2017 Christianity Today Book Award winner (“Christian Living / Discipleship” category) Get ready for the wettest, stormiest, wildest trip through the Gospel you’ve ever taken! The gospels are dramatic, wild, and wet—set in a rich maritime culture on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus’ first disciples were ragtag fishermen, and Jesus’ messages and miracles teem with water, fish, fishermen, net-breaking catches, sea crossings, boat-sinking storms, and even a walk on water. Because this world is foreign and distant to us, we’ve missed much about the disciples’ experiences and about following Jesus—until now. Leslie Leyland Fields—a well-known writer, respected biblical exegete, and longtime Alaskan fisherwoman—crosses the waters of time and culture to take us out on the Sea of Galilee, through a rugged season of commercial fishing with her family in Alaska, and through the waters of the New Testament.
You’ll be swept up in a fresh experience of the gospels, traveling with the fishermen disciples from Jesus’ baptism to the final miraculous catch of fish—and also experiencing Leslie’s own efforts to follow Christ out on her own Alaskan sea. In a time when so many are “unfollowing” Jesus and leaving the Church, Crossing the Waters delivers a fresh encounter with Jesus and explores what it means to “come, follow me.”
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Fields is a 38-year Alaskan commercial fisherwoman whose experience on and off the water guides readers through faith’s treacherous depths. To begin this memoir-cum-testament, she shares her often harrowing experiences on the waters as her family fishes for their livelihood season after exhausting season. Fields also parallels her personal story with that of Jesus’ relationship with his disciples on the Sea of Galilee. She traveled to the Jordan River and once there, found herself on a tiny boat with other fishermen learning the practices of fishing far from home. Throughout her text, Fields describes her life, challenges, and moments of doubt, skillfully pairing her own story with those of how Jesus and his disciples may have dealt with similar concerns during their own times. Readers of faith will appreciate the colorful depiction of both the land and sea that Fields offers, and they will see familiar Bible passages come alive in her contextualized retellings. In this helpful account, Fields displays a remarkable knack for exploring those treasures that lie underneath the surface.
by Publishers Weekly
This book is a rare gift. It pulses with story and theology, with lived suffering and quiet joy, with vast mysteries and a strong Savior. The question is not whether you can put it down—because that will be hard—but whether you have the good sense first to pick it up, and read.
by Mark Galli, Editor in Chief, Christianity Today