Cover Image: The Way of the Father

The Way of the Father

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Member Reviews

If I am totally honest, I was a pretty minor ‘fan’ of Michael W. Smith the best part of 30 years ago! But have always had an underlying respect for him, his music and his evident integrity. Reading this short book – part memoir, part daily devotional - is a good and uplifting experience. Hearing the voice and thoughts of someone you respect who shows such respect for those who have been inspirational in their life (specifically here, his father) at its best, can also be inspirational.

The Way of the Father may not be breaking new ground but it is certainly uplifting and encouraging for those interested in exploring or developing their Christian faith, but I would imagine that from the perspective of a true MWS fan, this would be gold!
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You know Michael W Smith for his Contemporary Christian Music over the past several decades.  But, in this book, Michael clearly demonstrates that he was loved well by an earthly father that greatly influenced how he now sees his Heavenly Father.  This included a prodigal period where many prayers were offered on his behalf.  Clearly Michael's father wanted his son to walk in the destiny of God's calling and purpose for his life, to the point, where Michael could not be present when his father passed from earth to heaven due to a concert he was performing at the Budokan.  In the book, Michael tells many great stories - among this reviewer's favorites are the flash mom in Bahrain and the 25-minute car-ride on the interstate with U2's Bono.  Fan of his music or not, this easily readable book will inspire and encourage you.  An advance copy was made available for review without any obligation for favorable comments.
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This was a really good book. I love Michael  W smith's music. It really uplifts me. I was glad I got to review this book because I needed to read it. I think other people should read this.. He really goes deep into his relationship with his father and with God. I am grateful that netgalley let me read this in exchange for an honest review.
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I expected this book to be about the relationship between a person (male or female) with Father God. Yes, in part there is a testimony of God being Father throughout the book but it is more about Micael Smith's own earthly father, more a biography. Anyone reading this who has not had the experience of a good natural father, might struggle to relate and connect the parrelels Micheal would like us to with a Heavenly Father. 
It's a book I might give to someone interested in the life of M. Smith's father or  a young man who has had a great secure upbringing and can learn how to pass that gift onto the next generation, but perhaps this is a limited market.
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First sentence: My father was my hero. The kindest, gentlest man I have ever known. The person in my life who was always the most like Jesus to me and consistently reflected the qualities of my Abba Father.

The Way of the Father is a son's tribute to his father (Paul Smith). Readers should expect no more than that. Readers will find plenty of stories about Michael W. Smith--past and present--in his role as son, husband, musician, friend. Mainly son and musician if I'm being honest. 

If reading about Michael W. Smith's experiences and relationships gives you a thrill, this book is for you. He does provide some background and context for the writing of several of his songs--newer songs mostly, I believe. 

What you should not expect is the book to be more than that. For better or worse. Maybe for most readers what they are looking for is 90% of Michael W. Smith and 10% devotional with glimpses of God the Father, Son, and Spirit. But if you're looking for more balance--say 50/50--with ample space given to God, then you might be disappointed.

It's not that Michael W. Smith isn't giving due glory to God in his life.  I wouldn't say the book is 100% self-promotion. It's just that he's writing what he knows--and what he knows is his experiences writing, recording, performing, touring, meeting famous people, hanging out with famous people, etc. 

If you're looking for something that points you to Jesus Christ and keeps pointing you to Christ over and over and over again, then this isn't quite that. It throws in inspiration/motivation every now and then. But it's not a super-deep book. 

But I will say this. I think this is a book he NEEDED to write as a son. I think writing this book helped him in the grieving process. And I think it would be a truly amazing gift for those in the family--Paul Smith's grandchildren, great-grandchilden. As a testament to a person, I think it's good.
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I’ve been listening to Michael W. Smith’s music since he came on the scene in the 1980s. Forty years! The Big Picture album was so good and is now a classic! His instrumental albums blew me away. He is an exceptionally gifted musician and has explored many musical genres, from rock, to pop, to worship, to electronic, to instrumental. His creativity and longevity are to be honored.

