Once Caught, No Escape: A book review
I met Norman P. Grubb when my youngest son, Scott, was a toddler. Scott celebrated his 22nd birthday January 28, 1991, so you can see that my association with Norman has been for more than a few years. It has also been more than casual. Norman has played a very vital part in my life, as vital as anyone I have ever known and as vital, I am sure, as anyone I will ever know.
It has been exciting for me to reread his autobiography, Once Caught, No Escape. Through my many years with Norman, I have heard most of the stories firsthand. They are always a thrill to me, and I never tire of them. This was again the case as I reread Once Caught. It is now a joy and a privilege for me to comment on this life story of my great friend and teacher.
I bought my first copy of Once Caught, No Escape at the conference where I first heard and met Norman some 20-plus years ago. I was left knowing three very important things after first hearing him speak (I understood very little of what he said because he spoke fast and with a thick British accent):
1. What he said included, but went deeper than, the basic truths I was accustomed to hearing from other evangelical Christian teachers.
2. I knew he was God’s man in a very real laid-down-life way.
3. He was extremely intelligent and thoroughly knew his subject, and he knew things that I had never heard about before.
I was caught! Caught because I wanted to know what this God per-son, who was no dummy, knew about life in a way neither I nor anyone else I listened to or read knew.
I began my quest immediately! Before I left that first conference, I bought four of Norman’s books, including God Unlimited and Once Caught. Once Caught was the only one I could read with ease at that stage of my enlightenment. The others were beyond my grasp.
I was caught by Once Caught from the beginning, and it is of even more interest to me today, since I am more acquainted with England now and have a better understanding of that part of Norman’s story. (Norman is, of course, English, and some of the places and customs he wrote about have a life to me now that they didn’t at my first reading.)
The book helped me know this man that I had heard speak only once and had met only casually. I don’t mean that the book merely let me know things about Norman, as interesting and exciting as every detail of his life story is. Somehow through the pages of this book, I came to know his heart, his insides, what made him tick. I saw that he had become a Christian at about the same age that I accepted Christ as my Savior (17 or 18). From that day forward Norman was dead serious about God, and God was serious about Norman.
Each incident recorded in this book connects with the one preceding it and with the one following it. These stories show a progression of a life where God, given the chance by a willing heart, could take the life of an ordinary person and build it into the life of a giant in His kingdom–a life that may not look very giant-like from the world’s view, where fame and for-tune are marks of greatness, but a life from God’s view that has been poured out to gain for the Heavenly Kingdom a hundredfold more than any loss or sacrifice Norman suffered in his earthly life.
God, in his loving generosity toward me, did not let me be satisfied to know this man only through his book. I have been privileged to know him face to face. It has been my blessing and joy to find that he is everything and more than what I caught of him when I first read Once Caught. Norman has been a great light to me, ever pointing me inward to find there the Father’s kingdom and His beloved Son my Savior.
I found through Norman’s guidance, always backed by the written Word, that what I was searching for far and wide was right here within me in the person of the Holy Spirit, who had united Himself with m e the day I took Jesus as my own. The life Norman has lived and continues to live, though now 95 and unable to teach or travel, was what gave life to the words he spoke and wrote to me. God’s word was and is fleshed out in this man, not only a hearer of the word, but a doer "extraordinaire." In this rereading of Once Caught, I realize anew the awesome privilege I have had to have personally known and loved, and to have been known and loved, by this faithful soldier of Christ. How blessed by family and I have been to have shared in his life and to have had him share in ours.
Read the book!! Get to know Norman through it, too, and in so doing you will know God better. If you already know Norman, treat yourself to reliving with him his glorious journey as you read this book. As he said about his own story on page 7 of his foreword, "It has been a thrill to run back over the stages of my life and trace the abundant grace of God. The Psalmist said rightly, ‘The Lord is good and doeth good.’ What a mercy to have been captured young, and that is why I use this title. Once captured, no escape! You can’t, you don’t want to, you don’t!"
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 26 No 4
- Free at Last!
- Editor’s Note
- A Tribute to Norman Grubb–In His Own Words
- God’s Promises
- Questions & Answers
- God’s Great Purpose By Us
- How It Really Works
- A Call to Arms: 1993
- Christ’s Nobodies
- Once Caught, No Escape: A book review
- The Cambridge Seven: A book review
- Cookout at "Boone"
- A Pastor Writes Page Prewitt
- The Simplicity of Seeing–A Letter
- The Mailbox
- Letters From Norman
- The Way of Release
- Presenting every man perfect…
- Words to Live By…