Wounded in the Church by Ray Beeson & Chris Hayward (Review, Blog Tour & Giveaway)

 Wounded-in-the-chruch-fb-banner-copy-1

About the Book

Book title: Wounded in the Church

Authors: Ray Beeson & Chris Hayward

Release date: March 14, 2017

Genre: Non-fiction

 

Wounded in the ChurchA church should be safe, right? Then why do so many get hurt there?

Ray Beeson and Chris Hayward combine their years of ministry experience to address head-on the elephant in the room: church members and church leaders hurt Christians. All the time. And the long-lasting effects—rejection, shame, despair, loneliness, fear—can be devastating. The authors have witnessed the rise of the “dones,” those who are just done with God thanks to scars from a church.

With first-person stories of hurt and loss, this book is a wake-up call for any who deny woundedness in the church but is also a redemptive message for any who hurt from church wounds. Leaders and laypeople alike will learn how to grieve over abuse, to leave unhealthy attitudes and patterns that cause pain, and to trust in God’s real, delivering work through churches that build up, not tear down.

Thanks to the grace of God, there is always hope beyond the pain.

♫♪¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪

MY THOUGHTS

When I first saw this book, I wasn’t keen to read it.

Yes, I have been wounded by a church but how could anyone really understand?

“God’s divine nature is offered to everyone. God added to Christ the human nature that we might have the divine nature added to us.”

Ray Beeson and Chris Hayward have nailed it!

This book is the first I have seen that covers the many issues that exist within and out of the church (no matter what denomination one belongs to). Ray and Chris have dealt with this subject in the most respectful and humane way possible. Mere human beings as we are, don’t think the same way that God does, therefore it would be unreasonable to assume that we can ever achieve divine perfection while stationed on this earth. It would also be irrational to assume that what people say, especially many people’s interpretations of the Word of God (The Holy Bible), are correct.

There have been many different interpretations of the Holy Word, some due to ignorance, others due to that human need to be in control. More people have been hurt badly or even been damaged by human applications of the Bible by the church, than the entire number of hairs on my head, that I will have during my lifetime.

There are too many types of wounding discussed within this informative book for me to cover them here, so I have decided to cover Ray and Chris’ words on ‘Guilt and Shame’.

With guilt comes shame. It shouldn’t be that way, we do need to feel guilty when we have done something wrong, have the opportunity to show remorse, and endeavor not to make this mistake again. We most likely will make the same mistakes repeatedly, because we are imperfect human beings, and the power of the enemy is strong. But in His wisdom, God knows this and always gives us the chance to return to Him.

Shame is an entirely different player in this life struggle.  With shame comes fear and blame.

“The first blame-game in human history occurred when Adam implied that it was God’s fault that he was in a mess, for having given the woman to him.”

We have continued to blame others for our shortcomings ever since.

Ray and Chris discuss the various forms of shame: hereditary, personal, generational, inflicted, induced, discriminatory, and unwarranted or false shame. “Unhealthy leaders may use shame for the purpose of manipulation. People will do almost anything to avoid being shamed.”

 “Shame only becomes a horrible thing when it is activated by sin.”

 Then there is the issue of ‘secret shame’. The secrets we keep to ourselves, but God knows of our remorse because we have confessed directly to Him, and by the power of Christ’s Blood we are forgiven and saved. Both Ray and Chris agree that to be a good Christian or follower of Jesus, we do not always need to tell all.

“Righteousness has nothing to do with performance, but with who we become.”

 Ray and Chris eloquently point out the dangers of our tendencies to judge and shame each other, and the damage it has done down through the ages. Their book is interspersed with personal testimonies from good people who have been treated badly by the church, whether by church leaders or fellow followers of Christ. This book doesn’t fix any problems; however, it is comforting to know that if we have been hurt, we are not alone.

“Sin and grace are the crux of the practical Christian life” we sin and it is only by God’s grace that we can be forgiven and saved. It is never up to us as members of the church community to place judgment, punishment, and shame on others.

“Perfectionism is the result of focusing on sin.”

“Wounded in the Church” is a wonderful tool to bring us closer to realizing that there is always hope beyond the pain.

 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”

But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

~ Matthew 16:21-23

I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed reading “Wounded in the Church” the same way I would reading a romance novel, however, I must say this book held me until the end because I was able to relate to many of the discussions and testimonies. It was a painful read, but a comforting journey.

I was provided with an ARC by the authors via CelebrateLit in return for an honest review.

