Finding the Good in Grief  -     By: John F. Baggett
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Finding the Good in Grief

Kregel Publications / 2013 / Paperback

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Product Description

Life is punctuated by sorrow and spiritual struggle. How can we navigate tumultuous emotions that accompany personal tragedy? Sharing lessons he learned from his son's illness, Baggett shows how God can transform suffering and use it for our good. Discover how to trust God, choose reality instead of illusion, recognize moments of grace, and more.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 160
Vendor: Kregel Publications
Publication Date: 2013
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0825443199
ISBN-13: 9780825443190

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Publisher's Description

When his son was diagnosed with a disabling mental illness, John F. Baggett experienced a journey of grief unlike any other--a grief for the loss of all his son would never be and that he, as a father, would never experience. Through that difficult period he learned that grief--by whatever definition and for whatever reason--can be a time of momentous spiritual struggle: it is no smooth sailing even for faithful Christians. How then can believers navigate the struggles of faith that so often accompany personal tragedy?

Finding the Good in Grief is both a practical and inspirational guide that teaches readers to learn, change, and grow through their grief. In five stages, Baggett demonstrates how to -Trust God and rely on others -Choose reality instead of illusion -Resist the temptation to get stuck -Recognize moments of grace -Discover new meaning and purpose

Finding the Good in Grief will help Christians successfully negotiate faith struggles that often accompany the different stages of grief and will encourage them to find and develop spiritual resources to survive their darkest days of emotional turmoil. Most of all, it will guide to them understand that God does have the power to transform events of radical suffering and use them for good in our lives.

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Displaying items 1-4 of 4
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  1. Cumming, GA
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Joy Comes in the Morning!
    August 1, 2013
    Cumming, GA
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Finding the Good in Grief is a potent resource on guiding readers through the different stages of grief and rediscovering your sense of purpose and joy. The different stages of grief are, "trust God and rely on others, choose reality instead of illusion, resist the temptation to get stuck, recognize moments of grace, and discover new meaning and purpose. Many times we didn't see the sickness and death knocking on our loved ones doors until they were gone. Our cold hard fears came upon us when we least expected them to. At least some part of us gets stuck asking God why we had to lose someone that we loved dearly. Like many people struggling with grief, healing and still living your life can seem impossible after going through a difficult tragic loss, this book will reveal to you how to do just that.

    Dr. John F. Baggett writes this book from personal experience and the terrible pain he had to endure through the hardships of life. His lost occurred when an un-expecting event changed his son, Mark's life. Mark was always a loving teenager who had incredible dreams to make a difference in people's lives. He truly cared about others and wanted to go into a profession that he could have an impact in their lives for good. But at the age of seventeen, everything dramatically changed. Mark began to act abnormally and was talking in his room loudly and ramblingly frequently. He also told John that his friend was using mental telepathy to give him a heart attack. He also started to punch holes in the walls and he broke things for no reason. Eventually, the doctors diagnosed Mark as having schizophrenia and in that moment his life was never the same again. John Baggett went through the stages of grief and the losing of his son that he knew for seventeen years. This book was written to help others going through grief.

    The book contained many stories that John Baggett wrote in order to discuss the different stages of grief. Some of the stories included a loved one being diagnosed with cancer and they end up losing the fight, a child being diagnosed with mental retardation and the hopes and dreams for the future are gone in an instant, overspending and then losing a job and escaping the pain and hurt through alcohol and one night stands, a young boy seeing his parents get a divorce and questioning why God didn't answer his prayers, the effects of drunk driving, a person committing suicide, a person getting rape, and many more heartbreaking stories.

