(Review) A Small Book for the Hurting Heart: Meditations on Loss, Grief, and Healing by Paul Tautges

A Small Book for the Hurting Heart
Publisher and Publication Date: New Growth Press. March 9, 2020.
Genre: Christian Nonfiction. Grieving. Suffering. Spiritual Growth.
Pages: 192.
Source: I received a complimentary hard cover copy from New Growth Press, I was not required to write a positive review.
Audience: Readers who are going through a season of suffering.
Rating: Excellent.

Size of the book:
Width:

4.30 (in)
Height:
6.30 (in)

Amazon link 

Goodreads page for Paul Tautges

To read more information about the book at the publisher: New Growth Press.
To read a sample page:
https://newgrowthpress.com/content/Samples/A-Small-Book-for-the-Hurting-Heart-Sample.pdf

Paul Tautges
Author Info: 
Paul Tautges serves as one of the pastors of Cornerstone Community Church in Mayfield Heights, Ohio (east of Cleveland). Prior to accepting the Lord’s call to Cornerstone, he pastored in Wisconsin for 22 years. Paul has been married to Karen since 1986. Together they enjoy their ten children and their spouses, and their growing tribe of grandchildren. He is also an adjunct professor, certified biblical counselor and teaching fellow for the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, and a council board member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition. Paul has written or edited over 50 books and mini-books.
Paul blogs @ https://counselingoneanother.com
Facebook page @ Counseling One Another
Twitter @PaulTautges

Endorsements: 
“When we hurt and ask God ‘why?,’ we often are not looking for answers. Rather, our hearts are looking for comfort, encouragement, and Fatherly assurance that our world is not spinning out of control. In his new work, A Small Book for the Hurting Heart, my friend Paul Tautges points the reader to helpful insights from the best Answer of all, the Lord Jesus. Every page is filled with bite-sized wisdom from the Word of God, providing healing hope for every heart that hurts. I heartily endorse this small but power-packed book!”
~ Joni Eareckson Tada, “Joni and Friends International Disability Center”

“Grief is sometimes too burdensome to search for direction and comfort in Scripture. We want the encouragement of Scripture but don’t have the energy to find just the right passages. In this little book, Paul has found those right passages and brought us into them so they can be brought into us.”
~ Edward T. Welch, author of A Small Book for the Anxious Heart; faculty, “Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation”

“How often I have wished for this kind of resource to share with a friend in the throes of grief. A wise, seasoned pastor and counselor, Paul Tautges comes alongside the person in pain with short, encouraging, grace-filled reflections from God’s Word. These meditations will lift up weary hearts and tear-stained faces and help them find compassion and hope in the face of Christ.”
~ Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, Author; founder and host of “Revive Our Hearts”

Summary: 
Grief may threaten to overtake us or destroy our joy. In this powerful devotional book, men and women will see Jesus, the Man of Sorrows, who is well-acquainted with grief and sadness.
Author and pastor Paul Tautges offers our comforting High Priest, sharing how the Holy Spirit ministers to our hurting heart through the healing balm of God’s Word graciously applied to life’s wounds.
By Biblically and transparently addressing the heart and faith struggles in the midst of this grief, A Small Book for the Hurting Heart delves deeply, but gently, into the issues of the heart—presenting encouragement and comfort in the character of God revealed in his Word.
This small but transformative devotional cultivates anchors of hope, redirecting men and women to the trustworthiness of God who is always for us in Christ. Because all of God’s promises are Yes in Christ, Tautges walks with readers through their grief to see the one who nourishes our faith and heals our soul.
In fifty brief readings, your hurting heart will find spiritual help, encouragement, and healing as you experience the comfort of God.

My Thoughts:
I consider it a blessing when a book I’m reading for review is meeting me just where I need it. Another words, A Small Book for the Hurting Heart is applicable for my life today. Consider page 13, “We are in a strange place.” I am living in a strange place in time because of the COVID-19. The generation closest to mine that has lived through a pandemic is my grandparents, who were all children during the Spanish Flu of 1918. I am living in a strange and surreal situation. I am so thankful to be in my own home, with food to eat, and with family I love.
The book is primarily written to readers who are going through a season of grieving and suffering. For example, the death of a loved one. However, I pulled several thoughts out of the book that spoke to me. For example, “Don’t let fear turn you away from God.” Page 13. This teaching is taught in the book several times. Don’t turn away from God and towards the fear and suffering. It is so easy to focus on the fear or hardship. Tautges reminds me to focus on God. Another big teaching that’s helped. “My friend, I don’t want you to merely survive your season of suffering. I want you to thrive.” Page 111. How do I thrive during this ordeal of stress? I write in a gratitude journal. I’m on number 100. I write down simple things. These are things that are often taken for granted. For example, the smell of banana bread when it’s baking or the sound of birds singing.

