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Friday, October 28, 2011

The Encounter, Stephen Arterburn

Wow. It’s 3 a.m.  I considered going back to sleep, after waking up at one thirty for just a few more pages. I started reading this book this morning, well, yesterday morning, and just couldn’t put it down. I even took it to the park, a walk, and in my truck to read between appointments.  The story, simple and of itself, presents as a mystery, people story – very gripping, pulls you in, fast paced – and urges you to want to know how it will turn out.  From the author, it is a parable about a combination of real life events, to help you identify with one of the characters, and to help you with where you are in life also. If you have a wall built up around you – and the anger, hurt, resentment is killing you – read this book. He talks a lot about walls, the ones we build. Perception. The story we think we know, may not be the truth. We walk though this man’s story – as he works to take down that wall.  I didn’t really come to personalize the story to me – until the final pages of the book.  Page 147 “But you have to go beyond the entitlement of resentment so you can have the freedom found in acceptance”.  This isn’t some big self help you’re going to be fixed book. It isn’t another book saying forgive and forget. It is the very forgetting from hurts long past gone that are causing the troubles. Seeing someone elses persepective, being willing to hear their story, without the tainted glasses of  how that story effects you. Drink it in. Finding a way to forgive through Mercy and Grace. Giving Grace – when you can’t find the emotions for forgiveness. Acceptance.  It is funny that the author is the creator/founder of Women of Faith – this topic of Perspective, Acceptance, and your Role in the Healing kept coming up a lot, and since, in all of my readings of books this past month, passages of scripture, it just keeps coming up.  Meekness. Mercy. Grace. Perspective.

Stephen has another book out about healing, I think I’m going to request it to review next. Again, this book isn’t a fixer type book – but something to help you see – what you may not have even been looking for.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion from  Again, Thank you Book Sneeze, and thank you Stephen.

From the Publisher:

Book Description

A wealthy businessman travels to Fairbanks, Alaska, to learn why his mother abandoned him when he was a child, and in the process learns that not everything is as it appears to be.

The Encounter, the unique new book from best-selling author and counselor Stephen Arterburn, is a moving parable involving Jonathan Rush, a wealthy and famous entrepreneur, who is tortured by bitterness toward his mother who abandoned him when he was four. He travels to Alaska to find her but instead meets an enigmatic old woman known only as Mercy. Mercy has the information he needs but is strangely reluctant to talk to him. Somehow Jonathan must find a way to persuade a frightened woman to unlock the secrets of his past.

The book includes an invitation to the readers to verify the facts of their own stories, to accept the reality of their existence, especially the most painful ones, and to live in forgiveness. The end result is a healthy new way to look at life with an ability to share hope with others for the future. Healing is possible but requires truth, acceptance, and forgiveness, including of oneself.

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