Monday, April 28, 2014

Healing the Wounds of Trauma by Margaret Hill

book cover
Healing the Wounds of Trauma
by Margaret Hill,
Harriet Hill,
Richard Bagge,
Pat Miersma

ISBN-13: 9781937628147
Trade Paperback: 116 pages
Publisher: American Bible Society
Released: 2013

Source: Bought through Amazon.

Book Description, Modified from Amazon:
This book offers a practical approach to engaging the Bible and mental health principles to find Gods healing for wounds of the heart. This provides a strong foundation for restored lives and relationships. It is a resource for leaders in churches and NGOs who care for people who have suffered horrific events like war, civil unrest, ethnic conflict, rape, and natural disasters. It will also help individuals struggling with suffering.

It provides core mental health principles within a biblical framework, an approach that has been field tested since 2001 with leaders from Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and independent churches. It has been adapted into more than 150 languages and cultures around the world. It is designed for use in groups and written in simple and non-technical language. Each lesson begins with a story depicting its topic, followed by discussion questions and participatory exercises. The book includes 270 Bible references from 217 passages. This is the core book of the Trauma Healing Institute at American Bible Society.

My Review:
Healing the Wounds of Trauma is about healing from trauma using Scripture. It's designed to be used in a group setting, either in a large group that periodically breaks into smaller groups or in a small group. It can also be read by pastors to prepare them for what to do or say when confronted with someone dealing with trauma.

Each lesson started with a story about someone in Bingola who experienced trauma. The book then guided discussion about similar situations and used the Bible to find answers. This resource is designed to be used all over the world, so they encourage people to read the verses in the native language either from Bibles or booklets with the verses in the native language. The lessons included skits, group discussions, and symbolic activities.

The book had several lessons, but some lessons may not be relevant to the trauma experienced by that community and so won't be used. The topics covered were: why is there suffering, how can our wounded hearts heal, the stages of grief, helping traumatized children, helping victims of rape, dealing with people who have HIV/AIDS, helping caregivers, take your pain to the cross, how can we forgive others, and living as Christians in the midst of conflict.

The lessons stay very focused by using a few, well-chosen verses to make their point rather than doing an extensive Bible study. All of the lessons are intended to be covered in one or two days. Most of that time will probably be spent in discussion, applying the lesson to their specific circumstances. I can see that this would be a good resource to help people in areas of conflict or who suffered from natural disasters. It can also apply to individual-level (rather than community-wide) trauma. I'd recommend this resource to those who minister in these situations.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Thirty Days in the Land with Jesus by Charles H. Dyer

book cover
Thirty Days in the Land with Jesus
by Charles H. Dyer

ISBN-13: 9780802402844
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Released: March 21, 2012

Source: Bought through

Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
Take a spiritual journey through the Holy Word and the Holy Land guided by renowned expert and author Dr. Charles Dyer. Complemented by vivid, full-color photography, each day draws new insight and inspiration from the ancient sites that framed the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. Your understanding of the person, work, and words of Jesus Christ takes on an added dimension with this day by day exploration of the world in which He walked.

My Review:
Thirty Days in the Land with Jesus is a 30-day devotional on the life of Christ that explores the land and the culture. The author often described each day's "stop" on our "tour of the Holy Land" in such vivid detail so that I felt like I could see the setting of each event. He followed the events in the life of Christ from birth to after the resurrection. He gave insights into how the geography surrounding the event can deepen our understanding of that event. Though he sometimes mentioned the different ideas people have about an event, he kept his focus on what we do know rather than getting sidetracked in speculation or debate.

There were nice, full-color pictures of the different places and of things like a manger when discussing Jesus' birth. I've been to the Holy Land and read many Bible background books, but I still enjoyed this devotional and learned some new things. Overall, I'd highly recommend this devotional.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.