Speak to the Fire

What to Believe in a Messed Up World (God Notes Book 1)

Non-Fiction - Inspirational
196 Pages
Reviewed on 11/11/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Joy Ryan, out of Vernonia, Oregon, grew up in a conservative Christian home. Her mother a pastor for a country church.

A common thread she found was that each religion wanted to be the only religion and always seemed to be at odds with, & in rebuke of, the others. Most seemed deeply rooted in manmade tradition vs. a personal relationship with our Creator. Realizing that there is a true voice of God that one must find & follow gave her a lot of relief amid all the confusion.

After recounting random stories to friends & hearing their reactions, she realized the blessing that these stories needed to be shared . She knew this would help others tune in and have a personal relationship with God, despite the chatter & confusion of competing religious labels. Most religious folks, she found, reported that they went to church regularly; however, they were largely unaffected and had no real experiences of wonder. Unreligious folks were completely turned off by “the Church” due to all the hypocrisy, ambivalence, & downright cruelty to others.

All folks need the love of God. They just might not be at the place in their path yet to see or feel him. Bottom-line recognize him. This book is geared towards the masses, very loosely finds folks where they are without judgement or labels. Surprises them when they see where God has always been in their own lives!

Please enjoy & share. Someone needs this. I pray the arrows penetrate the hearts they are meant to.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Speak to the Fire: What to Believe in a Messed up World is the first book in the God Notes nonfiction series by Joy Ryan. It is an inspirational book in which the author shares her story and her powerful encounter with God. Born into a Christian family, Joy Ryan grew up and earned a degree in finance, with a promising career ahead. Her first experience of loss was when her husband passed on. She was only twenty-three years old then. She also lost her parents, eventually. Although she grew up in a Christian family that included ministers, she had never felt deeply close to God because of the contradictory message that she encountered in most religions, often pitting themselves against other religions, and claiming a monopoly on the truth about God. This book has a message that is quite different.

This book is a powerful argument that God does enter into our lives as individuals and that He manifests His love in ways that are far different than what most of us think or expect. By sharing her spiritual journey and unique, unquestionable encounters with God, the author sheds light that will undoubtedly help any reader understand how God has been present in the darkest moments of their lives. This is a book about faith and a God who loves us unconditionally, and Joy Ryan invites readers to shift perspective and to allow God into their lives in a way that He wants to be present. Speak to the Fire: What to Believe in a Messed up World is written in a very simple style and the author demonstrates how humanity has politicized religion and used it as a tool for divisiveness. It contains powerful passages, eye-opening arguments, and inspiration.

Asher Syed

Speak to the Fire: What to Believe in a Messed Up World by Joy Ryan is the non-fiction inspirational memoir of one woman's relationship with God and the strengthening of this bond as she endured trial after trial. Ryan grew up in a Christian household with a pastor mother, an upbringing that laid the foundation of Christ in her life through the benefit of a heightened exposure to her faith that many children simply do not have. In a simple first-person narrative, the reader is walked through some incredibly personal moments that may have toppled a woman with less strength of mind, body, character, and doctrine. Grappling through loss, raising her daughter, and seeing that the evil of the world had the ability to crush the spirit, Ryan recounts the times of hardship and directly connects her deliverance to the one common denominator in all the good that comes from it: the hand of God.

First of all, the cover of Speak to the Fire is exceptional. When we talk about cover art being the true advertisement for what might be found inside, Joy Ryan hits the nail squarely on the head with powerful imagery that is consistent with the journey described in the book's pages. As for the literary merit of this book, readers do need to keep an open mind to both Ryan's experiences and the format in which she writes about them. We need to remember that it comes from a place of love and the courage required to share such stories outweighs a writing style that many might find has more substance than style. It didn't matter. It worked for me like a friend chatting over a cup of coffee. It's comfortable and fluid and profoundly honest. My favorite part is when Ryan describes a scene involving a white dove that materialized following the death of her father, and the revelation that his sister had witnessed the same when her father, Ryan's grandfather, also passed. I've heard others share similar visions and it was almost surreal to see the experience written on a page in front of me. Overall, this is a really good memoir that is worthy of a read.

