Book Review – Chronic Love: Trusting God While Suffering with A Chronic Illness by Brooke Bartz

Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! Yesterday I wrote about the upcoming Book Club produced by Open Hearts and made available over on AGTV. While looking for a link to it, I realized that I hadn’t written a book review for this book yet! Since I have such an extensive list of recent reads that need to be reviewed, I decided to start with this one. If you haven’t followed the women’s conference we’ve been putting on for the past two years, you might not realize that I’m the Technical Director for Open Hearts. This is important to note, as Brooke Bartz is a cherished sister-in-Christ, the author of today’s book, and the founder of Open Hearts in a Closed World. I mention this simply to indicate that it’s possible to make a case that I’ve several biases regarding Chronic Love, or at least it would be, if not for one crucial point. I adored this book long before Brooke, and I became so close or began working together! If you missed it, you can go back and watch the first interview we did with Brooke here


With that small caveat in place, I’ll get to the actual purpose of today’s article, the book review! Chronic Love is not a book about suffering chronically; it’s a book about God’s sovereign purpose in suffering chronically. It was published back in September 2019 by Ambassador International, written, as aforementioned, by author, speaker, and podcaster Brooke Bartz. While it holds only ten chapters, its 320 pages are so packed full of Scripture that the publishers used two different Bible translations to avoid copyright impingement. Alongside these verses, which do a theologically sound job of explaining God’s sovereignty, there are historical quotes (my favorite thing to find in Christian books) and personal aspects of others’ experience, as well as Brookes, with chronic illness. At the end of each chapter, save the first; there are helpful study questions to further develop each Biblical point in your mind. 


Many of us either suffer from something chronic or care for someone who does. I would recommend this book to both those categories, but to expand on that, I likewise suggest this book for anyone in leadership roles, especially those in ministry. The physical and mental toll suffering, or being a caregiver, takes on a person isn’t always prominent. We have to be prepared to have a doctrinally accurate response to folks we come across in these types of situations. This book not only explains the do’s, but it also explains the don’ts while constantly pointing back to the glory of God. I’ve never read anything like this; most books on suffering are either the typical health and wealth or the fluffy encouragement you’d expect to find in a Ted Talk. There is nothing within the pages of this book that would limit readers’ age, so I can recommend it for all ages, as it would undoubtedly be a valuable read for families dealing with chronic illness. You can find this book in Kindle, Audible, Paperback, and Hardcover here. If you’re subscribed to AGTV, you’ll be able to join Brooke as she begins our newest Open Hearts show, Book Club, by reading portions of Chronic Love while discussing the questions and topics therein. You’ll also be able to dig even deeper into the doctrine of God’s sovereignty on The Aftershow, hosted by yours truly, coming soon to AGTV. As always, beloved brethren, be good Bereans and study to show yourselves approved.


Open Hearts Podcast – Beginnings

Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! I had a slight delay in yesterday’s episode, but Lord willing, the interview will be available the following Monday. If you are itching for a podcast to watch in the meantime, the first-ever episode of the Open Hearts Podcast with Erin Coates and Brooke Bartz is available. This beginning episode is setting the stage for a theologically sound Bible study through 2nd Timothy. You can find it over on YouTube and AGTV in video or podcast form on AppleSpotifyStitcher, and Google Podcast. I’ve mentioned it on the live events a handful of times, but I don’t think I’ve had the opportunity to write about it yet. Brooke, myself and the entire team of Open Hearts gals have teamed up with Brandon Kimber’s AGTV to produce three different shows. The first one is the one mentioned above, the second will be a book club beginning with Brooke’s book Chronic Love, and the third will be hosted by yours truly, the Aftershow. 


Both the Book Club and the Aftershow will be AGTV exclusive content, unavailable anywhere else. While Brooke works through her book, chapter by chapter, helpfully discussing God’s sovereignty in chronic illness, over in the Book Club, I’ll be highlighting this topic through interviews over on The Aftershow. Many aspects of God’s sovereignty are fairly often confused in the Church today, especially in the fluffy women’s Bible studies, where emotions are more often studied than the actual Word of God. Through these three different shows, we’re hoping to edify the body of Christ, women, in particular, to fill in the massive gaps we see in Women’s Ministries across the world. While it’s often been a drumbeat of Tulips & Honey, I’m thrilled to pieces to have the opportunity to work with so many others just as passionate, if not more so, to further the Kingdom, share the Gospel, and educate the Church. 


The schedule of these three shows will be unique, as each episode will be posted on a Monday, with a week off in-between. Hopefully, this will give us the chance to answer any questions sent our way while giving readers time to keep up in the Bible study and Book Club. I’ve got a lineup of interviewees for The Aftershow, the first being Brooke Bartz herself, followed by Doreen Virtue and Phil Johnson. If you’ve got any questions for the last two on the topic of God’s sovereignty, please feel free to drop them here. As we continue to expand the Open Hearts ministry, we would all appreciate your prayers. It’s Brooke and my fervent prayer that we never use our platforms for any other purpose but the glory of God. We’d be grateful if you would join us in that prayer. As always, beloved brethren, be good Bereans and study to show yourselves approved.