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on May 20, 2011 :
Blessings come in many different forms. For me, a blessing came in the form of an email from my good friend and sister in Christ, Lori Laws. Lori wrote a book entitled, A Blessing in the Storm…Muscular Dystrophy Messed Up My Life and Made me Whole Volume 1 and asked me to read it and write a review. I was truly honored. Now, she has graciously asked me to write a review on her new book entitled, A Blessing in the Storm Volume 2. What an honor! My friends, here is a review not written from my head, but from my heart. Lori Laws has Muscular Dystrophy. To read the beginning of her story you must read, “A Blessing in the Storm Volume 1. There are days when her body is so racked with pain that it hurts her just to move. She not only suffers physical pain she also goes through emotional pain. She says,
I don’t really understand why my body is broken. Physically speaking, everything is an obstacle course for me. Although the physical pain is there, it pales in comparison to the emotional pain I feel.”
We take for granted that we can walk, run, get out of bed, cook, clean etc. For Lori, when her body is in pain this is hard, if not impossible for her. Yet, she finds strength in the ONE who created her. GOD. It is her faith in God which gets her through each and every day. God has a plan and a purpose for Lori. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” “A Blessing in the Storm Volume 2″ tells of the emotional roller coaster that she rides daily.
God has plans for Lori’s life and they are evident. When you read her blog, Persevere, her books, “A Blessing in the Storm Volumes 1 and 2″”, and by listening to her, you know that God has a plan for Lori and she is following that plan. She is a living, breathing testimony of how a woman who has Muscular Dystrophy can live and enjoy life through the strength, grace and power of Almighty God. Yes, I am sure she has days in which she gets depressed, has doubts and does not want to continue on. I know the devil constantly tries his best to get Lori off the path God has for her, yet she continues to persevere through it all. She knows that God’s grace is more than enough to see her through.
Her book is full of encouragement. It is full of hope. It is full of love. Lori has graciously and lovingly shared her deepest most intimate details and pains of her life for all to read. She has bared her soul to us. Lori knows where her help comes from. She knows that she has to continually, “lift her eyes to the mountains from where her help comes. Her help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1,2.
Read “A Blessing in the Storm” and find hope, strength, peace and encouragement. She quotes an abundance of scripture throughout her book. She knows there is power in God’s Word. Lori knows when you speak God’s Word out loud, the angels hear your words and move into action.
Let me say this in closing, Lori is not only my friend, she is an inspiration to me. When I read her books, I not only fall in love with her passion for life, her strength and her faith, I fall in love with Jesus all over again. These two books have touched my heart in such a way that I know without a doubt Lori Laws will indeed lead many lost and hurting souls to Christ. When all is said and done, Lori will indeed say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith”. 2 Timothy 4:7
To purchase Lori’s books, “A Blessing in the Storm Vol. 1 and 2 please click this link: Smashwords.com
(excerpts taken from Laws, Lori. “A Blessing in the Storm Volume 2″, February 18, 2011. Smashword Publishing.)
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on April 17, 2011 :
“In order for God to take you deeper and most intimately into Himself, He must expose all in you that is not of Himself.” Lori Laws
A book review by Jack Norman
At a time when Christians are exposed to variations on the Gospel that emphasize wealth, prosperity and personal happiness, Author Lori Laws dares to say in her new book that the deepest growth in her Christian life has occurred while suffering the pain and debilitation of Muscular Dystrophy, emphasizing instead the spiritual riches of greater intimacy with God. “Adversity is the boot camp that refines our character,” she says. “My entire perception of God was transformed by suffering,” Laws continues. “I’ve discovered what it means to live by faith. Trusting God is a matter of the will, and has nothing to do with feelings.”
In her book, A Blessing in the Storm...Muscular Dystrophy messed up my life and made me whole Volume Two, Laws tells the story of an ordinary person in devastating circumstances who comes to know the extraordinary power of God and learn amazing truths of how God gives us true peace, freedom, and our real identity in Christ through pain and suffering. While the Christian church is divided on this topic Laws meets the subject head-on. With a voice of experience seasoned by the crushing pain and degenerative affects of MD, she shares with rare candor and compelling emotion her account of living with the disease that destroyed not only her abilities to perform everyday tasks but stole her cherished life dreams. Her journey is one of courage and faith where the darkest human realities meet the surpassing realities of God’s love and extreme mercies. She writes “I've had moments when I wanted to take my own life, but that's when Jesus stepped in and took it instead. Muscular Dystrophy just happened to be the vessel used to veer me off the destructive path I was on. It was a path where I measured my value and worth on my health and appearance. I was so broken, and this brokenness is what brought me to my knees. In the midst of the most severe storm of my life is where I found my Life-Giver!”
In her account of this journey through a storm of trials Laws describes an experience she calls a weaning from the world. “Being weaned from the world is no picnic. Nobody willingly walks down the road to Calvary. Calvary is the road that speaks of genuine brokenness and a crushing of self. God uses suffering to afflict the heart and conquer the mind.
Laws credits her suffering with MD for the spiritual growth and increased intimacy with God she has experienced. “I am greatly encouraged in the midst of my suffering because that’s where He (God) meets me. He reveals things to me that otherwise would not come if not for Muscular Dystrophy.”
She says. “In order for God to take you deeper and most intimately into Himself, He must expose all in you that is not of Himself. At first it seems extremely cruel to be cut off from earthly things and people we rely on for comfort and stability. But it’s in this time that the familiar sounds and voices from the world are exchanged for the peace and serenity that comes only from the throne of God.
In A Blessing in the Storm...Muscular Dystrophy messed up my life and made me whole Volume Two, Laws brings profound spiritual principles into practical application settings. She applies God’s Word where the hurt is and often it is in the pain that God’s Truth about the purpose of her suffering is revealed. “Only God knows all of the reasons suffering happens, but I know one of the reasons is so that we can comfort others in their time of pain……….another reason for this refining is so we will be able to pass on the insights we learn to others. It’s the way God works; a deeper dying to self has endless powers of multiplying life in others.”
This is an honest book by a writer who has been through devastating turmoil and has not only survived but prevails to tell her story of discovering diamonds of God’s Truth in the wilderness where she has been. She shares those Truths transparently with the unfiltered emotion of one who, like Jacob, has met both pain and God in life-changing, never to be the same again experiences.
She did not compromise her message to those who suffer and live with chronic pain and illness to avoid offending those who do not. Rather, she champions the cause of those who suffer by exposing every detail of her story that may bring them comfort at the risk of conflict and controversy for herself.
This book is a labor of love by an inspired writer leavened with pain and full of compassion for the hurting. Readers who suffer will find an understanding friend in the writer and will hear in her voice the authenticity of one who has been there, lived it, and walked where they live.
Many readers will likely find comfort, insight and hope; some may find answers to life-long questions; others may find controversy with her candor; but no one is likely to read this book without being touched and moved by the dramatic struggle of a child of God struggling through bedrock pain and agony, both physical and mental, to reconcile her suffering with her loving Creator and God, and not without reward: “…once we surrender and lay our self-will and pride at the feet of Jesus, a certain sweetness of the heart comes,” said Laws.
(reviewed the day of purchase)