Cover Image: Beautiful and Terrible Things

Beautiful and Terrible Things

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Member Reviews

Couldn’t get into at first but I fell in love with it and was sad when I was done. He wrote with honesty about hard things and to get through them with Jesus . Highly recommended
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Wonderful uplifting story.  Thoroughly enjoyed this book. This author as new to me.  Well written and helpful.
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This was a beautiful book. Sad, heartbreaking at times, but always with a hope and comfort that with God we have a home. A beautiful home. While we live here in this world though, we have to endure many things. But the Lord, if we hope and trust in Him, He will help us through. He will help us endure through it all. Written by Christian M M Brady, this book, Beautiful and Terrible Things is a look into how we feel in this life after losing someone close to us. And he gives a good view on things, because he and his wife, Elizabeth, lost their child Mack suddenly, if we hold to Christ and His goodness. We may not understand some things we have to go through, but we’re not to here, sometimes. We will find out about it all on the other side with Jesus. And if we live in that it can bring us comfort. Quote from the book “It is understandable that we wonder and, in some cases worry, about what happens in between, after we die and before Jesus returns and unites heaven and earth. This was a question and concern from the beginning of the church, and so Paul writes, “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope” (1 Thess. 4:13). It is natural that we seek assurances and make speculations.” Thank you to #NetGalley and the publishers of #Beautiful andTerribleThings for the opportunity to read and review with my honest opinion.
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Beautiful and terrible things is a Christian's perspective on grief. We've all lost something and someone in life and we've been told it's because we did something wrong or left with so many unanswered questions. Christian Brady debunks those myths and offers tips and his experience on grief after the death of his son
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This is a difficult book to read as the author is explaining his heartfelt experiences as well as his Biblical knowledge and it is a little difficult to get into the book..  Excellent resource for those who are suffering loss and the wonderings of why and all the questions that accompany an untimely death.  Somewhat on a higher level in places but the basics are easily comprehended.  If you have experienced a loss, then this may be a good place to start to obtain information from someone who has walked the path. 
I was provided a complimentary copy of the book and was under no obligation to read or provide a review. The opinions expressed are my own.  Many thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book.
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Nicely written book. I have had a few losses in this last year. I know many have. It was a book I would try to read and go back to as I felt so many unjust things. It was a keeper. I let go of my rage and feel II can breathe.
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This is a book about the author's loss of his son and how he worked through his grief relying on Scripture and God's love. For anyone facing grief, this is a short book that may help with the process.
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Biblical reference for help when grieving.  Based on the author's personal experience and study of the scriptures.  Helpful for grieving not only death, but other losses.
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The title of this book caught my attention and I was interested in learning more about how dealing with suffering and grief. This book was fantastic in places and kind of hard to follow in others. In the places that were harder to follow, the passages were a bit too academic for this reader. The author shares his story of his young son dying and how he has dealt with it and how he questioned and even wrestled with God. He shows the reader that it is okay with God to question and that He invites us to question Him. The author also reminds Christians that pain, suffering and grief are part of living here and while it breaks God's heart, it's just part of the fall of man and will be used for good at some point in time,  maybe not on this side but most likely after He has brought the new kingdom into being. 
This book is timely considering the difficult days we are seeing right now. 

Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book for my honest opinion.
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Thank you, Netgalley, for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion! 

I'm not sure where to start with my review. I felt for the author. I didn't lose a child in the way he did, but I did have a late-term miscarriage with my twins and held my babies in my arms. I asked the same questions the author asked in his book. It is hard to not blame God for "letting it happen" and be angry at Him. This book certainly helps see things from a child loss survivor who hasn't lost his faith. The book more or less answers some of the questions parents ask after losing a child. I would recommend this book to those in my life who lose a child (or even any kind of loved one).
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What drew me to this book was my grief.  My son died from injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident  on Mother's Day 2018. My beautiful son gone and the tragedy of it all is the terrible thing I struggle with every day. What has gotten me through each day is my faith.  That is what this book is about a faith journey , surviving our grief.  The author shares his own "Terrible Thing"" which is the loss of his son. and with scripture added to emphasize that we are not alone in our struggle we have faith and hope.  This is an excellent resource.
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met Dean Brady in 2006/2007, when I was trying to decide between accepting a full scholarship to Ithaca College or joining his program at Schreyers Honors College at Penn State. I deeply respected his wisdom, calm, and selflessness then when he encouraged me to do what was right for me long term— even though that meant NOT joining him at PSU. 

