Fighting Doubt: A Review of Help My Unbelief and GIVEAWAY

Giveaway!!! Ever felt doubt creep into the corners of your mind? Tried the mental equivalent of plugging your ears? Help My Unbelief can add tools to your faith arsenal.

Doubt is not something we freely discuss often. Even mature Christians often feel like we are supposed to skim over the doubts and questions, putting on a brave face until they go away.

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Barnabas Piper’s book Help My Unbelief challenges this status quo that DOUBT is a dirty word, instead suggests if we’re honest, doubt is a part of our Christian walk; we have this tension between our faith and flesh that pulls us away from closeness with God at times.

Piper offers ways to embrace doubt as a challenge to grow closer to God, build a deeper relationship with Him, and find solid footing for our faith instead of pretending that we’ve never had any questions at all.

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Have you ever felt doubt, had questions creep into the corners of your mind? Tried the mental equivalent of plugging your ears and singing LA LA LA, I can’t hear you . . . ? Felt like you didn’t know where to go with your questions?

I enthusiastically recommend Help My Unbelief as a book to add tools to your faith arsenal for fighting doubt.

However, I was expecting apologetics, specific arguments defending our faith, so I was initially disappointed Piper does not spend much time offering “proof” that our God is real.

BUT as I read, taking my time with each chapter, searching the scriptures, carefully investigating what he was saying for myself, I realized that he offers instead a journey of finding our own faith, through our testimonies, experiences, scriptures and prayers.

Giveaway!!! Ever felt doubt creep into the corners of your mind? Tried the mental equivalent of plugging your ears? Help My Unbelief can add tools to your faith arsenal.

The strength of this book is the journey each chapter takes us on, of searching our hearts, cleaning up our minds, understanding faith and belief in the context of a perpetually developing relationship with God.

Help My Unbelief is a journey of how doubt can lead to deeper faith in a relationship with God. Click To Tweet

I walked away from this book with some real truths to cling to when the doubts creep in and new tools in my toolbox to find answers and peace even in the whys? that come with this earthly life.

I lead a small ladies’ study at my church using Help my Unbelief and felt it was a great resource to spur discussion and build fellowship among our group.

Help my Unbelief did have a few weaknesses. I struggled at times to be engaged with it. His writing is easy to read, but this book just missed being a real page turner for me. However, taking my time, reading and studying, was a better way to experience the book with more take-away.

My 1st GIVEAWAY - Barnabas Piper's Help My Unbelief - click here to enter and read my review! Click To Tweet

Piper shared powerful anecdotes, but I would have included more of his personal stories, which were very engaging and helped solidify his points.

Another area that had room for improvement was more of a missed opportunity. Many readers who would pick up this book might not know where to look to find answers in scriptures and would really benefit from a study or reading guide containing more questions for personal exploration and scriptures to meditate on.

My own teaching notes and discussion questions added to our experience because we got to share our testimonies of times God was clearly present, which is one of the ways Piper recommends growing our faith.

But these are small issues that did not detract from my recommendation of this book.

For anyone seeking answers, Help My Unbelief offers ways to find them for ourselves creating a solid foundation for personal faith, which made it a book I’ve already recommended over and over to friends.

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Handling Hard in Friendship: Just Show Up

How do you do friendship in the hard places of life and make every moment count? Just show up, an incredible story of faith and friendship and grace.

It starts with a phone call, a knock on the door, a doctor’s test result and out of nowhere, hard just showed up.

Suddenly, life becomes divided into before/after.

This week again has been a series of hard emails and phone calls. Serious, deep needs have surrounded me. And I’ve been reminded that I can just show up even if that is silent prayers and text messages.

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What do you do when the news isn’t yours? How do you just show up when a friend goes through HARD?

Saturday, I started reading Just Show Up; The Dance of Walking Through Suffering Together by Kara Tippetts and Jill Lynn Buteyn. Within three sentences, I was devouring the pages.

Warm words and gentleness invite us to know the authors and the excruciating, miraculous ways God built this community of friends and taught them how to deal with Kara’s hard and strengthen their relationships.

God put this book in my path because I’ve always known how to care for others in my heart, sometimes too much, but I haven’t always known how to just show up and love people when hurt feelings or insecurities or intensely hard circumstances just show up on our doorsteps.

When life is busy, friendships that balance grace and kindness challenge most of us, but these women dance through this long goodbye with a beauty that only God could have created out of gut-wrenching painful circumstances.

How do you handle HARD when it lands on your friend's doorstep? Just Show UP. Click To Tweet

I found tremendous beauty in the way each friend’s gifting served a purpose for Kara and their group. God knit together these friends. This book is such an encouragement to women striving to be better friends in hard situations: cancer, death, miscarriage, divorce.

Kara and Jill both write with eloquence and gentleness. I was living this story with them. Maybe this story was gripping for me because I’ve had some similar hard in my life and close friends that I’ve asked to mother my children if something ever happened to me, but some is just the authors’ writing ability and openness.

Jill and Kara take turns writing in each chapter, but they both write stunningly, like water gliding softly over river stones. I caught myself feeling the weight of their emotions so dramatically I couldn’t catch my breath.

Jill discusses the delicate origami art of folding their feelings in and out of the circle of pain to support Kara and her family, caring for each other’s friendships with Kara as she struggled to be herself. How do you do friendship in the hard places of life and make every moment count? Just show up, an incredible story of faith and friendship and grace. You won't put it down.

They used their gifts and grace to show up for Kara and each other.

They showed up intentionally for Kara and each other through casseroles and funeral plans. Or ordered pizzas for us non-cooking introverts who are not spiritually gifted in the meal providing. Thank heavens for Little Caesars.

One page, I would be almost physically ill hurting and crying with them and the next my heart would soar with how God worked through that moment.

Each chapter ends with asking just two questions to help us be better friends and better receivers if we’re the friend on the hard side of things.

Bible verses and Godly perspectives pepper this book with more than just how to help a friend deal with a terminal illness, but also practical ways to be a help when sometimes we don’t know what to do or say.

Just Show Up reminds us that platitudes can be worse than silence and hugs are currency for hard.

Any friendship could benefit from learning how to be honest, gracefully forgive weaknesses, and find ways to bless each other through the tough parts of life, even when that doesn’t mean cancer.

I want to buy this book for every woman I know. Offering grace to our friends and to ourselves doesn’t always come naturally, and is needed tremendously by all.

This book shows how faith and belief, even when tested to the core, can bring us to the door with banana pudding and open arms when we say yes and just show up. Even if we can only show up via text message or phone calls and prayer.

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A Review – The End of Me by Kyle Idleman

Were you encouraged and inspired by "Not a Fan"? If so, The End of Me by Kyle Idleman will bring Jesus' teachings to life in a real way we can live today. Heaven Not Harvard

I’m an admitted book nerd. I can spend hours in a bookstore and need a bigger Kindle budget than I do for Target.  So I was giddy with excitement when my Amazon package arrived last Thursday.  I had pre-ordered The End of Me by Kyle Idleman, actual paper pages . . . ooh I was so excited.

But I got even more excited as I read the words of Jesus made real and relevant.

While not necessarily written to be a series or even sequential, I really felt like this book starts where his last book left off. Not a Fan asks us to get serious about being a follower of Christ, a true disciple, ready to get onto the playing field rather than cheering idly from the stands.

Ok, so now we’re on the field, now what?

Were you encouraged and inspired by Not a Fan? If so, The End of Me by Kyle Idleman will bring Jesus’ teachings to life in a real way we can live today.

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