Month: April 2014

Every day…and yet…

Every day, it seems, there are new lines being drawn in the ecclesial sand.  New pillars of orthodoxy being erected.  New certainties formed and defended.

Every day, it seems, there is a new blog by a new prophet.  Another really good professor dismissed for coloring outside the lines.  Another progressive certain of her enlightenment.

Every day, it seems, there is an angry rant.  A volleying of theological grenades.  A confirmation of tribal beliefs not changed, only confirmed.

Every day, it seems, there is a new book.  And a quick rebuttal.  And pleads of, “We’ve read it right” on both sides.

Every day, it seems, students ask me, “What do you think?”  Pastors whisper in the shadows.  Prayers are sent for those really struggling, relegated to categories and tribal allegiances, and more often than not, to the shadows again.

Every day, it seems, I see a family torn by conflict.  I see digging in.  I see polarization growing.  I see curiosity and compassion diminishing.

And yet…

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Every day, it seems, I hear a student preach about Jesus dead and raised.  I hear a “Thank you, Jesus” in the Community Kitchen.  I hear a colleague say, “I don’t agree, but I’m so grateful for his presence.”

Every day, it seems, I’m refreshed again by a word from Augustine, a musing from St. Theresa, a wise word from John Piper or Brian McLaren.

Every day, it seems, pastors sit with wounded souls.  Therapists care for the abused.  Theologians “eat this book,” tasting and seeing and proclaiming good tidings of great joy.

Every day, it seems, I see people who choose curiosity over contempt, reflection over reaction, Jesus over judgment.  I see friends who are convicted, yet choosing to listen rather than speak.  I see brave souls who believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic church.

Every day, it seems, lions sit with lambs, and serpent’s don’t destroy, and dreams are dreamed by widows and addicts and orphans.

Every day, it seems, a young seminarian finds her voice.  Gray-haired elders speak words of life.  And the people proclaim, “Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again.”

Every day, and yet.

Toughest People to Love :: What Reviewers are Saying…

Grateful for these reviews of my next book, Toughest People to Love

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John Ortberg
–author of Who Is This Man? and The Me I Want to Be
“Chuck DeGroat combines thoughtful reflection with psychological learning and spiritual vision. This book will give wise guidance to anybody who is called to lead.”

Steve Brown
— author of Three Free Sins: God Isn’t Mad at You
“Sometimes one discovers a book so helpful and profound that it never collects dust on one’s bookshelf. Toughest People to Love is that kind of book, and I will refer to it often. Here you will find accurate, insightful diagnosis and practical, biblical remedy. As a difficult person who deals often with difficult people, I find this to be a wonderful and life-changing book. Read it and be glad!”

Justin S. Holcomb
–Episcopal priest, seminary professor, author
Toughest People to Love is overflowing with wisdom and compassion. This is a book that I need personally, that I will assign in my seminary courses, and that will be an important resource as I develop leaders for the diocese in which I serve. . . . It is part self-awareness guide, part handbook on soul care, part leadership treatise, and part consultation on dealing with difficult people in the church.”

Dan B. Allender
–author of The Wounded Heart and Leading with a Limp
“This brilliant book is a road map through the morass of convoluted relationships we all face in our families, neighborhoods, work, and ministries. . . . I wish I’d had this indispensable resource — a life-giving well — much earlier in my life. I will return often to it.”

Fred Harrell
–senior pastor of City Church San Francisco
Toughest People to Love will make you a better leader, pastor, parent, and friend. But more than anything else, this book will guide you down a path of personal renewal and give you a new trajectory in your own journey to wholeness and integration. This is a book to read again and again as we seek to love the beautiful and broken people in our lives, including the person we see when we look in the mirror.”

Eric Johnson
–director of the Society for Christian Psychology
“This wise and winsome book on leadership takes us on a journey into the challenges and complexities of difficult relationships – with others and with ourselves. Reflecting the Christian wisdom that suffering can lead to human flourishing, DeGroat points us to the rest beyond bodily rest found paradoxically in the solitude and the deepening community with others that together center us in God.”

Tyler Johnson
–lead pastor of Redemption Gateway Church, Mesa, Arizona
“Chuck DeGroat clearly understands the realities of pastoral ministry. This book is both theologically robust and practical and therefore takes a well-rounded approach to human formation. It will substantially help those who want to understand what Christian leadership, counseling, and friendship really mean.”