Thursday, July 02, 2009

Be Hopeful by Warren Wiersbe (thoughts)

Be Hopeful: How to Make the Best of Times Out of Your Worst of Times
By Warren W. Wiersbe
Copyright 1982
David C. Cook - Nonfiction/Bible Commentary

Have you ever read the introduction to a book and thought, "This is great! I'm going to love this!" but then you get into the actual text and find yourself wishing the author of the intro had written the book? Such was the case with Be Hopeful. When I read the introduction to Be Hopeful, I loved some passages so much that I quoted them aloud to husband and son. And, then I got to the meat of the book and it was like entering a foreign country.

A commentary on the writings of 1 Peter, the subtitle is (in my opinion) a little inaccurate. It's about looking forward to heaven and glory, but it's less about making the best of times out of your worst of times than it is about simply looking ahead to heaven and trying to find the good in your trials. The author uses Biblical references to describe how Peter went from being the man who denied Jesus to a fellow who looked forward to heaven and glory with such fortitude that we should use his letters as an example of how to get through tough times.

There are bits and pieces of this book that I like, but I have to be honest -- it's very dry. I haven't yet finished it and I'm not sure I will. At a mere 163 pages, I thought it would be a breeze. But, I'm not familiar enough with the passages Wiersbe quotes to just zip through the book. And, there are a humongous number of references. I think it would be better expanded upon, turned into a study book with lines for writing (at least for those of us who are just not knowledgeable enough). There are questions for personal reflection or group discussion at the end of each chapter and I thought those practically required group discussion. Personal reflection just didn't do a thing for me.

I was also a little bemused about the fact that it seemed like the author was telling me exactly what I should get out of the Biblical references. My feeling was, in general, that I wanted the author to expand upon his thoughts and share how he came to his conclusions. Biblical passages can be interpreted in many ways. Maybe I'm a little spoiled by Beth Moore, who often shares what scholars think and why she agrees or disagrees with them, but I want to know where an author is coming from when he says a specific verse or passage means X. How did you come to Conclusion X? Wiersbe shared some historical background and a little of the Hebrew etymology, but not enough for this chick.

If you're interested in studying 1 Peter, I'd suggest you read the sneak peek chapter in the previous post to get an idea if this book is for you. I wouldn't tell anyone to avoid it, but I think personality and understanding of the Bible may have a lot to do with what you'll get out of it.

In other news . . .

Finally, I can share a photo from the Memphis Zoo! But, only one, since I'm still unable to load the photos onto this computer. I had to get online on my little laptop and email this to myself, then save the image. Oh, the complications. But, here you go . . . one very hot, panting bald eagle:

I'm still reading and enjoying When the Good News Gets Even Better by Neb Hayden, but haven't decided whether or not I should put it in my sidebar. It's a 12-week Bible study, so if I do . . . the photo will sit there for 3 months. Think, think. Anyway, I'm still loving it. The daily lessons are absolutely wonderful -- nice and short, packed with info, not too much writing, inspiring, fascinating and sometimes funny. The author has a great sense of humor. I'm going to look for more writing by Neb Hayden.

I have to go pay the bills. Bummer. Hope everyone's having a terrific week!


  1. That eagle looks as if he'd love a little a/c.

    Too bad the book manages to be both dry and heavy handed. Peter is not my favorite disciple. Apostle? I confuse them.

  2. Carrie,

    Perhaps a dip with the polar bears would have helped the poor eagle recover.

    Oh, dear, now you have me confused. I looked. Apostle. Whew!

  3. Hmm, the book is not for me! :)
    And that eagle is looking really mad! ohh God, awesome shot you know! :)

    You have to be very observant to get expressions like these!

  4. Veens,

    Apparently, it wasn't for me, either. But, that's okay. That particular publisher seems to put out a lot of great Christian stuff that I enjoy. I guess you can't expect to love 100%. :)

    I think eagles just look mad in general. LOL Poor guy was so hot. He wasn't doing anything but sitting there panting. Every now and then, he'd close his mouth to swallow and then the tongue came right back out.

    Thank you!!! I need to send myself another photo or two to post. I got some good ones. We had such fun at the Memphis Zoo!

  5. I love the photo on the cover of that book.

  6. Booklogged,

    I do, too. It's lovely, isn't it?

  7. Exactly..... the Bible is a guide book for us - and each person interprets it a bit differently, and in a way - I think we are suppose too. God left us this amazing tool to help us. When people write on Biblical topics or people preach we have to remember they are giving their take on what they read and while some of what is said and written speaks to us, we have to remember we are all human and just giving out our version of what it means to us...
    Thank you for the review.... :)

  8. Sheila,

    That is exactly my thought process -- everyone seems to have a slightly different interpretation and that's not a bad thing. We take what we need from the Bible and apply it to our own lives in a way that helps us most as individuals -- at least, I think that's what we're meant to do! :) Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed my review!

  9. Excellent photo! Have you given up on Aminus3 for good? I might call it quits after my 365th post. We'll see.

  10. Les,

    Thank you! Not deliberately, but I decided I needed to back away from Animus3 until after July, simply because I overbooked myself. I don't miss it as much as I expected to, although I miss the people I was getting to know. I'm not sure I can handle two blogs, so I may shut down for good, soon.


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