Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Ragged Hope

About The Book:  Cynthia Ruchti Encourages Readers to Cling to Hope, No Matter How Ragged it May Be.  Seattle: It’s one thing to live with the consequences of your own actions. It’s quite another to live with the outcome of someone else’s choices. Regardless of what has happened in your life, there is hope. In Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices (Abingdon Press/July 1, 2013/ISBN: 978-1426751172/$15.99), Cynthia Ruchti offers an inspirational look into the lives of those who were dramatically affected by wrong or misguided choices, sins, offenses and crimes others committed.  Where is God when you are doing everything right yet, because of someone else’s actions, everything is wrong? Where do we find hope when it’s clouded by the ashes of other people’s choices? Ragged Hope is an insightful and hope-giving guide offering readers comfort and support, as well as encouraging them through whatever situation they may face, including the aftereffects of divorce, disease, drugs, drunk drivers, death, downsizing, disasters and bad decisions.  Ruchti, who has walked this road herself, assures readers that God is ever-present and offers unwavering love. There is hope, grace and a future in every circumstance—even (and especially) for those we did not cause but now live through. “How ragged is the hope you’re clutching? It’s no less valuable or essential than it was when it was new,” writes Ruchti. “Hope—true hope—is indestructible. It can be battered, but not extinguished.”  Ragged Hope’s dedication reads: “To the wounded, the worn, the wondering, and to those who let us see their scars so others can discover Hope’s hideout.” The book was written for survivors and for those who care about, counsel or long to make a difference in their lives. Vetted by professional counselors and caregivers, this is the one guide everyone needs to thrive, no matter what situation they may be facing.  After each of the 26 stories shared in the book, Ruchti includes reflection questions as well as prompts so readers can consider how to reach out to the survivors they know. Each chapter also ends with a scripture, offering hope and encouragement that God is with us, no matter what.
Other people’s choices don’t always have a life-changing effect on us, sometimes they’re merely annoying or mildly disturbing in the short-term. It doesn’t mean we don’t need grace to cope with their negative consequences. Ruchti gives readers perspective in these cases as well, interjecting humor as a relief valve when appropriate.  “When we stand in a muddle of misery someone else created for us, too weary to be creative, too worn down to embrace a trendy problem-solving technique or follow a seven-step plan to a new, improved life, we need an arm around our shoulder assuring us God hears, God understands, and He is not stingy with Hope.”  Join Cynthia Ruchti for a Facebook chat on August 1 at 8:00 PM EDT. Readers will be able to discuss the book, answer and ask questions, and win prizes. Watch the Cynthia Ruchti Reader Page on Facebook for details.  

About The Author:  Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels and novellas, nonfiction projects, speaking events and a history of 33 years of on-air storytelling through The Heartbeat of the Home radio broadcast.
Her books have been recognized by Retailers’ Choice, RT Reviewers’ Choice, Family Fiction Readers’ Choice, ACFW’s Carol Award nomination, and other honors. In addition to Ruchti’s four previously released books, her novel When the Morning Glory Blooms (Abingdon Press Fiction) released in April 2013, followed by Ragged Hope, her second non-fiction release in July. Ruchti has also written articles for numerous magazines and industry publications and currently serves as Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers.  Ruchti lives in Wisconsin where she spends her days diving into words, worship and wonder. It is her delight to serve on her church’s worship team and creative arts team. One of her greatest joys is helping other writers grow in their craft. Cynthia and her husband have been married for 40-plus years and have three grown children and five grandchildren.

My Thoughts On The Book:  It is one thing when hope is robbed by our own choices, but it is something else when hope is robbed by someone else’s choices.  Choices made by others can alter another person’s life forever, forgiveness can be hard and it can be even more difficult to forget.  Cynthia Ruchti's Ragged Hope is a godsend is a beacon for those who are trying to be tough in difficult circumstances not of their own making. There are several short stories in the book and each of them is a tale of betrayal, pain and loss.  The uplifting nugget buried there is found in the proof that God offers hope to everyone in all circumstances. He may not answer our prayers the way we pray them,  or remove our troubles entirely, but I promise you He will provide a way to get you through it. He will give you a future in spite of the actions of others.  Ragged Hope shows the reader that life is hard. Recovery is rarely easy and sometimes there is no recovery ever. The tough things that happen in life most often leave us wondering, “What just happened?”   The stories Ruchti shares are those teachable moments we find in hard life events.  Life does hand us bitter lemons to make lemonade with and with His help we can forgive, forget, and move on.  This book is a good read.  I would recommend it to anyone who has ever had to pick up the pieces in their lives as a result of someone else’s actions.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

1 comment:

Cynthia Ruchti said...

Karen, I'm not only grateful that you took the time to read the book, but grateful for your thoughtful review as well. Your comments touched my heart. Thank you!