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BEARDED GOSPEL MEN DEVOTIONAL REVIEWED


Bearded Gospel Men:
The Epic Quest for Manilness and Godliness
By Jared Brock
Published by Thomas Nelson
ISBN# 978-0718099305
307 pages

ABOUT BOOK: 31 Days of Fun, Satire, and Deeper Meaning of the Godly Beard! Is there a connection between hairiness and holiness? Some would say a hearty “Yes!” In fact, the world is in the middle of a beard mania. Events like Movember and Decembeard are becoming global movements and manly sites are appearing all over the internet. Is this just another fad? And what does it say that so many of the most famous Christian communicators have or did have a beard?

Throughout history, Christian men have gloried in male pattern magnificence. Saint Benedict of Nursia wore a superb double forker. The benevolently-bushed Euthymius wouldn’t allow clean-shaven monks to enter his Judean Desert monastery. St. Francis of Assisi had a beard, and now there’s a Pope named after him. He’s clean-shaven, but we’re praying for him.

Of all the great Christian men who wore beards, none stands so highly as the headless martyr Sir Thomas More. On the day of his beheading, the tufted knight supposedly positioned his beard away from his soon-to-be-severed neck, saying: “My beard has not been guilty of treason, and it would be an injustice to punish it.”

But of course, Bearded Gospel Men is about far more than beards – it’s about manliness and godliness. Through this 31-day devotional, men are inspired to rise to a higher calling. The humor and facial hair is the perfect means to have a broader conversation about living a faithful life.
So, let’s study some of these famous Bearded Gospel Men!

ABOUT AUTHOR: Jared A. Brock is the author of Bearded Gospel Men, A Year of Living Prayerfully, and The Road to Dawn. Brock is the director of Over 18, Red Light Green Light, and Josiah, and has been interviewed on TODAY.com, 100 Huntley Street, and the 700 Club. Brock is happily married to his best friend, Michelle, and his writing has appeared in Esquire, Huffington Post, Elite Daily, and Writer’s Digest. Visit jaredbrock.com for free chapters and updates.

ABOUT CO-AUTHOR: Aaron Alford is originally from Ontario, Canada. He has studied improv at The Second City, hitchhiked across Ireland and Italy, and, as a missionary with Youth with a Mission in Modesto, California, helps run a street café for the homeless with his friends. He is currently studying for the priesthood and enjoys beautifying the world with whimsy, compassion, pipe smoke, and an admirable beard.

Other contributors: Chris Wignall, Michelle Brock, Eric Fusilier, Catherine Greene, Richard Saunders, James Kelly, Jonathan Rogers, Bradford Loomis, Jimmy Sustar, and Malcolm Guite.

REVIEW: Author Jared Brock teams up with Aaron Alford and a few contributors I enjoyed. In the introduction, the author states: “A Bearded Gospel Man is something more than just a well-churched dude with a beard. It’s a man who’s letting himself be changed by that gospel. A man who is striving to truly embody that gospel…he knows he can’t do life on his own. He needs the grace of God, the company of good friends, the kindship of true community, and the wisdom of the great cloud of witnesses.”…together we find our healing. In surrender, we find our strength. 1John 1:7.”

Each chapter introduces readers to a Christian man along with a peek at his faith journey. There are three questions at the end of each chapter for contemplation, and then the chapter ends with a prayer. In between each devotional is are antidotes. Some are funny (tongue and cheek) many are heartfelt. One of them is titled How to Grow a Great Beard in Five Easy Steps, another The Bearditudes…Blessed are those who strive for beardedness…” The Beards That Might Have Been and several more. Sprinkled throughout the devotional are pictures of bearded men, some of them have the craziest looking beards, others are amazing and beautiful.

Some of the men’s stories shared are Good King Wenceslas – The Merry Christmas Boxer; Daniel Nash – Spiritual Napalm, Saint Luca of Crimea – Doctor of the Church, John the Baptist – Less is More; Sir Thomas More- The Beard Hath Committed no Treason – Charles Spurgeon – Chomping Prince of Preachers, G.K. Chesterton – Saint Valentine, Joseph of Cupertino, Keith Green, Saint Augustine, Francis Schaeffer, Charles Monroe, and many more.

This devotional draws you in with bearded men’s pictures, their stories of faith and men being real with each other about life. It’s a powerful and winning combination.
  
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley. 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”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
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