Additional reasons why I love this little book:
•It’s small but packed with valuable help.
•It’s a book of comfort, encouragement, and compassion.
•It’s divided in to 50 daily reads. Most are 3 pages long.
•I loved the Bible verses directing me to read from God’s Word about Tautges’s teaching.
•Tautges gives applicable ideas for me. For example: “Are you looking to your eternal inheritance with eyes of faith? Read about your eternal inheritance in Ephesians 1:11-18, and then take a few moments to thank God for His watchful care.”
•The book is perfect for a new Christian or a person who has been a Christian a long time.

Bible verse link is to Bible Gateway.

 

(Review) Safe and Sound: Standing Firm in Spiritual Battles by David Powlison

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Publisher and Publication Date: New Growth Press. September 16, 2019.
Format: Kindle e-book.
Genre: Christian nonfiction. Spiritual warfare.
Pages: 160.
Source: I received a complimentary copy, but was not required to leave a positive review.
Audience: Christian readers who want to learn how to combat spiritual battles.
Rating: Excellent.

For more information: New Growth Press.

Amazon

 

 

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Author Information:
David Powlison, MDiv, PhD, (1949–2019) was a teacher, counselor, and the executive director of the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He wrote many books and mini-books, including Speaking Truth in Love, Seeing with New Eyes, The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context, Good and Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining, and Bitterness, Making All Things New: Restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken, God’s Grace in Your Suffering, and Safe and Sound. David was also the editor of The Journal of Biblical Counseling.
Link for bio at The Journal of Biblical Counseling.

A video from one of my favorite interviews of Powlison. He is speaking on Borderline Personality Disorder.

Summary:
Safe and Sound by best-selling author David Powlison guides readers to see the normality of their struggles with themselves, the world around them, and the powers of darkness.
Counselors tend to be interested in what they can easily describe: psychological dynamics, social influences, and physiological givens. But how does the uncanny power of darkness fit in with the more accessible factors in a person’s life?
By carefully unpacking Ephesians 6 with vivid case studies and biblical wisdom, Powlison helps readers humanize those struggles and bear the relevance of the love of God in Christ for those struggles.
In this helpful guide, Powlison addresses many questions with gospel answers regarding the reality of spiritual warfare, including “What is spiritual warfare?” and “How does Ephesians disciple us in spiritual warfare?”
Safe and Sound presents Ephesians as a book about our conflict with darkness—within ourselves, with other people, and with the spiritual forces of evil. Powlison demonstrates how the message of Christ’s triumph over all that is evil, dark, and deadly rings true, and how spiritual warfare is our participation in the Lord’s cosmic war with darkness.
To stand up against evil, Powlison encourages readers to pray pointedly and listen to Scripture intently, standing with other brothers and sisters in Christ and relying on the strength God himself gives.

My Thoughts:
I’ve met people who believe every bad thing that happens in life is because of spiritual warfare. This includes physical battles like cancer or other diseases. I believe bad things happen because we are imperfect humans and live in an imperfect world. But to go so far as to say all bad things are because of spiritual warfare, I’ve paused at that. This has been a good book to read. It’s good, because it’s made me think and consider something I may have been wrong about.
This is the first book I’ve read by David Powlison. I’ve read short books written by him. I’ve watched videos of him teaching on a counseling topic. The first thing I notice is his humility. He is also a person who is wise and purposeful about his speech. I admire people with these character traits. It makes me want to lean in closer to listen.

Some examples of points he made that were important:
•Every moment of our life is spent in a battle for lordship of our lives. Who we will serve?
•Satan’s attacks are untruths about God.
•The main Bible passage is Ephesians 6:10-20, but other passages are used. For example, John 8:43-44; 1 John 5:19; Ephesians 2:1-3; Isaiah 59; 2 Peter 1:1; and 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
•Anxiety is a lie. A lie about everything that we perceive as something to worry about.
•Thankfulness and gratitude is at the heart of the counterattack in spiritual warfare.
•A chapter on the occult and exorcism. “A person’s sins are dealt with through repentance.” He disagrees about the use of exorcisms. He believes in focusing on the heart of the person.

This book is deeply personal for Powlison. During the writing of the book, Powlison knows he has cancer. He doesn’t know how much longer he will live. In fact, he died this past June. He expresses that he had moments of escapism and he’s tempted to be discouraged. When a person is transparent about their struggles, we identify with them in some way, because we all have struggles in this life. I’m thankful for this book. I’m thankful for authors who share their tears.