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Book Review:

Anthology of a Twenty Year Old Soul

by Dan Stolebarger, Executive Director of Koinonia Institute


On a recent trip to Applegate Christian Fellowship, I was blessed to be in attendance the night Ben Courson’s new book was released. Following the morning worship and communion service, I began to read this book. I knew after the first few pages that this was a “must read” for all the members of KI.

The words on the pages of this book are taken from Ben Courson’s old tattered leather journal. I know the depths of these musings will resonate with the reader’s soul, and when I ponder the age of this fellow sojourner, I still am amazed by the depth of his perception and insights. The only way that I can review this Anthology is to let it speak for itself—so with that, here are some excerpts from the book.

Preface

The purpose of this entire book is to promote faith, courage, hope, godliness, and passion for God. These writings are not written from my strengths, but from my weakness. So these are statements of faith, predicated on my desperate need to get back up and live out these truths.

My Cross to Carry

When cutting words steal my joy and revenge looks like justice, forgiveness is my cross to carry. When I see the anguished man begging at the freeway exit, compassion is my cross to carry. When a lost soul is mine to find, eternity is my cross to carry. When a boastful word could appease my pleading pride, modesty is my cross to carry. When I can’t feel God in my prison, praise is my cross to carry. When I feel the need for haste and control, patience is my cross to carry. When my enemies surround and fear demands surrender, courage is my cross to carry.

More Than Conquerors

Shine your light and the darkness will retreat. Fill Heaven, and hell will be empty. Defend good, and evil will withdraw. Fall at the cross, and you will stand on eternity. Seize faith, and despair’s iron fist will retract. Worship with joy and in perfect time, your soul will dissipate. Feed your passion, and apathy will starve to death. Keep love alive, and hatred will die. Crown purity, and the devil will be dethroned. Fix your eyes on God, and the world cannot allure your focus. Build God’s Kingdom, and Satan’s will be razed to the ground. The battle belongs to the Lord and in Him you will conquer.

Hope to the End

Has despair seized your heart? Do you feel like lying down and never getting back up? Has hope become to you but a misled optimism or illusory expectation? Have you discontinued your once dauntless and child-like faith in God’s promises? Have you abandoned your dreams as you resign yourself to a fate abiding in sorrow? Do you believe happy endings are only a myth? Is tomorrow’s light swallowed by the shadows cast by today? Has the journey taken a devastating toll? Do you travel feeling alone and forlorn as if God is no longer by your side?

Maybe there are simple answers to complex problems. Perhaps tomorrow does make sense of today. Aren’t happy endings always built on foundations of trouble? Could there be a good story without catastrophe in the plot? Don’t tears of joy fall on the final page because tears of grief have stained the tragic middle pages?

This is your story. Even now it is being written. Your character is being built, and what you do with this page determines what the next page will be. Will yours be a tale of courage in adversity? Valor and strength? Perseverance despite peril and danger? Belief to overcome impossible odds? Resistance until victory? Stand your ground. Be strong. Hope to the end.

My weekend at Applegate stirred me in many deep and pro-found ways. What surfaced was truth, authenticity and purity—and all of these attributes can be found on the pages of Ben’s book. Make sure you add this to your collection of devotional readings!



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