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The battles we face in life can come in many forms--finanicial hardship, loss of a loved one, or disability, to name a few. For author Bonita Stern, her battle came in the form of her husband's terminal illness when he was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.
Since that day, Bo has had to trust in God like never before as she wonders what the future holds for her family and herself. Yet, she has found faith through studying the many battles in Scripture. In Beautiful Battlefields, she shares insights from her study and her own life challenges. As you read, you may discover as Bo did, that God is using these fierce fights to accomplish something astonishing in your heart--that He is in control in the midst of your greatest struggles.
|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Publication Date: 2014
"In twenty-one years of womens ministry, I have never met a woman as extraordinary as Bo Stern. She is the real deal and her words are anointed by God Himself. You will forever be changed by this book." - Sheri Rose Shepherd, best-selling author, Bible life coach
The Sterns make their home in Bend, OR, where Bo is a teaching pastor at Westside Church with a passion for making theology accessible, compelling and transformative. Both her position in the church and her personal battle have allowed Bo to minister to others as they are facing their own giants. She considers it to be a privilege to be able to provide a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on--being a part of another's Army so that they dont have to fight their battle alone.
Bo and Steve also serve on the international board of Kings Kids Village, a home for AIDS-affected orphans in Nairobi, Kenya. They are also active in ALS advocacy--a disease Steve has been fighting since 2011.
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No one enjoys going through the struggles of this life, and no one enjoys suffering. However, as author Bo Stern writes in Beautiful Battlefields, God uses our darkest moments to shape us into the people He wants us to be. "Though we would rather avoid battles and suffering, God does some of His most beautiful work through the hardest seasons in life. In fact, there are some things that can only be accomplished in us through battle."
While we struggle with certain things every day, Stern is convinced that everyone, at some point on the journey between here and eternity, will be called upon to face what she calls a "Really Big Battle," whether it be emotional, physical, spiritual or relational. Like any of us, Stern has faced numerous challenges in her life. However, in 2011, her family came face to face with their Goliath when her husband was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The terminal diagnosis of a loved one can be enough to shake anyone's faith, but Stern trusts God is using this experience for something bigger.
Stern believes God will always bring beauty from each and every battle, but sometimes it takes looking at the situation from a different perspective. It becomes necessary to look at what is happening through God's eternal lens in order to see that He is doing something very specific and wonderful. It could be He is trying to develop a deeper dependence on Him or possibly create in us a compassionate heart toward others who are hurting. Whatever His purpose may be, Stern firmly asserts that beauty comes from the battle.
During this difficult season of life, the Sterns have adopted what they call the G50:20 Principle as their mantra: "But Joseph said to them, 'Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives'" (Genesis 50:19-20, NIV). Stern invites readers to cling to these verses, as well, reminding readers God is control and knows what is going to happen. When things are spiraling out of control and it becomes tempting to pick up the pen to write our own stories, we need to instead trust in God.The first half of Beautiful Battlefields is devoted to looking for treasure, sifting through the battleground to discover the gold beneath the surface, while the second half is devoted to strategies for growing stronger through every battle. Readers are walked through discovering the security of God's love, praying for guidance, being obedient of God's plans and practicing generosity. Often overlooked but vitally important is assembling an army of friends and family to face the front lines right alongside you. When you think you have to face the fight alone, that is the time you need to share your burdens and lighten your load, realizing God put people in your life for just that reason.
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