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Eyes Wide Open by Jud Wilhite and Bill Taaffe

The Advocate

Eyes Wide Open by Jud Wilhite with Bill Taaffe

Reviewed by Dale Lewis

"...not pop psychology from the newest celebrity on Oprah but solid biblical advice from a frontline, yet humble man of God."

The founding pastor of Central Christian Church in Las Vegas, Jud Wilhite passionately shares about a much needed eye exam for all who follow the King of Kings. The bottom line for him is shared in this introductory quote: “I had it all backwards. The main thing was not my love for God, but His love for me. And from that love I respond to God as one deeply flawed, yet loved. I’m not looking to prove my worth. I’m not searching for acceptance. I’m living out of the worth God already declares I have. I’m embracing his view of me and in the process discovering the person He created me to be.” In Eyes Wide Open, Jud Wilhite invites you to discover the real you who’s loved and forgiven by God, living life out of your identity in Christ.

His pastoral (caring) heart is evident. He writes not presenting a polished three point sermon, but rather as a friend who wants each of us to discover our lifelong need for grace . . . to not always feel guilty before a God who we often see as only tolerating us. He doesn’t sugarcoat the struggles or the challenges in this authentic one-on-one conversation, that could’ve happened in the living room or across your dining room table.

Within a mere four sections, Jud exhorts us 1) to learn to see God as He has created us, 2) to see ourselves not based on our works or actions, 3) to see forgiveness from God's perspective, 4) to become wide open to change in our own life and to influence others. The chapters are short enough to read without being overwhelmed with excessive content.

Here’s a quote worth memorizing from Part II: Wide Open to Identity in the chapter Slaves and Servants: “Servants are free from the constant one-upping that drives so many in our culture. They are free from the relentless need for attention, for affirmation, for the spotlight. They are free from so many games that go on in the name of success. They aren’t worried about spreading their fame but instead go about spreading the fame of God. Their joy is found in Him, and their recognition comes from serving Him.”

Eyes Wide Open was a refreshing read, encouraging me to see myself and God with new eyes, focusing upon the reality that we don’t have to pretend to be more “perfect” than we really are to satisfy everyone’s expectations. It is a book of stories, both personal and from those willing to have their stories known. It is not pop psychology from the newest celebrity on Oprah but solid biblical advice from a frontline, yet humble man of God.

Jud is preacher who I’d love to hear in person some day but for now, I’ll enjoy soaking up his biblical insights as an author/pastor.

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Dale Lewis now mans the front desk at the EFCA (The Evangelical Free Church of America) National Office in Minneapolis, MN. He was the graphic designer/pre-press production artist for over twelve years before being asked to step into this new role. Prior to that, he was the publications manager at his alma mater, Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN in the public relations office as well as the adviser to the college’s yearbook. He's a director/actor/writer for the Hope Church (Oakdale, MN) adult drama worship team and was the senior editor of the church newsletter. He's also written two collections of poetry, “Whispers of Assurance” and “On Life: Constant Communion Without Ceasing” as well as a devotional entitled “Eternal Education.” He and his family live in Oakdale, Minnesota.