- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Crossway (January 19, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781433522437
- ISBN-13: 978-1433522437
- ASIN: 1433522438
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 63 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Practicing Affirmation: God-Centered Praise of Those Who Are Not God Paperback – January 19, 2011
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“Who needs a book about affirming others? For starters, I do―and I suspect you do too. Too many of us use most of our words each day for criticizing and complaining. My friend Sam Crabtree, on the other hand, is a practitioner of affirmation. To meet him is to be encouraged. His words, both in person and in these pages, are thoughtful, intentional, and full of gratefulness. If you find that your communication lacks encouragement, if you want to grow in affirming others, if you plan to say any words at all today―please read this book!”
―C.J. Mahaney, Senior Pastor, Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville
“Sam lives what he preaches. I’ve never forgotten a short, hand-written note of God-centered affirmation he sent me years ago, having met only once briefly. His words not only encouraged me personally at the time, but have influenced our ministry in a significant way ever since. I am grateful for this book―if no one else needs it, I know I do!”
―Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author; Bible teacher; host, Revive Our Hearts
“When it comes to affirming and encouraging others, some people come by it naturally. For the Christian, we come by it supernaturally. However, even the most mature believer must hone and cultivate the act of affirmation―that’s why this new book by Sam Crabtree is such an invaluable resource to the church. How do we effectively ‘build each other up in the faith?’ You're holding the answer in your hands!”
―Joni Eareckson Tada, Founder and CEO, Joni and Friends International Disability Center
“We all welcome words of affirmation. Sam tells us how the practice and power of affirmation will make a difference in the life of anyone, young or old. Practicing Affirmation will help you make a positive investment in your relationships with family members, co-workers, friends and neighbors, even the clerk at the store―even when people are difficult.”
―Bruce Johnson, President, SIM, Charlotte, North Carolina
“For over 30 years now I have watched my friend, Sam Crabtree, flesh out the truths he has written about in this book. My wife, children, and I have been blessed to taste firsthand the sweetness of the soul strengthening effects of Sam's God-centered affirmations.”
―Ron Wickard, Pastor, Richland Church, Mina, South Dakota
About the Author
Sam Crabtree is a pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he has served for over twenty years. He is a former public-school teacher and is chairman of the board of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He is the author of Practicing Affirmation. Sam and his wife, Vicki, live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and have two daughters and six grandchildren.
John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for thirty-three years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than fifty books, including Desiring God; Don’t Waste Your Life; This Momentary Marriage; A Peculiar Glory; and Reading the Bible Supernaturally.
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There were a few points that I was not sure if I agreed with Sam Crabtree or not, yet I still recommend this book as it did indeed widened my eyes to what affirmation is and how God expects us to apply it to the people around us. Crabtree supplies numerous examples of how we can affirm people in various relationships, including spouses, parent/children, teacher/student, and co-workers all the while doing so in a Christlike manner pleasing to God. I especially found Chapters 2, 3, and 7 enlightening and also Beevers' Decision Grid found in the appendices. Although Crabtree did a good job covering how to mix correction and affirmation in one short chapter, it would still be interesting to read a book on how to correct people in a Christlike manner (I'm sure there is one; I should do some exploring).
This is a beneficial book for everyone to read as we all deal with relationships and sometimes falter, resulting in lack of communication, over correctness, and selfishness. Hopefully, reading this will refresh you to seek out a glimmer of Christlikeness in everyone and affirm them for it.
Refreshed and encouraged, to the point of tears, was how I ended this book. I found the lofty goal of affirmation (lofty because I see in myself such incredible depths of pride and criticism) to be a more attainable one. I found Scripture after Scripture declaring to me the truth and necessity of affirmation as rooted in the very character of God. I found a practical list of examples to help when I feel stuck about how best to affirm another person. And I even found myself affirmed by the author as he somehow managed to describe traits I didn't realize I had and affirm them in me.
Every Christian should read this book.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. My only criticism is that the second half of the book was more disjointed than the first. This is due primarily to the fact that the author is addressing practical questions that might be raised about the topic, as well as practical suggestions about ways we can intentionally affirm others. The first half of the book really grabbed my attention and I found the second half less unified; yet, I'm not sure how I would change the book because the information in the second half is immensely practical and helpful, which is why I still give this book 5 stars.
The book is a short, easy read yet rich in content. Crabtree first explains that the purpose of the universe is affirmation - affirmation of God. Why praise praise others? "God is not given the praise he deserves when we ignore or deny the work he is doing in people." He then points out that affirmation is a key to relationships. A relationship can be warm due to the abundance of affirmation or it can close and grow cold due to the absence of affirmations. Much more than simply "feel-good" psychology he points out the scriptural basis for giving affirmation to others.
Four characteristics of good affirmations:
-Detached from correction
So why affirm others?
-People are more willing to listen to us when they have experienced the refreshment of affirmation from us.
-Affirmation lifts morale.
-Affirmation energizes people.
-Affirmation of others makes us easier to live with.
-Striving to affirm others puts us in the practice of looking at them positively-that is, looking for evidence of God's work in them.
-Affirmation showcases the character of God, giving him honor for being the kind of God he is.
-Behaviors celebrated are more likely to be rewarded.
-When we affirm God's image in people, God is glorified.
This was a fantastic book, much more than a "how-to", Crabtree describes the reasoning and all the nuances, and the things to beware of. For someone looking to improve on affirming others, I highly recommend this book. I'm probably one of the worst people at affirming others that I know so it really hit the spot. A neat little feature is at the very end he has 100 different ideas for how to affirm someone. Much more than a check list, this can be the fuel to get your mind whirring on its own.