One reader wrote that the one complaint he had about the book was that it wasn't written 25 years ago, when he went through his divorce. He went on to add that the book led him to many scriptures he didn't even realize were in the Bible. Another reader shared that she had actually purchased a number of books before somebody gave her this one, but after opening its pages she left the rest on the shelf, because of the relevance she found in the daily devotions offered in the Finding God set.
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Richard has written a compassionate, healing devotional for persons hurting from divorce. He speaks with a caring and understanding voice and ministers God's love, grace, and comfort while bringing understanding to God's Word.
To start with, while a great many Christians have undergone the pain of divorce, there is a surprising lack of spiritual counseling aimed at that specific experience. It's almost as if those who are going through this horrible experience are expected to accept their pain as penance. So it is rare enough to come across a book that genuinely counsels from the scriptures on how a Christian copes with the hurt, the grief, and the guilt of divorce. In this case, the counselor is a fellow sufferer. Richard Crooks has been through the pain himself and that adds a very special quality to the teachings found in this outstanding book. Finding God in the Seasons of Divorce is the first of two volumes that offers day-to-day scripture-based healing and guidance to Christians who, despite their best efforts and intentions, find themselves in a marriage that is falling apart. This is a book that has been needed for a long time and from what I have seen, it would be difficult to find anyone better qualified to write it. Richard has the education and training plus the experience as a pastor to offer sound spiritual and Biblically based counseling. But more than that, he is a fellow human who has suffered and who knows what you are going through. It is that quality that makes this an outstanding spiritual guide for very troubled times. If Volume One serves as a map through the painful valley of loss, I am most definitely looking forward to Volume Two and the hopeful future it should point to.
I highly recommend Pastor Richard Crooks' book Finding God in the Seasons of Divorce Vol. 1 for three reasons. The first reason is so that persons experiencing divorce can find a source of encourage and hope. Divorcees certainly have unique situations and pain including the loss of relationships, finances, and home, not to mention dreams. Richard shares his own personal struggles in a variety of settings. He affirms the pain and, oftentimes, confusion and gut-wrenching. But even in this time of loss, underneath are the everlasting arms of love of our savior. Richard points the reader to scripture and the lessons of encouragement, support, and comfort found only in the scripture. Secondly, every pastor and church member should read this book to better understand and empathize with those who are experiencing divorce so that we might be more sensitive and better able to appreciate those unique opportunities for ministry and demonstrate the love of God. After I read this book, I had a conversation with a friend; her son is going through a divorce. She shared with me some of the problems her son was experiencing with high doctor bills and problems with his ex-spouse not supporting his visitation time with his children. I gave her a copy of this book for her son to read and I told her that she and her husband should read it also. Lastly, everyone experiences loss of some kind: relationships, friends, jobs, etc. My husband passed away a year ago and many of the difficult times of the divorced person also are applicable to a widow. We had been married for 52 years. Holiday times, birthdays, special occasions are particularly difficult. My finances are less. Loneliness is an ever present shroud. Richard's book helped me remember that yes, sometimes life is hard, but God still cares, God still loves, and God still has a plan and purpose for my life. Everyone can benefit from reading Finding God in the Seasons of Divorce. Vol. 1. Have you divorced? Do you know someone who is divorcing? Have you suffered loss? This book will encourage and inspire.
From the beginning of this book, Richard Crooks writes many beautiful, almost lyrical passages. This in itself helps to inject the remembrance of beauty into sad and bitter times. He writes in the first person, which gives his messages sincerity and personal impact beyond what is typical for most devotional authors. He states explicitly that he is writing from personal experience, but you would know even if he didn't tell you. When he describes the agonies and challenges of divorce, he is clearly writing from memory and not from observation. The book is written in a day by day format, but the reader should take this as organizational rather than prescriptive. Every experience is unique, with a pace and sequence that cannot be predicted. Many of Mr. Crooks' passages are like flowers, unfolding with time to reveal what was hidden at first. The reader may want to dwell on a single passage for several days, or to revisit some on days that feel like setbacks. Indeed it is a challenge not to treat the devotionals like peanuts, devouring them all at once. Better to approach this book like a selection of fine chocolates, each one sweet with an individual essence that must be savored to capture the full flavor before choosing another.
I received this book for Christmas from a friend and it has been exactly what I was looking for. I had purchased a number of books in hopes of finding direction and healing and still had not found one that was really helpful. Because it is written from a perspective of someone who has experienced many of the same feelings I have felt, it has helped me recognize and value my response to the circumstances. I haven't made it all the way through the book yet because I have found myself re-reading many of the devotions. I have not found a single devotion that I could not relate to or did not agree with. It has been exactly the encouragement and help towards healing that I have needed. I would highly recommend it to anyone who has found themselves in the midst of a divorce and afterwards. Although I have been divorced almost a year I still feel I am in the process of finding out who I am again and this book has helped me immensely in that journey.