Thursday, July 7, 2011

Such an engaging an inspirational book!

A Place Called Blessing: Where Hurting Ends and Love Begins, by John Trent, Ph.D with Annette Smith

This book really took me by surprise. It is a lightning fast read, largely because you just don't want to put it down! The main character has so much heartache, deprivation, and loss, that you just want to weep for him and his brothers. The author does a fine job of keeping the pace going just like real life, so you never have time to bog down in the sadness, instead forging ahead to see if better circumstances come into Josh and his brothers' lives. It almost seems like that will never happen. The three boys are neglected & abused, abandoned for large amounts of time with scarcely any food to eat. Then, their parents are killed in an automobile accident, leaving the boys to be raised in foster homes and group homes, waiting for an adoptive family that may never arrive.

Our communities are full of people like Josh, so in need of kindness. I taught for quite a few years at an alternative middle & high school, so I have known a great many of these dejected young people, aching for just one person to believe in them. Dr. Trent did a fabulous job of portraying the loneliness and fear, and utter lack of hope that anything good will ever come to them, or OF them, that lie just barely hidden under the skin of young people like Josh. This book is so inspirational, and at the same time, provides a clear and practical picture of the way to throw out a life line to these people so in need of one.

The story is a practical application of the lessons taught in another of Dr. Trent's books, (which I have not read), The Blessing, written with Gary Smalley. It illustrates how to bless those in our families and those whom God brings into our lives through the "5 essential elements" of blessing:

Meaningful touch
A spoken message
Attaching high value
Picturing a special future
An active commitment

I was surprised to realize that one of my favorite books to read my children and grandchildren, the wonderful children's picture book, I'd Choose You, is also written by Dr. Trent. The same principles are at work in all three of these books, giving people tools to bless the people in our lives. After reading A Place Called Blessing, I don't think I will ever lose sight of what those five elements are, or the power they hold to change lives.

I highly recommend this book to everyone from young teens through adults, male and female alike. Probably those in helping professions and those who deal with children and young adults in the course of their workday would be especially challenged by this story to see the ways that God is waiting to use them. I can't think of anyone who would not be inspired and blessed by this engrossing novel.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.