    One of my stories that stuck out to me was, the story about Nancy and how she used her lost for a new calling and purpose. Nancy and her husband, Carl put their young daughter to bed and was about to watch TV when someone rang the doorbell. Two men dressed in dark clothes pushed her backwards and she screamed and her husband came running and they pointed a gun at him. They tied him up and raped his wife and forced him to watch the brutal crime. They found some wine bottles and began to devour them. When Nancy tried to untie her husband, one of the men seized a knife and began to attack her. She felt unconscious and next, they stabbed her husband and killed him. Then they took valuables and jewelry and they discovered the three year old little girl and they took her. The neighbor spotted them taking the daughter and called the police and gave them their license plate number. They ultimately found out that the car belonged to a felon who had been already been convicted of rape and armed robbery. The man was left out of jail six week earlier because the prosecutor was found guilty of prosecutorial misconduct on a different case and the system freed eight people pending retrials. The police tracked down the two criminals and arrested them. They entered a plea deal with the second attacker and stated that he wouldn't get the death penalty, if he told them where the daughter's remains were located. The police uncovered the remains of the daughter and they both were sentenced. The first attacker was sentenced death by lethal injection. Nancy was outraged and bitter like anyone would understanding be. She went through the different stages of grief and finally found a way to help others going through suffering events. She watched the news and reached out to others who were victims of crimes and she founded support groups and internet chat groups to assist hurting victims. Like many people, this story disturbs me and upsets me of how evil spreads and gets it's time in the spotlight and scars many people. This story deeply moved me and reinstated that when bad things happen, there is still some good that can come from it.

    I would recommend this excellent book to everyone because no one gets through life without losing someone they love or grieving a terrible occurrence. I exceedingly recommend this book to anyone who is currently dealing with grief right now and they are stuck and don't know how to move forward and how to continue living their life. This book will serve as a catalyst for readers to read to recover from a horrible lost. Like most people, I have experienced losing a loved one, for example, I have lost an aunt to cancer. I also lost a grandpa and I can still remember hearing the phone ring at 3:00 am and receiving the news that my grandpa dropped dead in the kitchen table from a heart attack. I remember rushing over there and they had him lying on the floor. It's an image that you can't ease from your memory. I wish that this book would have been released when I was going through the grieving process. I immensely loved the many diverse stories that John Baggett wrote about in order to portray how these different stages of grief presented themselves in people's lives. I loved how John didn't just focus all of his stories on just sickness and death. He pointed out that grief can occur through many different situations like a divorce, losing your job, death, and other losses. The book had a number of encouraging scriptures to assist readers in their grief. I liked how each chapter had multiple questions to lead readers into digging deeper in their feelings and emotions. If readers are persistent in learning about the different stages of grief, when they are having to endure grief, this book will inspire them and help them.

    "I received this book free from the publisher from Kregel Publications book review bloggers program."
  2. Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Moral Temptations Accompany Grief Stages?
    July 30, 2013
    Sarah Jean Cobb
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    How I Got This Book

    A complimentary review copy was provided to me by Kregel Publications, a division of Kregel, Inc. 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.


    Finding the Good in Grief: Rediscover Joy After A Life-Changing Loss by John F. Baggett, is written well and comprehensive, but it is also honest and relatable. The author sums up his latest work with this, "I have known several times of tragedy in my life. I have also experienced many moments of grace during my seasons of grieving. This book has drawn significantly on those difficult times and reflects my own journey of faith in the midst of them."

    The very beginning starts with quoting Job 3:25, "What I feared has come upon me," and then it gets real and Baggett gets personal, "The thing you feared, the thing you hoped would never happen, has come upon you. Do you think you will ever forget where you were, what you were doing, or the way you felt at the time? Do you remember asking yourself, "Is this really happening?" Did you pray for God to make it not so? And then, as the awful truth penetrated your heart, did you cry out, "Why, God? Why did you let this happen?" The worst thing that ever happened to me did not happen to me. It happened to my son_" Wow.

    Finding the Good in Grief: Rediscover Joy After A Life-Changing Loss by John F. Baggett is remarkable. His candor about the loss he endured and the stages of grief he experienced lend to his credibility and draw the reader in. He couples this with five steps to ‘rediscovering joy after a life-changing loss', backs everything up with scripture, as well as presents truths that I have experienced but either didn't realize or wasn't able to articulate. So as not to give too much away, I will limit myself reluctantly to three.

