Book topics

Wellness for the Glory of God by John Dunlop, MD
From the Introduction: “What strategies can we who are getting older adopt that will maximize our chances to endure the challenges of our later days and continue to be well? Wellness depends on living with a purpose that goes beyond the here and now. Over and over I have seen that one way in which Christians can stay well in their twilight years is to keep their focus on God, his greatness, and his glory.”

Finishing Our Course with Joy by J.I. Packer
From the book: “…taking their cue from the world around, modern Western churches organize occupations, trips, parties, and so forth for their seniors and make pastoral provision for the shut-ins, but they no longer look to these folks as they do to the rest of the congregation to find, feed, and use their spiritual gifts. In this they behave as though spiritual gifts and ministry skills wither with age. But they don’t; what happens, rather, is that they atrophy with disuse.” p. 63

Being Mortal by Atul Guwande
From the cover: “Nursing homes, devoted above all to safety, battle with residents over the food they are allowed to eat and the choices they are allowed to make… he discovers how we can do better. He follows a hospice nurse on her rounds, a geriatrician in his clinic, and reformers turning nursing homes upside down. Being Mortal shows how the ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life—all the way to the very end.”

What Grieving People Wish You Knew about What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts) by Nancy Guthrie
From the cover: “When someone we love is grieving, we want to be there. But it’s easy to feel paralyzed, worried that we might say or do the wrong thing. Nancy Guthrie has personal experience dealing with pain and knows what words of encouragement are helpful and what words are harmful. Drawing from her own life experiences—including the loss of two young children—Guthrie has written this helpful resource for Christians who want to be better friends to those who are suffering.”

Holding On to Hope: A Pathway through Suffering to the Heart of God by Nancy Guthrie
From the cover: “We can never plan for the unexpected turns of this life that sometimes lead to great personal suffering. Sometimes that suffering can overshadow everything and threaten to pull us under. Nancy Guthrie knows what it is to be plunged into life’s abyss. Framing her own story of staggering loss and soaring hope with the biblical story of Job, she takes you by the hand and guides you on a pathway through pain―straight to the heart of God.”

Facing the Death of Someone You Love by Elisabeth Elliot
From the publisher: "Elisabeth Elliot's practical words of comfort will guide others through their sorrow at the time of loss and give them reassurance that their God will never abandon them. (tract)

Basic Questions on End of Life Decisions – How Do We Know What’s Right? Gary P. Stewart, and others
From the cover: “Advances in medical technology have blessed many with longer and healthier lives, but they have also provided us with interventions and procedures that call for serious ethical evaluation. This work is committed to an uncompromising respect for human life that will serve as a compass through a maze of challenging questions.”

LIFT Manual by Life Matters Worldwide
LIFT Coordinator Manual: A manual for those who will lead and coordinate a senior care ministry for their church: covers issues of death and dying offering practical suggestions and theological guidance for ministering to people who are aging and/or chronically or terminally ill. Gives a framework and strategies to implement a LIFT Ministry.

A Vision for the Aging Church – Renewing Ministry for and by Seniors by James M. Houston & Michael Parker
From the book: “We believe that the church is obligated to act as a countercultural, biblically based advocate on critical matters with regard to aging. Churches can and should promote the care and employment of seniors, healthy caregiving practices, caregiving support, late-life planning, aging-in-place initiatives and strategies for successful aging, and they should uphold the inherent value of dependent, disabled people. Many churches are “aging to death” because they are unable to attract younger members, and rather than taking an intergenerational perspective that would connect the younger members with more elderly members, some national denominations have dramatically cut their programs for seniors in favor of youth ministries.” p. 43

The Art of Dying by Rob Moll
From the book: “…caring for the elderly, the ill and the dying has always been a basic function of the church. Today, families are in particular need for the church to assist in that responsibility. Caregivers need the church’s help to do the things that need doing: trips to the doctor, cooking, cleaning navigating the medical maze or simply getting a break from all these things. Beyond material assistance, the dying need to know they still matter to the church body. Particularly in a culture where dying may take two or more years to complete, this relationship needs to be intentional… learning how to love them in this unique hour and actively caring for them in tangible ways.” p. 150

Finishing Well to the Glory of God by John Dunlop, MD
From the introduction: “Dying well is rarely a coincidence. Rather it results from choices made throughout life. After all, dying well is nothing more than living well right up till the end. Deliberate planning for our final days is not a priority of our culture. But we need it today more than ever. We are often forced to make difficult decisions during times of crisis…The realities of modern medicine present potential problems of two sorts: choosing too much of the available technology or choosing too little.”

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go: Facing Death with Courageous Confidence in God, compiled by Nancy Guthrie
From the publisher: "This compilation includes the writings of twenty-two classic and contemporary theologians and Bible teachers on how to prepare to die in faith. The short meditations are drawn from sermons, books, and other writings of classic theologians such as Jonathan Edwards and John Calvin, and of leading contemporary communicators such as John Piper, Tim Keller, J.I. Packer, and others. The writers provide a solidly scriptural and countercultural way to view the inevitability of death, explaining how and why believers can face physical death with hope, joy, and confidence in God's promises for the life to come.

