Thursday, May 29, 2014


God intends fulfillment for us. Yet it’s easy to forget that truth in our daily life. For fifty years, Elizabeth Sherrill cowrote life-changing books: The Hiding Place, God’s Smuggler, and The Cross and the Switchblade. Now for the first time, in Surprised by Grace, she shares her personal discoveries of God’s unfathomable love and strength while battling chronic depression and self-doubt. “When God created you, do you think He meant to make someone else?” a friend asks Sherrill. Faced with questions like these, she learns she’s infinitely valued and cherished by God. In vivid episodes, Sherrill takes you through the three stages of her awakening joy, from the thirty-some years when the idea of God was elusive to the years since then when she’s reveled in breathtaking moments in God’s presence and to her inspiring vision of eternity. In Surprised by Grace, you’ll discover that God loves you individually and infinitely. You can find real peace, for you are God’s amazing creation. Let that truth echo forever in your own life.


Upon reading excellent reviews already written and published about Elizabeth Sherrill’s Surprised by Grace, I pondered about what I could add sufficiently unique to draw reader interest. When I received the query to read and review Elizabeth Sherrill’s biography, I excitedly recalled her authoring a favorite story I read years ago about David Wilkerson; and subsequently seeing her book The Cross and the Switchblade, made into a movie starring Pat Boone as David Wilkerson, a young Assemblies of God minister moved to action when he witnessed the devastating effects of delinquency and drugs on teenagers in New York City. Hence, this story was about the ministry of Teen Challenge, born in 1958 in the heart of David Wilkerson, My love and devotion to this organization resides deep in my heart, as it was through Teen Challenge that my daughter found her life once more.

The above paragraph is merely mentioned in passing, as my reaction to Ms. Sherrill’s beautiful testimony hit so deeply in my emotions, that I am again reading her book to reap further joy and knowledge. The preface and the forward so impressed me that I decided to share parts of those. It is a small novel; however seems to grow broader in wisdom by the wonderful stories and tid bits Elizabeth Sherrill shares about her life, marriage, and deep faith in God. Her catchy titles before each chapter were captivating to my interests and followed by words sensitively respective of the memories she wrote about. One of the intimate facts I learned - Elizabeth has a nickname – Tibby.

It seems Ms. Sherrill had repeatedly refused Van Varner, a Guideposts editor’s suggestion to write a book telling her own story. She felt her faith was a private matter. “I know now that my emphatic “Never” to Van was part of the door between me and the world that I write about in Surprised by Grace. My whole world was constructed on the insistence that I was different. Since I “wasn’t like others,” how could my experience interest anyone else?” It wasn’t Van, however, who’d finally changed my mind, but people I’d never met. Over the years I’d written, always reluctantly, three or four short articles about my own life. To my surprise, the articles drew responses from readers, ‘You’ve written my story!’ the letters said, over and over. The article that brought the most mail was about my struggle with depression. All of us, apparently, in the black pit of that blackest place, had felt that no one else had ever experienced what we did. And the relief that these correspondents felt in recognizing themselves in my story was stunningly evident.” Ms. Sherrill received two letters ten days apart relating to the help others had received from her Guidepost articles. It was then she went into action and allowed her word processor to put the words in order that produced this wonderful story. Elizabeth “Tib” Sherrill said her book is about the discovery of a secret. It’s the story of how heaven, which I used to think of as an imaginary realm-in-the-sky, has become more real to me than the ground beneath my feet. Real in the past, real for the future, and best of all, real right now. And this book is also an invitation. An invitation to us all to look back, to look ahead, and to look around, and keep being surprised at what we see.

“She is a writer of extraordinary gifts who truly practices what she preaches. With honesty and unflinching self-examination, Tibby peels back the layers of her life to reveal an astonishing journey of faith, from nonbeliever to believer, from itinerant journalist to the influence behind some of the greatest inspirational writing of our time.” Edward Grinnan, Guideposts Magazine Editor-in-Chief

Now, dear reader, you can get this fantastic little book for yourself and I know you will be as impressed as I am with this endurable and lovely lady writer. God bless you, Tibby!

This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from Litfuse Publicity.


Elizabeth ("Tib") Sherrill has published some 1500 articles and authored more than 30 books, with sales in excess of 50 million. Book titles, many co-written with her husband John, include The Hiding Place, The Cross and the SwitchbladeGod's SmugglerThey Speak with Other Tongues, and Return from Tomorrow.  For over sixty years, Elizabeth has been a writer and editor for Guideposts Magazine.

John & Elizabeth Sherrill
John and Elizabeth met aboard ship on their way to Europe and were married in Switzerland in 1947. In 1970, they founded a publishing company, Chosen Books,* dedicated to developing new Christian writers. Their first title was Born Again by Charles Colson. The Sherrills' work has taken them on year-long assignments in Africa, South America and Europe, as well as numerous trips to the Near and Far East, and to each of the 50 US states. Elizabeth has taught writing workshops on five continents. Their writing still keeps them on the road, here and abroad, about half the time. The Sherrills have three children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchild, and are occasionally at home in Hingham, Massachusetts.


Thanks for dropping by today, please pass it forward so that other readers can drop by and join our follower friends. Sorry I have been gone for so long, much is happening in my life and still continuing to happen. Please include my family in your prayers once in a while - I would return a prayer in kind for you and yours. Until next time.....enjoy your summer!
Blessings Forward,