I remain impressed by the supernatural grace with which he’s handled the tragic death of his young son, Mack, who I know from Facebook photos and anecdotes was a compassionate young man with a bright future cut short. This book is a glimpse into the faith that’s sustained Dean Brady and his family as they navigate this beautiful and terrible space of the already finished (through the work of Jesus on the cross) and the not yet (this waiting in a broken world that involves sometimes unfathomable suffering).

This book was so timely as I navigate my own grief and loss with my mother’s illness and many of the current events our nation is facing. This passage stuck with me as I grapple with Christians who excuse the words and actions of Trump and his supporters, or overlook racial injustice: “Like David, we must not offer various excuses or justifications for the sins of our society. We must respond with confession, repentance, and the commitment to be transformed by God. That is how the tragedy of the murder of four girls preparing for worship became the passage of the Civil Rights Act. That is how suffering becomes salvation.”

Overall, the book is a raw, real and honest reminder of the truth that, even and especially amidst grief: “Right where we are is right where God is.”

My thanks to Netgalley, the author, and Westminster John Knox Press for the advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
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It is utterly devastating to lose someone that you love. It is hard to breathe, think, sleep or even move. 
This is a book about grief, loss and moving forward with it. I liked this author a lot. Loved how he explained things. And I most loved his honesty. 

Lots of personal experience shared with even more biblical examples. 
Following up with reflection questions at the end of each chapter. I feel like this could be very effective as a bible study. I highly recommend this book. 

The author also talks about and dispels and or breaks down the meanings behind such comments as:

*”To grieve is a lack of faith” 
*”You can’t be angry at God” 
*”It is was it is”
*”It happened for a reason” 

Thank you NETGALLEY and the publisher for this ARC, in exchange for my honest review. ♥️
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At a time when the world is asking "why?" as we globally face an uncertain future and the daily reminders of loss, whether of contact with our loved ones, of employment or of freedom to travel, this book has something to say to us all. Christian Brady comes to us as a Biblical scholar and Pastor but rather than sugarcoating the problems of dealing with grief, loss and suffering with platitudes he presents us with a heartbreakingly personal account of his own journey following the death of his young son. His honesty is engaging, his scholarship is accessible and each chapter ends with a prayer and a series of questions for reflection which are at once challenging and uplifting without denying the pain associated with any kind of loss whilst offering the idea that we are not alone in feeling that pain and that a hopeful lament is a fitting response in responding to the beautiful and terrible things which are part of the human condition. My husband is a Vicar in the Anglican Church and when I read it to him whilst reviewing this book for NetGalley he immediately ordered a copy for himself and recommended it to a number of colleagues who speak with parishioners faced with grief and loss on a daily basis. A valuable resource professionally and personally.
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What happens to us when we die?  It is a question that every human that has walked the planet has pondered at one time or another during their lifetime, and normally comes to their mind when there is a death that hits close to home.  Delving deeper can help someone cope with the loss, which is exactly what happened to Christian M.M. Brady.

"We experienced the Beautiful and Terrible Things of this life," says Mr. Brady and sadly he experienced both in his son, Mack.  Losing a child is grief unimaginable, but the author used his pain and despair to dig deeper into his beliefs, and share how he has been able to cope with the biggest tragedy of his life.

"This book is my lament," but it is also a book filled with reflection and hope.  Each chapter ends with Bible verses, prayers, and reflection questions that bring that chapter to a rooted and more personal level.  The text doesn't come across as preachy but yet still shares the message of the Gospel from a place of brokenness.  It is heartbreakingly beautiful to read.

