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Shattered Dreams: God's Unexpected Path to Joy [Paperback]

By Larry Crabb (Author)
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Item description for Shattered Dreams: God's Unexpected Path to Joy by Larry Crabb...

God's unexpected pathway to joy.
Learn how to look through life's tragedies and see the lavish blessings God has for you.

"Shattered dreams," writes Dr. Larry Crabb, "are never random. They are always a piece in a larger puzzle, a chapter in a larger story. The Holy Spirit uses the pain of shattered dreams to help us discover our desire for God, to help us begin dreaming the highest dream. They are ordained opportunities for the Spirit first to awaken, then to satisfy our highest dream." To help you understand this neglected truth in the deepest and most helpful ways, Larry Crabb has written a wise, hopeful, honest, and realistic examination of life's difficulties and tragedies. He wraps his insights around the bold story of Naomi in the Bible's book of Ruth. As Crabb retells and illuminates this sometimes disturbing and often profoundly touching story, we are shown how God stripped Naomi of happiness in order to prepare her for joy. And we gain an unforgettable picture of how God uses shattered dreams to release better dreams and a more fulfilling life for those He loves. Shattered dreams have the power to changes our lives for good. Forever.

Publishers Description
If God loves me, why does life hurt so much?

“A new way to live is available to us,” writes widely respected author and counselor Larry Crabb, “a way that leads to a joy-filled encounter with Christ, to a life-arousing community with others, and to a powerful transformation of our interior worlds that makes us more like Jesus.”
You'll see how God moves you from shattered dreams to better dreams to the highest dream– and the joy that comes from dreaming it.

This is a book that will...
draw you to your closest Friend,
help you discover your deepest
spiritual desires,
point you to your greatest hope,
help you face your deepest pain,
and invite you to your highest joy.

Join Larry Crabb on a life-changing adventure of encountering God in the midst of life's most difficult times. And learn to live beyond your Shattered Dreams.
Dr. Larry Crabb is the founder of New Way Ministries and a best-selling author, counselor, and psychologist who is known internationally not only through his many books, but also as a leading seminar and conference speaker for the past two decades. Some of his landmark books include Inside Out, Finding God, The Marriage Builder, and Connecting. He has been a professor at Colorado Christian University since 1989 and has also taught at Regent College, Grace Theological Seminary, and the University of Illinois. He had a private practice in clinical psychology for ten years. Larry and his wife, Rachael, have two sons and two grandchildren and live in Denver, Colorado.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: WaterBrook Press
Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.1" Width: 6" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.54 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 16, 2002
Publisher   WaterBrook Press
ISBN  1578565065  
ISBN13  9781578565061  

Availability  0 units.

More About Larry Crabb

Larry Crabb Lawrence J. Crabb, Jr. (better known as Dr. Larry Crabb) is a psychologist, author, Bible teacher and seminar speaker. Dr. Crabb has written many best-selling books and is the founder and director of New Way Ministries. He serves as a Spiritual Director for the American Association of Christian Counselors and since 1996 has been the Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence of Colorado Christian University.

Crabb was born in Evanston, Illinois, in 1944 and was a reluctant student of psychology until he began studying abnormal psychology and personality theory. During graduate school he experienced a period of deep scepticism before being guided back to the faith by Francis Schaeffer and CS Lewis. His renewed spiritual passion convinced him that Christianity had a more fundamental role to play in clinical psychology.

Crabb's first books were Basic Principles of Biblical Counseling (Zondervan, 1975) and Effective Biblical Counseling (Zondervan, 1977). He has since gone on to write over 40 further books; some of his more well-known ones include Inside Out, Finding God, Connecting and Men & Women: Enjoying the Difference.

He founded the Institute of Biblical Counseling in the early-1980s while on the faculty of Grace Theological Seminary (1982–1989). The institute has since been replaced with the School of Behavioral Sciences. The school was birthed out of his book Shattered Dreams (WaterBrook, 2001) describing Naomi's journey from the Book of Ruth. New Way Ministries (the "new way" from Romans 7:6), established in 2001, runs the schools/conferences.

Crabb was Adjunct Professor of Applied Theology at Regent College from 1998–1999, Chairman and Professor, Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling Program, Colorado Christian University, 1989–1996, Chairman and Professor, Graduate Department of Biblical Counseling, Grace Theological Seminary, 1982–1989 and in private practice for Clinical Psychology in Boca Raton, Florida, 1973-1982. He was also the lone psychologist at the Psychological Counseling Center, Florida Atlantic University[4] - Assistant Professor, Psychology Department 1971-1973 and Assistant Professor, Psychology, University of Illinois Staff Psychologist, Student Counseling Center, University of Illinois, 1970-1971. He received Teacher of the Year Award in the Psychology Department in 1971.

Dr. Crabb and his wife of forty-six years, Rachael, live in the Denver, Colorado area. For additional information please visit

Larry Crabb has published or released items in the following series...
  1. AACC Library

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( C ) > Crabb, Larry
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living

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Reviews - What do customers think about Shattered Dreams: God's Unexpected Path to Joy?

Fantastic!  Oct 24, 2008
This is such a great book! I've already recommended it to so many people. Very matter of fact and realistic, and therefore full of hope - continually pointing to the promises and character of God. I am so thankful for this book!
A Breakthrough Book!  Mar 25, 2008
Every once in awhile, we get a gift of a book from a talented author genuinely inspired by God. This is one of those books.

Larry Crabb in Shattered Dreams has the courage to tell us that God is not supremely interested in our being happy. This disturbs people, but it is 100% true. God wants us close to him, and to act like His son Jesus.

