This book couldn’t have come at a better time in history, although the message inside is timeless! With all the vitriol and hatred that is spewing from the right and left, religious and non-religious, this side and that side, this book speaks of a better way…the way of shalom!
As you dig into the pages of this book, you will discover real-life stories of tragedy and triumph, raw emotion, pain, and unbelievable grace and love. Brandon shares his struggles with the very concept he is writing about, which only legitimizes the depth and understanding he has for finding peace in this age of outrage!
The further I dug into this book the more I realized that much of what I feel God has been pressing in my heart has been resonating in Brandon’s as well. The amount of anger and hatred coming from every corner of the earth, from politics to religion, and everywhere in between, is killing our ability to simply love one another. As Brandon states in the book, the idea of shalom is:
“the wholeness, completeness, and harmony of our relationship with God which then extends outward in our relationship with people and all of creation.”
To tap into shalom is to tap into the very nature of God and His hope that we will lead our lives and relationships with love and grace, leading to peace within the community we partake.
Brandon states later in the book:
“shalom is only and always fully relational and communal. It can never exist in isolation. It was meant to exist in community, in a larger family.”
You see, without relationships, this life has very little meaning. When we receive the love of God and the grace He freely gives each one of us, we can begin to love ourselves which in turn points us back to the relationships around us on a daily basis. We can then accept grace and also give grace to the people in our lives. And once we learn to receive and extend love and grace, we have an opportunity to experience the life that Brandon so eloquently discusses in this book – peace, shalom!
If any of what I have been writing about in recent posts, including this one, resonates with you, or if you simply desire to understand more about finding shalom in this world that is hell-bent on spreading hate and outrage, this book is for you! You will cry and laugh at times as you are drawn into Brandon’s story, his hard and beautiful times in which his circle of friends have been led into shalom through the heartache of tragedy and life. You will find yourself in this story, and will come out on the other side with words to express what you are feeling!
I will leave you with one more quote from the book that will likely hit each of our hearts in one way or another:
“As we hope for a future of peace, we become that very peace now.
As we hope for a future of forgiveness, we become that very forgiveness now.
As we hope for a future of reconciliation, we become that very reconciliation now.
As we hope for a future of grace, we become that very grace now.
As we hope for a future of mercy, we become that very mercy now.
As we hope for a future of love, we become that very love now.
As we hope for a future of shalom, we become that very shalom now.”
You can hit Brandon up on social media and buy his book at the links below. If we are to change the negative culture around us, we all need to be reading and applying these life-giving principles to our conversations and relationships. It starts in each of our hearts.
May we lead with love and grace and find shalom in the relationships we keep and the community we reside!
Grace, Peace, and Shalom my friends!
Find Brandon at:
Twitter – @brandonandress
Website – https://brandonandress.com/
Buy “Beauty in the Wreckage” HERE!