Honestly, I don't think there is a better way to share your faith than when you are faced with your own mortality, and I commend Mr. Brady for this text.  I cannot fathom how hard it is to lose a child so suddenly, and to write such a wonderful testimony.  I cannot recommend Beautiful and Terrible Things highly enough!
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Beautiful and Terrible Things
The author questions "why" yet knows God is sovereign. The story is honestly and vividly written.
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Beautiful and Terrible Things by Christian M.M, Brady  Brady writes this story after he loses his eight year old son to a blood infection. Brady who is a biblical scholar discusses how  others tried to console him over the loss of his son by saying the usual things such as it must be God’s will or He is in a better place, etc. He then goes on to explain how God is here for us when we are suffering due to a loss and that there are  acceptable and christian ways to mourn our loss.
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We can see and hear the beautiful things of this world. A beautiful prayer, a lovely song, a beautiful sunrise, and sunset, flowers growing, laughter, a warm hug from a friend or loving family member, a newborn child. But, once sin was let into this world, it is as though the good has been swept aside, and darkness has filled the world, and has given off less light so all we see are the terrible things. Evil, suffering from terrible pain, sorrow from deep down that cannot be abated from missing loved ones, and tears that won't stop from a broken heart still  grieving from someone passing. 

When I first began reading, BEAUTIFUL AND TERRIBLE THINGS, by M. M. Brady, it was so sad and it made me recall happy memories along with some sad ones. I was so moved by this book. One part in particular moved me to tears when the author talked about his son and how much he and his family were grieving. Those words touched my heart, they were so haunting! Then as he talked about the story of Pandora, and began to explain about evil and suffering, and how (hope) was left inside the box when the box was opened. Then he goes on to explain the biblical view of (hope). I like the biblical context of (hope). Especially through these challenging times. That part really enlightened me. And, something else that really touched my heart while reading this book are the prayers at the end of each chapter. Those lifted my spirit and made me feel good inside! Because we need our faith strengthened from time to time through prayer, and prayers from others bring us closer to God. Plus; The Reflection Questions at the end of each chapter gave me time to stop and think and reflect on what was discussed throughout the book, too. A great read.
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To those who experience death of a loved one or a temporary defeat, disappointment, let down
need time to grieve
Learn that although there is hardship, there are blessings
while there is suffering, there is also grace,

God, why?
Can you find comfort in His answer?
We should go back to the time where we wore armbands, so everyone knows we are mourning/suffering
I lost my breasts from cancer - How do I carry on?  In the time of my loss, let others be aware.

Each chapter is full of thought provoking scriptures and biblical perspective.
Ends with questions for reflection.  

Here is the world, beautiful and terrible things will happen.
Guide us to emotional and spiritual survival in this world.
God's grace is present in our lives.  Open yourself.
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Beautiful and Terrible Things is a thoughtful reflection on the juncture of suffering and Christian faith. Author Christian M.M. Brady explains that he experienced the death of a young son a few years prior to writing this book and has spent a great deal of time thinking on and studying the question of why such a terrible thing could have been allowed to happen to his family. There are a number of common responses to the related but broader question, "if God is good, why is there evil and suffering in the world?" Brady takes time to compassionately discuss what it means to grieve and his recommendations for doing so in a healthy manner. He tackles the questions of the sovereignty of God and the presence of sin, but ultimately returns to the quintessential idea that no matter why suffering occurs, it's more important to respond in compassion and love than with any number of theological debates. Scripture, according to Brady, does not give a conclusive answer as to why there is suffering in the world, but it does tell us that 1. God has not abandoned us 2. it is okay to grieve 3. we still have hope and 4. there are practical steps each person can take toward healing and restoration. 
I personally have not experienced the loss of a close family member (yet), and the raw emotion that is occasionally revealed in this book was somewhat lost on me. However, I appreciate the reminder that even in my small daily griefs, I am not helpless and lost, but can have hope. 
For more thoughts on suffering, particularly in relation to chronic illness, feel free to check out my blog
Thank you to NetGalley and Westminster John Knox Press for providing me with a copy of this book for review
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