Insight is volume one of Joseph Robinson’s (pen name: “Smokin Joe”) memoir, written to encourage and give God’s hope to readers facing challenges.
Robinson is a minister, holds a certificate in computers, and served honorably in the military for six years. His book is a detailed sharing of his foibles and triumphs in life—including sexual relationships with several women, being fired, going to court, and anecdotes from his military and work careers—and how God taught him through his experiences. He writes: “Many times we override what is right; when we do, we have to get back on the bull with dignity and strive once again to be what God expects us to be.”
Chapters are titled by tree names because Robinson wanted to “do something different,” and like trees, “We have to go through seasons, and we can endure if we learn how to truly trust God.” The tree varieties don’t appear to have a distinct correlation to contents of the chapters. Indeed, the chapters lack focus and jump from one topic to another. For example, Chapter 2, “Bodhi Tree,” begins strong with three pages on fatherhood, then addresses numerous other topics, diluting its theme. Although punctuation, spelling, and grammar are satisfactory, overall organization is weak.
Nonetheless, Robinson shares thought-provoking sentiments throughout, such as, “It is just as easy for God to convert us as it is for Satan to mess us up and confuse us.” He then applies Scripture, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7 KJV). The author’s message of God’s forgiveness and His myriad lessons will be appreciated by many.
The details Robinson includes about sexual encounters may prevent church librarians and conservative Christians from acquiring this book, but liberal-minded readers going through similar struggles will welcome the encouragement his words provide.
Also available in hardcover.