About the Authors

ray-beeson-300x235Ray Beeson is the director of Overcomers Ministries, a teaching ministry with a special emphasis on spiritual warfare and prayer. Ray teaches seminars on spiritual warfare, prayer, and Christlike living and is the author of numerous books including Signed in His Blood (Charisma House, 2014) and The Hidden Price of Greatness (Overcomers, 2000). Ray and his wife, Linda, live in Ventura, CA.

 

chris-hayward-201x300Chris Hayward has had over thirty-six years of pastoral ministry and is currently serving as president of Cleansing Stream Ministries, a discipleship ministry that works with the local church around the world. He is also the author of God’s Cleansing Stream (Chosen Books, 2004) and The End of Rejection (Chosen Books, 2007). Chris and his wife, Karen, live in Castaic, CA.

 

Giveaway

GiveawayTo celebrate this tour, Whitaker House is giving away

Grand Prize: Kindle Fire and Wounded in the Church by Ray Beeson and Chris Hayward

First Place Prize: Walking by Faith mug with matching pen OR Bouquet of Blessings mug and Wounded in the Church

Second Place Prize: Walking By Faith pen and Wounded in the Church

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! Giveaway

 

 

Guest Post from Ray Beeson & Chris Hayward

imagesWhen we tell people we’ve written a book entitled “Wounded in the Church,” many nod knowingly. Sadly, the pain and heartache that happens in churches is all too common. Collectively, the two of us have spent more than 70 years in ministry. During that time we have seen neglect, tactlessness, and blatant insensitivity fostered by some leaders and congregations resulting in the wounding of others. We realize it is not prolific in every church, but the wounding is significant and it needs to be exposed. That is why we wrote this book – we share real stories of real people who were wounded in church, a place that should be a shelter of God’s love and peace. Sometimes people are abused by leaders or church members. There are also times when leaders are abused by people within the congregation. As you read, perhaps you’ll identify with some of the situations described. If so, be assured you are not alone. images (1)If you have been wounded, it is our hope and prayer God uses this book to facilitate healing. Because of Jesus Christ, there is hope beyond the pain.

Blog Stops

July 27: Reading Is My SuperPower

July 27: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

July 28: A Reader’s Brain

July 29: cherylbbookblog

July 29: Mary Hake

July 30: Moments Dipped in Ink

July 31: Remembrancy

August 1: Carpe Diem

August 2: Books, Books, and More Books.

August 3: History, Mystery & Faith

August 4: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

August 4: Just the Write Escape

August 5: The Power of Words

August 6: A Baker’s Perspective

August 7: Just Jo’Anne

August 8: Lots of Helpers

August 8: God’s Little Bookworm

None So Blind by Chautona Havig (Blog Tour, Book Review and Giveaway)

nonesoblindcover-200x300A Wee Bit About the Book

Book Title: None So Blind

Author: Chautona Havig

Release date: September 29, 2013

Genre: Contemporary

Dani and Ella Weeks–two women who share one thing in common. The same life, the same family, and the same body.

When Dani wakes with no knowledge of who or where she is–no memories of her life at all–David and Dani Weeks discover that “til death do us part” takes on an entirely unexpected meaning. Practically speaking, Dani died. But she didn’t.

What’s a gal to do?

In a desperate attempt to separate the old life from the new, Dani insists on a new name, a twist of her old one–Ella.

Ella’s doctors can’t explain what happened. Her children can’t understand why she doesn’t know them. David, her husband, finds himself torn between admiration for the “new” version of his wife and missing the woman he’s known for over fifteen years.

Will Ella ever regain her memory? Why does their pastor suspect it’s one great hoax?

mythoughts

Can you imagine waking up one morning not knowing where you are, not recognizing anyone around you (pretty scary, don’t you think?), having no memories whatsoever, and not even recognizing yourself?  You can’t can you?  Well, that’s okay because neither can I.  When I first began reading Chautona’s book, I was thinking about dementia in its various forms. Alzheimer’s came to mind because my Nanna was afflicted with this terrible condition from her forties until she eventually passed away at the age of eighty-six. It is a cruel, uncaring disease which takes away everything from an individual, and has life-long repercussions upon their family and close friends.

As I read on I realized that poor Dani was most likely too young to have such severe symptoms for her condition to be dementia. I believe that dementia creeps up on a person gradually over a period of years like a sly old snake. In Dani’s case, she was okay one day, and not okay after having what most people would consider a good night’s rest.

Okay Chautona, you got my attention. I had to keep reading. What an incredible predicament. What on earth could cause total amnesia? Did Dani have a brain bleed while sleeping? Whatever could have gone so wrong? Does this really happen? Could it happen to me?

