This is the beautifully written and heartfelt memoir of a young woman from Dallas, Texas, wrestling with the evangelical Christianity of her childhood by examining the one item from it that she is still attached to, the daily devotional My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers.
Raised in an evangelical household by her beloved grandmother and mother, Macy Halford eventually leaves Dallas for a career in journalism in New York City. She has only the devotional to remind her of her religious past—and learns quickly that, though the book sells nearly a million copies a year, no one she knows there has heard of it.
Finally, excavating her spiky relations with her upbringing, she quits her coveted job at the New Yorker in order to look more deeply into the background of the devotional—with its daily selection from the sermons and writings of the Scottish evangelical preacher Oswald Chambers—wrestling with who Chambers really was, what ideas informed his teaching and beliefs, and why the book means so much to her.
Halford interweaves her own story with that of the Chambers family: Oswald, who died ministering to British soldiers in Egypt in World War I, and his devoted wife, who spent her life publishing his speeches, sermons, and books. The result is that Halford has penned a captivating and candid memoir about what it means to be a Christian, a reader, and a seeker in the twenty-first century.
“Halford’s book is billed as a memoir, but it’s really an ardently told, diligently researched intellectual biography of [Oswald] Chambers.”
New York Times Book Review
“Funny, smart, literate—a journey, not into or away from religious belief like so many religious memoirs, but through that belief.”
Dallas Morning News
“Halford’s enlightening memoir is a must-read for those interested in My Utmost for His Highest or evangelicalism in the twenty-first century.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Self-aware but never self-indulgent, the book provides an edifying look at one person’s spiritual journey and the impact an obscure Scottish preacher’s musings can have years later.”
Karen White is a classically trained actress who has been recording audiobooks since 1999. An Audie Award finalist, she has earned numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards. Her reading of The Hemingses of Monticello by Annette Gordon-Reed was named one of AudioFile’s Best Audiobooks of 2009.
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- Publisher: Blackstone Audio
- Genre: Nonfiction/Religion
- ISBN-13: 9781441753939