Monday, July 6, 2015

Book Reviews on Time, Aging, Death, Grieving and Heaven # 5

Here are two books by Joni Eareckson Tada about time, aging, death, grieving and heaven 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 is it Right to Die? Suicide, Euthanasia, Suffering, Mercy

By Joni Eareckson Tada

This book can be especially helpful to parents with a handicapped child. Joni Eareckson Tada, well known author and speaker, suffered a permanent spinal injury in a diving accident when she was in her teens. This book, written more than two decades later, addresses the difficult topics of suicide and euthanasia, suffering and mercy. 

The book is divided into three sections. Part 1. A Time to Live, Part 2. A Time to Choose, and Part 3. A Time to Die. Joni’s story and experiences run through out the book along with stories about others who are handicapped or dying. She offers practical and specific information and help for those who are depressed, considering suicide; those who want to die.

She speaks from her Christian faith with a strong belief in God and notes that Judiasm, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism all “recognize an intelligence behind moral evil.” He’s the devil. He was called the tempter by Jesus. There is no truth in him and his goal is death. Pg.97. The devil tells us all kinds of lies – “No one cares.” “There’s nothing more to expect from life.” “I can’t live with this depression.” And the biggest lie of all, “Nothing awaits me after death.”

This book published in 1992 continues to help people with handicaps, people with depression and those who are nearing death. There is excellent information in here from a Christian perspective. Joni’s life is a testimony in itself to the fact that every life has a God given purpose.

By Joni Eareckson Tada

This is a beautiful, thoughtful, well written, and well researched book about Heaven as described in Scripture. The author, Joni Eareckson Tada, is a remarkable person. She is a quadriplegic in a wheelchair, has written a number of excellent books, is a national speaker, and has a ministry to disabled individuals. She pictures heaven in vivid, insightful and glorious images.

The book is divided into three parts.
1. What Will Heaven by Like?
2. Will Heaven be Home?
3. The Journey Home.

Throughout the book Joni gives illustrations from her own experiences and from the experiences of others, especially those with major handicaps. Chapter 5  Why Don’t We Fit on Earth? resonates with my own experiences. Our culture’s materialism, tasteless entertainment and corrupt morality cause me to feel this world is not my home. Joni writes “I’m a little like a refugee who is longing for a better country called heaven.” Pg. 98

Throughout the book Joni gives inspiring and thoughtful insights. For example “We are not only to ‘set our hearts on things above’ where Christ is seated, but set our minds on things above as well. That’s hard.” Pg. 127 She explains in detail why that’s hard and promises “we will have ‘the mind of Christ’ when we lay hold of Him and His ideas.” Pg.129 No book review can do justice to this book!

This is not an easy read. It must be read slowly and thoughtfully. It will challenge many Christians, especially Chapter 9 Getting Ready for Heaven and the scriptures about suffering. This book can be very helpful to anyone who is severely handicapped or who takes care of a handicapped person and wants to understand God’s perfect plan for their life.

It will give all readers a glorious view of our future home and help us focus on HIm!

“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

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