Just As I Am

Just As I Am

by Virginia Smith


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781937671174
Publisher: Next Step Books
Publication date: 06/25/2014
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 833,613
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.51(d)

About the Author

Virginia Smith is the bestselling author of twenty-five novels and over fifty articles and short stories. An avid reader with eclectic tastes in fiction, she writes in a variety of styles from lighthearted relationship stories to breath-snatching suspense. Just As I Am was her debut novel, and she's thrilled to introduce Mayla Strong to a new batch of readers. She only hopes the world is ready for Mayla. Learn more about Ginny at www.virginiasmith.org

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Just as I Am 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
TBCN More than 1 year ago
Virginia Smith has penned a refreshingly honest, heart-felt, funny story. I was pleasantly surprised and instantly grabbed by how real and entertaining this story was, even though its intended for a youthful audience. This story begins with Mayla Strong, a girl with purple hair, an earring in her nose and stud in her lip, makes a decision to be saved and then baptized in church one day. Here is a sneak peek into when Mayla is talking to the Pastor in front of the whole church about the decision of accepting Christ into her heart. The Pastor asks her, "Are you prepared to commit your life to Christ, to die and be born again as a new creation of His, to let Him lead you wherever He will and never turn your back on Him?" Mayla responds, "Die? I knew that couldn't possibly mean what I thought it meant, but I had certainly never had someone ask me if I was ready to die before!" So often stories lead up to the salvation experience, but in Just As I Am, the author has her main character get saved and baptized in the first chapter! It's great! My heart was pricked by Mayla's desire to do what the bible says to do, not man. I loved the innocence, conviction and love Mayla had for Christ and the desire she has to show that love to anyone God puts in her path. She notices little changes inside herself right away and so do others. She wonders if this could be because she gave her heart to Christ and was baptized. Mayla can't believe the change was so fast, not can anyone else. How does a purple-haired girl with an earring in her nose and stud in her lip, walk out this Christian life? Virginia Smith shows all the natural things Mayla encounters soon after making her decision to make Jesus, Lord of her life. Her experiences in this book are very insightful, and in parts hysterical when she try's to figure out what God would have her do next. She wasn't about to change her hair color and nose ring just because it would make her mother happy. All she wanted to do was be pleasing to Jesus, no one else. I loved Mayla's determination and vulnerability as she was seeking God's face and did what He called her to do, even if it meant visiting a man in the hospital she doesn't know, who is dying of AIDS. The sequel to this book is called Sincerely Mayla. I can't wait to read about what happens next in Mayla's walk with God. You will want to read the next chapter in Mayla's life too. Finding Hope Through Fiction www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Guest More than 1 year ago
I started backward, and read the sequel first, but enjoyed it so well that I was excited to go back to read this one. I cannot tell you how long it has been since I have read a book that made me cry, but this one definitely was successful with that more than once. This is such a great story! I've enjoyed Ginny Smith's books for a while now, but this just makes me like her all the more. As a 23 year old, former punk/goth teenager, I can tell you from experience that her books with Mayla hit home. The sequel was good with certain topics, but this one is just fabulous. Mayla's story is really that of an alternative young person finding Christ and starting their life as a Christian. Not everyone has the same background and this book is great for all people whether they were brought up in the Church or know nothing about it. I'd recommend this book to teens, young adults, older adults (to understand the younger) and anyone really. I strongly recommend it for people to read who are not Christian. It might show a good insight to how things 'can' be.
Deborah_K More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. Mayla was such a refreshing, realistic character. I could really relate to her. She's my age, going through the same problems that I am. I loved the fact that she had piercings and dyed hair. Just by that alone I could relate to her because I used to have piercings in not typical places. This book showed how you really shouldn't judge people just by their appearances. Mayla had to face a lot of prejudice by the older Christians just because of how she looked. To me, if I had become a new Christian and keep facing this type of attitude, I would become very discouraged and eventually lose my faith. Mayla on the other hand, turns the other cheek and does not allow this to hinder her new thirst for more knowledge of Christ's love. The same can also be said of the non Christian who assumes about what Mayla will become now that she's become a Christian. Mayla's roommate judges her totally unfairly because of a bad experience. The treatment she receives from both sides is enough to make anyone go crazy but she handles it with such maturity and grace. The storyline involving Alex and his battle with AIDS was extremely well done. Virginia Smith is an excellent writer and this book really showcases her work. I'm definitely looking forward to the next book to find out what happens between Maya and Pastor Paul!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just As I Am by Virginia Smith is one of most honest and refreshing books to come along in years. Mayla Strong, the main character, is so real and yet so unique that readers of any age, gender, or walk of life readily identify and begin to root for her from the moment she appears on the opening page. Add to that an irresistible sense of humor and a taste of the South that¿s as delicious and down-home as grits and gravy, and you have a book that will keep you coming back for more. So bring on the sequel!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just As I Am on the surface is an endearing book about Mayla, a purple haired, multiple pierced young woman who comes to faith then tries to fit in with experienced Christians. After a few hilarious twists and turns, she learns that God loves her just as she is, nose ring and all. If that was the only message of this book we would have received our moneys worth, but Mayla also demonstrates how easily you can affect others lives just by living your faith. I strongly recommend this book for unbelievers, new believers, and seasoned Christians alike.