Chautona’s style is most personable, leaving one feeling like they are in the room with each of the main characters, thinking what they are thinking. Chautona slipped into calling Dani, Ella smoothly (just as Ella would have wanted), making it easy for the reader to adjust.

“As if she’d become her own saboteur, Ella’s mind returned to David’s words again “She could walk out of our lives tomorrow and never miss us”.

Chautona’s story brings to light the complexity of people’s expectations of us when they believe they know who we are and how we should behave … our likes, dislikes, funny or not so funny quirks. It is to a large extent reasonable to expect that people will find it challenging to accept such extreme changes. It unnerves them and displaces their sense of security. I found myself feeling terribly sorry for Ella but equally sorry for her husband and children.

There was an interesting twist in the plot which involved a mysteriously large sum of money. I was hoping this would be resolved at some stage throughout the book, but I’ve been left hanging. Thank goodness there is a sequel.Will-Not-See-sm-200x300 Perhaps we will get some answers to the many questions that arise when tackling such a sensitive topic.

You will be able to purchase Ms. Havig’s second book in this series “Will Not See” very soon. I feel that Chautona handled this topic with compassion and sensitivity, while still providing us with a jolly good read.

Here’s a thought: If we are to assume that Dani and Ella are two different people or personalities, but technically David is married to both. Would it be somewhat disloyal of David to begin to have strong feelings for Ella and even have a preference for Ella’s personality, when he has been married to Dani for many years?

I was kindly provided with an ARC by the author without any obligation to give a glowing review.  All thoughts are my own. Other information was provided by Celebrate Lit. I have awarded this book with 4 Stars.

media-headshot-sm-240x300About the Author:

Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert with her husband and five of her nine children. Through her novels, she hopes to encourage Christians in their walk with Jesus.

bf3041c3-aba6-432d-bade-2a2bc46cd775-300x300Giveaway:

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize that includes:

1 $25 Amazon Gift Card
1 Paperback Copy of None So Blind
1 Paperback Copy of Will Not See
1 Lampwork Necklace
1 Cool denim mini-backpack (to hold your stuff!)
1 Custom Travel Mug (with quote from book)
1 FREE eBook code to share with a friend!

Check out this cool video from Chautona: https://youtu.be/5K_cTjlg4S8

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ba35

Guest post from Chautona Havig:

“Who are you, again?”

“I’m Joe’s, daughter. Vyonie.” My sister pointed to me. “This is Chautona.”

For some odd reason, the niece she spent the least amount of time with, Aunt Doris remembered—somewhat. But she didn’t remember Vyonie from what I could tell. She smiled at me, that amazing, sweet smile I’d never forget. She asked how I was. I always thought that Mrs. Sanderson—mother of John, Alicia, and Carl on the TV show, Little House on the Prairie—looked and sounded like Aunt Doris. Of course, that memory of me didn’t last. A minute or two later, she gave me a big smile and asked if she knew me.

It gave me a picture of what it must have been like for my character, Ella Weeks—to wake up every day with these children there—children who knew her, but she didn’t remember. The hurt she caused every time she had to struggle to admit she didn’t know something she probably should—again. So, I thought I’d ask her to tell us about it.

Ella: People often assume that the worst part of losing my memory is the memories that disappeared, too. But it’s not. A much as I’d love to remember my wedding day, my daughter’s first steps, my son’s first words, or that moment I realized I was pregnant with my third, those are blessings that I don’t think about often. No, what hurts most is seeing the pain in my children’s eyes when they need me to remember something and I can’t. For me, not remembering their first day of kindergarten is an inconvenience. For them, it’s a further reminder that if they didn’t tell me, I wouldn’t know them. That without them pushing themselves into my life, I wouldn’t care about them any more than any other human in my path. I do now, of course, but not at first. I hate that they heard David say once, “…she doesn’t know me. She doesn’t trust me. She doesn’t know our children. She tries, but she could walk out of our lives tomorrow and never miss us.”

Living so close to it every day, I missed those little bits of pain that I inflicted without meaning to, but when I went with our Bible study to a nursing home and visited with the residents, then I saw it. Women with tears running down their cheeks as loved ones patted their hands and tried to comfort. I heard one man offer to find a woman’s father. She squeezed him close and whispered, “It’s okay, Daddy. I love you. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

The man promised to try to find her father in the meantime.

Those people there—most of them didn’t realize they didn’t remember someone important. They didn’t struggle to remember this or that. Their dementia had gotten bad enough that their lives had gone from constant frustration to, by comparison, blissful oblivion.

And their families withered with each forgotten face, name, moment.

