I had the pleasure of listening to the audio version of Acacia Slaton Beumer’s Launch Out Into the Deep! Being professionally put together with speakers who have clear, pleasant voices really helped me be able to focus on the author’s lessons.
Comprised of 28 chapters, each one has a topic with a very powerful message. The chapter subjects cover issues that most of us are dealing with today. These include: temptation, fear, lust, success, losing our faith, plus many more. The chapters stand alone well, and can be listened to out of order if necessary, especially if one title seems to be what the listener needs in that particular moment.
Each section has an essay from the author that might include an experience that she or someone she knows has gone through: poetry; Bible stories or passages; and “Words of the Wise,” which are powerful statements that also help support the message. There is also a printed discussion guide included with the audio. This guide can be used for personal introspection and journaling, or in a group to provide material for thought-provoking discussions.
For myself, I listened to Launch Out Into The Deep! in the order that the author presented it. As I listened, I was amazed at how powerful her messages were. I appreciated her candor in sharing very personal details of her life with us. It made me feel like I could relate to her even more. There were many sections that made me wish I had heard those years ago in my youth. I think they would have helped me get through huge times of turmoil.
I also gained a great deal of insight into the person I am today. Acacia definitely knows how to stir up a lot of thought-provoking inner dialogue! She also knows how to back up what she believes with passages from the Bible. What I appreciated most about her work is that she presents everything in a manner that is not judgmental. While she uses biblical passages, she doesn’t make me feel like my salvation is hopeless because of the places where I fell down in my life. I think that other listeners will appreciate her message of seeking redemption and self-forgiveness. No matter what they have done, they will not feel totally condemned.
In addition to using her faith-based beliefs, I believe that Beumer also draws upon her education and experience with social work and counseling. She seems to be well versed in the issues that are surrounding us today, especially those of young adults. I like that she incorporates realistic consequences into her spiritual discussions. For example, if a person is promiscuous, they don’t just have to focus on their salvation, they need to be aware that right now they are disrespecting their bodies and putting themselves at risk for pregnancy and diseases. It doesn’t matter how weak someone’s spiritual beliefs are, they cannot argue with this.
Personally, I recommend Launch Out Into the Deep!, especially for young adults. I would also suggest it for high-school-aged students but I think that the person presenting the material would need to carefully review it and decide if they are comfortable going so deep into some very intimate topics. I feel blessed for having had the opportunity to listen to this, and I feel that it is incredibly important that Acacia Slaton Beumer’s work is shared with others.
(Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views)