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4 Stars Out Of 5
January 31, 2011
"The amazing thing about childlike faith is not only that you believe without doubt, but you accept no without questions."
Suffering and pain often affect the faith of Christians. It is sometimes difficult to understand why God would allow good people to experience horrible things. Siblings David Lyons and Linda Lyons Richardson address this topic in their book, Don't Waste the Pain: Learning to Grow Through Suffering. As Linda learns her ovarian cancer has returned, David's 12-year-old son is diagnosed with a serious form of cancer that kills 98 percent of its victims. David and Linda explain how these depressing circumstances and seemingly unanswered prayers are all part of God's larger plan.
Much of the book consists of entries from David and Linda's personal journals that document the pain they are each suffering. It demonstrates how they were able to maintain their faith. The lessons from this book are very inspirational and touching. David and Linda teach readers how to grow spiritually through painful and dark times. This is a great read for anyone experiencing difficult times. I highly recommend Don't Waste the Pain to others.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review 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 Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
I got this book so I could pass it on to my mom - a woman who has suffered much throughout her life. Two days after I had finished reading it, she was in a violent car accident that left her in critical condition and in a coma_ and it suddenly became a book that was meant for me. Before this, I had read the book from an emotional distance. Now, reading words like: "Naive trust says, â€˜God will always work out things the way I want them to be,'_But seasoned trust says, â€˜God might hurt me, but I trust Him anyway,'" stung my untrusting heart and challenged me in ways I was unprepared for. I was forced to consider the unthinkable and examine my faith critically. Wasn't this book supposed to be for my mom_?
How do you keep putting one foot in front of the other while battling cancer year after year? How do you continue to breathe after losing a child to cancer? The authors answer these questions honestly. Their stories were put into book form while their wounds were still open and their pain still raw. You will not find pat answers and the "Christian-ese" expressions we Christians are so good at reciting, but honest answers to the tough questions and a healing balm of hope for the broken heart. This book is for anyone who has had pain in the past, who is suffering now and even for those for whom life seems great. Some lessons are only learned through suffering, but by reading the authors' journeys from agony and despair to hope and healing, your heart can be better prepared should that suffering come to you.
It has been five and a half weeks since my mom's accident and, while she will be in hospital for many more weeks and may never fully recover from her injuries, I have learned that "Our hearts ache, but we always have joy" (2 Corinthians 6:10, NLT). I give this book five stars out of five.
Strap in for a emotional and spiritual ride as you are invited into the personal journeys of pain and discovery of a brother and sister and their respective families.
This book arrived on my doorstep 7 days after burying my youngest son, Caleb Levi born at 4 months. It truly was a poignant, heart-rending book. At times I felt as though a vice-clamp was around my heart and I could not breathe as I recognized the raw emotions of the pain they felt and the peace that followed at crying out to Christ. I can certainly relate to the heartbreaking prayers of a mother and the soul shattering ache when I lost my son. Though spiritual sight supersedes physical and offers a more beautiful picture - letting go of a child after endless prayers for a miracle is a terrible lonely pain. How wonderful to know that God is in control and though the physical hurts - there is peace in knowing where our loved ones go and beauty in the knowledge of the presence of grace in our lives. I barely could read the letter that they read upon having to meet with physicians about removing life-support as it so closely resembled one of my last prayers for Caleb - "<em>Father he was yours from the beginning of time, never mine, I surrender my life to your plan, and his life to you. You are the sustainer - the one who gives and takes away - I only ask Lord that you strengthen me, comfort me, and whisper words of love to me because I know Lord if he goes to be with you that my heart will shatter and my soul will ache, and my arms will long to hold him - Prepare me for your will, Lord that you may be glorified..</em>."
I can not begin to imagine the struggle of Linda, but I appreciate the openness and rawness of her emotions. She holds nothing back from the reader as she generously opens her personal journals. The reader is invited into the war zone - to see first hand the battle of truth and the enemy as she struggles to stay focused on Christ and His provision and divine purpose for her life. This battle is truly a battle each christian must face though the attack of the enemy is very different for each of and each of us has a different battle field: for some it is health, others family or financial, but the battle is the same. A battle for what we will hold as truth -will we allow our suffering to strengthen our faith and make our lives more beautiful through the storm or will we surrender the victory and accept defeat in the form of depression, loss, despair, and desperation of lost hope.
This book shows in clearness that God refines us into something more beautiful so that emerging from the storm, walking in the shadow of death, or climbing/descending a treacherous rocky mountainside we can give glory to the one who gives and takes away, who sustains us, and who says "Do Not Fear for I am able to deliver you, and to show you things that you have not known."
If you know someone going through a trial, or someone emerging from a storm, someone in great suffering of heart this is an excellent book of the affirmation of God's grace and mercy toward his children.
Thank you, David and Linda for allowing us to see God's work in your lives.
This is a quite remarkable and inspirational book. With a title that suggests content reflecting distress, suffering and endurance, it is instead a book contained of journals, diary entries, family photographs, recollections and honest comment on joy, renewal and discovery from the two authors, brother and sister, when cancer came into their lives.
While at times a difficult read, as David Lyons discovers his 12 year old son has an aggressive childhood cancer and sister Linda Lyons Richardson has an incurable ovarian cancer, it is an uplifting testimony also to the triumph of a real faith, of the joy of families, of restoring connections and of enjoying the tender moments while they are there. There is a great honesty, vulnerability and rawness about some of the entries here and it is used effectively.
I found the questions for reflection at the end of chapters particularly interesting. They are the kind of questions that might be asked at a Book Club and a useful way of opening up your reaction to parts of the book to others. This is a book about pain and suffering certainly but it is also a book about joy. It is also a book where you will find satisfying rather than a conventionally happy ending mirroring that â€˜real life has uncertainties'
One of the final observations made in the book is that our communities contain what one of the authors calls â€˜a fraternity of suffering people' and we are called to offer words, actions, prayer and collective effort where we can. There are many lessons to learn from this book, but while the main message is that comfort and love can come out of pain and distress, an equally important teaching is that we need to â€˜be there' when others are suffering - we are created as humans to be authentic with each other and with our God. Otherwise, we shield ourselves from the love that we so desperately need and that others are willing to share.
This is a spiritual title but deserves a wide readership. The authors struggle with the big questions and find their own answers. I would recommend this book highly as a revealing and intimate account of learning to grow through an encounter with suffering. A fulfilling reading experience.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review 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 Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.