I am convinced that between 1997 and 1999, my mom spent more money on copies of Mitch Albom’s non-fiction novel, Tuesdays with Morrie, than she did on groceries. Every time I turned around, she was tossing that little, lovely book out like a lifeline to everyone she knew who was fighting something fierce. Two copies followed me to Arizona State, and a third always waited on the guest room nightstand when I returned home.
That little but loaded collection of conversations between newspaper columnist Mitch Albom and his 78-year-old sociology professor, Morrie Schwartz, became a best seller because it tells—through
the words of a man dying from ALS—how to live robustly, how to love intentionally, and how to die courageously. It’s a book worth giving away because it’s a book with so much to give.
I’ve moved on from it now, though, and so has my mom.
Because Bo Stern has written a sturdier one.
Mitch Albom may have a deserved umpteen weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, but Bo Stern has a sword. And story told in words that give “a steady stream of honor for God’s goodness to
me, to my family, and to our world.”
Her first book, Beautiful Battlefields, released today, and last week I had the opportunity to take it all in through tears and cheers. From the front lines of her family’s battle with her husband’s ALS disease, Bo treks readers through important battles in the Bible and shows with tenacity, tenderness—and even Twinkies—that if the battles of the Bible are to be believed, then “God will win every war and redeem every inch of the fighting field.”
“We march in step behind a brilliant Commander,” she writes in the book’s conclusion. “He is not just a good God or a loving God; He is a winning God. When He fights, He wins, and if He is in our fight, then we will win too.”
Friends, listen to me.
This book is a foundation for battle. It’s practical, personal, and bursting with stories and biblical strategies to help you flourish in the fight. You need to read it now so that when you’re called upon to fight, you are ready the moment the first shot is fired.
Ready to see “the beauty God has hidden in the soil of your battlefield.”
Ready to march when you want to collapse because your perspective on pain says that “God’s work is always and only beautiful, and it will define [you].”
Ready to accept that your unfixable situation can and should be “shifted to the shoulders of Jesus.”
Ready to let God “use this battle to make you more beautiful than you ever dreamed you could be.”
Ready to lead others through your grief to Jesus.
“We too often forget that people will also follow our grief to get to Jesus. They will watch us on the day our spouse walks out the door or the business goes bankrupt or the child runs away or we receive an ominous diagnosis. They will watch . . . and they will look to see if the God we preached on our best day can sustain us on the hardest one. Many people cannot relate to outrageous success, but they can relate to tears and brokenness and sorrow. We all suffer, but those who know Christ should suffer with hope so that a watching world can see that He is a very present help in times of trouble. We may wish for a God who will keep us out of all affliction, but isn’t it wonderful to become acquainted with the One who goes with us into the heart of the fight, and then uses it for something beautiful?”
~Beautiful Battlefileds, Chapter 2
That’s wonderful indeed.
And so it goes that my mom and I will be giving Bo’s book away by the caseloads starting today. You can enter to win a copy for yourself in any or all of these three ways:
1) “Like”Bo Stern on Facebook and come back here to tell me you think she’s swell.
2) Subscribe to her blog and come back here to say goodbye since you will no longer need to read this blog because hers oozes brilliance.
3) Comment below with a favorite song that has helped you through a battle.
The more ways you enter, the more times your name goes into my ‘lil striped giveaway cup. Entries will be taken through Monday, February 18 at 8 PM. I’ll notify the winner on Tuesday.
Devour Bo’s blog
And, remember this:
“When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.”