That’s what my “episode” did for my family. It caused them pain that just resurfaced every time something new happened. Pain that I didn’t know I inflicted. And since that visit, I have a greater compassion and awareness of just how amazing and powerful memories are.

I also have a greater appreciation for those beautiful words in Isaiah when the Lord promised… “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.”

You see, there’s a lifetime of the sins that Jesus died for buried somewhere in my brain—or, at least at one time there was. I know that those sins were in there because the ones I committed yesterday are there today. The ones I’ve already confessed and been forgiven for—I beat myself up for the next morning. A week later. A month. But the Lord has wiped them clean. I just keep smearing them back out there again as if to say, “But You don’t get how BAD I was.” Yeah. The arrogance, right? Because an almighty, holy God can’t possibly understand how sinful a sinner that He had to DIE to save from those sins… is. The arrogance? That’s an understatement.

But all those years before that horrible morning… gone. Maybe I stole something. I don’t know. It was forgiven, wiped clean, and then wiped from my memory. I can’t rehash it with the Lord over and over. I can’t drag it back up like a wife who won’t let her husband forget the one time he forgot her birthday. I can’t use it as a whip to beat myself up with. And I think there’s something beautiful in that.

Do I wish I could stop hurting my family with my blank past? Of course. But am I also grateful for a living picture of the fresh start the Lord gives His people at salvation? Definitely. I hope I never take it for granted again.

None-so-blind-FB-Banner-copy

You can purchase your copy of “None So Blind’ here

Previous Blog Stops for Your Enjoyment

June 15: Blogging With Carol

June 15: Genesis 5020

June 15: Lane Hill House

June 16: Red Headed Book Lady

June 16: The Scribbler

June 16: Moments Dipped in Ink

June 17: Back Porch Reads

June 17: The Power of Words

June 17: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

June 18: Carpe Diem

June 18: A Baker’s Perspective

June 19: Christian Bookaholic

June 19: Quiet Quilter

June 20: The Fizzy Pop Collection

June 20: Mommynificent

June 21: Seasons of Opportunities

June 21: Truth and Grace Writing and Life Coaching

June 22: Pursuing Stacie

June 22: Remembrancy

June 23: Pause for Tales

June 23: Avid Reader Book Reviews

June 23: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

June 24: Bigreadersite

June 24: CAFINATED READS

June 25: Lots of Helpers

June 25: Ashley’s Bookshelf

June 26: Blossoms and Blessings

June 26: A Reader’s Brain

June 27: Margaret Kazmierczak

June 27: His Grace is Sufficient

June 28: Just Jo’Anne

June 28: Henry Happens

June 28: Reader’s Cozy Corner

A Review of Imogen’s Chance by Paula Vince

My Review

download“A regretful past, a hopeful future.”

Imogen Browne desperately wants things to be okay in her world, but also that of others. An unfortunate accident of fifteen years ago has left in its wake, far too many consequences for friends and loved ones.

All of the characters in this beautiful story are believable and sincere. They pretty much react the way I would expect myself to react under similar circumstances.

‘People who are told they are going to die, always tell the truth.’

Paula tackles more than one important and sensitive issue within this book, and she does it flawlessly. She includes lots of different emotions, conflict, romance, and more than adequate suspense to keep you intrigued until the end. Paula’s characters are skilfully developed and rounded. She uses the technique of ‘showing rather than telling’ very well.

Paula’s talent addresses the topic of Christian healing, both spiritual and physical in such a way that it is easy to comprehend. The themes of repentance, forgiveness, and healing flowed superbly throughout. The story of Imogen and Asher is not over the top, or too preachy. All Biblical references are accurate and appropriately used. Also, our human inability to recognise some of the most important gifts that God has bestowed upon us, and misinterpret them as flaws, was approached with wisdom.

I fell in love with Imogen from the beginning. Every time I thought I had it all sorted in my mind, there was another surprise, another revelation. Imogen’s secret is so enormous that it holds the keys to many sub-plots within the book.

‘With every step they took, she was stomping over the painful, regretful memories, and replacing them with something new and wonderfully special.’

These elements of suspense and surprise are what was required to keep me turning the pages, and bring this book to a delightful finish.

This was the second time that I read ‘Imogen’s Chance’. I enjoyed this read even more than the first. I didn’t think that would be possible.

‘A rock solid base of truth gripped onto by unwavering faith, made the building blocks for an unshakeable reality.’  ~ Paula Vince

Imogen’s Chance is a delightful book, which would be enjoyed by everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike. Another of Paula’s books that I would highly recommend is Best Forgotten  My review will follow soon.

Originally posted at

https://josephineannegriffiths.blogspot.com.au/

October 2016