Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Helping Those Who Hurt by Barbara M. Roberts

I had a chance to read the book Helping Those Who Hurt by Barbara M. Roberts through NavPress’s Blogger Review Program. I am going to tell you about the book, the author and then give you my opinion on it.
About the Book:
Life’s struggles affect everyone at some time. Whether you’re a friend of someone who hurts, a layperson in ministry, or a professional counselor, you need guidance and practical advice during the pain of a crisis. Get the wisdom and direction you’re looking for in Helping Those Who Hurt.
Barbara Roberts offers lists, step-by-step directions, Scripture, and dozens of tips from her own experience as the director of a large Caring Ministry department. Written in a practical, conversational manner, this book lends support for the crises your encounter.
About the Author:
Barbara M. Roberts has directed the Caring Ministry department for Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in Englewood, Colorado, for more than twenty years, helping many families and individuals through grief and loss, death, suicide, addiction, and all other life crises discussed in Helping Those Who Hurt. She is a conference speaker and teacher on these and other Caring Ministries subjects.
**The author and book information is taken from the back of the book entitled Helping Those Who Hurt**
My opinion:
I have a heart for people and selected this book based on this and my education in Social Work. I wasn’t prepared for the depth of this book, it is a heavy read and does take some time to work through. While it is done in an easy style it can be hard to digest everything in one reading. I would suggest if you are reading this to minister to others that you read through it once and then as each crisis arises then flip to the section you need. It would be impossible to remember all the great and relevant information by reading it only one time.
There are many sections, such as, illness and hospital visitation, crisis, aging, death (within death it includes suicide, SIDS, miscarriage, infertility, violent death, among others), grief, troubled marriages and divorce, addiction (gaming, pornography, chemical addictions, eating, etc), domestic violence, rape, and most important forgiveness. There is also an additional section on resources so that additional books with more information on what is covered in Helping Those Who Hurt can be obtained.
I would say this book would be great for someone who has a total heart for helping those in crisis whether on a full time basis or even just for the friend or family member who wants to help out one another. Anyone within a pastoral setting would also benefit from this, I have seen pastors try to help but sometimes fall short or make a situation worse without realizing it and I think this book can be an effective to learn fast how to deal with crises that happen in people’s lives.
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Uncompromised Christianity by S. Michael Craven

S. Michael Craven has written a gem of a book that should be read by all who profess to be Christians. He realizes that all Christians today are being bombarded on all sides from those who seek to tear down Christianity and those who believe in the One True God.

In Uncompromised Faith: Overcoming our Culturalized Christianity the reader embarks on a journey as to why Christians are selling out and no longer living their faith. The fact of materialism, consumerism and modernism makes it harder and harder to live like Jesus. We want what we want and we want it now – who cares who gets hurt. This in turn creates more problems that we as a society have to deal with.

It is painful to see the Christ’s church touting so much of the world’s beliefs and living them. Divorce is rampant even among Christians, homosexuality is accepted and becoming the norm, abortion is legalized, other religions are slowly infiltrating into our churches and of course, there is no gender differences, co-habitation and premarital sex are okay. This is what the world wants everyone to believe. The church is buying into it because we don’t know how to stand up against it or how to refute it. Of course there is also the risk of persecution, of which our Brothers and Sisters in other cultures and times have suffered because of their uncompromised faith in Christ.

Mr. Craven gets to the heart of the matter by discussing with well documented research, quotes from both the Christian side and the opposing side, he makes it understood why Christians need to stand up and say no more compromising! The plague of worldliness and new age philosophies are tearing Christ’s churches down and are misleading those inside them. The end of the book gives ideas on what we do to help with fixing these problems both within the churches and also in our daily lives. It isn’t just about saying we’re Christian, it’s about letting others see Jesus in us through our lives, our speech, our interactions – it’s about doing!

This was a heavy read, which isn’t a bad thing, it took time to mull over what S. Michael Craven was writing about in Uncompromised Faith. That is what is needed though, not some mealy mouth anecdote but meaty resources that will revive our churches and will have God present in them and in our lives!

**I am a blog book reviewer and in turn I recieve a copy of the book I choose to review. I am in no way paid, employed of financially reimbursed through NavPress. My opinions are my own.

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"How Can a Good God Let Bad Things Happen?"

I had the chance to read and review a book written by Mark Tabb titled How Can a Good God Let Bad Things Happen? I thought this book was fitting for this time in my life and was glad that I requested this book from NavPress.

Mr. Tabb uses the book of Job to help the reader understand that bad things, terrible circumstances in our lives aren’t from God and we need to continue to praise Him even if we think we will never get through it. Through Mark Tabb’s book I saw that what I see as trials in my life aren’t as bad as they could be. I still have a house, two vehicles, a husband, my three children are alive and healthy, even if our house isn’t big enough, our van is constantly breaking down, our house needs a lot of repairs – our circumstances could be much, much worse.

Reading this book helped me understand God a little more. The evil in the world is the result of the first sin, and Satan is alive and well in this world. While I never doubt and I do my best to never blame God for the bad things in my life – I am not sure how I would react if my children were to die, we were to lose our house, etc. Could I continue giving God praise? I would like to think so. Would I want to hear empty words from friends and family? Definitely not. I heard the empty platitudes when we lost our first baby, “oh it’s God’s way of taking care of it now” and so on. This isn’t what grieving and hurting people need to hear. Mark Tabb does a great job of getting this point across without belittling anyone or hurting anyone’s feelings. He does it with grace and maturity and in the end, his book is well written and gives sound Scriptural basis for his findings.

The only thing I could find wrong in the book, and it could just be personal preference, is that when Mr. Tabb refered to God or Christ as “him” it was a lower case ‘h’. I was always told that it’s a sign of respect to use a capital ‘H’ when refering to the Lord. Like I said it could just be a personal preference, but even with that pet peeve of mine the book was very enjoyable.

Please visit NavPress to see their other books and even place an order.

God bless

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