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"This is a book you will read once—all at once—in one sitting."
—James L. Ferrell, author of The Peacegiver
From beloved Deseret News columnist Jerry Johnston comes this intimate and inspirational true narrative of adversity and redemption. Allowing readers to glimpse behind the curtain of his private life, Jerry recounts a time of deep personal challenge when his heart hardened and his thoughts darkened—a time when, losing all bearings, he turned from his faith. Although he is a man of achievement, his story is rather a story of God’s achievement—how the Lord healed one man’s broken heart and restored it to hope, and how He will do the same for each of us. Jerry’s tender confession of his human struggles points us to Christ and creates a poignant tale of the only kind of success that really matters. Difficult to put down and impossible to forget, Rescued will inspire you to live better—more honestly, more joyfully, more contentedly—and to trust in the never-failing arm of the One who never gives up.
- Pages: 116
- Size: 6 x 9
- Released: 01/2012
- Book on CD: Unabridged
About the Author
Jerry Earl Johnston won a writing competition in first grade and has never kicked the habit. He has been with the Deseret News for more than thirty years and currently writes a weekly column. He has won awards from The Reader’s Digest and the Society of Professional Journalists and is a two-time winner of the national Wilbur Award for religious columns. The Deseret News has honored him twice with the Mark E. Petersen Excellence in Writing Award.
He and his wife, Carol, have a blended family of five children and fifteen grandchildren. They live in Brigham City, where Jerry serves in the bishopric of the Brigham City Fifth Ward.
This is a book you will read once—all at once—in one sitting. It
reads as swiftly as one of Jerry’s columns but moves as deeply as an
ocean current. I began by scribbling down quotes that I wanted
to remember. Before long, I didn’t want to interrupt the arc of
the story even to memorialize a thought. I read it on a computer
screen before it had gone to an editor. I remember thinking, I
wouldn’t change a word.
I have been inspired over the years by tales of great achievement.
But I am changed only by a different kind of story: by accounts of
deep failure. Why? Because achievements congratulate man while
failures necessitate God. Small men can tell of their successes (and
most do). My soul is invited heavenward only by those whose
honesty is large enough to share with us their mistakes. I’m speaking
now not primarily of outward mistakes, as a person can rattle off
behavioral transgressions in ways that border on bragging. But when
I hear a man tell how his heart became hardened, how his thoughts
darkened, and how, losing all bearings, he turned from his faith,
I encounter a meekness that can finally invite me to give up the
cramped tales I have been spinning about myself.
At the level of our hearts, all are guilty. The only question
is whether we will be honest enough both to see and to admit
it. It is our answer to this question that determines whether our
lives end in heartbreak or, as Jerry’s has, in a heart that is broken
enough to be healed. Jerry remains, of course, very much alive,
for which I and all his other friends and readers are grateful. And I
am grateful to him for writing a book that will help me to live my
own life better—more honestly, more joyfully, more contentedly. I
am grateful that although he is a man of achievement, his story is
rather a story of God’s achievement—how the Lord healed a heart
that had stopped working as it needed to if Jerry (and, by extension,
us) was to survive in this life and enjoy what awaited him in
“Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy,” Paul wrote to Timothy (1 Tim. 1:16), “that in me . . . Jesus Christ might shew
forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter
believe on him to life everlasting.” The apostle Paul could
have been describing Jerry’s story as well as his own. By confessing
his struggles to us, Jerry, like Paul, has allowed us to see the power
of God unto redemption and to see that this is a process that is
available to us as well. More than a story, the book is a confession.
Because of this, it points us to Christ rather than to the author,
which ends up making it a tale of the only kind of success that
“God was closing in,” Jerry writes in his tight and compelling
prose. And so He was. And is. The reader is witness to how His
never giving up on Jerry is but an instance of His never giving up
—James L. Ferrell, author of The Peacegiver
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