Do you believe that “God sees us according to our destiny, not our history”? Kate Battistelli does. She’s the author of The God Dare, which hit bookshelves on June 1. She’s also the mother of Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Francesca Battistelli.
No slouch in her own right, Kate Battistelli co-starred on Broadway alongside Yul Brynner in The King and I. Furthermore, she brings a wealth of spiritual wisdom and insights to her latest book, in which she shares candidly from her own struggles and heartaches. Her transparency casts her as real, relatable, and redeemed.
So how did a Broadway actress become an “ordinary” mom, as she calls herself, and then an author? It began when she and her husband became Christians. Little did they know then what lay ahead.
“The God Dare is a spiritual bungee jump.”
– Kate Battistelli
Readers will enjoy some fabulous storytelling in her book, including an engaging and contemporary spin on the historical accounts of at least a dozen biblical heroes. Her fresh approach spotlights the personal angle in these ancient stories, with emphasis on the inferred thoughts and feelings of those who made difficult decisions and endured challenging circumstances before they became household names.
From the book:
We often think of biblical icons like they’re presented in the movies. We imagine Moses as Charlton Heston with his flowing white beard, his staff and robes, or Abraham resembling craggy Richard Harris. Some of us might imagine Mary, the mother of Jesus, with a glowing halo around her head as she tenderly cradles the baby Jesus. I’m convinced those images couldn’t be further from reality. The characters we meet in the Bible were humans just like us, with all of humanity’s faults, foibles, and failings, and Abraham is no exception. He had many admirable qualities, it’s true. But Abraham also blatantly lied – and asked his wife to lie for him – he partially obeyed God, and he failed more than once. The enemy loves to hide in our blind spot . . . and we most often never even see him coming. Nevertheless, Abraham’s obedience and humility completely changed history.
Merely appreciating a fresh perspective on historical heroes, however, misses the point of Battistelli’s memoir. As the title suggests, she is laying down a challenge. Her book seeks to ignite a passion and a willingness to think unconventionally and boldly, to consider how God may lead us to accomplish something more audacious than we think possible.
“The unknown is where world-changing adventures happen.”
– Kate Battistelli
Battistelli’s book contends that God takes ordinary people like you and me and does the impossible when we submit to His will. Regardless of past failures or successes, the commonality of everyone’s root issues – fear, self-doubt, and sin – defines all of us as ordinary. According to Battistelli, giants of the faith only became extraordinary when they allowed God to use them as vessels for His purposes.
This memoir doubles as a devotional. At the end of each chapter, relevant Scripture passages and “God Dare Secrets” provide a helpful review. The discussion questions are particularly compelling and drive the personal application, making The God Dare an excellent tool for personal growth or group study.
More than only a memoir or a devotional, The God Dare is a call to action. In it, Kate Battistelli prods believers to hear and trust God fully, to get off the couch of complacency, and to find meaning and purpose in accomplishing what they only can with His help. Check out her book for yourself, if you dare.
All quotations from The God Dare, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc., were used by permission.