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Blessed at the Broken Places: Reclaiming Faith and Purpose with the Beatitudes Paperback – September 20, 2016

4.9 out of 5 stars 12 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"Jesus’ Beatitudes are so familiar that we scarcely notice them. Marshall Jenkins has unpacked them in a fresh way that opens us to “wisdom from below.” He brings to his task wide reading, an armada of friends and allies, and a rich store of narrative specificity. Most of all he brings the wisdom of pain that shows us the deep truthfulness of these blessings. I anticipate that this is a book many readers will want to share with their friends in distress, and their friends will be grateful."―Walter Brueggemann, 1986-2003 William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary

"Blessed at the Broken Places. Brilliantly done! The author reveals the secret that it’s okay not to be okay. Even more, our brokenness is the doorway to God’s healing and wholeness. It is written with the credibility of one who has been there. And it points to spiritual practices to help on the journey through dark places. This book offers help and hope, encouragement and a sign post to new life in Christ."―Tom Lewis, D.Min, Former Director of Spirituality Program, Columbia Theological Seminary, and author of Finding God: Praying the Psalms in times of Depression

"Acknowledging the multivalent nature of the Beatitudes, Jenkins chooses to see Jesus' words through the lens of suffering, arguing not that God affirms our suffering, but that God does affirm the sufferer. Poetically written, woven with personal narratives, sound biblical exegesis, and theological insight, Jenkins invites readers to bravely plumb the depths of their own pain in anticipation that Jesus will meet them where they are but not leave them as he finds them. Blessing, after all, changes things. The reflection questions at the end of each chapter make this book ideal not only for personal use but for use in small groups, bible studies and a wide variety of settings. This is an important book for those who suffer and for those who care for the suffering."―Rev. Jill Duffield, Editor, Presbyterian Outlook

"I picked up Blessed in the Broken Places expecting a thoughtful exposition and application of Jesus’ Beatitudes. I did not anticipate a healing balm for my wounds. It has helped me understand that in all the places I feel broken I am already blessed. And it has helped me see how my very human life intersects God’s own suffering and blessing.―Rev. Chris Glaser, author of Henri’s Mantle: 100 Meditations on Nouwen’s Legacy and Progressive Christian Reflections blog at

"Marshall Jenkins encourages hope in us all by reminding us through the wonderful words of the Beatitudes that hope is alive! And we can always find God even in the darkest moments of our lives. He infuses these words with new meaning and through them builds courage to face our pain and embark on a journey of healing and wholeness. Thank you Dr. Jenkins!"―Beth-Sarah Wright, Speaker and Author of Me? Depressed? A Story of Depression from Denial to Discovery and Becoming Who I Am: Reflections on Wholeness and Embracing Our Divine Stories

"The Beatitudes form the heart of Christian wisdom, and Blessed at the Broken Places reveals how these teachings of Jesus remain vital and relevant for our time. By inviting us into a spiritual practice related to each Beatitude, J. Marshall Jenkins does more than merely explain the Beatitudes: he shows us how to live them."―Carl McColman, author of Befriending Silence and Answering the Contemplative Call

"Psychologist Marshall Jenkins has written a counter cultural book on suffering using the most counter cultural of all words in the Western canon, the Beatitudes. Far from stigmatizing suffering, he legitimizes it as a natural path to Real Love. Readers will instantly feel better in Jenkins’ honest and vulnerable thesis and reflection on the transformative power of suffering."―CeCe Balboni, MAT, EDS, Psychotherapist, Spiritual Director, and Chair of the Board at Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Washington, DC and Executive Director of the Emmanuel Center for Pastoral Counseling at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in Atlanta, Georgia

"The Beatitudes have given Marshall Jenkins a window into the world’s suffering, and his own. Brings together learned Biblical interpretation, commentary from many wise teachers, and hard-won personal insight into the timeless truths of the Beatitudes."―Gordon Peerman, author Blessed Relief: What Christians Can Learn from Buddhists about Suffering

"In a gentle and compassionate way, Marshall Jenkins, with clarity, presents the Beatitudes as a way to engage life's sufferings and joys as a means for magis, something more, in this life to experience freedom 'on earth as it is in Heaven.' Whether you find the Beatitudes a challenge or a comfort, this book is for you."―J. Robert Fitzgerald, Former Executive Director, Ignatius House, Jesuit Retreat Center

"The ancient wisdom of the Beatitudes comes alive in Blessed in the Broken Places. Through story, commentary and suggested practices Marshall Jenkins brings the Beatitudes into our 21st century world to touch our hearts and minds. This is a remarkable book."―Rev. Jane Vennard, author of Fully Awake and Truly Alive: Spiritual Practices to Nurture Your Soul and Teaching - the Sacred Art: The Joy of Opening Minds and Hearts

About the Author

J. Marshall Jenkins, Ph.D., is a writer, counseling psychologist, and spiritual director. Since 1987, he has served as Director of Counseling at Berry College and conducted an evening private practice. His previous books include A Wakeful Faith: Spiritual Practice in the Real World and The Ancient Laugh of God: Divine Encounters in Unlikely Places. He lives in Rome, Georgia, with his wife, Wanda Cantrell.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ SkyLight Paths; 1st edition (September 20, 2016)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 206 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1594736332
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1594736339
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 10.9 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.47 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.9 out of 5 stars 12 ratings

About the author

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I write to listen. In reading, may you feel heard in a way that helps you name your passions, quandaries, and convictions on the faith journey. As a psychotherapist and spiritual director, the experience and strength of others informs my writing; yet, my own vulnerability plays an important part, for more than advice from experts, serious people of faith need resonance with fellow travelers. As you read my work, may we face our challenges together in God’s compassionate presence rather than in a private dressing room where we try in vain to make ourselves presentable to God at an appointed meeting. God meets us where we are.

My published works include A Wakeful Faith: Spiritual Practice in the Real World, and The Ancient Laugh of God: Divine Encounters in Unlikely Places. Currently, I am writing a manuscript provisionally entitled, Blessed at the Broken Places: Reclaiming Faith and Purpose with the Beatitudes. This book will help readers hear God blessing them personally through the Beatitudes when they feel least worthy of blessing.

Customer reviews

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4.9 out of 5
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