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Wednesdays were Pretty Normal: A Boy, Cancer, And God [Kindle Edition]

Michael Kelley
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $9.99 What's this?
Print List Price: $14.99
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Book Description

“Wednesdays were pretty normal,” writes Michael Kelley, looking for a bright spot amidst the chemotherapy routine brought on by his two-year-old son Joshua’s cancer diagnosis. His book of the same name offers much to anyone who’s tired of prescriptive spirituality and would rather acknowledge and work through the difficulties of faith with some transparency.

Joshua battled and beat the disease, but not before his family had to reconcile what it means to believe in God despite a broken world. His dad’s personal account of that fight to survive sparks a larger discussion of how Christians must learn to walk in the light of Christ’s promises despite the dark shadows of earthly pain. Indeed, it’s pain that sometimes opens the door to a deeper experience with Jesus, an authentic relationship that holds steady even when life loses the comfort of normalcy.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael Kelley is a Bible study writer and editor whose previous works include Holy Vocabulary and The Tough Sayings of Jesus. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. Michael and his wife have three children and live in Nashville, Tennessee.

Product Details

  • File Size: 598 KB
  • Print Length: 267 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1433671697
  • Publisher: B&H Publishing Group (February 4, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0076CWEL8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,675 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book of 2012 March 6, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As a pastor I have to counsel many who suffer. Often I'm at a loss as to what to say. I know the right Scriptures to present. I can reassure them that our people love them and are standing with them. But unless I've undergone a smilar trial, what do I say?

What do I tell the parent whose child has cancer? What do I tell the wife who grieves the breakup of her marriage? What do I tell my own wife who recently buried her mother at a too-young age?

There are great, theological books on suffering. Books I've read, used as a basis for preaching, and have internalized. They are good. And yet they still seem sort of sterile in a time of personal suffering. There are also many good personal books that talk about

the trials of suffering. But many of these lack the Scriptural basis for walking someone through difficulty.

This is why I so enjoyed Michael Kelley's book, Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal.

Kelly, a writer, pastor, blogger, and director of discipleship for Lifeway, takes us through his own personal nightmare. One day, a doctor delivered the news that no parent wants to hear: "You're son has lukemia."

I'm a father of four children. The thing I fear most in my life is the serious illness, injury or death of one of my kids. It's the news I hope I never have to hear.

How do you handle this? How do you endure the endless tests, treatments, complications, financial considerations, etc when your young child has cancer? Kelly walks you through their story with authenticity, vulnerability, and hope. Kelly writes so well, so poignantly and personally. He breaks down the Scriptures teaching on trials and suffering in such an original and practical way. This is a book on suffering and hope that is not theoretical.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and Moving February 21, 2012
By J. Lee
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal, Michael Kelley takes you through his son's battle with childhood leukemia and his own subsequent struggle with his faith. As Christians, we are taught that all things work for the glory of God. While this is true, it's not always easy to tell yourself that when your son is diagnosed with cancer, you've lost your job, or are struggling with addiction.

This isn't a book written only for parents whose kids have or have had cancer. It's written for anybody whose life hasn't gone exactly to plan. It's written for anybody who has been blindsided by tragedy or radical life change. It's written for anybody who has struggled. It's written for everybody.

At times moving, eye-opening, and occasionally humorous, Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal deserves a spot on your bookshelf, be it real or virtual.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Moving - Especially for Religious Minded People August 23, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The title "Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal" describes how the Kelley family lived until their two year old son Joshua was diagnosed with leukemia. Their normal life was turned upside-down in the months ahead as their little boy battled for his life. As you might expect, Joshua recovered and today is a healthy and growing boy. Before you blast me for giving away the ending, the real story is about the journey, and the challenges they faced as a family.

Some books are good at asking questions and some books are good at answering them, but few do a good job on both. This book is one of those exceptions. We get to experience Kelly's inner feelings as he questions his choices and beliefs, and then finds the answers that support him and his family.

The main reason it is easy to connect with this book is because Kelly really asks the same kind of questions I would ask if my son had cancer. You can feel the pain of a parent wondering of their child will even live to see his next birthday. You follow the family as they describe their good decisions and their regretfully bad decisions.

