone seeking authentic faith in the Lord.

    *Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review.

  4. The Phone Tree Edifier
    Atlanta, GA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Heart Wide Open Trading Mundane Faith for an Exuberant Life with Jesus
    July 29, 2014
    The Phone Tree Edifier
    Atlanta, GA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    A Phone Tree Book Review



    Title: Heart Wide Open Trading Mundane Faith for an Exuberant Life with Jesus



    Author: Shellie Rushing Tomlinson



    Review: Heart Wide Open Trading Mundane Faith for an Exuberant Life with Jesus was a remarkable book that spoke a language that I fully understood. Its appeal was largely due to the fact that the author quite honestly discussed how the Christian life can shift as we ourselves change.



    Tomlinsons accounts of how her own once vibrant faith dulled due to time, life, responsibilities, and choices were so easy to relate to and grasp. I liked how she discussed the common just enough faith. I loved how she presented what going through the motions of a faith walk looks like. I also appreciated how she spoke about having the courage to pursue God.



    More than a book of humorous anecdotes, Heart Wide Open is a Scripture-rich book of testimony. It was encouraging, inspiring, and motivational. At the end of the day, it is a book that magnifies the LORD and proclaims Jesus.



    Rating: 5/5



    Recommend: Yes



    Bookshelf Worthy: Yes



    Book Club Selection: Yes (scheduled for Table Talk Tuesdays, September 2014)



    Extras: Bible Study and Discussion Guide, Chapter Prayers



    Take a Look Inside: Heart Wide Open: Trading Mundane Faith for an Exuberant Life with Jesus



    Disclosure: I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group via their blogger review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The words I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  5. Fitzysmom
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    July 16, 2014
    Fitzysmom
    I first fell in love with Shellie's work through her first two books, Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On and Sue Ellen's Girl Ain't Fat, She Just Weighs Heavy! Those two books just tickled my funny bone. But let me tell you, Heart Wide Open struck a nerve.

    This book is written for those of us who grew up with not only Vacation Bible School but Backyard Bible Club. If you could do a sword drill in your sleep or recite the books of the Bible in perfect order or sing all the verses from hymn after hymn from memory, this book is probably written for you.

    It's written for those of us who fell deeply in love with Jesus as a child but somewhere along the line that love of all things Jesus began to fade. The tyranny of the urgent began to replace what was important, which is our very relationship with Jesus. We entered that awkward Jr. High era that took our eyes off of Him and put them on him. Then before we knew it we were young mommas with a growing family and all our efforts were directed there. We still love to say and sing "Oh how I love Jesus!" but do we really? Or in the words of Shellie, do we just want to want to love Jesus? The good news is that Jesus promises that He'll take that want to and turn it into a need to.

    In fact Shellie talks about how He will take all of those failed Christian rituals of ours like, daily Bible reading and devotions, prayer time, and faith and breathe fresh life into them. The secret is admitting we need the help in the first place. Instead of hiding our lackluster feelings like Adam and Eve in the garden, we just need to get naked before God and cry out "Help me!"

    I have to be honest and say that until I read this book I hadn't really realized how apathetic I had become. But as I turned page after page I continued to think, "Yep! That's describes me to a T." The good news is that Shelllie also points out the simple fix . . . Jesus! So if you are longing for a deeper relationship with Christ, pick this book up and let Him pry your heart wide open. Trust me . . . you won't regret it!

    I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
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