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A Sacred Sorrow: Reaching Out to God in the Lost Language of Lament [Paperback]

By Michael Card (Author) & Eugene H. Peterson (Foreword by)
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Item description for A Sacred Sorrow: Reaching Out to God in the Lost Language of Lament by Michael Card & Eugene H. Peterson...

By investigating the lives of Job, David, Jeremiah, and Jesus, Card reveals how lament is a natural and necessary part of the human experience.

Publishers Description
God desires for us to pour out our hearts to Him, whether in joy or pain. But many of us don't feel right expressing our anger, frustration, and sadness in prayer. From Job to David to Christ, men and women of the Bible understood the importance of pouring one's heart out to the Father. Examine their stories and expand your definition of worship.Also available: "A Sacred Sorrow Experience Guide" (9781576836682, sold separately), to help individuals or small groups get the most out of this book.

Community Description
It's easy to praise God when things in your life are going well, but what about the other times? What happens when mountaintop experiences cascade into seasons of struggling in the valley?

God desires that we pour out our hearts to Him, whether in joy or pain. But many of us don't feel right expressing our anger, frustration, and sadness in prayer. According to author, musician, and Bible teacher Michael Card, our personal worship experience is not complete unless we understand the lost language of lament.

In A Sacred Sorrow, Card takes you through the Scriptures to show what your worship and prayer life has been missing. From Job to David to Christ, men and women of the Bible understood the importance of pouring one's heart out to the Father. Examine their stories and expand your definition of worship. Let your pain, questions, and sorrow resound with praise to a God who is moved by your tears. Winner of the 2006 Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) award in Christian Life.
Please Note, Community Descriptions and notes are submitted by our shoppers, and are not guaranteed for accuracy.

From Publishers Weekly
Card, a singer and songwriter, maintains that Christians have forgotten the language of weeping and so are "robbed of our true identity before God"; he prescribes an antidote through paradigms of lament found in Scripture. When sin and dire circumstances cause us to doubt God's hesed, or loving-kindness, lament is a proper response to despair. Without lament, Card claims, we cannot adequately confess sin, worship or experience another's pain. With this in mind, Card illustrates the hows and whys of sorrowful prayer in the lives of Job, David, Jeremiah and Jesus. Long on exposition (what does it mean that "the Word became flesh?") with a touch of speculation (David's personality is attributed in part to his being a youngest child), these chapters chart terrain that will seem foreign to proponents of easy, feel-good Christianity. Especially jarring are sections about imprecatory Psalms ("The righteous will be glad... when they bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked") and the book of Lamentations, which describes compassionate women boiling their own children. Card illuminates a neglected, difficult doctrine, in the process accomplishing his goal of providing "assurance that we can lament... and a fuller understanding of what that can mean." Appendixes summarize biblical and extra-biblical laments. (Feb. 13) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Awards and Recognitions
A Sacred Sorrow: Reaching Out to God in the Lost Language of Lament by Michael Card & Eugene H. Peterson has received the following awards and recognitions -
  • Christian Book Award - 2006 Winner - Christian Life category

Citations And Professional Reviews
A Sacred Sorrow: Reaching Out to God in the Lost Language of Lament by Michael Card & Eugene H. Peterson has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Ingram Advance - 02/01/2005 page 93
  • Publishers Weekly - 01/24/2005 page 240
  • Christian Retailing - 02/21/2005 page 15

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Item Specifications...

Studio: NavPress
Pages   207
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.04" Width: 6.02" Height: 0.57"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 27, 2005
Publisher   NAV PRESS #111
Edition  New  
ISBN  1576836673  
ISBN13  9781576836675  

Availability  89 units.
Availability accurate as of Nov 25, 2017 02:17.
Usually ships within one to two business days from Chambersberg, PA.
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More About Michael Card & Eugene H. Peterson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! MICHAEL CARD is an award-winning musician, performing artist, and songwriter. His many songs include "El Shaddai" and "Immanuel." He has also written numerous books, including A Violent Grace, The Parable of Joy, and A Fragile Stone. A graduate of Western Kentucky University with a bachelor's and master's degree in biblical studies, Card is currently at work on a Ph.D. in classical literature. Michael lives in Tennessee with his wife and four children.

Michael Card currently resides in Franklin, in the state of Tennessee. Michael Card was born in 1957.

Michael Card has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Biblical Imagination
  2. Daylight Bible Studies
  3. Daywind Soundtracks
  4. IVP Classics
  5. Quiet Times for the Heart

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Topical
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General
Books > Christian Living > Spiritual Growth > Spiritual Formation

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Reviews - What do customers think about Sacred Sorrow?

Sacred Sorrow - A Devotional Treasure  Dec 23, 2007
Sacred Sorrow by Michael Card is a devotional treasure and one of the most important books that I have read in understanding my relationship with God. During the past year, I have given away perhaps a dozen copies to grieving family members and others that I thought might read it.

