Monday, April 13, 2015

Book Reviews on Time, Aging, Death, Grieving and Heaven #2

Here are two books that will give you new perspectives about what living and dying is all about. These books will grow your faith, help you live with purpose and guide you through grief.

When the Game is over
By John Ortberg

It All Goes Back in the Box by John Ortberg, pastor and best selling author, is a clever and wise book about the fact that life is short and often our priorities are flawed and driven by plans for worldly success. Playing Monopoly with his grandmother taught Ortberg that when the game is over it all goes back in the box. This game metaphor for life continues throughout the book pointing out that the object in life is not to win houses, hotels, fame or fortune. The object for a Christian is to “be rich toward God.”

Ortberg gives a detailed game plan for living life intentionally and with significance. Chapter titles include Three Ways to Keep Score, Master the Inner Game, Resign as Master of The Board, and more. In the chapter titled No One Else Can Take Your Turn, Ortberg describes his experience playing doubles tennis with his father in a match they wanted to win. With a tied score, his first shot went outside the lines. It was all up to his second shot. There was no bench player who could take his place. There are no passes in life. Comparing life to a calendar he suggests we fill each day (square) with what matters most. Beware of Your Shadow Mission is also a significant chapter. We can think we’re in the will of God and be deceived. This is an excellent book that should inspire many Christians to live more intentionally. 

The full title points out that after a game is over (such as Monopoly) it all goes back in the box.

THE DAWN OF HOPE: Encouragement for those who grieve
By Eldyn Simons

The Dawn of Hope is a small book with a brilliant hope-filled message for all who grieve. The author, Eldyn Simons, recounts the loss of his sixteen year old son who died in a plane crash while on a summer student exchange trip to Peru. There is no loss more difficult than the loss of a child. There is no loss more difficult than the sudden loss of a child.

The author has walked this road of grief and knows the tremendous pain and suffering it entails. He teaches the importance of facing the pain as well as how to hang onto God and the hope that He offers.

In short chapters beginning with a scripture and ending with a poem and a prayer, Simons tells about the loss of his son and recounts other losses—the loss of a spouse, the loss of the older generation, even the loss of a child by miscarriage.

God led Simons on a “journey of wonder and discovery” after the darkest night of his soul. He says God “will take you to many unexpected places, places of which you may never even have dreamed…. He will teach us how to bear the pain, how to laugh again, how to once more taste life’s sweetness. He will never leave us.”

He also says, “Our responsibility is to hold fast to God, to snuggle close so nothing can come between us. His part is to cover us with his love, to encourage and nourish us with His life that we may be fruitful in our service to him, no matter what conditions surround us.” This is a marvelous little book for those who are grieving. This was published in 2000 so you may need to buy a used book.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

Blessings, Dottie

Book Reviews on Time, Aging, Death, Grieving & Heaven #1 is here.

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