So naturally, when I saw this book, I was interested in what stories might be within its covers. Michael W. Smith was blessed with a very good father. He related that his dad, in spite of working rotating shifts at the refinery, always found time for him, even when exhausted. He felt loved and championed by his dad every step of the way, from when he was a young kid playing baseball, knowing his dad was cheering him on, to seeing his dad sitting in the large stadiums, beaming, as Michael performed his music. 

Michael also related that his dad’s own father died when he was in his teens. He selflessly chose to be a support to his mom over pursuing a career in baseball. And when Michael went through a season of rebellion, his dad met him with love and grace.

Later, reminiscing with his adult children, they came up with key things his father did to love them and others such as spending quality and quantity time together, creating fun nicknames for each grandchild, prioritizing God and family, and praying for them.

A few music touring stories are sprinkled in the book’s pages. Having learned about what is most important in life from his dad, Michael shares how that shaped his own priorities, “My goal in being out front in worship is to lead only from my heart, and not from a set list, or peoples expectations, or even my own musicality. My desire, even though I’m leading, is to disappear. Disappear into the midst of the worshipers. Disappearing to the presence in the power of God. As Jesus said in John 3:30, ‘He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.’”

The book was definitely a quick read. Scripture passages are often included from The Message Bible. I feel like I expected a bit more from the book than what I took away, but it was a very enjoyable read.

I received an ARC copy from the publisher and net galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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In The way of the Father Michael Smith aligns lessons he's learnt from his father and other people he's met throughout his musical career with how God sees and loves us. 
If you're ever doubting the Father's love for you. Doubt no more because this book is sure to remind you how loved you are along with some amazing stories, lessons and laughs.
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It has been said that our views about God the Father are connected intricately to our relationships with our earthly fathers. Sharing intimate details about his late father, the popular musical artist and performer hail his father as his hero, devoted supporter, coach, diligent worker, his father, and how his life empowers his faith with his Heavenly Father. Smith opens up with how his father would bring his team to a Dairy Queen despite losing 30-0 in a baseball game. While some people celebrate with special treats when their team wins, his dad celebrates with the team regardless of the result. This demonstrated his dad's grace to see the team bigger than any game results. He was a deacon in Church, heading up many leadership roles from pastoral search to layperson's roles. His decision-making with regard to promotions or job opportunities always centers around God and family. Not surprisingly, he gives up promotional moments for the sake of his priorities. This is not something that a lot of people could do. Even though his dad was often tough, he had tender moments like during the aftermath of the Marshall football team air crash. Smith learns that the strength of a person is not defined by how much grit one has but how caring one is. Smith's dad checks out all the boxes. The rest of the book contains many powerful lessons about the impact of his father on him. Lessons such as:

- Grieving with those who grieve in the light of the Marshall disaster
- How his father accepted and graciously treated his girlfriend like his second daughter
- Love according to practicing 1 Corinthians 13
- Showing kindness to strangers by serving them
- Learning to pray through different circumstances
- Praying for strangers as God prompts
- Selfless focus on others
- and many more...

My Thoughts
This is an intimate portrait of the close relationship between the famous musician and his dad. Throughout the book, readers can sense the positivity flowing through the pages with comfort and gratitude. Comfort in terms of fond memories of having enjoyed a good relationship. Gratitude in terms of the many lessons gleaned from his life. As a semi-biography, one gets to understand the background of how the musician became the person he is. Those who know his music will get to appreciate the lyrics in a deeper manner. Smith is overwhelmingly generous in his own retelling of his father's stories. That shows how much he misses his dad. Yet, the way he writes this book presents a journey of healing as well. Grieving takes many forms and writing a memoir of pleasant moments with his dad definitely helps in the overall process. He takes us from the beginning all the way to the very end, how his dad gets dementia and the final days before he breathes his last at the care home. Knowing that his dad is in heaven gives an immeasurable sense of comfort and peace. This intimacy is special, and I am glad to know of such a powerful link especially in a society where healthy father-son relationships are few and far between. 

