Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Dance with Jesus by Susan B. Mead

Posted September 2, 2018 by meezcarrie in Christian, giveaway, nonfiction / 3 Comments


about the book

GENRE: Inspirational Non-Fiction, Grief
PUBLISHER: Morgan James Faith
RELEASE DATE: March 31, 2015
PAGES: 130

Grief hits each one of us and can come from so many different directions…

HAVE YOU LOST SOMEONE DEAR TO YOU? A brother, sister, parent, grandparent, family member, friend or a child? A relationship? A body part to cancer or an accident? Do you want to experience the joy of moving from broken to blessed? From GRIEF TO GRACE? Do you want God to take your hand and teach you to dance…with Jesus? Yes?

Then devour the words of Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace! Expect to laugh through the tears and experience a deepening of your faith.

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Things get broken, discarded, or replaced. People matter.

Dance With Jesus is the kind of book that I’m never sure how to review here on the blog.

On the one hand, I really liked the verses included at the beginning of each ‘chapter’. Some I’ve highlighted to go back and study more on my own. I also enjoyed the questions for reflection at the end of each of the very short chapters, though I had some reservations about them too (I go into more detail below). Her conversational tone is accessible and friendly. And honestly, the verses alone make this quick read worth my time.

On the other hand … I signed up for this tour because of the tagline “from grief to Grace”. This past year certainly has been a year of grief for me and my family. From my dad’s cancer diagnosis in July 2017 to my mother-in-law’s cancer diagnosis and too-quick passing in October to our beloved sidekick Zuzu’s death from cancer just this past June. This has been a year where I wasn’t sure we were going to make it, to be honest. And today, I’m cherishing our 18th wedding anniversary more than I ever have. Because we did survive. A little bruised and a little scarred, but at least we’re holding hands again as we make the climb ♥

I was hoping that Dance with Jesus would give me some practical steps to lean in to Jesus during days where that triple whammy of grief hits hard. Or even just some inspirational reminders that He is there, singing over me and turning my mourning into dancing.

Instead, it’s mostly just a collection of very short (sometimes choppy) vignettes that follow the author’s personal journey through her own grief and her relationship with Jesus. And while I enjoyed the questions at the end of each vignette/chapter (as I mentioned above), most of them too were focused on personal experience and not practical, rooted-in-Scripture truth to ponder.

Therein is one of my main issues with the book – while there are solid Scriptures heading each chapter, everything the author herself writes is nearly all her own experience that she is encouraging us to emulate and take stock in. And y’all … while I can’t argue with her experience, I also can’t take much help from it. Because, you see, Jesus is an intensely personal Savior. He never does anything that contradicts His Word and yet at the same time He ministers to each of us in ways that are unique to the way He created & gifted us. This is why I hesitate to recommend books like this, like the Heaven is Real or 90 Minutes in Heaven books, etc. because it’s a fine line between being edified by someone’s story and building a theology around someone else’s experience. He’s probably not going to speak to me in a dream about dancing with my late loved one, so what I really wanted to see was how does that concept of ‘dancing with Jesus’ transfer into other expressions, etc. I’m not questioning that her experience was authentic, but I am saying that it doesn’t help me personally go from grief to grace.

There is also the whole Advocare sales pitch disguised as a story, in its own chapter and in the acknowledgements section that is nearly as long as the book itself. I’m sure the author did not mean for it to feel like a sales pitch, but it really just felt out of place with the rest of the book and kinda put my defense-against-sales-people mechanisms on alert lol.

Bottom Line: Dance With Jesus is a quick read with an engaging author who seems like she’d be really fun to sit and chat with (until she tried to sell me Advocare 😛 ), but it’s not a book I am comfortable recommending. If you put a lot of stock in personal Heaven stories like Heaven is Real or 90 Minutes in Heaven, then you’ll probably really love this one too. For me, however, it fell flat in the areas of practical application and Scriptural foundation. The verses which began each chapter are wonderful, but I didn’t see much application of their truths within the chapters they headed. I hate writing negative reviews, but I want you to always know that I’m giving honest reviews and if I’m not honest about the books I have trouble with then I’m not doing my ‘job’ right. ♥

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 2 stars / Too problematic for me :-/

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Are you looking for a free mini-course to deepen your faith? Text DanceWithJesus (all one word) to 444-999, then reply with your email to receive 6 days of Biblical encouragement.

10% of the profit from Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace will benefit Water for LIFE to help dig water wells in remote locations around the world. People Matter!

about the author

A master storyteller and award-winning, bestselling author, Susan B. Mead leaves audiences motivated to live a life free of regrets even though she has done the hardest thing any parent can do – bury her youngest son, Kyle. With over 22 years in corporate America, 2 million airline miles under her belt, 1 eLit Book Award Gold Medal and 2 Christian Literary Awards on the shelf, an MBA and a Certificate of Ordination hanging on the wall, as well as a Doctor of Theology candidacy in process, Susan shares her expert teachings on business, grief, spiritual warfare and relationships.

Susan has been described as a solid, comforting voice in a messy world. Whether speaking to business professionals, women’s conferences, industry leaders or writer’s workshops, Susan’s insightful wisdom inspires audiences, empowering them to make healthy mental u-turns to help them find calm in the chaos.

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Why did I write, “Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace?” Such a funny story how that happened. I was in the midst of a Bible study by Henry Blackaby called, “Experiencing God” and one night a question asked, “What does God want you to do right now? Right now?”

I heard, sing my love song, and I laughed out loud and said, “Seriously, God, you’re going to have to send me a bucket because I can’t carry a tune, and you know that.”

Then that gentle spirit inside whispered, what’s in your hand? There was a pen in my hand because I was writing in a workbook. I swept the workbook away, got a journal out, put pen to paper, and the story simply flowed onto paper. At 5:30 a.m., I put the pen down and thought well that took more than the two lines provided (in the workbook).

The very first email I read later that day was from Proverbs 31 Ministries She Speaks, Speakers and Writers Conference. Writers conference, I thought? Seriously God, you want me to do something with this? Okay, and the story began.

That’s how I wrote the book, “Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace.”

And to think from that humble beginning, Dance With Jesus won TWO 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards from Christian Literary Awards. I stand in awe of our mighty God. When we turn to Him, God holds us close as He comforts and heals us, His children, simply because He loves us.

Lysa TerKeurst, Proverbs 31 Ministries President and New York Times Bestselling Author, shared, “Susan has personally experienced one of the deepest forms of grief. Yet she writes this treasure of a book from her point of grace not grief. I plan to give this book to any of my friends that find themselves crying and needing someone who deeply understands.”

May I ask you to give Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace as a gift to any friend who has lost a loved one or to yourself, if you too have loved and lost.

To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Enter via the Rafflecopter below.

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This giveaway is hosted by Celebrate Lit, not RimSP
Follow along with the tour for more chances to win!

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3 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Dance with Jesus by Susan B. Mead

  1. James Robert

    Congrats on the tour and thank you for the opportunity to read about another great book. With so many readers in my family, always great to hear about more choices I think they’d enjoy reading.Having a family who loves to read, I always

  2. Carrie, I’m so very sorry for your losses. And know I agree with you that God comforts each one of us uniquely and within His word. He alone knows what we need. Heartfelt hugs.

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