Stepping Out in Faith by Mark Gilbert is a book that details the true stories of eleven former Catholics who became Christians. Today, they live to tell their stories about growing up as a Catholic and how it helped transform their current life today. Some of the former Catholics gave some very powerful, yet such personal accounts of their past and shared highlights about their family, their life, their environment, their work life, etc. The author of the book, Mark Gilbert also shares his testimony of being a former Catholic. They all went through great depths in their life and major changes to reach this new height of being a born again Christian. The individuals seemed very grateful for their past experiences so they could find their way to having a deep relationship with God and learn the difference between being a Catholic versus a Christian. We all have a choice in life in regard to our religious preference, to live by faith, and have that personal relationship with Jesus Christ. These individuals stepped out in their faith and learned to trust God in renewing their relationship with Him as a new Christian.
Chapter 1: When Everything Else is Gone
Chapter 2: Confident in God’s Love
Chapter 3: A Wretch Like Me
Chapter 4: The Ultimate Fresh Start
Chapter 5: Letting in Air and Light
Chapter 6: Words of Eternal Life
Chapter 7: Authentic Church
Chapter 8: No More Fear
Chapter 9: Learning to Trust
Chapter 10: A Retired Catholic
Chapter 11: Certainty for Eternity
Call to Action
The most interesting thing I discovered in reading this book is that all these individuals faced life changing experiences in finding their way to God in the end. One of the individuals in the book who lost her husband stated, “When everything else is gone, only God is left.” Many people realize this when they are faced with these kind of life changes in order to draw them closer to God. At the end of each chapter, it was so compelling to read about the life changes in each of their lives through becoming a Christian. They are now instilled with much more hope in their life, more confidence, more peace, feel God’s love, and leading a much happier life since they are excited about the future. When one grows up in a Catholic church, they are taught their religion is the way of life and raised with certain beliefs through their parents and the church. When one starts to explore another religion, they can often feel confused and consumed at the same time. These individuals desired to learn more about God through the gospel and through other believers in the church. As these individuals started attending the church and reading scripture in the Bible, they had a lot of questions and were open to learning more about God and a personal relationship with Him since both were new to some of them. One of the individuals in the book states, “Follow Jesus and you will never be wrong.” All Christians should always listen for God to speak to them and stay committed to following Jesus in their life each day. Chapter 8 and 9 are the two chapters I felt I could relate to the most in my past because the individual talks a great deal about dealing with fear and trust in the Lord. When he reached out and asked God for some help, He led him to Psalms 34 in the Bible. Through God’s strength, he was able to turn those fears into joy though the grace of God. People think they don’t need God when things are going good, but when a trial occurs in their life, they are instantly reminded how much they need Him in their lives at all times. If you desire to have real hope and inner peace in your life, put all your trust in the Lord. God is always there for you and one must trust Him to know what is best for your life according to His will.
In conclusion, I believe God puts certain people and places in our life for a reason. He has that ultimate plan for His kingdom in each of our lives and likes to draw His children closer to Him. Mark Gilbert wrote this book to share his experience with others and because it was the best and most difficult decision of his life. These individuals found their way to God through the witness of others in their life. Every time I get the chance to witness to an unbeliever, I seize the opportunity to share God’s love with others. This book is perfect for Catholics who are thinking about converting to the Christian faith and those who enjoy reading books about how others are drawn closer to God and having a deeper, closer relationship with Him. It offers encouragement to others because our experiences in life make us realize that everything is always possible through Jesus Christ. It was amazing how a number of these Christians urged readers to read the Bible to learn the true meaning of forgiveness and peace that can only be received through God. It is my prayer that readers who choose to read this book will realize that if they believe in Him and the fact that He died for our sins on the cross, they will have eternal salvation through Him. As a final thought, I want to commend this author for writing this book because it is proof that God does work miracles in the lives of others and how we can have a much more enriched life through glorifying Jesus Christ every day. Galatians 2:20 ~ “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Rating: 4 Stars
A special thank you to Cross Focused Reviews and Matthias Media for paperback and Kindle copies of this book in exchange for my honest review.