Card studies lamentation in the OT and NT focusing on the characters of Job, David, Jeremiah, and Jesus. A key verse in this study is found in Exodus 7:16 [Moses said to Pharaoh] "The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the desert." The desert in this context is interpreted literally and but also figuratively. It is always in the desert that we meet and learn to depend on God. The process of lamenting is, in this sense, the walk in the desert that leads us to God.

Card's focus on lamenting is more helpful than the usual focus on the problem of pain. When we lament, we focus on our relationship with God. Focusing on our own pain is less instructive because we must get over our own self-pity before we can "look up" and see God. Card's focus on lament, rather than pain, is also more Biblical in that we observe Job, David, Jeremiah, and Jesus lamenting, not engaged in self-pity.

An important point that Card makes is that God promises to be with us (Isaiah 43:2). He does not promise to give us a care-free life or life without pain. When we pray, it is accordingly important to ask for and treasure God's presence. When our relationship with God is on solid ground, God's gifts are sure to follow.

In addition to Sacred Sorrow, Card also has an experience guide which is usefully studied by itself in addition to the book. I spent several months with these two books last spring after the death of my sister on the recommendation of a friend in my small group. Since then I have attended a seminar and concert given by Michael (both excellent). I also read another of his books, The Hidden Face of God. Of the books, I found Sacred Sorrow itself the most helpful.

A book you didn't know you needed  Oct 8, 2005
Mike has crafted a work on an issue of critical importance that nevertheless is largely ignored by the church. "Sacred Sorrow" is not so much a theological treatise as an intimate study of the vital place of lament in the lives of God's people in the past and today.

True lament always leads toward worship, turning one's focus from self to God. A way to true healing of soul and spirit.

In addition to the core material the author has included extensive resources giving insight and direction in learning the art of biblical lament.

His investment in careful study, meditation and writing make this book most worthwhile.
If you have asked God, "Why?" look for help here  Apr 29, 2005
I have loved Michael Card's music for years.His songs are not just musically interesting, but spiritually challenging. They make me think about who God is, who I am in Him,what does He want from my life, and how do I respond to the gift of salvation through Christ? I should have known that his books would be the same. He is not just a singer, not just an author, he is a scholar - and, fortunately, an eminently readable one. I came to this book through a recent personal tragedy. I thought I had long gotten past asking God "why" but this time, I asked, I cried, I accused - and reading this book, I find I am in good company. Card takes the lives of Job, David, Jeremiah, and Jesus and shows how desperately they use lament when communicating with God during times of great suffering. Each of these men had times in their lives when they asked either "why, God?" or "where are you, God?" I was challenged to see these men's lives, their faith and God's love for them and for me in ways I could never have imagined. In today's modern world of Christianity we have shortchanged God and Scripture by leaving out crying to the Lord from the very depths of our pain and souls. We instead settle for shallow answers such as "well, it must have just been God's will," "God must really love you to allow you to experience such a tragedy" and other really (in my opinion) stupid responses. When a child dies, for example, the family does not want to hear that "God needed an extra special angel," they want to cry out to God in the pain - why did you take our child? where were you when this happened? When we take the time to give voice to our pain through the lost language of lament, only then are we open enough to God for Him to reveal Himself to us and teach us how to worship Him. Life as a Christian was never promised to be easy, we are guaranteed to suffer - and we have to go to the author of life with the full force of our pain to ever find any peace. By our definitions, it was not fair for Saul to want to kill David, for Job to suffer his horrific losses, for Jeremiah to see the destruction of that which he loved, and especially, for Jesus to go to the cross. It is through lament and reaching out for God's grace and loving kindness THROUGH their pain that God could reach them, teach them who he is,allow them to return to worship and accept His will instead of theirs.It is through our lament that God can reach us and teach us more of who He is and remind us that we cannot see enough of what He sees to begin to define "fair." Some of these concepts are hard and need prayerful study, but the time invested is worth every second. Besides the Bible, there are three books which should be on every Christian's reading list - What's So Amazing About Grace by Philip Yancey, Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper, and A Sacred Sorrow by Michael Card. There are other WONDERFUL books and I can't stop reading, but these books can teach us to reach new, higher, and deeper levels in faith and love for God.
A Faith-Building Experience  Mar 30, 2005
Michael Card has written another excellent book that can strengthen your faith. He always has insights that first, make you think, "Where did he get that?" and then, after you check with the scriptural text, cause you to understand the concept better. He points out that some of the most towering figures of the Bible, notably Job, David, Jeremiah, and even Jesus poured out their laments before the Father. These laments often included feelings that even 21st century Americans have. It is comforting to know that these natural feelings can be expressed and have the potential to make a person stronger. How does my faith compare to these Biblical giants? I think I know now.

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