Vincent Dublado

Joy Ryan penned Speak to the Fire: What to Believe in a Messed Up World to share God’s answers to her questions about relationships and religious diversity. The title is a biblical reference to the episode of the burning bush in the Book of Exodus. Ryan hopes that in the same way, through reading her experience, God will show you that He has been by your side all this time. Having painfully lost her first spouse in her early twenties, she remarried but it sadly ended in divorce. Her experience in the dating world gave her the opportunity to meet different men with different religious orientations and discovered profound similarities in their beliefs. Yet another similarity she found is the assertion that their belief system is the one that holds to be true, and such belief is what triggers conflict and diverts us from the purpose of building a sincere relationship with God.

As life becomes more global and embraces diversity, many people still continue in their conditioned assertions of belief. Speak to the Fire is a wake-up call, and it can be said that Ryan has stormed heaven with prayers for God to give her the courage to use her life story to verify His existence and make His presence known in your own life. Her storytelling has a light and casual tone to it, like listening to a friend telling an anecdote over a cup of coffee. This is a spiritual journey that will remind you that tolerance and respect are only effective if you are at peace with yourself; by not taking any hard line against any other faith because you are secure in your personal relationship with God. If you want to strengthen your faith or renew your relationship with God, this first-person experience can give you a lift.

Edith Wairimu

Speak to the Fire: What to Believe in a Messed Up World (God Notes Book 1) by Joy Ryan is a profound guide based on her life. The work contains accounts of Ryan’s personal experiences that reflect on God’s presence, his abiding love, and guidance. Each account is followed by insightful discussions and eye-opening explanations. Ryan, who grew up in Vernonia, Oregon, describes how her mother, who was a pastor, was a blessing to her. Though she has endured many heart-breaking experiences in her life such as the loss of her partner and becoming widowed at a young age and later experiencing a difficult divorce, she recounts how God intervened and provided comfort in these moments. In the book, she also covers current attitudes and events which she handles with wisdom and love.

As society continues to be bombarded by news and information and as many issues become unclear, Speak to the Fire sheds light on these topics. The book is written in a warm tone and Ryan encourages Christians to understand and treat others with compassion. It also shows that God‘s love is not limited and people are at different points of their understanding and relationship with God. I loved that the advice put forward is practical and relates to real-life issues. Speak to the Fire discusses God’s mercy and encourages living from a place of consciousness of the love God has for every person. It is an amazing resource and guide for both Christians and non-Christians alike. Speak to the Fire discusses important themes in an enlightening way.

Lesley Jones

In Speak to the Fire by Joy Ryan, from early childhood, Joy inherited traditional Christian values from family members especially from her mother, the local pastor. As Joy entered adulthood and experienced loss, heartbreak, and grief, she began to question traditional aspects of different religions. Joy discovered that all religions consider themselves to be the ultimate word of God, then realized that this not only divides people but also discourages non-religious people from forming a connection with their Creator. Since we all have a unique and personal relationship with God, whether we consider ourselves to be religious or not, He is there to guide us continuously. By understanding how to open up communication with God and being able to recognize the messages He sends to us, we can create a life that is truly authentic. Joy shares her personal experiences and how she was able to build an innate awareness when God spoke to her. Discover how everyone has the ability to speak to God on a personal level, whether you are religious or not. How can we remain positive throughout times of torment and how can we free ourselves from negative thought patterns that do not serve us? How can we actually communicate with God effectively and recognize the signs when He guides us? As Joy shares with us her extraordinary life experiences, she teaches us how we too can learn to ask, then allow Him to direct and lead us onto the right path for each one of us.

Speak to the Fire by Joy Ryan is such an empowering read that will inspire anyone to tap into their unique sub-conscious and become more aware of their thought patterns. In Western society, we can be manipulated into a negative mindset that what we have is all we are meant to have, that there is some force working against us. Joy's experiences teach us that if we learn how to recognize the signals and signs, our lives will be enriched and filled with purpose. She answers many questions about the existence of God and how He communicates with us continuously. Joy's guidance on how we can build a strong bond with our Creator is fascinating and so easy to follow. Her visions and intuitions were mind-blowing and at times very emotional to read, especially the Johnny story and when she suffered the loss of her husband. I loved the sections on how to control your negative thoughts and following intuition. This book is filled with so many epiphanies and 'aha' moments. Even if you do not consider yourself to be a spiritual person, you will gain so many positive insights from reading this. Mark 11:24 says, 'Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe it and receive it!'