27 January, 2016

Read the story that left Chris Tomlin speechless | {{Book Review}} Bronner: A Journey to Understand

Author and Bible teacher Sherri Burgess leads readers on her journey to understanding the purpose behind pain through the powerful story of her son Bronner’s earthly death. Using her rich, marvelous experiences of God’s works since her son’s heaven going, she provides comforting assurance that God truly is everything we need in this life. With a reader's guide in the back of the book, this makes an empowering resource for small-group discussion or book clubs. Bronner is much more than an inspiring story of faith in the worst kind of pain. It is a call to action and a beckoning to know our Holy God like never before!

*My Review*
Sherri Burgess's labor of love is so beautifully written & I couldn't put the book down until I reached the last page. There were times where I felt like I was sitting there having conversation . I want to thank Sherri for persevering and sharing her very personal story. "Bronner" is such a beautifully written, Christ-centered book filled with truth, Bronner is truly an offering to the Lord.. I encourage everyone to pick up a copy of this book. You will be changed after reading this book. I know I have been!

*Meet The Author*

Sherri Burgess
 is the wife of nationally syndicated radio host Rick Burgess of "The Rick and Bubba Show." They are both sought-after ministry speakers and marriage conference hosts.

A former news anchor turned author, Burgess is also mother to two teenage sons at home and two adult children. She currently serves on the school board where her sons attend, leads a girls' Bible study and volunteers with various organizations. Her heart is deeply committed to living out God's will for her life and helping others do the same. While her family may enjoy football, she enjoys her family. She also enjoys gardening and going on short-term mission trips. Her prayer is that the loss of her youngest son, Bronner, will continue to produce fruit for God for many years to come. The Burgess family calls Birmingham, Alabama, home.

I had the chance to arragnge an Author interview through through Litfuse Publicity. Below you will find my questions and Sherri's answers. I honestly cried, & got goosebumps when I read her answers. 

Me: Do you think the grieving is different for Christians than non-Christians?  How so?  

Sherri: The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4:13 that we are not to grieve as those who do not have hope.  I think that’s the key word - hope.  Death is painful for everyone whether we are Christians or not because the separation is real for us all.  What is different is that I, as a follower of Jesus Christ, believe with my whole heart that my son still lives.  He hasn’t vanished from existence.  I know exactly where he is, and I know that I will go to him as soon as the Lord calls me.  There is a glorious reunion coming for me and my son.  The thought of that time fills me with peace.  I am content to live in this world as it is - fallen and very painful at times - because I know it’s not forever.  There is a time coming when everything will be made perfect, and God, Himself, will no longer be separated from us.  There is so much glory in that hope, but there is also good that I have seen come even for the non-Christian in these types of circumstances.  Death makes those left behind begin to hope for something more than this world can offer and reach out to God, possibly for the first time.  I believe the earthly death of a loved one always turns people to God for answers in one way or another.  Sometimes, we get angry with God and turn away from Him for a time, but maybe we just have to work through all of our questions.  I pray my book can help answer some those of those questions.  For the Christian, this type of deep pain is meant to refine us, to humble us, and make us rely on God in ways we may never have otherwise.  For the non-Christian, it is meant to open hearts to the eternal and come to Christ for the first time.  For He, Jesus, is the only hope any of us have.  He is the way, the truth, and the life.  There is no other way.  

Me: What do you want people to remember most about Bronner and his story?

Sherri: I want you to remember that God loves you even when it doesn’t seem like He does.  Reach out for Him.  If you take just one step toward the Father, He’ll run to you with outstretched arms celebrating you with great joy.  God is real, and the door is wide open to Him. Sin must be dealt with, but God did that by sending His son, Jesus, to pay the price for our sin on the cross. All we have to do is believe it. Our faith in Jesus Christ saves us, not from pain and suffering, but from an eternity separated from God. God is everything that is good in life. He is light and life and joy and peace and love. In Him, there is no darkness at all.  I can’t stand to think of anyone separated from that wellspring of life for all of eternity. Take His hand right now and walk through the gate. Jesus is the gate to the Father. I’m asking you to believe in Him and then to dive in with your whole heart.  There are answers.  Bronner is in a place far greater than we, but if we are here, then that means fruitful labor for the Christian.  Make it your aim to point people to Christ in the same way my little boy has. 

Me: What has this experience taught you about the difference between your plans for your children verses what God has planned for them?   

Sherri: I’ve learned that God has created each person uniquely and perfectly according to His will and that each of us has implanted in us something of God’s character and beauty and perfection.  God is so vast and so infinite that it takes all of us to embody all of Him.  I have learned to treasure the unique qualities not only in each of my children but in everyone.God has a plan and purpose for us all, and His plans are good. Even the painful ones are good because they grow us, teach us, mold us into the good character of God that we were created for all along. It’s the sin in us that corrupts our character. God wants to root out the sin in our lives.  He wants to make us better, closer, greater than our human minds dare to imagine. Much of what I had planned for my kids was worldly, but now I desire nothing more than the Spirit of God, the Spirit called Holy, to reign and rule in my children’s hearts because God is good and His glory everlasting.  The world is fading away, the world as it is today.  God is creating in us a desire for a new world where sin and death and disease and poverty and war don’t exist.  I want that for my kids, and that is all that matters to me, that they will all be with me in eternity.  

Me: Do you find your thoughts about Heaven have changed since Bronner went there?

Sherri: What has changed is that I think about it at all.  We don’t think much about Heaven until we have someone there that we love with every fiber of our being.  But now that Bronner’s there, I think about it all the time.  I wonder what he’s doing, who he’s talking to, what it must feel like to look upon the face of God.  I wonder about the angels, all the other people who are there, and how perfect and beautiful everything must be.  It makes me so excited to go there especially knowing that Bronner’s there.  At first, I wanted to go to Heaven because I wanted Bronner, but over time, I realized that the best part about being in Heaven is God.  Jesus is our treasure waiting on us in Heaven.  He’s our inheritance, our prize, our very life.  Everything else is extra, and there are going to be a million extra things to celebrate when we finally get to Heaven. 

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