This book might trigger different reactions in readers about their relationships with their own fathers. Those who grew up with absentee dads might read this book with envy. Others with dads were are not as perfect as Smith's might say that such relationships are rare. Let me add to this plethora of emotions by saying that when we read this book, first put our own sentiments aside and just enjoy reading the story of a wonderful relationship to thank God for. Regardless of our own relationships with our fathers, we can still praise God for how He has touched the Smith family and how He has used their gifts to bless the rest of the world. Don't let our own backgrounds misrepresent what the book is about. When we do that, we honor Smith's memory of his father and Smith's humble acknowledgment of the lessons learned. Once we do that, we might learn about what it means to be a better father or parent when our turn arrives. While we cannot change the past, we can lay the foundations for the future. If this book can help us do something better as a father or a son, a parent or a child, that would have worth the price of this book.

Michael W. Smith, a multi-platinum recording artist, has won three Grammy Awards, forty-five Dove Awards, an American Music Award, and has sold more than fifteen million albums. He has also given back to the global community, having raised funds to battle AIDS in Africa alongside U2’s Bono; started Rocketown, a safe haven for young people in Tennessee to meet and find hope, and has helped to improve more than 70,000 children’s lives through Compassion International. With a career spanning more than four decades, Smith has also starred in two films and written fourteen books, including a children’s book series. He lives with his wife, Debbie, in Franklin, Tennessee. They have five adult children and sixteen grandchildren.

Rating: 4.25 stars of 5.

This book has been provided courtesy of K-Love Publishers and NetGalley without requiring a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.
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Wonderful, inspirational book. What a great testimony.
Thanks to author, publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
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This book was great! I was super excited to get the chance to read this early! Michael Smith has been an inspiration for my worship leader journey for many years and hearing his take on the Christian lifestyle and What inspired Him was amazing! I will definitely be rereading and recommending this!
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The Way of the Father
Lessons from My Dad, Truths about God
by Michael W. Smith
K-LOVE Books
Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members' Titles
Biographies & Memoirs | Christian | Religion & Spirituality
Pub Date 18 May 2021   |   Archive Date 25 Aug 2021

I have enjoyed Michael W. Smith's music through the years and have also been to his concerts.  I enjoyed reading a book about lessons he learned from his father and truths about God.  I think you will enjoy this book. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC. 
4 star
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"People want to experience authenticity, not celebrity. They desire interaction with integrity, not entertainment. They want to know their lives have a purpose. We have the privilege of sharing the good news that they can know the One who holds their hope and their future... worship is not about about singing a handful of songs once a week, but about our day-in-and-day-out interactions with people."
More than a list of lessons passed on from a father to his son, this book is about the quiet example Michael observed in his dad and how that pointed him to the character of his heavenly Father. I began the book expecting the former but appreciated the latter. 
It is largely a book about Michael and his journey,thoughts and observations so if that is what you are looking for you will certainly enjoy this short, insightful read. It may just make you appreciate your Father all the more.
Thank you to NetGalley for giving me a chance to check it out!
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What a heart wrenching book. Such a powerful reminder our natural fathers but more importantly our heavenly father.  Michael expresses and reminds us of our uniqueness and creation in the fathers image and for his delight. Hard reading if your natural father was less than..... but such a calling to love others as God's called us to.
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I have always loved Michael W. Smith’s music and have been fortunate to go to several concerts. On one occasion, his Dad was in the audience and the love Michael had for his Fad was so evident. This book gives more inside to the incredible parents Michael was blessed with. He lovingly tells us that our Heavenly Father loves each of us so much more. 
The legacy passed down generation to generation is heartwarming and profound.
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I've been a Michael W. Smith fan since I was a kid, so getting to read/review an eARC of one of his books was a bit of a pinch-me moment! "Can this really be?! Michael W. Smith?! Noooo way." LOL. And yet, here we are.

Smith's music is often a go-to for me, and a few songs of his defo would make it on my "soundtrack to my life" (if I made such a thing). I've seen him in concert twice over the years; "Friends," "Agnus Dei," "Place in this World," and more are staples on my "list of most influential Christian songs." So reading this was an absolute joy, with insight into his growing-up years, family relationships (especially with his dad, of course), and current activities.

Brimming with Scripture and heartfelt stories, this quick read (<2 hours for me) is a welcome addition to the bookshelf. It's particularly timely with Father's Day coming up in just over a month as of this writing; I think it would be a great gift for any of the dads out there, as well as the people that love them. :)

I received an eARC of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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