In 2011, author Bo Stearn received a devastating blow: her husband Steve was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), a terminal illness.
In the pages of Beautiful Battlefields, Ms Stern conveys, through precious vulnerability, the ways the carefully constructed foundations of family, friendships, finances, faith, and future have all been impacted and altered in response to the paralysis systematically overtaking her husband, Steve's body, and the tender ways God is journeying with them in the midst of this crisis.
In section one, "Discovering Beauty In The Hard Places," the author shares lessons learned of God's promises, provision, and presence in the midst of the prolonged seasons of hardship. Every single page oozes with the assurance that God is present, that God is real, that God cares, that God provides, and that if we allow our perspective to shift from "Why me?" to "What can I learn from this?" we will discover a depth to faith, love, trust, character development, and compassion that would not be possible without experiencing some hardships in life.
In section two, "Strategies For Growing Stronger Through Every Battle," the author outlines an action plan for how to endure, survive, and grow through hardship. The multi-step approach is rooted in two core principles: press into God, daily, and intentionally build support systems that will provide emotional, physical, and spiritual encouragement.
There are times in life when we experience a prolonged season of difficult circumstances during which we feel we are suffering under the crushing weight of our troubles. Yet what Bo Stern conveys so confidently, beautifully, and tenderly on every page of Beautiful Battlefields, is this: God is present with us always (ALWAYS!), God walks with us through everything (EVERYTHING!), and that in the midst of suffering and hardship God reveals Himself in specific, powerful, purposeful ways that breathes fresh life, new perspective, and compassion for others in the midst of our circumstances.
If you find yourself in the midst of a prolonged or overwhelming season in life, Beautiful Battlefields is written specifically for you.
(I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review.)
A friend has recently won her battle with breast cancer and she said that the entire journey brought her to have an amazing relationship with God. I did not fully understand what she meant until I read Beautiful Battlefields.
The author Bo Stern does a fantastic job explaining how the Goliath giants in your life can reveal the power of God in ways that you have never seen before. She explains through her struggles and the stories of others how "when God comes to love us in our battle, our enemy is made weak and we are made strong." These words of encouragement show us that through the battle there are beautiful treasures for us.
The second part of the book is divided into an action plan. Here the author gives the reader strategies for growing stronger through every battle. The main theme throughout the book is to draw near to God regardless of what your circumstances and he will keep his promise to draw unto you.
I have never read a book that gives such great insight into the joy of battles. The author is positive and with each story you can see the heart of God through her. If know someone in a battle, Beautiful Battlefields is just the book to strengthen them and bring them through it.
From the first stroke of pen to the last Bo Stern takes you on a journey through the harsh, raw, and beautiful treasures that can only be found in battle. I will forever be grateful for the wisdom, truth, and honesty that these pages contain. A must-read!!
Bo Stern is a teaching pastor in Bend Oregon, where she has experience teaching others how to meet and do battle with the giants in life. Having been through her own battles over the years, Bo has developed valuable techniques in taking on giants through tough times. Steve, Bo's husband of 27 years, had been a strong and healthy man who recognized the onset of some muscle weakness. Numerous medical tests eventually confirmed a diagnosis of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Bo had met her Goliath. The ALS giant was the biggest and toughest of any foes she had encountered in the past, and threatened her to the core. Bo chose to fight her giant with prayer and walking through the battlefield with God at her side. Her experiences and teachings prove that beauty can sometimes only be found in the midst of the toughest times, and God's love is unconditional.
"Beautiful Battlefields" is written in two parts, "Discovering Beauty In The Hard Places," and "Strategies for Growing Stronger Through Every Battle." Bo presents biblical illustrations of battles fought and beauty found. She gives examples of how to develop perspective, endurance and joy even through the bumpy, shaky battlefields of insecurity, through the security and love of God. From there she reveals opportunities to discover peace through prayer, listening and obeying. Building a support system is an integral part of seeking strength from trusted, selfless, devoted friends. Throughout the book are points to ponder and suggested activities for taking positive action on the battlefield. The use of positive memories of God's goodness and grace develops strength and assurance that God's grace is a stronghold in battle.
The author writes with conviction and passion regarding the use of appropriate tools to meet our giants on the battlefield, including illness, financial hardship, marital discord, dysfunctional families, drug or alcohol abuse, physical abuse, guilt, etc. These tools can be utilized in all situations, no matter what those giants represent. Practical ideas and spiritual tools are described as a method for experiencing the beauty of God's love and His presence throughout the battles we face. This is a beautiful, informative and spiritual testimony of valuable techniques to be utilized in every day situations as well as when meeting Goliath on the battlefield. It's a transformation from bitterness to beauty.
DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity Group, with no expectations regarding a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine, and no compensation has been received for this honest review.
Romans 5:3-5 "We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame."
Recently, we joined a family in celebrating the life of a remarkable young woman who, along with her husband and children, fought an incredibly valiant battle with cancer. Throughout the year-long fight, beautiful things grew. This amazing woman was an example of faith, trust, strength and hope in spite of overwhelming odds. The world will say that she lost her battle with cancer; however, believers know that she won a victory for her Lord and Savior.
She was an extraordinary example of what faith can do--shine a light into darkness, flow water through a desert and bring hope to the hopeless. While death brought an end to her life on earth, she lives on in the lives of her husband and children. And heaven will never be the same.
Last week, I read a book called "Beautiful Battlefields" by Bo Stern. Stern's husband, Steve, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. While some might give up and cry out in anger blaming God, Bo and Steve Stern decided to run toward God.
In part one of "Beautiful Battlefields", Stern talks about all the beautiful things you receive on the battlefields of life--provision, supernatural strength, endurance, eternal perspective and joy and sorrow. In the second part, strategies for growing stronger teach how to feel secure in spite of the shaking, be obedient in spite of God's unpredictability, find an army of loyal and unshakable friends, avoid bitterness, speak strength and become brave. No matter what battlefield you've been called to, God is using it for a purpose. Bo Stern walks you through finding that purpose.
"Beautiful Battlefields" is inspiring, encouraging, and life-changing. Everyone should read this book in preparation for whatever battle they will someday come. To find out more about the Sterns and Beautiful Battlefields, visit www.bostern.com.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."