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When God Breaks Your Heart: Choosing Hope in the Midst of Faith-Shattering Circumstances Paperback – October 1, 2008


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When God Breaks Your Heart: Choosing Hope in the Midst of Faith-Shattering Circumstances + Walking on Water When You Feel Like You're Drowning: Finding Hope in Life's Darkest Moments
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434767515
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434767516
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Author and pastor Ed Underwood delivers a message of faith and hope in answer to the painful question:  "Why is God letting this happen to me?" He expresses the depth of his own suffering relating to his own "why me?" questions as he recounts the details of his agonizingly painful condition of untreatable chronic leukemia. With clarity he describes how God brought him back from the dark days and nights of his own deathbed. He explores the story of Lazarus, whom Jesus resurrected from the dead, and his sisters, Mary and Martha, who experienced questions, doubt, and loss of hope over their brother's death, all of which led to deep spiritual insights and renewed faith when they realized God can do anything, even raise someone from the dead." 
G.D.W. © AudioFile Portland, Maine
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Ed Underwood is the pastor of Church of the Open Door, a ministry dedicated to helping people fulfill their purpose in life. He is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and has served as an officer in the United States Army and a firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service. Ed and his family reside in southern California.

More About the Author

I write about life in Christ from a unique perspective.

I wasn't raised in a religious home. Jesus ran me down with his love during the Jesus Movement of the 60's. I was a 60's radical who became a Jesus Freak.

I spent the years of my youth fighting fire in the Sierras as a member of the Fulton Hotshots. I served as an Army Officer. And then I decided to get some training at Dallas Theological Seminary.

Here's some other stuff you need to now about me:

--I live with a viscous leukemia that almost killed me in 2000, and then again in 2003.

--I'm too old, too tired, and too sick to keep doing stuff that doesn't matter.

--My life is about radical Christianity, radical community, and radical relationship.

I've been lead pastor of Church of the Open Door in SoCal for almost 20 years.

Oh yeah, I've written some books.

When God Breaks Your Heart has helped thousands take Jesus by the hand and walk through the toughest times.

Reborn To Be Wild is an insider's view of my revival--The Jesus Movement--the last great revival in America. I liked it a lot, but not many people read it. Maybe you will?

I just finished a little book, The Trail. It's an allegory an old fireman turned pastor who helps people discover God's will in the high country. I don't know where I got that idea.

Drop by and say hi. I'd love to help you in any way I can.

Customer Reviews

Anyone who is having sickness should read this book.
Joyce C. Mashburn
As few books do, it shares the raw story of facing unimaginable pain and living to tell about it.
AUR
Trials can make us doubt God's goodness, strength or love.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By AUR on October 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
As many books do, this book delivers a message of faith and hope. As few books do, it shares the raw story of facing unimaginable pain and living to tell about it. It confronts the honest doubts and questions that come when life falls apart. When God Breaks Your Heart is definitely a must-read; you won't be able to put it down.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Book gobbler on October 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
Wonderful book, full of insights, includes biblical references you don't have to look up if you don't want to. It's for everyone that ever felt hurt, not just for someone who has cancer like the author.
I normally give away books after I read them, I'm keeping this one in by bedside drawer. I've memorized parts of it, and I know I'll re-read it again and again.
What a gift to the reader!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By FaithfulReader.com on March 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Ed Underwood served others for many years as a pastor to hurting people, helping them through their darkest hours. Little did this man of God realize how harshly his own faith would be tested.

As a man of faith, Underwood shares his story of suffering and how he gave up on God one night after fighting the effects of chronic leukemia. With his loving wife by his side, who told him he needed to be quiet in his pleadings that particular evening because of the presence of their young grandchildren in the house, Underwood told her flatly not to worry. He wasn't praying any longer, for surely God in all His mighty sovereignty (if He indeed loved him) could stop this infernal pain. So why didn't God do so?

So begins Underwood's spiritual journey of despair, which jump-started at one intolerable point of physical suffering. Even though he continues to fight against this deadly, debilitating and frequently disfiguring disease, Underwood has passed from doubt to trust again. His story, written from the real trenches of the likes of Job's suffering, will challenge, encourage and light the way for countless other Christians who ask their own set of "whys" amidst tragedy.

Using the biblical account of Mary and Martha awaiting the return of Jesus when their brother Lazarus was dying, Underwood closely examines the emotional components of this intimate relationship and how Jesus used His friend's death to glorify God and draw Mary and Martha closer to Him. He rightly expounds upon how these sisters sent a report to Jesus of Lazarus's deteriorating condition when they should have offered direct, faith-driven, bold requests.

So should we.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
experienced some of the deep pain of life. If you've asked 'why?' this book is for you. This open, honest, thought-provoking look at the story of Lazaras and Ed's personal story is breath taking. I couldn't put it down for the first 105 pages and then only then, because my family insisted on eating dinner. There is healing in these pages. Ed has seen real life altering pain and lived through it to continue to serve.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Gerald Brennan VINE VOICE on March 10, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What's the point of prayer?

There are times when the question's hard to answer. It's easy to believe in God when life is going well, when you're well-fed and well-rested and full of love; it can be much harder for the sick and suffering--the prisoner facing a death sentence for a mistake that cannot be undone, the families of children taken before their time, the individual wracked with a debilitating illness who prays for help but still suffers.

Pastor Ed Underwood (the father of a close personal friend of mine) found himself in the latter category when he was stricken with chronic leukemia. A man of faith who had comforted many others going through life-shattering circumstances, he found himself beyond consolation. He asked a question common in such circumstances: What kind of parent would allow this to happen to a child?

But despite all the difficulties, he was able to find the strength to get through his trials--not because he had the strength, but because he was willing to ask God for it in spite of all of the suffering that had apparently been inflicted on him.

His insights on this process are remarkable. For one, he mentions that we often make the mistake of reporting to God--as if God were somehow unaware of our suffering and in need of a reminder!--rather than really praying and asking God for help. (For me, this insight alone was worth the price of the book.) An all-knowing God does not need to be reminded of our pain--but an all-loving God needs us to ask for help, because, like any loving parent, God will not force His way into our business, and will let us handle things ourselves if we say that's what we want.

Elsewhere, Pastor Underwood shares the lessons he gleaned from the biblical story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By P.T.L. on December 13, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a preciously honest and helpful book that I found to be one of the best books I have read in a long time. Ed Underwood has something unique to share, and I am so grateful that he cares enough for others' suffering to so honestly share his own journey of pain and deep anguish and how God led him to a glorious triumphant path, which could be walked on by many others too. And that is a truly good news!
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