Sunday, November 23, 2008

Booked for the Holidays - Week 2

Welcome to the second week of Booked for the Holidays! This week I'd like to tell you about a book that another of my favorite fiction authors has written. . . . only this is one of his two non-fiction books. Wielding his pen as skillfully as he does his scalpel, the author of this book, in less than 200 pages, cuts right to the heart of what the body of Christ sorely needs and reminds us that our calling can be summed up in one word.

The Cure by Harry Kraus, MD is just what we as believers need - "The Divine Rx for the Body of Christ - Life-Changing Love." I rarely mark up books as I read them, but this one made me stop and grab a highlighter. It is filled with truth, encouragement, and yes, conviction.

Right off the bat, Dr. Kraus gives a challenge that I daresay many of us would hesitate to take for fear of the answers we might receive:

Take time this week and ask the people around you if there is any observable feature that sets a person apart and lets you know that he or she is a Christian.
What kind of answer do you suppose you would get? Dr. Kraus asserts that it's generally a laundry list of things we don't do that defines us as Christians. It reminds me of the old saying from years ago: We don't smoke, we don't chew, we don't go with girls who do. So what should define us as Christ-followers?

By this will all men know that you are My disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35
Ouch. Of course, I knew I needed to buckle my seatbelt in the introduction when he said:

We've strayed from the essence that defines us....We're busy. Fruitless. And don't forget that admirable missionary trait, tired.

We are awash with conferences and filled to the brim with discussions about methods....too many congregations are mired in pettiness, arguing over externals, worship styles, and schedules. The heartbeat of the gospel gasps beneath arguments over dress, programs and budgets.

Source: The Cure, pp. 12-13

Now lest you think this is a philosophical book where the author just waxes eloquently about the problem, it is highly practical. Drawing from his expertise as a surgeon and the fact that believers are the body of Christ, Dr. Kraus diagnoses and prescribes treatment for the church in such chapters as Anorexia, Spiritual Insomnia, Failure to Thrive, and The C-word, among others. His chapter Finally Loving Me was phenomenal, and it alone was worth the price of the book. I highly recommend this book for all levels of church membership - from the "pew-warmers" to the preacher. Read it, take it to heart, and share it.

And although I recognize that I feel an extra affinity for his writings because of my nursing background, you don't have to have medical knowledge to benefit and learn from his writings. Nor do you have to have a stomach of steel. In fact, the parallels between the human body and the church as the body of Christ become more vibrant and awe-inspiring as you read.

Ah, yes, not only is it just what the doctor wrote, I believe The Cure is just what the Great Physician ordered!

Harry Kraus MD is a practicing general surgeon currently serving with Africa Inland Mission at Kijabe Hospital in Kenja. Writing about "Grace from the Cutting Edge," he is the author of eight novels and two non-fiction books. He and his wife have three sons.

Dr. Kraus also has a blog which "is all about God-talk, an honest inside scoop on Christian struggles, blood, surgery, keeping Jesus big and me small, the insidious and pervasive practice of domesticating Jesus and a picture into my writer’s life."

You can read an excerpt of The Cure here.

Now for the giveaway: Leave a comment on this post by 12:00 noon CST Wednesday if you would like to be entered in the drawing for a copy of The Cure. Those of you with the button on your sidebar or who link to this post this week get extra entries! I'll post the winner sometime around Thanksgiving.

Happy Healthy Reading!


View blog reactions


Robin Lambright said...

Count me in, sound like a great read!!!!

Mel said...

I wonder if I could read this without boohooing all over the sounds excellent.

Our Four Sons said...

I have really enjoyed the Harry Kraus, MD, books I've read so far. If you think this would be a good book for this counselor-in-training to read, please sign me up!

Lora said...

Greetings Linda! So nice to find you in bloggy world! It was a pleasure to meet you in SA. My daughters enjoyed the books you gave away at the Siesta Fiesta PJ party.
And thank you for this giveaway! I'd love to have my name included in the hat.

lmerie said...

We touched some on this tonight in Bible Study . . .

Count me in :)

Cathy Davis said...

Sounds great!

sara said...

sounds like a great book...count me in!!!

Erica said...

Wow. This book sounds amazing! I would love to read it.

Jules from "The Roost" said...

PLEASE count me in! It is just what I am looking for!

Carole said...

I have read some of Dr. Kraus' fiction and loved his writing. The Cure sounds like an uncomfortable, but inspiring, read. Thank you for the giveaway, Linda.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

windycindy said...

Hi, I so agree with the premise of his book! What a great read it would be. Our church goes through a lot of the pettiness. Please enter me in your delightful book drawing. Many thanks, Cindi

Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

Amen sister! Sounds like another great read...


Kim said...

Yes, please do count me in on this one! I need to go research this, but I know I've read some of his books before! This on would be a great challenge. Thanks for another awesome giveaway!

ps...I have your button on my sidebar, but I'm computer illiterate enough to have no clue how to do much of anything else. LOL!

Melinda said...

Count me in!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wanda said...

Oooo Oooo I can't wait to go to his blog and read up.

Great book too.
I'd love to win!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

What a clever theme. Please count me in. Does he speak to swollen eyeballs?

Karla Meachem said...

Thanks for sharing this book. I missed entering the contest, but I am thankful for a review that gets to the heart of the matter.

I'm so looking forward to reading his blog, as well as picking up some of his books to read!

Thank you!

Harry Kraus said...

Harry Kraus here. Thanks for all your wonderful words. One of the great ironies about writing about grace and undeserved love is that I can't take any credit! God's love for us is a constant, poured through the stream of grace and that means nothing I can do will make him love me more. Otherwise, I guess we'd find ourselves saying "for by wages you have been saved..." Have a blessed day of thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like there's a lot worth reading in this one!

Anonymous said...

I have your button