Sunday, November 24, 2013

Faith challenge book review: Cafeteria Covenant by Dee Emeigh

Cafeteria Covenant - the voice, the choice, and the challenge

Cafeteria Covenant - the voice, the choice, and thechallenge

c. July 2012

 From the publisher:
Cafeteria Covenant is a come-back story in many ways. The powerful little book may well be the antidote for those who have been impacted by abuse, hypocrisy and doctrinal error, as well as those suffering through difficult times in other ways.

Yet, the book is also important for those in church leadership who dare to hope for reform. Well-written, concise and compelling, Cafeteria Covenant: the voice, the choice, and the challenge encourages readers to hear God’s voice for themselves. It could well be used for small group study and discussion, providing documentation to more than forty resources.

Dee Marvin Emeigh relates one authentic and compelling story after another of her experiences over forty years. But far from leaving the reader impounded in bitter despair, Emeigh delivers a message of faith, hope, and love, along with insights into the character and nature of God. Readers will walk through calamity to find love, through devastation to find encouragement to rebuild. A talented singer-songwriter, Emeigh tells the stories behind many of the songs on her 2011 CD project, Well Seasoned.
My review:
Cafeteria Covenant comes from the thought “I will gladly feast on all he has given his life to give me…” This little book is not an easy or sweet read, it’s a tale of why the author ended up flitting from congregation to congregation, “A participating visitor at many area churches.” This is the story of more than a series of unfortunate events; it’s a challenge for readers to become a mission of encouragement in today’s church life.

Was it better for us when there were few choices of what church to attend? I don’t know. I’ve only changed congregations one time in my married life of thirty years, but once I read what the author had been through in her worship and relationship experiences, I was able to “hear” what some of my other friends had known as well. Was it simply unfortunate choices, or was it an expression of today’s fallen world? Some of each.

An opening message from the book during a high school English class lesson: don’t go along with things just to be accepted – assert yourself” has a great analogy in Chapter 9: “Before we look with disdain and horror on the custom of another culture (foot-binding in China), albeit one from the past, let us take a closer look at what kept this tradition alive for so long. The women were crippled in order to provide their husbands with peace of mind that they were chaste and unable to compete with them as providers. Another word for this is helpless.”

The author candidly shares her experience, her journey toward richness in a life that follows the truths of Christ; of fulfilling the ministry to which you’ve been called no matter other voices that try to intrude; of being the light and appreciating the sacrifice to allow us to come to the feast.

Great for those who have experienced hard places in life in general, as well as in their faith life.

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