Secondhand Jesus

image001Review: I’ve taken a while to post the review of this book because I just couldn’t rush through it. Even now as I try to write, I don’t know what to share because I feel like I learned so much. You know how sometimes a book just comes to you at the right time? Let me share a few quotes that stuck out to me (among many that I underlined)

We all need a measure of suffering, and every experience can be redeemed.

What an encouragement! We’ve walked through some difficult times this year, and I appreciated this insight. Suffering isn’t just a tool of refinement and refocus – it’s yet another picture of redemption.

This is the second rumor about God: God can be added to my list of loyalties. I don’t need to give up on old goals or loyalties. I just need to add God to them…no death to an old way of thinking or living or desiring. Self and self’s goals are largely intact. It’s just that now God is somehow squeezed into that crowded house…God doesn’t want to be first in a long list of loyalties. he wants to be central, the organizing, unifying core that determines what goes and what stays.

God has been working on my heart a lot regarding self-centeredness and being focused on my own plans. This quote (and section of the book) helped me realize that I was simply adding God to the list. It’s not enough to make him first on the list. He needs to be the only thing on the list.

There is a sense in which God is bent on our “destruction.” He wants to destroy our flesh, our sinful desires . . . He is on a mission of destruction that will end up being our salvation. . . this faith that we have embraced, this Life that we have taken into our hearts, will be our undoing. It is designed to be the end of us. The Jesus I’ve come to see and know at work in my life is the one who comes to undermine my own small-minded and wrongheaded plans.

The phrase, “God is bent on my destruction” has come back to me repeatedly these past few weeks. It’s both a comfort and a fear (of losing control!). My pastor often talks about it in the sense of trading our smaller stories for God’s larger story.

I’ve recommended this book to many friends already, and now I’m sharing about it with you guys. Check it out. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Media release:

In his new book, Secondhand Jesus: Trading Rumors of God for a Firsthand Faith (David C Cook, June 2009), author Glenn Packiam summons readers upon a passionate quest—a holy pursuit—to truly experience Christ’s power and love for themselves.  “God wants us to know Him deeply and personally,” Packiam says.  “But there are no shortcuts to God.  The Bible tells us that ‘The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.’” (Matthew 7:14, The Message)

So often we too easily settle for someone else’s descriptions, the CliffsNotes from another’s spiritual journey. We are content to let “God experts” do the heavy lifting and then give us the bottom line. And after enough times through the grapevine, the truth about God deteriorates until crumbs and rumors are all that remain.

But when life derails, when things don’t go as we planned, our thin view of God is challenged. In those critical moments, we can choose to walk away from God… or let our questions lead us home. When you decide to wrestle with God, to engage Him for yourself, you—like Jacob and Job and David—will see rumors die and revelation come alive.

It’s time to hear the magnificent divine invitation. It’s time to take God up on His offer and embrace the mystery and majesty of knowing Him for yourself.

Author Bio: Glenn Packiam is an associate worship pastor at New Life Church and the director of New Life School of Worship in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  He was one of the founding worship leaders and songwriters for the Desperation Band.  Glenn’s worship songs, like “Your Name,” “Everyone (Praises),” “My Savior Lives,” and “We Lift You Up,” are being sung in churches all over the world.  Glenn is also the author of Butterfly in Brazil.  He and his wife, Holly, and their two adorable daughters, Sophia and Norah, live in Colorado Springs.

For more information about Glenn’s new debut solo CD, Rumors and Revelations, visit

Secondhand Jesus by Glenn Packiam
David C Cook/June 2009/ISBN 978-1-434766-39-7/224 pages/softcover/$14.99 ~



  1. Omom

    I am so convicted. I can see my long list, and even though I know God is at the top of that list, I realize He needs to be the ONLY thing on that list. Can’t wait to read this book.

  2. spaghettipie

    O – I am so glad you stopped by. It’s a tough realization, isn’t it? And we’re taught that concept too – God first, family second, etc. If you read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!

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