Posted by: susanideus | September 17, 2010

Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life by Karina Lumbert Fabian and Deacon Steven Lumbert

Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words when necessary. ~St. Francis of Assisi

Before I proceed, I feel as though I should make this disclaimer up front—although I am a practicing Christian, I’m not a Catholic. That being said, I did not find that a hindrance while reading and processing this lovely little book, Why God Matters from Tribute Books.

Perhaps that is because this father-daughter duo of Karina, a Catholic laywoman and Steve, her Catholic deacon Dad, wrote about ideas that are “catholic” in the true sense of the word, which Merriam-Webster defines as “of, relating to, or forming the church universal”—in other words, of interest to all the faithful. The Online Dictionary further clarifies: “Including or concerning all humankind; universal”.

I may not have fully understood all the particular Catholic references to the Catechism or the unique Sacraments, but I did understand—and learn from—the ideas the authors presented. Their stories were touching and insightful. They show in countless ways that God does indeed matter.

For instance, in the chapter “Love in a Pot of Rice”, Karina illustrates the maxim of sharing with those in need even if you have little, a lesson learned from her grandparents and parents.  She says her roots are “deeply embedded in charitable love.” Her life lesson to share: “God calls us to be the first teachers to our children in living a life of faith, hope and charity.” What parent could not identify with this and try to model it in their home?

There is Deacon Steve’s chapter “So Help Me God I Didn’t Do It”. In it he tells of his rather adventurous, somewhat rebellious youth. A near escape from a wrongful  jail sentence—he really was innocent–taught him valuable lessons. His chosen lifestyle made it look bad for a while.  His life lesson: “Even the habit of giving in to ‘small’ temptations can have dire consequences.” Who among us has not struggled with choices and watched and agonized when our children have done the same?

The illustrations go on. The book is filled with real-life lessons and observations that are rich in meaning and filled with meaningful application, but never preachy. The stories are honest, not shying away from doubts and fears. There is humor mixed with authentic humanity.

In a time when this world of ours is rent by religious divisions, and rife with political repercussions from the same, it is refreshing to find a book filled with hope for humanity. It is a reminder to me that while we of faith may have differences, our commonalities are so much greater. Humankind shares in life with all its complexities, and we could go a long way in promoting peace and harmony by focusing on our similarities. We’re in this together. This small book promotes that in a big way.

Perhaps the seminal life lesson is the one which fittingly ends the book. We would do well to carry it with us daily.

“Be an example of faith, and have faith the example will influence others.”

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥


Find out more about the authors and the book here.

Read an excerpt from the book here.

Watch a trailer for the book here.

I received a copy of this book for review from the author, publisher, or publicist.





  1. Can anyone recommend a book about St. Francis

  2. Thanks so much for sharing Why God Matters with your readers. Dad and I have been thrilled with how many people found the book helpful and enjoyable, even when they were not Catholic (with a capital C). God’s love is truly for all.

    Karina Fabian

    • You’re quite welcome. It was a rewarding read for me–just the kind I like to share. Best wishes on the book’s release and future success.

  3. Dear Share,

    I like 365 day inspiration books – this might be one for you:

    Through the Year with Francis of Assisi: Daily Meditations from His Words and Life

    by Murray Bodo and Bob Knox

    Tribute Books

  4. Susan, thank you for a beautiful review.

    I like how you centered it on the defined meaning of the word catholic being universal.

    Thank you for highlighting how it is a wonderful way how all Christians can learn from each other regardless of denomination and that the essence of Christianity as portrayed in the book is at the root of our shared humanity.

    Thank you for sharing ‘Why God Matters’ with your blog readers.

    Best wishes,

    • My pleasure, Nicole. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to participate in the blog book tour. I appreciate all of you at Tribute. I believe it’s just so important for people to come together by focusing on what they have in common, instead of whatever might keep them apart.

  5. Thank you for this review. I’ll put the book on my to-read list. We really are in this together.

    • Together is how this old world is going to survive, Kathy. We’re really not all so different, regardless of all the doctrine and credos out there. We are, after all, all God’s children.

  6. This looks great, Susan. The big man himself illustrated so much through story and illustration, and I always think of Daniel Goleman and his work on how powerful speaking in images is. Powerful stuff indeed.

    I really love the St Frances quote, it makes me smile. So many of us fall into the trap of using words when unneccessary, myself most of all.


    • I agree, Kate, Jesus was a master storyteller. Images and illustration can be very powerful. I hope to be able to keep learning how to do that in my writing, using fewer words. And I do love words…

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