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Still Wrestling: Faith Renewed through Brokenness Paperback – April 10, 2018
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''All of us have had to deal with pain at some level in our life's journey. What an incredible opportunity we all have to grow from the life of Les Ferguson! There is no better guide to dealing with the doubts and questions that come from life's tragedies than Les. Follow his ongoing journey of insight and understanding as he writes about Still Wrestling. You will be blessed for the effort.'' --Al Robertson, author and speaker from A&E's Duck Dynasty
''Preachers are reminded to realize as we preach, 'There are troubles and heartaches on every pew.' Most people who read this will have experienced pain and searing loss. Those who haven't probably will. When it comes to heartache and tragedy, however, few people will even know anyone who has experienced anything approaching what this young preacher has lived through. . . . This book uses Bible characters and their experiences that parallel Les's own struggles as he comes back to full faith, all the way back to ministering to others. God forbid that you or I ever face the terror and loss Les faced, but reading this book will fortify you for whatever tragedy and loss comes your way.'' --Cecil May Jr., Dean Emeritus, Faulkner University
''This book is the best case study I know of to show that the meaning of a biblical text, to some large extent, depends on what we bring to the text. Ferguson brings to the text the gifts of his gut the loss, anger, anguish, longing, and doubt plus writing craftsmanship, imagination, humor, and honesty. The outcome for us is a fresh, rich study of the Bible that will connect with the deepest parts of our own guts. These texts will never sound the same. I am filled with gratitude for this book!'' --Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary
About the Author
LES FERGUSON JR. holds a BA in Bible from Magnolia Bible College and an MA in New Testament Preaching from Johnson University. Following a six-year Navy career, he spent twenty years in youth and pulpit ministry positions. After the double murders of his wife and disabled son, Les temporarily left ministry. He has since married his childhood sweetheart and returned to preaching at the Lake Harbor Drive Church of Christ. They have six sons and one grandson between them. Les has maintained the popular blog Desperately Wanting to Believe Again since 2013 and is a columnist for the Clarion Ledger.
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I’ve known Les for a number of years and have watched him from a distance as he’s worked on this project. “Worked on” is not the right phrasing. This book was labored on and crafted as Les struggled to reconcile his understanding of God in the context of the brutal double murder of his first wife and disabled son. And Les is brutally honest about his struggle in this book... a struggle that still continues to this day.
At its heart, this book is a character study in every sense of the word. It’s a study of characters from scripture as they themselves struggle with doubt and rescue... or the lack thereof. It’s a study of what it means to have character and be a person of character. It’s a study of the character of Les Ferguson, Jr. And, most importantly, it’s a study of the Character of God.
Les’s tragedy is pervasive in this book, but not overly so. In many ways, that tragedy defines Les and is the impetus for this writing. But one shouldn’t see someone obsessed by tragedy, which he’s not, or someone trying to capitalize on that tragedy for personal gain, which he is DEFINITELY not. What we find is someone who has been through one of the worst imaginable experiences that got knocked down, shaken, and disoriented and was brave enough to keep struggling with his faith and honest enough to share that journey.
I’ve gleaned several nuggets from this book that I need to ruminate on before sharing much, but the greatest initial blessing has been one of hope through renewed perspective. I’ve often tried to lead the way for my children and employees by working harder, longer, and more diligently than them as a way of saying “If this old man can do it, you can too!” In this vein, Les has become my mentor and leader. I have suffered loss and tragedy, but nothing on the scale that Les has. On every page of this book, my confusion and disorientation and questioning of the why and how of my tragedy was met with an understanding friend who helped me explore the topics and find some direction. Les doesn’t presume to give many answers... but what he does do is say, “If I can get through this, you can get through this!” And he’s right.
Thank you, my friend, for writing this book. My hope is that its message can, in some way, redeem the terrible tragedy your family experienced as its message brings hope to others. I know it has for me.