The book is strong on religious overtones, but I don't think that would be a surprise considering that he holds a Master of Divinity degree. In reality, I think many people turn to God or a higher power when they feel helpless when facing a great challenge. It is the intimacy of Kelly's writing that really brings the journey to life.

On a personal note, I probably related to this journey more than the average reader because I lost my own son four years ago and experienced many of the same feelings while asking many of the same questions. This book will not be for everyone, but it will be a big lift to those who feel strong religious ties and are facing any great challenge of their own.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Joy In Suffering January 2, 2013
Format:Paperback
Some of the best writing, the writing that is most heartfelt and true, finds it source in life's deepest valleys. This is exactly the case with Michael Kelley's Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal.

Wednesdays were normal days for the Kelley family until they received the shocking news that their son Joshua, just two years old, had been diagnosed with leukemia. The normal life of this normal family was suddenly turned all around and upside down as their little boy battled for his life. The happy ending is that he won that battle and today is a healthy and growing boy. The journey, the subject of this book, is all the Wednesdays and other days between the diagnosis and the declaration that he is cancer-free at last.

There are books that are good at asking questions and books that are good at answering them but not so many that bring strength to both questions and answers. The joy of Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal is that it does both well, rather a rare combination. While this book has several notable strengths, allow me to point to just a couple of them.

The first has to do with the author's authenticity. Kelley asks the kinds of questions that so many parents may grapple with as they struggle through the reality of pain and disease and the very real possibility that their child may not live to celebrate his next birthday. This is not an abstract or academic discussion of suffering, but one that is authentic in every detail. Kelley invites the reader into his family's journey in both its highs and lows. Where he did well, he describes success, and where he did poorly, he describes failure. He humbly allows the reader to see both and through it all labors to point beyond himself.

The second strength has to do with the answers to those questions.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
Spiritual lessons learned facing cancer of his son. I appreciate Michael's honesty with his struggle to trust God during a very difficult time.
Published 28 days ago by Carol Herd
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy your own book and underline/highlight and mark it up - The best...
I got this book for free at my local online library and had to buy it- I just had to be able to underline, highlight and mark it up. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Ju-Ju Bug
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Thought Provoking
Michael Kelley is painfully honest about his thoughts as his son young son battles leukemia. If you've ever doubted God or if you have ever been angry at God, you will be able to... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jean A. Roberts
4.0 out of 5 stars How to have hope in spite of the circumstances
I read books like this because this is such a lousy world, that I drift into having doubts about God at times. Read more
Published 9 months ago by RDtoo
5.0 out of 5 stars Faith challenged and renewed
Just in the last few months, I've had 3 friends whose loved ones passed away, by cancer. One was stomach cancer, one was pancreas cancer, the other one was leukemia. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Yesuaini99
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for anyone dealing with chronic and/or serious illness
As someone who has both dealt with a cancer diagnosis as well as issues with chronic pain, I often deal with these kinds of questions and it's a common topic. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mary Jo Sminkey
5.0 out of 5 stars Words of encouragement through real life situations...
A wonderful story of a family's struggle with a life-threatening disease and God's faithfulness throughout the entire process. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Princessdi
4.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to see a sermon lived in a crisis - not quite what this is
The author understandably is writing after passing through an experience - I understand. I too faced a child with a major heath crisis with no easy solution or answers however the... Read more
Published 12 months ago by tim can
5.0 out of 5 stars Anything but Normal: A breath of fresh air
Wow. This book is a chronicle of the amazing grace and sovereignty of God in the midst of earth-shattering pain. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Jonathan
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book!
This book keeps your interest as you travel the road with this couple while their boy is taking treatments for cancer. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Betty
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More About the Author

Michael Kelley is an author, editor, and communicator whose previous works include Holy Vocabulary: Rescuing the Language of Faith and The Tough Sayings of Jesus. Born in Texas, Michael holds a Master of Divinity degree from Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. Michael and his wife have three children and live in Nashville, Tennessee.

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