Book Review – The Louder Song by Aubrey Sampson

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Have you ever been at a point in your life when you asked God “Why is this happening?”

If you’ve been filled with grief over a tragic event and you can’t understand why God would allow such disappointment, Aubrey Sampson understands. Such a point in life she refers to as lament. Lament can happen over a job loss, diagnosis of an illness, death, or a difficulty in a marital relationship. In her new book The Louder Song, she talks about her own journey of lament and weaves it with the lament stories that you might have heard in the Bible (or may not have, given that Christians are so often told to put on a happy face).

Aubrey Sampson is honest in telling her story. She knows that on the journey of grief, you can’t just get a how-to-do-grief book, and go on your merry way. You can’t just fix it neatly for yourself or someone else. You have to go through it. You have to feel the hurt and pass through it. There are no shortcuts for grief. She affirms every Christian who has asked the tough questions – why did this happen? How could God do this to me? Why don’t I have answers? She affirms that you are not a weak Christian for asking the questions and not having answers. Faith and questioning can and should co-exist in times of trials.

If you want a book that’s honest about grief, I highly recommend this book. Sampson is honest with her raw emotions and about her questions of God; I really liked her vulnerability.

FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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Between Heaven and Earth by Steve Berger: Book Review

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Have you ever wondered what happens when a person dies? Tennessee pastor Steve Berger has more than just wondered – he’s written an entire book about it. Between Heaven and Earth is the result of Berger’s grief after his 19-year-old son’s untimely death. It’s expected that any minister would be interested in the supernatural, but Berger’s familiarity with grief adds credibility to his work. He isn’t just interested in what Heaven is like because he’s a pastor. He’s trusting that’s where his son is.

For those seeking a better understanding of what heaven is, this book will provide some insight. A brief chapter “teases” the reader into wanting paradise. A larger chapter follows explaining some things that will and will not be found in Heaven. But the book falls short in some areas. It doesn’t spend much time discussing the presence of angels nor does it speak about the transition from the physical world to the Heavenly one. Far less time than expected was spent on discussing things an average person would associate with Heaven such as streets of gold or choirs of angels.

But knowing Heaven’s attributes isn’t really the point of the book.

Berger’s doesn’t want you to just appreciate the beauty of Heaven; he wants you to be proud of your human life when you reach the other side. Between Heaven and Earth is preparation for what’s to come. Berger presses readers to evaluate their earthly lives in light of the hereafter.

I received a free copy from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest thoughts on this book.

 

Where Do I Go From Here? Bold Living After Unwanted Change: Book Review

Where Do I Go From Here? Bold Living After Unwanted Change by Miriam Neff, Moody Publishers

When a marriage ends, a spouse dies, a job is taken, or another life-altering event occurs, a plethora of emotions are to be expected. Grief, confusion, fear and anger are just some of the emotions.

What can you do to move on? Why is suffering necessary in the first place?

Miriam Neff doesn’t pretend to have the answers as to why these things happen, but she’s written an excellent manual on the next steps for survivors in Where Do I Go From Here? Bold Living After Unwanted Change. After her husband died unexpectedly, Neff found herself a widow. Forced into this sisterhood that no woman wants to be part of, she eventually launched a ministry for others who had lost their spouses and Where Do I Go From Here is designed for both women and men to deal with many types of losses, not just bereavement.

Neff’s voice is refreshing. Instead of giving trite advice or pat answers, she balances Scriptural promises with practical advice. Standing in the place of those who have lost a loved one, she gives warnings for pitfalls of what hurting people may find themselves doing after a loss. Her words are sound and prompted me to make some changes.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.