Take Heart

The Overcomer's Path Through Conflict

Christian - Non-Fiction
172 Pages
Reviewed on 05/22/2024
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Author Biography

Following a call from the Lord to serve overseas, Gary left the US in 1983 and served as a tentmaker in France until 1988 and then in Switzerland where he lives now. As a professional, he worked full-time as a research chemist and in later years as an IT specialist.

In terms of ministry, he has served mostly in pastoral settings with services of teaching, preaching, counseling, and inner healing.
Since taking an early retirement in 2013, he has done short-term ministry trips in eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia. He joined OM in 2017 and has been doing pastoral care for workers in central Asia and northern Africa through short visits and online.

He wrote "Take Heart" to show how the Scriptures teach God's wonderful plan to navigate the troubled waters of conflict.

Gary and and his wife Beverly have five adult children.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Alex Ndirangu for Readers' Favorite

Whether they are slight misunderstandings or escalated arguments, we all experience conflicts. When these chaotic situations abound, do you stop for a second and think, "If only I could avoid this?" Do you ever wish there was an easy way to navigate the conflict minefield? I certainly do! It's the reason I picked up Take Heart: The Overcomer's Path through Conflict. This relatively short book by Gary Wooden is here to help us grow in hope through endurance, encouragement, and wisdom, even when the storms of hardship and difficulty rage on. We can't help but sometimes wonder why God allows conflicts and suffering to be so prevalent in our world. But with this special book, you'll learn and understand His purpose in your tribulations and how to find fulfillment in your daily life as a child of God. Wooden shares principles and possible ways, backed up with numerous empowering scriptures from the Bible, about how to tackle the challenges in the conflicts and emerge victorious.

I found the author's experiences and discussions especially insightful, and the solutions were practical and essential to healthy Christian living. I also really loved how well he addressed how disputes over words and non-essential issues can sometimes lead to the destruction of the witness of love among Christians. The author constantly reminds readers throughout the book that though there's no easy road through conflict, we must embrace the trials because "He goes before us to defeat the enemy, but we have to engage in the battle to see it fully accomplished." That really encouraged me to believe that everything would eventually turn out all right. While Take Heart offers a unique and refreshing opportunity to explore Christianity, it's a celebration of how we are all connected to the bigger picture through the immersive, eternal love of Christ. Grab a copy to see how He would have you walk through life as an overcomer. Many thanks to Gary Wooden for crafting Take Heart.

Courtnee Turner Hoyle

Gary Wooden's Take Heart: The Overcomer's Path Through Conflict aims to help readers handle conflicts while following God's intentions for humankind. In these pages, readers learn how they have received empowerment from God, the way Jesus understood and dealt with troubles, and good strategies for addressing inner and outer conflicts. Through his Christian approach, Wooden presents scriptures and biblical examples to enhance his points and detail the role of forgiveness. The author outlines different degrees of conflict and provides suggestions for reacting to them. He describes the role of mediators and their part in helping the parties reach an agreement. Wooden instructs readers through Jesus's examples and reminds them to use the Holy Spirit as their guide.

Gary Wooden helps his readers see conflicts as lessons, teaching them important skills to handle future disagreements. The book can be read all at once or broken down and viewed as a daily devotional. Each chapter presents a topic with a related scripture and text that could start or end your day as you reflect on God's word and how the text applies to your life. Wooden brings up valid points about our response to conflict and teaches us to have a more forgiving mindset. As I read, I wondered if God was asking if I'd turn to Him when I was troubled or rely on my insufficient methods during times of unrest. Readers who are ready to explore the reason for conflict and hope to resolve it the way God intended will enjoy Take Heart.

Diana Lopez

Interpersonal conflicts can have negative repercussions both at the individual and societal levels. When dealing with them, we often prioritize finding quick solutions instead of understanding the challenges of the situation. This tendency can be counterproductive and stressful because we may repeat the same mistakes. We can face any dilemma successfully with the right attitude and strong faith. In Take Heart: The Overcomer's Path Through Conflict, Gary Wooden guides us in addressing problems using biblical principles. He begins by exploring the topic of conflict from Genesis and then reflects on God's purpose in allowing us to face our own battles. He reminds us that often the greatest victories come from apparent defeats because life is full of complex circumstances. The author teaches us how to resolve different types of situations.

I loved how Gary Wooden bases his explanations on biblical passages, expressing himself clearly and succinctly. This book is ideal for those who are familiar with the Bible because there are many well-detailed concepts. My favorite part was the description of the armor of God because, with practical examples, he describes the correct way to act in the face of adversity. His approach emphasizes values such as humility and justice while motivating us to change our way of thinking to improve our actions. He also includes ideas based on his experiences, which allows for a deeper understanding of the concepts. The author is honest in talking about his own mistakes, with the intention that we learn from them. Take Heart shows how to apply biblical advice in our daily lives, teaching that forgiveness and redemption can lead to happiness and harmony.

Luwi Nyakansaila

Take Heart: The Overcomer's Path Through Conflict by Gary Wooden is a Christian guide that explores how to handle conflicts. It delves into the role of God's purpose in conflict, encouraging individuals to overcome conflicts in a way that aligns with Jesus' teachings and leads to eternal rewards. By sharing in Jesus’ suffering and applying the principles of humility, forgiveness, and discernment, Christians will find strength in trusting God and his path. The book covers topics like the armor of God, peacemakers, and understanding the root cause of conflicts. It also gives great examples of internal and external conflicts depicted in the Bible, giving readers a road map that they can use to better understand and navigate conflicts.

Take Heart is a well-written book that is easy to follow and understand. It perfectly outlines the biblical history of conflicts and how God’s principles can help you in both spiritual and fleshly conflicts. This is a familiar topic, but Gary Wooden does an excellent job of breaking it down and covering often overlooked areas. His explanation of why the armor of God does not include slings, bows, and arrows was profound and eye-opening. The book has many dissections like this that are engaging and thought-provoking, making it a captivating and insightful read. I also loved its design and format, which was consistent and made it look neat and attractive. There are many lessons to be learned in this book, and I recommend reading it to gain a deeper understanding of God's principles about conflicts and how to apply them in your Christian growth.

Doreen Chombu

Take Heart by Gary Wooden explores the theological roots of conflict, starting with Lucifer's fall and Adam's disobedience. The book emphasizes the importance of Jesus overcoming the chaos that ensued and encourages readers to pray for God's purposes to be achieved amid conflicts. It highlights the significance of handling conflicts according to God's plan, rather than relying on worldly solutions that often lead to further discord. Wooden covers the biblical principles that we can apply to either flee, fight, or resolve a conflict and explains how the armor of God helps us. Conflicts are part of the Christian journey, and learning how to navigate them will help you grow in your faith and trust in God, and become a loving and understanding person.

Take Heart is not just about conflicts, but is also a powerful tool for spiritual transformation. It explores the internal struggles that we all face and offers a profound reminder of the importance of renewing our minds and living our faith in a way that is authentic and meaningful. The core message of the book challenges us to confront our own doubts and fears and to seek a deeper understanding of God's love and purpose for our lives. Gary Wooden shares practical examples from the Bible and his life to help readers understand how to implement the principles in this book. Each point is backed with a Bible scripture, and the topics flow perfectly from one to the other. The book can be useful to both Christians and non-believers and will help strengthen anyone going through persecution or conflicts.