Monday, July 9, 2012

‘By Faith, Not By Sight: The Inspirational Story of a Blind Prodigy, a Life-Threatening Illness, and an Unexpected Gift’ by Scott MacIntyre with Jennifer Schuchmann – Book Review + Giveaway

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I have been a pretty faithful ‘American Idol’ viewer since Season One. One of the most inspirational contestants on that program, in my opinion, was Scott MacIntyre, the blind singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist from Season Eight. When I found out he had written his autobiography, I knew I wanted to read it, to learn more about this amazing young man. Make sure you check below for details on how to win a copy of this great book!

Here is the synopsis of 'By Faith, Not By Sight:'

A piano prodigy, a nineteen-year-old college grad, a Marshall scholar, and an American Idol finalist. This guy had it made. He could sing. He could ski blind. What couldn’t he do?

Even if you saw him in concert, you might not believe that Scott MacIntyre is blind, and you’d never guess that at nineteen, he faced a diagnosis that rocked his family and nearly took his life.

So how did he do it? How did he overcome the odds?

This is Scott’s story, but he’d be the first to tell you that it’s not really about him. This is the story of how God used a dedicated family, a selfless acquaintance, hardship, and a host of characters to give him life, faith, determination, and experiences most can only imagine.

Peek behind the scenes to see how he learned to overcome his disability, how he made it in the music industry, how he found the love of his life, and how God taught him that in all things, we can truly achieve our dreams By Faith, Not By Sight.

Here is the biography of the author:

Scott MacIntyre captivated the nation as the first blind finalist on American Idol. As an acclaimed singer-songwriter, he has toured in arenas across North America, headlined concerts in Japan, Austria, England, Canada, and the US, and written and released his latest CD Heartstrings debuting at #18 on the iTunes Pop Album Chart. As an in-demand inspirational keynote speaker, Scott has shared his unique and dynamic life story with many different audiences.

Outstanding graduate. Marshall scholar. Recording artist. Inspirational speaker. American Idol. Blind from birth, Scott has had to work harder and longer to achieve his goals. But when a silent killer begins to undermine his success and threaten his very life, Scott cannot work it out alone. Once again, he must lean on his faith, his close-knit family, and the life-giving aid of friends to survive.

Follow Scott’s roller-coaster ride to see how God used the mountains and valleys in his life to give him perspective, hope, and ultimately triumph.

Here is Scott being interviewed on ‘100 Huntley Street,’ a Canadian talk show:

And here is Scott performing one of his original compositions, 'No Fear;' SO beautiful!:

I love Scott’s outlook on how all of us have a common denominator. The setting is his graduation from Arizona State University at the age of 19; he is a featured speaker:

I spoke with confidence. I knew each person in the room had doubts and fears. Though each of our concerns may be different than our neighbor’s, the fact that we have them unites us in a kind of anxious human bond. There was no shame in that, as far as I was concerned. In the past, I’d had momentary doubts and lingering fears. But I’d also found that when I let go, when I gave my concerns to God, his presence and assurance became more real to me. It was my dependence on him – and not on my own strength – that helped me progress toward my dreams. (p. 4)

Clearly, his ‘can-do’ attitude came from his parents:

Knowing that I just had a visual impairment and not some life-threatening illness, my parents chose to move forward and not look back. They gave up searching for a cause [for his blindness]. Instead, they wisely focused their time and energies on helping me succeed at all the things I could do rather than worrying about things I couldn’t. But seeds of doubt about traditional medicine and a healthy skepticism of doctors had been planted in my mother. That skepticism would later play a role in the medical decisions we made as a family. (p. 12)

I love the story of how Scott came to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior:

I was five when I first understood that I had a choice about how to live my life. One day, at Vacation Bible School, a speaker told us we could choose to live for ourselves or we could choose to live our lives for Jesus. I knew I wanted to live for him. When I got home that night, I told my parents what I’d decided and together we prayed – asking God to forgive me of my sins, telling him how much I loved him, and promising to try to live like him. After that, I knew that Jesus was my Savior and that one day I would spend eternity with him in heaven. (p. 54)

Scott learned positive life lessons from many people along the way (in addition to his parents). Here he explains what he learned from one of his piano instructors:

Gregg taught me to be a more confident piano player, but I carried that confidence with me for the rest of my life. I learned many lessons from that experience – like not being afraid to step out of my comfort zone, how it was okay to make a mistake, and how through dedicated practice I could overcome even my most ingrained habits. But more importantly, I learned that I could do whatever I set my mind to. Though I only studied with Gregg for a few months before we moved to Toronto, his lessons have stayed with me for life. (p. 74)

Scott closes out the book this way:

Looking back over my life so far, I realize that many times when I was on the verge of experiencing incredible success, that’s when the trials came to knock me down. I don’t think that was a coincidence. God works through us during the good times and the bad – when we are on the mountaintop, and when we trudge through the valley. I have experienced both extremes in my life, often at the same time. But I learned that he used the worst days of my life to bless me the most. And he’s not done with me yet. I continually find myself in new places, doing things I never imagined I’d be doing. Like motivational speaking. Or writing this book. Although my gratitude is given to many, the glory is all his. (p. 271)

I was so incredibly moved by Scott on ‘American Idol’ – and even more so when I learn what he has accomplished and overcome in his life!! It was also awesome to get an update on the positive things that have happened to him in his personal and professional life since 'Idol.' I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to be uplifted and encouraged by the spirit of this amazing man!

This book was published by Thomas Nelson Publishers and provided by the author for giveaway and review purposes.


I have been given the opportunity to give away a copy of this book to one blessed person! There are several ways to enter:

1) Leave a comment here telling me one thing that you appreciate about Scott. Please leave your email address in this format: 
yourname at domain dot com.

2) Follow this blog; please leave a comment to that effect in the above format.

3) ‘Like’ Scott’s page on Facebook. Please leave a comment to that effect in the above format.

4) Follow Scott on Twitter. Please leave a comment to that effect in the above format.

5) Follow me on Twitter. Please leave a comment to that effect in the above format.

6) Tweet the following: 

Enter to win @AmericanIdol @ScottDMacIntyre’s book ‘By Faith Not By Sight’ #giveaway. Please RT!

The deadline for entry is Monday, July 23, 2012 at 11:59 pm. The winner will be chosen by the Random Number Generator on Tuesday, July 24, 2012. All the best to you!


Janice said...

What do I appreciate about Scott? He is so very talented and yet he seems approachable and without an ounce of arrogance. That is Jesus showing through him.

I have been blessed to read this blog, listen to the interview and hear his song. Thank you for sweetening my day!

Blessings, Janice jsmithg(at)hotmail(dot)com

Anne Payne said...

Wow! I have never heard of Scott before reading your post here, but I will be looking up more of his music. That's a beautiful song, resonating deep within me today. The past 9 weeks have been the most difficult to face, but I have faced them with no fear, only complete trust in the Lord that His plan is divine. Scott's testimony blessed me today. Thank you, Andrea :)


Ladette Kerr said...

I appreciate that he has let Christ shine through him instead of his "handicap." It would be so easy to allow that to define him, but he hasn't.

Thanks for the review & giveaway!


Ladette Kerr said...

I follow your blog by GFC.


Ladette Kerr said...

I'm following you via Twitter.



Ladette Kerr said...

I'm following Scott on twitter.


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