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Blessed Assurance: Inspirational Short Stories Full of Hope & Strength for Life's Journey Hardcover – June 12, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Literally Speaking Publishing House (June 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1929642121
  • ISBN-13: 978-1929642120
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,842,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Enjoyable, Moving and Inspiring Reading
A DEFINITE MUST READ!!!
The Impact of The Prayer of Jabez, Plus More!!!
Blessed Assurance: Full of Hope & Strength for Life’s Journey
By ESSENCE Best-selling Authors
Victoria Christopher Murray, National Best-selling Author of Temptation and JOY
The Best of Everything based upon Hannah
"…Pastor Ford hesitated for a second before she asked, 'Would you want a child if it wasn’t God's will; if that wasn’t His purpose for your life?’…"

Jacquelin Thomas, National Best-selling Author of Prodigal Husband and A Change is Gonna Come
A Sprig of Hope based upon Tamar
"…Her delicate beauty haunted him night and day, making her his one obsession…."

S. James Guitard, National Best-selling Author of Chocolate Thoughts
and Mocha Love
Lust and Lies based upon Samson and Delilah
"…Lustful rendezvous and misguided love have me lying in the bed while lying to a woman who I know deep down doesn’t really love me…."

Patricia Haley, National Best-selling Author of No Regrets and Blind Faith
Baby Blues based upon Sarah and Abraham
"…‘I know this is an enormous and, perhaps, bizarre request…I want you to have my husband’s baby’…."

Maurice Gray, Popular Author of To Whom Much Is Given
Traveling Mercies based upon the Good Samaritan
"…It was ridiculous for her to even think about getting any more involved, but she couldn’t help herself…."
Terrance Johnson, Popular Author of Shades of Black, Eyes of Faith, and Baptism of Fire

Sword of the Lord based upon Jephthah
"…I’m a fighter, a warrior. Wherever there’s a brawl, I try to be in the center…."

From the Inside Flap

With all of the chaos, confusion, and uncertainty of life, we all need to know of the blessed assurances that God has for our lives. Blessed Assurance is an enjoyable, empowering, engaging, and encouraging example of the everlasting truth that God can move us from heartache to healing, burden to blessings, depression to deliverance, and from trials to triumphs.

Fast-paced, witty, entertaining, and inspirational, the writings are modern day renditions of historical stories. In the short story, The Best of Everything, based on Hannah, you gain a better level of appreciation and thankfulness for what God has already done in your life, which will provide you with strength to endure in the midst of a crisis as well as give you patience as you await new blessings. Lust and Lies, based on Samson and Delilah, reminds us of the temptations of lust, the importance of honesty, the dangers of sin and the significance of repentance. Traveling Mercies, based on the parable of the Good Samaritan, teaches us not to place limitations on how and through whom God may send a blessing, and our responsibility to help people whom we often do not know.

Baby Blues, based on Abraham and Sarah, lets us better understand the importance of timing, patience, and consequences of operating in God’s permissive will versus God’s perfect will for our lives. A Sprig of Hope, based on Tamar, acknowledges that tragedy, sadness and betrayal are an unfortunate part of life, and yet ultimately there is healing, restoration and happiness if you place your trust in God. Sword of the Lord, based on Jephthah, confirms that your past can’t define you if you give your future to God and that everyone at some time or another needs to forgive.

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book and it's stories packed with themes full of Godly wisdom.
R.E.A.L. Reviewers
You can also read the modern day stories of Samson and Delilah by S. James Guitard, of Tamar by Jacqueline Thomas and of Jephthat by Terrance Johnson.
J.C. Wallington
It is an encouraging experience to read story after story of the grace, power and love of God.
R. Bridges

