(Review) The Power of Presence: A Love Story by Neil T. Anderson
Publisher: Monarch Books/Kregel
Genre: Nonfiction, memoir, love story, caregiving
Source: Free paperback copy from Kregel in exchange for a review
Rating: 5 stars for excellent
A short list of Dr. Neil T. Anderson's books:
The Bondage Breaker
Victory Over Darkness
Who I Am in Christ
The Essential Guide to Spiritual Warfare
The Steps to Freedom in Christ
Freedom From Fear
Dr. Neil T. Anderson is the director of Freedom in Christ Ministries. The blog entries for daily devotionals on this site ended in October 2014. Crosswalk Ministries has current dated devotionals written by Anderson.
A brief bio on Anderson @ Wikipedia.
The YouTube is on another book, Restoring Broken Relationships.
Neil Anderson's wife of 50 years is in a skilled nursing facility because of agitated dementia. The Power of Presence is six chapters of reflections and helpful teachings for other caregivers.
1. The Absence of Presence
2. Suffering in His Presence
3. Coming into His Presence
4. Ministering in His Presence
5. Resting in His Presence
6. Fully in His Presence
One of the first comments Anderson makes in chapter one is "sitting in silence."
Marriage makes two people come together in a union. The two become one. The two become a team. The two become entwined in daily living. The two become partners in the battle called life. Marriage is not all moonlight and roses. Marriage is often tough times, and with no end to the tough times in sight.
The Power of Presence is a book I can relate to. My mother had Alzheimer's 18 years. Dad cared for mother with my help. Mother lived in a skilled nursing facility the last six years until she died. She lived with the disease until it robbed her of the involuntary responses: breathing and swallowing. Daddy visited mother every afternoon and most of those years he sat in silence. It meant the world to him to see mother, touch her, and speak soothing words to her. I saw through daddy's actions the definition of love.
The Power of Presence is written to an audience of like people. People who are caring for a sick individual. People who need support, encouragement, and the tender grace and mercy only God gives.
The Power of Presence acknowledges the absence of the sick loved one's companionship, but reminds us of God's constant presence. His presence ministers to us and helps us to cope with loneliness and the hardships of life.
The book length is short. The chapters are brief. I believe this helps to not exhaust what little time a caregiver has to read. It especially helps to not load down a caregiver with information. During a time of care-giving, the caregiver is absorbed with the tasks at hand, and they are overwhelmed much of the time. To have a book that is direct and will minister to them with tenderness helps.
There are several points and teachings I believe are meaningful:
- To give is to be blessed.
- The power of belonging.
- Most spiritual attacks are at night.
- God's presence in our lives is tantamount to loving others.
- Worship should be a lifestyle.
- Walk in God's light.
The book concludes with Scripture helps.
My favorite quotes:
"It is truly more blessed to give than to receive, because in giving you are blessed." Page 52.
"It is the presence of God in our lives that enables us to love others and expect nothing in return from them." Page 74.
"When worship becomes a lifestyle, we start to see evidence of His presence everywhere." Page 110.
"We practice the presence of God when we walk in the light, which means that we live in conscious moral agreement with God." Page 112.