Gospel Memories

The Future Can Rewrite Our Past

Jake Owensby

Feb/2016, 144 Pages, PAPERBACK, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9780819232656



• A "new" (2012) bishop in the Episcopal Church offers hope that healing and all things are possible
• A reflective and prayerful education and formation resource for adults

While there is truth in the idea that our past shapes our future, the gospel is all about the counter-intuitive promise that God is shaping us right now toward God's vision of who we will become. It is not our past that makes us into the image of God; God's redeeming love does that. In God, who we are not yet is shaping who we become.

Appealing to anyone drawn to a deeper understanding of their own story and a richer sense of God's transforming presence, this book will have special resonance for people at turning points in their lives. Career changes, loss of a loved one, graduation, illness, divorce, birth of a child, entering middle or later years: Life is filled with turning points at which we feel compelled to tell our story in a new and different way. Each chapter focuses on a gospel passage, leading to a reflection on a significant point in the author's life which uncovers deeper and more personal meaning in the biblical text. Questions conclude each chapter, engaging readers to look at their own lives – good and bad – and find God, experiencing the joy, surprise, and healing of God's future rewriting the past.

Listen to Bishop Owensby discuss Gospel Memories

Read the first chapter

Listen to Bishop Owensby discuss Gospel Memories and how the future can rewite our past.

Jake Owensby was consecrated the fourth Bishop of Western Louisiana in 2012, having served congregations in the Episcopal Church since 1997. Before entering seminary, he was a philosophy professor in a small college, a teacher devoted to helping students discover truth for themselves. As a bishop, he is still that sort of teacher. Owensby is author of multiple books and a blog, Looking for God in Messy Places. His podcasts are available on SoundCloud and at iTunes.

“Jake Owensby digs deep into his own memories and right there, in all the struggle and joy, finds the presence of Christ. Through his courage, he invites us to mine our own memories to discover how God's vision for our future changes our past. Brew a cup of tea, have a seat, and go deep with this marvelous guide.”

––Susan E. Goff, Bishop Suffragan of Virginia


“An ancient prayer describes the arms of the crucified Jesus extended in order to embrace everyone. Bishop Owensby’s Gospel Memories eloquently described how God seeks to embrace and heal not only everyone, but all that is within each of us, our personal stories with the wounds that sting and the mysteries that astound. The stories contained in this book brilliantly show how the risen Jesus walks into the locked and sometimes stagnant rooms of our memories so that we can live again in the light of God’s saving love.”  

­­            ––A. Robert Hirschfeld, Bishop of New Hampshire


“Jake Owensby’s hope is that we will experience Gospel memories of our own. From spiritual spanx, peas and carrots, to ‘Jesus is the God who loves me when I’m a mess…’ this book did that. The use of the reflection questions made me smile, recall my own up-bringing and family issues, and see the connections to the Gospel stories in a new way. Thank you Jake, for sharing this journey.”

––Sabrina Evans, Director of Christian Formation, Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma


“Jake Owensby knows that God is deeply interested in the stories of humans. Weaving in stories of his own imperfect life, Jake writes as an everyday guy, connecting those stories to the Jesus story. A storybook of sorrow and loss resurrecting into meaning and love.”

––Jeff W. Fisher, Bishop Suffragan of Texas

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  • Spirituality
  • Healing
  • Discernment
  • Book Club Choice

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