Larry Crabb uses powerful imagery to explain how God wants us to be holy and set apart to Him, and will let our lesser happiness shatter when he wants to grow us up in His Joy. Joy and happiness are not synonymous, and Crabb argues when we genuinely are more interested in pleasing God and spending time with him that getting our way, we will experience the Joy of God like never before.

This book is a must read for anyone who is serious about their faith and understanding the struggle between our own happiness and living out the will of God; once we "offer our bodies as living sacrifices" and "be not conformed to the pattern of this world", God will reveal His "good, pleasing and perfect will", and at that point, we experience the genuine Joy of God!
A hard read  Jan 30, 2008
The reason is because the author takes sooooo long to get to the point.

I could have read the last two chapters and gotten everything he wanted to say without slogging through the rest of it.

The final message was pretty good, but I believe this book is full of too much irrelevant information to recommend that people read.

The pastor at a church I attend occasionally was reading this and quoted from the book during a sermon. He expressed how much he liked the book. The passage he quoted seemed to imply the book was about something other than what it was. That's why I bought it.

But disappointment came within four chapters and I continued to read it hoping against hope that it would pick up. Well, as I said, the final two chapters finally delivered the message -- a message I pretty much already knew anyway (I read a lot, contemplate a lot, pray a lot and meditate on the Word a lot).

Just read the story of Job and you'll get it. Shorter read? Read Ruth, the book the author uses to make his case (weakly). You'll get more out of that than this.
For all who hunger and thirst...  Dec 22, 2007
It's interesting reading through the comments posted on this site books. Call me a pessimist, but I find I often pull up the low stars reviews first. I want to see what made angry or disappointed folks bother to post at all. Are they on a mission to save others from wasting their time? Are they trying to correct the author's theology? Or, are they merely wanting to contribute another perspective to a reading community?

I'm usually cautious when a review (positive or negative) becomes tainted with "reactionary vengeance". A good book is like good art. It is very individual. What bores one person to death will likely move another to life-changing tears.

I was loaned a copy of Shattered Dreams by a new friend. He was a Pastor for over 20 years. He did tons of counseling - free of charge - to drug addicts, religious burn-outs, poor and wealthy. For now, he needs a break from "professional Christianity". He is tired, fighting disillusionment, in a chasm of sorts.

So am I.

We are both wrestling an unseen foe in a fog. Struggling to keep the pilot light flickering on our faith, our passion for God, our "grasp" of the gospel as we have so zealously (and sincerely) tried to live it, share it, be transformed by it. Our sense of perspective and purpose seems to be slipping away. Like Naomi, we are inclined to snap, "Don't call me 'Naomi' (pleasant). Call me 'Mara' (miserable)."

I don't know that I blame God for the fog. At least, not in a final way. In fact, I have stumbled on to notions I never noticed before while in the thick of it. God's sovereignty. And, on its heels, God's faithfulness. And, attached inseparably to that, God's deep, mysterious goodness. A baffling, double-take kind of goodness.

I have always sensed (hoped?) that the fog (self-induced, life-induced and, perhaps, God-graciously-induced) was functional in its restrictiveness. Like a cast that heals a body by imprisoning it, I am beginning to hear in the fog an invitation. A whisper, really - but a clear one - to lean in or clench onto God in a way I haven't before. In a couldn't outside the fog. Like Jesus' analogy about the blind leading the blind, I have to admit I am certainly blind. Thus, I need a guide. Even the blind being led by a wise and loving Guide will feel uncertain at times, wobbly, untrusting, fearful, etc. I think this is one way of looking at Larry Crabb's message. God - through pain, suffering - brings us to a full embrace of our blindness and, equally, a complete surrender of our strivings (even the 'noble' ones).

This is not an insult to us as humans. This is not a "Woe is me! I'm a worthless worm" experience. This is a "I am made to find my sustenance in God". Like Jesus, we learn this type of obedience through "suffering". Through fog. This is not morbid, or dark, or emo. This suffering is not devoid of joy or, even, seasons of giddiness. Indeed, my deepest 'highs' have come in this condition.

Jesus put it plainly: God did not come for the healthy. God is the great Healer but He only heals the sick. God is the Great Provider but He only feeds the hungry. God is the Living Water, but He only quenches the thirsty. I think "Shattered Dreams" does an excellent job of illuminating this powerful and core reality in God.

One review said, in effect: "This type of God is like telling a child to return to an abusive father. I want nothing to do with this type of God". I didn't get that message at all. The big, fat difference in this comparison is the fathers. One destroys. One creates. One is imperfect. One is perfect. One is full of unmet needs and wrath. One needs nothing. One is perfect Love. And Love never fails.

I haven't finished the book so I may come to appreciate some of their comments better later. Still, I have already gotten so many nuggets of gold in the first 5 chapters to justify a lasting gratitude for Larry Crabb's insights. I will most certainly buy my own copy - to read again and again through the years. So many of the negatives seem to focus on Larry not giving us "application tools" for navigating these times. I think he does. The tool is to let God be God. Stay on the bike. I think Mr. Crabb feels that any clever acronym or "1,2,3 steps" would be artificial, manipulative and disruptive. On top of that, God would, if allowed, simply unmask these, too. And that's something awesome and glorious. To realize that the God of all creation invites us to simply walk with Him as He determines the path. And trust - because of who God is - that it will be all it should be, which, incredibly, is more than you or I can imagine or dream of.

If you want God (or, even, can only say you 'want to want' God), I think you'll benefit from reading this book. But read it slowly. Ingest even the shortest sentences. I have already been encouraged and taught so much. I have been ministered to and provoked to lean into God's sovereignty in the midst of the fog and, therein, taste joy. Thank you, Larry Crabb.
Insightful and moving   Oct 25, 2007
Insightful and moving, revealing an unexpected point of view. This will certainly provide you with a different perspective to consider. Well worth the read.

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