Monday, July 4, 2011

A Place Called Blessing by John Trent and Annette Smith

An orphaned boy’s story of loss, love, and eventual acceptance by the most unlikely people.

Five-year-old Josh and his two older brothers lose their parents in a drunk-driving accident. A series of foster homes and a shocking tragedy eventually separate them, leaving Josh alone, angry, and distrustful of most everyone. At age eighteen, Josh strikes out on his own to find work. With only a high school education and few life skills, he is one step away from homelessness when Providence brings him to a place where he finds much more than physical shelter. For the first time in his life, Josh receives unconditional love and something every human being craves, the gift of "the blessing."

Includes an introduction and reader’s guide designed to identify and discuss the five elements of the biblical blessing that every person needs. Readers are shown, through the power of Josh's story, how to give this gift to their children and others as outlined in the more than one million copy bestseller, The Blessing.

My review:
This isn't a long book, coming in at only 158 pages of the actual story, but those 158 pages cover a lot. I wish the book had been a little longer, but I really enjoyed it. Though fiction, it is a very moving story of a troubled young man and how two very special people made a difference in his life.

Trent and Smith took the five elements from the book by Trent and Gary Smalley, The Blessing:

1) Meaningful touch
2) A spoken message
3) Attaching a high value
4) Picturing a special future
5) An active commitment

A Place Called Blessing was written around these five elements and show through fiction what we can accomplish by giving them to those we come in contact with. The end result is a very moving story that is definitely worth reading.

The book also includes several questions for thought and discussion.

I highly recommend this book and also The Blessing.

About the authors:

Dr. John Trent is president of and founder of The Institute for the Blessing at Barclay College. John is a sought-after speaker and an award-winning author of more than twenty books, including six books for children. He has been a featured guest on numerous radio and television programs across the country and leads The Blessing Challenge, a joint partnership with Focus on the Family and John and his wife, Cindy, have been married for more than thirty years and have two grown daughters, Kari and Laura.

Annette Smith is a novelist, nurse, and a master storyteller. Her first book of short stories, The Whispers of Angels, sold more than 100,000 copies. Annette has written four additional volumes of original short stories, two parenting books, and five novels, all set in small towns. Her fourth novel, A Bigger Life, was named by Library Journal as one of the best novels of 2007 and was a finalist in the American Christian Fiction Book Awards.

A life-long Texan, Annette lives in Tyler, Texas with Randy, her husband of thirty-one years, and an affectionate, shaggy mutt named Wally. Annette has worked as a registered nurse in a variety of settings. Her current home-hospice position gives her a unique position in the lives of relative strangers, and she often finds herself bearing solitary witness to intimate, behind-the-scenes situations full of grace and meaning.

A Place Called Blessing is available from Thomas Nelson Publishing.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson for the review copy.