We've all been through storms in this life. Ken Gire, author of At Peace in the Storm: Experiencing the Savior's Presence When You Need Him Most, writes about these storms and throughout this book encourages us to seek Him in the midst of them. Mr. Gire writes about the ways in which we can seek His presence in the midst of our darkest hours, such as in nature, His Word, movies, and through others. Many stories are illustrated throughout depicting others' experiences in their storms and Biblical and other inspirational quotes.
Note: I have received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
This book delivers just what the title promises - stories of hope and peace amidst ALL kinds of life storms. The beautiful focus throughout is set on the sovereignty of God and how He works all things - even the "bad" things - for our good and for His glory.
A great addition to your study time, At Peace In the Storm is broken down into easy-to-read chapters by the author to reveal different perspectives of divine peace in the soul. He shares stories and wonderful quotes from people from Biblical days up to the present day, reminding us that no one is alone who knows God. He touches on many various types of storms or hardships in our lives, including illness and loss, and points his readers beyond the present pain to our true Refuge. (The hymn, "It Is Well With My Soul" comes to mind.)
Through chapters such as "Peace through Prayer", "Peace from God's Word", and "Peace in God's Creation", I was reminded to always seek the Lord first in my sorrow and become a better listener to His voice. From other chapters, like "Peace through Serving Others" and "Peace through the Body of Christ", I was convicted to be a better servant and peacemaker among others. "Peace in and through Music" was another favorite portion of mine. I certainly could relate to music calming my spirit on many occasions.
At certain points, it did grow a little repetitive for me, but I have no doubt that this book will encourage many readers. It is an enjoyable, light read that I hope to pass along to my family and friends. I hope you'll check it out too!
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers at Bethany House for my copy.
Peace. It's something we all crave, so much that the very word promises healing and comfort.
Between the chaos in the nations and the conflict in out families, between the cancer and the car-wrecks and the career changes and the challenges of our own minds, we all need peace to be whole. Ken Gire's new book is like a steady, calm voice speaking into the storm. At Peace in The Storm is full of "good thoughts" about how God meets our need for peace dose by dose. Seriously, this book is excellent.
We all know that God is the Giver of True Peace, what we may have forgotten are the diverse ways he can provide it amidst daily life.
Ken Gire talks about Peace through the fellowship and tenderness of a good friend.
And Peace through deep, open-hearted listening, which is a gift anyone can give.
And Peace through Prayer, and Perspective, and Fellowship in the Body of Christ. These chapters are richly quotable, and are filled with great thoughts from other Christians like Henri Nouwen and Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Catherine Marshall.
And then there are chapters about Peace in unexpected places. Sometimes the source of peace just won't make intellectual sense.
Remember that God enjoys showing up in unexpected places, and feel free to accept it His gifts. Do not discount the peace that can come over you from experiencing a Story, either through music or a movie or a book. Immersing ourselves in someone else's story for a few minutes or an hour reminds us of our place in the Greatest Story of All.
Peace may meet you in music... and it doesn't matter if it's Rich Mullins, blues, oldies, or 70's rock, if it soothes you, then turn it up!
*Cues Sweet Home Alabama.*
You may find peace in watching a new film, or enjoying an old favorite again. One of Ken's friends has watched the 2009 StarTrek film thirteen times. Every time he sees the ending, the collision of life and death, he cries, and every time it meets a need in his heart. I'm that way with Last of the Dogmen and In The Heat of The Night reruns. Ken himself favors A River Runs Through It, for the story, the music, and the beautiful scenery.
Same with books. It doesn't matter if it's a classic or a mystery novel. If reading gives you some space to breathe then it is worth it.
Same also with sleep. There's peace to be found in sleep.
Like Ken Gire suggests, how many of us really are 5 to 6 foot tall cranky toddlers, in need of a pillow and blanket? How much of the insanity of a bad day will melt away in a good sleep?
As Ken says at one point: "Be gentle with yourself."
So you're stressed out and everything has gone wrong. Be kind to yourself. Don't expect perfection in the middle of this. Don't even expect to be balanced. That's ideal, no doubt, but it isn't our usual state. In our confused and hurting world we need all the help we can get.
That's why the best chapter may well be "Peace Through a Balanced Brain." In this chapter, Ken Gire shares some of his own struggles with the "heavy black lead coat" of depression and the shame that comes with adult ADD. I hate the fact that shame was a part of the package. We understand that bones break, arteries weaken, and organs fail. Why would we be surprised or ashamed if our brain gives us trouble? Why should it be considered "weak" to acknowledge that we need a hand, a change, a rest, a dose of medication or vitamins? That attitude really needs to change.
Ken's story of getting help- medicine wise, nutrition wise, and friend and family wise- is a great encouragement to anyone who has battled depression in themselves or in a loved one.
The whole book is full of hope. It reassures: No, you may not have Peace now, but you can experience it again someday. It's not gone from you forever.
"3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." - 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (emphasis mine)
If there has ever been a book that verse 4 could be posted on every page, it's At Peace in the Storm by Ken Gire.
I got this book because I've felt the tug of war from the world and the Devil and life's daily struggles and the lack of peace that has followed my heart for a year. I wasn't one bit disappointed by reading it. Every page felt like a cool drink on a hot day. I felt understood... and the hopelessness that has been my un-wanted friend for a while started to dissipate and was replaced by the hope that is found in Christ.
Ken shares some of his experiences in life that have threatened to steal his peace (and how some did) and then shares how the Lord gave him comfort in many different things- worship music, Bible reading, hugs from friends, etc.
If you're going through a hard time, you won't experience condemnation while you read this book. It reads like a good friend who desires to help you. The chapters are short enough that if you wanted to you could read it like a devotional for a couple weeks. No matter how you read it, I just encourage everyone who has ever felt the pull of life and the fight for peace to pick it up and read it.
*Note: I received a free copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All views and opinions expressed are mine.
"At Peace in the Storm" by Ken Gire is a short, practical, and comforting read. Only 163 pages, each of the thirteen chapters plus an introduction are only about ten pages long. Each chapter focuses on a means God has provided for those braving the storms of life to find peace. This is comforting because when there's nothing for us to do but ride out the terrifying storm, there is something we can do. We can cling to God's calming presence and experience His peace. Gire explains how, exploring one different way in each chapter of the book.
Each of these chapters opens with a quote relative to the topic by someone fairly well-known. Each ends with a relevant Bible verse. Throughout each chapter Gire leads readers to look closely at Bible characters, Christians from history, people he has known, and his own experiences in order to bring clarity to his ideas. He not only leads readers to seek peace through traditional spiritual disciplines such as prayer, Bible study, fellowship, service, and music but also through perspective, listening, rest, books, recreation, and more. As he guides readers through each chapter, Gire shows readers how to experience God's peace for themselves and how to help others in stormy seasons to find it as well.
I recommend this book to anyone enduring a life-season of bad weather. As the subtitle says, "At Peace in the Storm" can help such readers to experience the Savior's presence when they need Him most.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for this review.