Author(s): Sam Crabtree; John Piper (Foreword by)
It happens in marriages, parent-child relationships, friendships, workplaces, and churches: Communication falters, friendships wane, teenagers withdraw, marriages fail, and bitter rifts sever once-strong ties. Christian communities are no exception. Why do so many of our relationships suffer from alienation, indifference, and even hostility?
Author Sam Crabtree believes that often at the heart of these breakdowns is a lack of affirmation. He observes in Scripture that God grants mercy to those who refresh others, and in life that people tend to be influenced by those who praise them. Crabtree shows how a robust "God-centered affirmation ratio" refreshes others and honors God.
Practicing Affirmation sounds a call to recognize and affirm the character of Christ in others. When done well, affirmation does not fuel pride in the person, but refreshes them and honors God. All who are discouraged in relationships will find wisdom and practical insight in this book.
"Who needs a book about affirming others? For starters, I do-and I suspect you do too. Too many of us use most of our words each day for criticizing and complaining. My friend Sam Crabtree, on the other hand, is a practitioner of affirmation. To meet him is to be encouraged. His words, both in person and in these pages, are thoughtful, intentional, and full of gratefulness. If you find that your communication lacks encouragement, if you want to grow in affirming others, if you plan to say any words at all today-please read this book!" -C. J. Mahaney, Senior Pastor, Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky "Sam lives what he preaches. I've never forgotten a short, hand-written note of God-centered affirmation he sent me years ago, having met only once briefly. His words not only encouraged me personally at the time, but have influenced our ministry in a significant way ever since. I am grateful for this book-if no one else needs it, I know I do!" -Nancy Leigh DeMoss, author; radio host, Revive Our Hearts "When it comes to affirming and encouraging others, some people come by it naturally. For the Christian, we come by it supernaturally. However, even the most mature believer must hone and cultivate the act of affirmation-that's why this new book by Sam Crabtree is such an invaluable resource to the church. How do we effectively 'build each other up in the faith?' You're holding the answer in your hands!" -Joni Eareckson Tada, Founder and CEO, Joni and Friends International Disability Center "We all welcome words of affirmation. Sam tells us how the practice and power of affirmation will make a difference in the life of anyone, young or old. Practicing Affirmation will help you make a positive investment in your relationships with family members, co-workers, friends and neighbors, even the clerk at the store-even when people are difficult." -Bruce Johnson, President, SIM, Charlotte, North Carolina "For over 30 years now I have watched my friend, Sam Crabtree, flesh out the truths he has written about in this book. My wife, children, and I have been blessed to taste firsthand the sweetness of the soul strengthening effects of Sam's God-centered affirmations." -Ron Wickard, Pastor, Richland Church, Mina, South Dakota
SAM CRABTREE (MA, South Dakota State), is a former public school teacher and has served as executive pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis since 1997. He is also lead pastor for life training, serving as the "vision keeper" of the church. John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is teacher and founder of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary. He served for 33 years as pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis and is author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God, Don't Waste Your Life, This Momentary Marriage, Bloodlines, and Does God Desire All to Be Saved?