Tuesday, November 12, 2019

REVIEW: I Choose Peace by Doug Bender

I had the opportunity of being part of the street team and an ARC reader for the newest I Am Second book by Doug Bender, titled I Choose Peace.  This book gathers stories from many different individuals of diverse walks of life and uses them to describe the importance of faith and finding peace within the situation you're in - and most importantly, choosing to keep that peace.


Peace.  We are all looking for it.  We all need it.  Yet for many, it remains just out of reach.  Restless, discontent, lacking in purpose and direction, we feel its absence.  

But peace can be found.  I Choose Peace tells the stories of people who searched everywhere for fulfillment and wholeness but found it only when they put Jesus first in their lives.  Those who found contentment, happiness, and peace in the face of every kind of struggle include: 

  • Chip and Joanna Gaines
  • Kathie Lee Gifford
  • Albert Pujols
  • Shawn Johnson
  • Phil and Kay Robertson
  • Brian "Head" Welch
  • Lee Yih
  • Ben King
  • Eric Metaxas
  • R. A. Dickey
  • Jason "Propaganda" Petty
  • Lauren Scruggs Kennedy
  • Austin Carlile
  • Lynsi Snyder
  • Cody Garbrandt
Raw, compelling, and profoundly inspiring, the stories in I Choose Peace remind us that no matter your struggle, what you've done, or what's been done to you, you can still choose peace.  


Doug Bender is an I Am Second writer and small groups coach.  He developed many of the small group tools found at iamsecond.com and has coached churches, organizations, and individuals to use I Am Second groups to share the message of Jesus with their friends and family.  He also works with I Am Second's parent organization, e3 Partners, as a church planter and pastor in countries such as Ethiopia, Colombia, and the US.  Doug and his wife, Catherine, have four children: Bethany, Samuel, Isabella, and Jesse.  

Click HERE to purchase from your favorite retailer!


Being a follower of the I Am Second Facebook page, I was thrilled for the opportunity to review I Choose Peace.  These are stories from people you may recognize well; others may be new faces.  Many of them have already completed a "white chair interview" for I Am Second, and the book tracks their progress after that point as well.  Kathie Lee Gifford, Phil & Kay Robertson, and Chip & Joanna Gaines are some of the people I was most familiar with.  This book follows people who hit rock bottom and somehow kept falling; people who have had horrid childhoods, faced abuse and hardship, and still choose to follow God and seek peace in their lives.  Their stories are succinct, have impact, and are memorable.

One thing that I appreciated the most about the book was its organization: it divides the interviews/stories into like-minded sections, from people who have struggled with similar issues.  The book is very easy to read and follow, and its transitions are great.  

The themes surrounding this book aren't exclusive to peace, though: it portrays the importance of hope and seeking God even in harsh, horrific circumstances.  It portrays the need to remain faithful.  It is truly a great book for anyone who needs uplifted, anyone struggling with any amount of problems like addiction, abuse, anxiety, loss, perfectionism, body image issues - the whole nine yards.  
It was fascinating to read stories from so many people in so many different backgrounds and how, even though they might be wildly different, their problems ultimately stemmed from the same thing and were solved by one thing - their faith.  Even if you aren't struggling with something, it's a great reminder of God's sovereignty - how He has enough power to protect you, even in any hopeless situation, and how His plans work for your good.  Giving up the need to control every ounce of your life is where you choose peace. 

Are you planning on ordering I Choose Peace?  What are some ways that you have found peace in the midst of struggle?


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