    Here is an example of one: there are actually moral temptations that accompany each of the stages of grief, such as making choices, whether consciously or unconsciously, that can either delay healing or prevent it altogether. Baggett clarifies by stating, "By making poor choices in our coping strategies and by continuing in a stage of grief when it is time to move on, we can stray from the healing pathway and find ourselves in a spiritual crisis." Been there, done that; never want to repeat it again.

    There is also the ‘if I have enough faith or am strong enough, I won't have to go through that' myth. This is addressed clearly as early as page 11, "It is a mistake to believe grief can be avoided if we have enough strength of character or enough faith. When we suffer a loss, whether we are among the strong or weak, whether our faith is small or great, we naturally experience grief, not as a sign of weakness, but as a manifestation of our humanity." Selah. [Calmly pause, and think about that.]

    Another honest statement was the unspoken ‘deal with God.' This is something that I have thought to myself before without expressing to others, only to learn from experience that as Christians we are not immune to testing, trials, struggles, or pain. Baggett expounds, "Surely, I reasoned, if we had survived all of those things and if I continued in God's faithful service, then God and I had a deal: He would not let anything bad happen to me and those I loved the most. The tragedy of my son's illness shattered my illusion of invincibility and laid bare the inadequacy of my naïve faith. I found myself journeying through a dark spiritual night, struggling with a new lucidity about life, and feeling overwhelmed by sadness. In the midst of my grief, my faith was tested profoundly as I struggled with an unwillingness to face and accept the reality of my son's condition [schizophrenia]."

    Obviously, I recommend ‘Finding the Good in Grief: Rediscover Joy After A Life-Changing Loss' by John F. Baggett.
  3. Temple, TX
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Baggett Writes from Experience and Empathy
    July 29, 2013
    Temple, TX
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    If you are struggling through a time of grief, for any reason, I highly recommend John F. Baggett's book "Finding the Good in Grief: Rediscover Joy after a Life-Changing Loss" to you. It's a short book, clearly written and easy to understand, yet it is packed with insightful and comforting information. Baggett wrote the book after finding his own way through grief after mental illness stole his son. Baggett writes from a place of experience and empathy.

    Walking readers through the traditionally identified stages of grief, Baggett defines each. Then he takes readers a step further, showing the positives of each stage—why God gives these to people who hurt. Baggett also identifies ways people get stuck in the different stages instead of moving forward toward healing. He explains the problems this can cause and helps readers see what they can do, if they are stuck, in order to move toward healing again. Baggett closes each chapter with the story of someone who has experienced and triumphed over the stage covered in that chapter. The final two chapters help readers see how they will eventually be able to help others who are experiencing what they have endured and how readers can look forward to new and more positive life experiences that they may enjoy once they've worked their way through grief.

    Insights I gained from reading this book will definitely stick with me. I am thankful to Kregel Publications for sending a complimentary copy in exchange for this honest review.
  4. Frederick, Maryland
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    July 26, 2013
    Frederick, Maryland
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Grief comes in all shapes and sizes. The death of a loved one. A broken marriage. The loss of a baby. The loss of a job. A serious illness. Financial troubles. Even facing our own mortality. And we all face grief differently. There is no way to know when it will hit or even how. But there is one certain and one common denominator, we will all have to deal with grief eventually. When tragedy strikes it is a grave mistake to think we can bypass the grieving process it is a necessary and useful part of life. If handled well, a time of grief can be the catalyst for making a stronger instrument for the Lord.

    John Baggett has put together a useful tool to explain the process of grief broken down into five stages. At each stage he explains the stage, gives practical ways to work through them, and he shares stories from people who have been there and rose victorious. He also explains the dangers that can sneak into our life and spiritual walk if we are not careful.

    I have been through many different types of grief in my life and I have walked with many loved ones through their own journey of grieving. I think Mr. Baggett really has a good depiction of what the grieving process boils down to. This book would be excellent for just about anyone but especially for those who is grieving or anyone who is trying to minister to those who are grieving.
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