In life, there will be struggles; there isn’t a choice, but trials are inevitable. We do have a choice, however, in our response. In these resources, we can relate to and learn from godly examples who have also struggled as they persevered to follow Christ amidst the trials. It is a great comfort to know that we are not alone in our struggles, but there are those who have also cried, also pleaded, and also triumphed!
Are all the “Christian” things we do biblical? Dave Burchett’s book reveals that some of those things may be quite harmful and may even cause irrevocable damage. This thought-provoking, behavior-changing, tradition-challenging book is a must-read for both church leaders and pew warmers. Burchett’s candid message is for the one who has been wounded by the church as well as for the one who has hurt others.
Burchett presents his confrontation of the 21st century Christian with humor rooted in imagination and with a simple and clear writing style his point is poignantly driven to the core of the reader’s passion. Even if you disagree with Burchett’s stand on issues, this book will make you think. Hopefully you will close the book struck with the importance of evaluating your words, priorities, preferences, attitudes, and methods in light of a way of relating that will bring healing to the church and transform your witness to the world.
The follow-up book, released in 2004, is entitled Bring ‘Em Back Alive, Waterbrook Press.
Coping by Elizabeth Skoglund, Regal Books, 1979
Often we think that spiritual maturity and effectiveness are measured by the least amount of struggles. However, did you know that many giants of the faith, including Charles Spurgeon, Amy Carmichael, C.S. Lewis, Hudson Taylor, and others, struggled with intense problems, such as depression and anxiety? The author of this book shares excerpts from their own writings of what they learned, how they grew in their faith, and how God used them while they were struggling.
Tempered Steel by Steve Farrar, Multnomah Publishers, 2002
Steel is composed of different types of metals, blended together in a precise process. Its strength is attained through intense heat, making it pliable to be shaped for a specific purpose. Steve Farrar looks into the Psalms for understanding how God shaped David through pressure and trials in order to make him a man of great character for great service.
Grace Points by Jane Rubietta, Intervarsity Press, 2004
A life shift – the loss of a relationship, a cancer diagnosis, infertility, relocation to a new community, marriage or divorce, a conflict within the church, a job promotion or the unexpected loss of a job – thrusts us into a place that often feels like a desolate desert. Sojourners can either shrivel up or survive the wilderness; or, as the author shares from personal experience, can grow and be fruitful even in midst of transition. Regardless of whether the journey is for a few brief days or many long years, Grace Points by Jane Rubietta will be a lifeline for direction, hope, encouragement, and support.
Written in a descriptive and creative style, the book is organized for use in individual or group study, or with a friend. Each chapter opens with a principle of stillness; is interspersed with practical tips and catalysts for response; and closes with a hymn that reflects God’s heart, and Scripture of the Israelite’s journey toward the Promised Land.
After reading only a few pages, the reader will realize she is not alone. The author’s empathy and spiritual vulnerability lit the path for me to catch a glimpse of God’s presence and purpose in the midst of blowing dust and scorching heat. This book was not a quick-read—not because it was difficult to understand but because I took time to sit down in the sand and drink in the refreshing and comforting words. I laughed, I cried, I prayed, I worshipped. And I walked away with an appreciation of the desert of transitions as a place that shifts my trust to God, and with a keen awareness of the opportunities for choices…God’s “grace points.”