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When Mayla Strong decided to become a Christian, a whole new world opened before her. Yet, the most opposition to her faith came, not from her peers, but from within the church. From the moment she became saved and baptized, well-meaning church people began telling her how she should act and dress. But Mayla seeks God¿s approval not that of men and women. She begins to see her friends differently too as she shares her new-found beliefs. Though these aliens to grace don¿t comprehend, transformation becomes evident. Not from without, but from within. A new babe in Christ is as vulnerable as a tiny human baby. Forces from without try to push their way against the fledging soul in a struggle to supplant the beauty God intends. Such was Mayla¿s discovery. With the support of an understanding pastor and a loving mother, Mayla begins to comprehend that God accepts her just as she is. Any change in her will be the result of His handiwork, a true walk of faith rather than an adaptation of some form of churchianity. Mayla¿s strong character in the hands of an accepting God leads her to places many long-time Christians would fear to go. As she counsels a dying homosexual, Mayla begins to explore her purpose in Christ. Infused with humor, the reader will admire the spunky Mayla as her fledging faith unfolds. The reader will find pleasure in remembering their own spiritual birth and early walk. Those who are seeking truth will find refreshing clarity in Virginia Smith¿s masterful description of infancy in Jesus. Just As I Am should be required reading for all church leaders and ministers, for it reminds us that God does not look upon the exterior but finds pleasure in a heart that turns from rebellion and accepts His love. When that life turns to Him, He fashions their lives in ways most of us cannot imagine. It is His spirit within the newborn that shapes and bends the former life into a polished jewel for His kingdom.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rarely does a novel impact me in the way this one has. Virginia Smith's 'Just As I Am' is one of those treasured finds that surpasses the expected in Christian fiction and makes its way to the instant classics list. With a heroine that challenges us to see the inside and not the outer trappings, Mayla's story had me hooked from page one--from the laugh-out-loud moments to the passages of tearful poignancy. As a twenty-something with Lagoon Blue hair, I related to Mayla on so many levels. And as an author, I marveled at the masterful way Smith crafted this tale of a young woman who learns to live a new--and unique--life in Christ.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Virginia Smith¿s debut novel is a winner! Just As I Am has a fresh, funny and thought provoking twist as Mayla Strong lives out her new life in Christ, Mayla-style. She may not know all the answers to the questions of her mouth-gaping friends, but she grows closer to the One who does. Her purple hair and labret studded lip cause a few raised eyebrows in her mama¿s church but she shows that who we are can reach lives for Christ when we live authentically for Him. Through her awkward prayers and cries for help, Mayla cares for her friend, Alex who is dying of AIDS, and her roommate, Sylvia¿reaching out and into their lives with the love of her Savior who loved her first. I am challenged in my own walk as I read how Mayla reaches into her sphere of influence with the love of Christ and her moment by moment dependence on Him. This is a great book for teens or adults and has the potential for good discussion about outward appearances, conforming, heart changes, and loving the way Jesus loves.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just As I Am is a compelling story outlining Christianity as it's best. Easy to read, hard to put down, the book is perfect for someone trying to find out what being a Christian is all about. It's a great book for adults of all ages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Virginia Smith's debut novel was so fun and engrossing I read it through in just a few hours. I identified with heroine Mayla Strong in ways I never expected. No, I don't have purple hair or numerous body piercings - but I have struggled to find my place of service, bumbling as I travel along my journey. Mayla is persistent, kind and a willing vessel for God to use in such unique ways. Her heart is pure and her actions well-meaning. She became my friend and an inspiration. Ginny's other characters are just as lively and memorable. The Scriptural truths (expertly weaved throughout) are practical and applicable to everyone. I can't wait for the sequel!
MichelleSutton More than 1 year ago
Virginia Smith's debut novel is beyond cool. I got it in the mail last night and read it from start to finish. That rarely happens with me. Usually it takes at least a few days for me to plow through a really great book. The author portrayed the conversion and confusion of a brand new believer with perfection. The voice of the character was so down-to-earth and believable. Issues came up that Mayla handled in a Christ-like manner. She did the right thing, like Jesus would do. I loved the storyline, the reality, the humor, the honesty, and lack of sarcasm. Mayla really did want to do right by God and her fellow man. She was the perfect example of how to be a true witness for Christ by being real and not changing herself to 'conform' to the culture around her. I loved how she resisted, but then gave in. She saw the reward in loving others and being the hands and feet of Jesus. She didn't know she was doing it, but she was loving Alex in a way that touched many around her, including people at work and where she lived. She demonstrated to her friends and roommate, 'They will know you are Christians by your love.' This overflowed into the lives of others in the church as well, even an old grouchy man. When the timing was right, she did alter her radical appearance, but not because of external pressure, but a desire to please God, which is always the right motivation to have. I would love to see Mayla a few years from now dating her pastor. I hope there is a sequel in the works. That would be awesome. I want to see more books by this author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. Mayla is a funny and strong character, and I identified with her, even without the piercing and the purple hair! I would definitely recommend this book to all of my friends and family. If you're looking for a fun read that will pull you in and then lift you up, this is the book for you!!!! I believe everyone, once in their lifetime, has had the same thoughts and prayers as Mayla. I can't wait to see what Mayla's got up her sleeve in the next one!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This fun page turner will make you laugh and cry as you sympathize with it's diverse cast of characters. Be prepared to be spiritually uplifted while having a great time reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is SOOOOOOOOOOOO much fun! I found myself laughing, crying...reflecting! Seriously, this book is delightfully refreshing! It has everything in it. You will love the character of Mayla Strong within the first few pages! The author has such a funny way of describing the situations Mayla finds herself in! PLEASE GIVE US MORE!! I want to know where Mayla Strong finds herself next!!!!