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Blessed Are the Misfits: Great News for Believers who are Introverts, Spiritual Strugglers, or Just Feel Like They're Missing Something Paperback – November 28, 2017
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About the Author
Brant Hansen is a radio host who has won multiple National Personality of the Year awards. He also works with CURE International, a worldwide network of hospitals that brings life-changing medical care and the good news of God’s love to children with treatable conditions. Brant currently lives in Northern California with his wife, Carolyn; his son, Justice; and his daughter, Julia. He can be found at branthansen.com and @branthansen on Twitter.
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Reading this book like sitting in room listening to Brant Hansen talk to you. His voice comes across naturally and conversationally.
Of special note to me was the chapter talking about how Hansen and his wife visited a church's adult Sunday school class, and they were ignored. Hansen wasn't famous during that first visit. But when he visited that same church six years later, he was recognized and applauded because by then, he was a famous name on the radio. Oh, what "the church" is missing!! What about the people who are ignored who never become famous?
Then there's the chapter talking about the guy who -- EVERY DAY -- took care of severely disabled kids who could not even go to the bathroom. That was his ministry! If he listened to all the flashy preachers telling him he needed to go evangelize and participate in their "programs," that man might have felt guilty. What a mistake so many preachers make. They mean well, but they are missing much of the bigger picture. Thankfully, the man described above remained faithful to what God called him to do, serving God in ways many would miss.
The modern American church is not anywhere close to what is described in the Scripture. Hansen doesn't criticize anyone for missing that boat ... he simply tells stories that make you think. Reading this book will (hopefully) cause you to think about how you're living out your CHRISTianity.
BONUS REVIEW: My introvert wife also read this book and has more to add to this review. She said:
"I absolutely LOVE this book. Five Stars. Ten if it were possible. For all the people who give it a lower rating, they are probably not like Brant Hansen, nor me. Brant described the inside of my brain like nobody has ever got it before.
"I got a couple of chuckles. I teared up several times. It was so refreshing to realize that someone else gets it like I get it.
"Chapter 2 is a beautiful portrait of why us "misfits" are adrift. He explains the Last Supper -- how it is a wedding proposal in the Jewish tradition -- Jesus is proposing to His bride. After the proposal, the groom goes to his father's home to prepare a place for his bride, and they don't see each other until the wedding. They are bound together legally -- but they are apart. It's a beautiful picture of why those who are not "touchy-feely" sense a disconnect in churches today. We aren't missing it. We're actually getting it in ways that other people don't. When our Betrothed is away from us and we can't be with Him, we feel the separation.
"Those who are 'introverted' ... or perhaps more "intellect-heavy" rather than emotional ... will gain hope from the chapter titles alone. Every one starts with, "Blessed are the ...." And then he explains why. For example, even those who can't pray the way we’re “supposed to” are still blessed. And yes, those of us who don't blend with the modern church's extraverted giftings, we are still blessed.
"This book will restore hope for anyone who feels guilty for not fitting in. For those fellow believers who watch videos instructing Christians to warmly embrace others, and come away from those videos feeling guilty because it's not in their DNA to do that, take heart! God has called you to do what God has called YOU to do!! Do not listen to MEN saying that 'You need to do __X__.' Listen instead to what GOD is telling you to do.
Brant has Asperger's which is a form of autism. This condition affects his ability to feel emotions we take for granted. Perhaps because of this, Brant confesses that He has never "felt" God's presence. He often lacks the emotional "highs" other believers talk about. While this has been a source of great guilt and frustration, Brant has learned to seek God on a deeper level than feelings, and has realized that we are not judged by what we are feeling or our emotional experiences but by the fruit of our actions. Are we showing love? Are we obeying the commands of Christ? Brant encourages us to make more effort to show genuine love to those around us rather than just inviting people into an emotional experience.
Emotions are a gift and there is more to be said for the role emotions should play in our lives than Brant covers here. But emotions can also blind us, and I feel like the lack of emotions Brant can feel has in some ways given him clearer insight into life. He admits this book is not for everyone and some won't be able to relate. I feel things much deeper than Brant does, but I could sure relate to his questions of doubt and his search for something real. His conclusion is that God is good, even when we don't feel it. And even when His followers completely miss the point and get distracted from the heart of Jesus's teaching, Jesus continues to heal and pursue the weak and the outcasts. This book is highly recommended.