Tag Archives: disability

Beyond Suffering Bible

Suffering. Most of us shy away from the word, let alone the reality. Our modern world is obsessed with avoiding suffering. The evidence is everywhere…from the commercials for prescription medications, to pain relief gadgets and gizmos, to the prescription drug addiction epidemic…the message is ubiquitous and unanimous: we deserve a life free from suffering! Enter real life. Suffering, whether physical or emotional, is part of this human experience. We all will suffer at some point in this life.

I know a bit about suffering. I’ve struggled with the emotional pain of depression most of my life. I know the pain of divorce. I’m the mother of children with disabilities. At the height of my (beloved) career, I was diagnosed with a progressive neuromuscular disease. Now I’m confined to a wheelchair.

I was given the chance to get a complementary copy of the Beyond Suffering Bible from Tyndale in exchange for a review and, I can honestly say, I wasn’t optimistic about this Bible being able to speak to my situation. Even though I know the Bible addresses suffering, I had no idea HOW MUCH it had to say. I really LOVE this Bible. It is filled with insights into Biblical topics that relate to disabilities and suffering.

From the user’s guide in the Beyond Suffering Bible:

“The Beyond Suffering Bible is for people who want to understand what it looks like to think and live like a Christian in the midst of suffering.

This Bible is for caregivers, family members, ministers, and others who work with and serve alongside suffering and disabled people. These people will find insight, encouragement, and practical help for understanding what the Bible is saying to them about how to love, serve, and uplift the people God has placed in their lives.

This Bibles is for the person with a disability or any suffering person. These people will find opportunities to engage with God, meeting him in the midst of their suffering, learning how to go about living beyond their suffering, and being transformed into a person who can be a bright light for Jesus just as they are.

Really, this Bible is even for ordinary Christians who care about the suffering of others and have questions related tot he theology of suffering but don’t know where to turn for answers

Everyone can benefit from understanding what the Bible has to say about disability, understanding the theology of suffering, and getting a biblical perspective on issues of bioethics and the church’s role in alleviating suffering.”

Joni Erickson Tada knows a thing or two about suffering. Click here to see a video Joni made about this Bible or go to beyondsufferingbible.com for more info!

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Rich in Years: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Long Life

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Even if you are not elderly, there is something to love in the book Rich in Years by Johann Christoph Arnold. While some of the chapters address specific issues (nearly) exclusive to the elderly, most of the topics discuss things that all of us will face at some point in our lives. If you or a loved one are facing a serious or life-limiting illness, or if you’ve lost a loved one, you will find wisdom and encouragement in this easy-to-read book.

Mr. Arnold addresses issues without demographic boundaries such as “Accepting Changes,” “Finding Purpose,” and “Keeping Faith”. Topics that are pertinent to individuals and families faced with serious or terminal illnesses include “Living With Dementia,” “Moving Forward,” “Finding Peace,” “Saying Goodbye,” “Continuing On” and “Beginning Anew”. Topics aimed at anyone who is advanced in years include “Growing Older,” “Accepting Changes” and “Combating Loneliness.”

I am living with a disabling and life-limiting illness and I found Mr. Arnold’s words to be quite encouraging:
It is only when we dwell in our past, using our old measure of self-worth, that our bodies seem decrepit in comparison. If we look at what we can give, rather than our limitations, we will be able to accept our new role.
When I was diagnosed I was still relatively physically functional and able to continue in my career. Eventually, the disabling effects of my illness made it impossible for me to continue and I had to leave the job that I loved and that had, to a large extent, defined me for nearly two decades. Changing that role has been the hardest part of my illness. I felt lost and extremely depressed for quite some time. I have come to the point now where I can accept my new role, but it was extremely difficult. There is wisdom to “letting go” without “giving up.”

If you are elderly, or have an elderly loved one, I encourage you to read this book and share it with them. I’d also recommend the book for anyone facing a serious, life-altering illness or injury. There is much wisdom here!

I received a complementary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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