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Beautiful Nate: A Memoir of a Family's Love, a Life Lost, and Heaven's Promises Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books (March 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451678517
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451678512
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #722,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“I’ve known Dennis for a long time and as a father I’m eager to read and learn what he has learned through such sorrow.” (John Eldredge, bestselling author of Wild at Heart)

Dennis Mansfield tells a poignant heart-rending story of a Christian family where everything was supposed to turn out alright, but didn’t. Dennis’s honest soul-searching narrative serves to challenge some of the unrealistic expectations and false promises of formula-driven performance Christianity. Yet there remains a hopeful note throughout—a redemptive God whose story is not done.” (Randy Alcorn, bestselling author of Heaven)

“An experience with addiction close to home: it’s lonely, scary, and can drive a family apart…unless God comes into this equation. This book will educate you on the real life of addiction and the impact on a family and how God can heal what seems permanently shattered.” (Pastor Tim D Remington, Altar Church CDA, ID, Director of Good Samaritan Rehabilitation)

Beautiful Nate is not a parenting book, but it will help you be a better parent. It is not a self-help book, but it will be helpful to you. It is not a theological treatise, but will help you wrestle with who God is. You will find yourself laughing at times, pondering often, and feeling tears as you live through life’s most cruel twists with Dennis and Susan. You will also see how God is meeting them, and in the process, I believe, you will meet God as well.” (Drs. Paul and Virginia Friesen, Founders of Home Improvement Ministries)

“Through Beautiful Nate, Dennis Mansfield’s very vulnerable faith journey, he teaches each of us this profoundly simple truth: soul-deep pain can be a great teacher forcing us to keep focused on our family and even more importantly, on our Lord.” (Bobb Biehl, Executive Mentor, Author)

“Although Dennis Mansfield’s book Beautiful Nate tells the heart-rending narrative of a parent’s unrelenting love for his son who struggled with addiction, it does not deliver a message of despair, but rather one of authentic thanksgiving. This book conveys a gut-level honesty that though Christian in principle remains very non-religious. It is an encouragement for all that we would not accept rejection based on the behavior of a person – but instead to love and give thanks for the glimpses God provides which illuminate the depth of who they truly are.” (Tri Robinson, Author and Senior Pastor, Vineyard Boise, Idaho)

“In Beautiful Nate, author Dennis Mansfield is painfully, brutally honest—about the life and death of his son, Nate, about grief and loss and failure—and still manages, convincingly, to point the reader to joy, hope, and fulfillment. It is about triumphing over grief and shedding crippling guilt. It is more than just a powerfully written book of remembrance and confession. Beautiful Nate is an affirmation of the faithfulness of Jesus.” (Bodie and Brock Thoene, authors of ICON)

“Nate was a beautiful young man, but like others his age he made some mistakes. In our precious times together, I was able to see Nate’s heart and understand his confusion. I grieve Nate’s untimely loss and believe the journey in this book will touch you—and bring hope to circumstances that are not often understandable.” (Melody Green, widow of recording artist Keith Green)

“This story of two men, father and son, and their unfinished journeys, is a Pearl bought at great price. It is a powerful book that looks at real life against the backdrop of a Christianity often painted in unrealistic colors. Regardless of your deep loss or disappointment, this book will leave you with renewed hope in our Savior’s relentless pursuit.” (David Ripley, Political Consultant, Pollster, and founder of Idaho Chooses Life)

“Nate’s story, as told by his father, will captivate the reader and help change the lives of many as they read how this loving family is working its way through the most difficult challenge that any family can face—the loss of a child.” (Skip Hall, Former Boise State Head Football Coach)

“It’s a rare moment when a leader openly admits that he and his family are imperfect. With refreshing candor, Mansfield reveals the imperfection that is residing under his own roof. Transcending the “self-help” and “how-to” genres, Beautiful Nate is a vulnerable, courageous, real-life account of a family that is shaken to its core. Dennis Mansfield demonstrates that goodness – and love – can prevail through the worst of circumstances. For those of us who seek to better understand the ‘big things’ in life—things like family, leadership, and parenting—Beautiful Nate is required reading.” (Austin Hill, talk show host, columnist, author of The Virtues of Capitalism)

“Dennis and his family have been through “quite the journey”—every step paved with many tears, every step paved with God’s unyielding faithfulness. In this book, Beautiful Nate, Dennis takes you along with him on that journey, and there can be no doubt that your life will be richer for it. You will grow closer to your own family, discover new strength for your own life-journey, and more than anything, fall all the harder on God’s most amazing grace.” (Bruce Marchiano, actor and author)

"Beautiful Nate captures the deep friendship and love of a father and son, as well as the subsequent difficulty involved in having that adult son be addicted to drugs. It also captures the hope that springs from being intentional as a family. The vulnerability and honesty of things that did not work is refreshing in Dennis Mansfield's work. There are no formulas in child raising. There is only the love of Christ which then directs everyhing else. Beautiful Nate speaks candidly and openly about this truth." (Gary and Norma Smalley, founders of the Smalley Relationship Center)