The Art of Dying by Rob Moll
From the book: “Having end-of-life conversations, making wise choices toward a good death and being present with dying loved ones are especially important because our medical system is not designed to help people die… Too often patients and families have suffered as someone endured what would turn out to be the futile life-saving efforts so quickly employed by hospitals… There often comes a time when doctors, families and patients need to prepare themselves for death. And the need to know when to forego medical treatment intended to cure and turn instead to treatment that promotes comfort.” p. 109

The Last Enemy: Preparing to Win the Fight of Your Life by Michael Wittmer
From the cover: “Although researchers continue to spend time and money looking for ways to prolong life, the reality of the matter remains the same—everyone is going to die. It can be unsettling to come to grips with the fact that death is the final foe you will face in this life…  You can have peace to focus on what matters most and live with confident expectation of victory through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Departing in Peace: Biblical Decision-Making at the End of Life by Bill Davis
Decisions at the end of life create deep anxiety for those involved. But it is possible to find peace and comfort amid the hard choices. As a church elder and hospital ethics consultant, Bill Davis has talked, walked, and prayed with many people in end-of-life situations. Helpful resource: Free 4-week lesson plans and leader guides for personal and group study—Ask the Doctors (handouts and leader notes) and Leaving Instructions (handouts, leader notes, and case studies).

Between Life and Death by Kathryn Butler
This book offers a distinctly Christian guide to end-of-life care. It equips you by explaining common medical jargon, exploring biblical principles that connect to common medical situations, and offering guidance for making critical decisions. In these pages, you will find the medical knowledge and scriptural wisdom you need to navigate this painful and confusing process with clarity, peace, and discernment.

Finding Grace in the Face of Dementia, by John Dunlop, MD
Rooting his vision of care in the inherent dignity that stems from the fact that all people are made in the image of God, Dunlop explains biblical principles, describes the experience of dementia, and answers common questions about the condition. With a plan for how to care for patients with compassion and respect, this book helps caregivers, family members, and anyone else affected by dementia honor God as they improve the quality of care to patients.

Second Forgetting – Remembering the Power of the Gospel During Alzheimer’s Diseaseby Dr. Benjamin Mast
From the book: “Our hope comes from a God who is stronger than Alzheimer’s. When we face the confusion and uncertainty of this disease, God calls us to remember him, and in his grace he provides us the ability to do so.”

Keeping Love Alive as Memories Fade: The 5 Love Languages and the Alzheimer's Journey, by Debbie Barr, Edward G. Shaw, and Gary D. Chapman. The authors' innovative application of the five love languages creates an entirely new way to touch the lives of the 5 million Americans who have Alzheimer's, as well as their 15 million caregivers.

Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges
From the preface: “If God really does control the circumstances of our lives, why did He allow my friend to get cancer? Can I truly trust God when the going gets tough in different areas of my life? This book, then, was born out of the results of addressing needs in my own life and realizing that many other believers have similar questions and doubts. It is written from the perspective of a brother and companion to all those who are tempted at times to ask, ‘Can I really trust God?’”

How Long, O Lord? Reflections on Suffering and Evil by D.A. Carson
From the cover: “Primarily, this is a book of preventative medicine. One of the major causes of devastating grief and confusion among Christians is that our expectations are false. We do not give the subject of evil and suffering the thought it deserves until we ourselves are confronted with tragedy. If by that point our beliefs—not well thought out but deeply ingrained—are largely out of step with the God who has disclosed himself in the Bible and supremely in Jesus, then the pain from the personal tragedy may be multiplied many times over as we begin to question the very foundations of our faith.”

Be Still, My Soul: Embracing God's Purpose and Provision in Suffering compiled by Nancy Guthrie
From the publisher: "Since the beginning of humanity, the question of suffering -- why it happens and how God works in it -- has existed. What are you doing, God? Why is this happening? Where are you? These questions fill our thoughts when we experience deep pain and tragedy. Having lost two young children who suffered from a rare and incurable disease, editor Nancy Guthrie has put together this helpful collection of short readings exploring the question of suffering."

Walking with God through Pain and Suffering by Timothy Keller
From Booklist: “First, Keller examines human suffering through the ages and the ways that different cultures and religions have coped. Next, he discusses what the Bible says about suffering. Finally, he offers practical advice on how to live through it. He discusses the problem of evil, the reasons for suffering, the varieties of suffering, and the necessity of hope. A luminous and ultimately hopeful examination of the many aspects of sufferings.” – June Sawyers

Notes From the Valley: A Spiritual Travelogue through Cancer, by Andy Mcquitty
In the persona of a travel writer sending notes back from the desert, Andy recounts his journey through stage IV cancer, in which he discovered what King David did in his own valley: that in suffering, God’s presence isn’t diminished, but magnified.

The Upside of Down -- Finding Hope When It Hurts, by Joseph M. Stowell
Dr. Stowell presents tribulation as God's tool to prepare Christians for His use. It is through trials that God draws us closer if we will rely on Him. Citing numerous passages of Scripture and the personal experiences of Christians who have suffered, Stowell explains that ordeals will come, but we can respond productively in the midst of trouble if we remember that there is an ultimate purpose behind our suffering and that the end of the ride is God's responsibility.

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