by Joni Astrup
Eric Dykstra was on vacation with his family in July 2012 when he bought a book about grace.
That prompted him to dig deeper into the topic, and it set in motion a series of revelations that he said have transformed his thinking and changed his life.
He’s sharing some of the insights in his first book, “Grace on Tap.”
The book is available at Amazon.com, at the Reading Frenzy Corner at 609 Main St. in downtown Elk River and at The Crossing church. Dykstra and his wife, Kelly, launched the church nine years ago in Elk River. It now also has locations in Big Lake and Zimmerman. All proceeds from the sale of the book will go to The Crossing church.
Dykstra said he wrote the book during the month of October 2012. “It just dumped out of me,” he explained.
He had a lot of his pastor friends read it, which led him to add what he calls the “Big But” chapter that answers 10 common questions people have about grace and God.
Dykstra, the son of a pastor, said he loves his parents dearly but he grew up in a home in which the rules were stressed and the goodness and love of God were not really talked about a lot.
“I grew up with a thought process that was: ‘If’ you’re good, God will like you and if you’re not good, God is going to throw lightning bolts at you,” he said.
After a lengthy study of grace in the Bible, he said he came to the realization that grace is everything.
Dykstra said he wants to help people understand that they don’t have to try so hard.
“God loves us whether we behave or don’t behave. He loves us on our good days and on our bad,” he said. “And when we fail, he just whispers in our ear, ‘You can make it. Get back up and try again. I’ll transform you. I’ll change you.’”
Dykstra, who taught theology at a Christian high school before becoming a pastor, believes grace is a misunderstood concept in a world that is built on achievement.
“I feel like people believe grace is for people who have done something really awful, so they can get forgiven. But grace isn’t just about forgiveness. Grace is about blessing also,” he said.
In the introduction to the book, he writes: “My hope with this book is that you will know that the Father paid the price with the blood of His son Jesus, so that His grace can flow freely “on tap” to you. You don’t have to work to be righteous; Jesus made you righteous at the cross.”