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J.C. Wallington on August 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Blessed Assurance by Victoria Christopher Murray and friends gives a "Nu Flava" to favorite Bible Stories. By modernizing the stories and bringing them into the 21st century, they prove that God's word is long lasting and things just have not changed that much. The same lessons learned in biblical days are the same lessons learned today.
If you remember, Sarah and Abraham were in their 90's when God promised that they would be blessed with a son. Sarah laughed at God and gave her handmaiden Hagar to Abraham to bear his son. Later, God fulfilled his promise to the couple and Sarah begat Isaac. In Baby Blues by Patricia Haley, Sarah Abraham is 50 years old and childless. Her desire is that her husband have an heir to his business enterprises, so she beseeches her best friend, Gayle, to have a child with her husband. Her husband, instead of believing and waiting on the promises of God, goes along with his wife's plan. Being out of the will of God's perfect plan can be problematic.
The greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself, your neighbor being anyone you encounter. You remember the bible story about the man on the road to Jericho. He fell among thieves and was injured. People passed by without helping him until the Samaritan came along. In Traveling Mercies by Maurice Gray, Matt is beaten and robbed at a rest area while traveling home to North Carolina. Among the people at the rest area are a minister on his way home from a revival, a gospel choir with a schedule to keep and a prostitute. A crowd of people witnesses the attack, but only one person stops their journey to help Matt. This least likely stranger stays with him at the hospital and helps him get back on his feet.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By BMAR on March 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This anthology is written by some of my favorite African American writers, particularly Ms. Murray, Ms. Haley, and Ms. Thomas. Each weaves a modern tale based on a biblical story. From "Baby Blues" based on the story of Sarah and Abraham, the biblical couple having a child in their golden years, to other stories including one based on the Good Samaritan and another on Tamar, we are treated to modern day adaptation of biblical stories of old.

Perhaps because I'm a long time fan of Ms. Murray, Ms. Haley, and Ms. Thomas, I found their stories fascinating adaptations of the biblical stories. I also enjoyed Maurice Gray's "Traveling Mercies" based on the Good Samaritan.

The other two stories by the male authors were less satisfying and are the weakest parts of the anthology. Both "Lust and Lies" by S. James Guitard and "Sword of the Lord" by Terrance Johnson were largely unsatisfying stories to me. Both of these stories had underdeveloped story lines and characters. At times "Lust and Lies" was very difficult to follow because of the lack of development and it was very hard to feel any connection to the characters whose actions and motivations were befuddling at best. "Sword of the Lord" similarly suffered from the failure of the author to develop the characters to the point that you feel invested in the story and its outcome.

Summarily, many of the stories leave you wanting more and wishing the authors had a bit more time to develop the storyline and characters, but that is always a hard balance in short story format.

Even given my criticisms I must say that one of the greatest aspects of this anthology is that it provides pure Christian lessons without sugarcoating the impacts of walking outside of God's will.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers on September 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Stories from the Holy Bible have always provided inspiration, spiritual guidance, and comfort. BLESSED ASSURANCE: INSPIRATIONAL SHORT STORIES FULL OF HOPE & STRENGTH FOR LIFE'S JOURNEY, a Christian Fiction anthology tells some of these same stories with a contemporary twist. All the stories are exciting reads and are well written, and while all of them were inspiring,the one that touched me the most was "The Best of Everything" by Victoria Christopher Murray. The message in this story is that we should be happy with what God has given us rather than harping on what we don't have.
"The Best of Everything" is based on the story of Hannah. At a glance it appears that that Hannah Covington is content. She has financial security and is married to the man of her dreams, but Hannah is very unhappy, she yearns for a child. Unfortunately, pregnancy does not come easy for her and she allows this desire to consume her, which starts to affect other areas of her life. This story is just one example of the spiritual food for thought that you will get from this wonderful collection of stories. I higly recommend BLESSED ASSURANCE: INSPIRATIONAL SHORT STORIES FULL OF HOPE & STRENGTH FOR LIFE'S JOURNEY, it is full of stories that will give readers inner peace and joy.
Reviewed by Simone A. Hawks
of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R.E.A.L. Reviewers on January 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Blessed Assurance, a title that reminds me of the hymn entitled Blessed Assurance with a stanza in the hymn Jesus is mine. In this compilation of short stories, the authors used biblical stories as a template for modern renditions of joy, love, freedom, and the perfect peace that comes when a man honors God as first place in his life. From Patricia Haley's Baby Blues to Victoria Christopher Murray's The Best of Everything, each story is chock full of God's wisdom and its application to our daily lives.
In Patricia Haley's short story, Baby Blues, the biblical story of Abraham and Sarah was used as a template. Would you even consider asking your best friend to be a surrogate mother for your child? Well...Without giving the plot away, the author Patricia Haley weaves a story full of the intricacies of human emotion.
In Victoria Christopher Murray's story, The Best Of Everything, the biblical story of Hannah was used as a template. What would you do if your husband's ex-wife was always throwing their kids up in your face? Humm...Through Hannah's story we learn that when you release negative emotion over to God, then wonderful happiness will happen in your life. Be kind to your enemies and see what great things God will do in your life.
I highly recommend this book and it's stories packed with themes full of Godly wisdom. The book includes study questions with each story, and is an excellent book for secular and Christian book clubs. I eagerly look forward to the next installation of Christian stories from these authors.

Helen
R.E. A. L. Reviewers
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