“I loved reading Beautiful Nate. It is very touching and compelling. So many of Dennis Mansfield’s observations are insightful. This book will be a great help to any family struggling to deal with the drug use of a child or the incarceration of a loved one.” (Pat Nolan, president of the Justice Fellowship (the Prison Fellowship affiliate working to reform the criminal justice system))

About the Author

Dennis Mansfield helped lead the fight for traditional family values for almost two decades while working in association with Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, and the Promise Keepers movement. In 2009 he helped form 8:4 Pictures, where he writes and works as an executive producer.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 41 customer reviews
Dennis is raw and transparent in sharing this very personal story.
Bonnie L. Taylor
For me, it's much easier to listen to audio books in the car than find the time to sit down and read a book.
Christy
Loving each other though every season is all we can do...and pray God will guide all of us.
Stacey Randall

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Christy on February 16, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For me, it's much easier to listen to audio books in the car than find the time to sit down and read a book. And, to listen to the author, who happens to be Nate's father, retell his story with such honesty and true emotion - it's absolutely compelling. Many times I found myself laughing or crying simply because the way the book was read. The stories of Nate's life are described in such detail that they become very real in your mind - like painted pictures - and you can't help but love him, his true friends, his religious mentors, and his family. In the end, I felt very close to Nate and I was grateful to his family for sharing their feelings, thoughts and memories, insight and wisdom gained from what was such a difficult experience. This book will truly bless you - especially if you've suffered the loss of a loved one from drug addiction but more because it tells of God's infinite love for all.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jason Cowles on March 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Thank you to the author for laboring to put this story in print so that we can share in his wisdom. Being an intentional yet fear-based father of three small children, I enjoyed how the author explained his decisions as a parent and humbly admitted his mistakes. This has helped my wife and I take a topographic look at our roles as parents as we endeavor to raise our children into adults. As I was reading, I couldn't help imagining my oldest son growing up as Nate did. Christ was mentioned at every opportunity and in every chapter as he should be. I will pray that God be glorified through the reading and transmission of this novel.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stewart D. Mclaurin on March 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I read this book in one sitting and found it to be insightful and inspiring. It is a vulnerable depiction of profound challenge told by one family and how the life of a family member can influence and inspire even after death.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kathy Wright on April 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My daughter forwarded her newest audiobook, Beautiful Nate, to me. She commutes a
great deal of her day throughout the Chicago area, teaching children the magic of music
with her wonderful voice. For some reason this book had touched her heart as she
traveled. She said it was the author's voice: the sadness and yet strength he seemed to
emanate as he told the story of his son's death and his family's survival. She said I
needed to read it. I needed to hear it. And so I listened until it was finished. If it had
been a book, I would say that I couldn't put it down. But it was a CD, and my old
boombox was serving me well.
The death of a child, no matter the age, is the greatest of losses. Parents lose the
dreams they had designed since the day they found out they were pregnant. They lose
ball games and dances and graduations and marriages and grandchildren. All the parts
of what would have been their child's future are shattered, gone. More than all that,
they lose the warmth of their child's hug, the brush of his hand, the smell of her fresh out
of the shower hair. That's why so many parents save unwashed pillowcases and
sweatshirts. The loss is tortuous.
When I finished the audiobook, I wasn't ready for it to be over. The father's voice, his
description of his oldest son's slow descent into the drug culture that swept his future
away, and changed the family forever, broke my heart. There but for the grace of God
go I, I thought.
My children were a bit older than Dennis and Susan Mansfield's and raised similarly,
albeit without the born-again Christian background. I needed to hold this book in my
hands and re-examine what Dennis had found to be his truth.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jill P. Jones on March 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover
"I've learned that what may appear to be the darkest times of our lives may simply be the background against which God is showing Himself to be the brightest of brilliant gems." ~ Dennis Mansfield

Dennis Mansfield and his wife, Susan, followed all the rules of Christian parenting promoted by conservative Christian experts. They never considered that their oldest son would die of drug-related causes at the age of 27. Even though they raised Nate and his siblings within an evangelical framework, the guarantees they believed in turned out to be void. Nate, rebellious and strong-willed, turned to a life of drugs.

Dennis Mansfield was a national leader in the pro-family movement of the 1990s. He was a man who followed God and loved his family but ultimately couldn't save his son. He learned a lot over the years from raising a son with a drug addiction, and he's sharing his story in "Beautiful Nate, a memoir of a family's love, a life lost and Heaven's promises."

Some might say this is just another book about a father's loss of a child from drugs, but this book is filled with hope, compassion and redemption. It isn't just for parents who have dealt with the loss of a child. It isn't only for those who have struggled with a wayward child in the midst of an addiction. It's about parenting in today's world for real parents who make mistakes but who desperately want the best for their children. It's about the truth--children sometimes make choices that don't mirror their parents' values. Whether or not you follow the parenting advice of James Dobson or Dr. Spock, life offers no guarantees.

If you have struggled with your own parenting style, Mansfield's testimony will free you from self-condemnation.
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