(Review) Being There: How to Love Those Who Are Hurting by Dave Furman

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Publisher and Publication Date: Crossway. 2016.
Genre: Christian nonfiction. Compassion. Healing.
Pages: 176.
Source: Self-purchase.
Rating: Recommend. Excellent.
Audience: This book is for Christians who want to minister to those in crisis.

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This book was recommended by, Crystal M. Sutherland, author of Journey to Heal. I recently took part and became certified as a mentor to sexual abuse survivors through Sutherland’s training program @ “Journey to Heal Ministries“.

When I think about “being there” for a person during a crisis, I think about a story mother told me. September 1, 1957 my mother’s young handsome husband went wade fishing at Galveston. He stepped into a sink hole and drowned. He was in the prime of life. He was an avid outdoorsman. He was an excellent swimmer. Mother was at home fixing dinner and had baked a cake. She and their three children were waiting on him to return, and they’d sit down to eat as a family. He didn’t return. Instead, a family friend came to the house to inform mother Walter had drowned. His body had not been recovered. Mother took to her bed. People came and went out of their home. Family cared for the three young children. Three days later his body was recovered. During the those three days mother stayed in bed. The sister of a friend sat beside mother on the bed. This woman never said a word, but mother knew she was there. Mother was comforted by the presence of another person who was quiet and calm.

In the book Being There, the above story I shared is an example of helping another person during a crisis, just quietly being there.
Dave Furman has a health crisis in his life. His story of the crisis, and the things he learned, is passed to the readers.
Furman is transparent in the stages he went through. For example, feeling sorry for self, the thoughts of, “if only.”
He states, “weep honestly at the loss we’ve experienced.” He is quick to remind us we have, “hope in our loss.” What is that hope? God is always with us, He will not abandon us. Secondly, we have the hope that this life is not all there is, “pain and suffering are not the final word in our lives.” We have the hope of eternity with Jesus Christ.
Page 37 held a gem. I loved this teaching: “We are armed with the Spirit of God.” Don’t be put off by friends who have “negative responses.” Be forgiving. Be loving; and remember God’s love and grace is never ending.
Chapter eight gives several examples of practical ways to help the suffering.
I read this book prior to another book, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering by Timothy Keller. Both books compliment one another because of a similar theme: the reality of real suffering in this life that is unavoidable.

Grow in your love for the Lord, and you will grow in your love for the hurting. If you’re going to help the hurting, you need to walk with God. Page 43.

Being There is a practical book for the reader, not just a memoir of a person who is living through a health crisis.

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(Review) Grace Revealed: Finding God’s Strength in Any Crisis by Fred Sievert

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Publisher and Publishing Date: BroadStreet. January 1, 2018.
Genre: Christian nonfiction. Grace, faith, healing.
Pages: 256.
Source: Free copy from BroadStreet Publishing.
Rating: Very Good.

Landing page at Litfuse for the book tour: Grace Revealed.
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Fred Sievert is a speaker, author, and former president of New York Life Insurance Company. Following his early retirement at age fifty-nine, Sievert attended Yale Divinity School and received a master’s degree. Sievert remains actively engaged in his greatest passions, which include speaking and writing about his faith, mentoring young executives, and serving as a lay leader of his church and on the boards of several organizations with missions well-aligned with his beliefs and values. Fred and his wife have five grown children, three grandchildren, and reside in East Falmouth, Massachusetts.

Find out more about Fred at https://www.storiesofgodsgrace.com.

Summary: (from the publisher)
You can’t escape the inevitable crises that will face you throughout your lifetime. Whether it’s health problems, emotional issues, career challenges, gut-wrenching losses, or other failures, these experiences can destroy your morale and lead you into despair. Some crises may be a result of your own choices, while others may be completely out of your control. Whatever the source, there is a lasting solution that comes to you free of charge from above: God’s amazing grace.
In Grace Revealed, you will:
-Experience real-life stories of others who discover they are not alone and that relief is within their grasp.
-See how devastating afflictions can be overcome through faith in Jesus and His love, mercy, and grace.
-Learn how God’s grace transforms lives and leads you into enduring and rewarding Christian service.
-Be inspired to encourage others who are suffering but cannot seek help on their own.
Read these undeniable, modern-day examples of God’s loving grace and its transformative power, and discover that God is always present in your time of need.

My Thoughts:
From the Preface:

Throughout my lifetime, hearing or reading about the faith journeys of thousands of Christians has substantiated my belief that individuals most often come to know Christ when they cry out to Him in a crisis. And often, their faith is reinforced, or even inspired, by the testimony of others who are willing to share the stories of their own personal relationships with Christ and how they were triggered.

People, and even Christians, tend to remain silent about their troubles. I’ve noticed that when we share our pain, this moves other people to then share their pain. There is a strong feeling of identifying with the pain of another person. The feelings of, “I understand because I’ve been there” is powerful.
A few years ago in a discussion group, I shared briefly that I’d been in an abusive relationship as a teenage girl. I’d been abused in every way, including sexual abuse. After I shared, four other women shared they too had been sexually abused. We just looked at each other afterwards with teary eyes, because we identified with each other’s heartache, and we had compassion for each other in a way that a person who is not an abuse survivor can know.
It is with this goal, Grace Revealed, has been written: sharing stories of heartache and a faith journey so others may be encouraged.

In the eight chapters, the first is a defining chapter on what grace is in the Bible.
Chapter two is on abuse.
Chapter three is on addictions.
Chapter four is on problems related to “emotional and physical issues.”
Chapter five is on “career-related challenges.”
Chapter six is on family problems.
Chapter seven is on grief.
Chapter eight is a summary of the book.

The book is filled with contributions from people and less from Fred Sievert. He compiles the stories into this book. Included in each chapter is, “My Thoughts” section, “Time for Personal Reflection,” “Healing Insights,” and a prayer for the specific issue.

What I love about Grace Revealed is the personal stories. I’ve read books of this type where the emphasis is on the author’s knowledge of subject and their opinion. This book is meant to be encouragement from those who have had struggles and a building up of their faith.
I love the prompting early in the book that we are to extend grace to Christians in need.
I love the prayers shown in each chapter. Sometimes as a Christian I struggle with how to pray about a specific problem. I love how the prayers are transparent, humble, and focused on God who is sovereign and Lord over-all.